Are there any authentic narrations regarding the virtue of putting a candle, lamp or lantern in the masjid?
Many narrations pertaining to the aforementioned topic have been recorded. With the exception of a narration specific to Baytul Maqdas, I have not come across anything reliable or suitable to quote.
(Also see: Mizanul I’itidal, vol. 2 pg. 320, Number: 3847, Lisanul Mizan, vol. 4 pg. 369, Number: 4031, and Tanzihush Shari’ah, vol. 2, pg. 115)
Hereunder are two unreliable narrations which have been recorded:
1. Sayyiduna Anas (radiyallahu ‘anhu) is reported to have narrated that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: ‘[All of] the angels, including the carriers of the ‘Arsh [throne], will continue to seek forgiveness on behalf of the one who places a candle/lantern/light in any masjid so long as that candle/lantern/light emits light in that masjid.’
(Musnadul Harith; Bughyatul Bahith, Hadith: 127)
Imam Bukhari (rahimahullah) has graded this narration a fabrication. ‘Allamahs Dhahabi, Busiri and Ibn Hajar (rahimahumullah) have all echoed similar sentiments.
(Mizanul I’itidal, vol. 1 pg. 532, Number: 2105, Ithaful Khiyarah, Hadith: 999, Mukhtasaru Ithafis Sadatil Maharah, Hadith: 1130, Lisanul Mizan, vol. 3 pg. 255, Number: 2703; Also see: Al-Maqasidul Hasanah, Hadith: 1057, Tadhkiratul Mawdu’at, Hadith: 224, Mukhtasarul Maqasid, Hadith: 970, Kashful Khafa, Hadith: 2371, and Al-Fawaidul Majmu’ah, pg. 26)
2. Sayyiduna Mu’adh ibn Jabal (radiyallahu ‘anhu) is reported to have narrated that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: ‘Seventy thousand angels shall seek forgiveness on behalf of the one who hangs a candle in the masjid until that candle dies out. And seventy thousand angels shall seek forgiveness on behalf of the one who lays a carpet therein until that carpet ceases to exist.
(Dhaylul La-alil Masnu’ah, Hadith: 468; Also see: Al-‘Ilalul Mutanahiyah, Hadith: 682)
Imams Ibnul Jawzi, Dhahabi, Suyuti (rahimahumullah) and others have all regarded this narration to be a fabrication.
(Al-‘Ilalul Mutanahiyah, Hadith: 682, Mizanul I’itidal, vol. 2 pg. 320, Number: 3847, Dhaylul La-alil Masnu’ah, Hadith: 468, and Tanzihus Shari’ah, vol. 2 pg. 115; Also see: Musnadus Shamiyyin, Hadith: 1327, and Ad-Durrul Manthur, Surah Tawbah, Verse: 18)
And Allah Ta’ala knows best.
Answered by: Moulana Farhan Shariff
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar