Is kissing the thumbs at adhan from the Sunnah ?

  • Status : FABRICATED

First of all, the respect that is due to the Best of the Creation is not contested here, one must send salutations after his blessed mention, and even regularly, for our success in this life and the hereafter lies in our love for him.

Rather what is contested is the nature of the following ahadith :

“He who kisses the finger nails of his thumb when hearing Ashadu Anna Muhamman Rasool Allah, I shall admit him into Jannah”

“ Rasullullah ﷺ wiped his eyes with the inner portion of his fore fingers after kissing them when hearing the Mu’azzin saying “Ashadu Anna Muhammadun Rasool Allah together with Ashadu Anna Muhammadan Abduhu Wa Rasuluhu, Radhitu Billahi Rabba wa Bil Islami Deena wa Bi Muhammad Sallallahu ALayhi Wa Sallam Nabiyya”

“It is reported from Hadrat Khidr Alaihis Salam , “If a person says “Marhaban bi-Habibi Quratu Aini Muhammad ibn Abdullah” when hearing the Muazzin say “Ash’hadu anna Muhammadur-Rasoolullah, then kisses his thumbs and places them on his eyes, never will they (the eyes) be sore.”

1. The hadith is fabricated, not just weak

The following masters of Hadith  and ‘ulama considered the hadith to be fabricated :

Hafiz Sakhawi (pupil of Ibn Hajr Al-‘Asqalani (RA)) (Al-Maqaasid ul Hasana, hadith 1021) : he said “la yussah” ie not sahih).

Allamah Shawkani (RA) (al-Fawaid al-Majmu’ah fi al-Ahadith al-Maudhu’ah)

Hafiz Ibn ud daiba (Tamyeez uthayba pg.171-2)

Hafiz Ibn Taahir al-Fattaany (Tazkiratul Mawdhoo’aat pg.34)

Imaam Suyootee wrote “Those ahadeeth which mention the kissing of the fingers and then placing them on the eyes when the Mu’adhdhin mentions the name of the Prophet , then all of them are fabricated.”See ad-Durar al-Muntathirah Fee Ahadeeth al- Muntashirah.” (and much more refer to Fataawa Nazeeriyyah 1/248-251)

Allamah Ibn Abidin (RA) quotes “There is no authentic Marfoo Hadeeth regarding this practice” (Radd al-muhtar, 1/398)

Mulla Ali Qari (RA) has  classified the 2nd hadith quoted above as Mawdhu  (see al-Masnu’ fi Ma’rifa al-Hadith al-Mawdu & ‘Mawdoo`aatal-Kubraa’ [no. 435])

Shaikh Muhammad Khaleel Tarbulusee Hanafee (d.1305) said, “Sakahwee has rejected it and said this is not authentic.” (al-Lulul al-Marsoo’ah Feemaa al-Asal Lahu WaBaa Asli Mawdhoo no.505 pg.168)

Shaykh Abdul Fattah Abu Ghuddah (footnotes on Al-Masnoo of Mulla Ali Qari pg.169)

Imam Baihaqi (RA) states concerning the narration in which Khidr is in the sanad :
And in its chain are several narrators who are Majhool and Allah (SWT) has not made us responsible to take our religion from Majhool narrators. (Kitaabul Qir’aa, page 127)

The same has been reported by Allamah Muhammad Tahir Hanafi.

It is evident from the above explanation that the practice of kissing one’s thumb and rubbing it on one’s eyes after “Ashadu Anne Muhammadan Rasool Allah” in the Azaan is a fabricated and baseless practice having no status in the Shari’ah.

2. Weak ?

For argument’s sake, let’s consider the hadith is only weak and not fabricated.

Let me then remind you of the conditions by which weak ahadith can be used :

‘Ulamas have explained that for using a Da’if (weak) hadith, it is absolutely necessary that these 3 conditions are met (sources in the previous link) :

  1. The narration may not be mawdhu OR its weakness not be too important;
  2. The hadith must be in accordance with renown and legitimated practices, established from valid references (Qur’an verses, authentic or reliable ahadith)
  3. One must not have the conviction that the hadith is legitimate and established so that one does not attribute to the Holy Prophet something he may not have said, as a precaution the hadith being unfounded.

In the present case :

  1. the narration is fabricated, or granted you say it is just ‘weak’, then from a neutral point of view this becomes very weak for sure
  2. the practice is not supported by any other hadith
  3. any muslim doing this nowadays has the conviction this practice is from the sunnah, whereas the one omitting the kissing of the thumbs is looked down!

Further, consider :

Imam ibn Daqeeq-ul-Eid [RA] writes:

“If a narration is weak, but not maudoo’, then it is permissible to practice upon it. However if any shi`ar of the Deen (visible sign, habit) is created by its practice, then it should be abandoned.” [Ahkamul Ahkam, vol. 1, page 51]

Allamah Sakhaawi [RA] writes:

“However, as for maudoo’, practice on it is impermissible under all circumstances.” [Al-Qawlul Bade’, page 196]

3. A point on Ibn ‘Aabideen (RA)…

Allamah Shami has mentioned that there is no authentic Hadith with regards to kissing one’s hand and touching one’s eyes when Nabi ’s name is heard during Adhaan. The Muhadditheen (scholars of Hadith) have also mentioned that the Hadith of Abu Bakr (Radhiallaahu Anhum) is not authentic. (Radd al-muhtar vol.1 pg.398)

He however quotes from 2 books  that it is mustahab : 1) Jami’ ar-Rumuz and 2) Fatawa Sufiyyah.

1) The same Ibn ‘Aabideen mentions Jami’ ar-Rumuz to be an unreliable book for fatwa!

Jami’ ar-Rumuz itself doesn’t even quote it from a book of fiqh, but instead from a book on duas (awrad), namely Kanz al-Ibad, which isn’t just unreliable; it is full of fabrications!

The famous Hanafi Muhaddith, Mulla Ali al-qari says regarding it:
“This ‘Kanz’ contains disgusting fabricated ahadith. It is not permissible to even hear them !”

Sh. Gulam Mustapha as-Sindi states regarding it: “It is full of weak masail and fabricated ahadith. Neither do the Fuqaha or the Muhaddithin attach any weight to this book!”

2) Fatawa Sufiyyah : Allamah Birgivi, Allamah Khadimi, Allamah Abd al-Hay al-Laknawi, Allamah Ghulam Mutapha Sindhi etc have all classified it from the unreliable books, whose masa’il are not permissible to practice upon!

See brothers and sisters :

1) Ibn ‘Aabideen (RA) says the is no authentic hadith tracing back to Rasulullah .

2) He did quote two books that are both unreliable, and one of whom he himself criticised !

3) Ibn ‘Aabideen is a great Faqih, but not an expert of hadith, and the experts have all stated his hadith to be fabricated.

4. Conclusion

This hadith is fabricated, and even if you consider it weak you cannot quote it because conditions are not met by the ‘ulama that allow quoting them.

A person can kiss this thumbs, rub his eyes, place his hands on his head or any other permissible action, the condition being that he does not view this action as an act of ibadah, just as one taking eyedrops doesn’t view this act as ibadah.

Kissing the thumbs during adhan, is nowadays viewed as mustahab or sunnah and is alleged to be based on certain ahadith. The one who omits doing this is frowned upon. That is why it is classified as a bid’ah. Accept the reality and grow up, I’ve browsed through loads of articles but none is able to give a true sanad for this practice.

If there is still anyone who claims it it not fabricated, he is requested to produce the various chains and show how they aren’t fabricated, and quote the relevant muhadditheen, not the mufassireen or fuqaha’ who are not the experts of the field.

Lastly I would like to finish with this quote :

The number of Sahaba (RA) exceeds thousands (and even hundred thousand according to some estimates) and since Adhan is called five (5) times a day, the name Muhammad must have been uttered in front of them and in the blessed presence of Rasul-ullah literally millions of times (in Adhan and outside of it) and if kissing the thumbs or the nail of the index finger was Sunnah then the books of Hadeeth would have recorded the actions of such lovers of the prophet .

Sources :

Source 1

Source 2

Source 3

Source 4

Source 5

Source 6

Source 7

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