O Slaves of Allah! Help Me

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O Slaves of Allah! Help Me

At-Tabarani said in Mu’jamul Kabir (10/267):

Ibrahim Ibn Naila Al-Asbahani narrated to us from Al-Hasan Ibn Umar Ibn Shaqiq from Ma’ruf Ibn Hasan As-Samarqandi from Sa’id Ibn Abi Arubah from Qatadah from Abdullah Ibn Buraydah from Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud that he said:

‘The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

‘When one loses his means of transport in a (deserted) land, he should call: “O slaves of Allah! Help me recover (my transport)” for there are many of Allah’s attendants on this earth. They will help you recover it.

Abu Ya’la has narrated it like this in his Musnad (9/177) [2] as well as Ibn As-Sunni in Amalul Yawmi wal Laylah (page 162).

Al-Haythami said in Al-Majma’uz Zawaid (10/132) after quoting Abu Ya’la and At-Tabrani ‘The chain contains Ma’ruf Ibn Hasan who is da’if’ [3].

The same was said by Al-Hafiz Al-Busiri in Mukhtasar Ithafus Sadatul Muhrah (notes to Matalib al-Aliyya, 3/239)[4].

Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar said in Takhrij Al-Adhkar (Sharh Ibn Allan, 5/150) after ascribing it to Ibn As-Sunni and At-Tabrani: There is inqita’ (discontinuation) in the chain between Ibn Buraydah and Ibn Mas’ud.
Nonetheless, the hadith has supporting routes which transform it from a weak hadith to a hasan (fair) one which is acceptable and actable on:



What At-Tabrani transmitted in his Mu’jamul Kabir (17/117) through the route of Abdur Rahman Ibn Sharik whos said his father related from Abu Abdullah Ibn Isa from Yazid Ibn Ali from Utbah Ibn Ghazwan from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم that he said:

‘When one of you loses something or desires assistance while in a land where no person of assistance (is available) he should say “O slaves of Allah! Assist me; help me” for indeed Allah has many slaves who we do not see’ [At-Tabarani added:] and this has been acted upon.

I say: The chain contains da’f (weakness) and inqita’.

Al-Hafiz Al-Haythami said in Al-Majma’uz Zawaid (10/132): ‘At-Tabrani narrated it and its narrators have been declared reliable although there is weakness in some of them; except that, Zayd Ibn Ali did not meet Utbah’ . 

Al-Hafiz (Ibn Hajar) restricted (his comments) on it defects to (pointing out) the inqita’ (and not mentioning the weakness of the narrators) in Takhrij Al-Adhkar saying ‘At-Tabrani transmitted it with a munqati’ (discontinued) chain from Utbah Ibn Ghazwan, as a marfu’ (traceable i.e. to the Prophetصلى الله عليه وسلم) narration’


When Ibn Abi Shaybah related in al-Musannaf (10/424, 425): Yazid Ibn Harun related to us saying: Muhammad Ibn Ishaq reported to us from Aban Ibn Salih that the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

‘When one of your means of transport or camel flees in a (deserted) land, where none can be seen, he should say “Assist me O slaves of Allah” for he shall be assisted’ [7]

This hadith is mursal (the Tabi’i drops the Sahabi and narrates directly from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم). If it weren’t for the ananah (i.e. instead of saying “he narrated to me”, it is said “from him” which creates the possibility of an unknown narrator in between) of Muhammad Ibn Ishaq, the chain would have been hasan. Al-Albani claimed it had the defect of being mu’dal (where two consecutive narrators are dropped and not just one as would be the case with a mursal hadith) in his Da’eefah (2/109) [8] but this is incorrect because Aban Ibn Salih was from the younger Tabi’in. And Allah knows best.


What al-Bazzar transmitted in his Musnad (Kashf al-Astar, 4/33-34): Musa Ibn Ishaq related to us from Manjab Ibn Al-Harith, Hatim Ibn Isma’il related to us from Usamah Ibn Zayd from Aban Ibn Salih from Mujahid from Ibn Abbas that the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

‘Indeed Allah possesses Angels besides the Hafazah (the Angels of Protection) who write (of even) the leaf which falls from a tree so when one of you suffers a limp in a deserted land he should call “Assist (me) O slaves of Allah”’

Al-Haythami said in Al-Majma’uz Zawaid (10/132): ‘Al-Bazzar related it and its narrators are reliable’ [9]

Al-Hafiz said in the Takhrij Al-Adhkar (Sharh ibn Allan, 5/151): “The chain is hasan and gharib jiddan (very rare)”; Al-Hafiz, restricting himself to saying it is hasan, shows he considered Usamah Ibn Zayd reliable for there is difference of opinion over him.

Al-Bayhaqi transmitted it in Shu’bul Iman [10] on the authority of Ibn Abbas also, but in a mawquf (untraceable) form through Ja’far Ibn Awn from Usamah Ibn Zayd from Aba Ibn Salih from Mujahid from Ibn Abbas.

Al-Albani claimed in his Da’eefa (2/112)

Al-Albani claimed in his Da’eefa (2/112) the marfu’ route had a defect because of the mawquf route since Ja’far Ibn Awn (who narrated the mawquf route) is more reliable than Hatim Ibn Isma’il (who narrated the marfu’ route) so the hadith becomes defective due to the discrepancy while the preferred view is that it is mawquf . 

This is incorrect from three angles:

1. It is the convention in the science of hadith that when there is a contradiction of whether a hadith is raised back (to al-Nabi, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) or halted, the raised back is given preference in judgement. Al-Imam An-Nawawi said in the muqaddamah (introduction) to Sharh Sahih Muslim (1/32):

‘When some of the accurate and reliable narrators narrate (a hadith as) muttasil (connected) and others (narrate it as) mursal; or some (narrate it as) mawquf and other (narrate it as) marfu’; or it is (narrated) mawsul (continuous) once and then marfu’ another time and as a mursal or mawquf another time, then the correct approach is as the muhaqqiqun (verifiers) from the muhaddithun (scholars of hadith), and it is the saying of the fuqaha (jurists) and scholars of usul (Islamic jurisprudence) have said and Al-Khatib Al-Baghdadi regarded it correct: That the ruling (of the status of the hadith) is from the one who narrated it as mawsul or marfu’ whether the opposing narrations are from more reliable narrators or from more numerous narrators or from narrators with better memory because this is an addition from a reliable narrator and it is acceptable (ziyada thiqa wa-hiya maqbula).

Ibn Al-Hadi [translator: I think what is meant here is Ibn Abdal Hadi] has clarified this in Al-Tanqih (1/350) as printed in Egypt.

2. Hatim Ibn Isma’il is not alone in narrating the hadith in marfu’ form; rather Muhammad Ibn Ishaq has also done so as has been previously discussed as in the case of the supporting narration of Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud as mentioned first.

What should have been said is that Aban Ibn Salih would narrate it marfu’ some times and at other times he did not feel it necessary to narrate it marfu’ as it is seen similarly very often. And Allah knows best.

Therefore the claim of this hadith being defective by Al-Albani because the mawquf would replace the marfu’ holds no weight; he only did so to repel the meaning of the hadith and to dispose of it with whatever means even if it meant going against the principles of hadith; may Allah forgive.

From what has preceded, it has been acknowledged that the hadith is jayyid (good) and maqbul (acceptable) and that the third supporting narration has a hasan chain itself, and Allah knows best.

3. According to Muhaditheen, a weak Hadith elevated to status of Hassan Li’Ghayrihi if it is corroborated from authentic Ahadith. In this regard we have Hadith from Sahih Bukhari. Seeking help from servants of Allah is coroborated from following Hadith: “When she reached the Marwa (for the last time) she heard a voice and she asked herself to be quiet and listened attentively. She heard the voice again and said, ‘O, (whoever you may be)! You have made me hear your voice; have you got something to help me?” And behold! She saw an angel at the place of Zamzam, digging the earth with his heel (or his wing), till water flowed from that place.” [Ref: Bukhari, B55, H583] Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) took oath from Prophets that they will aid Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) : “And when Allah took the covenant of the prophets, “Whatever I give you of the Scripture and wisdom and then there comes to you a messenger confirming what is with you, you [must] believe in him and support him.” [ Allah ] said, “Have you acknowledged and taken upon that My commitment?” They said, “We have acknowledged it.” He said, “Then bear witness, and I am with you among the witnesses.” [Ref: 3:81] As a fulfilment of the promise made to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) Prophet Musa (alayhis salaam) aided Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) from reducing the prayers from fifty to five. This also coroborates the Hadith of, servants of Allah, and establishes the servants of Allah are not just the angels. In addition to this, Muhadditheen have stated, a Hadith reaching the status of talaqqi bil qubul is authentic – because Ummah will not agree upon error. According to another rule, multiple chains of narration, even if weak, togather elevate the strenth of a Hadith. And we have multiple chains available. Scores of jurists have utilised and employed these Ahadith in their commentaries despite criticising the Isnad of these Ahadith. And according to the principles laid by Muhaditheen, we have good ground to argue these Ahadith are Hassan (i.e. fair, good) and actable.

Great Imams Who Acted On This Hadith

When a hadith is mentioned with a da’if chain it becomes acceptable, either sahih or hasan, when the Ummah has accepted it; as for when some of the scholars have practised it like the hadith at hand their action strengthens the report.

[1] Al-Hafiz Al-Bayhaqi said in As-Sunan Al-Kubra (3/52) after narrating the hadith on Salat al-Tasbih: ‘Abdullah Ibn Al-Mubarak would do it and it has been passed down by the pious and this strengthens the marfu’ hadith.’

[2] A similar statement was made by his shaykh Al-Hakim in Al-Mustadrak (1/320).

The hadith has been acted upon and practiced by the scholars:

[3] In Al-Masail and Shu’bul Iman of Al-Bayhaqi, Abdullah Ibn Imam Ahmad said

‘I heard my father say:

‘I did five Hajjs; two on camel and three on foot, or two on foot and three on camel and when I lost my way when walking I would say “O slaves of Allah! Guide us towards the (correct) route” and then I continued a little before I found myself back on the (correct) route’ or as it was said by my father. [Imam Baihaqi in Shu’ayb ul Iman, Volume 6, Page No 128, Hadith No. 7697]

[4] After Abul Qasim At-Tabarani transmitted it in his Mu’jam al Kabir (17/117) he said “this has been acted upon” 

[5] Imam An-Nawawi said in Al-Adhkar (p.133) after mentioning this hadith
‘One of our major (kibar) scholars in knowledge related to me that he lost his means of transport, which I presume was a mule, and he was aware of this hadith and said (the du’a) so Allah brought to him his animal immediately.
‘I was once with a group of people and my animal fled and the people failed (to find it) and I said (the du’a) and I found the animal immediately without any means but this statement.
[6] Imam Mullah Ali Qari (Rahimuhullah) also in Sharah of Hinsul Hasin writes:

that our Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that: If the animal of someone runs loose in jungle, then he should say: O Allah’s servants stop it
He writes under “Ibaad Allah”

It means the angels, Muslims, jinn or men of unseen i.e. Abdaal 

Then he writes:

This hadith is “Hassan” and the travelers are in urgent need of it and this has been acted upon [Sharah Hisn ul Hasin, Al-Hirz al-Thamin, page 378]

[7] Imam At-Tabarani in his Mu’jamul Kabir (17/117) Added “This has been acted upon”

[8] Imam Shawkani said about these hadiths in Tuhfat adh-Dhakirin (p. 155-156): “In the hadith there is evidence that it is permissible to ask help from those one does not see among the servants of Allah, whether angels or good jinn, and there is nothing wrong in doing it; just as it is permissible for someone to seek the help of humans if his mount becomes unmanageable or runs loose.”


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