Thursday, March 22, 2012

Allah Descends to the Lowest Heaven

Here is a asan or aī (Good or Authentic) adīth from Imām al-Riā (عليه السلام), where the narrator (Ibrāhīm bin Abī Mamūd who is trustworthy) asks the Imām about the famous adīth that “Allāh descends to the earth’s heavens (i.e. lowest heavens) on night of Friday (i.e. Jumu`ah)”. The Imām (عليه السلام) categorically denies the adīth and after that gives the tafsīr (commentary) to the adīth. This adīth shows the importance of Imāmah and having an Imām, a person who is well learned in the Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) adīth and Sunnah, a person who can spot mistakes in the matn of adīth.

One of the narrators is `Abd al-`Adhīm bin `Abd Allāh al-asanī, he is at minimum praised (mad) or trustworthy (thiqah), depending on the rijāl scholar. Abd al-`Adhīm al-asanī was born in the city of Madīnah on the 4th of Rabī` al-Thānī in the year 173 AH, and he died in the city of Ra’y, Iran, on the 15th of Shawwāl in the year 252 AH (other scholars say 250 and 255). Most if not all adīth scholars have taken his adīth. Ja`far al-Subānī has written a short treatise on the biography of `Abd al-`Adhīm al-asanī, which has been translated in English. Click here to read the biography.

Another thing to note is the tarīq (path) from al-adūq to `Abd `Adhīm al-asanī is aī (Authentic) per al-Khoei (See: al-Khoei’s Mu`jam Rijāl al-Hadīth), al-Majlisī I (See: al-Majlisī‘s I (al-Majlisī’s father) Rawah al-Mutaqqīn) and al-Majlisī II (See: al-Majlisī’s Rijāl).

A final note regarding this adīth is the last sentence Imām al-Riā (عليه السلام) said. He (عليه السلام) said, “My Father narrated that to me, from his grandfather, from his father’s from the messenger of Allāh (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)”. This shows us that the A’immah (عليهم السلام) are all connected and they ultimately receive their adīth directly from the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم).

وَ رَوَى عَبْدُ الْعَظِيمِ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ الْحَسَنِيُّ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ عَنْ إِبْرَاهِيمَ بْنِ أَبِي مَحْمُودٍ قَالَ قُلْتُ لِلرِّضَا ع يَا ابْنَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ مَا تَقُولُ فِي الْحَدِيثِ الَّذِي يَرْوِيهِ النَّاسُ عَنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ ص أَنَّهُ قَالَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ تَبَارَكَ وَ تَعَالَى يَنْزِلُ فِي كُلِّ لَيْلَةِ جُمُعَةٍ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ الدُّنْيَا
فَقَالَ ع لَعَنَ اللَّهُ الْمُحَرِّفِينَ الْكَلِمَ عَنْ مَوَاضِعِهِ وَ اللَّهُ مَا قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ص ذَلِكَ إِنَّمَا قَالَ ع إِنَّ اللَّهَ تَبَارَكَ وَ تَعَالَى يُنْزِلُ مَلَكاً إِلَى السَّمَاءِ الدُّنْيَا كُلَّ لَيْلَةٍ فِي الثُّلُثِ الْأَخِيرِ وَ لَيْلَةَ الْجُمُعَةِ فِي أَوَّلِ اللَّيْلِ فَيَأْمُرُهُ فَيُنَادِي هَلْ مِنْ سَائِلٍ فَأُعْطِيَهُ هَلْ مِنْ تَائِبٍ فَأَتُوبَ عَلَيْهِ هَلْ مِنْ مُسْتَغْفِرٍ فَأَغْفِرَ لَهُ يَا طَالِبَ الْخَيْرِ أَقْبِلْ وَ يَا طَالِبَ الشَّرِّ أَقْصِرْ
فَلَا يَزَالُ يُنَادِي بِهَذَا حَتَّى يَطْلُعَ الْفَجْرُ فَإِذَا طَلَعَ الْفَجْرُ عَادَ إِلَى مَحَلِّهِ مِنْ مَلَكُوتِ السَّمَاءِ حَدَّثَنِي بِذَلِكَ أَبِي عَنْ جَدِّي عَنْ آبَائِهِ عَنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ ص
`Abd al-`Adhīm bin `Abd Allāh al-Ḥasanī (رضي الله عنه) narrated from Ibrāhīm bin Abī Maḥmūd said, I said to al-Riḍā (عليه السلام), ‘O son of the Messenger of Allāh, what do you say about the ḥadīth which the people narrate from the Messenger of Allāh, that he (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said: ‘Allāh (تبارك و تعالى) descends in every night of Friday (i.e. Thursday night) to the earth’s heavens’’.

He (عليه السلام) said: ‘May Allāh curse (la`na) those who distort the words from its place, by Allāh, the Messenger of Allāh has not said that! Verily, he (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said: ‘Allāh (تبارك و تعالى) sends down an angel to the earth’s heavens in the last third of every night, and the first part of the night of Friday (i.e. Thursday night). And He commands him to call, ‘Are there any (who) asks, so that I can grant him?’; ‘Are there any repenters that I should forgive him?’; ‘Are there (anyone) asking for forgiveness, so I can pardon him?’ O the ones who seek good, come forward! O the ones, who seek evil, keep away!’

And he (the angel) will continue calling by this until al-Fajr. And when it is al-Fajr, he (the angel) will return to spot from kingdom of the heavens. My Father narrated that to me, from his grandfather, from his father’s from the messenger of Allāh (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)
1.     al-Sadūq, Man Lā Yaḥḍuruh al-Faqīh, (Qum: Mu’assasah al-Nashr al-Islāmī, 2nd ed., 1413), vol. 1, pg. 421
1.     al-Majlisī I (al-Majlisī’s father) said this ḥadīth is Ḥasan Kal-Ṣaḥīḥ (Good like an Authentic)
à Lawām` Ṣāḥibqarānī, 8 vols., (Qum: Mu’assasah Ismā`īlīyān lil-Ṭaba`, 2nd ed., 1414), vol. 4, pg. 542


  1. Assalam-u-Allaikum

    "May Allāh curse (la`na) they distorted the words from its place"

    ^Is the translation and wording correct; because the sentence is not flowing (i.e curse they distorted..). Should it be something along the lines of:

    May Allah curse those who distort the words from its place.

    Nevertheless, beautiful narration that counters the Ahulul Sunnah version narrated by Abu Hurayrah.


    1. The Arabic is:

      لَعَنَ اللَّهُ الْمُحَرِّفِينَ الْكَلِمَ عَنْ مَوَاضِعِهِ

      It literally means:

      "May Allaah curse those who distort the word from its place".

  2. asalamu alikum,
    thanks brother for posting this , but when the angels descends why the word I is used here and they don't refer to Allah (s.w.t)

    1. There are several other examples in the Qur'aan. Sometimes, when Allaah sends His messengers (most especially angels), He commands them to speak His Words directly on His behalf. In Surah al-Taahaa, we read this:

      وَهَلْ أَتَاكَ حَدِيثُ مُوسَىٰ {9}
      إِذْ رَأَىٰ نَارًا فَقَالَ لِأَهْلِهِ امْكُثُوا إِنِّي آنَسْتُ نَارًا لَعَلِّي آتِيكُمْ مِنْهَا بِقَبَسٍ أَوْ أَجِدُ عَلَى النَّارِ هُدًى {10}
      فَلَمَّا أَتَاهَا نُودِيَ يَا مُوسَىٰ {11}
      إِنِّي أَنَا رَبُّكَ فَاخْلَعْ نَعْلَيْكَ ۖ إِنَّكَ بِالْوَادِ الْمُقَدَّسِ طُوًى {12}
      وَأَنَا اخْتَرْتُكَ فَاسْتَمِعْ لِمَا يُوحَىٰ {13}
      إِنَّنِي أَنَا اللَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا أَنَا فَاعْبُدْنِي وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ لِذِكْرِي {14}
      إِنَّ السَّاعَةَ آتِيَةٌ أَكَادُ أُخْفِيهَا لِتُجْزَىٰ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ بِمَا تَسْعَىٰ {15}

      "[Shakir 20:9-15] And has the story of Musa come to you? When he saw fire, he said to his family: Stop, for surely I see a fire, haply I may bring to you therefrom a live coal or find a guidance at the fire. So when he came to it, a voice was uttered: O Musa: Surely I am your Lord, therefore put off your shoes; surely you are in the sacred valley, Tuwa, And I have chosen you, so listen to what is revealed: Surely I am Allah, there is no god but I, therefore serve Me and keep up prayer for My remembrance: Surely the hour is coming-- I am about to make it manifest-- so that every soul may be rewarded as it strives:"

      That fire, or whosoever was speaking from inside or around it, was only speaking on behalf of Allaah.

    2. And, of course, the Salafiyyah are confused about that incident, and they think Allaah Himself LITERALLY descended INTO that small fire to speak with Moosaa (as)!

      You can see them on their own forum here

      This is because of their irrational literalism, that has beclouded their understanding of the verses and Hadeeths like the one researched by our brother, Nader.

  3. <>

    Er, it's not "I shall accept"; it is "come forward". And in the same vein, "desist/keep away".

  4. Salaam Alaikum:

    Since the earth is round and not flat isn't it the last 1/3 on the night all the time at some point on earth? In otherwords, the angel would never leave earth and would remain in suspended animation forever. This hadith only makes sense if the earth is flat.

    I'm confused....