Seeking Sacred Sunni Knowledge

Sahih: Abu Hurayrah Used to Ask Forgiveness 12000 times a Day!

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The following report was called into question by a particular brother commenting on Seekingilm. The following is the takhrij. Abu Nu’aym reports the following in his Hilyat Al-Awliyaa through Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal:

حدثنا أبو بكر بن مالك، حدثنا عبد الله بن أحمد بن حنبل، حدثني أبي، وإبراهيم بن زياد، قالا: حدثنا إسماعيل بن علية، عن خالد الحذاء، عن عكرمة. قال: قال أبو هريرة: إني لأستغفر الله وأتوب إليه كل يوم اثنى عشر ألف مرة، وذلك على قدر ديني، أو قدر دينه

From ‘Ikrimah that Abu Hurayrah said: “Verily, I turn to Allah asking forgiveness and repenting to Him  12,000 times every day.”

Takhrij: This hadith is reported by Abu Nu’aym this way in his Hilyat Al-Awliyaa’ 1/383, and mentioned by Ibn Hajr Al-’Asqalaani in his Isaabah as being reported by Ibn Sa’ad. Al-Hafith declared this athar Sahih. A review of the chain will attest to such a grading:

حدثنا أبو بكر بن مالك، حدثنا عبد الله بن أحمد بن حنبل، حدثني أبي، وإبراهيم بن زياد، قالا: حدثنا إسماعيل بن علية، عن خالد الحذاء، عن عكرمة. قال: قال أبو هريرة

Ibrahim Ibn Ziyaad was declared Thiqah (impeccably trustworthy) by Ibn Ma’in, Abu Zura’ah and others. Ahmad said, “There is nothing wrong with him.” Next in the chain is Isma’il ibn ‘Ulayyah.  He was a Hafith of his time. Shu’bah said of him, “…the master of the Muhadditheen!. Ibn Hajr said of him, “Thiqah, a specialist of hadith (Hafith).” The next in the chain is Khalid Al-Haththa’.  He is Khalid ibn Mihraan Abul Manaazil Al-Haththa’. Ibn Ma’in, Nasaa’I, Al-‘Ijli, all deemed him thiqah. Ahmad said of him, “Established!” However Abu Haatim said of him, “Record his hadith [although] there is no support with him.” The majority deem him thiqah. Adh-Dhahabi says in his Mizan,

وكان ثقة مهيبا كثير الحديث

“And he was thiqah, awe-inspiring, with many hadith.” He reports this from ‘Ikrimah. He is the well known Barbari, mufassir, student of the Sahaba, and former servant of Ibn ‘Abbas. There is agreement of all Muslim scholars regarding his impeccable trustworthiness, righteousness, and fiqh. This chain is Sahih as you can see.

On another note, it is not recorded that the Nabi (‘alayhis salaam) sought istighfaar this many times a day, in fact he said He (‘alayhis salaam) only did this 70, and in another report 100 times in a day. Furthermore, Abu Hurayrah is specifying a number to do it, a definite bida’ah! Bida’ah hasanah! Shukran to Sidi Ibn Umer for the athar. May Allah bless our beloved Nabi Muhammad, his family, and his followers Amin!

Ya Rasulullah! ‘Alaykas-Salaam! Sallu ‘Alayk ya Habibullah!

13 Responses to “Sahih: Abu Hurayrah Used to Ask Forgiveness 12000 times a Day!”

  1. loveProphet says:

    Ah this is sweet.
    JazakAllah Khair for sharing.

  2. Ibn Umer says:

    Salam,

    Shukran Sidi for the takhrij.
    For those interested, there are tons of other athars from the Salaf that establish one or more of the following:
    1) the person fixing a number for a certain dhikr
    2) the person making up a dhikr (i.e. the words)
    3) the person carrying out the dhikr in a certain manner.

    All three are cases of bid’a hasana for those with eyes that see and minds that grasp.
    And all three have been utilized by the masters of tasawwuf in their respective tariqas.

    And Allah knows best.

    Wassalam.

  3. Musa Ali says:

    thanks for this – will follow it up.
    would ibn Umer be kind enough to forward to me the athar he speaks of so that i may follow them up too inshaAllah. the truth is truth – i search for it, may Allah guide me and not leave for the blinking of an eye! amin

    but only the sahih ones which the muhaditheen do not doubt.

    many thanks

    ‘my email *** – brother A.layth plz delete this para with my email after its clear that ibn umer has received it’

  4. Anonymous says:

    “Verily, I turn to Allah (SWT) asking forgiveness and repenting to Him 12,000 times every day.”

    This may be a stupid question, but does this mean that he said AstagfirAllah 12,000 times a day?

  5. Abul Layth says:

    yes, that is what it means! Astonishing eh. But perfectly possible. The Shadhilis do what is called the “latifiyyah” wherein they call “Ya Lateef” seeking the lutf of Allah ta’alaa, 1000 times. It takes approximately 20 minutes. So 12 rounds of “Astaghfirullah – and possibly saying ‘wa atubu ilayh’ would be approximately 240 minutes. That is 4 + hours of seeking Allah’s forgiveness and repenting to Him in a day.

    That takes incredible spiritual strength, subhanAllah! May Allah be pleased with Abu Hurayrah and grant him the highest of rewards, Amin!

  6. Ibn Umer says:

    Salam,

    Brother Musa, I got your email address.
    I think, however, that it would be a better idea that the athar be posted here as opposed to emailing them to you only – more people would be able to benefit, insha Allah.

    One book I would suggest is Imam Bayhaqi’s Shu’ab Al-Eman. There’s some remarkable stuff reported from the Salaf.
    Another suggestion is Imam Abu Nu’aym’s Hilya.

  7. Alfesani says:

    Assalamu alaykum, i want to ask akhi Abul Layth,you said it takes approx 20 mins to complete ‘YA Lateef’ 1000 times. Is it in shaadili tariqa that u need to complete it in not less than 20 mins? Beacause it can be finnished in 10 mins max with normal speed, so I am just curious.

  8. Ibn Umer says:

    Also, Sidi Musa, there’s a fun little something from Shaykh Ibn Taymiyya’s Majmu’ Al-Fatawa. Click the following to go to that page:
    http://www.islamweb.net/ver2/Library/BooksCategory.php?flag=1&bk_no=22&ID=2760
    Enjoy!

    So not only was the Shaykh ok with establishing dhikr which has no basis in the Sunnah specifically, but his reply clearly shows he was ok with using a misbaha/tasbeeh/sibha (there are other places where he indicates this as well).

    This is in-line with the mainstream understanding that the command to do ‘much dhikr’ is a general directive, and as long as the modalities (words, number of times, etc.) are not reprehensible in the shari’a, then the final form of the dhikr itself has the ruling of mustahab as well.

    You might recall I also mentioned before that the Shaykh himself used to sit in his spot after Fajr and, gazing upwards, continuously recite the Fatiha over and over until the rising of the sun – again not a specifically-established sunnah dhikr, but acceptable in the shari’ah nevertheless.

    ws

  9. Ibn Ajiba says:

    Ibn al-Qayyim mentions (in Tariq al-Hijratain i think) that his teacher, Ibn Taymiyah used to say all the time: ‘Ya Hayy ya Qayyum, la ilaha illa Anta’ and reported it to have good effects.

  10. Ibn Umer says:

    It’s in Madarij Al-Salikeen Sidi.
    Here’s what he says:

    ومن تجريبات السالكين ، التي جربوها فألفوها صحيحة : أن من أدمن يا حي يا قيوم لا إله إلا أنت أورثه ذلك حياة القلب والعقل .
    وكان شيخ الإسلام ابن تيمية – قدس الله روحه – شديد اللهج بها جدا . وقال لي يوما : لهذين الاسمين – وهما الحي القيوم – تأثير عظيم في حياة القلب . وكان يشير إلى أنهما الاسم الأعظم . وسمعته يقول : من واظب على أربعين مرة كل يوم بين سنة الفجر وصلاة الفجر يا حي يا قيوم . لا إله إلا أنت . برحمتك أستغيث حصلت له حياة القلب . ولم يمت قلبه.


    So he’s saying:
    1) This phrase has a tried and tested effect on the heart and the mind
    2) Sheikh Ibn Taymiyya used to persist in it profusely
    3) He indicated that this was the ‘Supreme Name’
    4) He also said that whoever does the dhikr ‘Ya Hayy Ya Qayyum, La ilaha illa Anta, bi rahmatika astagheeth’ 40 times between the sunnah of Fajr and the Fajr salat, will attain the life of the heart, and his heart will never die.

    And speaking of what his student Ibn Al-Qayyim quotes from him, here’s something else very interesting he quotes in the same Madarij Al-Salikeen:

    كتب الله تعالى في اللوح المحفوظ : أنهم مهزومون في هذه الكرة وأن النصر لجيوش الإسلام

    Ibn Tayimyya: “Allah wrote in the Lawh Al-Mahfudh that [the Tartars] will be defeated this time, and victory is for the Islamic armies.”

    The same people will then say the Burda has elements of shirk in it, because it talks of the Prophet [s] having some knowledge of the Qalam and Lawh.
    Kind of off-topic, but I hope it will serve as food for thought for some…

  11. Abul Layth says:

    Assalamu alaykum, i want to ask akhi Abul Layth,you said it takes approx 20 mins to complete ‘YA Lateef’ 1000 times. Is it in shaadili tariqa that u need to complete it in not less than 20 mins? Beacause it can be finnished in 10 mins max with normal speed, so I am just curious.

    Wa’alaykum Salaam:

    The latifiyya is a group dhikr when doing it 1000 times. So the time will depend upon the speed and rythm of the one leading the group. I was approximating the whole things Alfensi. I suppose there is no time restraint on it. To see what is said in this group dhikr click here: http://seekingilm.com/archives/130

    was salaam.

  12. Dawud Israel says:

    Shukran for the post. There are a few other ahadith related to Abu Hurayah in Hilayatul Awliya:

    Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (rahimullah) narrated that Na’im bin al-Muharrar, the grandson of Abu Hurayrah (radiallahu anhu) said: “My grandfather used to have a long string of which he tied 2,000 nuts (knots is what I think the translator meant?) and he would not go to sleep unless he had recited his prayers.”

    By the way, doing istighfar 12,000 times does NOT take 4 hours (240 minutes)…that is a drastic overestimation. Challenge yourself and give it a shot why don’t chya? ;)

    -Dawud Israel

  13. tru_Qur'an says:

    Jazak’Allaahu khairan for this post!

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