Seeking Sacred Sunni Knowledge

The Most Hated Halal Thing by Allah is Divorce أبغض الحلال إلى الله الطلاق

Research Compiled by Abul Layth

It is reported that the Prophet Muhammad said,

أَبْغَضُ الْحَلَال إِلَى اللَّهِ الطَّلَاق

“The most hated Halal by Allah is divorce.”

Several questions may enter the mind of the one who reads these words. One who has at least some knowledge of Islam may ask what is the authenticity of the report? If it is authentic, what does it mean? In this article we will explore the different chains and statements of the scholars concerning this narration, insha’Allah.

The chains:

 

حَدَّثَنَا كَثِيرُ بْنُ عُبَيْدٍ حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ خَالِدٍ عَنْ مُعَرِّفِ بْنِ وَاصِلٍ عَنْ مُحَارِبِ بْنِ دِثَارٍ عَنْ ابْنِ عُمَرَ عَنْ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ أَبْغَضُ الْحَلَالِ إِلَى اللَّهِ تَعَالَى الطَّلَاقُ

Abu Dawud’s chain ((#1863 )) reads as follows: Kathir ibn ‘Ubayd >> Muhammad Ibn Khalid >> Mu’arrif ibn Wasil >> Muharib ibn Dithar from ibn ‘Umar from the Nabi.

1) كَثِيرُ بْنُ عُبَيْدٍ Kathir ibn Ubayd: Declared thiqah (impeccably trustworthy) by Abu Hatim Ar-Razi, Ibn Hibban, Maslamah ibn Qasim, Abu Bakr ibn Abi Dawud. An Nasa’i stated, “There is nothing wrong with him.” Declared thiqah by Al-Hafith ibn Hajr in his Taqrib At-Tahthib.

2) مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ خَالِدٍ Muhammad ibn Khalid: He is Muhammad ibn Khalid ibn Muhammad Al-Kindi Al-Wahbi. Hafith Ibn Hajr states in his Taqrib, “Saduq – Honest.” The late commentators Hafith Shu’ayb Al-Arna’ut and Dr. Bashshar Ma’ruf disagreed stating, “Rather, he is impeccably trustworthy (thiqah). He was declared thiqah by Ibn Ma’in, Ad-Daraqutni, and Abu Dawud stated, ‘There is nothing wrong with him’, and Ibn Hibban mentioned him in his “ath-thiqat”.

3) مُعَرِّفِ بْنِ وَاصِلٍ Mu’arrif ibn Wasil: He was declared impeccably trustworthy by Hafith ibn Hajr in his Taqrib ((number 6789 )). In fact Imam Ahmad is reported to have said, “Thiqah Thiqah” which is a higher status than simply “thiqah”. Ibn Mahdi, An-Nasa’i and ibn Hibban all agreed with thiqah.

4) مُحَارِبِ بْنِ دِثَارٍ Muharib Ibn Dithar : Hafith Ibn Hajr states, “The judge, an impeccably trustworthy (thiqah) Imam and ascetic (zahid).” All of the scholars agree upon his trustworthiness in the books of rijaal.

This narration was also reported by Imam Al-Bayhaqi in his Sunan Al-Kubra with the exact same chain. On the apparent, this chain is Sahih. However, there are those who dissent and we shall delve into their arguments shortly.

There is yet another narration of this hadith in Mursal form that goes through the same above Mu’arrif from Muharib without the mention of Abdullah ibn Umar reported in the Sunan of Abu Dawud. Abu Dawud reports it thus:

حَدَّثَنَا أَحْمَدُ بْنُ يُونُسَ حَدَّثَنَا مُعَرِّفٌ عَنْ مُحَارِبٍ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ مَا أَحَلَّ اللَّهُ شَيْئًا أَبْغَضَ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ الطَّلَاقِ

Ahmad ibn Yunus >> Mu’arrif >> Muharib that Rasulullah (‘alayhi salam) said…

This chain is thus disconnected because Muharib did not hear directly from Rasulullah. Keep in mind this chain as it will be mentioned later as we quote the critics.

The third chain is found in Ibn Majah’s Sunan and it reads as follows:

حَدَّثَنَا كَثِيرُ بْنُ عُبَيْدٍ الْحِمْصِيُّ حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ خَالِدٍ عَنْ عُبَيْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ الْوَلِيدِ الْوَصَّافِيِّ عَنْ مُحَارِبِ بْنِ دِثَارٍ عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عُمَرَ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَبْغَضُ الْحَلَالِ إِلَى اللَّهِ الطَّلَاقُ

Kathir ibn ‘Ubayd >> Muhammad ibn Khalid >> Ubaydullah ibn Al Walid Al-Wassafi >> Muharib ibn Dithar from Ibn Umar from Rasulullah.

The difference in this chain is عُبَيْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ الْوَلِيدِ الْوَصَّافِيِّ ‘Ubaydullah ibn Al-Walid Al-Wassafi. Ibn Al-Jawzi in Al-’Ilal Al-Mutanahiyah ((#1056 )) reports this narration from Ibn Majah and weakens its chain due to ‘Ubaydullah Al-Wassafi. Hafith Ibn Hajr agrees that he is dha’if (weak), both in his Taqrib and his Talkhis Al-Habir, but then states in At-Talkhis that this chain is followed up by the report of Abu Dawud who reported it via Muhammad ibn Khalid who then reported it also from Mu’arrif ibn Al-Waasil. Ash-Shawkani mentions this same point in his Nayl Al-Awtar when commenting on this hadith. So this particular narration is weak, though arguably Hasan li-ghayrihi. Some argue that this chain can not be used as support at all due to the fact that some scholars of hadith abandoned ‘Ubaydullah ibn Al-Walid’s narrations altogether, such as An-Nasa’i, Al-Fallas and Al-Hakim who reportedly stated, ‘He reports from Muharib fabricated narrations.’ As-Saji stated that he was very weak in hadith and reported many manakir narrations. However, it should be remembered that Abu Zura’ah, Abu Hatim, and Ad-Daraqutni simply labeled him da’if (weak) without abandonment, and that Ibn Hajr merely graded it “da’if” and not “very weak”.

There is yet another chain for this narration in the Mustadarak of Imam Al-Hakim that reads:

[ 2794 ] حدثنا أبو بكر محمد بن أحمد بن بالويه حدثنا محمد بن عثمان بن أبي شيبة حدثنا أحمد بن يونس حدثنا معروف بن واصل عن محارب بن دثار عن عبد الله بن عمر رضى الله تعالى عنهما قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ما أحل الله شيئا أبغض إليه من الطلاق هذا حديث صحيح الإسناد ولم يخرجاه

Muhammad ibn Ahmad >> Muhammad ibn Uthman ibn Abi Shaybah>>Ahmad ibn Yunus>>Mu’arrif ibn Wasil>>Muhaarib ibn Dithar from Abdullah ibn Umar that Rasulullah said, “Allah did not make anything permitted more hated to Him than divorce.”

Al-Hakim states after it, “This hadith is Sahih (authentic) and they [i.e. Bukhari & Muslim] did not narrate it.” Imam Adh-Dhahabi agreed to his authentication of this narration in his talkhis. However, some of late have criticized this chain for Muhammad ibn Uthman ibn Abi Shaybah being in it. There is disagreement regarding him. Adh-Dhahabi in his Al-Mizan begins by calling him “Hafith - Master of Hadith” and stated that he was a scholar and had insight in Hadith and its men. Salih Jazrah said of him “Thiqah - impeccably trustworthy!” Ibn ‘Adi’s final words on him were, “I have not seen from him a single munkar hadith…and there is nothing wrong with him. ((See Mizan )) ” Salih ibn Muhammad labeled him “thiqah” ((Lisan Al-Mizaan of Ibn Hajr )) Maslamah ibn Al-Qasim said, “There is no harm with him. The people recorded from him and I do not know of a single one of them that abandoned him.” However, Abdullah ibn Ahmad ibn Hanbal called him a liar. Ibn Khurash said that he used to fabricate hadith. So if we grade the above hadith upon the conditions of Imam Adh-Dhahabi and Al-Hakim, it is Sahih. Whereas, if we take the words of his critics, this hadith would be weak, if not severely. Ibn At-Turkmani stated that this hadith shows that the chain is in fact connected. If this narration is authentic, as Al-Hakim and Adh-Dhahabi state, it undeniably affirms the chain of Mu’arrif from Muharib from Abdullah ibn Umar.

The Real Criticism of this Narration

Al-Albani in his edition of Sunan Abu Dawud as well as others state that the chain of Muharib reporting this from Abdullah ibn Umar is incorrect. Their proof for their claim is that the “more established” version of the chain does not include Abdullah ibn Umar within it. We mentioned this chain earlier from Abu Dawud’s Sunan:

حَدَّثَنَا أَحْمَدُ بْنُ يُونُسَ حَدَّثَنَا مُعَرِّفٌ عَنْ مُحَارِبٍ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ مَا أَحَلَّ اللَّهُ شَيْئًا أَبْغَضَ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ الطَّلَاقِ

Ahmad ibn Yunus >> Mu’arrif >> Muharib that Rasulullah (‘alayhi salam) said…

Notice that Muharib, in this chain, does not mention Abdullah ibn Umar. This would make the chain “Mursal“, which according to some is weak and can not be used as proof, although there is serious disagreement regarding such a principle. They also use the narration found in the Musannaf of Ibn Abi Shaybah that has Waki’ narrating from Mu’arrif from Muharib without mention of Abdullah ibn Umar in the chain, hence it is also mursal. Also to support their is the following narration of Imam Al-Bayhaqi’s Sunan Al-Kubra:

14673 – وأخبرنا أبو طاهر الفقيه من أصل سماعه أنا أبو بكر محمد بن الحسين القطان نا إبراهيم بن الحارث البغدادي نا يحيى بن بكير نا معرف بن واصل حدثني محارب بن دثار قال  تزوج رجل على عهد رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم امرأة فطلقها فقال له النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم أتزوجت قال نعم قال ثم ماذا قال ثم طلقت قال أمن ريبة قال لا قال قد يفعل ذلك الرجل قال ثم تزوج امرأة أخرى فطلقها فقال له النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم مثل ذلك قال معرف فما أدري أعند هذا أو عند الثالثة قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم إنه ليس شيء من الحلال أبغض إلى الله من الطلاق

So this chain goes through Yahya ibn Bukayr from Mu’arrif ibn Wasil from Muharib ibn Dithar telling the words of the Nabi (‘alayhis salaam). In Mursal form:

 

  1. Ahmad ibn Yunus from Mu’arrif without mention of Ibn Umar.
  2. Waki’s narration without mention of Ibn Umar.
  3. Yahya ibn Bukayr’s narration without mention of Ibn Umar.

 

What also aids their argument is that this must be a mistake on Muhammad ibn Khalid’s part. At one moment he narrates this hadith from Mu’arrif including Ibn Umar, and in another he uses the weak narrator ‘Ubaydullah Al-Wassafi. Muhammad ibn Khalid is the only one authentically – without apparent doubt atleast – reporting this narration with Ibn Umar’s name, hence, in their view this is a shaadh (irregular) narration and thus can not be used as evidence.

In response to these narrations and arguments is:

 

  1. The report of Muhammad ibn Khalid, who is impeccably trustworthy narrating this chain in marfu’ (i.e. completely connected to the Prophet Muhammad) form. Muhammad ibn Khalid was not criticised for reporting shadh narrations, and instead was highly regarded. So it is simply that he heard this narration from both Mu’arrif and ‘Ubaydullah this way.
  2. The report from Muhammad ibn Uthman ibn Abi Shaybah from Mu’arrif, which could arguably be authentic. Obviously the opponents weaken this narration as mentioned earlier.
  3. Ibn Maajah’s report from Ubaydullah ibn Al Walid Al-Wassafi from  Muharib ibn Dithar from Ibn Umar from Rasulullah (‘alayhis salaam). The opponents would argue that this narration is da’if jiddan (very weak) and cannot be used as support. However, one could argue that many held ‘Ubaydullah to be simply weak and not “severely” so his reports could be used as support, especially when there are trustworthy witnesses, in this case Mu’arrif, who narrate the same thing. Imam Ash-Shawkani states in his Nayl Al-Awtar after mentioning this weak hadith of Ubaydullah, “However, it was followed up by Mu’arrif ibn Wasil.”
  4. What is reported by Ad-Daraqutni in his Sunan, Abdur-Razzaq in his Musannaf, Al-Bayhaqi in his Sunan Al-Kubra that states:

 

نا أبو العباس محمد بن موسى بن علي الدولابي ويعقوب بن إبراهيم قالا نا الحسن بن عرفة نا إسماعيل بن عياش عن حميد بن مالك اللخمي عن مكحول عن معاذ بن جبل قال قال لي رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم يا معاذ ما خلق الله شيئا على وجه الأرض أحب إليه من العتاق ولا خلق الله شيئا على وجه الأرض أبغض إليه من الطلاق فإذا قال الرجل لمملوكه أنت حر إن شاء الله فهو حر ولا استثناء له وإذا قال الرجل لامراته أنت طالق إن شاء الله فله استثناؤه ولا طلاق عليه

This narration is a narration of Mu’adh ibn Jabal basically stating, “…And Allah has not created on the face of the earth a more hated thing to him than divorce…”

Ibn Hajr stated about this chain in his Talkhis, “Its chain is weak (da’if). and it is disconnected (munqati‘) as well.” It is weak due to Humayd ibn Malik who was declared weak by Abu Zura’ah and Ibn Ma’in. The reason why it is “disconnected” is because Mak-hul did not hear from Mu’adh ibn Jabal. Those who use this chain as support will state that the hadith is not severely weak, and can be used as support.

What is agreed upon by both sides is that the Mursal narrations are authentic as they stand. Al-Mundhiri concluded that “What is well known (mash-hur) is that this narration is Mursal and gharib.” The recent scholar Nawwaf Al-Jarman stated that it is not a statement of the Prophet Muhammad, but of his companion Abdullah ibn Umar as it is in mawquf form. Whereas Al-Hakim and Adh-Dhahabi stated it was authentic. The upshot to all of this is that the disagreement is whether or not the inclusion of Ibn Umar is authentic or not.

What is meant by this Hadith?

According to Al-Khattabi, An-Nawawi, Ibn Hajr and others, this hadith refers to divorcing a woman without a reason (sabab). In other words, to divorce a woman without a reason angers Allah, even though it is Halal. Abu Dawud placed this hadith beneath the chapter heading “Regarding the Hated status of Divorce”. This hadith is warning the believers that divorce is not a game, or a ‘word’ to be thrown around when having a marital spat. The fact is, divorce tears families apart, can leave children with emotional scars, hurt and damage the family structure as a whole. So the believers should be wary, that this “Halal” act is hated by Allah is abused or misused.

 

And we ask Allah to bless our beloved Sayyid Muhammad, his family and followers.

5 Responses to “The Most Hated Halal Thing by Allah is Divorce أبغض الحلال إلى الله الطلاق”

  1. Salman says:

    how can Allah hate something that He permits?

    • AbdulBasit Khan says:

      You see, Salman, “how can Allah HATE something He permits?” – some translators actually interpret this word in this context to mean, “dislike”. * So not that Allah hates-hates this act [of divorce between a man/woman for no good reason], but He dislikes it. He permits divorce, because sometimes it is needed/essential & something that must be done… ♣ BUT, nonetheless, Allah dislikes it. * There’s a Sahih Hadith wherein the Prophet informed us that when a devil returns to Iblees (whose throne is upon water) and tells him, I caused a man to divorce his wife! > Iblees (may Allah curse him) becomes SO happy, so pleased with his shaytan-soldier that he awards him a prize & congratulates him in front of all the other devils! = So now we can see, who is really pleased w/ a man & woman separating and divorcing, and Who (عز وجل) dislikes it.

  2. Abul Layth says:

    In this case, there are many probable explanations. What he hates is the makruh form of divorce: that a man divorce his wife without reason, which is permitted in the law.

    Another case is irrevocable divorce, leading to all sorts of social problems.

    He (ta’alaa) in his wisdom allowed divorce for its need. Yet, the reprecussions and results can have very damaging effects – hence the hate.

  3. Mujeeb Hussaini says:

    What ruling does the Hanbali Ulema give in the light of Quran and Sunnah for the following question:

    What ruling is given if a man divorces his wife by uttering the word “Talaq” three times in a single meeting (Majlis or Mehfil). How many “Talaq’s” are recognized by the Hanbali school of thought – Three? or One?

    When replying to the above question kindly include all possible references.

    May Allah Grant You Mercy and Protect You.

  4. Davood Abdulla says:

    Assalamu alaikum
    What really matters is whether the ‘sanad’ is OK or not. We see one of the narrations as ‘مرفوع’. My question is: What is wrong with it?
    Savood

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