A brother asked in the article I wrote regarding the Shafi’i proofs for touching the woman nullifying wudu:
“What about the hadith in Ibn Majah?
Abu Bakr ibn Abi Shaibah and Ali ibn Muhammad informed us from Waki from A’mash from Habib ibn abi Thabit from Urwah ibn Zubair from Aisha that the Messenger of Allah kissed some of his wives. He then went to (observe) prayer without performing abltuion. I said It “It was none but you,” upon which she smiled.
Does this sanad have defects?”
I would first like to state that it was not my intent, as I stated within the comments of the article, to demean the view of the Hanafis. I said in one of the comments:
Thirdly, this article regarding the nullification of wudu’ by touching the opposite gender was written for Shafi’is, and is proof for them for their stance in english. It is not for a Hanafi, save for the one interested in comparative fiqh.
So I would like to make it clear that if SeekingIlm.com releases an article that is pro-Shafi’i, it does not mean that it is anti-Hanafi/Maliki. Rather, it is for the followers of the school to increase their knowledge in the proofs and utilization of them by the Imams of the school. The entire Seekingilm team believes strongly that the wise statement “Disagreement is a mercy for the Ummah” is to be applied in all cases of Sunnic scholarly disagreement.
Secondly, I would like to review the narration presented by the brother in the question and forward the Shafi’i arguments against it. Al-Hafith Ibn Hajr Al-’Asqalani wrote in his Talkhis Al-Habir:
“And as for the hadith of Habib from ‘Urwah from ‘A’ishah that the Nabi (‘alayhis salam) would kiss some of his wives the pray without making wudu’, then it is Ma’lul and its defect(s) have been mentioned by Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, Ad-Daaraqutni, Al-Bayhaqi, and Ibn Hazm who said, ‘There is nothing regarding this issue that is authentic, and it is authentic then it is held that it was prior to the revelation of the verse of wudu from contact (al-lams) with women.”
[Talkhis Al-Habir Vol 1 page 354, Adwa-us-Salaf : my translation]
Al-Hafith, a Shafi’i, then relies upon the weakening of this narration, and its supporting narrations, by the Imams he mentioned.
As for the specific narration you have mentioned, then it is also narrated by Imam Ad-Daraqutni in his Sunan as such:
“From Waki’ from Al-’Amash from Habib ibn abi Thaabit from ‘Urwah from A’ishah that she said, ‘Verily Rasulullah (‘alayhis salaam) kissed some (or one of) of his wives, then left for Salah, and did not perform wudu’. ‘Urwah said, ‘I said to her: Who was it except you!’ Then she laughed.” [#488]
Ad-Daraqutni renarrates this report with a different chain leading to Habib from ‘Urwah to ‘A’ishah and says thereafter,
“[...] Yahya ibn Sa’id said when the hadith of Al-’Amash from Habib from ‘Urwah was mentioned to him, ‘That Sufyan Ath-Thawri was the most knowledgeable of people regarding this claim, verily Habib did not hear from ‘Urwah anything!”
Regarding this narration Imam At-Tirmidhi said, “I heard Muhammad ibn Isma’il (i.e. Al-Bukhari) weakening this hadith and he said that Habib ibn Abi Thabit did not hear anything from ‘Urwah.”
The Shafi’is thus conclude the following:
1) Some say that these narrations are all weak regarding the supposed kissing of the Nabi (‘alayhis salaam) then not remaking wudu for Salah.
2) Even if they are authentic, these are to be understood to have come prior to the revelation of the verses of “contact with women”.
The Hanafis/Kufan Response:
The people of Kufah state that Habib ibn Abi Thabit did hear from ‘Urwah. Imam Az-Zayla’i in his Nasb Ar-Rayah quotes the words of Ibn Abdul Barr (the Maliki) as stating, “There is no doubt that he saw ‘Urwah.” [Nasb: 1/72]
Furthermore, in the Hanafi view, there are many supporting chains for this narration. Many of these supporting chains are reported by Imam Ad-Daaraqutni, though with criticism, they are still held to be supportive and authentic by the Kufans.
1) The hadith not from Habib ibn Abi Thabit, but from the son of ‘Urwah, Hisham that is narrated in the same fashion. (484 in the Sunan of Daaraqutni).
2) Another from Ghalib from ‘Ataa’ from ‘A’ishah. In it is Ghalib who Daraqutni says is abandoned, yet others deem him only “weak” and is thus used in supportive narrations. (485)
3) From Al-Walid ibn Salih from Ubaydullah ibn ‘Amru from Abdul Karim Al-Jazari from Ata from ‘A’ishah that the Nabi would kiss [his wives] then go for prayer without making wudu’. Daraqutni argues that Al-Walid ibn Salih is the one who is mistaken in the narration. Al-Bazzar and At-Turkmaani narrate this hadith as well up to Abdul Karim Al-Jazari…Abdul Haqq Al-Ishbili states, “I do not know for it a defect…Ibn Ma’in stated that the hadith from Abdul Karim from ‘Ataa are not preserverd, however, if a singularly narrated narration comes via someone who is thiqah (trustworthy) there is no harm in it.”
4) The report of Ibrahim At-Taymiy in mursal form from ‘A’ishah. Daraqutni weakens the hadith because Ibrahim did not hear from A’ishah. However, such mursal narrations are acceptable as proof in the Kufan school, as well as others.
Note: Abu Hanifah through his own chain reports the hadith through Ibrahim from Hafsah. It is also mursal, but Ad-Daraqutni weakens it as well because he believes Abu Hanifah to be weak in hadith.
5) Another report via a woman named “Zaynab As-Sahmiyyah”, who Ad-Daraqutni says is “unknown” and is thus not support, from A’ishah mentioning the same issue. Az-Zayla’i states, “This chain is Jayyid (good).” The other weakness is Hajjaj ibn Artah who is Mudallis and commits ‘an’anah within this chain masking who he truly heard it from.
6) From Ibn ‘Abbas who is reported to have said that kissing does not necessitate wudu’. In it is Hajjaj ibn Artah who was mentioned before.
7) Reported authentically from Ibn ‘Abbas via the chain of Al-’Amash from Habib ibn Abi Thabit from Sa’id ibn Jubayr from ibn ‘Abbas that he said, “There is not wudu due to kissing.” Ad-Daraqutni said, “This is Sahih.”
It is mass narrated from Abdullah ibn ‘Umar that he held that kissing breaks the wudu’. It is authentically reported from Ibn ‘Abbas that he held kissing not to break wudu’. Ibn ‘Abbas stands for the Makkan school (now defunct). This shows that two major companions disagreed regarding this issue. Both schools of Ash-Shafi’i and Abu Hanifah recognize these two facts.
Also it is Hasan, at the least, that ‘A’ishah narrated that the Nabi kissed her and did not make wudu’. ((There is obviously disagreement regarding this issue as mentioned before, but such a view does exist amongst some Shafi’is and they explain it away as mentioned before. ))
All of this shows that the companions disagreed regarding the matter, and some 1400 years later, the Muslims still disagree. The point here is that one should follow their Imam and know the proofs for what stance they take. It is not an issue to bicker over, and it certainly should not arouse anger in Muslims is another Muslim takes the opposing opinion.
May Allah assist us in good Amin!