How sound is the hadeeth about the parents of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) being brought back to life?
There is no saheeh hadeeth which says that Allaah, may He be exalted, brought the parents of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) back to life, and that they believed in him then died. Rather the saheeh ahaadeeth that have been narrated indicated that they died in kufr and that they are among the people of Hell.
It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “I asked my Lord for permission to pray for forgiveness for my mother, but He did not give me permission; I asked Him for permission to visit her grave, and He gave me permission.” Narrated by Muslim, 976.
It was narrated from Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) that a man said: “O Messenger of Allaah, where is my father?” He said: “In the Fire.” When he turned away, he called him back and said: “My father and your father are in the Fire.” Narrated by Muslim, 203.
Another indication that these ahaadeeth are not saheeh is the fact that if this had indeed happened, it would have been well-known, because it would be one of the great signs of Allaah, and there would be strong motives for transmitting it.
The scholars have ruled that these ahaadeeth are fabricated and false.
It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) led us on Hajj during the Farewell Pilgrimage and he passed by me at ‘Aqabat al-Hujoon and he was distressed and weeping. I wept because the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was weeping, then he dismounted and said: “O Humayra’, hold the camel.” He stayed away from me for a long time, then he came back to me and he was smiling joyfully. I said to him: “May my father and mother be sacrificed for you, O Messenger of Allaah. You left me and you were grieving, and I wept because you were weeping, then you came back to me smiling joyfully. Why is that, O Messenger of Allaah?” He said: “I went to the grave of my mother Aaminah and asked Allaah to bring her back to life, so He brought her back to life, then she believed in me, then Allaah sent her back.”
This was narrated by Ibn Shaheen in al-Naasikh wa’l-Mansookh, and by al-Khateeb al-Baghdaadi in al-Saabiq wa’l-Laahiq – as stated by al-Suyooti in al-Haawi, 2/440
Ibn al-Jawzi said:
This is undoubtedly a fabricated (mawdoo’) hadeeth, and the one who fabricated it has little understanding and is lacking in knowledge. If he had any knowledge he would have known that whoever dies as a kaafir, it will not benefit him to believe after being brought back to life. Even if he believes when he sees (the truth) with his own eyes, it will not benefit him.
It is sufficient to refute this hadeeth by remembering the words of Allaah, may He be exalted, in the verse (interpretation of the meaning): “and dies as a disbeliever, then his deeds will be lost in this life and in the Hereafter, and they will be the dwellers of the Fire. They will abide therein forever” [al-Baqarah 2:217]. And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “I asked my Lord for permission to pray for forgiveness for my mother, but He did not give me permission.” Some people used to fabricate ahaadeeth and insert them into the books of the negligent, who would then narrate them. Our Shaykh, Abu’l-Fadl ibn Naasir, said: This is a fabricated hadeeth. The mother of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) died in al-Abwa’, between Makkah and Madeenah, and was buried there, not in al-Hajoon. End quote.
Al-Hajoon is a place in Makkah.
Al-Haafiz Ibn Katheer (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
With regard to the hadeeth mentioned by al-Suhayli, in its isnaad he mentioned men who are unknown (majhool) until it reaches Abu’l-Zanaad from ‘Urwah from ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her), that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) asked his Lord to bring his parents back to life, so He brought them back to life and they believed in him – this is a very false hadeeth (munkar jiddan). Even though it is possible and within the powers of Allaah, what is proven in the sound ahaadeeth contradicts it. End quote.
Mulla ‘Ali al-Qaari says concerning this hadeeth:
It is mawdoo’ (fabricated), as Ibn Dihyah said; I have written a separate chapter concerning this matter. End quote.
Al-Asraar al-Marfoo’ah fi’l-Akhbaar al-Mawdoo’ah, p. 83.
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked: Is there any saheeh report from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) which says that Allaah, may He be blessed and exalted, brought his parents back to life so that they could become Muslim at his hands, then they died after that?
None of the scholars of hadeeth classed any such report as saheeh, rather the people of knowledge are unanimously agreed that that is a fabricated lie. Although Abu Bakr al-Khateeb narrated something concerning that in his book al-Saabiq wa’l-Laahiq, and it was mentioned by Abu’l-Qaasim al-Suhayli in Sharh al-Seerah with an isnaad that contains unknown men (majhool), and it was mentioned by Abu ‘Abd-Allaah al-Qurtubi in al-Tadhkirah and elsewhere, there is no dispute among the scholars that it is one of the most obviously false of fabricated reports, as the scholars have stated. It is not to be found in any of the reliable books of hadeeth, neither in al-Saheeh or al-Sunan or al-Musnad, or other well-known books of hadeeth. It was not mentioned by the authors of books of Maghaazi and Tafseer, even though they used to narrate da’eef (weak) reports along with saheeh ones, because it is obvious to any religiously-committed person that this is a lie. If such a thing had happened it would have received a great deal of attention and there would have been strong motives for transmitting it, for it would have been one of the most extraordinary events in two ways: the revival of the dead, and belief after death. So it would have deserved to be transmitted more than other reports, but because it was not transmitted by any of the trustworthy narrators, it is obviously a lie.
Moreover this goes against the Qur’aan and saheeh Sunnah, as well as scholarly consensus. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Allaah accepts only the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and foolishness and repent soon afterwards; it is they whom Allaah will forgive and Allaah is Ever All‑Knower, All‑Wise”
“And of no effect is the repentance of those who continue to do evil deeds until death faces one of them and he says: ‘Now I repent’; nor of those who die while they are disbelievers”
Allaah states that there is no repentance for the one who dies a kaafir:
“Then their Faith (in Islamic Monotheism) could not avail them when they saw Our punishment. (Like) this has been the way of Allaah in dealing with His slaves. And there the disbelievers lost utterly (when Our Torment covered them)”
Allaah tells us that His way in dealing with His slaves is that faith will be to no avail after they have seen His punishment, so how about after death? And there are similar texts.
End quote from Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 4/325
Some of the Sufis cannot verify these ahaadeeth according to the principles of hadeeth, so they verify them according to inspiration!
Perhaps this hadeeth – the hadeeh about the parents of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) being brought back to life and believing in him and then dying – is saheeh according to the holy men by means of inspiration.” End quote.
Jawharat al-Tawheed, p. 30
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, refuting such notions:
Most of these people, if they are confronted with the falseness of what they are saying, say something like the Christians do: This is a matter that is above reason! Some of them say: Things that go against common sense are proven to us by means of inspiration. End quote.
Al-Jawaab al-Saheeh, 2/92
And Allaah knows best.