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Weakness in the Ḥadīth of Praying Ṣalāt al-Istikhārah Seven Times

Addressing a common misconception regarding the prayer of ṣalāt al-Istikhārah.

Ibn al-Sunnī reported in his book ‘Amalal-Yawm Wal-Laylah, Ḥadīth #161:

It’s been narrated that Anas ibn Mālik said, the Prophet, (صلى الله عليه وسلم)[allegedly] said: “When you have an important matter to decide, then seek guidance from your Lord seven times, then look to what your heart inclines to. For verily the good is found there-in.”

1) Al-Imām al-Nawawī (d. 676 h.) mentioned in his book al-Adhkaar (p. 132): “Its chain is gharīb (comes only by one narrator); it contains people whom I don’t know.”

2) Al-ʿIrāqi (d. 806 h.) said: “All of them [in the chain] are known, although some of them are known for extreme weaknesses. He is: Ibrāhīm ibn al-Baraa’ ibn al-Nadhar ibn Anas ibn Mālik. Al-‘Uqaylee, Ibn Hibbān, Ibn ‘adee and al-Azdee have all classified him as weak.”

3) Al-‘Uqaylee said: “He narrates from reliable narrators with bawaateel, false narrations, and this is what Ibn ‘Adee mentioned.”

4) Ibn Hibbān (d. 354 h.) said: “[He was] an elderly man who used to frequent Shām narrating from reliable people with mawdoo’aat, fabricated Ḥadīths. It is not permissible to mention him [his narrations] except by way of repudiating [or censuring] him. Al-Ḥasan ibn Saʿīd al-Mawsulee narrated him [in a chain] and said, “Ibrāhīm ibn Hibbān ibn al-Najjār informed us, that his father informed him, saying his father informed him from Anas [Ibn Mālik]” It is as if he performed tadlees (changing his name or hiding a defect) and instead named him, “al-Najjār”, since he was from Banī al-Najjār. Al-ʿIrāqi said, “A ḥadīth such as this is dropped/omitted.

5) Ibn Hajr (d. 825 h.) said: “Its chain is extremely weak. (11/223).”

Source: Ṣalātul-Istikhaarah pg. 29-30, by Dr. Tariq ibn Muḥammad at-Tawaare

Published: September 20, 2010
Edited: September 16, 2023

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