The Hadith: 'Shall I tell you who is the best of witnesses'

Q 3: It is related in (Mukhtasar Sahih Muslim) by Al-Hafizh Al-Mundhiry (may Allah be merciful to him) p. 281 Hadith no. 1059, on the authority of Zayd ibn Khalid Al-Juhany that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Shall I tell you who is the best of witnesses? The one who gives his testimony before he is asked for it.” So, how can we reconcile this Hadith with the other which says: “There will come after you, people who will give testimony without being asked to testify.” Al-Bukhari Part 52, Chapter 9? (Part No. 4; Page No. 432) This Hadith is also related in Sahih Muslim, Sunan Al-Tirmidhy. Sunan Ibn Majah, Musnad Ahmad and Muwatta’ Malik. It is also mentioned in the book entitled Muftah Kunuz Al-Sunnah.


A: The Hadith censuring the rashness to deliver testimony before being asked to do so refers to those who belittle the matter of testimony; those who do not seek to tell the truth therein and do not care about it due to their lack of Iman (Faith) and fear of Allah. However, the Hadith praising those who deliver the testimony before being asked refers to those who must deliver it and they did before being asked to affirm the truth lest it should be lost especially when there is no other witness but them. For more details, refer to the books entitled Fath Al-Bary and Fath Al-Majid.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

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