The Hadith: 'The most hateful of lawful things to Allah is divorce'

Q 2: What is the degree of authenticity of this Hadith: “The most hateful of lawful things to Allah is divorce.” Some people class it as Da‘if (weak) and say it is Hadith Mursal (a Hadith with no Companion of the Prophet in the chain of narration)? They also question the Matn (text of a Hadith) and ask how can Allah make something that He hates lawful, when nothing can compel Allah?


A: It is reported in "Mukhtasar Al-Sunan" by Abu Dawud on the authority of Muharib ibn Dithar on the authority of Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with them) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The most hateful of lawful things to Allah (Exalted be He) is divorce.” Al-Mundhiry said, "It was related by Ibn Majah and the majority of scholars consider it to be a Hadith Mursal (a Hadith with no Companion of the Prophet in the chain of narration) but it is Gharib (a Hadith with a single narrator usually at the beginning of the chain of narration)." Al-Bayhaqy said, "It is related by Ibn Abu Shaybah on the authority of `Abdullah ibn `Umar as Mawsul (a Hadith with a connected chain of narrators), but I do not think that he memorized it accurately." In another narration, on the authority of Muharib ibn Dithar, who narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “There is never a thing that Allah has permitted more hateful to Him than divorce.” "This narration is Mursal."Furthermore, Ibn Al-Qayyim said, "It is related by Al-Daraqutny from the Hadith on the authority of Mu‘adh ibn Jabal (may Allah be pleased with him), who narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “There is never a thing that Allah has permitted more hateful to Him than divorce.” The Sanad (chain of narrators) includes Humayd ibn Malik who is a Da‘if (weak) narrator." Al-Munawy related in: "Fayd Al-Qadir" that Ibn Hajar said, "The preponderant opinion of (Part No. 4; Page No. 439)  Abu Hatim and Al-Daraqutny is that the following Hadith is Mursal: ‘The most hateful of lawful things to Allah is divorce.’ " Ibn Al-Jawzy mentioned the Hadith in: "Al-‘Ilal" with the same Sanad of Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah, but he ranked it as Da‘if, due to the presence of ‘Ubaydullah Al-Wassafy. Yahya said, "He is not dependable," while Al-Nasa’y said, "His Hadith transmission is discarded (due to unreliability)." Abu Dawud (may Allah be merciful to him) reported the Hadith with a Sahih (authentic) connected Sanad on the authority of Ma‘ruf ibn Wasil, on the authority of Muharib ibn Dithar, on the authority of Ibn ‘Umar, who narrated it from the Prophet (peace be upon him). This Sanad does not include `Ubaydullah ibn Al-Walid Al-Wassafy, whom Ibn Al-Jawzy stated as the cause of judging the Hadith to be defective. Consequently, this Hadith is judged to be sound based on the Muttasil narration and not the Mursal; however, the Mursal narration in that case supports the Muttasil and does not impair it. As for the Matn, there is nothing unacceptable about it, for permitting divorce but at the same time hating that it should happen are not incompatible. Allah (Glorified be He), the All-Wise and All-Knowledgeable, makes divorce lawful to His Servants when it becomes necessary, and hates it for them when it is unnecessary. Similar to that is also the Hadith where the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The parts of land dearest to Allah are mosques, and the parts of land most hateful to Allah are markets.” (Related by Imam Muslim in his Sahih) May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

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