The Hadith: 'Whoever falls passionately in love, but keeps chaste and hides love, will die as a martyr'

Fatwa no. 337 1- What is the degree of authenticity of the following Hadith: “Whoever falls passionately in love, but keeps chaste and hides love, will die as a martyr.” ? Does the love indicated refer to licit love (the love of a man for his wife) or is it referring to something else? 2- The words of this Hadith are printed on the sheets of Um Al-Qura calendar (the calendar used in Makkah), does this prove the authenticity of the Hadith or are they just quoting anything to fill up space? 3- Some people are misled by this report thinking it lawful to speak the language of romance and leading them to fall into forbidden acts. What do you think of this?

A: This Hadith is transmitted through various chains of narrators in different wordings but none of them is Sahih (authentic): (i) From Suwayd ibn Sa`id, from (Part No. 4; Page No. 457)  `Aly ibn Mus-hir, from Abu Yahya Al-Qattat, from Mujahid, from Ibn ‘Abbas that "the Prophet (peace be upon him)...." (ii) From Suwayd from `Aly ibn Mus-hir from Hisham ibn ‘Urwah from his father from `Aishah "that the Prophet (peace be upon him)....". Indeed, a group of Hadith critics disapproved of Suwayd’s narration of such a Hadith. Among them were: Abu Ahmad ibn ‘Ady, Al-Bayhaqy, Al-Hakim, Ibn Tahir, and Yahya ibn Ma‘in who said: "He is unreliable and a liar." His authority Ibn Al-Jawzy cited this Hadith among the fabricated accounts in his book "Al-Mawdu‘at (Fabricated Hadith)." Moreover, Imam Ahmad said about Suwayd ibn Sa‘id: "His Hadith transmission is Matruk (discarded due to unreliability)." Al-Nasa'y also classified him as an untrustworthy narrator. Al-Bukhari said: "When he was afflicted with blindness he could no longer recognize his own narrations, and used to acknowledge as his own Hadiths which he did not relate." Ibn Hibban said, "He reports false accounts ascribing them to the Thiqah (trustworthy) narrators, thus his reports should be avoided." Abu Hatim Al-Razy said: "He is basically truthful but often commits Tadlis (providing misleading information about his shaykh or the chain of narration)." Imam Muslim apologized for citing some of the Hadith reported by him, stating that he only reported from him reports with an elevated Sanad i.e. Hadith with a few number of narrators, which are authentically reported and substantiated by other trustworthy-narrators. For this reason Imam Muslim did not report this Hadith in his Sahih (Authentic Hadith Book).This Hadith is also reported by Al-Hakim from Muhammad ibn Dawud ibn ‘Aly Al-Tahiry from his father from Suwayd. Al-Hakim expressed his surprise to this report. Ibn Al-Jawzy reported it from Muhammad ibn Al-Marzuban from Abu Bakr Al-Azraq from Suwayd. Indeed, the above-mentioned criticism of Suwayd is sufficient for rejecting this Hadith via the chain of narration on his authority. This Hadith is also reported from other narrators than Suwayd. Ibn Al-Jawzy narrated it in his book "Al-‘Ilal" on the authority of Ibn ‘Isa from Ibn Abu Najih from Mujahid from Ibn ‘Abbas. Ahmad ibn Hanbal ranked Ya‘qub as a Da‘if (weak) narrator. Al-Khatib narrated it through a chain of narration on the authority of Al-Zubayr ibn Bakkar from ‘Abdul-Malik ibn Al-Majishun from (Part No. 4; Page No. 458)  ‘Abdul ‘Aziz ibn Abu Hazim from Ibn Abu Najih from Mujahid from Ibn ‘Abbas. ‘Abdul-Malik Ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz ibn Al-Majishun was a Faqih (Muslim jurist) but he was weak in Hadith transmission. Abu Dawud said, "He did not memorize Hadiths accurately." Al-Sajy said, "He is a weak narrator endowed with juristic reasoning." Mus‘ab Al-Zubayry said, "He used to give Fatwas but was weak at Hadith narration." In his book Al-Talkhis Al-Habir, Ibn Hajar said, "Some narrators misreported this Hadith and mixed the chains of narration up. But some scholars supported it." It is further said that Abu Al-Walid Al-Bajy versified this report:If a lover suffers love and dies,he is truly a martyr, fellowsAs reported from the reliable narratorsOn the great authority of ‘Ibn ‘AbbasThus, it becomes evident through the above-mentioned clear Jarh (criticism of Hadith narrators) made on Suwayd regarding his failing to recognize the Hadiths he actually related after his loss of sight and his Tadlis, the fact that he did not clearly state in his narration that he heard the Hadith from earlier narrators, his lying and reporting Hadith Munkar (rejected Hadith reported by a weak narrator whose narration conflicts with an authentic Hadith), are all sufficient reasons to judge this Hadith as unauthentic through all the chains of narrators that reported it. We also said that this Hadith is proven unauthentic via narration by Ya‘qub ibn ‘Isa and Al-Zubayr ibn Bakkar, for both Ya‘qub and ‘Abdul-Malik ibn Al-Majishun are weak narrators. Moreover, Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah, Ibn Ma‘in, Al-Hakim, and others considered the Matn (text of a Hadith) unacceptable. Abu ‘Abdullah ibn Al-Qayyim said, "The disapproved content of this report is sufficient to reject it." A2: As stated in the answer to the first part of the question: (Part No. 4; Page No. 459) it is clear that the Hadith is not Sahih (authentic), for all the chains of narrators who reported it are weak and its Matn is rejected. With regards to those who print this Hadith on the sheets of calendars in Um Al-Qura (Makkah), it is possible that they might have quoted it without knowing that it is a weak Hadith. Perhaps if they know of its weakness, they will exclude it to save themselves from ascribing lies to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and deceiving people to block all possible means to evil. People need those who will protect them from evil not those who tempt them into it. A3: The questioner’s saying that publishing this Hadith exposes people to Fitnah (temptation) and encourages them to do evil and commit abominable acts, is true. Reality proves this. So this should be changed as far as one can, for the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever among you sees something evil, let him change it with his hand (by taking action); if he cannot, then with his tongue (by speaking out); and if he cannot, then with his heart (by hating it and feeling that it is wrong) and that is the weakest of Iman (Faith).” Narrated by Ahmad, Muslim, and the Compilers of Sunan from Abu Sa`id Al-Khudry (may Allah be pleased with him). May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.