IRSYAD AL-HADITH SERIES 296: THE AGE OF DHAB/UROMASTYX (THE LIZARD OF THE DESERT) UP TO 700 YEARS?

 IrsyadHadith 296

 

Question:

Assalamualaikum SS Datuk Mufti. Is there a hadith that states dhab can live up to 700 years?

Answer:

Waalaikumussalam wrt wbt,

Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.

Dhab is a type of lizard (in the Malay society) that live in deserts. Scientifically, it is classified from a part of lizard. It is also known as Egyptian Mastigure or Egyptian dabb lizard or Egyptian spiny-tailed lizard. While the scientific name is Uromastyx aegyptius microlepis.

Furthermore, dhab is a cold-blooded reptile that reproduces by laying eggs and has hard scales. Additionally, dhab is a herbivore (only consume plants). It spends most of its time in burrows it has dug to hide or between rocks to hide and take shelter. A dhab can grow up to 14 to 36 inches long or more. (Seehttps://ms.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dhab)

According to the above question, we did not find any narrations or hadiths regarding the age of a dhab. However, it is stated by Ibn Khalawaih and this is cited by most scholars in their books. The following are the citation from Ibn Khalawaih:

وَذَكَرَ بِنْ خَالَوَيْهِ أَنَّ الضَّبَّ يَعِيشُ سَبْعَمِائَةِ سَنَةٍ وَأَنَّهُ لَا يَشْرَبُ الْمَاءَ وَيَبُولُ فِي كُلِّ أَرْبَعِينَ يَوْمًا قَطْرَةً وَلَا يَسْقُطُ لَهُ سِنٌّ وَيُقَالُ بَلْ أَسْنَانُهُ قِطْعَةٌ وَاحِدَةٌ

“It has been said that Ibn Khalawaih states that dhab lives up to 700 years. It does not drink water and urinate every 40 days. Its teeth do not fall out and it is also said that its teeth are not separated (like human teeth).”

Moreover, among the scholars who cited this opinion in their books are:

  • Imam Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (852 H) in his book Fath al-Bari when commenting on Sahih al-Bukhari. [See: 663/9]
  • Imam Badr al-Din al-‘Aini (855 H) in his book Umdah al-Qari Syarah for Sahih al-Bukhari. [See: 136/21]
  • Imam al-Syaukani (1250 H) in his book Nail al-Awthar also cited this opinion. [See: 135/8]
  • Syeikh Abadi (1329 H) in his book ‘Aun al-Ma’bud when commenting on Sunan Abi Daud. [See: 190/10]
  • Syeikh al-Mubarakfuri (1353 H) in the book Tuhfah al-Ahwazi Syarah Sunan al-Tirmizi. [See: 402/5]

The Ruling of Eating Dhab

Scholars have differing opinions on the ruling of eating dhab. However, the majority of scholars stated that it is permissible. This is also the opinion of Imam al-Nawawi in his book al-Minhaj:

وَأَجْمَعَ الْمُسْلِمُونَ عَلَى أَنَّ الضَّبَّ حَلَالٌ لَيْسَ بمكروه مَا حُكِيَ عَنْ أَصْحَابِ أَبِي حَنِيفَةَ مِنْ كَرَاهَتِهِ

“And the Muslim ummah has agreed that eating dhab is permissible and not makruh (undesirable) as stated by the ashab (scholars) of madhhab Abu Hanifah that it is makruh (undesirable).” (See al-Minhaj Syarah Sahih Muslim, 93-94/13)

Among the evidences presented by scholars in ruling it permissible is based on a sahih hadith by Imam Muslim:

  • From Abdullah bin Abbas R.Anhuma, he said:

دَخَلْتُ أَنَا وَخَالِدُ بْنُ الْوَلِيدِ، مَعَ رَسُولِ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ بَيْتَ مَيْمُونَةَ، فَأُتِيَ بِضَبٍّ مَحْنُوذٍ، فَأَهْوَى إِلَيْهِ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ بِيَدِهِ، فَقَالَ بَعْضُ النِّسْوَةِ اللَّاتِي فِي بَيْتِ مَيْمُونَةَ: أَخْبِرُوا رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ بِمَا يُرِيدُ أَنْ يَأْكُلَ، فَرَفَعَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَدَهُ، فَقُلْتُ: أَحَرَامٌ هُوَ يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ؟ قَالَ: لَا، وَلَكِنَّهُ لَمْ يَكُنْ بِأَرْضِ قَوْمِي فَأَجِدُنِي أَعَافُهُ، قَالَ خَالِدٌ: فَاجْتَرَرْتُهُ فَأَكَلْتُهُ وَرَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَنْظُرُ

“I and Khalid b. Walid went to the apartment of Maimuna along with Allah's Messenger (ﷺ), and there was presented to him a roasted lizard. Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) stretched his hand towards It, whereupon some of the women who had been in the house of Maimuna said: Inform Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) what he intends to eat. Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) lifted his hand. I said: Messenger of Allah, Is it forbidden? He said: No. It is not found in the land of my people, and I feel that I have no liking for it. Khalid said: I then chewed and ate it, while, Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) was looking (at me).”

Sahih Muslim (1945)

Conclusion

To conclude, we did not find any hadith or thabit narration from the Prophet PBUH which state that dhab would live up to 700 years. It is just an opinion from Ibn Khalawaih as we have stated in the above discussion and this is recorded in books that commented on the hadith of the Prophet PBUH. Furthermore, the Prophet PBUH did not prohibit his companions from eating the flesh of dhab although the Prophet PBUH dislikes it. Lastly, may Allah SWT give us the correct understanding in religion. Amin.

Wallahu a’lam.


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