I have a question to ask. Is there a hadith which states ‘three gifts that should not be refused are pillow to sit on, milk to drink and oil’? If this hadith exists, what is its status and can you explain about it? Thank you.
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.
Among the attributes of a Muslim is being careful when citing anything to be from the Prophet PBUH. This is in accordance with the principle explained by Allah SWT in the Quran. Allah SWT states:
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓا۟ إِن جَآءَكُمْ فَاسِقٌۢ بِنَبَإٍ فَتَبَيَّنُوٓا۟ أَن تُصِيبُوا۟ قَوْمًۢا بِجَهَـٰلَةٍ فَتُصْبِحُوا۟ عَلَىٰ مَا فَعَلْتُمْ نَـٰدِمِينَ
“O you who have believed, if there comes to you a disobedient one with information, investigate, lest you harm a people out of ignorance and become, over what you have done, regretful.”
Surah al-Hujurat (6)
Syeikh Mustafa al-Maraghi in his commentary said when a person receives any news, he should stop himself from believing in it immediately but first verify by asking for proof or evidence so that the truth about the news is known. Whoever ignores to verify from a disobedient, then he is in truth does not care whether it is a lie or deception. (Refer Tafsir Al-Maraghi, 26/127)
The attitude to first verify or analyse what is heard is necessary in every Muslim especially when it is related to the hadiths of the Prophet PBUH. This is to avoid from hearing hadiths which are not sabit from the Prophet PBUH.
Coming back to the question presented, the original matn (text) for the hadith stated by the questioner are as the following:
ثَلاَثٌ لاَ تُرَدُّ : الوَسَائِدُ ، وَالدُّهْنُ ، وَاللَّبَنُ
"There are three that are not refused: Cushions, oils [Duhn (fragrance)], and milk."
The hadith is narrated by Abdullah bin Umar through various chains of narration. We cite the full hadith including the sanad as stated in accredited hadith books.
- Jami’ Al-Tirmizi. Imam Al-Tirmizi said:
حَدَّثَنَا قُتَيْبَةُ ، قَالَ : حَدَّثَنَا ابْنُ أَبِي فُدَيْكٍ ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللهِ بْنِ مُسْلِمٍ ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ ، عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : ثَلاَثٌ لاَ تُرَدُّ : الوَسَائِدُ ، وَالدُّهْنُ ، وَاللَّبَنُ الدُّهْنُ : يَعْنِي بِهِ الطِّيبَ
“Qutaibah told us. He said: Ibn Abu Fudaik narrates to us from Abdullah bin Muslim from his father Ibnu Umar. He said that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: "There are three that are not refused: Cushions, oils [Duhn (fragrance)], and milk."
Sunan al-Tirmizi (2790)
Imam al-Tirmizi evaluated the hadith as gharib.
- Imam al-Baihaqi narrated the same hadith with its sanad. He said:
أخبرنا أبو أحمد بن الحسين بن علوشا بن محمد بن نصر الأسد أبادي بها أنا أبو بكر بن جعفر بن حمدان بن مالك ثنا علي بن طيفور بن غالب ثنا قتيبة بن سعيد ثنا ابن أبي فديك عن عبد الله بن مسلم عن أبيه عن ابن عمر
“Abu Ahmad Bin Al-Husain Bin ‘Alusya Bin Muhammad Bin Nasr Al-Asad Abadi told us. Abu Bakar Bin Jaafar Bin Hamdan Bin Malik. Ali Bin Thoifur Bin Ghalib narrates to us. Qutaibah Bin Sa’id said to me. Ibnu Abi Fudaik told us from Abdullah Bin Muslim from his father from Ibnu Umar.
Narrated by al-Baihaqi (6079) in Syu’ab Al-Iman
- Abu Nuaim al-Asbahani said:
حدثنا عبد الله بن محمد بن جعفر ، ثنا محمد بن الفضل بن الخطاب ، ثنا أبو الفضل ، ثنا قتيبة عن ابن أبي فديك ، عن عبد الله بن مسلم ، عن أبيه ، عن ابن عمر
“Abdullah Bin Muhammad Bin Jaafar told us. Muhammad Bin Fadhl Bin Al-Khitab narrates to us. Abu Al-Fadhl menceritakan kepada kami. Qutaibah Bin Sa’id said to us from Ibn Abi Fudaik from Abdullah Bin Muslim from his father from Ibnu Umar.”
Imam al-Tirmizi through his sanad said the hadith is a gharib hadith. Ibnu Hajar al-Asqalani said the sanad of this hadith is hasan but it does not fulfil the conditions placed by Imam al-Bukhari. (Refer Fath Al-Bari, Syarh Sohih Al-Bukhari, 5/209). Al-Munawi said the hadith is hasan. (Refer Tuhfah Al-Ahwazi, 8/74)
All the sanad is focused towards Ibnu Abu Fudaik. His real name is Muhammad Bin Ismail bin Abi Fudaik Al-Madani. Imam Al-Zahabi said he is a saduq and a famous narrator of which the hadiths that he narrated are written in al-Kutub al-Sittah. Most scholars said he is thiqah (trustworthy). (Refer Mizan Al-‘Itidal Fi Naqd Al-Rijal, 4/483). Yahya bin Ma’in said Ibn Abu Fudaik is a thiqah narrator. (Refer l-Jarh Wa Al-Ta’dil Li Ibn Abi Hatim, 7/189). He passed away in the year 200 H.
Abdullah bin Muslim is also a thiqah. Abu Zur’ah said it is permissible to narrate a hadith from him. (Refer Tahzib Al-Kamal, 16/128 ; Al-Thiqat, 8/51)
Muslim bin Jundub is the father of Abdullah. He is a thiqah narrator. Ibnu Hibban grouped him as a trusted narrator. (Refer Al-Thiqat, 5/395). Imam al-Bukhari cited his hadith in his book af’al al-‘Ibad. Al-‘Ijli said he is thiqah. (Refer Ma’rifah Al-Thiqat, 2/61)
According to the above discussions, we are inclined to state that the hadith is hasan.
This hadith is basically describing the gifts that a person should not refuse. In the context of hadith, they are gifts that should not be refused especially when a person visits the house of a friend, family member and others, then when these three things are offered, he should not refuse them.
Muhammad Abdurrahman al-Mubarakfuri said that these three things a person should not refuse if offered. The reason is the gifts are of low value that it would not lead to the giver feeling arrogant or proud and also do not harm the receiver. He cited the opinion of al-Tibi on this hadith. Al-Tibi said, when the host offers these gifts it is a form of him honouring his guests. Thus, it should not be refused if offered. Although it is a simple gift, it is beneficial. (Refer Tuhfah Al-Ahwazi Syarh Jami’ Al-Tirmizi, 8/74). It is also an acknowledgement towards the host.
Even more so, when a person is offered perfume. For this is the usual practise of the Prophet PBUH when he is offered perfumes. Anas bin Malik said:
إِنَّ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ كَانَ لاَ يَرُدُّ الطِّيبَ
“The Prophet (ﷺ) never used to refuse (a gift of) scent.”
Sunan al-Tirmizi (2789)
This action of the Prophet PBUH is followed by Anas until it became his habit. Ibnu Battal said the Prophet PBUH never refuses it for it is the practise of the angels when remembering Allah SWT.
Simply put, the hadith means that if we are offered a good gift, then we should not refuse it.
To conclude, the status of the hadith is hasan. This is stated by Ibnu Hajar al-Asqalani and some other hadith scholars. The meaning of it is these gifts are offered when a person came to visit and he is offered these gifts, then these gifts should not be refused for it is a form of the host honouring his guests.
May Allah SWT give understanding to us all. Wallahua’lam.