Assalamualaikum. What is the status which states that the beginning of Ramadhan is a blessing, middle forgiveness and ends with deliverance from hellfire?
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 matan of hadith related to this issue are:
- From Abu Hurairah RA, Rasullullah PBUH said:
أَوَّلُ شَهْرِ رَمَضَانَ رَحْمَةٌ ، وَأَوْسَطُهُ مَغْفِرَةٌ ، وَآخِرُهُ عِتْقٌ مِنَ النَّارِ
“The beginning of Ramadhan brings about blessings, the middle forgiveness and ends with deliverance from hellfire.”
(See al-Jami’ al-Saghir, Hadith 2815)
- From Salman RA, the Prophet PBUH said:
وَهُوَ شَهْرٌ أَوَّلُهُ رَحْمَةٌ، وَأَوْسَطُهُ مَغْفِرَةٌ، وَآخِرُهُ عِتْقٌ مِنَ النَّارِ
“And in its (Ramadhan) beginning is blessing, middle forgiveness and ends with deliverance from hellfire.”
Narrated by Ibn Khuzaimah (1887)
The Status of the Hadith
Among the scholars who evaluated these hadith are:
- Ibn Khuzaimah evaluated the hadith is sahih in his book Sahih Ibn Khuzaimah. (See Sahih Ibn Khuzaimah, no. Hadith 1887)
- Ibn ‘Adiy: In it (the sanad) there is Maslamah bin al-Salt and he is unknown. (See al-Kamil fi Dhu’afa’, 4/325)
- Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi: In it (the sanad) is Salam bin Sulaiman and he is dhaif (weak) in hadith. (See Awham al-Jama’ wa al-Tafriq, 2/147)
- Al-‘Uqailiy: it is of no origin and it is from al-Zuhri. (See al-Dhu’afa’ al-Kabir, 2/162)
- Al-hafiz Ibn Hajar: In it (the sanad) there is Maslamah bin al-Salt. Ibn ‘Adiy has stated that he (Maslamah) is unknown. (See Mizan al-I’tidal, 8/59)
- Al-Albani: the hadith is dhaif jiddan (very weak) (See Dhaif al-Jami’, 1/135) and in his Silsilah he ruled the hadith as Munkar. (See Silsilah al-Dha’ifah, 2/263)
Our Disposition or Opinion
After analyzing the opinions of scholars, we are inclined to stated that this hadith is very weak even though Imam Ibn Khuzaimah narrated this hadith in his sahih. However, although its status is very weak, it can still be practised in fadhail al-A’mal. The reason is throughout the month of Ramadhan there is blessings, forgiveness and deliverance from hellfire.
Meaning of the Hadith
The literal meaning of the hadith states that blessings start at the beginning of Ramadhan. This is seen through various forms of blessings and sustenance showered and experienced by the Muslim ummah. The same when they are focused and work hard in striving to attain the forgiveness of Allah SWT which will ultimately save him from hellfire.
To conclude, Ramadhan is the month of blessing, forgiveness and deliverance from hellfire. Thus, we as the Muslim ummah should strive in obedience in this month as well as in other months. Lastly, may Allah SWT make us from among His slave who receives blessing, forgiveness and deliverance from hellfire. Amin.