Answered by Ustadh Farid Dingle
Is the following hadith authentic: “The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) heard a woman reciting sura ghashiyah and after the first verse which states, ‘Has the news of the overwhelming event come to you?’ The Prophet (peace be upon him) heard this and began to cry and responded Yes, it has come.”
In the Name of Allah, Most Compassionate and Most Merciful
The Source of The Hadith
The hadith seems only to be found in the tafsir of Ibn Abi Hatim (d. 327 AH). Ibn Kathir quotes it from this same source. [Tafsir Ibn Abi Hatim; Tafsir Ibn Kathir] I was also not able to find any scholarly opinion on the rating of the hadith.
The chain of transmission seems fine, with the sole exception of Abu Bakr Ayyash about whom there is some debate, but is nevertheless a good narrator. [Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani; Taqrib al-Tahdhib, Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani]
The main problem with the hadith is it seems almost definitely mursal in that the narrator of the actual hadith was not a Prophetic companion, so, therefore, could not have heard the hadith himself. [Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani] That said, the Prophetic companions themselves used him as a scholar, he became Muslim very early on so it is quite likely he heard the story from an eyewitness account and not a secondary source. [Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani]
For a full discussion on mursal hadiths please see Shaykh Shuayb Arnaut’s edition of Marasil Abi Dawud.
The Text of The Hadith
The wording in Tafsir Ibn Abi Hatim is as follows:
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) passed by a woman reciting ‘Has the news of the overwhelming event come to you?’ and stood listening and saying, ‘Yes, it has come to me.’
As a general tack it is often best not to rate the authenticity of hadiths in our times that no previous scholar has rated, hence my deliberating use of the word ‘seems’ above. In order to judge the authenticity of a hadith, one has to compare the narration against other similar narrations, and many of these are simply not available to us today.
Someone like Ibn Abi Hatim himself, a master of ferreting out inconsistencies in hadiths, would most likely be aware of many other versions of this same hadith and be able to show where the potential errors lay.
Living some one thousand years later, we don’t necessarily have access to the same information, so it is sometimes better just to give a rough rating of the chain itself (sanad) and not a final word on the hadith (matn). Haytami does this a lot in his Majma al-Zawaid.
The hadith does seem to be technically sahih (authentic in the proper sense), but it does look like a good mursal hadith, and shouldn’t be discounted as false or irrelevant.
Please also see:
Is the Hadith about Musa Asking about Adam’s Forgiveness Authentic?
Women’s Prayer: Praying in Congregation, Reciting Aloud, and Calling the Adhan and Iqama
Ruling when a Woman Recites Quran in the Presence of Non-Mahram Men
I pray this helps.
[Ustadh] Farid Dingle
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.