DETAINMENT OF THE REPORTERS OF HADITH
It has been narrated on the authority of Sa`d ibn Ibrahim on the authority of his father that `Umar detained three individuals in the charge of much reporting from the Holy Prophet. These three were `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud, Abu'l-Darda' and Abu-Mas`ud al-Ansariy.(1)
Al-Khatib al-Baghdadiy, in Sharaf Ashab al-Hadith, has recorded that `Umar ibn al-KHATTAB, once, summoned `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud, Abu'l-Darda' and Abu-Mas`ud and said to them, "Why are you reporting so much from the Messenger of Allah?" He then detained then in al-Madinah.
It has been narrated on the authority of Sa`d ibn Ibrahim on the authority of his father that `Umar reproached `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud, Abu'l-Darda', and Abu-Dharr for they have reported too much from the Holy Prophet. He then detained them in al-Madinah until his death.(2)
`Abd al-Rahman ibn `Awf is reported as saying, Before his death, `Umar ibn al-KHATTAB ordered the companions of the Messenger of Allah, namely `Abdullah (ibn Mas`ud), Hudhayfah, Abu'l-Darda', Abu-Dharr, and `Uqbah ibn `amir, to be present before him although they lived in remote countries. He then reproached them for having spread the traditions of the Messenger of Allah in these countries.
"Are you now preventing us from such?" asked they.
"No, I do not," answered `Umar. "Yet, you will reside here, and you will never depart me so long as I am alive. I am more knowledgeable. I will hear from you and reply." Hence, they could not leave the capital until the death of `Umar.(3)
In `Umar's statements of reproach, he used the words 'too much reporting' and 'spread of the Hadith'. This obviously indicates that the 'too much' reporting from the Holy Prophet would create comprehension of the Muslims and embarrassment of `Umar on definite circumstances. Yet, `Umar did not accuse them of fabrication or forgery; rather they were accused of too much reporting and spreading of the Hadith since spreading of the Hadith was harmonious to the finding faults with `Umar's decisions and verdicts, especially when the Hadith carries a clear-cut statements of the Holy Prophet.
1- Al-Dhahbiy: Tadhkirat al-Huffa¨ 1:7; `Abd al-Ghaniy `Abd al-Khaliq: Hijjiyyat al-Sunnah 395; al-Muhaddith al-Fasil 1:553. 2- Al-Hakim al-Nisapuriy: al-Mustadrak `Ala'l-Sahihayn 1: 110; al-Dhahbiy: al-Talkhis; Musannaf Ibn Abi-Shaybah 5:294 H. 26229; al-Dhahbiy: Siyar A`lam al-Nubala' 2:345. 3- Ibn Man¨ur: Mukhtasar Tarikh Madinat Dimashq 17:101; al-Muttaqiy al-Hindiy: Kanz al-`Ummal 10:293 H. 29479.
This fact can be much more understood through the following narration:
When `Umar summoned Ubayy ibn Ka`b and ordered him to reduce reporting from the Holy Prophet, Ubayy answered, "Does this mean that you are accusing me of forgery against the Messenger of Allah?"
"No, it does not," answered `Umar. "Yet, I dislike seeing the reporting from the Messenger of Allah such expansive."(1)
On other occasions, `Umar ordered the Sahabah to reduce reporting from the Holy Prophet except in common questions.(2)
The purpose beyond the prevention in the earlier narration is too clear to require explanation; `Umar disliked seeing the Hadith expansively widespread so that the errors and jurisprudential defects of his government and him would not be known to everybody. In the latter narration, `Umar permitted reporting the Hadiths that discuss common questions that are known to all Muslims. Alternatively, it is impermissible to report Hadiths unknown for the people and, perhaps, for `Umar himself since such Hadiths would possibly be contrary to his personal opinions and Ijtihad and thus a problem would occur to the ruling system, which is seen as the religious authority of the Islamic community. From this cause, `Umar ordered the Sahabah to reside near him and never depart so long as he would be alive for he was more knowledgeable… etc.
The aforesaid discussions prove that `Umar disliked reporting from the Holy Prophet and the Sahabah disliked such. This is of course opposite to the claims that `Umar prohibited only the recordation of the Hadith!
It is now possible to add other names to the list of those who objected to `Umar. These are Abu'l-Darda', Abu-Mas`ud al-Ansariy, and `Uqbah ibn `amir.
Details about the personalities, manners, and courses of those Sahabah will be postponed to other occasions;(3) yet the point to be aroused hereby is that the Sahabah who objected to `Umar were not only thirteen, as has been claimed by Ibn Hajar, or only seven, as has been claimed by Musa Jarullah; rather they were more and more. It is thus sufficient to mention that too many were the Sahabah whose jurisprudential opinions were congruous with the Ahl al-
1- Mustafa al-A`zamiy: Dirasatun fi'l-Hadith al-Nubawiy as quoted from Ibn Sa`d: al-tabaqat al-Kubra 4:21-22. 2- Ibn Kathir: al-Bidayah wa'l-Nihayah 8:107; Mu`ammar ibn Rashid: al-Jami` 11:262. 3- The author promises the readers to present further details about the Sahabah who objected to `Umar in a study entitled 'al-Sunnah Ba`d al-Rasul (The Sunnah after the Messenger).