According to Ibn Maajah’s narrative no. 2539 the Prophet (pbuh) is reported to have said:
من جحد آية من القرآن فقد حل ضرب عنقه ومن قال لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له وأن محمدا عبده ورسوله فلا سبيل لأحد عليه إلا أن يصيب حدا فيقام عليه
Whoever rejects even a verse of the Qur’an can be killed. Whoever declares that there is no god except the One God, Who is alone, Who has no partner and that Muhammad is His servant and His messenger, no one is allowed to transgress upon him except that he breaks a law of God for which he may be killed in retaliation.
Comment on the Narrative
This narrative has only been reported by Ibn Maajah through a single chain of narrators. The reporters of this narrative include Al-Hakam ibn Abaan and Hafs ibn Omar.
Al-`uqailiy has included Al-Hakam ibn Abaan in his book ‘Du`afaa Al-`uqailiy’ (vol. 1, pg. 255), Ibn Hajar, in his book Tehzib al-Tehzib writes:
وذكره بن حبان في الثقات وقال ربما أخطأ (تهذيب التهذيب، ج 2، ص 364)
Ibn Hibban has mentioned him among the reliable narrators but says that sometimes he would err.
وقال بن عدي في ترجمة حسين بن عيسى الحكم بن أبان فيه ضعف (تهذيب التهذيب، ج 2، ص 364)
Ibn `addiy in his biographical note on Husayn ibn Isaa writes that there was a kind of a weakness in Hakam ibn Aban.
While in his book ‘Taqrib al-Tehzib’, Ibn Hajar writes:
الحكم بن أبان العدني أبو عيسى صدوق عابد وله أوهام (تقريب التهذيب، ج 1، ص 174)
Al-Hakam ibn Aban Al-`adaniy, known as Abu Isaa, was truthful and thoroughly involved in worship. However he would create some confusion.
As for Hafs ibn Omar, he is considered to be a weak narrator by most of the experts of the field. Ibn Abi Hatim writes about him:
كان ممن يقلب الأسانيد قلبا لا يجوز الاحتجاج به إذا انفرد (المجروحين، ج 1، ص 257)
He is among those who would significantly alter the chains of narrators. When a narrative is reported by him alone, it should not be made a basis [for ascription to the Prophet].
At another instance, he writes:
…روى هذا عن الحكم بن أبان حفص بن عمر العدني وخالد بن يزيد العمري وهما ضعيفان واهيان أيضا (المجروحين، ج 1، ص 114)
… Hafs ibn Omar Al-`adaniy and Khalid ibn Yazid have reported it from Al-Hakam ibn Aban, both of whom are also extremely weak.
حدثنا عبد الرحمن قال سألت أبي عنه فقال لين الحديث (الجرح والتعديل، ج 3، ص 182)
Abd al-Rehman narrated to us saying that I asked my father about him (i.e., Hafs ibn Omar) and he said: [He is] careless in narration.
`Uqailiy has used phrases like “لا يقيم الحديث” (i.e., ‘he would not keep the narration straight’) and “أدخل شيئا في شئ” (i.e., ‘he would incorporate one thing into another’) about Hafs ibn Omar3.
Al-Jurjaniy, after mentioning a few narratives, writes:
وهذه الأحاديث عن الحكم بن أبان يرويها عنه حفص بن عمر العدني والحكم بن أبان وإن كان فيه لين فإن حفص هذا ألين منه بكثير والبلاء من حفص لا من الحكم (الكامل في الضعفاء، ج 1، ص 385 – 386)
These narratives are from Al-Hakam ibn Aban. From him, they have been reported through Hafs ibn Omar Al-`adaniy. And even though Al-Hakam ibn Aban is careless, this Hafs is even more careless than him by a great degree. The weakness [in these narratives] is because of Hafs, not because of Al-Hakam.
Then he further writes:
… ولحفص بن عمر الفرخ أحاديث غير هذا وعامة حديثه غير محفوظ وأخاف أن يكون ضعيفا كما ذكره النسائي (الكامل في الضعفاء، ج 1، ص 386)
… And Hafs ibn Omar has reported narratives than these. His narratives are generally not secure and I feel that he is weak, as Al-Nassaiy has mentioned.
وقال أبو حاتم لين الحديث وقال النسائي ليس بثقة (تهذيب الكمال، ج 7، ص 44)
Abu Hatim has said that he is careless in narration and Al-Nassaiy has said that he is not reliable.
Ibn Mu`een is also reported to have said that Hafs is ‘not reliable’ and also that ‘he was a bad man’. Malik ibn Isa and Abu Dawood have said that ‘he is nothing’. Abu Dawood is also reported to have said that ‘he used to report unknown narratives’. Al`uqailiy has said that ‘he used to narrate wrong narratives’. Al-Darquttniy has said that ‘he was weak’4.
In view of the stated weaknesses in the chain of narrators of the narrative under consideration, it is clearly not reliable enough to be safely ascribed to the Prophet (pbuh). It is extremely difficult to accept it as an accurately ascribed saying to the Prophet (pbuh). The narrative is clearly a result of a faulty understanding of one or more of the narrators in the chain.
This write-up is prepared by the Hadith Cell of Javed Ahmad Ghamidi