Hadith of Umar's ban on hadith

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Some recorded oral tradition among Muslims (Arabic: hadith‎‎) is about Umar the second Caliph of Rashidun Caliphate, who ruled from 634 to 644 CE, and his ban on hadith.

Although the narration is prominently quoted and referred to, it is not given any formal name, in contrast to other hadith such as the Hadith of the pond of Khumm or the Hadith of Qur'an and Sunnah.


Sunnis believe that the Prophet Muhammad himself proclaimed that no hadith were to be recorded,[dubious ] to ensure that people would not confuse any hadith with the Qur'an. This decision of Muhammad was rescinded later in his ministry. During Umar's reign as Caliph, hadith were in fact being recorded.[1][2]

On the other hand, some sources dispute this account, and claim that it was Umar himself who was the first person to ban hadith collection - a view also upheld by Shias. Certainly during his rule Umar strictly followed the policy of banning the hadith [3] and he prohibited reporting [4] and transmission [5] of hadith altogether. Whenever he sent a group to a city, he would prohibit them from narrating hadith. [6]

This ban continued through the caliphate of the khulafa' rashidun into the Umayyad period and did not cease until the period of Umar ibn 'Abd al-'Aziz, who ruled from 717 to 720 CE. [7]

Mainstream Muslim view[edit]

Muslims view this hadith as notable and important on several accounts: several prominent persons are mentioned in the hadith and several controversial issues are dealt with.

Sunni view[edit]

Muhammad Husayn Haykal

Dr. Mohammad Hamidullah

Shi'a view[edit]

Ali Asgher Razwy, a 20th century Shi'a Islamic scholar writes:


  1. ^ a b Ali Asgher Razwy (1996). "Umar bin al-Khattab, the Second Khalifa of the Muslims". A Restatement of the History of Islam and Muslims. ISBN 0-9509879-1-3. 
  2. ^ http://www.islamanswers.net/sunna/when.htm. Retrieved December 11, 2011.  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  3. ^ Murtaḍá ʻAskarī (1980). A probe into the history of hadith. Islamic Seminary Pakistan. 
  4. ^ Humera T. Ahsanullah. Turning Point. AuthorHouse. ISBN 9781477291863. 
  5. ^ Daniel W. Brown (4 Mar 1999). Rethinking Tradition in Modern Islamic Thought. Cambridge University Press. p. 96. ISBN 9780521653947. 
  6. ^ Ali Nasiri. An Introduction to Hadith: History and Sources. MIU Press. ISBN 9781907905087. 
  7. ^ Kate H. Winter (1989). The Woman in the Mountain: Reconstructions of Self and Land by Adirondack Women Writers. SUNY Press. p. 45. ISBN 9781438424255. 
  8. ^ The Life of Muhammad. Cairo. 1935. 
  9. ^ Introduction to Islam. Kuwait. 1977. pp. 34–35. 

See also[edit]