The unauthentic narration of ‘the Hair Dresser of Pharaoh’s Daughter’
‘Silsilah ahadeeth ad-Daeefah’
A summary of the research
Muhaddith, Shaykh, Allamaa’
Muhammad Nasur uddeen al-Albaani
Allaah Azza wa Jal revealed miracles as an evidence against the people. One of the great miracles which Allaah showed the people was of the three who spoke in the cradle. This has been authentically narrated without a shadow of doubt. It was collected, authentically by the two great scholars of hadeeth, Imaam Bukhari and Imaam Muslim in their authentic books.
The following narration is the authentic one:
Narrated by Abu Huraira – radiAllaah anhu – that the Prophet – sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam – said, “None spoke in cradle but three: (The first was) Jesus, (the second was), there a man from Bani Israel called Juraij. While he was offering his prayers, his mother came and called him. He said (to himself), ‘Shall I answer her or keep on praying?” (He went on praying) and did not answer her, his mother said, “O Allaah! Do not let him die till he sees the faces of prostitutes.”
So while he was in his hermitage, a lady came and sought to seduce him, but he refused. So she went to a shepherd and presented herself to him to commit illegal sexual intercourse with her and then later she gave birth to a child and claimed that it belonged to Juraij.
The people, therefore, came to him and dismantled his hermitage and expelled him out of it and abused him. Juraij performed the ablution and offered prayer, and then came to the child and said, ‘O child! Who is your father?’ The child replied, ‘The shepherd.’ (After hearing this) the people said, ‘We shall rebuild your hermitage of gold,’ but he said, ‘No, of nothing but mud.’
(The third was the hero of the following story) A lady from Bani Israel was nursing her child at her breast when a handsome rider passed by her. She said, ‘O Allaah ! Make my child like him.’ On that the child left her breast, and facing the rider said, ‘O Allaah! Do not make me like him.’ The child then started to suck her breast again. (Abu Huraira further said, “As if I were now looking at the Prophet sucking his finger (in way of demonstration.”) After a while the people passed by, with a lady slave and she (i.e. the child’s mother) said, ‘O Allaah! Do not make my child like this (slave girl)!, On that the child left her breast and said, ‘O Allaah! Make me like her.’
When she asked why, the child replied, ‘The rider is one of the tyrants while this slave girl is falsely accused of theft and illegal sexual intercourse.” Authentically reported in Saheeh al-Bukhari
As for the story of the hairdresser of the daughter of Pharaoh, which is not authentic, but it is weak (Da’eef) is narrated as follows:
[[ It was narrated that Ibn Abbas -radiAllaah anhu- said: The Messenger of Allaah – sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam – said: On the night on which I was taken on the Night Journey, a beautiful fragrance came to me. I said: O Jibreel, what is this beautiful fragrance? He said: This is the fragrance of the hairdresser of Pharaoh’s daughter and her children. I said: What is their story? He said: Whilst she was combing the hair of Pharaoh’s daughter one day, the iron comb fell from her hand and she said, Bismillaah (in the name of Allaah). The daughter of Pharaoh said: You mean my father? She said: No. My Lord and the Lord of your father is Allaah. She said: I will tell him about that. She said: Yes.
So she told him and he summoned her and said: O So and so, do you have a Lord other than me? She said: Yes, my Lord and your Lord is Allaah. He ordered that a cow made of copper be heated up, then he ordered that she and her children be thrown into it. She said: I have a request to make of you. He said: What is your request? She said: I would like my bones and my children’s bones to be gathered together in one cloth and buried. He said: This will be done for you.
He ordered that her children be thrown into it in front of her, one by one, until they came to the last one who was an infant boy who was still being breastfed. It was as if she wavered because of him, but he said: O mother, go ahead, for the punishment of this world is easier to bear than the punishment of the hereafter. So she went ahead. Ibn Abbas -radiAllaah anhu– said: Four infants spoke: Eesa ibn Maryam -alayhi Sallam, the companion of Jurayj, the witness of Yoosuf and the son of the hairdresser of Pharaoh’s daughter.]]
It has been narrated by Ibn Abbas and collected by Imaam Ahmad in his ‘Musnad’ and Hakim in ‘al-Mustadrak’. Ad-Dhahabi and Ibn Katheer had authenticated it. And from the contemporary scholars, the likes of Ahmad Shaakir and al-Arnaoot have also followed them and authenticated this story.
However, the Muhadith of Sham, Shaykh Muhammad Nasur uddeen al-Albaani disputes their claim. The Shaykh discusses this narration in his amazing work entitled ‘Silsilah ahadeeth ad-Daeefah’. He says that this wording is Batil.
The following is a summary of his research:
1-The hadeeth of Hakim has two narrators in its isnaad who do not have biographies.
2- The Shaykh said it is batil for two reasons:
(i) The narration firstly mentions there were three who spoke in the cradle, but then mentions the names of four individuals.
(ii) This narration is different to the wording in the authentic hadeeth of Bukhari and Muslim.
3- All the other narrations have defects in their Asaneed. Here the Shaykh begins to discuss a lot of technical detail.
4- The Shaykh said: ‘I did not find any authentic hadeeth which negates the number of babies who spoke in cradle are mentioned in the hadeeth of Bukhari and Muslim. Except what is in the story of the boy of the people of the ditch, where he said to his mother, ‘o mother be patient, since indeed you are upon the truth.’ as narrated by Ahmad.
5- The Shaykh continues later on by saying: ‘then, what is apparent in the Qur’aan from the story of the witness to what happened to Prophet Yusuf -alayhi as-Sallam – is that the witness was a man not a baby child in the cradle.
If it had been a baby then just the baby saying that she is a liar would be sufficient as absolute evidence, since it would have been a miracle. There would be no need for saying <<and a witness of her household bore witness>>, nor any need for living proof of the innocence of Yusuf -alayhi as-Sallam – which is the saying from the verse. <<If it be that his shirt is torn from the front, then her tale is true and he is a liar! But if it be that his shirt is torn from the back….. >>
Ibn Jareer narrates an isnaad where all the narrators are trustworthy on the authority of Ibn Abbas that the person who witnessed what happened to Prophet was a man who had a beard, and this the stronger opinion.
Allaah knows best.
6- The Shaykh mentions:
(benefit): what has been mentioned in some Tafseer books and other than them, that from those who also spoke in the cradle were Ibraheem, Yahya and Muhammad -alayhim as-Sallam ajmaeen- there is nothing narrated from the Prophet – sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam. This is what you should know.
If one requires more detailed information then they can refer to ‘Silsilah ahadeeth ad-Daeefah’ 2/880
Abbas Abu Yahya