Praise be to Allaah.
The text of
the hadeeth of the mountain goats is as follows:
narrated that al-‘Abbaas ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib (may Allaah be pleased with
I was in
al-Batha’ with a group of people, among whom was the Messenger of Allaah
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). A cloud passed over him,
and he looked at it and said, “What do you call this?” They said, Sahaab
(a cloud). He said, “And muzn (rain cloud).” They said, And muzn.
He said, “And ‘anaan (clouds).” Abu Bakr said: they said, “And ‘anaan.”
He said: “How much (distance) do you think there is between you and the
heaven?” They said, We do not know. He said, “Between you and it is
seventy-one or seventy-two or seventy-three years, and there is a similar
distance between it and the heaven above it [and so on]” – until he has
counted seven heavens. “Then above the seventh heaven there is a river,
between whose top and bottom is a distance like that between one heaven and
another. Then above that there are eight (angels in the form of) mountain
goats. The distance between their hooves and their knees
is like the distance between one heaven and the
next. Then on their backs is the Throne, and the distance between the top
and the bottom of the Throne is like the distance between one heaven and
another. Then Allaah is above that, may He be blessed and exalted.
al-Atheer said in al-Nihaayah (3/355):
goats means angels in the form of mountain goats.
is well known in the books of the scholars, and is narrated in most of the
books of Musnad. It was narrated by Ahmad in al-Musnad
(1/206), Abu Dawood in al-Sunan (4723), al-Tirmidhi in al-Sunan
(3320), Ibn Maajah (193), al-Daarimi in al-Radd ‘ala al-Jahamiyyah
(50), al-Bazaar in his Musnad (4/134), Muhammad ibn ‘Uthmaan ibn Abi
Shaybah in al-‘Arsh (1/66), Ibn Khuzaymah in Kitaab al-Tawheed
(1/234) al-Haakim in al-Mustadrak (2/410) and other books of Sunnah.
of these imams come through five isnaads, all of which meet in Simaak ibn
Harb from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umayrah from al-Ahnaf ibn Qays from al-‘Abbaas
ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib (may Allaah be pleased with him).
Simaak ibn Harb, he met a number of the Sahaabah. Muslim narrated from him,
as did al-Bukhaari in mu’allaq reports. He was regarded as thiqah
(trustworthy) by a number of scholars, such as Imam Ahmad, Abu Haatim,
al-Bazaar and others. But some of the scholars criticized for some strange
matters in his hadeeth. Hence he was classed as da’eef (weak) by Shu’bah and
Ibn al-Mubaarak, and Ibn Abi Khaythamah said: I heard Ibn Ma’een being
asked: What is his fault? He said: He narrated ahaadeeth which no one else
narrated, but he is thiqah. Ibn ‘Ammaar said: They say that he used to make
mistakes, and they differed concerning his hadeeth. Al-Thawri regarded him
as somewhat da’eef but no one rejected him. Al-Nasaa’i said: Sometimes he
repeats everything he hears, therefore when he narrates a hadeeth which no
one else narrated, that cannot be regarded as sound. Ibn Hibbaan said in
al-Thiqaat: he makes many mistakes.
biography in Tahdheeb al-Tahdheeb (4/204)
‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umayrah: we do not know anything about his biography except
that he narrated from al-Ahnaf ibn Qays, and no one is known to have
narrated from him except Simaak ibn Harb. None of the scholars stated
whether he was thiqah or da’eef except Ibn Hibbaan who mentioned him in
al-Thiqaat. Ibn Hajar said in Tahdheeb al-Tahdheeb (5/301):
al-Bukhaari said: It is not known whether he heard from al-Ahnaf. He was
mentioned by Ibn Hibbaan in al-Thiqaat, and al-Tirmidhi classed his
hadeeth as hasan. I (Ibn Hajar) say: Abu Na’eem said in Ma’rifat
al-Sahaabah: He lived during the Jaahiliyyah and he was the guide of
al-A’sha, but it is not proven that he accompanied the Prophet (peace
and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or saw him. Muslim said in
al-Wuhdaan: Simaak alone narrated from him. Ibraaheem al-Harbi said: I
do not know him. End quote.
Simaak’s report is not to be accepted when he is the only one narrating it,
and because we find that there are some doubts about ‘Abd-Allaah ibn
‘Umayrah, the scholars differed as to whether the hadeeth should be classed
as saheeh or da’eef.
said concerning the hadeeth: it is hasan ghareeb. It was classed as saheeh
by Ibn Khuzaymah in his report in his book al-Tawheed where he
stipulated some conditions for its soundness. Al-Haakim said in
al-Mustadrak: it is saheeh according to the conditions of Muslim
although they (al-Bukhaari and Muslim) did not narrate it.
later scholars, Ibn Taymiyah in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (3/192) and Ibn
al-Qayyim in Mukhtasar al-Sawaa’iq (433) said its isnaad is jayyid.
to the scholars who classed it as da’eef:
This is what
is understood from the words of al-Bazaar in his Musnad (4/115),
where he says: We do not know of these words being narrated except with this
isnaad from al-‘Abbaas from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah
be upon him). We do not know of anyone who narrated from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn
‘Umayrah except Simaak ibn Harb. End quote.
said in al-Kaamil (9/27): it is not known.
indicated that it is da’eef in Tahdheeb al-Kamaal (10/391).
said in al-‘Uluw (1/60): It was narrated only by Simaak from
‘Abd-Allaah, and ‘Abd-Allaah is somewhat unknown. End quote. But al-Dhahabi
classed the hadeeth as hasan in al-‘Arsh (24).
the later scholars who classed it as da’eef was al-Albaani in al-Silsilah
most likely – and Allaah knows best – is that the hadeeth is da’eef. As
Simaak ibn Harb was the only one who narrated this hadeeth which has to do
with matters of the unseen, this means that it is not acceptable. The fact
that little is known about ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umayrah further damages the
soundness of the hadeeth. Then there is the interruption (in the isnaad)
between him and al-Ahnaf ibn Qays.
wants to quote this hadeeth as evidence that Allaah is above His creation
and that He is above the mighty Throne, the Qur’aan and saheeh Sunnah are
full of such evidence and there is no need to quote this hadeeth as
evidence. There are a thousand pieces of evidence which Imam al-Dhahabi
compiled in his book al-‘Uluw, for those who want to know more.
already quoted some of the evidence on our site. Please see the answers to
questions no. 992 and