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What do you think of the attached. Is the Hadith weak or not.

Mentioned by Al-Khatib Al-Baghdadi in his book, The History of Baghdad on the authority of Jabir [ra], who said, ‘The Prophet (salallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) returned from one of his battles, and thereupon told us, ‘You have arrived with an excellent arrival, you have come from the Lesser Jihad to the Greater Jihad – the striving of a servant (of Allah) against his desires.’’”

A: This Hadith is recorded by Imaam Khateeb al-Baghdaadi in Taareekh Baghdad, Hafiz al-Daylami [ra] in al-Firdaws and al-Bayhaqi in al-Zuhd. (Faydhul Qadeer vol.4 pg.511)

The scholars have differed quite diversely regarding the authenticity of this narration.

Hafidh ibn Hajar (RA) has stated that the Hadith in reference ‘is famous on the tongues, whereas it is the saying of Ibraaheem ibn Abi Ablah.’ (Kashful Khafaa vol.1 pg.325; Al-Asraarul Marfoo’ah of Mullah Ali al-Qari pg.211). He has made a similar statement in Takhrijul Kash-shaaf pg.194 Hadith715

Hafiz ibn Rajab al-Hanbali [ra] has quoted it as the saying of Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Umar ibn al-Aas [radhiallaahu anhu] and he then stated that it is narrated as a Hadith of Rasulullah [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] through a weak chain of narrators. (Sharh Hadith labbayk pg.128)

Hafiz Iraqi [ra] has mentioned that Imaam al-Bayhaqi [ra] has recoded in it his Kitaab ‘al-Zuhd’ and he said, ‘This chain has weakeness in it.’ (Takhrij Ihyaa Hadith2584)

Shaykh Abdullah al-Siddique al-Ghumariy [ra] has stated that it is weak. (Jawahirul Bayaan pg.77)

Shaykhul Hadith Moulana Muhammad Zakariyyah al-Kandehlawi [ra] has mentioned that though this Hadith may be weak, it can be used for proving the virtue of an action, and in fact, the weakness may be removed because of it having several chains, which lend strength to each other. (Jamaat –e- Tabligh par I’tiraazat pgs.3-4)

A similar statement has been issued by the honourable author of Tafseer Roohul ma’ani, Allaamah al-Aloosi [ra]. (Roohul ma’ani vol.9 pg.198; also refer to footnotes on laami‘ud-darari vol.2 pg.472)

It has also come to our knowledge that a great scholar of Hadith, Haafidhul Maghrib Shaykh Ahmad Siddique al-Ghumarie (RA) has written an article entitled, ‘Tahseenul Khabar al Waarid fil Jihaadil Akbar’ proving this narration to be hasan (soundly authentic). (Al-Mudawi pg.91 vol.4 pg.622)

Based on the above, those who choose the view that it is not a Hadith should not object on those who choose the opposite view as several Ulama have accepted it to be a Hadith that could be quoted.

and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best