Al-Muwatta Hadith - 54.9

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Eating Lizards

Malik related to me from Abd ar-Rahman ibn Abdullah ibn Abd ar-Rahman ibn Abi Sasaca that Sulayman ibn Yasar said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, entered the house of Maimuna bint al-Harith and there was a lizard in which there were eggs to eat. Abdullah ibn Abbas and Khalid ibn al-Walid were with him. He said, 'From where did you get this?' She replied, 'My sister, Huzayla bint al-Harith, gave it to me.' He then told Abdullah ibn Abbas and Khalid to eat. They said, 'Won't you eat, Messenger of Allah?' He said, 'There are those who visit me from Allah.' Maimuna said, 'Messenger of Allah, shall we give you some milk to drink which we have?' He said, 'Yes.' When he drank, he said, 'From where did you get this?' She said, 'My sister, Huzayla gave it to me.' The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Do you see your slave-girl whom you asked me for permission to free? Give her to your sister and bring her to your maternal relatives to take care of her. That is better for you.' "

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  Syed Husain    
  10 years 40 weeks ago
Ibn Rushd in Bidayatul Mujtahid discusses how the ulema had reached different conclusions pertaining to the implied meaning of this hadith. Imam Dawud had understood that the words of the Prophet (s) should be understood to mean it is always obligatory to wash the hands before making wudu after waking up (which is inline with his literalist methodology of interpretation). Imam Ahmad’s understanding was that he (s) was only referring to sleep that had occurred during the night due to his understanding of the meaning of the word bayaat. Hence, it would not be obligatory on the one who awoke from sleep during the day. Malik and Ash-Shafii understood that the Prophet (s) was implying that it is always recommended (but not obligatory) to wash one’s hand before making the rest of wudu, regardless of whether or not they were sleeping prior to it. The hanafi books of fiqh also convey the same understanding. Ibn Rushd points out that the Prophet (s) was more likely bringing attention to the purity of the water rather than stipulating an additional action of wudu. If the hands are impure or there is some doubt that they are pure, then placing them in a water utensil puts doubt on the purity of the water.