WEAK HADITH: “Seek Knowldge from cradle to grave”

اطلبوا العلم من المهد إلى اللحد

Even though this speech is popular amongst the people, its sanad is questionable and there has been no scholar of hadeeth who has accepted this as a narration of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم. Ibn Baz (rahimahullaah) for example said that this narration has no basis. Abd Al-Fattah Abu Ghuddah said: “It is not a prophetic hadeeth but the kalam of the people and it should not be attributed to the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم… It is on the tongues of many and it is strange to find it scattered amongst the authored book” [Qeemat az-Zaman indal-Ilimiyah, p. 29]

Many believe it to be a proverb that was coined by one of the Salaf. Some attribute it to Imam Ahmad (as quoted by Ibn Muflih in his ‘Al-Adaab’), but what is certain it that it is not a Hadeeth Nabawi. What is apparent as a narration from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم is:

طلب العلم فريضة على كل مسلم

“Seeking knowledge is obligatory upon every Muslim…” [see ‘Saheeh al-Jaami’, 3914 – graded as saheeh]

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم also said:

الدنيا ملعونة ملعون ما فيها إلا ذكر الله وما والاه وعالماً ومتعلماً

“The dunya is cursed except for the dhikr of Allaah and what resembles it (of worship and knowledge) and an Alim and the one who has ilm (of the Deen).”
[Tirmidhi, 2322, who graded it as hasan ghareeb]


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