Book of Reconciliation

The Sahih Collection of al-Bukhari

by Imam Bukhari
Translated by: Ustadha Aisha Bewley

Chapter 58. Book of Reconciliation

I: What has come about reconciling people

The words of Allah Almighty, "There is no good in much of their secret talk – except in the case of those who enjoin sadaqa, or what is right, or putting things right between people. If anyone does that, seeking the pleasure of Allah, We will give him an immense reward." (4:114)

The ruler going out to places in order to reconcile people with their companions

2544. It is related from Sahl ibn Sa'd there was some disagreement between some people of the Banu 'Amr ibn 'Awf. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, went to them with some people to make peace among them. The time for the prayer came, but the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, had not yet returned. Bilal came and gave the adhan for the prayer, but the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, had still not come. He went to Abu Bakr and said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, has been detained and the time for the prayer has come. Will you lead the prayer?" He replied, "Yes, if you wish." The iqama for the prayer was given and Abu Bakr went forward [to lead the prayer]. Then the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, came walking through the rows until he was standing in the first row. The people began to clap, until they did it a lot. Abu Bakr almost never turned around in the prayer, but he turned around and saw the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, behind him. He, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, made a gesture to him with his hand, commanding him to pray as he was doing. Abu Bakr raised his hands and praised Allah and then fell back until he was in the row. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, went forward and led the people in the prayer. When he finished, he turned to the people and said, "O people, why is it that when something happened to you in your prayer you started clapping? Clapping is for women. If something happens during the prayer, you should say, 'Subhanallah.' Whoever hears it will turn around. Abu Bakr, what kept you from leading the people in prayer when I commanded you?' Abu Bakr said, 'It is not for Ibn Abi Quhafa to pray in front of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.'"

2545. It is related that Anas was heard to say, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was asked, 'If only you would go to 'Abdullah ibn Ubayy!' So the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, went to him riding a donkey and the Muslims went walking with him across the salty marsh. When the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, came to him, he said, 'Keep away from me! By Allah, the stink of your donkey offends me! A man of the Ansar among them said, 'By Allah, the donkey of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, smells better than you!' A man of 'Abdullah's people got angry on his behalf and abused him, and then the companions of each of them got angry. They were striking one another with sticks, hands and sandals. We heard that it was then revealed, 'If two parties of the believers fight, make peace between them.' (49:9)"

II: The one who reconciles people is not a liar

2546. It is related that Umm Kulthum bint 'Uqba reported that she heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, "Someone who puts things right between people and promotes good or says good cannot be called a liar."

III: The ruler saying to his companions, "Let us go and bring about reconciliation."

2547. It is related from Sahl ibn Sa'd that the people of Quba' fought until they threw stones at one another. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was informed of that and said, "Let us go make a reconciliation between them."

IV: The words of Allah Almighty, "There is nothing wrong in the couple becoming reconciled. Reconciliation is better" (4:128)

2548. It is related from 'A'isha about "If a woman fears cruelty or aversion on her husband's part," (4:128) "A man may see what he does not like in his wife in the form of pride or something else and want to separate from her. She then says, 'Keep me and allot for me what you wish.'" She said, "There is nothing wrong if they are both satisfied."

V: If people are reconciled based on an unjust reconciliation, the reconciliation is rejected

2549. It is related that Abu Hurayra and Zayd ibn Khalid al-Juhani said, "A bedouin came and said, 'Messenger of Allah, judge between us by the Book of Allah.' His opponent stood up and said, 'He speaks the truth. Judge between us by the Book of Allah.' The bedouin said, 'My son works for this man and he committed fornication with his wife. They told me, "Your son must be stoned," and so I ransomed my son with a hundred sheep and a slave-girl. Then I asked the people of knowledge and they said, "Your son must receive a hundred lashes and be exiled for a year."' The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'I will judge between the two of you by the Book of Allah. The slave-girl and sheep must be returned to you and your son must receive a hundred lashes and be exiled for a year. Unays,' he said to a man, 'go to the wife of this man and stone her.' So Unays went and stoned her."

2550. It is related that 'A'isha said that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Anyone who introduces an innovation in this affair of ours which is not part of it, that will be rejected."

Another isnad.

VI: How it is recorded: "This is the reconciliation between so-and-so the son of so-and-so and so-and-so the son of so-and-so" when one is not ascribed to his tribe or lineage

2551. It is related that al-Bara' ibn 'Azib was heard to say, "When the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, made peace with the people of al-Hudaybiyya, 'Ali wrote a document between them. He wrote, 'Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah.' The idolaters said, 'Do not write "Muhammad, Messenger of Allah". If you had been a Messenger, we would not have fought you.' He said to 'Ali, 'Rub it out.' 'Ali said, 'I will not be the one to rub it out.' So the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, rubbed it out with his own hand and made peace with them provided that he and his Companions would enter for three days and would only enter with their weapons sheathed." They said, "What is the julubban of weapons?" He said, "The cases they are in."

2552. It is related that al-Bara' said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, went on 'umra during Dhu'l-Qa'da, but the people of Makka refused to let him enter Makka until he concluded an agreement with them that he would remain there three days. When they wrote the document, they wrote, 'This is what Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah, concludes.' They said, 'We will not ratify it. If we knew that you were the Messenger of Allah, we would not have stopped you. Rather you are Muhammad ibn 'Abdullah' He said, 'I am the Messenger of Allah, and I am Muhammad ibn 'Abdullah.' Then he said to 'Ali, 'Rub out "Messenger of Allah".' He said, 'No, by Allah, I will never rub you out.' So the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, took the document and wrote, 'This is what Muhammad ibn 'Abdullah concludes. No weapon will enter Makka except in a sheath. None of its people will go out if he wishes to follow him and he will not prevent any of his Companions who wishes to remain there.' When they entered Makka and the term [agreed on] was up, they went to 'Ali and said, 'Tell your companion to leave us for the term is up.'

 "So the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, left and they were followed by the daughter of Hamza, calling, 'Uncle! Uncle!' 'Ali met her and took her hand and he said to Fatima, , 'Here is the daughter of your uncle. Carry her.' 'Ali, Zayd and Ja'far quarrelled over her. 'Ali said, 'I am more entitled to her. She is my uncle's daughter.' Ja'far said, 'She is my uncle's daughter and her maternal aunt is married to me.' Zayd said, 'She is the daughter of my brother.' The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, judged that she should go with her maternal aunt and said, 'The maternal aunt is in the position of the mother.' He said to 'Ali, 'You are from me and I am from you.' He said to Ja'far, 'You are like me in character and physique.' He said to Zayd, 'You are our brother and our client.'"

VII: Peace with the idolaters

This includes what Abu Sufyan said. 'Awf ibn Malik reported from the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, "Then let there be a truce between you and the Byzantines."

In it are Sahl ibn Hunayf, Asma' and al-Miswar from the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.

2553. It is related that al-Bara' ibn 'Azib said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, made peace with the idolaters on the Day of al-Hudaybiyya based on three things: that he would return any of the idolaters who came to him, they would not return any of the Muslims who came to them, and he would enter Makka the following year for three days and would only enter it with weapons sheathed: the sword, the bow and the like. Abu Jandal came hopping in his chains, and the Prophet returned him to them."

Mu'ammal from Sufyan did not mention Abu Jandal. He said, "except with sheathed weapons".

2554. It is related from Ibn 'Umar that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, set out to make 'umra, but the unbelievers of Quraysh came between him and the House. So he slaughtered his sacrificial camels and shaved his head at al-Hudaybiyya and made an agreement with them that he would make 'umra the following year and they would carry no weapons except swords, and they would only stay there at long as they wished. So he made 'umra the following year and entered it in accordance with their peace agreement. When he had remained there three days, they ordered him to leave, and he left."

2555. It is related that Sahl ibn Abi Hathma said, "'Abdullah ibn Sahl and Muhayyisa ibn Mas'ud ibn Zayd went to Khaybar at the time when it had a peace-treaty.

VIII: Reconciliation in case of blood-money

2556. It is related from Anas that ar-Rubayyi', the daughter of an-Nadr broke the tooth of a girl and they demanded compensation, and they (her people) asked for forgiveness, and they refused. They went to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, who commanded retaliation. Anas ibn an-Nadr said, "Will the tooth of ar-Rubayyi' be broken, Messenger of Allah? No, by the One who sent you with the truth, her tooth will not be broken!" He said, "Anas, the [judgement of] the Book of Allah is retaliation." Then the people were content to forgive [her], and the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "There are some of the slaves of Allah who, if they swear an oath, Allah will carry it out."

Al-Fazari added from Humayd from Anas, "The people were satisfied and agreed to the payment of compensation."

IX: The words of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, to al-Hasan ibn 'Ali, "This son of mine is a master. Perhaps Allah will make peace between two great parties through him."

The words of Allah, may His majesty be exalted, "make peace between them." (49:9)

2557. It is related that al-Hasan [al-Basri] said, "By Allah, al-Hasan ibn 'Ali led squadrons like mountains against Mu'awiya. 'Amr ibn al-'As said, 'I see squadrons which will not turn back until theu have killed the like of them.' Mu'awiya - and by Allah, he was the better of the two men - said to him, "'Amr, if these kill those and those kill these, who will take charge of the affairs of the people for me? Who will look after their women for me? Who will look after their children for me?" So he sent to him two men of Quraysh from the Banu 'Abdu Shamsh: 'Abdu'r-Rahman ibn Samura and 'Abdullah ibn 'Amir ibn Kurayz. He said, "Go this man and offer him peace and speak to him, and appeal to him." They went to him and visited him. They spoke to him and talked to him and appealed to him. Al-Hasan ibn 'Ali said to him, "We are the Banu 'Abdu'l-Muttalib. We have got some of this weath and this community had indulged in spilling each other's blood and corruption [and will only be content with money]." They said, "He [Mu'awiya] offers you such-and-such and such-and such, and appeals to you and entreats you." He said, "Who will guarantee this for me?" They said, "We are your guarantors to it." No matter what he asked them for, they said, "We are your guarantors to it." So he made peace with him. Al-Hasan [al-Basri] said, "I heard Abu Bakra say, 'I saw the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, on the minbar while al-Hasan ibn 'Ali was beside him, He would face the people one moment and him the other. He said, '"This son of mine is a master. Perhaps Allah will make peace between two great parties of the Muslims through him."'"

'Ali ibn 'Abdullah said, "It is established with us that al-Hasan heard this hadith from Abu Bakra."

X: Should the ruler suggest reconciliation?

2558. It is related that 'A'isha was heard to say, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, heard the sound of people quarrelling at the door in raised voices. One of them was asking the other to reduce his debt and to show him a little leniency. He said, 'By Allah, I will not do it.' The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, went out to them both and said, 'Where is the one who swore by Allah that he would not do what is good?' He said, "I, Messenger of Allah. He can have what he likes.'" (Muwatta, Book 31, 15)

2559. It is related from Ka'b ibn Malik that 'Abdullah ibn Abi Hadrad al-Aslami owed him some money. He met him and pressed him until until their voices were raised. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, passed by them and said, "O Ka'b!" and he made a gesture with his hand as if he were saying "A half". So he took half of what he was owed and left half.

XI: The excellence of reconciliation between people and justice between them

2560. It is related that Abu Hurayra said that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "There is sadaqa owed by every joint people have every day on which the sun rises. Putting things right between people is sadaqa."

XII: When the ruler suggests reconciliation and it is refused, then a ruling is made according to the clear judgement

2561. It is related from 'Urwa ibn az-Zubayr that az-Zubayr quarrelled with a man of the Ansar who had been present at Badr about the irrigation canals of the lava-beds, and they took the case to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. Each of them used it for irrigation. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said to az-Zubayr, "Zubayr, water, and then let the water pass to your neighbour." The Ansari became angry and said, "Messenger of Allah, is it because he is your aunt's son?" The face of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, changed colour and then he said, "Water and then hold the water until it reaches the wall." So at that time the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, gave az-Zubayr his full right. Before that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, had suggested to az-Zubayr an opinion which was generous for him and for the Ansari. When the Ansari angered the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, he gave az-Zubayr his full right according to the evident judgement. 'Urwa said that az-Zubayr said, "By Allah, indeed I think that this ayat was revealed about that, "No, by your Lord, they are not believers until they make you their judge in the disputes that break out between them."' (4:65)"

XIII: Reconciliation between creditors and those entitled to inheritance and repayment by unmeasured amounts

Ibn 'Abbas said, "There is no harm if two partners make a division and one takes the debts and the other takes the assets. If the portion of either of them is destroyed, he has no right to restoration from his companion."

2562. It is related that Jabir ibn 'Abdullah said, "My father died owing a debt. I suggested to his creditors that they take dates for what he owed, but they refused, not thinking that there would be enough. I went to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and mentioned that to him. He said, 'When you cut them and place them in the drying-place, inform the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.' He came with Abu Bakr and 'Umar and sat where they were and prayed for blessing. Then he said, 'Summon the creditors and pay them in full.' I did not omit anyone to whom my father owed a debt without settling it. There still remained thirteen wasqs - seven of 'ajwa (excellent dates) and six of lawn dates, or six of 'ajwa and seven of lawn. I met with the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, at Maghrib and I mentioned that to him. He smiled and said, 'Go to Abu Bakr and 'Umar and tell them.' They said, 'We knew that that would be the case when the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, did what he did.'"

Hisham said, "It is related from Wahb from Jabir, the ''Asr prayer,' and he did not mention Abu Bakr nor smiling. He said, 'My father left a debt a thirty wasqs."

Ibn Ishaq says from Wahb from Jabir, "the Dhuhr prayer."

XIV: Reconciliation in debts and property

2563. It is related from 'Abdullah ibn Ka'b that Ka'b ibn Malik informed him that he demanded a debt which Ibn Abi Hadrad owed him in the mosque in the time of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. Their voices were raised until the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, heard that while he was in his room. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, came out to them and lifted the curtain of his room. He called Ka'b ibn Malik and said, "Ka'b!" He said, "At your service, Messenger of Allah." He made a gesture with his hand to reduce half and Ka'b said, "I have done it, Messenger of Allah." The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Get up and settle it."