Any old iron?

ringer made out of iron

Question

 

Is it correct that it is not allowed for a woman to wear rings / jewellery made from other than gold and / or silver?  I have seen this mentioned in the following links and would like to know whether this is soundly established:

http://islamqa.org/hanafi/daruliftaa/7739

http://youtu.be/FgDmXlE0yHY

Answer

There doesn’t appear to be sound evidence from the book and the Sunnah to establish a prohibition specifically relating to women or more generally. Even if the various aḥadith which have reached us can be established as being sound, from the wording contained therein, it would appear to indicate undesirability and not an outright prohibition. Notwithstanding this, the basis from which the original question and answer in the links provided proceed from, appear incorrect.

Reasoning

In order to address the substance of the points raised in the links and the question at hand, it is important to proceed from first principles.  The original question as raised in the first link has been incorrectly formulated.  Permissibility is the original or default ruling regarding acts and objects.  To establish matters as being obligatory, recommended, undesirable and prohibited, a textual proof is required. This first-principle is established upon the basis of certitude from absolute evidences in the Qur’ān and the Prophetic Sunnah. Hence the question itself proceeded from an incorrect basis. It should have been formulated in the manner, ‘Is it prohibited to…’ or alternatively ‘Is there proven textual evidences outlining a prohibition regarding….’

For the sake of brevity, only a small selection of key evidences (taken from a wider corpus) is presented to explain this principle. Allah has said:

هُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ لَكُم مَّا فِي الْأَرْضِ جَمِيعًا ثُمَّ اسْتَوَىٰ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ فَسَوَّاهُنَّ سَبْعَ سَمَاوَاتٍ وَهُوَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ

It is He created for you all that is in the earth and He directed Himself to the heaven, so He made them complete seven heavens and He knows all things [2: 29]

There are many verses mentioning the gifts which Allah conferred upon mankind. Such gifts out of his bounty would not be true gifts unless all these things and utilities were lawful in origin (except where prohibited by textual evidence). An example of iron (ḥadeed) immediately springs to mind, Allah says:

لَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا رُسُلَنَا بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ وَأَنزَلْنَا مَعَهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْمِيزَانَ لِيَقُومَ النَّاسُ بِالْقِسْطِ وَأَنزَلْنَا الْحَدِيدَ فِيهِ بَأْسٌ شَدِيدٌ وَمَنَافِعُ لِلنَّاسِ وَلِيَعْلَمَ اللَّهُ مَن يَنصُرُهُ وَرُسُلَهُ بِالْغَيْبِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ قَوِيٌّ عَزِيزٌ

Certainly We sent our apostles with clear arguments, and sent down with them the Book and the balance that men may conduct themselves with equity; and We have made iron, wherein is great violence and advantages to men, and that Allah may know who helps Him and His apostles in the secret; surely Allah is strong, mighty [57: 25]

Allah declares that he has explained to us in detail what has been forbidden:

وَمَا لَكُمْ أَلَّا تَأْكُلُوا مِمَّا ذُكِرَ اسْمُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهِ وَقَدْ فَصَّلَ لَكُم مَّا حَرَّمَ عَلَيْكُمْ إِلَّا مَا اضْطُرِرْتُمْ إِلَيْهِ وَإِنَّ كَثِيرًا لَّيُضِلُّونَ بِأَهْوَائِهِم بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِالْمُعْتَدِينَ

And what reason have you that you should not eat of that on which Allah’s name has been mentioned, and He has already made plain to you what He has forbidden to you– excepting what you are compelled to; and most surely many would lead (people) astray by their low desires out of ignorance; surely your Lord– He best knows those who exceed the limits [6: 119]

Turning to evidences from the Sunnah, in al-Jāmi aṣ-Ṣaḥīḥ al-Mukhtaṣr Imām Bukhāri collected the following authentic narration:

حدثنا إسماعیل حدثني مالڪ عن أبي الزناد عن الاٴعرج عن أبي هریرة عن النبي صلی الله علیه وسلم قال دعوني ما ترڪتڪم إنما هلڪ من ڪان قبلڪم بسؤالهم واختلافهم علی أنبیاٸهم فإذا نهیتڪم عن شيٴ فاجتنبوه وإذا أمرتڪم بأمر فأتوا منه ما استطعتم

Ismāeel narrated to us Mālik narrated to me from Abi Zinād from al-A’raj from Abu Hurayrah from the Prophet (peace be upon him) who said:

Leave me as I leave you for the people who were before you were ruined because of their questions and their differences over their Prophets. So, if I forbid you to do something, then keep away from it. And if I order you to do something, then do of it as much as you can.

Imām Muslim also records similarly in his Ṣāḥīḥ:

حدثني حرملة بن یحیی التجیبي أخبرنا ابن وهب أخبرني یونس عن ابن شهاب أخبرني أبو سلمة بن عبد الرحمن وسعید بن المسیب قالا ڪان أبو هریرة یحدث أنه سمع رسول الله صلی الله علیه وسلم یقول ما نهیتڪم عنه فاجتنبوه وما أمرتڪم به فافعلوا منه ما استطعتم فإنما أهلڪ الذین من قبلڪم ڪثرة مساٸلهم واختلافهم علی أنبیاٸهم

Ḥarmala ibn Yaḥya at-Tajeebe narrated to me Ibn Wahb reported to us Yunus reported to me from Ibn Shihāb Salamah ibn Abdar-Raḥman and Sa’eed ibn Musayib reported to me, they said – Abu Hurayrah narrated to us that he heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) say:

Avoid that which I forbid you to do and do that which I command you to do to the best of your ability. Verily the people before you went to their doom because they had put too many questions to their Prophets and then disagreed with their teachings.

Lastly, in al-Mustadrak a’la Ṣaḥīḥayn al-Ḥākim collected the following authentic ḥadith:

حدثني علي بن عيسى حدثنا محمد بن عمرو الحرشي حدثنا القعنبي حدثنا علي بن مسهر عن داود بن أبي هند عن مكحول عن أبي ثعلبة الخشني رضي الله عنه قال: قال رسول الله، صلى الله عليه وسلم: إن الله حد حدوداً فلا تعتدوها، وفرض لكم فرائض فلا تضيعوها، وحرم أشياء فلا تنتهكوها، وترك أشياء، من غير نسيان من ربكم ولكن رحمة منه لكم، فاقبلوها ولا تبحثوا فيها!

A’li bin E’sa narrated to us Muḥammad bin Amr al-Ḥarshi narrated to us al-Qa’nabi narrated to us A’li bin Mashour narrated to us from Dāwud bin Abi Hind from Makḥoul from Abu Thalabah al-Khushani who said: the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

Verily, Allah has set some limits, so do not trespass them and He has ordained some obligations, so do not neglect them; He has sanctified some things so do not violate them; and He has refrained from mentioning other matters not (out of) forgetfulness, but as a way of being merciful to you, so accept (that) and do not look for them!

The essential meaning, as outlined by all these evidences shows that permissibility is the original or default ruling. It applies to actions as well as objects or things. Further textual evidences thereafter establish a matter as being obligated, desired, disliked or prohibited. Where the text silent, by default, this indicates the general ruling of permissibility would apply. For the sake of clarity, permissibility is a legal judgment. Hence obeying Allah in that which he has designated permissible is not different from obeying him in adhering to duties and abstaining from prohibitions.

For an in-depth study on this issue, please refer to translated chapters from the book of Tawḥeed on the ruling of general permissibility.

Turning to the substance of the question posed, we need not spend effort in outlining the prohibition of wearing gold which applies to men. That is not a matter in dispute. Yet in order to take the notion of wearing rings / jewellery made from other than gold or silver (for women) out of the ruling of general permissibility, we would need to have evidences, either from the book of Allah or the Sunnah to substantiate this. Having scanned the Qur’ānic text, no explicit prohibition can be found. 

We must therefore turn to the Sunnah. It is not however a matter of citing any ḥadith. It is necessary to see if they are authentic (Ṣaḥīḥ), beyond reasonable doubt.

If it cannot be established beyond reasonable doubt, that the Prophet (peace be upon him) declared the matter as a prohibition, the default ruling of permissibility would apply.

The essential meaning, as outlined by all these evidences shows that permissibility is the original or default ruling. It applies to actions as well as objects or things. Further textual evidences thereafter establish a matter as being obligated, desired, disliked or prohibited. Where the text silent, by default, this indicates the general ruling of permissibility would apply. For the sake of clarity, permissibility is a legal judgment. Hence obeying Allah in that which he has designated permissible is not different from obeying him in adhering to duties and abstaining from prohibitions.

Regarding the substance of the question posed, we need not spend effort in outlining the prohibition of wearing gold which applies to men. That is not a matter in dispute. Yet in order to take the notion of wearing rings / jewellery made from other than gold or silver (for women) out of the ruling of general permissibility, we would need to have evidences, either from the book of Allah or the Sunnah to substantiate this.  Having scanned the Qur’ānic text, no explicit prohibition can be found. We must therefore turn to the Prophetic Sunnah. It is not however a matter of citing any ḥadith. It is necessary to see if they are authentic (Ṣaḥīḥ), beyond reasonable doubt. If it cannot be established beyond reasonable doubt, that the Prophet (peace be upon him) declared the matter as a prohibition, the default ruling of permissibility would apply.

There are three aḥadith mentioned as evidence in the original posting to argue that a prohibition exists. They are narrated in the Sunan collections of Abu Dāwud, Tirmidhi and Nasā’i. For the sake of completeness, each of these narrations will be cited in full and considered. Imām Abu Dāwud records in his Sunan:

حَدَّثَنَا الْحَسَنُ بْنُ عَلِيٍّ، وَمُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَبْدِ الْعَزِيزِ بْنِ أَبِي رِزْمَةَ، – الْمَعْنَى – أَنَّ زَيْدَ بْنَ حُبَابٍ، أَخْبَرَهُمْ عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ مُسْلِمٍ السُّلَمِيِّ الْمَرْوَزِيِّ أَبِي طَيْبَةَ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ بُرَيْدَةَ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، أَنَّ رَجُلاً، جَاءَ إِلَى النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَعَلَيْهِ خَاتَمٌ مِنْ شَبَهٍ فَقَالَ لَهُ ‏”‏ مَا لِي أَجِدُ مِنْكَ رِيحَ الأَصْنَامِ ‏ ‏ فَطَرَحَهُ ثُمَّ جَاءَ وَعَلَيْهِ خَاتَمٌ مِنْ حَدِيدٍ فَقَالَ ‏ مَا لِي أَرَى عَلَيْكَ حِلْيَةَ أَهْلِ النَّارِ  ‏.‏ فَطَرَحَهُ فَقَالَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ مِنْ أَىِّ شَىْءٍ أَتَّخِذُهُ قَالَ ‏ اتَّخِذْهُ مِنْ وَرِقٍ وَلاَ تُتِمَّهُ مِثْقَالاً   وَلَمْ يَقُلْ مُحَمَّدٌ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ مُسْلِمٍ ‏.‏ وَلَمْ يَقُلِ الْحَسَنُ السُّلَمِيِّ الْمَرْوَزِيِّ

Al-Ḥasan bin Ali narrated to us and Muḥammad bin Abdal-Aziz bin Abi Rizma – meaning that (is) Zayd bin Ḥubāb reported to them from Abdallah bin Muslim as-Sulami al-Marwazi Abu Ṭayba from Abdallah bin Burayda from his father that a man came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and he was wearing a signet-ring of yellow copper. He said to him: How is it that I notice the odour of idols in you? So he threw it away, and came wearing an iron signet ring. He (the Prophet) said: What is it that I see you wearing the adornment of the inhabitants of Hell? So he threw it away. He asked: Messenger of Allah, what material I must use? He said: Make it of silver, but do not weigh it as much as a mithqal (Abu Dāwud said): The narrator Muḥammad did not say Abdallah bin Muslim and al-Ḥasan did not say as-Sulami al-Marwazi.

The ḥadith found in the Sunan of Tirmidhi is as follows:

 حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ حُمَيْدٍ، حَدَّثَنَا زَيْدُ بْنُ حُبَابٍ، وَأَبُو تُمَيْلَةَ يَحْيَى بْنُ وَاضِحٍ عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ مُسْلِمٍ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ بُرَيْدَةَ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، قَالَ جَاءَ رَجُلٌ إِلَى النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَعَلَيْهِ خَاتَمٌ مِنْ حَدِيدٍ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ مَا لِي أَرَى عَلَيْكَ حِلْيَةَ أَهْلِ النَّارِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ ثُمَّ جَاءَهُ وَعَلَيْهِ خَاتَمٌ مِنْ صُفْرٍ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ مَا لِي أَجِدُ مِنْكَ رِيحَ الأَصْنَامِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ ثُمَّ أَتَاهُ وَعَلَيْهِ خَاتَمٌ مِنْ ذَهَبٍ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ مَا لِي أَرَى عَلَيْكَ حِلْيَةَ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ مِنْ أَىِّ شَيْءٍ أَتَّخِذُهُ قَالَ ‏”‏ مِنْ وَرِقٍ وَلاَ تُتِمَّهُ مِثْقَالاً

قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى هَذَا حَدِيثٌ غَرِيبٌ .‏ وَفِي الْبَابِ عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عَمْرٍو ‏.‏ وَعَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ مُسْلِمٍ يُكْنَى أَبَا طَيْبَةَ وَهُوَ مَرْوَزِ 

Muḥammad bin Ḥumayd narrated to us Zayd bin Ḥubāb and Abu Tumayla Yaḥya bin Wāḍiḥ narrated to us from Abdallah bin Muslim from Abdallah bin Buraydah from his father he said: A man wearing an iron ring came to the Prophet (peace be upon him). So he said to him:

What is this I see on you, jewellery of the people of the fire? Then he came wearing a ring of brass. So he said: What is this smell of idols I sense on you? Then he came wearing a ring of gold. So he said to him: What is this jewellery of the people of Paradise I see on you? So he said: What should I use then? He said: From silver, but not its entire weight

Abu E’sa (at-Tirmidhi) said – The ḥadith is ghareeb (strange) and there are narrations on this topic from Abdullah bin Amr and Abdallah bin Muslim’s kunyah is Abu Ṭayba and he is from Al-Marwaz.

Lastly, there is the narration as found in the Sunan of Imām an-Nasā’i:

أَخْبَرَنَا أَحْمَدُ بْنُ سُلَيْمَانَ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا زَيْدُ بْنُ الْحُبَابِ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ مُسْلِمٍ، – مِنْ أَهْلِ مَرْوَ أَبُو طَيْبَةَ – قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ بُرَيْدَةَ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، أَنَّ رَجُلاً، جَاءَ إِلَى النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَعَلَيْهِ خَاتَمٌ مِنْ حَدِيدٍ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ مَا لِي أَرَى عَلَيْكَ حِلْيَةَ أَهْلِ النَّارِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ فَطَرَحَهُ ثُمَّ جَاءَهُ وَعَلَيْهِ خَاتَمٌ مِنْ شَبَهٍ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ مَا لِي أَجِدُ مِنْكَ رِيحَ الأَصْنَامِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ فَطَرَحَهُ قَالَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ مِنْ أَىِّ شَىْءٍ أَتَّخِذُهُ قَالَ ‏”‏ مِنْ وَرِقٍ وَلاَ تُتِمَّهُ مِثْقَالاً

Aḥmad bin Sulaymān reported to us he said Zayd bin al-Ḥubāb narrated to us he said Abdallah bin Muslim narrated to me from the people of Merv – Abu Ṭayba, he said Abdallah bin Buraydah narrated to us from his father – A man came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and he was wearing an iron ring. He said:

Why do I see you wearing the jewellery of the people of Hell? He threw it away, then he came and he was wearing a brass ring. He said: Why do I notice the smell of idols from you? So he threw it away, and said: O Messenger of Allah, what should I use? He said: Silver, but it should not equal a Mithqāl.

It is noteworthy from the narrations from which are cited above, that there is no specific mention of women. Absent from the original postings is a discussion relating to the authenticity of these three aḥadith. We would argue this grouping of narrations is not authentic, rather each of them is weak (ḍaef).

Abu Dāwud raises some points in relation to whether the narrators did in fact hear this from whom they are reporting. Tirmidhi does not say that the narration is authentic – formulated with his unique characterisation, ‘the ḥadith is ḥasan- Ṣaḥīḥ’; rather, he said that it is ghareeb (strange). Contained within as-Sunan al-Kubra, which is the larger collection of Imām an-Nasā’i, then it is noted that he did not accept the narration as being authentic – ‘Abu Abdar-Raḥman said: This ḥadith is munkar.’ Munkar (disclaimed) in terms of its singularity from a weak narrator. This is significant given that the weak (ḍaef) ḥadith is generally considered to be higher than that which is classified as munkar.

Other Imām’s have also said similarly. In atTamheed Ibn Abdal-Barr said the ḥadith was ḍaef. Writing in his commentary upon Ṣāḥīḥ Muslim, Imām Nawawi argued that the aḥadith in this regard are not authentic, but ḍaef because contained within the channel of transmission (isnād), there is a weak narrator. As mentioned previously, Abu Dāwud argued that Abdullah bin Muslim not actually hearing from Abdallah bin Buraydah. Abu Ḥātim said of him, to write his ḥadith but not to take them; Ibn Ḥibbān said that he was prone to mistakes.

If the argument is limited only to the three aḥadith cited above, then whether taken collectively or individually, they are not considered as being authentic (Ṣaḥīḥ) and cannot be relied upon to build a prohibition, since we cannot establish beyond reasonable doubt it emanates from Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). Therefore, the default ruling of permissibility would apply. That ruling would also extend to the metals and alloys which are used in the production of modern rings and jewellery such as: palladium, rhodium, platinum, titanium, tungsten, or even alloy metals like copper or zinc. All of that would fall under the general rubric of permissibility, given the Qur’ānic verses and aḥadith that were first cited.

Yet in order to consider the matter as completely as possible, a more thorough scan of the Sunnah is required for there is other narrations which have reached us on this topic, though not cited as part of the original postings.

Several narrations have been reported on the topic of iron rings from Amr bin Shu’ayb. As a general comment, many have held that Amr bin Shu’ayb reporting from his father from his grandfather is considered as an authentic channel of transmission. Imām Bukhāri is reported to have said regarding this channel: “I saw Aḥmad bin Ḥanbal, Ali bin al-Madini, Isḥāq bin Rāhwayh and people in general of our companions using the ḥadith of Amr bin Shu’ayb from his father from his grandfather in proof. None of the Muslims abandon him’ (See: Rijāl – Narrators of the Muwaṭṭā al-Imam Muḥammad by Abd-al Hayy al-Laknawi, p. 51).

According to Ibn Ṣalāḥ: ‘Amr has a large nuskha with this isnād, which consists mostly of excellent ḥadith on legal topics…Most of the scholars of ḥadith cite his ḥadith as proofs…’ (See: An Introduction to the Science of Ḥadith, Ibn Ṣalāḥ, category 45, p. 233).

Some of the aḥadith on this topic are as follows:

a. Al-Adab al-Mufrad: Bukhāri

حَدَّثَنَا إِسْمَاعِيلُ قَالَ‏:‏ حَدَّثَنِي سُلَيْمَانُ، عَنِ ابْنِ عَجْلاَنَ، عَنْ عَمْرِو بْنِ شُعَيْبِ بْنِ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللهِ بْنِ عَمْرِو بْنِ الْعَاصِ بْنِ وَائِلٍ السَّهْمِيِّ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، عَنْ جَدِّهِ، أَنَّ رَجُلاً أَتَى النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَفِي يَدِهِ خَاتَمٌ مِنْ ذَهَبٍ، فَأَعْرَضَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم عَنْهُ، فَلَمَّا رَأَى الرَّجُلُ كَرَاهِيَتَهُ ذَهَبَ فَأَلْقَى الْخَاتَمَ، وَأَخَذَ خَاتَمًا مِنْ حَدِيدٍ فَلَبِسَهُ، وَأَتَى النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم، قَالَ‏:‏ هَذَا شَرٌّ، هَذَا حِلْيَةُ أَهْلِ النَّارِ، فَرَجَعَ فَطَرَحَهُ، وَلَبِسَ خَاتَمًا مِنْ وَرِقٍ، فَسَكَتَ عَنْهُ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم

Ismāeel narrated to us he said Sulaymān narrated to me from Ibn Ajlān from Amr bin Shu’ayb bin Muḥammad bin Abdallah bin Amr ibn al-A’āṣ ibn Wā’il as-Sahmi from his father from his grandfather that a man came to the Prophet (peace be upon him), wearing a gold signet-ring on his finger. The Prophet (peace be upon him) turned away from him. When the man saw his dislike of the gold, he threw the ring away. He made an iron ring and wore that. He came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) who said, ‘This is worse. This is the ornament of the people of the Fire.’ The man went away, threw it off and put on a silver ring and the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not say anything about it.

b. Musnad Aḥmad

حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى، عَنِ ابْنِ عَجْلَانَ، عَنْ عَمْرِو بْنِ شُعَيْبٍ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، عنْ جَدِّهِ: أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ رَأَى عَلَى بَعْضِ أَصْحَابِهِ خَاتَمًا مِنْ ذَهَبٍ، فَأَعْرَضَ عَنْهُ، فَأَلْقَاهُ وَاتَّخَذَ خَاتَمًا مِنْ حَدِيدٍ، فَقَالَ: هَذَا شَرٌّ، هَذَا حِلْيَةُ أَهْلِ النَّارِ، فَأَلْقَاهُ، فَاتَّخَذَ خَاتَمًا مِنْ وَرِقٍ، فَسَكَتَ عَنْهُ

Yaḥya narrated to us from Ibn Ajlān from Amr bin Shu’ayb from his father from his grandfather that the Prophet (peace be upon him) saw upon some of his companions (with) a gold ring. The Prophet (peace be upon him) turned away from him. So he took a ring made of iron. The Prophet said: This is worse, it is an ornament of the people of the fire. So he took a ring of silver and he (the Prophet) remained silent about it.

Two further narrations are reported in the Musnad, the first is essentially the same narration although the transmission begins – ‘Yaḥya bin Sa’eed narrated to us.’ The second narration which has an alternate channel and some additional wording is as follows:

حَدَّثَنَا سُرَيْجٌ، حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللهِ بْنُ الْمُؤَمَّلِ، عَنِ ابْنِ أَبِي مُلَيْكَةَ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللهِ بْنِ عَمْرِو بْنِ الْعَاصِ: أَنَّهُ لَبِسَ خَاتَمًا مِنْ ذَهَبٍ، فَنَظَرَ إِلَيْهِ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، كَأَنَّهُ كَرِهَهُ، فَطَرَحَهُ، ثُمَّ لَبِسَ خَاتَمًا مِنْ حَدِيدٍ،فَقَالَ: هَذَا أَخْبَثُ وَأَخْبَثُ  فَطَرَحَهُ، ثُمَّ لَبِسَ خَاتَمًا مِنْ وَرِقٍ، فَسَكَتَ عَنْهُ

Sureej narrated to us Abdallah bin Muam’mil narrated to us from Ibn Abi Mulayka from Abdallah bin Amr ibn al-A’āṣ that he wore a ring (made) from gold.  The Prophet (peace be upon him) looked (at) this upon him and he disliked it.  So he threw it away and thereafter came wearing a ring made from iron.  The Prophet said: This is insidious, insidious.  He threw it away and then came wearing a ring made from silver and he (the Prophet) was silent about it.

c. There is also a slightly different narration which is reported in Mu’jam al Kabir, by Imām Ṭabarāni:

حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللهِ الْحَضْرَمِيُّ، وَالْحُسَيْنُ بْنُ إِسْحَاقَ التُّسْتَرِيُّ، قَالَا: ثنا يَحْيَى الْحِمَّانِيُّ، ثنا إِسْحَاقُ بْنُ سَعِيدِ بْنِ عَمْرِو بْنِ سَعِيدِ بْنِ الْعَاصِ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ سَعِيدِ بْنِ عَمْرٍو، عَنْ خَالِدِ بْنِ سَعِيدٍ، أَنَّهُ أَتَى النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَفِي يَدِهِ خَاتَمٌ، فَقَالَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: يَا خَالِدُ مَا هَذَا الْخَاتَمُ؟  قَالَ: خَاتَمٌ اتَّخَذْتُهُ قَالَ: فَاطْرَحْهُ إِلَيَّ قَالَ: فَطَرَحْتُهُ إِلَيْهِ فَإِذَا هُوَ خَاتَمٌ مِنْ حَدِيدٍ مُلَوَّنٍ عَلَيْهِ فِضَّةٌ، فَقَالَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: مَا نَقْشُهُ؟  قُلْتُ: مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ اللهِ فَأَخَذَهُ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَلَبِسَهُ وَهُوَ الْخَاتَمُ الَّذِي كَانَ فِي يَدِهِ

Muḥammad bin Abdallah al-Ḥaḍrami and al-Ḥussain bin Isḥāq at-Tastari narrated to us, they said: Yaḥya al-Ḥimāni narrated to us Isḥāq bin Sa’eed Amr bin Sa’eed al-Aāṣ narrated to us from his father Sa’eed bin Amr from Khālid bin Sa’eed that he came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) on his hand was a ring. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: O Khālid what is this ring? (Khālid) said – take the ring. He said –pass it to me. He said: throw it if it is an iron ring engraved with silver. So the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: What is it engraved with? I said – Muḥammad the Prophet of Allah. So I took it (to) the Prophet (peace be upon him) and he wore it and it was a ring which was on his hand.

Regarding the first two narrations, both channels go through Ibn Ajlān, that is to say Abu Abdallah Muḥammad bin Ajlān al-Qurayshi (75./694 – 148./ 765). There does though appear to be a lack of scholarly consensus regarding his reliability though. These narrations tend to be classified as ḥasan (good, but with a slight yet tolerable weakness). Further research into this point is required. Concerning the third narration in Musnad Aḥmad via the channel of Ibn Abi Mulayka from Abdallah bin Amr ibn al-A’āṣ, seems to also be disputed. For example, Imām Bayhaqy seems to say that the wording taken in the report ‘this is insidious’ is not strong.

Despite further research being required into these narrations, when taken in the round, if they can be substantiated and / or proven at the very least as being ḥasan, the most which could be said is that the wording present would seem to suggest the wearing of iron / brass rings is undesirable (makruḥ). That said (as mentioned above), the remainder which is not specified or singled out by text, would fall within the remit of general permissibility.

And with Allah remains all success and the ultimate attainment.

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