Ibn Abu Mulaika reported that al-Qasim b. Muhammad b. Abu Bakr had narrated to him that ‘A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported that Sahla bint Suhail b. ‘Amr came to Allah’s Apostle (ﷺ) and said:
Messenger of Allah, Salim (the freed slave of Abu Hudhaifa) is living with us in our house, and he has attained (puberty) as men attain it and has acquired knowledge (of the sex issues ) as men acquire, whereupon he said: Suckle him so that he may become unlawful (in regard to marriage) for you He (Ibn Abu Mulaika) said: I refrained from (narrating this hadith) for a year or so on account of fear. I then met al-Qasim and said to him: You narrated to me a hadith which I did not narrate (to anyone) afterwards. He said: What is that? I informed him, whereupon he said: Narrate it on my authority that ‘A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) had narrated that to me.
[Ref: Saheeh Muslim 1453 c]
Some Benefits from the hadeeth
1. The permission allowing the adopted child (who was formerly a slave ) to live in the same house as long as he doesn’t reach puberty
2. The statement ” وَقَدْ بَلَغَ مَا يَبْلُغُ الرِّجَالُ ” and he has reached puberty the way men reach it shows that one is considered to become mature or achieve puberty from what is the norm among the men in the society. Be it his physical appearance or other growth which is considered by a society to be tantamount to puberty or whatever confirms or coincides with the Islamic shar`iah.
3. the statement ” وَعَلِمَ مَا يَعْلَمُ الرِّجَالُ ” also shows that knowledge of adult related issues such as sexual intercourse and various intimate related issues and discussions when known or learnt by a boy, he then is liable to be considered as one who has achieved puberty. In our times, unfortunately – no thanks to internet , tv. and surrounding – the children learn this at a very young age relatively. Even if a boy is not considered to be an adult then atleast him learning about these issues does call for the separation of beds in accordance to the other prophetic tradition. The unfortunate part is that in the western nations they almost force our kids to watch pornography under the guise of teaching them “sex education” as happened recently with the children of a Muslim dutch doctor named adnan in Holland.
So the sahaabiya who came to the prophet (sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam) put forward two proofs to denote the boy reaching puberty . One by his physical appearance as was the norm or as was known among men and second by learning that he has acquired knowledge regarding intimate adult issues.
4. The issue of suckling is an in-depth issue which needs to be studied from scholarly works. They have explained how this is permissible in certain restricted cases and also showed the other opinion that this was specific to this family only. All the doubts which shaytan brings about this narration should be warded off because ignorance causes distress but knowledge doesn’t. So refer to the scholarly works on this topic to understand what and how is this understood . This along with the context of this event plus scholarly commentary is available for free even online such as :
5. Imam ibn abi Mulayka rahimahullah said ; “I refrained from (narrating this hadith) for a year or so on account of fear”
This is a very strong warning to those who circulate any and every story or tale which some one fabricates on whatsapp or in some book . Imam ibn abi mulayka despite knowing a hadeeth did not narrate it fearing this might be wrong or maybe there is some fear of people mis-understanding this narration. Then what about us who rush to share anything we read attributed to the prophet, abu bakr, ali and others without even verifying?
This also shows that one should not narrate about issues or narrations which the common mind will not grasp due to his lack of formal islamic studies, or simply because he is a comman man. One should avoid disclosing narrations in a time of fitan which might be mis-used by the fitnah mongers to their advantage. One should also know what to speak in front of which audience/people. And this is exactly in conformity with what the following said :
Abdullah ibn Mas`ood radhiallahu `anhu said :
مَا أَنْتَ بِمُحَدِّثٍ قَوْمًا حَدِيثًا لاَ تَبْلُغُهُ عُقُولُهُمْ إِلاَّ كَانَ لِبَعْضِهِمْ فِتْنَةً
“You might narrate to a group of people a narration, which will not be understood by their mind – and it will be a Fitnah for some of them.”
[Ref: Sahih Muslim Introduction 14]
وَقَالَ عَلِيٌّ حَدِّثُوا النَّاسَ، بِمَا يَعْرِفُونَ، أَتُحِبُّونَ أَنْ يُكَذَّبَ، اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ
‘Ali b. Abi Taalib – Allah be pleased with him – said: “Narrate to people what they can understand; do you want Allah and His Messenger to be disbelieved?”
[Ref: Al-Bukhaari in his saheeh , Hadeeth no. Vol. 1, Book 3, Hadith 129;Chapter about a person preferring some people with certain knowledge to the exclusion of others. Or Whoever selected some people to teach them (religious) knowledge preferring them over others for fear that the others may not understand it]
Al-Haafidh lbn Hajar, (rahimahullaah), said:
“In this is a lesson that knowledge is not to be taken from other than the people of knowledge; nor to relate, except to one who has understanding; and not to relate (advanced or sensitive matters) to one who has little understanding, due to him not being able to comprehend.”
[Ref: Fathul Baree 12/188]
See Shaykh Aal Shaykh explain this hadeeth : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8b9LmoVDq3o&feature=youtube_gdata_player
Imam ibn abi Mulayka waited for ONE WHOLE YEAR before spreading the hadeeth , can we not take out one day to consult senior students of knowledge or scholars before spreading narrations, especially the sensitive ones?
This article enlists 40 narrations showing that the sahaaba and the other imams from salaf verified ahadeeth before spreading them : http://the-finalrevelation.blogspot.com/2013/12/yes-sahaaba-and-salaf-used-to-verify.html
Note: the tashreeh of this hadeeth enlists far many benefits but this is brief for short benefit purpose.