Ash-Shaykh Bakr Abu Zaid rahimahullah, said:
فإن المولود ينسب إلى أبيه لا إلى أمه، ويدعى بأبيه لا بأمه، فيقال في إنشاء التسمية : فلان ابن فلان، فلا يقال : ابن فلانة،
“… Verily the child is to be attributed to his father and not to his mother; he is to be called by his father’s name and not his mother’s name. So, it is to be said when mentioning him, ‘so-and-so the son of so-and-so [i.e. father’s name] and his name is not to be ascribed to his mother’s name”.
And Ash-Shaykh Muhammad bin Saalih al-Uthaymeen, rahimahullah, said:
الذي عليه الوعيد هو الذي ينتمي إلى غير أبيه لأنه غير راض بحسبه ونسبه، فيريد أن يرفع نفسه، ويدفع خسيسته بالانتماء إلى غير أبيه، فهذا هو الذي عليه اللعنة -والعياذ بالله-… اهـ.
“… The person who the threat [i.e in the hadeeth] applies to is the one who ascribes himself to other than his father due to him not being pleased with his [i.e father’s] status and lineage. Therefore, he intends to elevate himself and to deflect his father’s low status by ascribing to other than him. Therefore, this person is cursed and Allah’s refuge is sought… ”
Then the Shaykh rahimahullah goes on to mention in his speech certain examples wherein a person may ascribe himself to other than his father with the condition that he doesn’t negate or deny his ascription to his father.
[An excerpt from an audio clip from the Shaykh’s Sharh on Riyadh Saaliheen].
Ash-Shaykh Abdul-Muhsin al-Abbaad, may Allah preserve him, said:
أما: إذا كان الإنسان قد اشتهر بشيء ثم ذكر فيما اشتهر به، فإن ذلك لا يؤثر مثل ما جاء عن المقداد بن الأسود ، فإن الأسود ليس أباه وإنما اشتهر بالنسبة إليه؛ لأنه تبناه لما كان التبني سائغاً، وإلا فهو المقداد بن عمرو ، وكذلك الشخص قد ينسب إلى أمه؛ لأنه اشتهر بذلك.
“As for if a person becomes renowned for something then were to be mentioned by what he is known for, then there is no harm, such as what has come pertaining to [the Sahaabee] al-Miqdaad bin al-Aswad for verily al-Aswad isn’t his father, hence he [i.e. al-Miqdaad] has become known to be attributed to him [i.e. al-Aswad] due to him adopting him [al-Miqdaad] when adoption was permissible [in Islam] or else his real name is al-Miqdaad bin Amr and likewise a person could be ascribed to his mother due to him becoming more known by that”.
[Sharh Sunan Abi Dawud (#581)]
Ibn Hajar, rahimahullah, said when speaking relating to some of the narrations of the Sahaabee Ibn Umm Maktoom:
وجواز نسبة الرجل إلى أمه إذا اشتهر بذلك واحتيج إليه .
“… And it [i.e the hadeeth] contains the permissibility of attributing a person to his mother if he becomes more known by it and if it is needed. ”
[Fathul Baaree on hadeeth # 592]
So Ibn Umm Maktoom and Abdullah bin Mas’ood and Mu’adh bin Afraa’ and Muhammad bin al-Hanafiyyah and Aasim bin Bahdlah and some even say Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Maajah [based on one opinion] and others from the salaf were attributed to their mothers in their family .
And there are a few books written regarding that to show the great number of narrators of hadeeth who were attributed to other than their fathers [i.e. the likes of their mothers].
Also Ibn Hajar rahimahullah has titled a chapter in his book ‘Taqreeb at-Tahdheeb’ called “Those who were ascribed to their fathers or grandfathers or mothers or uncles and their likes accordance to the alphabetic order”
وقال عبد الله بن أحمد بن حنبل: سمعت أبي يقول ليحيى بن معين: يا أبا زكريا بلغني أنك تقول حدثنا إسماعيل بن علية. فقال يحيى: نعم أقول هكذا. قال أحمد: فلا تقله، قل: إسماعيل بن إبراهيم، فإنه بلغني أنه كان يكره أن ينسب إلى أمه. قال يحيى لأبي: قد قبلنا منك يا معلم الخير
And it has been reported that Al-Imaam Ahmad rahimahullah once said to Yahya bin Ma’een, ‘Oh Abaa Zakariyyah it has reached me that you say, ‘”We were informed by Isma’eel bin Ulayyah”, so Yahya bin Ma’een replied saying, “Yes I say that.” So al-Imam Ahmad said, “Do not say that, rather say, ‘Ismaeel bin Ibrahim’ for verily it has reached me that he [i.e Isma’eel] used to dislike to be attributed to his mother.” Yahya bin Ma’een then said to al-Imam Ahmad: “We have accepted (this advice) from you oh teacher of goodness.”
[Tabaqaat al-Hanaabilah (1/186)]
Here al-Imam Ahmad prohibits the ascription to Isma’eel’s mother mainly due to the reason that Isma’eel himself used to dislike it, as come on a narration from him:
وكان إسماعيل يكره أن ينسب إلى أمه ، فكان يقول : “من قال ابن علية فقد اغتابني
Isma’eel used to dislike to be attributed to his mother, thus he would say, “Whosoever says the son of Ulayyah then indeed he has backbitten me”.
In conclusion, we understand from some of the statements of the scholars that if a person were to ascribe himself to his mother being the reason that his mother is more popular than his father or due to their being a need for it, then it doesn’t fall under what was intended in the prohibition of ascribing to other than one’s father. And Allah knows best.
Answered and Translated by
AbdulFattaah bin Uthman