I have seen a hadeeth prohibiting wearing rings upon which there is engraved Muhammad, Messenger of Allaah. But I see some of my brothers in deen, even those who were students of knowledge or mashaayikh wearing rings upon which it is engraved محمد رسول الله. Which as for my knowledge, was used as a seal by our prophet صلي الله عليه وسلم.
Can any one please clarify regarding this matter?
Al-Imam al-Bukhari –may Allaah have mercy on him- reported in his Saheeh (65) from the hadeeth of Anas bin Malik –may Allaah pleased with him- who said:
The Prophet –peace and salutations of Allaah be upon him- wrote a letter or wanted to write a letter (in another narration: To the Romans). Then it was said to him, “They do not read a letter unless it is sealed (stamped).” Therefore the Prophet –peace and salutations of Allaah be upon him- took a silver ring engraved in it, Muhammad, Messenger of Allah.
(Anas said:) It is as if I am looking at its glitter in his hand (now).
Al-Imam as-Safaarini -may Allaah have mercy on him- in his explanation of Saheeh al-Bukhari, he gave commentary upon the previous hadeeth and shed light on some of its benefits in the 31st Gathering of the book.
He stated –may Allaah have mercy on him- in (2/111):
Benefit: Some of the scholars have mentioned: It is not permissible for a person to engrave in his ring (Muhammad, Messenger of Allaah) because of the forbiddance of this, due to fear of the occurring of corruption and disorder, he said: and this is something specific to him. (.i.e. the engraving Muhammad, Messenger of Allaah and Allaah knows best.)
In this speech we benefit amongst other things:
▫That the prohibition of taking a ring which there is engraved in it Muhammad, Messenger of Allaah is the opinion of a group of the scholars.
Benefit: From these scholars are the likes of Ibn Battaal in “Sharh Saheeh al-Bukhari”:(9/135) and As-Suyuti in “ad-Deebaaj fi Sharh Muslim…” (5/138).
▫The reason behind the prohibition was due to fear of corruption and disorder which may occur if other people also took rings which had the same engraving as the Messenger of Allaah -peace and salutation of Allaah be upon him-.
Al-Imam an-Nawawi whilst explaining the statement of the Messenger -peace and salutation of Allaah be upon him-:
“Let not one of you engrave (in his ring) the same engraving in this ring of mine”:
He said –may Allaah have mercy on him-:
And the reason of this prohibition is that he –peace and salutation of Allaah be upon him- only took the ring and engraved it in order to seal with it his letters to the kings of the Persians and other than them. Therefore, if others also engraved (into their rings) similarly, corruption would enter and disorder would take place. Sharh Saheeh Muslim (14/68).
We benefit from these statements of the scholars that the reason the noble Messenger –peace and salutation of Allaah be upon him- engraved [Muhammad, Messenger of Allaah] into his ring, was in order for him to seal the letters which he sent to the different kings and rulers who only read letters which were sealed.
This also brings to light the reason why the Messenger –peace and salutation of Allaah be upon him- prohibited anyone else from having the same words engraved into their ring.
Being that if there were other people who had the same engraving as him, which they also used to seal letters and so on, confusion and disorder would occur amongst the people as to who it is that sent the letter.
As a final note, the people of knowledge who held the opinion –past and present- that wearing a ring which had engraved in it Muhammad, Messenger of Allaah was permissible came to this verdict based upon several matters.
From them being the fact that after the death of the Messenger –peace and salutation of Allaah be upon him- that fear of confusion or disorder taking place amongst the people which was feared during his lifetime –peace and salutation of Allaah be upon him- was no longer present.
Hence it became permissible for the people to wear a ring with the engraving which he prohibited during his lifetime and Allaah knows best.
Al-‘Aynii stated in his explanation of Saheeh al-Bukhari titled “Umdatul-Qaari” (22/38):
If you were to say:
“The prohibition of the Messenger of Allah -peace and salutation of Allaah be upon him- that (anyone) engraves similar to his engraving, was this specific to his lifetime or did this (ruling) prevail in his lifetime and afterwards?
I say: What is apparent is the first (opinion i.e. it was only during his lifetime). What indicates this is the Caliphs (i.e. Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman –may Allaah be pleased with them all-) wearing the ring after him. Then Uthman –may Allaah be pleased with him- made a new ring after the (first) ring fell into the well of Arees, and he engraved in it the (same) engraving.
Compiled by : Noble brother Abu ‘Atiyah Mahmood bin Muhammad