The Muwatta Malik
April 2013 version

The six authoritative collections of hadiths are, next to the Qur'an, the most important authoritative religious texts in Sunni Islam; indeed it has been said that rejecting these makes one not a Muslim. Even Shi'ites respect the Sunni hadiths, thought they might not trust as much of them. The Muwatta Malik is a seventh collection, could be considered as among the six by a minority of Sunni Muslims. But for all who study the hadiths, the Muwatta Malik, as well as Hanbal and the Fiqh are still authoritative, though to a lesser degree than the six collections.

Looking at the Muwatta Malik is interesting to confirm what is said in the other six collections, and because much of the material is considered reliable, though there could be some mistakes too.


Eat and drink with your right hand, because Satan eats and drinks with his left hand. Muwatta' Malik 49.4.6

"A person who drinks from a silver vessel brings the fire of Jahannam into his belly." Muwatta' Malik 49.7.11

Do not let a necklace remain unbroken on the neck of a camel. Malik though it was because of the evil eye. Muwatta' Malik 49.12.39

Mohammed said that the evil eye was true. Muwatta' Malik 50.1.1

Mohammed agreed that incantations of the Qur'an would ward off the evil eye. Muwatta' Malik 50.2.3; 50.2.4

On the Night Journey an evil Jinn was seeking Mohammed with a torch of fire. Jibril [Gabriel] taught him the special words to say to put out the evil genie's torch. Muwatta' Malik 51.4.10 51.4.11-13 also gives magical words to say to prevent scorpion sting and other things.

A warrior fighting in the Battle of the Ditch (al-Kandaq) asked Mohammed's permission to return home. When he did, he found his wife standing outside, and he was about to stab here because of jealousy. [i.e. for being outside without a veil.] She said not to be hasty until he saw what was in the house. He went inside and found a snake coiled on his bed. He pierced the snake with his spear, and both he and the snake died. Malik said that there were jinn in Medina who became Muslim. When you see one, call out to it for three days. If it appears after then, then kill it, for it is a shaytan [Satan]. Interestingly, people can kill evil genies [Shaytans]. Muwatta' Malik 54.12.33

No Playing Chess

Mohammed forbade playing chess. Muwatta' Malik book 32 ch.555 no.1725-1727 p.405. See also Sahih Muslim vol.4 book 25 no.5612 p.1222.

Torment of the Grave

"I once prayed behind Abu Hurayra over a child who had never done a wrong action and I heard him say, 'O Allah, give him protection from the torment of the grave.'" Muwatta' Malik 16.6.18

A'isha asked Mohammed if people are punished in their grave. Mohammed took refuge in Allah from that. Soon after, when there was an eclipse, Mohammed told people to seek protection for themselves from the punishment of the grave. Muwatta' Malik 12.1.3

Once Mohammed passed by a dead Jewish woman's grave whose family was weeping over her. Mohammed said, 'You are crying over her, and she is being tormented in her grave. 'Aisha said that did not necessarily mean the dead are tormented by the weeping of the living. Muwatta' Malik 16.12.37

Mohammed cursed both men and women who dug up graves. Muwatta' Malik 16.55.44

Do Not Kill Women in War

"The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, forbade those who fought ibn Abi Huqayq (a treacherous Jew from Madina) to kill women and children. He said that one of the men fighting had said, 'The wife of ibn Abi Huqayq began screaming and I repeatedly raised my sword against her. Then I would remember the prohibition of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, so I would stop. Had it not been for that, we would have been rid of her." Muwatta' Malik 21.3.8

Mohammed "saw the corpse of a woman who had been slain in one of the raids, and he disapproved of it and forbade the killing of women and children." Muwatta' Malik 21.3.9

Prayer and Forgiveness

Abu Hurayra said that Mohammed said that when the imam says Amin, the one whose Amen coincides with the Amen of angels, his previous wrong actions are forgiven him. Muwatta' Malik 3.12.47

"When the imam says, 'not of those with whom You are angry nor of those who are in error and say 'Amin', for the previous wrong actions of the one whose utterance coincides with that of the angels, are forgiven him." Muwatta' Malik 3.12.48

"When the imam says, Allah hears whoever praises Him' say, 'O Allah! Our Lord, praise be to you, 'for the previous wrong actions done by the one whose utterance coincides with that of the angels are forgiven.'" Muwatta' Malik 3.12.50

The prayer of one who sits down is equal to only half the prayer of one standing. Muwatta' Malik 8.6.21

Allah erases wrong actions and raises ranks for the complete and correct performance of wudu in adverse conditions, a great number of steps towards the mosque, and waiting after one prayer for the next prayer. Muwatta' Malik 9.18.58

"Whoever says, 'Glory be to Allah and with His praise' one hundred times in a day will have his wrong actions taken away from him, even if they are as abundant as the foam on the sea." Muwatta' Malik 15.7.21

Whoever says, 'Glory be to Allah' thirty-three times and 'Allah is Greater' thirty-three times and 'Praise be to allaha' thirty-three times and says the hundred with 'There is no god but Allah, alone without any partner... after every prayer will have his wrong actions forgiven him even if they are abundant as the foam on the sea.'" Muwatta' Malik 15.7.22

"The sun rises and with it is a horn of Shaytan [Satan] and when the sun gets higher the horn leaves it. Then when the sun reaches the meridian the horn joins it and when the sun declines the horn leaves it, and when the sun has nearly set joins it again.' The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, forbade prayer at these times." Muwatta' Malik 15.10.44

Women and Prayer

Ibn Shihab said that a pregnant woman who noticed bleeding should refrain from prayer. Muwatta' Malik 2.29.103

However, Zainab bint Jahsh would pray when she was bleeding. Muwatta' Malik 2.30.108. A woman can pray if non-menstrual bleeding.

If someone prays a prayer without reciting the umm al-Qur'an in it, his prayer is aborted, and thus incomplete. Muwatta' Malik 3.10.41

Women used to send boxes with menstrual cloths to A'isha for her to judge if they were free from Menses. [Presumably for prayer, etc.] Muwatta' Malik 2.28.99


The testimony of women is not accepted in divorce (Muwatta Malik 36.4.14?), hadd punishments (Muwatta Malik 36.4.15?), and the witnesses of two men are equal to one man and two women Muwatta Malik 36.4.17?)

Mohammed warned against women wearing wigs. He said the Israelites were destroyed when their women started to use hairpieces. Muwatta' Malik 51.1.2

Most of the people of the fire [Hell] were women. They were ungrateful to their husbands and ungrateful for good behaviour (towards them). Muwatta' Malik 12.1.2

Temporary Marriage

Rifaa ibn Simwal divorced his wife Tamima (irrevocably, 3 times) and she married another who could not consummate the married. Later Rifaa want to marry her again, but Mohammed said Rifaa could not until Tamima consummated a marriage with someone else. Muwatta' Malik 28.7.17

A'isha said that Mohammed said a man and women could not remarry after an irrevocably divorce until the woman had consummated a marriage with someone else. Muwatta' Malik 28.7.17 Yahyah related that Malik said similar. Muwatta' Malik 28.7.19

Rabia ibn Umayya had a temporary marriage, and the woman got pregnant by him. [Caliph] 'Umar ibn al-Khattab went out in dismay saying, "This temporary marriage had I come across it, I would have ordered stoning and done away with it!" Muwatta' Malik 28.18.42

Mohammed forbade temporary marriage at Khaybar [Khaibar]. Muwatta' Malik 28.18.41

However, Shi'ites believe temporary marriage is still valid today.

Slave Girls

Malik gives an example of a man who marries a slave girl. Then the master of the slave girl, plus a man plus two women testify that the man plus another person have bought the slave girl for a certain amount. Then the husband and slave girl have to separate because of their testimony. Muwatta' Malik 36.4.14? [If the owner of a slave girl only has partial ownership, then he cannot have relations with her per Muwatta Malik 31.5.6.]

Caliph 'Umar complained, "What's the matter with men who have intercourse with their slave-girls and then dismiss them? No slave-girl comes to me whose master confesses that he has had intercourse with her but that I connect her child to him, whether or not he has practiced coitus interruptus or stopped having intercourse with her." Muwatta Malik 36.23.24

"Yahya ... from Malik from Muhammad ibn Abd ar-Rahman ...that he heard that Hafsa ... killed one of her slave-girls who had used sorcery against her. She was a mudabbara. Hafsa gave the order, and she was killed." Muwatta Malik 43.19.14.

Yahya related to me from Malik from Zayd ibn Aslam that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'When you marry a woman or buy a slave-girl, take her by the forelock and ask for Baraka [blessing]. When you buy a camel, take the top of its hump, and seek refuge with Allah from Shaytan." Muwatta' Malik 28.22.52

Abu Said al-Khudri asked Mohammed about coitus interruptus on the expedition to the Banu Mustaliq. Mohammed said they did not have to do that, because no soul will come into existence unless Allah has decreed it. Muwatta' Malik 29.32.95

Abu Ayyubal-Ansari practiced coitus interruptus. Muwatta' Malik 29.32.97

Abdullah ibn Umar did not practice coitus interruptus and thought it disapproved. Muwatta' Malik 29.32.98

Ibn Fahd asked Zayd ibn Thabit [Abu Said] about coitus interruptus with slave girls. None of his wives were more pleasing to him than some of his slave girls, but none of his slave girls pleased him so much that he wanted a child by them. He was told coitus interruptus was fine. Muwatta' Malik 29.32.99

Ibn Abbas was asked about coitus interruptus and said to ask his own slave girl. She was embarrassed, so he said it is fine; he does it himself. Muwatta' Malik 29.32.100

"Mali said, 'A man does not practice coitus interruptus with a free woman unless she gives her permission. There is no harm in practicing coitus interruptus with a slave-girl without her permission. Someone who has someone else's slave-girl as a wife, does not practice coitus interruptus with her unless her people give him permission. Muwatta' Malik

"An umm walad does not have to mourn when her master dies, and a slave-girl does not have to mourn when her master dies. Mourning is for those with husbands." Muwatta' Malik 29.33.108

A man would go and have intercourse with his slave-girl and is wife went and suckled her. Afterwards his wife warned her he could no longer do that because of what she did. So the man went to 'Umar, and 'Umar told him to beat his wife and go to his slave-girl, because suckling only applied to the young. Muwatta' Malik 30.2.13


"Yahya said that Malik spoke about an investor who made a qirad loan to a man, who used it and made a profit. Then the man bought with all the profit a slave-girl and he had intercourse with her and she became pregnant by him, and so the capital decreased. Malik said, 'If he as money, the price of the slave-girl is taken from his property, and the capital is restored by it. If there is something left over after the money is paid, it is divided between them according to the first qirad. If he cannot pay it, the slave-girl is sold so that the capital is restored from her price." Muwatta' Malik 32.7.9

Islamic Slavery

There was nothing wrong with bartering an Arabic-speaking slave for two black slaves or any other type of slaves that were not as good. But if there is no appreciable different between slaves, two should not be bartered for one with a stated delay in terms even if they are of different races. Muwatta' Malik 31.1.1

Slaves have a "warranty period" of three days. Muwatta' Malik 31.3.3

Expel the Jews and Christians

Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz [not the caliph] said one of the last things the prophet said was "May Allah fight the Jews and Christians. They took the graves of their Prophets as places of prostration. Two deens [religious communities] shall not co-exist in the land of the Arabs." Muwatta' Malik 45.5.17

Jews and Christians: Ibn Shihab says the Mohammed said, "Two deens shall not co-exist in the Arabian Peninsula." Muwatta' Malik 44.5.18

'Umar ibn al-Khattab [the caliph] searched for information until he was absolutely convinced that Mohammed said, "Two deens shall not co-exist in the Arabian Peninsula.,' and he therefore expelled the Jews from Khaybar." Muwatta' Malik 44.5.18

'Umar ibn-al-Khattab expelled the Jews from Najran [in Yemen], and Fadak [30 miles from Medina]. When the Jews of Khaybar left, they did not take nay fruit or land. The Jews of Fadak took half the fruit and land, because Mohammed made a settlement with them for that. Muwatta' Malik 44.5.19

Apostasy and Non-Muslims

If someone changes their religion out of Islam, "strike his neck!" [i.e. kill him]. Muwatta Malik 36.18.15 The Muwatta Malik does not view this as applying to someone who converts from Judaism to Christianity or vice versa, only for those who leave Islam. Muwatta Malik 36.18.15. However, if a man leaves Islam they should first imprison him for three days, give him a loaf of bread per day, and call him to return to Islam. Muwatta Malik 36.18.16

In feeding poor people for kaffara, "One must only feed Muslims and one does not feed anyone outside of the deen [community of faith] of Islam." Muwatta Malik 38.8.12?

The Qur'an and Changes

"Yahya related to me from Malik from Abdullah ibn Abi Bakr ibn Hazm from Amra bint Abd ar-Rahman that A'isha, the wife of the Prophet [Mohammed],... said, 'Amongst what was sent down of the Qur'an was 'ten known sucklings make haram' - then it was abrogated by 'five known sucklings'. When the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, died, it was what is now recited of the Qur'an.'" A man would go and have intercourse with his slave-girl and is wife went and suckled her. Afterwards his wife warned her he could no longer do that because of what she did. So the man went to 'Umar, and 'Umar told him to beat his wife and go to his slave-girl, because suckling only applied to the young. Muwatta' Malik 30.3.17

Mohammed forbade traveling with a Qur'an in the land of the enemy. "Malik commented, 'That is out of fear that the enemy will get a hold of it.'" Muwatta' Malik 21.2.7

General Observations

Abu Hureira said that Mohammed said that "One of the most evil of people is the two-faced person who shows one face to these people and another face to those people." Muwatta' Malik 56.8.21

If a Muslim supports having Islamic Law, and the Muwatta Malik is one of the sources of Islamic Law, then the Muslim should know some of the things Islamic law teaches.

If you are a non-Muslim, or whatever type of Muslim you might be, you should agree that it is pretty amazing what people accept as religious authority. Like the Pharisees of Jesus' time, it seems people just to make up more and more rules to justify what they want to do, and say that God sanctioned those rules. Some people put their trust in their rules, and in the religiousness, as a counterfeit alternative to putting their trust in God. Is God at the center of your devotion, or is a religion?

From the Old Testament on, God's message has been to worship none besides God. God acts as a loving Father towards us, and does not want anyone to perish (Ezekiel 18). Yet we all have sinned, and are neither clean nor worthy to go to heaven when we die. But though we cannot make a way to get to heaven, God in His amazing grace made a way for us. When we could not go up to God, God Almighty came down to earth, as Jesus Christ. He not only showed us how to live, but He died on the cross for our sins, and physically rose from the dead. But we have to say "yes" to accepting God's give to us, and give over our life to Him as our Lord and Savior. I hope you will turn over your life to God, not just religion, today.


>The Holy Qur-an : English translation of the meanings and Commentary. Translated by 'Abdullah Yusuf 'Ali. Revised and edited by The Presidency of Islamic Researches, IFTA, Call and Guidance. King Fahd Holy Qur-an Printing Complex. (no date)

Al-Bukhari Sahih Al-Bukhari. (translated by Muhammad Muhsin Khan published by al Maktabat Al Salafiat Al Madinato Al Monawart. (no date) (9 volumes)

>Sahih Muslim by Imam Muslim. Rendered into English by 'Abdul Hamid Siddiqi. International Islamic Publishing House. (no date)

>Sunan Nasa'i rendered into English by Muhammad Iqbal Siddiqi. Kazi Publications. 1999

>The NIV Study Bible : New International Version Zondervan Bible Publishers. 1985.

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