Wa `alaykum As-Salamu waRahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
This version of this hadith was classed as weak by Al-Bukhari, At-Tirmidhi, Al-Albani and the commentators on al-Musnad.
Answering your question, the Fatwa Center at Islam Q and A, states:
This version of the hadith was narrated by Ahmad, At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah from `A’ishah who said: I missed the Prophet (peace be upon him) one night, so I went out and I found him in Al-Baqi`, raising his head towards heaven. He said, “O Aishah, were you afraid that Allah and His Messenger would wrong you?” She said: I said: I thought that you had gone to one of your other wives. He said: “Verily Allah (may He be glorified and exalted) descends on the night of the fifteenth of Shaban to the lowest heaven, and He forgives more (people) than the number of hairs on the sheep of Bani Kalb.”
This hadith was classed as daeef (weak) by Al-Bukhari, At-Tirmidhi, Al-Albani and the commentators on al-Musnad.
At-Tirmidhi said: We do not know this hadith of Aishah except through this isnad, from the hadith of Al-Hajjaj, and I heard Muhammad [i.e., Al-Bukhari] class this hadith as da`eef and saying: Yahya ibn Abi Katheer did not hear from Urwah, and al-Hajjaj ibn Artah did not hear from Yahya ibn Abi Katheer.
The commentators on Al-Musnad said: Its isnad is daeef because of the weakness of Al-Hajjaj ibn Artah and because it is interrupted.
We read in Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi (3/365):
“were you afraid that Allah and His Messenger would wrong you?” means: Did you think that I would wrong you by giving your share [of my time] to someone else? That is contrary to the character of one who is a Prophet.
“I said: O Messenger of Allah, I thought that you had gone to one of your other wives” for some reason, and I wanted to verify that. What made me do that is this jealousy that affects women and makes them irrational, not able to think of the consequences of rebukes and the like.
To sum up: I did not think that Allah and His Messenger would wrong me or anyone else; rather I thought that because of a command from Allah or your own reasoning, you had left me and gone to one of your wives, because usually you offer the nafl prayers in your house. …
“and He forgives more (people) than the number of hairs on the sheep of Bani Kalb” means: the tribe of Banu Kalb. They are singled out for mention because they had more sheep than the rest of the Arabs.
The origin of this hadith is sound, except for the additional material having to do with the fifteenth night of Shaban. It was narrated by Muslim and an-Nasa’i from `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her).
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.