Mubahila is not a method that Muslims should use when at differences with each other, in fact, Muslims shouldn’t resort to prayer duels at all. Muhammad (SAW) may have asked for a prayer duel with the Christians of Najran in the final year of his life (see 3:61 of the Quran). However, this incident was about the divinity of Esa (As) and how it was false. This was not an example of what to do when at odds with Muslims. There are no hadith that explain the purport of 3:61.
In 1891, he introduced the concept of Mubahila to any Muslim or Non-Muslim who wished to compete. However, this is not an islamic method of solving any type of dispute. MGA even went as far as claiming that Muhammad (saw) had a Mubahila with the famous Abu Jahl. Read about MGA’s rules on Mubahila in 1889-1890-1891. Read about MGA’s Mubahila with Abdul Haq herein too. By 1899, the British government forbade MGA from doing Mubahila’s in British-India. Nevertheless, he began doing them again in 1905-1907 vs. Sanauallah.
Nevertheless, we have came across some new data, mostly from Ibn Abbas and from tertiary sources, not Sahih Bukhari or Muslim. We have posted that data in the below, we will circle back when we can make more sense of it. It is thus posted in the below.
Sayyidinā Ibn Abbās رضى الله عنهما issued a challenge for mubāhalah over a disagreement on a jurisprudential problem. He said that both he and the party that accepts his challenge should gather at the sacred Ka’bah, both place their hands on the Rukn (the Yemenite corner), then invoke the curse of Allāh upon the liars (Musannaf Abd ur-Razzāq; v.7, p.288, #17186):
لَوَدِدْتُ أَنِّي وَهَؤُلَاءِ الَّذِينَ يُخَالِفُونِي فِي الْفَرِيضَةِ , نَجْتَمِعُ فَنَضَعُ أَيْدِيَنَا عَلَى الرُّكْنِ , ثُمَّ نَبْتَهِلُ , فَنَجْعَلُ لَعْنَةَ اللَّهِ عَلَى الْكَاذِبِينَ
Likewise, sayyidinā Ibn Mas’ūd رضى الله عنه issued a challenge for a prayer contest addressed to fellow Muslims who disagreed with him regarding the chronological sequence of the revelation of certain āyāt in the Qurān:
مَنْ شَاءَ لاَعَنْتُهُ لأُنْزِلَتْ سُورَةُ النِّسَاءِ الْقُصْرَى بَعْدَ الأَرْبَعَةِ الأَشْهُرِ وَعَشْرًا
“I can invoke His curse on anyone who wishes…” (Sunan Abī Dāwud #2307) al-Albānī graded this narration sahīh.
And it is narrated the Ibn Abbās or his client Ikrimah رضى الله عنهم issued an open challenge for mubāhalah over the dispute on zihār (Sunan al-Dār Qutnī; v.4, p.493, #3861):
al-Albānī has quoted a similar narration about a challenge of mubāhalah from sayyidinā Ibn Abbās رضى الله عنهما and graded it hasan (Irwā al-Ghalīl; v.6, p.145, #1706):
Imām Ibn Hajr al-Asqalānī رحمه الله writes that mubāhalah may be done on a disagreement after the proof has been manifested (but the opposing party stubbornly refuses to accept it). He mentions the challenge issued by sayyidinā Ibn Abbās, and also al-Awzā’ī as well as a group from among the Ulamā. He mentions that it is something observed that whoever accepts a challenge of mubāhalah while being upon falsehood is destroyed within the duration of a year from the day of the mubāhalah, and that this was his personal experience when he undertook a mubāhalah with someone who was a bigoted mulhid and that person was destroyed after merely two months:
وَفِيهَا مَشْرُوعِيَّةُ مُبَاهَلَةِ الْمُخَالِفِ إِذَا أصر بعد ظُهُور الْحجَّة وَقد دَعَا بن عَبَّاسٍ إِلَى ذَلِكَ ثُمَّ الْأَوْزَاعِيُّ وَوَقَعَ ذَلِكَ لِجَمَاعَةٍ مِنَ الْعُلَمَاءِ وَمِمَّا عُرِفَ بِالتَّجْرِبَةِ أَنَّ مَنْ بَاهَلَ وَكَانَ مُبْطِلًا لَا تَمْضِي عَلَيْهِ سَنَةٌ مِنْ يَوْمِ الْمُبَاهَلَةِ وَوَقَعَ لِي ذَلِكَ مَعَ شَخْصٍ كَانَ يَتَعَصَّبُ لِبَعْضِ الْمَلَاحِدَةِ فَلَمْ يَقُمْ بَعْدَهَا غَيْرَ شَهْرَيْنِ
(Fath al-Bārī; v.8 p.95):
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