Abu Hurairah Radhiyallāhu Anhu did not forget any hadith

Abu Hurairah Radhiyallāhu Anhu says) “I was with Rasūlullāh Sallallāhu Alaihi Wa Sallam one day. He said, “The one who will spread out his sheet until my speech is terminated, and then will wear the sheet will never forget any Hadīth that he will hear from me.” Thereafter I spread out the sheet I was wearing. By Allāh, I did not forget any Hadīth I heard from Rasūlullāh Sallallāhu Alaihi Wa Sallam. ”
(Sahīh al-Bukhārī)

Abū Salamah heard Abū Hurairah Radhiyallāhu Anhu narrating another Hadīth saying, “A person with sick camels must not allow them to go near another person’s healthy camels.”
Abū Hurairah Radhiyallāh Anhu denied having narrated the first Hadīth. Abū Salamah Rahimahullāh says, “We asked Abū Hurairah Radhiyallāh Anhu, “Did you not narrate to us earlier that there is no concept in Shariah of contagionin diseases.” Abū Hurairah Radhiyallāhu Anhu angrily started to speak in an unfamiliar language.” Abu Salamah Rahimahullāh says, “According to my knowledge, this is the only Hadīth forgotten by Abū Hurairah Radhiyallāh Anhu.”
(Sahīh al-Bukhārī)

This Hadīth does not prove that the narrations of Abū Hurairah Radhiyallāhu are unreliable. Rather it proves theauthenticity of Abū Hurairah Radhiyallāhu Anhu’s narrations. Abū Salamah is praising the memory of Abū Hurairah Radhiyallāhu Anhu. He is saying that the narration referred to in this Hadīth is the only one that was forgotten by Abū Hurairah Radhiyallāh Anhu out of the thousands of Ahādīth narrated by him.

In reality, Abū Hurairah Radhiyallāhu Anhu did not forget even one Hadīth. Instead, he did not want to narrate the other Hadīth as the audience around him at that time would not be able to comprehend the apparent inconsistencies in both Ahādīth and may not be able to contextualize the Ahādīth according to circumstances.


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