Seek Knowledge even if it be to China... really?!


Staff member

I made this thread more specifically (since mashaAllah we already have a few threads on fabricated narrations) because this is one hadith which has become very outspread - but in reality has no basis at all!

Mawdoo(fabricated),Invalid/Rejected Hadeeth
"Seek knowledge even if it be to China"

Related by Ibn Adee (2/207)m Abu Nu’aym in ‘Akhbaar Asbahaan’ and others via many routes of narration, and all of them adding the words "for indeed seeking knowledge is an obligatory duty upon all Muslims."

Ibn al-Jawzee mentions this and then quotes Ibn Hibbaan saying, "invalid/rejected, it has no basis" ‘al-Mawdoo’aat’ (1/215)]

Adh-Dhahabee also endorsed the above words of Ibn Hibbaan, [‘Tarteeb al-Mawdoo’aat’ of Adh-Dhahabee (pg. 52 no. 111)] and likewise as-Sakhaawee [‘Maqaasid al-Hasanah’ (pg. 86 no. 125)]

Al-Albaanee declares this hadeeth to be mawdoo (fabricated) [‘Da’eef al-Jaami as-Sagheer’ (no’s 1005-1006)]

In summary, the above hadeeth is related by a group of trustworthy narrators without the words "even if it be to China" and a few narrators who are deemed weak; liars; abandoned by the scholars narrate this additional wording. So the Ahaadeeth with the additional wording is fabricated, but without is hasan (good). [See ‘Silsilah ad-Da’eefah’ (1/600 no. 416) for detail.]

Just wished to point this out, because I myself recently heard some people quoting it - well meaning and to encourage learning, but what is wrong is the attribution which is given to the Messenger of Allah :saw:

Also I wanted to Add this one as well - since it's quoted many times as well:

‘Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave’

The popular saying goes ‘Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave’. As far as the science of Hadith is concerned it is a fabricated Hadith.

But nevertheless the meaning and message is correct. A scholar went to visit Imam Abu Yusuf (rahimahullah) on his deathbed. After talking a little about his health Imam Abu Yusuf asked the visitor, “What is more rewarding – to pelt the Shaytan at Mina on foot or mounted?” Just imagine he was on his deathbed yet such a question is preoccupying his mind. The visitor replied, “Walking is best because there is more hardship involved.” Imam Abu Yusuf said, “No”. The visitor said, “Mounted then.” Imam Abu Yusuf said, “No. To pelt the jamarat al-‘aqabah mounted and the remaining jamarat on foot is best.” The visitor says, “I left his house. After taking a few steps I heard the sound of crying coming from the house. I knew Imam Abu Yusuf had left for the next world.” This is the meaning of ‘Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave’.

The meaning of this statement is sound. The Qur’ân and Sunnah come with numerous encouragements for seeking knowledge at all times and in all beneficial fields, whatever the age of the person.

Allah says: “But say: “O my Lord! Increase me in knowledge”.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever seeks a way to acquire knowledge Allah will make easy his way to Paradise.” [Sahîh Muslim (2699)]

It was also related by Anas b. Malik that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Seeking knowledge is obligatory upon every Muslim.” [Sunan Ibn Mâjah (224) and others]

Imam Ahmad b. Hanbal had said: “We will accompany the inkpot until our death.”
And Allah knows best.



Staff member
wa 'alaykum salam wa rahmatullah

wa iyyak - yeah, it's so very difficult nowadays with the widespread availability to all sorts of information to often filter out what is correct and what is not... so it's good to be aware of some of these un-authentic narrations.



Islam is my life
Staff member
salam aleikum sister
Jazakallah khair for posting it ..
I had no idea those hadiths are weak ..
By the way is it from the lecture 'Chain of Command' that was this weekend :D at al Huda..

waaleikum salam


Travelling towards my grave.
wa'alaikumussalam warahmatullahi wabarakatuh

JazakiAllah khair sister. I did not know that those two Hadith is weak. Thus I have used it in several times with my friends also. May Allah (swt) forgive me as I have used them only because I heard some respected Scholars used them.

Thank you for letting us know sister.


-brother IbnAdam-


Junior Member


This corrected my ignorance, mashAllah. I mean I read that "seek knowledge even to China", was fabricated and right away, I removed it from being repeated or confirming it. Perhaps we need to be more careful in reading the works of the scholars.


I always pondered what it meant when it said "China." I use to think, what if you already lived in China - does that mean you don't seek knowledge? I don't even think the word "China" existed back then.

As the Prophet (saw) has said, it is obligatory for Muslims to seek knowledge and that includes our parents too! :p

Thanks for clearing it up sister :)


Staff member

Alhamdulillah to all those who benefited, barakAllahu feekum

Just as a small clarification - the two hadith are not 'weak' they are 'fabricated' - it might not seem like a big difference, but I believe it is in the realms of hadith sciences.

As an answer to sis aisha =) no ukhti they werent from that course, I didnt take it. These were just two hadith that someone asked me once to find the authenticity for, and so after researching here and there for a bit I came across what the scholars said about them and therefore felt it relevant to share again for all those like me who hadnt known entirely before. I'm glad it helped, walhamdulillah