The above hadith is often quoted to emphasis gaining of knowledge other than Islamic knowledge because at that time, China did not have Islam but the hadith says so. I have heard this may not be authentic hadidth. Is this true?


This Hadith is fabricated, it has no Sanad.

This Hadith was related by Ibn Adee, and classified as fabricated (موضوع) by Ibn Jawzee and Ibn Hibban.


100 Fabricated Hadiths, page 45

Information for the book: 100 Fabricated Hadiths

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  • I would have gladly accepted your answer but the link you provided does not have reference to this hadith. – muslim1 Nov 18 '12 at 1:09
  • @Thecrocodilehunter see page forty five of the pdf. – مجاهد Nov 18 '12 at 1:12

I have heard from our Masjid Imam who was a learned Imam in well educated area that he could not found source of this hadith even though he read many book. Therefore this hadith is not true and can be treated as fabricated.

This link on IslamQA also says this is farbicated hadith. The correct hadith is

‘Seeking knowledge is obligatory upon every Muslim'

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  • I don't really see how this is much different from Hadith you claim fabricated. The essential spirit remains. – Mozibur Ullah Dec 9 '12 at 15:24
  • @MoziburUllah so you means 'knowledge is obligatory on all Muslim' is equivalent to 'seek knowledge if in China'. Really? – muslim1 Dec 9 '12 at 16:26
  • Yes, I do. You're quibbling. All that the qualifier 'China' means is to intensify what is meant by Knowledge. After all, the Arabic scientists learnt trigonometry & the decimal system from India; and it's so closely identified with them that they are called Arabic Numerals. Paper was invented in China very early on (8 BCE). The Islamic civilisation certainly learnt from them. – Mozibur Ullah Dec 9 '12 at 16:39
  • @MoziburUllah then plz answer this question that they are the same. – muslim1 Dec 9 '12 at 17:03
  • @muslim1 please stop trying to win the argument and understand that "china" is was probably just a symbol for non islamic knowledge. – Ubaid Hassan Jul 27 '19 at 19:36

There would be two 'matan' or 'the content' of the concerning Hadis or maybe more, I know only two. First one (translated) : Seek knowledge is a fardh(obligation) onto all muslim. The first Hadis is sahih.

Secondly (translated) : Seek knowledge is a fardh(obligation) onto all muslim, seek knowledge even to China .

The second Hadis is false or not sahih.

Al-Hafiz Mizi split the second hadis into two part, he wrote it as the first part 'Seek knowledge is a fardh(obligation) onto all muslim' is sahih, but the second part 'seek knowledge even to China' is not sahih because there is no root to support of it's authenticity or even to prove it's base of existence.

There is no chain of narrator for the second hadis, as far as Al-Hafiz Mizi prescribed but the first Hadis is sahih. People always mistaking as the misunderstood what Al-Hafiz Mizi mean by saying that part of the hadis is right so the hadis is acceptable, its the firs't only.

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  • read as -> its base of existene <- instead of (it's) //I miss wrote this, sorry – Amir Mar 8 '16 at 18:43

The mentioned hadith can be found in Kanz al-Ummal , No 28697: The Prophet (SAWA) said,

Seek knowledge even in China, for verily to seek knowledge is an obligation on every Muslim.

Seeking knowledge is therefore not restricted on seeking Islamic knowledge, but knowledge in general when it is useful for the development and advancement of a Muslim himself and its community.

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  • 1
    Sorry but the Question is about the authenticity of the Hadith and the Answer tells a source which might be a helpful comment – Medi1Saif Dec 6 '15 at 16:54

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