Hadith: “Whoever takes even a span of land unjustly his neck will be encircled with it down seven earths." (*)
This Hadith was narrated by a number of companions including Sa`id ibn Zaid, `Aisha, Ibn `Umar , Abu Hurayrah, Abu Malik Al`Ash`ari, Sa`ad ibn Abu Waqqas, Shaddad ibn Aws, Al Hakam ibn Al Harith, Ibn `Abbas, Miswar ibn Makhrama, and Abu Shurayh Al Khuza`i.
1- The Hadith of Sa`id ibn Zaid was reported by Al Bukhari (1) and Muslim (2) from Hisham ibn `Urwah from `Urwah. This Hadith has other chains of transmission in the Sahih of Al Bukhari and Muslim and others.
2 –Moreover, the Hadith of `A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) was reported by Al Bukhari (3) and Muslim (4) from Yahya ibn Abu Kathir, from Muhammad ibn Ibrahim from Abu Salama that there was a dispute between Abu Salama and some people so he came to`A’isha and mentioned it to her thereupon she said: “O Abu Salama! Avoid the land because the Prophet (may the peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever usurps even a measure of span of land unjustly his neck will be encircled with it down the seven earths.”
3 – Whereas the Hadith of Ibn `Umar was reported by Al Bukhari from `Abdullah ibn Al Mubarak, from Musa ibn `Uqbah, from Salem on the authority of Ibn `Umar that the Prophet (may the peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “If anyone takes even a piece of land without of his right he will sink down the seven earths on the Day of Resurrection."
4 – Furthermore, the Hadith of Abu Hurayrah was reported by Muslim (5) from Suhayl ibn Abu Salih, from his father on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, his word is ”Whoever takes even a span of land without his right his neck will be encircled with it down the seven earths.” While the word of Muslim is “No one takes even a span of land without his right but Allah will encircle his neck with it down the seven earths on the Day of Resurrection.”
5 –While the Hadith of Abu Malik Al Ash`ari was reported by Ahmad (6) and others from `Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn `Aqil, from `Ata’ ibn Yasar, on the authority of Abu Malik Al Ash`ari.
`Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn `Aqil was trustworthy in his narration. Nevertheless, he was lenient it is also said that he became unbalanced in his latter age. (7)
6 – And the Hadith of Y`ala ibn Murrah Ath-Thaqafi was reported by Ahmad and by his son `Abdullah in his book Zawayd (8) however, others reported it from Husayn ibn `Ali, from Za’idah, from Ar-Rabi`a ibn `Abdullah, from Ayman ibn Thabit on the authority of Y`ala ibn Murrah who said : “I heard the Prophet (may the peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him) saying: “Any person who usurps even a span of land, Allah (Glory be to Him) will order him to dig it (9) until he will descend to the depth of seven earths then He (Glory be to Him) will encircle his neck with it on the Day of Resurrection until He (Glory be to Him) will finish judgment between the people.”
7 – As far as, the Hadith of Omaymah -A freed female slave of the Prophet (may the peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him)-was reported by Ibn Abi `A’sim (10), At-Tabarani (11) and Al Hakim (12) from Yazid ibn Sinan Ar-Rahawi, from Salim ibn `A’mer Al kula`i, from Jubair ibn Nufayr, on the authority of Omaymah who said that one day she helped the Prophet (may the peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him) to make his ablution when she was pouring water for him meanwhile a man came to him and said: “O Messenger of Allah! Give me some advice, I would remember them from you; as I want to travel and meet my family.” Then he said: “Do not associate any partner with Allah even though you are torn to pieces or burnt. And never drink wine; because it is the origin of every sin. And never neglect any prayer intentionally; since whoever leaves an obligatory Salat (prayer) intentionally the protection of Allah and the protection of His Prophet becomes disassociated from him. And never flee the day of battle as whoever flees the battlefield he indeed has drawn upon himself a wrath from Allah and his abode is Hell and worst indeed is that destination! And do not expand (your) land’s boundaries (to usurp other’s properties) (13) as whoever expands the boundaries of his land he would be encircled around his neck or shoulder with it down the seven earths on the Day of Resurrection. And spend on your family of your capacity and do not put your stick far from them and make them fear Allah.”
(*) Modern Science an Argument for Human Being or an Argument Against Him? (1/46).
(1) Sahih Al Bukhari in the book of beginning of the creation, chapter on (Whatever has been narrated about the seven earths) (6/293 Hadith No. 3198).
(2) Sahih Muslim in the book of distribution of water, chapter on (Prohibition of injustice and grabbing land, Etc.) (3/1231 Hadith No. 1610/139, 140).
(3) Sahih Al Bukhari in the book of injustices, chapter on (Whoever grabs even a piece of other’s land) (5/103 Hadith No. 2453). Sahih Al Bukhari in the book of beginning of the creation, chapter on (Whatever has been narrated about the seven earths) (6/292 Hadith No. 3195).
(4) Sahih Muslim in the book of distribution of water, chapter on (Prohibition of injustice and grabbing land, Etc.) (3/1231 Hadith No. 1323,1612).
(5) Sahih Muslim (3/1231, Hadith No.1611).
(6) Al Musnad (4/140, 202), (5/341).
(7) Tqrib At-Tahdhib p. (321).
(8) Al Musnad (4/173), nevertheless, the narrator’s name ‘Thabit’ was changed by mistake into ‘Nabil’.
(9) The Arabic word “Yahfiruhu”(He would dig it) was changed into “Yahdhuruhu” (He would be presented there).
(10) Al A’ha’d wal-Mathany (6/215 Hadith No. 3447).
(11) Al Mo`ajam Al Kabir (24/190 Hadith No. 479).
(12) Al Mustadrak (4/41).
(13) The Arabic word in this version “At-Tukhum” means the boundaries and signs that separate the two lands. See, Lisan Al `Arab (1/422) and Tartib Al Qamus (1/362).