It was narrated on the authority of Abu Hurairah, may Allaah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, said: "A group of Israelites were lost. Nobody knows what they did. But I do not see them except that they were cursed and changed into rats, for if you put the milk of a she-camel in front of a rat, it will not drink it, but if the milk of a sheep is put in front of it, it will drink it." I told this to Ka‘b who asked me, "Did you hear it from the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him?" I said, "Yes." Ka‘b asked me the same question several times.; I said to Ka‘b. "Do I read the Torah? (i.e. I tell you this from the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him." (1).
Explanation of the Hadeeth:
Ibn Hajar, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: Refraining to answer Abu Huriarah, may Allaah be pleased with him, indicates the great cautiousness of Ka‘b, may Allaah be pleased with him, as they did not know about the Hadeeth narrated by Ibn Mas’ood, may Allaah be pleased with him, who said: “A man said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, are the monkeys and pigs those who have been transformed?’ The Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, said: ‘Allaah does not enable those who have been transformed to have offspring or children. The monkeys and pigs existed before that.” (2).
Amongst the lessons drawn from the above-mentioned Hadeeth:
1- This Hadeeth indicates that Abu Hurairah, may Allaah be pleased with him, used to learn nothing from the people of the Scripture, and That if a companion who was like so if he tells something that has nothing to do with his own opinion and Ijtihaad (i.e. the effort a jurist makes in order to deduce the verdict), then the Hadeeth will be a Marfoo‘ (traceable). (3).
2- Allaah The Almighty does not enable those who have been transformed to have offspring or children. Thus, the monkeys and pigs are independent creatures that Allaah The Almighty have created for good reasons and interests. They are from the worst animals. That is because Allaah The Almighty transformed some humans into their forms as a kind of punishment for them. Then, they will be destroyed quickly and have no offspring.
3- Muslim individual should do his best and strive hard about worshiping Allaah The Almighty, beware of the things that cause His Wrath for indeed, His seizure is painful and severe.
(1) Reported by Al-Bukhaari No. (3305) and Muslim No. (2297).
(2) Reported by Muslim No. (2663).
(3) Fat-h Al-Baari (6/353).