Cover your vessels at night – Shaykh Ubayd al-Jaabiree
Question: This questioner has three questions.
The first question: Is covering the vessels during the night obligatory or not? Based upon his صَلَّىٰ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ statement:
Cover your vessels.
Shaykh Ubaid: You are alluding to the hadith of Hudaifah, that which has been agreed upon from him:
أوكِئوا السِّقاء واذكروا اسم اللهِ عليْه، وَخمِّروا الإِناء واذكروا اسم اللهِ عليْه وَلَوْ أَن تضعوا عليهِ عودًا
Tie your water-skins and mention the Name of Allah over them, and cover your vessels and mention the Name of Allah over them, even if you place over your vessels a stick.
Muslim added—as it appears in Al Muharrar—:
فَإِنَّ فِي السَّنَةِ لَيْلَةً يَنْزِلُ فِيهَا وَبَاءٌ لَا يَمُرُّ بِإِنَاءٍ لَيْسَ عَلَيْهِ غِطَاءٌ ، أَوْ سِقَاءٌ لَيْسَ عَلَيْهِ وِكَاءٌ إِلَّا نَزَلَ فِيهِ مِنْ ذَلِكَ الْوَبَاءِ
For verily there is a night during the year when pestilence descends, and it does not pass an uncovered vessel or an untied water-skin but some of that pestilence descending into it.
Thus what I have taken from this:
First: This affair is obligatory, and it is from the reason for protection, because he said: (even if you place over your vessels a stick) Meaning placing a spoon over a jug or over a bowl that contains drink or food.
Second: This tying—tying the water-skins and covering the vessels—should be done at night. And Allah knows best.
Translated by Rasheed ibn Estes Barbee