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HADITH COMPILATION.

 

1)      Hadiths: Their authenticity

2)      MUHADITTH QUALIFICATION

 

3)      HADITH WRITING

4)      The Authenticity of the Hadith and the Sunnah

5)      AUTHENTICITY OF BUKHARI

6)      PROTECTION OF QURAN AND HADEETH

7)      REJECTION OF HADEETH, IS REJECTION OF QURAN

8)      THE MYTH OF HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF AHADEETH

9)      WHAT TO DO WHEN THERE IS SCHOLARLY DIFFERENCES ON A HADEETH

10)    CONDITIONS OF A SAHEEH (SOUND) HADEETH

11)    The SCIENCE OF HADITH

12)    SAHEEH HADEETH AND A HADEETH WHOSE ISNAAD IS SAHEEH

13)    WHO IS SUPERIOR: FAQEEH OR HADEETH NARRATOR

14)     ANY NEED FOR HADITH?

15)    THE IMPORTANCE OF HADITH IN ISLAM

16)    QUDSI HADITH

17)    IMAM AL-BUKHAARI (MAY ALLAH HAVE MERCY ON HIM)

 

18)    WAS SHAYKH ALBAANI A MUJTAHID FAQEEH

 

19)    AUTHORS SIX BOOKS OF HADITHS

 

20)    HADEETH "DO NOT WRITE ANYTHING FROM ME..."

 

 

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1. Hadiths: Their authenticity

Question :

When I read Hadiths in some of the six compilations of authentic Hadiths, I have strong doubts about the authenticity of some Hadiths included in them. How is that inauthentic Hadiths were included in these books?

Answer :

Those great scholars who compiled the six books of authentic Hadiths spared no effort in making their selections complete. You must not forget that they were human beings and, as such, liable to error. It is true that a few entries in each compilation remain less authentic than the rest, but we have to assume that an eminent scholar such as Al-Tirmithi or Abu Dawood must have concluded that they were authentic. If he was mistaken in that, this mistake does not detract from the value of his work.

Moreover, each of these scholars set himself certain rules and criteria which he applied to each Hadith in order to determine its authenticity. The rules and criteria set by Imam Al-Bukhari were much stricter than those set by others. Bukhari wrote only those hadiths whose narrators in addition to other criteria by all Muhadiths, was that he has got confirmed that all its narrators had actually met each other. Muslim hadiths were all those whose narrators were proven alive at the same time.

Hence, you find some entries in their collections, which are not as authentic as those included in the Sahih of Al-Bukhari or Muslim. Indeed, you have such a classification of Hadiths as "Authentic according to the conditions and criteria set by Al-Tirmithi, or Abu Dawood." Such Hadiths should be considered authentic, unless there is reason to classify them otherwise.

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )

In his response to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto,Ontario, Canada, states:

Hadith is integral to the Qur’an, since they are inseparably linked to each other. It is impossible to understand the Qur’an without reference to Hadith. The Qur’an is the message, and the Hadith is the explanation of the message by the Messenger himself. I mention the following points to clarify the issue:

1. The Qur’an makes it abundantly clear that the function of the Messenger is not merely that of a deliveryman who simply delivers the revelation from Allah to us. Rather, he has been entrusted with the most important task of explaining and illustrating the same. This is a point mentioned in a number of verses in the Qur’an (See the An-Nahl16:44; 64). Therefore, Hadith explains, clarifies, and removes ambiguities about the Qur’an. Hence, once we reject the Hadith, we may never be able to figure out the whole meaning of the Qur’an.

2. Much of Islam will remain mere abstract concepts without Hadith. We would never know how to pray, fast, pay Zakah, or make pilgrimage without the illustration found in Hadith, for these acts of worship remain as abstract imperatives in the Qur’an.

3. The Qur’an tells us the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) has taught not only the Book but also the wisdom (Al-Alaq 96:2; Al-Ahzab 33:34; An-Nisa 4:113, etc.). As Imam Shafi`i stated, the wisdom mentioned here is the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him); so if we were to reject the Hadith, we would be rejecting the Qur’an itself.

4. The Qur’an tells us to obey the Messenger and abide by his decision (An-Nisa 4:65; Al-Maida 5:49, etc.) Where do we find such decisions except in the Hadith?

5. Last but not least, the Qur’an orders the faithful to emulate the role model of the Messenger and reckons it as the only way to gain the pleasure of Allah. It is therefore imperative that we look up to his morals and behavior and emulate them in our lives. We can never do so without studying the Hadith. It is most illuminating in this respect to learn that when `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) was asked to describe the character of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), her definitive answer was, “His character was the Qur’an.” In other words, he personified the best ideals and values of the Qur’an. How could we then neglect the Hadith, which alone can lead us to the precise ways in which the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) exemplified the Qur’anic ideals?

Having said this, however, we must never fall into the temptation of taking all that is found in the works of Hadith as being authentic or genuine. Hadith at all times must be evaluated by the well established rules of validation as established by the great scholars. Such firm criteria include the following: If a certain hadith is contrary to the well established principles of the Qur’an or sound reason, it must be rejected.

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamonline.net


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2. MUHADITTH QUALIFICATION

Question :

What you have to do to become a 'muhadith' (expert on hadith)? Is it OK to memorize loads of hadith in your home?

Answer:                                                                                                                      

A Muhaddith does not just mean someone who memorizes hadith. A Muhaddith is a scholar who is qualified in:

1)  Studies of Arabic language and the sciences of the Arabic language.

2)  Must be very knowledgeable in Qur'an studies.

3)  To be knowledgeable in Fiqh and Shari'ah.

4)  To be knowledgeable in the sciences of biography and the history of the narrators of hadith.

5)  To have a comprehensive study of the well-known collections of hadith, including any sort of criticism given to a hadith in the form of narrators or the substance of the text.

6)  All the Muhaddiths used to memorize the whole Qur'an and memorize thousands of hadith with isnad.

7)  As much as possible, his live is as per example of Quran and Hadith.

Excerpted from: www.islamonline.net

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3. HADITH WRITING

Question:

I am faced with a question which I cannot answer. The Prophet (pbuh) told us not to write anything down but the Qur'an (i.e. The Prophet said, "Do not write down anything from me except the Quran." [Ahmed, Vol. 1, Page 171, and Sahih Muslim] also [Ahmed, Vol. 1, Page 192] ). So if even he said this, why do we continue to follow Hadith? I would like to be able to answer this question, so I would be grateful of anything you had to say.

Answer:

It is true that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) ordered the Muslims not to write down the Hadith, but this was valid when the Qur'an was being revealed. The reason behind this order was to prevent any risk of confusing the Qur'an with the Hadith.

There is another hadith, which is as following:

Abdullah Ibn al-As stated that they used to record everything they heard from the Prophet (SAW). They were warned against doing so as, it was argued, the Prophet (SAW) was a human being that may be angry at times and pleased at times. Abdullah stopped writing his Hadith until they could ask the Prophet (SAW) about this issue. The Messenger of Allah (SAW) told him,

“Write [My Hadith] by the One in whose hand is my soul, nothing leaves it [the Prophet’s (SAW) mouth] save the truth.”(That is, whether he was angry or pleased what he spoke was always the truth)

According to Shaikh-ul-Hadith Al-Albaani, this Hadith is Saheeh

Once the revelation was completed and it was secure that no more verses were going to be descended, it was permissible and even an obligation to write down the Hadith to preserve it throughout time, because, had the memorisers of the Hadith passed away before writing it down, the Hadiths would have disappeared.

As to your other question, we have to follow the Sunna of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) because it is an order clearly stated in the Qur'an in several places such as in Surah al-Imran (3) verses 32 and 132, Surah an-Nisa' (4) verse 59, Surah al-Maidah (5) verse 92, Surah al-Anfal (8) verses 1, 20, 46, Surah an-Noor (24) verses 54, 56, Surah Muhammad (47) verse 33, etc. and in many other places. Thank you for asking and God knows best.

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4. The Authenticity of the Hadith and the Sunnah

Question:

How we can affirm the authenticity that we are getting correct Hadiths?

Answer:

How strangely inconsistent is the behaviour of some of the deniers of the Traditions. For they believe history to be true but hold the Hadith to be untrustworthy. Yet these historians neither make effort to indicate how and through what source they came by their knowledge of any particular event, nor observe the conditions prescribed and adopted by the traditionalists for testing the authenticity of those reports. Is it not absurd that chronological narratives of past events should be acceptable, but not the standard collections of the Traditions even though it was strictly laid down for the compilers of the Traditions that they must indicate in unbroken succession the sources and authorities for every single report that came to their knowledge of the sayings and deeds of the Prophet (saws) or of events and circumstances relating to the Companions, and further, that there must be conclusive evidence available as to the veracity, integrity and reliability of those sources and authorities?

To reject the Traditions as unreliable, despite solid and irrefutable proofs of their truth and authenticity, is to say that their collectors and compilers recorded incorrect and imaginary reports together with spurious references and a concocted chain of narrators! These critics and fault-finders should ask themselves whether it is possible that no "genuine" Muslim was present at the time of the collection of ahadeeth to challenge the fraud and condemn it?

Take al-Muwatta, for example. According to Abu Taalib this volume of Traditions was compiled in 120 or 130 AH i.e. 110 or 120 years after the death of the Prophet (saws). Until about twelve or twenty-three years before its compilation venerable Companions who had had the good fortune to see or hear the Prophet (saws) in person were alive, while the number of Taabi’een (those who immediately followed the Companions and profited from their company) who lived throughout the Islamic territories of the Hijaaz, Syria, Egypt and Iraq, and in Madeenah itself, where the book (al-Muwatta) took shape, was very considerable indeed. We give the names of a few of them:

(I) Ishaaq b. ‘Abd Allah b. Abu Talhah (d. 136 AH)

(ii) Ismaa’eel b. Muhammad b. Zuhree (d. 134 AH)

(iii) Rabee’ah b. Abu ‘Abd ar-Rahman (d. 129 AH)

(iv) Zayd b. Aslam (d. 136 AH)

(v) Saalim b. Abu Umayyah (d. 129 AH)

(vi) Sa’d b. Ishaaq (d. after 140 AH)

(vii) Sa’eed b. Abu Sa’eed al-Maqburee (d. 123 AH)

(viii) Salmah b. Dinar (d. after 140 AH)

(ix) Shareek b. ‘Abd Allah b. Abu Nimr (d. after 140 AH)

(x) Saalih b. Kaysaan (d. after 140 AH)

(xi) Safwaan b. Sulaym (d. 124 AH)

(xii) ‘Abd Allaah b. Abu Bakr b. Abu Hazm (d. 135 AH)

(xiii) ‘Abd Allaah b. Dinaar (d. 127 AH)

(xiv) Abu az-Zinaad (d. 130 AH)

(xv) ‘Abd ar-Rabb b. Sa’eed (d. 139 AH)

(xvi) Muhammad b. al-Munkadir (d. 131 AH)

(xvii) Makhramah b. Sulaymaan (d. 130 AH)

(xviii) Moosaa b. ‘Uqbah (d. 141 AH)

(xix) Wahb b. Kaysaan (d. 127 AH)

(xx) Yahyaa b. Sa’eed, the Qaadi of Madeenah (d. 143 AH)

(xxi) Yazeed b. ‘Abd Allaah al-Laythee (d. 139 AH)

(xxii) Yazeed b. Rumaan (d. 130 AH)

(xxiii) Hishaam b. ‘Urwah (d. 145 AH)

(xxiv) Miswar b. Rifaa’ah (d. 138 AH)

(xxv) Abu Tuwalaah, the Qaadi of Madeenah (d. 132 AH)

Leaving aside the bonds created through direct instruction and training, the period of time between the generation of the Tabi’en and the Prophet (saws) was the same as that between grandfather and grandchildren. Thus, even if the deliberate effort of teaching and instruction had not been made, the people of that generation would have become acquainted, in the normal course of things, with numerous details of the Prophet’s (saws) life, as all grandchildren are about the character, habits and actions of their grandparents.

Now, consider the collection of the Prophet’s (saws) sayings made by Imam Maalik. These were made in the very place where the Prophet (saws) had spent the last ten years of his life, where there was hardly a home that had not come under his influence or did not have some association with him. Imam Malik read these out openly - in that very town - and thousands of people came from all over the Islamic world and listened to what he said, many of them also making copies, taking them home and thereby transmitting their contents to tens of thousands of other men. Is it conceivable then that not one single Muslim should say that all these Traditions or a large part of them were false or fabricated?

Even if Imam Maalik had not been the man of integrity and caliber that he was, could he have dared to make such a fabrication in those circumstances? Even supposing that he had done so, is it possible that the people of Madeenah could have passively accepted such a fabrication, and remained silent spectators to the making of a fraudulent addition to Faith which would be propagated to the end of time?

Imam Maalik, moreover, indicated the names of twenty-five of the afore-mentioned Taabi’een and a few other Madeenans as the sources who had related the Traditions to him. If it is accepted, for mere argument’s sake, that the Imam himself was guilty of falsehood and misrepresentation, surely these persons, who were alive at that time, would not have allowed him to get away with it.

In sum, to condemn al-Muwatta or the other standard compilations of the traditions and their chain of transmitters as wholly inaccurate is not only to sink to the depths of perdition but also to indicate one’s stupidity and ignorance.

For that reason, no one before the present era ventured to make such a charge. On the contrary, these collections have, from the time of their compilation, consistently been recognized as correct and authentic. A very large number of learned men have heard them from their seniors and also related them to others. Al-Muwatta, too, was read out by Imam Malik to nearly a thousand persons, as Shaah ‘Abd al-Azez Dihlawe says in his book Bustan al-Muhaddithen. Suyote also, in the preface of Tanwer al-Hawalik has mentioned the names of about fifty people who narrated al-Muwatta after hearing it directly from Imam Malik. The process has been going on without interruption up to the present time and people have been narrating it from their predecessors in the same way, but on an even larger scale.

Again, it is hard to understand why people who so want only to reject the Traditions, do not realize that every living community naturally inclines towards safeguarding its heritage and does its utmost to preserve the relics and the memory of the attainments of its illustrious ancestors. This being the case, how could it be that the Muslims who are the best of peoples and distinguished in the world for their love of learning and other commendable qualities of mind and character, should not have taken steps to preserve the life-record and sayings of their own Prophet (saws)?

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5. AUTHENTICITY OF BUKHARI

Question :  

I came to believe that the Qur'an is authentic, but how do we know that books like al-Bukhari and Muslim are authentic?

I also heard that al-Bukhari's teacher, Ishaq ibn Rahaweih was a Jew? What do you think? Date : 18/Jul/2002 

 

Answer :  Name of Counselor : Daud Matthews

May I first of all congratulate you on your acceptance of the Quran as authentic, since there are still some people who like to dispute, often just for the sake of disputing.

For the Sahihain (Bukhari and Muslim), it is necessary to know the methodology they used and the level of research they employed in tracing hadith. The Sahihain are considered the most authentic, precisely because they use the most stringent methodology for acceptance of any hadith. Before answering your question, may I suggest you read books on the life of the Imams e.g. Life and Work of Imam Bukhari translated by M. Rafiq Khan; and also the books by Prof. M.M. Azmi e.g. Studies in Hadith Methodology and Literature.

Imam Bukhari laid down the most strict conditions for acceptance of hadith for his Sahih:

  • The narrator must be of a very high grade of personal character, of a very high grade of literary and academic standard.
  • There must be positive information about narrators that they met one another and the student learnt from the sheikh.

It is difficult to obtain complete data about every scholar. In fact, we do not have complete information about any scholar’s list of students. There was a difference of opinion relating to this matter between Bukhari and Muslim. In Muslim’s opinion, if two scholars lived together, where it was possible for them to learn from each other, even if we have no positive information about their meetings, we should accept their hadith, regarding their isnad (chain of narration) as unbroken, providing they were not practicing tadlis (following blindly). Bukhari did not agree with this position. He insisted on positive evidence of learning and teaching. He did not consider even this condition sufficient and required further scrutiny in selecting authorities.

Most of the authors of the six principal books of hadith did not describe their criteria in selecting the material, except for a sentence here and there, but it is possible to arrive at some conclusions from their writings.

One of the persons who studied this subject (Hazimi) uses the example of Zuhri to give the explanation simply:

1.    Narrators from Zuhri who possessed the high quality of itqan (accuracy), hifz (excellent memory) and a lengthy companionship with Zuhri, accompanying him even in his journeys.

2.  The second group was ‘adl, like the first group, but they didn’t spend sufficient time with Zuhri to be able to remember his hadith thoroughly and accurately and were placed a little below group 1.

3.  Those who lived a long time with Zuhri like those in group 1, but have been criticized by the scholars.

4.  Those who have been criticized by the scholars and who did not spend much of their time with Zuhri.

5.  Those who are considered as weak narrators, or not known to early scholars.

In his sahih, Imam Bukhari mostly recorded the hadith narrated by the first group, but sometimes recorded the hadith of the second group as well.

Imam Muslim sometimes recorded the hadith of the famous scholars of the third group as well. (Nasa’i and Abu Dawud quote frequently from the first, second and third groups. Abu Dawud sometimes mentions hadith from the fourth group as well. Tirmidhi records hadith from the first, second third and fourth groups, but he describes the weak narrators, a method not generally applied by Nasa’i or Abu Dawud.)

Many scholars criticized Imam Bukhari’s work. The criticism concerns about 80 narrators and some 110 hadith. The criticism showed that though these hadith were not mistaken or false, they did not measure up to the high standard set by Imam Bukhari. (A comparable example would be of a college which only accepted ‘A’ grade students, but which was found to have allowed a few ‘C’ grade students in.) It seems that in accepting the narrations of these ‘lower’ grade scholars, Imam Bukhari had some other evidence, which satisfied him about the correctness of the hadith, which he accepted.

The number of hadith in Sahih al-Bukhari is around 9,082. But without repetition this number reduces to around 2,602. This is from a total of around the some of 600,000 traditions that the Imam collected. [All the above material is from Prof. Azmi’s books.] Imam Bukhari mentions that he learnt from over 1000 sheikhs and some scholars have put the number above 1000 as 80. Every person Imam Bukhari heard a hadith from was his sheikh or teacher.

Let us now look at some of his sheikhs/teachers:

Several teachers of Imam Bukhari are such that they are equal to the sheikhs of Imam Malik and Imam abu Hanifa. These are:

  • Imam Bukhari (1) Muhammad bin Abdullah Ansari (2) Humaid (3) Anas – the sahabi (companion of the prophet).
  • Imam Bukhari (1) Makki bin Ibrahim (2) Yazid bin Abi Ubaid (3) Salma bin al-Akwa – the sahabi.
  • Imam Bukhari (1) Ali bin Ayash (2) Hariz bin Usman (3) Abdullah bin Bisar – the sahabi.
  • Imam Bukhari (1) Abu Noim (2) al-Aamash (3) al-Mokhzaram – the sahabi.
  • Imam Bukhari (1) Ubaidullah bin Moosa (2) Maroof (3) Abut-Tufel an-Ali.
  • Imam Bukhari (1) Khallad bin Yahya (2) Isa bin Tahman (3) Anas.
  • Imam Bukhari (1) Osam bin Khalid (2) Hariz bin Usman (3) Abdullah bin Busr – the sahabi.

After mentioning a few series of this kind, the muhaddithin (scholars of Hadith) say that Imam Bukhari has also taken hadith from those who were of the same stature, as men of his class, who were the teachers of Imam Malik and Abu Hanifa.

If we look at an example of the second person in one of these chains, that is, the teacher of Imam Bukhari, e.g. Makki bin Ibrahim:
He is the disciple of Yazid bin Abi Ubaid and Jafar Sidiq. He reports hadith from 17 tabeyees (children of those who knew Muhammad). He performed hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca) sixty times. His main quality is that he is hafiz of the hadith and trustworthy. He is the sheikh of Imam Bukhari and Ibn Mayeen.

Information is available about all these teachers – see for example: Life and Work of Imam Bukhari op. cit. p23

Up to the age of 16, Imam Bukhari took lessons from the teachers of his own native place. The chronicler of Imam Bukhari, Ibn Hatim Warraq states that the Imam said: “When I had learnt by heart the works of Abdullah bin Mubarak and had fully understood the positions of Ahlur Rae, I traveled to Hejaz.” The leaders of the great seminaries in Mecca at that time included: Imam Abul Walid Ahmad bin Arzuqi, Abdullah bin Yazid, Ismail bin Salim as-Saegh, Abu Bakr, Abdullah bin Zubair, Allama Humaidi etc.

At the age of 18, Imam Bukhari did his rehlat (traveling for knowledge of hadith) to Medina. Among those who taught him there were: Ibrahim bin Munzir, Mutrif bin Abdullah, Ibrahim bin Hamza, Abu Sabit, Muhammad bin Obedullah, Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah Oyesi and others. Then, having reached Basra he derived benefit from: Imam Abu Aasim Annabil, Safwan bin Isa, Badil bin Mohabbir, Hamri bin Umara, Affan bin Muslim, Mohammad bin Ar-ara, Suleman bin Harb, Abdul Walid Attyalisi, Imam Aarim, Mohammad bin Senan and others.

Imam Nauwi has enumerated the names of a few prominent sheikhs in Kufa as follows: Abdullah bin Moosa, Abu Naim, Ahmad bin Yaqoob, Ismail bin Aban, Alhasan bin Rabi, Khalid bin Mokhlid, Saeed bin Hafs, Talq bin Ghanam, Umar bin Hafs, Urwah Qabisa bin Uqbah and Abughassan. These were also teachers of Imam Bukhari.

Of his teachers in Baghdad we may mention: Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal, Mohammad bin Isaa Sabagh, Mohammad bin Saeq, Suraj bin Noman etc. Then he journeyed to Sham and studied under: Allama Yousuf Firyabi, Abu Nasr Ishaq bin Ibrahim, Adam bin Abi Eyas, Abul Eman Hakam bin Nafe, Hayat bin Shuraih and others.

In Egypt he learnt from: Usman bin Saegh, Saeed bin Abi Maryam, Abdullah bin Swaleh, Ahmed bin Swaleh, Ahmad bin Shabib Asbagh bin Farj, Saeed bin Abi Isa, Saeed bin kasir bin Afir, Yahya bin Abdullah bin Bukair and others. While in Jazira he took lessons from: Ahmad bin Abdul Malik Alharrani, Ahmad bin Yazid Alharrani, Amar bin Khalaf, Ismail bin Abdullah Alriqqi etc.

Also in Merv he collected from: Ali bin Hasan bin Shaqiq, Abdan, Mohammad bin Maqatil and others. Then in Balkh from: Makki bin Ibrahim, Yahya bin Bishr, Mohammad bin Aban, Hasan bin Shuja, Yahya bin Moosa, Qutaiba and others. As for Herat, he collected from: Ahmad bin Abil Walid Alhanfi.

As for Nishapur, he collected from: Yahya bin Yahya, Bishr bin Hakam, Ishaq bin Rahweh, Mohammad bin Rafe and others. While in Ray, he learned from Ibrahim bin Moosa and in Wasit from Hesan bin Hesan, Hesan bin Abdullah, Saeed bin Abdullah among others.

Numerous, these are the places Imam Bukhari visited to gain knowledge! His travels were over some 40 years. In 250 A.H /864 C.E he went to Nishapur and wanted to settle down. Eventually he had to leave on account of the rivalry of Muhammad bin Yahya al-Dhuhli, at the command of Khalid bin Ahmad al-Dhuhli whose request to give lectures on hadith at his palace was not accepted by the Imam. From Nishapur he went to Khartank, near Samarqand, at the request of its inhabitants and died in 256 A.H./870 C.E..

One of the Imam’s teachers in Nishapur was Ishaq bin Rahweh. I assume this to be the same person (Ishaq bin Rahaweih) you are claiming was a Jew.

First, there can be no question of this individual, as a Jew, being a teacher of Imam Bukhari. Read the criteria, which Imam Bukhari uses for his selection of hadith. I think you will find one of them is to be a practicing Muslim, but there is much more to the criteria than just this.

It might be possible that the person was a Jew who reverted to Islam. If that was the case, I believe we would have more information available to us in the literature and I haven’t come across it. If it really were the case, then his life would have to conform to the criteria established by Imam Bukhari, so that the Imam would have learnt from him. In any case there is no racism in Islam.

I actually tried a search on the computer for this name in the isnad (chain of narrators), but nothing came up. This is not surprising. Of the 1000 (+80) teachers the Imam had, he learnt 600,000 hadith, but only 9082 (including duplications) appeared in his Sahih al-Bukhari and only 2602 different hadith are present (M.M. Azmi op. cit.). Unless you have a hadith with this name in the isnad I cannot help further.

Excerpted, with some modifications, from: http://readingislam.com

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6. PROTECTION OF QURAN AND HADEETH!

Question :

Is promise to protect the glorious quran, includes the protection of hadeeth?

Answer : By  Shahid Bin Waheed

The Promise to Protect the Glorious Quran Includes the Protection of Hadeeth!

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

As a matter of principle, all learned scholars and/or people agree that the Glorious Quran is neither the name of the words of Quran alone, nor that of its meanings alone, instead, a combination of both is called Quran. This leads to the conclusion that the Glorious Quran is the exclusive name of the particular Divinely revealed Book, the words and meanings of which are simultaneously protected. (Also see The Definition of Quran!)

It is obvious that the meanings of the Glorious Quran are the same as the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was sent to teach, as we read in the Glorious Quran 16:44.

“….that you may explain clearly to men what is sent down to them….”   (An-Nahl 16:44)

We further read in Ayaah 3:164 the following:

“Indeed Allâh conferred a great favour on the believers when He sent among them a Messenger (Muhammad) from among themselves, reciting unto them His Verses (the Qur’ân), and purifying them (from sins by their following him), and instructing them (in) the Book (the Qurân) and Al-Hikmah (the wisdom and the Sunnah of the Prophet (i.e. his legal ways, statements, acts of worship)), while before that they had been in manifest error”.   (Al-i-'Imran 3:164)

Mujâhid said, "(Make us) a community that follows the Muttaqûn (righteous) people who preceded us, and whom those succeeding may follow." Ibn ‘Aun said, "(There are) three things which I love for myself and for my brothers, i.e. this Sunnah (the legal ways of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) which they should learn and ask about; the Qurân which they should understand and ask the people about; and that they should leave the people except when intending to do good (for them)." (Sahih Al-Bukhâri , Vol.9, Chap. 2, P.282)

 

A)    Narrated Hudhaifah: Allâh’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to us, "Certainly Al-Amânah (the trust or the moral responsibility or honesty, and all the duties which Allâh has ordained) descended from the heavens and settled in the roots of the hearts of men (faithful believers), and then the Qurân was revealed and the people read the Qurân, (and learnt Al-Amânah from it) and also learnt it from the Sunnah, (Both the Qurân and As-Sunnah strengthened their (the faithful believer’s) Amânah )." (Sahih Al-Bukhâri, Vol. 9 , Hadîth No.381).

 

B)    Narrated Abu Hurairah: Allâh’s Messenger said, "All my followers will enter Paradise except those who refuse." They said, "O Allâh’s Messenger! Who will refuse?" He said, "Whoever obeys me will enter Paradise, and whoever disobeys me is the one who refuses (to enter it)." (Sahih Al-Bukhâri , Vol.9, Hadîth No.384).

 

C)   Narrated Jâbir bin ‘Abdullâh: Some angels came to Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)  while he was sleeping. Some of them said, "He is sleeping." Others said, His eyes are sleeping but his heart is awake." Then they said, "There is an example for this companion of yours." One of them said, "Then set forth an example for him." Some of them said, "He is sleeping." The others said, "His eyes are sleeping but his heart is awake." Then they said, "His example is that of a man who has built a house and then, offered therein a banquet and sent an inviter (messenger) to invite the people. So whosoever accepted the invitation of the inviter, entered the house and ate of the banquet, and whoever did not accept the invitation of the inviter, did not enter the house, nor did he eat of the banquet." Then the angels said, "Interpret this parable to him so that he may understand it." Some of them said, "He is sleeping." The others said, "His eyes are sleeping but his heart is awake." And then they said, "The house stands for Paradise and the call-maker is Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and whoever obeys Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), obeys Allâh; and whoever disobeys Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, disobeys Allâh. Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)  separated the people (i.e., through his message, the good is distinguished from the bad, and the believers from the disbelievers)." (Sahih Al-Bukhâri , Vol.9, Hadîth No.385).

 

D)   Narrated Abu Mûsa : The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, "My example, and the example of what I have been sent with, is that of a man who came to some people and said, ‘O people I have seen the enemy’s army with my own eyes, and I am the naked warner; so protect yourselves!’ Then a group of his people obeyed him and fled at night proceeding stealthily till they were safe, while another group of them disbelieved him and stayed at their places till morning when the army came upon them, and killed and ruined them completely. So this is the example of that person who obeys me and follows that truth which I have brought (the Qurân and the Sunnah), and the example of the one who disobeys me and disbelieves the truth I have brought." (Sahih Al-Bukhari , Vol.9, Hadîth No.387).

Since the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was sent to explain the meanings of the Glorious Quran and to impart education to the people, then, he used a set of his saying and/or doing as the medium for his community. This very set of the words and deeds are known as the Hadeeth.

One who says that Ahadeeth are not absolutely protected is really saying that the Glorious Quran is not protected!

Those who attack Islaam under pretext that Ahadeeth are not trustworthy and/or were complied later are certainly wrong. Later compilation does not means Ahadeeth never existed and/or were documents. Ahadeeth were recorded during the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) as proved above, later compilation means that they were put together in form of Books. This assumption of Hadeeth rejecters and enemies of Islaam is not correct because the process of protection and documentation of Ahadeeth had already started within the age of Prophethood itself as proved above, though it was compiled later. In addition to that, Ahadeeth are really the explanation and the meanings of the Glorious Quran. Thus, their protection is something, which Allah has taken upon Himself. Therefore, how can it be possible that only the words of the Quran remain protected while the meanings of the Quran (i.e. Ahadeeth) go to waste?

Allah, through humans used many means by which He preserved the Sunnah. Some of these aspects are unique to Muslim Ummaah. This is a great blessing and bounty from Allah for which every Muslim should be sincerely grateful to Allah and grateful to those individuals who sacrificed their time, wealth in order to preserve the teachings of the best of the creations and last and final Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Obviously, the means of preservation had to be followed from the earliest times in order to truly preserve the Hadeeth of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) few are briefly mentioned here.

□ First, there was the understanding of the Companions about their responsibility for conveying the Hadeeth of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him); they must have understood that they must convey the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) with the utmost accuracy.

□ In the early years, there began the work of Hadeeth criticism and criticism of the narrators. This developed into a science known as al-jarh wa al-tadeel.

□ There was also the recording or writing down of the Hadeeth of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Obviously, in general, one of the ways of preserving something is to record it. There have been many claim and misconceptions surrounding the recording of Hadith. But the proof has been cited above that shows that the misconceptions are not true.

□ A very important and unique aspect that worked to preserve the Sunnah was of the use of Isnaad or chain of narrators, tracing one’s source all the way back to the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

□ Another unique phenomena that appeared and assisted in preservation of Sunnah was the traveling in search of Hadeeth, in order to check the sources and gather more Hadeeth together.

Rejection of hadeeth is really the rejection of the quran.

Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was a prophet of Allah and therefore he can not speak anything which is against the wish of Allah. Quran says:

“Nor does he speak of (his own) desire (3) It is only a Revelation revealed”  (An-Najm 53:3-4)

The above Ayaat further confirms that the words and deeds of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) were Divinely guided and guarded, thus, have same authority as that of Glorious Qur’aan.

If a person claims under any pretext that Ahadeeth are unreliable, in fact he/she is accusing the Prophet Muhammad for acting against the Glorious Quran and its injunctions for not explaining the Glorious Qur’aan. Thus, attackers of Ahadeeth are suggesting that Glorious Quran is not protected and/or remained unprotected, but none of it is true. The absurd claims of Hadeeth rejecters and/or enemies of Islam are contrary to the textual authority of the Glorious Quran. From here it stands proved that any person who refuses to accept the Sunnah {and/or Ahadeeth} of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) as a binding authority of Islam is, in reality a denier of the Glorious Qur’aan itself (Naudhubillaah).

Finally, I would respectfully remind my Muslim brothers and sisters that when you read and/or hear something against Islam; please remember the teachings of Glorious Quran, which are as follows:

 “O you who believe! If a Fâsiq (liar - evil person) comes to you with any news, verify it, lest you should harm people in ignorance, and afterwards you become regretful for what you have done”   (Al-Hujurat 49:6)

 Excerpted, with some modifications, from:  http://www.islam-is-the-only-solution.com/Q&A.htm

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7. REJECTION OF HADEETH,  IS  REJECTION OF QURAN

Question :

Is rejection of hadeeth is really the rejection of the Quran?

Answer :  By: Shahid Bin Waheed

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

In this treatise I will insha Allah discuss and establish that Hadeeth is necessary to understand Glorious Quran and rejection of Hadeeth is really the rejection of the Glorious Qur’aan.

Allah (SWT) says in Glorious Quran,

“With clear signs and Books (We sent the Messengers). And We have also sent down unto you (O Muhammad) the Dhikr (reminder and the advice (i.e. the Qur’ân)), that you may explain clearly to men what is sent down to them, and that they may give thought”   (An-Nahl 16:44) 

The word الذِّكْرَ (adh-dhikr) in Ayaah (verse) 16:44 {And We have also sent down unto you (O Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) the Dhikr {reminder and the advice (i.e. the Qur’ân), that you may explain clearly to men what is sent down to them} means, by consensus, the Glorious Qur’aan, and in this Ayaah (verse) Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) has been given the assignment of explaining the meaning of the Ayaat (Glorious Quran) revealed to him, to the people and/or mankind. Therefore, herein, lies an open proof that the correct understanding of the realities, insight and injunctions of the Glorious Quran depends on the statements and/or deeds of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

If everyone by simply having and/or acquiring the knowledge of Arabic language were to become capable of understanding the injunctions of the Glorious Quran as Divinely intended, then the mission of explaining assigned to Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) would have been rendered meaningless.

In Al-Muwafqat, Allamah Shatibi has provided detailed proof that the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) (the whole of it) is the explanation of the Glorious Quran.

Thus, the outcome is that every word and deed of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is a mirror image of Glorious Quran, as we read,

“Nor does he speak of (his own) desire (3) It is only a Revelation revealed”  (An-Najm 53:3-4)

The above Ayaat further confirms that the words and deeds of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) are and/or were Divinely guided and guarded, thus, have same authority as that of Glorious Quran.

If a person claims under any pretext that Ahadeeth are unreliable, in fact he/she is accusing the Prophet Muhammad for acting against the Glorious Quran and its injunctions for not explaining the Glorious Quran. Thus, attackers of Ahadeeth are suggesting that Glorious Quran is not protected and/or remained unprotected, none of it is true.

The absurd claims of Hadeeth rejecters and/or enemies of Islam are contrary to the textual authority (nass) of the Glorious Qur’aan. From here it stands proved that any person who refuses to accept the Sunnah {and/or Ahadeeth} of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) as a binding authority of Islaam is, in reality a denier of the Glorious Quran itself (Naudhubillaah).

 Excerpted, with some modifications, from:  http://www.islam-is-the-only-solution.com/Q&A.htm

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8. THE MYTH OF HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF AHADEETH

Question :

What is the myth of hundreds of thousands of ahadeeth?

Answer :

The myth that there are hundreds of thousands of Ahadeeth which were allegedly complied hundreds of years after Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) has always been very aggressively put forth by the Kuffar, Pseudo-Muslims and/or Pseudo-Islaamic cults without any supporting evidence [as usual]. To spread this disinformation two notorious Murtadds are also very active i.e. Murtadd-e-Azam Osama Abdallah [of website answering-christianity] and Murtadd Akbarally Meherally [of website mostmerciful.com]. However, in this treatise we will examine the truth and inSha Allah impeach the Kuffar while also quashing their absurd claims.

The total number of Ahadeeth reported from Rasool Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) only goes in the thousands. Imaam Bukhari’s Kitaab ‘al-Jamius Saheeh’ only contains 9082 Ahadeeth, including all sorts of narrations and repeats. What then is the status of all other Ahadeeth.

The answer can be fond in the terminology of the Muhadditheen. When one thing is heard from ten different persons and these ten personas relate this to you, then according to the Muhadditheen, you have heard ten things. This is so because the subject matter and then ten different sources are all listed down, resulting in ten different narrations. Ahadeeth are also classified in this manner, where one Hadeeth may have been related via ten chains of narrators, so in Hadeeth terminology, this is counted as ten Ahadeeth.

Besides this, almost all Muhadditheen also regard the speech, practices and conditions of the Sahaabah as Hadeeth. Since according to them, besides the Ahadeeth-e-Nabwi, the speech, actions and conditions of Sahaabah are also included amongst Ahadeeth. Since there was a great number of Sahaabah, thus, there speech, actions and conditions are also many. This is the reason of large number of Ahadeeth but not as many as the enemies of Islam like to project. 

Also Muslims must not fall for the trickery of anti-Islam and/or ignorant Muslims’ and/or Hadeeth rejecters’ claim that Ahadeeth were written 200/300 hundred years after the Prophet of Islam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), which in fact is not true. Ahadeeth were re-written while being compiled into Sahihian etc.  Since at that time and/or era printing press was not invented yet, and neither existed copiers etc. Everything has to be written and then rewritten by hands. Notice there is extreme difference between the terms written and compiled (compilation).  In order something to be compiled, it has to be written and/or be in existance. Therefore, the facts is that Ahadeeth were already in existance and/or written long before, they were compiled into books like Sahih Bukhari  and/or Sahih Muslim  or else. 

 Excerpted, with some modifications, from:  http://www.islam-is-the-only-solution.com/Q&A.htm

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9. WHAT TO DO WHEN THERE IS SCHOLARLY DIFFERENCES ON A HADEETH

Question :

What should we do if the scholars of hadeeth differ as to whether a hadeeth that has to do with worship is saheeh (sound) or da’eef (weak)?

Answer: Praise be to Allah.

If one is qualified to distinguish between their opinions, he may decide which of the two rulings concerning one hadeeth he thinks is correct; if he is not qualified to do so, then he should follow the opinion of a scholar (taqleed) and he should accept the verdict of the one who he thinks is more religiously committed and has greater knowledge concerning this matter. He should not be deceived by the fact that he is a faqeeh or scholar of usool or mufassir, rather the one whose verdict of saheeh or da’eef is followed should be prominent in the science of hadeeth, and there is no sin on him if he follows a prominent scholar. If the hadeeth is saheeh according to that scholar and he follows him in that, and it contains a fiqhi ruling, then he must act upon it, but there is no sin on him for not acting upon it if the hadeeth is da’eef. 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

If the scholars differed concerning it in their fatwas or what is heard in their exhortations and advice, for example, then he should follow the one who he thinks is closer to the truth in his knowledge and religious commitment. 

Liqa’ al-Baab il-Maftooh (no. 46, question no. 1136) 

However we must try to have some study and ask scholars opinions. Allah says :

“…. So ask the people of the Reminder if you do not know”  (An-Nahl 16:43) 

The scholars have stated that the madhhab of the common man is the madhhab of his mufti. 

If their opinions differ, then he should follow the one who is most trustworthy and most knowledgeable. This is like when a person falls sick – may Allah give us all good health – and he looks for the most trustworthy and knowledgeable doctor so that he can go to him, because he is most likely to give him the right treatment than anyone else. It is more important to be on the safe side in religious matters than in worldly ones. 

It is not permissible for the Muslim to follow whatever scholarly opinion suits his desires if it goes against the evidence, or to seek fatwas from those who he thinks are going to be lenient in their fatwas. 

Rather he has to be on the safe side when it comes to his religion, and ask the scholars who have the most knowledge and are most fearing of Allah. 

Is it befitting for a wise man to take precautions for his physical health and go to the most skilled doctors no matter how far away they are, and spend a great deal of money on that, then take the matter of his religion lightly and not to care about it unless it coincides with his whims and desires, and to take the easiest fatwa even if it is contrary to the truth? Indeed, there are even people who – Allah forbid – ask a scholar a question, and if his fatwa does not suit their whims and desires, they will ask another, and another, until they find a person who will give them the fatwa they want! 

There is no scholar who does not have some issues in which he strove to make a decision on the basis of ijtihaad but failed to reach the right answer, but he is excused for that and he will have a reward for his ijtihaad, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him): “If a judge passes a ruling to the best of his ability and knowledge and gets it right, he will have two rewards. If he passes a ruling to the best of his ability and knowledge but gets it wrong, he will have one reward.”  (Al-Bukhaari, 7352; Muslim, 1716). 

And Allah knows best.

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from:  http://islamqa.com/index.php?ln=eng

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10. CONDITIONS OF A SAHEEH (SOUND) HADEETH

Question :

What are the conditions of a saheeh hadeeth?

Answer : Praise be to Allah.  

The phrase “saheeh hadeeth” may refer to one of two things: 

In general terms it includes those which are mutawaatir (narrated from so many by so many in each stage of transmission that it is inconceivable that they could all have agreed upon a lie), saheeh li dhaatihi (sound in and of itself), saheeh li ghayrihi (sound because of corroborating evidence) and hasan (good). 

Al-Haafiz ibn Hajar said: 

Most of the scholars of hadeeth do not differentiate between hasan and saheeh. End quote from al-Nukat (1/480), 

In specific terms it includes saheeh li dhaatihi (sound in and of itself) and saheeh li ghayrihi (sound because of corroborating evidence) only.  

Based on this definition, a saheeh hadeeth is one which is narrated by men of good character, who are known for their good memories and precision, with a continuous isnaad, and is not odd or faulty. 

If the precision is lacking and is not complete, then it is hasan li dhaatihi (hasan in and of itself). If it has a number of isnaads, then it is saheeh li ghayrihi (saheeh because of corroborating evidence). 

See Nakhbat al-Fikr by al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him). 

From this definition we may sum up the conditions of a saheeh hadeeth as follows: 

1 – Good character of all its narrators 

2 – Good memory and precision on the part of narrators with regard to what they are narrating. 

3 – Continuous isnaad from beginning to end, meaning that each narrator heard the hadeeth from the one before him. 

4 – The hadeeth is free from any oddness in its isnaad or text. What is meant by “odd” is anything in which the narrator narrates something that contradicts the narration of a sounder narrator. 

5 – The hadeeth is free from faults in its isnaad and text. A “fault” is a subtle problem that undermines the soundness of the hadeeth, which can be detected only by the well versed scholars of hadeeth. 

The definition of these conditions came about as the result of the later imams studying the words of the scholars of hadeeth and their applications. Hence you may find things in the words of the earlier scholars which point to these conditions. 

For example: Imam al-Shaafa’i (may Allah have mercy on him) said in al-Risaalah (370-371): 

Evidence cannot be established on the basis of a report narrated by a few unless several factors are present, such as: 

The one who narrated it is trustworthy in his religious commitment, known to be truthful in his speech, understanding what he narrates, and knowledgeable about the wording and possible interpretation of the hadeeth; and he should be one of those who can narrate the hadeeth exactly as he heard it, not based on the meaning but with the exact wording, because if he narrated on the basis of meaning and not with the exact wording, and he does not have knowledge of possible interpretations, he may inadvertently change what is halaal into haraam. But if he narrates it exactly, there is no fear that it may be changed. 

And he should know the hadeeth very well, if he is narrating from memory or he should take get care of his book if he is narrating from his book. If he checks what he knows with the scholars of hadeeth, he should be in agreement with them, and he should not be mudallis, i.e., one who narrates from one who met (a narrator) but did not hear it from him, or who narrates from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) something that contradicts the narration of authentic scholars from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). The same must be true for the narrators who came before him (in the isnaad), who narrated it to him, until the hadeeth ends with an uninterrupted chain all the way back to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) or to the one who narrated it from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). End quote. 

If all these conditions are met then a hadeeth is saheeh according to scholarly consensus, as was narrated by Ibn al-Salaah (may Allah have mercy on him). 

See: al-Muqaddimah fi ‘Uloom il-Hadeeth (8) and al-Dhahabi in al-Mooqidah, (24).

 Some of the scholars did not list all these conditions: 

Imam Maalik and Abu Haneefah accepted mursal hadeeth, which is compromising the condition of having a continuous isnaad all the way to the source of the hadeeth.  

Some scholars accepted mudallas hadeeth even if the narrators did not state that they heard it. 

Al-Dhahabi said in al-Mooqidah (24): The scholars of hadeeth added a condition that the hadeeth should be free from any oddness or fault. This is subject to further discussion according to the principles of the fuqaha’, because many of what may be considered as faults are not accepted as such by them. 

See: Tadreeb al-Raawi (1/68-75, 155). 

What is meant is that the scholars’ differences with regard to classing ahaadeeth as saheeh are due to two reasons: 

1 – Their differences regarding some of the conditions of soundness. That is because those who compromised on some of these conditions were bound to class as saheeh reports that others did not class as saheeh. 

2 – Their differences in applying these conditions to a specific hadeeth. They may differ as to the good character of some narrators or whether the isnaad is uninterrupted and so on. 

It should be noted that these conditions are based on evidence from sharee’ah and evidence based on reason. These conditions are not just a ritualistic procedure, rather they are rational and serve a clear purpose. They are no less than the result of the efforts of thousands of scholars and the result of the tremendous efforts of the earlier scholars of hadeeth during the long years when the books of hadeeth were being compiled in the first three centuries and those who came after them. 

Anyone who wishes to know more may read the book by al-Khateeb al-Baghdaadi entitled al-Kifaayah fi ‘Ilm al-Riwaayah 

And Allah knows best.

Excerpted, with some modifications, from: http://islamqa.com/en/

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11. THE SCIENCE OF HADITH

Question:

What is the Science of Hadith?

Answer:

Allah preserved His revelation as He says :

"We have, Without doubt, sent down the message: and we will assuredly guard it (from corruption)." (Al-Hijr 15:9)

The promise is obviously fulfilled in the undisputed purity of the Qur'anic text throughout the fourteen centuries since its revelation. However, what is often forgotten by many Muslims is that the divine promise also includes, by necessity, the Sunnah of the Prophet (saws), because the Sunnah is the practical example of the implementation of the Qur'anic guidance, the wisdom taught to the Prophet (saws) along with the scripture, and neither the Qur'an nor the Sunnah can be understood correctly without the other.

Allah (SWT) preserved the Sunnah by enabling the companions and those after them to memorize, write down and pass on the statements of the Prophet (saws), and the descriptions of his way, as well as to continue the blessings of practicing the Sunnah.

Later, as the purity of the knowledge of the Sunnah became threatened, Allah (SWT) caused the Muslim Ummah to produce individuals with exceptional memory skills and analytical expertise, who travelled tirelessly to collect thousands of narrations and distinguish the true words of prophetic wisdom from those corrupted by weak memories, from forgeries by unscrupulous liars, and from the statements of the large number of Ulama (scholars), the companions and those who followed their way. All of this was achieved through precise attention to the words narrated, and detailed familiarity with the biographies of the thousands of reporters of hadith.

The methodology of the expert scholars of hadith in assessing the narrations and sorting out the genuine from the mistaken and fabricated, forms the subject matter of the science of hadith. In this article a brief discussion is given of the terminology and classifications of hadith.

COMPONENTS OF HADITH

A hadith is composed of three parts (see the figure [below]):

Matn, Isnad, Taraf

Matn (text), isnad (chain of reporters), and taraf (the part, or the beginning sentence, of the text which refers to the sayings, actions or characteristics of the Prophet (saws), or his concurrence with others action). The authenticity of the hadith depends on the reliability of its reporters, and the linkage among them.

Classifications of Hadith

A number of classifications of hadith have been made. Five of these classifications are shown in the figure [below], and are briefly described subsequently.

Five Classifications

1.          According to the reference to a particular authority

Four types of hadith can be identified.

a)   Qudsi - Divine; a revelation from Allah (SWT); relayed with the words of the Prophet (saws).

b)   Marfu - elevated; a narration from the Prophet (saws), e.g. I heard the Prophet (saws) saying ...

c)    Mauquf- stopped: a narration from a companion only, e.g., we were commanded to ...

d)   Maqtu' - severed: a narration from a successor.

According to Reference Authority

 

2.          According to the links of Isnad - interrupted or uninterrupted

Six categories can be identified.

a)      Musnad - supported: a hadith which is reported by a traditionalist, based on what he learned from his teacher at a time of life suitable for learning; similarly - in turn - for each teacher until the isnad reaches a well known companion, who in turn, reports from the Prophet (saws).

b)      Mutassil - continuous: a hadith with an uninterrupted isnad which goes back only to a companion or successor.

c)      Mursal - hurried: if the link between the successor and the Prophet (saws) is missing, e.g. when a successor says "The Prophet said...".

d)    Munqati - broken: is a hadith whose link anywhere before the successor (i.e., closer to the traditionalist recording the hadith) is missing.

e)      Mu'adal - perplexing: is a hadith whose reporter omits two or more consecutive reporters in the isnad.

f)       Mu'allaq - hanging: is a hadith whose reporter omits the whole isnad and quotes the Prophet (saws) directly (i.e., the link is missing at the beginning).

3.          According to the number of reporters involved in each stage of Isnad

Categories as per Narrators:

a)   Mutawatir - Consecutive: is a hadith which is reported by such a large number of people that they cannot be expected to agree upon a lie, all of them together.

b)   Ahad - isolated: is a hadith which is narrated by people whose number does not reach that of the mutawatir.
It is further classified into:

c)    Mash'hur - famous: hadith reported by more than two reporters.

d)   Aziz - rare, strong: at any stage in the isnad, only two reporters are found to narrate the hadith.

e)   Gharib - strange: At some stage of the Isnad, only one reporter is found relating it.

4.      According to the nature of the text and isnad

a)  Munkar - denounced: is a hadith which is reported by a weak narrator, and whose narration goes against another authentic hadith.

b)  Mudraj - interpolated: an addition by a reporter to the text of the hadith being narrated.

5.     According to the reliability and memory of the reporters
This provides the final verdict on a hadith - four categories can be identified:

a)    Sahih - sound. Imam Al-shafi'i states the following requiremetts for a hadith, which is not mutawatir, to be acceptable "each reporter should be trustworthy in his religion; he should be known to be truthtul in his narrating, to understand what he narrates, to know how a different expression can alter the meaning, and to report the wording of the hadith verbatim, not only its meaning".

b)    Hasan - good: is the one where its source is known and its reporters are unambiguous.

c)    Da'if - weak: a hadith which fails to reach the status of hasan. Usually, the weakness is: a) one of discontinuity in the isnad, in which case the hadith could be - according to the nature of the discontinuity - munqati (broken), mu'allaq (hanging), mu'dal (perplexing), or mursal (hurried), or b) one of the reporters having a disparaged character, such as due to his telling lies, excessive mistakes, opposition to the narration of more reliable sources, involvement in innovation, or ambiguity surrounding his person.

d)  Maudu' - fabricated or forged: is a hadith whose text goes against the established norms of the Prophet's sayings, or its reporters include a liar. Fabricated hadith are also recognized by external evidence related to a discrepancy found in the dates or times of a particular incident.

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12. SAHEEH HADEETH AND A HADEETH WHOSE ISNAAD IS SAHEEH

Question :

What is the difference between a saheeh hadeeth and a hadeeth whose isnaad is saheeh?

Answer :  Praise be to Allah.  

Firstly: 

The muhaddiths  state that the saheeh hadeeth which is most likely attributable to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is the hadeeth which fulfils all of the five following conditions: 

1.  Each of its narrators is of good character

2.  Each of its narrators has a precise memory

3.  The isnaad is uninterrupted from beginning to end

4.  The hadeeth is sound and free of any shudhoodh (irregularity) in its isnaad or matn (text)

5.  The hadeeth is sound and free of any ‘illah (fault) in its isnaad or text. 

Secondly: 

The fourth and fifth conditions are among the most precise of conditions and the most difficult for the critic, because proving them required intense research and precision, bringing together all the isnaads and narrations of the hadeeth, as well as extensive experience in the sciences of hadeeth and specialization in criticism. Hence many of the later muhadditheen chose to err on the side of caution in their verdicts, and they limited their studies to checking the outward appearance of the isnaad to check whether it met the first three conditions, so if a specific isnaad met these three conditions they would say “a saheeh isnaad”, so as to alert the reader to the fact that they were only verifying that it met the first three conditions, and not the fourth and fifth, so that the reader would be aware of what this muhaddith meant. 

Al-Haafiz ibn al-Salaah (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

When they say “This hadeeth has a saheeh isnaad or a hasan isnaad” instead of “this is a saheeh hadeeth or a hasan hadeeth”, that is because it may be said that this hadeeth has a saheeh isnaad but it is not saheeh per se because it is shaadhdh (odd) or mu’allal (faulty). End quote. 

Muqaddimah fi ‘Uloom al-Hadeeth (p. 23)                  

Ibn Katheer says: 

The fact that the isnaad is deemed to be saheeh or hasan does not necessarily mean that the same applies to the text, because it may be shaadhdh (odd) or mu’allal (faulty). end quote. 

Ikhtisaar ‘Uloom al-Hadeeth (p. 43). 

Al-‘Iraaqi said in his Alfiyyah: 

The ruling that the isnaad is saheeh or hasan does not necessarily apply to the text. End quote. 

Al-Tabsirah wa’l-Tadhkirah (1/107). 

Thirdly: 

Nevertheless, there may be an exception to this differentiation if it is known that a particular imam does not make this distinction between the two terms “a saheeh isnaad” and “a saheeh hadeeth” in his terminology. An imam – especially if he is one of the earlier scholars – may say “a saheeh isnaad” when he means that the hadeeth itself is saheeh, and that it meets all five conditions. 

Al-Haafiz Ibn al-Salaah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:  

But a reliable scholar may say in his book “it has a saheeh isnaad” and not mention any ‘illah (fault), or criticize it, so it may be understood that he deems it to be saheeh in and of itself, because the absence of any ‘illah (fault) or qaadih (flaw) is the basic principle. And Allah knows best. End quote. 

Muqaddimah fi ‘Uloom al-Hadeeth (p. 23). 

Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

It seems to me that the correct view is that a distinction should be made between the one who differentiates when describing hadeeth as saheeh, stating it in either specific or general terms, and the one who does not do so. 

The one who is known from studying his books to make this distinction should be viewed accordingly, so when he speaks in general terms it should be understood as referring to both the isnaad and the matn, and when he speaks in specific terms it should be understood as referring to the isnaad only. 

And it maybe said concerning the one who is known to describe hadeeth only in specific terms all the time what we quoted above. End quote. 

Al-Nukat ‘ala Ibn al-Salaah (1/474). 

And Allah knows best.

Excerpted, with some modifications, from: http://islamqa.com/en/

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13. WHO IS SUPERIOR: FAQEEH OR HADEETH NARRATOR

Question :

Is a Faqeeh in a upper level then a person who is a hadith narrator?

Answer :  Praise be to Allah.

The faqeeh is the mujtahid who derives shar’i rulings, explains the principles of sharee’ah and teaches people the rulings of their religion. The focus of his specialty is the aims and goals of sharee’ah, the clear verses of the Quran and achieving sound understanding of what Allah wants from His slaves. 

This is something that can be done by only a few individuals, because it requires extensive study of the texts, lengthy study and examination of the words of the scholars, and intelligence in studying real life situations and applying the rulings of sharee’ah to them. 

As for the narrator of hadeeth, he transmits what he hears of the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and he delivers what he receives with honesty and sincerity. His main concern is to convey the hadeeth as he heard it by any possible means, but he does not concern himself with explaining the meaning of the hadeeth or deriving shar’i rulings from it, or knowledge of what abrogates and what is abrogated, or what is general and what is specific. Rather his role is limited to simply transmitting and narrating. 

This task requires precision and care in transmission, but it does not require knowledge of fiqh or the basic principles (usool) of fiqh. 

Imam al-A’mash (may Allah have mercy on him) described the work of both the faqeeh and the narrator of hadeeth in detail. He said: 

“O fuqaha’, you are the doctors and we are the pharmacists.” End quote. 

Naseehah Ahl al-hadeeth li’l-Khateeb al-Baghdadi (1/45). 

It is no secret that the roles of the doctor and pharmacist are complementary; they cannot do without one another. Both of them are good and their influence is important. Islam also confirms that both the faqeeh and the hadeeth narrator are good and will be rewarded by Allah, but the faqeeh (the doctor) is of a higher standing, as he pays attention to understanding and deriving rulings. 

Some scholars derived this meaning from the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him): “May Allah bless a man who hears a hadeeth from us and memorizes it so that he can convey it to others, for perhaps he is conveying it to one who will understand it better than him, and perhaps the one who conveys knowledge does not understand it himself.” Narrated by Abu Dawood (3660). 

Al-Ramahramzi (d. 360 AH) said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) differentiated between the one who narrates the Sunnah and the one who understands it, and he indicated that the one who understands it is superior, by saying “for perhaps he is conveying it to one who will understand it better than him, and perhaps the one who conveys knowledge does not understand it himself.” By affirming the virtue of one, the virtue of the other is automatically affirmed. For example: Maalik ibn Anas and ‘Ubayd-Allah al-‘Umari, or between al-Shaafa’i and ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Mahdi, or between Abu Thawr and Ibn Abi Shaybah. Fair-mindedness leads you to determine that both are people of knowledge and virtue; this is the attitude of fair-minded people that is reached by those who have knowledge of the truth. End quote. 

Al-Muhaddith al-Faadil (1/169-170). 

As for the one who combines both qualities, who understands the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and memorizes what he brought of knowledge, and understands the meanings, and benefits himself and others thereby, these are the best of all types of people. 

It was narrated from Abu Moosa al-Ash’ari (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The likeness of the guidance and knowledge with which Allah has sent me is that of rain falling upon the earth. Some of it is good ground which receives the water and brings forth a great deal of herbage and grass. Some of it is hard but it retains the water, and Allah benefits people by it, and they drink it and give it to their animals to drink and use it for irrigation and grazing. And another part of it is barren, it does not retain the water or produce herbage. That is the likeness of one who gains an understanding of the religion of Allah, and Allah benefits him by that with which Allah has sent me, and he learns and teaches others; and the likeness of a man who pays no attention to that, and does not accept the guidance of Allah with which I have been sent.” 

Imam al-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

As for the meaning of the hadeeth, it is likening the guidance that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) brought to rain. It says that land is of three types, and the same is true of people. 

The first type of land benefits from the rain and comes back to life after having been dead, and it brings forth herbage from which people, animals and plants benefit. This is like the first type of people whom guidance and knowledge reach: such a person memorizes it and his heart is brought back to life; he acts upon it and teaches others, so he benefits from it and benefits others. 

The second type of land does not benefit from the rain itself, but it does something good with it, namely holding the water for others, so people and animals benefit from it. This is like the second type of people; they have good memories but they do not have deep understanding or deep insight by means of which they could derive meanings and rulings, and they do not strive hard in worship. They memorize it and preserve it until there comes along one who needs it and thirsts for the knowledge that they have, a scholar who is able to benefit from it. So he takes it and benefits others by means of that which they conveyed to him. 

The third type of land is the barren land that does not produce any herbage and the like, and does not benefit itself from the water, and does not retain it so that others may benefit from it. This is like the third type of people; they do not have good memories or understanding or insight. If they hear knowledge they do not benefit from it or preserve it so that others may benefit. End quote. 

Sharh Muslim (15/47-48). 

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said:  

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) likened the knowledge and guidance that he brought to rain, because of what each of them bring of life, benefit, nourishment, medicine and all things that are in people’s interests. This is true of both knowledge and rain. 

And he likened people’s hearts to the different types of land on which rain may fall, because the land is the place that retains the rain, and all kinds of beneficial plants grow, just as the heart understands knowledge and bears fruit and manifests blessings and benefits. 

Then he divided people into three categories, according to their readiness to memorize and understand its meanings and derive rulings from it. 

1 -  People with good memories and good understanding, who understand and comprehend the meanings, and derive different rulings, wisdom and benefits from it. They are like the land that absorbs the water, which is the likeness of the memory, and brings forth a great deal of herbage and grain, which is the likeness of understanding, knowledge and derivation of rulings. This is the likeness of the one who is both a haafiz and a faqeeh, the people who both narrate and understand the hadeeth.

2 -  People who are able to memorize and classify reports, but they are not able to understand the meanings or derive different types of rulings and benefits from them. They are like those who read and memorize the Qur’aan, paying attention to the letters and pronunciation, but they are not able to develop a proper understanding of Allaah, as ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib said: “Except an understanding that Allah grants to His slave concerning His Book.” People vary greatly in their understanding of the texts of the Qur’aan and Sunnah. Perhaps one person may understand one or two rulings from the text, whereas another may understand one hundred or two hundred. They are like the land that retains the water for people so that they may benefit from it, drinking it or giving it to others to drink or irrigating crops with it. 

These two types are blessed, although the former are of higher status. This is the bounty of Allah which He gives as He wills, and Allah is the Owner of great bounty. 

3 -  Those who have no share of it, who neither memorize it nor understand it, who neither memorize nor comprehend it. Rather they are like the land that is barren and dry, which neither produces herbage nor retains the water.

They are the ones who are doomed. The first two categories share the qualities of learning and teaching, each according to what it has accepted as sound and what has reached it. One may know and memorize the phrases of the Qur’aan, whilst another knows its meanings, rulings and sciences, but the third category does not know or teach. They are the ones who neither benefited from the guidance of Allah or accepted it. They are worse off than cattle, and they are the fuel of Hell. 

This hadeeth also points to the honourable status and lofty position of knowledge and teaching, and the wretchedness of those who have no share of it; it mentions different categories of the sons of Adam with regard to it – who is doomed and who is blessed; and it further divides the blessed into those who are the foremost (in faith) and those who are among “those on the Right Hand” (cf. al-Waaqi’ah 56:8). 

This indicates that the people’s need for knowledge is like their need for rain, or even greater. If they lose knowledge then they are akin to the land that is lacking rain.  

Imam Ahmad said: People need knowledge more than they need food and drink, because they need food and drink once or twice a day, but they need knowledge with every breath they take. End quote. 

Miftaah Daar al-Sa’aadah (1/65-66). 

So how do you stand with regard to all this? What type of land are you? Are you the type that will benefit itself and others, so that you memorize and understand, act upon it and teach it to others? Or are you one who will preserve it for others so that they may benefit, and the one who points others towards a good deed will be like the one who does it (in terms of reward)? 

We pray that Allah will protect you. We think that you are far above being like the barren land which never holds any water or produces any vegetation, never memorizing or understanding, but appointing yourself as judge to decide between the two groups! 

Look at your aims and goals; strive hard and set high goals for yourself. Make yourself memorize and understand, and if you are not able to do some of it, then at least be one who points others towards good deeds, and does that which is enjoined upon him. 

And Allah knows best.

Excerpted, with some modifications, from: http://islamqa.com/en/

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14. ANY NEED FOR HADITH?

Question :

Is there any need for Hadith to be followed by Muslims?

Answer : By  Dr. Khalid Alvi

From time to time questions are raised about the significance of Hadith, as a pretext to reject the Sunnah. Why should we Muslims attach such importance to Hadith when we already have the Qur'an, the very word of Allah? Why should we seek guidance in anything other than it? Dr. Khalid Alvi here explains the authority and position of Hadith in Islam.

To deal with this topic it is necessary to know the position of the Prophet in Islam, because the indispensability of Hadith depends upon the position of the Prophet.

Analyzing the problem we can visualize three possibilities:

1. The duty of the Prophet was only to convey the message, and nothing more was required from him.

2. He had not only to convey the message, but also to act upon it and to explain it. But all that was for the specified period, and after his death the Quran is sufficient to guide humanity.

3. No doubt he had to convey the divine message, but it was also his duty to act upon it and to explain it to the people. His actions and explanations are a source of guidance forever. His sayings, actions, practices, and explanations are a source of light for every Muslim in every age.

Muslim scholars are of the unanimous view that only the third point is the correct assessment of the Prophet's position in Islam. The Quranc ontains dozens of reminders of the important position of the Prophet. For instance, the Quran says:

And verily in the Messenger of Allah ye have a good example for him who looketh unto Allah and the last day and remembereth Allah much” (Al-Ahzab 33:21)

According to this verse, every Muslim is bound to have the good example of the Prophet as an ideal in life. In another verse, he has been made a hakam (judge) for the Muslims by Allah Almighty. No one remains Muslim if he does not accept the Prophet's decisions and judgments:

But no, by thy Lord, they can have no real faith until they make thee judge in all disputes between them and find in their souls no resistance against thy decisions but accept them with the fullest conviction”   (An-Nisaa' 4:65)

While explaining the qualities of Muslims, the Quran says:

The answer of the believers, when summoned to Allah and His Messenger, in order that He may judge between them, is no other than this: They say: we hear and we obey” (An-Nur 24: 51)

In many places, the Quran has given its verdict on this issue. The Quran says, “…. Obey Allah and obey the Messenger….” (An-Nisaa' 4:59) and, “…. Whatever the Messenger giveth you, take it, and whatever he forbiddeth, abstain from it….” (Al-Hashr 59:7).

The Quran is very clear in expressing its view on the position of the Prophet. According to the Quran, the Prophet has four capacities, and he must be obeyed in every capacity. He is mu`alim wa murabbi (teacher and educator); he explains the Book; he is a judge; and he is a ruler. In all these capacities, he is an ideal example for the Muslims. I am quoting a few verses of the Quran just to give a hint of this topic.

Allah did confer a great favor on the believers when He sent among them a messenger from among themselves, rehearsing unto them the signs of Allah, purifying them, and teaching them the Book and the wisdom while, before that, they had been in manifest error”  (Aale-Imran 3:164)

“….And We have sent down unto thee the Remembrance that thou mayest explain clearly to mankind what is sent for them ….” (An-Nahl 16:44)

“….He commands them what is just and forbids them what is evil; he allows them as lawful what is good and pure and prohibits them from what is bad and impure. He releases them from their heavy burdens and from the yokes that are upon them ….”  (Al-A`raf 7:157)

O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you. If ye differ in anything amongst yourselves refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is best, and most suitable for final determination  (An-Nisaa' 4:59)

It is not fitting for a believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision. If any one disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong path”  (Al-Ahzab 33:36)

In all these verses, the Quran has explained various aspects of the Prophet's personality. One can judge the importance of the Prophet from these verses. I am reminded of another important verse of the Quran, which is actually a verdict against those who do not believe in Hadith as an authentic source of law:

And whoever contradicts and opposes the Messenger after the right path has been shown clearly to him, and follows other than the believers' way. We shall keep him in the path he has chosen, and burn him in Hell - what an evil destination”  (An-Nisaa' 4:115)

The Quran, while pressing the Muslims to obey the Prophet, goes a step further when it announces that the Prophethood of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) is above all the limitations of time and space. He is the Last Prophet and is a Messenger of Allah for the whole of humanity for all time to come. Hadith is nothing but a reflection of the personality of the Prophet, who is to be obeyed at every cost.

Any student of the Quran, will see that the Quran generally deals with the broad principles or essentials of religion, going into details in very rare cases. The details were generously supplied by the Prophet himself, either by showing in his practice how an injunction is to be carried out, or by giving an explanation in words. The Sunnah or Hadith of the Prophet was not, as is generally supposed, a thing of which the need may have been felt only after his death, for it was very much needed in his lifetime. The two most important religious institutions of Islam are Prayer and zakah; yet when the injunction relating to Prayer and zakah were delivered—and they were repeatedly revealed in both Makkah and Madinah—no details were supplied. “Keep up Prayers” is the Quranic injunction, and it was the Prophet himself who, by his own actions, gave details of the Prayer and said, “Pray as you see me praying.”

Payment of zakah is, again, an injunction frequently repeated in the Quran, yet it was the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) who gave the rules and regulations for its payment and collection. These are but two examples, but since Islam covers the entire sphere of human activities, hundreds of points had to be explained by the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) by his example in action and in words.

The scholars have discussed the question of Hadith in detail as a wahyun khafiy (hidden revelation) and prophetic wisdom. I do not want to go into details, but one thing must be stated clearly, that there were cases when the Prophet, not having received a revelation, made a personal effort to formulate opinion through his own wisdom, which was either to be approved or corrected through revelation. After all, the importance of the Sunnah, even as a second source of Islam, was a settled issue for the Companions of the Prophet. I quote only one of the many examples: that of Mu`az ibn Jabal who said to the Prophet that he would decide according to the Sunnah if he did not find the solution of a problem in the Book. To quote Dr. Hamidullah:

The importance of Hadith is increased for the Muslim by the fact that the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) not only taught, but took the opportunity of putting his teachings into practice in all the important affairs of life. He lived for twenty three years after his appointment as the Messenger of Allah. He endowed his community with a religion, which he scrupulously practiced himself. He founded a state, which he administered as the supreme head, maintaining internal peace and order, heading armies for external defense, judging and deciding the litigations of his subjects, punishing the criminals, and legislating in all walks of life. He married and left a model of family life. Another important fact is that he did not declare himself to be above the ordinary law which he imposed on others. His practice was not mere private conduct, but a detailed interpretation and application of his teachings. (Introduction to Islam, p. 23)

Excerpted with some modifications from: http://www.islaam.com/Article.aspx?id=232

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15. THE IMPORTANCE OF HADITH IN ISLAM

Question:

What is importance of Hadith in Islamic teachings?

Answer : By  Prof. Shahul Hameed (Consultant to IslamOnline.net)

The two fundamental sources of Islam are the Quran (the word of God) and the Sunnah (the example) of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). By Sunnah, we mean the actions, sayings and silent permissions (or disapprovals) of the Prophet.

The word "Sunnah" is also used to refer to religious duties that are optional. Here, we are concerned with Sunnah in the sense of the recorded sayings (Hadiths) of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). In this sense, Hadith is considered to be second to the Quran. It is impossible to understand the Quran without reference to the Hadith; and it is impossible to explain a hadith without relating it to the Quran.

The Quran is the message, while the Hadith is the verbal translation of the message into pragmatic terms, as exemplified by the Prophet. While the Quran is the metaphysical basis of the Sunnah, the Sunnah is the practical demonstration of the precepts laid down in the Qur'an.

The duty of the Messenger was not just to communicate the message, rather, he was entrusted with the most important task of explaining and illustrating that message. That is the reason why Allah Himself has commanded the following:

Say: Obey Allah and obey the Messenger, but if you turn away, he (the Prophet) is only responsible for the duty placed on him (i.e. to convey Allah's Message) and you for that placed on you. If you obey him, you shall be on the right guidance. The Messenger's duty is only to convey (the message) in a clear way” (An-Nur 24:54)

This verse clearly tells us the overriding importance of Hadith to Muslims. They should be eager to learn and follow the teachings of the Prophet as expressed in Hadith. If we are negligent in this respect, it is we who have to answer before Allah.

Speaking of the importance of Hadith, we need to take into consideration two broad aspects of the subject. We know that Allah Almighty revealed the Quran to His chosen Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). So it is through the Prophet we come to hear the word of Allah; and it is the Prophet himself who can properly explain and demonstrate the precepts in the Quran. Without the required explanations and illustrations given by the Prophet, the Quran may be misunderstood and misinterpreted by people. So the Prophet took care to explain and demonstrate to his companions how the Quranic verses must be read and understood. That is to say, the importance of Hadith is linked to the importance of the Quran.
For example, the details of how to perform salah (ritual prayer), for instance, were given by the Prophet through his words and action, and not by the Quran. This means that we wouldn't know how to pray, fast, pay zakah, or perform Hajj without the examples given by the Prophet as recorded in the Hadith. Indeed, all necessary details are given in the Hadith, not in the Quran.

The revelation of each of the verses of the Quran took place at some critical junctures in the life of the Prophet. Of course, there are verses of universal application and significance, irrespective of the context in which those verses were revealed. But there are other verses that can be understood or interpreted only in the light of the actual context in the life of the Prophet, which called for that revelation. There are many examples. For instance, the following verse in the Surah Aali `Imran:

If any one disputes in this matter with thee, now after (full) knowledge hath come to thee, Say: Come! Let us gather together, our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves: then let us earnestly pray. And invoke the curse of Allah on those who lie”   (Aali-Imran 3:61)

This verse talks about mubahala (invoking the curse of Allah on those who take a dishonest stand); and was revealed when the Prophet was conferring with the Christian delegation from Najran in 631 CE This example clearly shows how we need to refer to the life and example of the Prophet to understand the context, as well as the meaning of verses, such as the above mentioned one in the Quran.

The foregoing shows how Hadith, in practical terms, explains, clarifies, and paraphrases the Quran. If we reject the Hadith, we may misread the Quran; so Hadith is central to a proper understanding of the Quran.

In the Quran, Allah Almighty commands us not only to obey the Messenger, but also to abide by his decisions as follows:

 “But no, by thy Lord, they can have no real faith until they make thee judge in all disputes between them and find in their souls no resistance against thy decisions but accept them with the fullest conviction”   (An-Nisaa' 4:65)

And surely we find such decisions only in the Hadith; the duty of Muslims is to accept the Prophet's decisions whole-heartedly. The Quran also orders the faithful to emulate the role model of the Messenger and reckons it to be the only way to gain the pleasure of Allah.

It is therefore obligatory that we look up to the Prophet's morals and exemplary character and carry them out in our lives. We can never do so without studying Hadith. It is most illuminating in this respect to learn that when `A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) was asked to describe the character of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), her definitive answer was, "His character was that of the Quran." In other words, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) personified the best ideals and values of the Qur'an. How could we then neglect the Hadith, which alone can lead us to the precise ways in which the Prophet exemplified the Qur'anic ideals?

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from:http://www.islamonline.com/

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16. QUDSI Hadith

Question :

You often use the expression in your replies such as "Allah says" or "Allah says in a Qudsi Hadith". Are these sayings a deduction by the Prophet from the Qur'anic injunctions? Please explain.

Answer :

The Prophet has attributed certain statements to Allah, although these are not included in the Qur'an. These statements are given the title of a Qudsi Hadith. These always begin with the Prophet stating that: "Allah has said," or "Allah says." This is a clear indication that the statement that follows such a phrase is not made by the Prophet himself, but by Allah.

Such a Hadith attributed to Allah takes a position in between the Qur'an and ordinary Hadith which is a statement by the Prophet, expressing in his own words, a thought or an idea that has been revealed to him by Allah. In other words, a Hadith is revealed in meaning, stated in the Prophet's own words. A Qudsi Hadith, on the other hand, is revealed in words and meaning. That is, the precise statement is made by Allah to express His own meaning. It is different from the Qur'an in the sense that it may not be recited in prayer and its transmission is in the form of a chain of single reporters. When the authenticity of a Qudsi Hadith has been established, it must be taken as correct and acted upon. The number of Qudsi Hadiths exceed 100. One of the most important statements that the Prophet, peace be upon him, related from his Lord is that Allah has said:

"My servants, I have forbidden oppression for Myself and have made it forbidden for you, so do not oppress one another. My servants, all of you are astray except for those I have guided, so seek guidance from Me and I shall guide you. My servants, all of you are hungry except for those I have fed, so seek food from Me and I shall feed you. My servants, all of you are naked except for those I have clothed, so seek clothing of Me and I shall clothe you. My servants, you sin by night and by day, and I forgive all sins, so seek forgiveness of Me and I shall forgive you. My servants, you will not attain harming Me so as to harm Me, and you will not attain benefiting Me so as to benefit Me. My servants, were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you or the jinn of you to be as pious as the most pious heart of any one man of you, that would not increase My kingdom in anything. My servants, were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and the jinn of you to rise in one place and make a request of Me, and were I to give everyone what he requested, that would not decrease what I have, any more than a needle decreases the sea if you put into it. My servants, it is but your deeds that I reckon up for you and then compensate you for, so let him who finds good praise Allah and let him who finds other than that blame no one but himself." (Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim).

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamonline.net

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17.  IMAM AL-BUKHAARI (MAY ALLAH HAVE MERCY ON HIM)

Question:

Who was Shaykh of Bukhara, that is Immam Bukhari?

Answer:
Praise be to Allah.

Al-Bukhaari was a Shaykh of Islam, and the leading scholar of hadeeth, Muhammad bin Ismaa’eel bin IAl-Mughaira Al-Bukhari, the author of al-Saheeh and other books. He was born in Shawwaal 194 AH, and he first started to study hadeeth in 205. He memorized the works of Ibn al-Mubaarak when he was a child, and he grew up an orphan. 

He compiled books and narrated hadeeth when there was still no hair on his face. He was very intelligent, knowledgeable, pious and devoted to worship. He was slim, neither tall nor short, somewhat dark skinned. 

He used to say: When I reached the age of eighteen, I started to compile cases judged by the Sahaabah and Taabi’een, and their views during the days of ‘Ubayd-Allah ibn Moosa, and at that time I compiled al-Tareekh by the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) on moonlit nights. 

And he used to say: I memorized one hundred thousand saheeh ahaadeeth, and I memorized two hundred non-saheeh ahaadeeth. 

Bukhari wrote in Saheeh Bukhari 9082 Hadhiths. If we remove the repeated hadiths then the total hadith in it are 2602.

Ibn Khuzaymah said: There is no one beneath the canopy of heaven who is more knowledgeable of hadeeth than al-Bukhaari. 

He died on the night of Eid al-Fitr 256 AH. End quote. 

Secondly:

Among the most important of his Shaykhs who reached the status of imam (prominent figure) in knowledge and religious commitment were: 

Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, although he did not narrate from him in al-Saheeh; Ishaaq ibn Raahawayh from whom he narrated nearly thirty reports; Ahmad ibn Saalih al-Masri; Abu Nu’aym al-Fadl ibn Dukayn and others. 

Perhaps the one who had the greatest influence on the character of Imam al-Bukhaari and who was held in the greatest esteem by him was Imam ‘Ali ibn al-Madeeni (may Allah have mercy on him), of whom al-Bukhaari said: 

I never thought little of myself in the presence of anyone except when I was in the presence of ‘Ali ibn al-Madeeni. End quote. Tadhkirat al-Huffaaz (2/428). 

al-Dhahabi mentioned in his biography of al-Bukhaari the names of his most famous Shaykhs, and he listed them in order of their homelands. He said in Siyar A’laam al-Nubala’ (12/394-396): As for al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar, he listed them in a different order which is also useful, as he said in Hadi al-Saari (479): 

They may be listed in five categories: 

1- Those who narrated to him from the Taabi’een, such as Muhammad ibn ‘Abd-Allah al-Ansaari who narrated to him from Humayd; Makki ibn Ibraaheem who narrated to him from Yazeed ibn Abi ‘Ubayd; Abu ‘Aasim al-Nabeel who narrated to him from Yazeed ibn Abi ‘Ubayd also; ‘Ubayd-Allah ibn Moosa who narrated to him from Ismaa’eel ibn Abi Khaalid; Abu Nu’aym who narrated to him from al-A’mash; Khallaad ibn Yahya who narrated to him from ‘Eesa ibn Tahmaan; and ‘Ali ibn ‘Ayyaash and ‘Isaam ibn Khaalid who narrated to him from Hurayz ibn ‘Uthmaan. The Shaykhs of all of these narrators were from among the Taabi’een. 

2- Those who lived at the same time as these but did not hear from the trustworthy (thiqaat) Taabi’een, such as Adam ibn Abi Iyaas, Abu Mus-hir ‘Abd al-A’la ibn Mus-hir, Sa’eed ibn Abi Maryam, Ayyoob ibn Sulaymaan ibn Bilaal, and others.

 3- The middle-ranking ones among his Shaykhs, who did not meet the Taabi’een, rather they learned from the senior followers of the Taabi’een, such as Sulaymaan ibn Harb, Qutaybah ibn Sa’eed, Nu’aym ibn Hammaad, ‘Ali ibn al-Madeeni, Yahya ibn Ma’een, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Ishaaq ibn Raahawayh, Abu Bakr and ‘Uthmaan the sons of Abu Shaybah, and others. Muslim also took hadeeth from this group. 

4- His fellow students, and those who started to study hadeeth shortly before him, such as Muhammad ibn Yahya al-Dhuhali, Abu Haatim al-Raazi, Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Raheem Saa’iqah, ‘Abd ibn Humayd, Ahmad ibn al-Nadr and a number of their peers. He may have narrated from them only things that he missed from his Shaykhs, or that he did not find with anyone else. 

5- People who were his students in the field of hadeeth, and he learned ahaadeeth from them, such as ‘Abd-Allah ibn Hammaad al-Aamili, ‘Abd-Allah ibn Abi’l-‘Aas al-Khawaarizmi, Husayn ibn Muhammad al-Qabbaani and others. He narrated a few things from them. 

It was narrated from ‘Uthmaan ibn Abi Shaybah that Wakee’ said: A man cannot be a scholar unless he narrated from one who was above him, and from one who was like him, and from one who was less than him. It was narrated that al-Bukhaari said: He cannot be a complete muhaddith unless he writes down from one who is above him, one who is like him, and one who is less than him. End quote. 

And Allah knows best.

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18. WAS SHAYKH ALBAANI A MUJTAHID FAQEEH

Question :

A common person should follow a sheikh who he feels assured towards. This sheikh should be known for his knowledge and righteousness. I know that sheikh Al-Albany is a great scholar of hadeeth (which no one can deny) and my heart is assured towards his approach in fiqh; because he cares about following the sunnah accurately, but it seems that many people do not follow his opinions in fiqh, why? Does he have grave mistakes in terms of fiqh? Can I depend on his as my reference in fiqh?

Answer :  Praise be to Allah .  

Firstly:

Allah has created people of different levels in terms of understanding, and He has raised some above others with regard to knowledge and faith. Real life bears witness to that. Hence people are of varying degrees with regard to ijtihaad and taqleed.  

Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan (may Allah preserve him) said: 

People fall into four categories: 

The first category is those who are able to made ijtihad in absolute terms, by referring directly to the Quran and Sunnah and deriving rulings from them, and they do not follow any other scholars (taqleed). 

This is the highest status, but this only applies to the one who fulfils the known conditions of ijtihaad, by having knowledge of the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and by having knowledge of Arabic in which the Quran was revealed, and by having knowledge of al-muhkam and al-mutashaabih (clear, unambiguous texts and ambiguous texts), al-naasikh wa’l-mansookh (texts which abrogate others and texts which are abrogated), al-mutlaq wa’l-muqayyad (texts with absolute meanings and texts with limited meanings), al-khaas wa’l-‘aam (texts with specific meanings and texts with general meanings). He should also have knowledge of how to derive rulings, meaning that he should be qualified. Such a person may engage in ijtihaad. This category includes people like the four imams – Abu Haneefah, Maalik, al-Shaafa’i and Ahmad – as well as Sufyaan al-Thawri and al-Awzaa’i. To these people Allah gave the ability to engage in ijtihaad.

The second category is those who cannot engage in ijtihaad in absolute terms, but they are able to weigh up the opinions of scholars and determine which is more correct, because of their knowledge of which opinions are based on evidence and which are not. 

Such a person must follow that for which there is evidence, and shun that which goes against the evidence. This action is called tarjeeh (weighing up what is more correct) and is also known as al-ijtihaad al-madhhabi (ijtihaad based on the study of different views). 

The third category is those who cannot engage in tarjeeh. Such a person is regarded as one of the muqallideen (those who follow other scholars), but if he knows that some opinion has no supporting evidence then he does not follow it. But so long as he does not know and it is not clear to him that it is contrary to the evidence, there is nothing wrong with him imitating and following the opinions of the trustworthy scholars. 

The fourth category is the one who is unable to do any of the above; neither ijtihaad in an absolute sense nor weighing what is more correct nor following a specific madhhab, such as the ordinary Muslim, for example. 

Such a person has to ask the people of knowledge, as Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “…So ask of those who know the Scripture, if you know not”  (An-Nahl 16:43). So he should ask the one who be believes is most trustworthy and the scholar in whom he has the greatest confidence, of those whose knowledge and actions he trusts, and follow his fatwa. 

These are the categories of people with regard to this issue. 

What a person should do is know what level he is at, and he should not put himself in a higher position than he deserves. Indeed, the matter is more serious than that. He should fear Allah, because it is the matter of halaal and haraam, of Paradise and Hell, so he should not indulge in matters that he does not have the knowledge and skill to deal with. End quote.  

I’aanah al-Mustafeed bi Sharh Kitaab al-Tawheed. 

Secondly:

We do not know anything of Shaykh al-Albaani (may Allah have mercy on him) except that he was one of the prominent scholars the field of ijtihaad and fatwas. He is one of the imams of our era in this regard. His books, tapes and halaqahs bear witness to that. The imams of fatwas and ijtihaad praise his knowledge and refer to him, and quote his words as evidence. The one who says that he was a muhaddith but not a faqeeh is mistaken. Rather he was an experienced faqeeh who adhered to the rules and guidelines of knowledge. It is not known that he had his own principles on which he based his understanding of Islam, rather he followed the same path as the imams of knowledge among the righteous salaf, and his knowledge of hadeeth qualified him to base his determination of which view is more correct on the ahaadeeth which he believed to be saheeh (sound). 

The scholars of the Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas said of Shaykh al-Albaani: 

This man is well known to us for his knowledge and virtue, his veneration of and service to the Sunnah and his support of Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah in warning against fanaticism and blind following. His books are very useful, but like any other scholar, he is not infallible; he makes mistakes and gets things right, but we hope that in matters where he got it right he will have two rewards, and in matters where he got it wrong he will have the reward of ijtihaad, as it is proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “When the judge issues a ruling, if he strives to work it out (ajtahada) and gets it right, he will have two rewards, and if he issues a ruling and strives to work it out but gets it wrong, he will have one reward.” Agreed upon. End quote. 

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Razzaaq ‘Afeefi, Shaykh ‘Abd-Allah ibn Ghadyaan, Shaykh ‘Abd-Allah ibn Qa’ood. 

Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah (12/324, 325) 

They testified that he (may Allah have mercy on him) was one of the scholars, and that he was one of the mujtahideen. Everyone who is fair minded knows that Shaykh al-Albaani (may Allah have mercy on him) was well versed in fiqh and ijtihaad, and we can see evidence for that in three things: 

1. The testimony of the scholars to that effect. This has been compiled in the book Hayaat al-Albaani by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem al-Shaybaani (may Allah guide him). 

2. His well-written books of fiqh, some of which are unprecedented and without equal. It is sufficient for us to mention as an example his book Ahkaam al-Janaa’iz (the rulings on funerals), which is very well-written and is indicative of his profound understanding of the Sunnah, and is supported by his understanding of the fiqhi principles that were followed by the salaf or early generations of the ummah. We may also add to that Aadaab al-Zafaaf (wedding etiquette) and Tamaam al-Minnah fi’l-Ta’leeq ‘ala Kitaab Fiqh al-Sunnah (a commentary on Fiqh al-Sunnah). 

3. His tapes which are widely available worldwide, of which one thousand are in circulation; those which have not yet been produced contain 5000 hours of audio material. All of these tapes are recordings of just some of his halaqahs, so how about if all of his halaqahs had been recorded!? 

Thirdly:

Finally we should point out some important matters: 

1. Shaykh al-Albaani (may Allah have mercy on him) was a human being, who got things right and made mistakes. No one should believe that his words are infallible. We have not found anyone who claims this explicitly, but we find many who believe it implicitly. 

2. It is not permissible for any follower of Shaykh al-Albaani to continue to follow the shaykh’s view if it becomes clear to him that the opinion of another scholar of virtue is stronger; rather he must follow the truth wherever it is and whoever it is with. Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: 

What is your advice to a beginner seeker of knowledge? Should he follow one of the imams of the madhhabs, or should he not? 

He replied: 

Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “… So ask the people of the Reminder if you do not know” (Al-Anbiya’ 21:7). If this is a new student who does not know how to weigh up the evidence, then he has no choice but to follow a scholar, whether he follows a former imam who is now deceased or a contemporary imam – one of the scholars who is still alive – and asks him, which is better. But if it becomes clear to him that this opinion is contrary to a saheeh hadeeth, he must follow the saheeh hadeeth. End quote. 

Al-‘Ilm p. 115 

3. Shaykh al-Albaani (may Allah have mercy on him) did not introduce anything new into Islamic rulings and he often stated that he did not say anything that had not been said before. So the one who criticizes the Shaykh by saying that he came up with odd views and fatwas should fear Allah and those who are fanatically devoted to the Shaykh should also fear Allah. 

4. It is not in accordance with the methodology of Shaykh al-Albaani (may Allah have mercy on him) – or of any of the imams –to look at the verse and hadeeth and then derive from it whatever rulings one wants! Rather the Shaykh (may Allah have mercy on him) often complained about those who did that. He said: We were suffering from blind following (taqleed) and now we are suffering from a free-for-all! And he stated that blind following of the earlier scholars is far better than this free-for-all; rather for the ordinary Muslim, following a scholar is obligatory and this free-for-all is haraam. 

5. The one who follows the Shaykh (may Allah have mercy on him) has to realize that the Shaykh himself criticized blind following and enjoined seeking knowledge; he called on people to learn and said that the Muslim should follow the evidence from the Quran and Sunnah. If the Shaykh (may Allah have mercy on him) told people not to follow Abu Haneefah, Maalik, al-Shaafa’i and Ahmad blindly, he was more emphatic in telling them not to follow him blindly.  

6. The ordinary Muslim who agrees to follow Shaykh al-Albaani (may Allah have mercy on him), or any other scholar of the past or present, should not issue fatwas or argue with others. If the those who follow a Shaykh or scholar adhered to this, the ummah would be spared many of the bad things that we hear of here and there. 

7. The one in whom Allah instills love of knowledge and the ability to weigh up the evidence and to know which is more likely to be correct is not permitted to be a blind follower of Shaykh al-Albaani or anyone else. 

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

The one who has no knowledge and no ability to engage in ijtihaad must ask the scholars, because Allah says: “… So ask the people of the Reminder if you do not know” (Al-Anbiya’ 21:7). Allah does not enjoin us to ask them except for the purpose of following their opinions. This is taqleed (following). But with regard to taqleed what is forbidden is adhering to a specific madhhab by following it in all cases and believing that this is the way to Allah, so one follows it even if it goes against the evidence. 

But the one who has the ability to work things out (ijtihaad), such as the seeker of knowledge who has an abundant share of knowledge may engage in ijtihaad on the basis of the evidence, and follow the one who he thinks is correct, or is most likely to be correct. 

As for the ordinary Muslim and the beginner seeker of knowledge, they should strive to follow the one who they think is closer to the truth, because of his abundant knowledge, strong religious commitment and piety. End quote. 

Al-‘Ilm, p. 205 

And Allah is the Source of strength.

Excerpted, with some modifications, from: http://islamqa.com/en/

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19. AUTHORS SIX BOOKS OF HADITHS

Question:

Who are the authors of the Six Books, and are there any da’eef (weak) ahaadeeth in their books?

Answer: Praise be to Allah.  

The authors of the Six Books are: 

1-     Imam al-Bukhaari

2-     Imam Muslim

3-     Imam Abu Dawood

4-     Imam al-Tirmidhi

5-     Imam al-Nasaa’i

6-     Imaam Ibn Maajah 

There follow brief details about each of them. 

1 – Imam al-Bukhaari 

His full name was Muhammad bin Ismaa’eel bin IAl-Mughaira Al-Bukhari. His grandfather al-Mugheerah was a freed slave of al-Yamaan al-Ja’fi, the governor of Bukhaarah, so he took his name after he became Muslim. Imam al-Bukhaari was born in Bukhaara in 194 AH. He grew up an orphan and started to memorize ahaadeeth before he was ten years old. When he was a young man he set out to travel to Makkah and perform the obligation of Hajj. He stayed in Makkah for a while, studying under the imams of fiqh, usool and hadeeth. Then he began to travel around, going from one Islamic region to another, for sixteen years in all. He visited many centers of knowledge where he collected ahaadeeth of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) until he had compiled more than 600,000 ahaadeeth. He referred to one thousand scholars of hadeeth and discussed these reports with them. These scholars were people who were known for their sincerity, piety and sound belief. From this huge number of ahaadeeth he compiled his book al-Saheeh, following the most precise scientific guidelines in his research as to their authenticity and in distinguishing the saheeh (sound) from the weak, and in finding out about the narrators, until he recorded in his book the most sound of the sound, although it does not contain all the saheeh ahaadeeth. The book’s full title is al-Jaami’ al-Saheeh al-Musnad min Hadeeth Rasool-Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) wa Sunanihi wa Ayaamihi

His collection of hadith is considered second to none. He spent sixteen years compiling it, and ended up with 2,602 hadith (9,082 with repetition). His criteria for acceptance into the collection were amongst the most stringent of all the scholars of ahadith.

The governor of Bukhaara wanted al-Bukhaari to come to his house to teach his children and read ahaadeeth to them. But al-Bukhaari refused and wrote to him: “Knowledge is to be sought in its own house,” meaning that knowledge is to be sought not summoned. Whoever wanted to learn from the scholars should go to them in the mosque or in their houses. So the governor bore a grudge against him and ordered that he be expelled from Bukhaara. So he went to the village of Khartank which is near Samarqand, where he had relatives, and he settled there until he died in 256 AH at the age of 62. May Allah have mercy upon him. 

2 – Imam Muslim 

His full name was Muslim ibn al-Hajjaaj ibn Muslim al-Qushayri al-Nisapoori Abu’l-Husayn. He is one of the leading scholars of hadeeth and one of the most knowledgeable. He was born in Nisapoor on the day that Imam al-Shaafa’i died in 202 or 204 AH and died in 261 A.H. He studied in Nisapoor, and when he grew up he traveled to Iraq and the Hijaaz to learn hadeeth. He heard ahaadeeth from many shaykhs, and many scholars of hadeeth narrated from him. The most famous of his books is his Saheeh which is known as Saheeh Muslim. This is one of the six reliable books of hadeeth.

He spent nearly fifteen years compiling this book, which is second only to Saheeh al-Bukhaari in status and in the strength of its ahaadeeth. Muslim was a student of Bukhari. In Sahih Muslim Out of 300,000 ahadith which he evaluated, only 4,000 approximately were extracted for inclusion into his collection based on stringent acceptance criteria.

Many scholars have written commentaries on his Saheeh.

His books also include Kitaab al-Tabaqaat, Kitaab al-Jaami’ and Kitaab al-Asma’, and others which exist in printed and manuscript form. He died in the city of Nasarabad, near Nisapoor, in 261 AH, at the age of 57. May Allah have mercy on him. 

3 – Imam Abu Dawood 

His full name was Sulaymaan ibn al-Ash’ath ibn Shaddaad ibn ‘Amr ibn Ishaaq ibn Basheer al-Azdi al-Sajistani, from Sajistan. Abu Dawood was the leading hadeeth scholar of his age. He is the author of al-Sunan, which is one of the six reliable books of hadeeth. He was born in 202 AH. He traveled to Baghdad where he met Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal and stayed with him; he also looked like him.  He also traveled to the Hijaz, Iraq, Khurasaan, Syria, Egypt and the borders of the Islamic world. Al-Nasaa’i, al-Tirmidhi and others narrated hadeeth from him. He attained the highest degree of piety and righteousness. His book al-Sunan includes more than 5300 ahaadeeth. 

The caliph Abu Ahmad Talhah (al-Muwaffaq al-‘Abbaasi) asked three things of him: the first was that he should move to Basrah and settle there, so that seekers of knowledge could come to him, thus bringing more people to settle there. The second was that he should teach al-Sunan to his children. The third was that he should give exclusive classes to his children, for the children of the caliph should not sit with the common people. Abu Dawood said to him: As for the first, yes; as for the second, yes; as for the third, no way, because all people are equal when it comes to knowledge. So the sons of al-Muwaffaq al-‘Abbaasi used to attend his lessons, and they would sit with a screen between them and the people. He remained in Basrah until he died in 275 AH. May Allah have mercy on him. 

4 – Imam al-Tirmidhi 

His full name was Muhammad ibn ‘Eesa ibn Soorah ibn Moosa ibn al-Dahhaak al-Salami al-Tirmidhi, Abu Eesa. He came from Tirmidh, once of the cities of Transoxiana, after which he was named. He was one of the leading scholars of hadeeth and memorization of hadeeth. He was born in 209 AH and studied under al-Bukhaari; they had some of the same teachers. He began to seek ahaadeeth by travelling to Khurasaan, Iraq and the Hijaz. He became famous for his memorization of hadeeth, trustworthiness and knowledge.  His shaykhs included Ahmad ibn Hanbal and Abu Dawood al-Sajistani. He compiled al-Jaami’ which is counted as one of the six reliable books of hadeeth. In this book he examined the ahaadeeth in detail, which is of benefit to students of fiqh, because he mentions the ahaadeeth and most of his ahaadeeth deal with rulings of fiqh. He mentions the isnaads and lists the Sahaabah who narrated the hadeeth, so what he believes is saheeh he says is saheeh, and what he believes is da’eef he says is da’eef. He explains who among the fuqaha’ accepted the hadeeth and who did not. His Jaami’ is the most comprehensive of the books of al-Sunan, and is the most useful to the muhaddith (hadeeth scholar) and faqeeh. His other works include Kitaab al-Shamaa’il al-Nabawiyyah and al-‘Ilal fi’l-Hadeeth. He was blind for the latter part of his life, after he had travelled around and compiled saheeh reports from prominent and well-versed scholars. He died in 279 AH at the age of 70. May Allah have mercy on him. 

5 – Imam al-Nasaa’i 

His full name was Ahmad ibn Shu’ayb ibn ‘Ali ibn Sinaan ibn Bahr ibn Dinar al-Nasaa’i, Abu ‘Abd al-Rahmaan. He came from the city of Nasa in Khurasaan, after which he was named (Nasawi or Nasaa’i). He was born in 215 AH, and he was one of the leading scholars and muhaddiths of his time. His comments on al-jarh wa’l-ta’deel (the study of the soundness or otherwise of narrators of hadeeth) are highly esteemed by the scholars. Al-Haakim said: I heard Abu’l-Hasan al-Daaraqutni say more than once, “Abu ‘Abd al-Rahmaan is the foremost among all scholars of hadeeth, and he is the best evaluator of narrators of his time.” 

He was extremely pious and righteous, and he used to regularly observe the best kind of fasting (the fasting of Dawood), he used to fast on alternate days. He lived in Egypt, where his books became famous and people learned from him. Then he moved to Damascus, where he died on Monday 13 Safar 300 AH, at the age of 85. May Allah have mercy on him. 

6 – Imam Ibn Maajah 

His full name was Muhammad ibn Yazeed al-Rab’i al-Qazwayni, Abu ‘Abd-Allah. His father Yazeed was known as Maajah, so he was known as Ibn Maajah. The name al-Rab’i refers to Rabee’ah, after whom he was named because his father was a freed slave of Rabee’ah . He was a famous hafiz and the author of the book of hadeeth called al-Sunan. He was born in Qazwayn, after which he was named, in 209 AH. He travelled to Iraq, Basrah, Kufa, Baghdad, Makkah, Syria, Egypt and al-Rai to write down hadeeth. He wrote three books during his travels: a book on Tafseer; a book on history, in which he compiled the reports of men who had written down reports of the Sunnah from the time of the Sahaabah until his own time; and his book al-Sunan. Ibn Maajah died on Monday 22 Ramadaan 273 AH, at the age of 64. May Allah have mercy on him. 

Ruling on the ahaadeeth in these books: 

With regard to Saheeh al-Bukhaari and Saheeh Muslim, the ummah accepts the ahaadeeth that are contained in these books, and they are agreed that everything in them is saheeh apart from a very few phrases which al-Bukhaari and Muslim narrated in order to explain why they are not sound, either explicitly or implicitly, as the scholars who wrote commentaries on these two books, such as Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him), have explained. With regard to the other books of Sunan, they are not free of some da’eef (weak) ahaadeeth here and there. Some of them are noted as such by the authors themselves, and others have been pointed out by other scholars. They did not point out all the weak ahaadeeth, because they narrated the ahaadeeth with their isnaads, so it is easy for the scholars to tell the saheeh ahaadeeth from the da’eef by checking the chain of narrators and knowing who is reliable and who is weak.

 Among the famous scholars in this field were Ahmad, al-Daraqutni, Yahya ibn Ma’een, Ibn Hajar, al-Dhahabi, al-Waaqi and al-Sakhaawi. Among the contemporary scholars in this field are al-Albaani, Ahmad Shaakir and others. May Allah have mercy on them all.

And Allah knows best.

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20. HADEETH “DO NOT WRITE ANYTHING FROM ME…”

Question :

Is this hadeeth saheeh, and what does it mean: “Do not write anything from me, and whoever writes anything but the Qur’aan, let him erase it”? May Allah reward you with good.

Answer : Praise be to Allah.  

It was narrated from Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Do not write anything from me; whoever has written anything from me other than the Qur’aan, let him erase it and narrate from me, for there is nothing wrong with that.” (Narrated by Muslim, al-Zuhd wa’l-Raqaa’iq, 5326) 

Al-Nawawi said in his commentary on Saheeh Muslim: 

“Al-Qaadi said: there were many disputes among the Sahaabah and Taabi’een concerning the writing down of knowledge. Many of them regarded this as being makrooh, but most of them regarded it as permissible. This dispute is no longer an issue. 

They differed as to the meaning of this hadeeth which says that it is forbidden. It was said that this pertained to one who was sure of his memory, and there was the fear that he may rely upon what he had written if he wrote it down; the ahaadeeth which say that it is permissible to write things down is to be interpreted as referring to the one whose memory is not reliable, such as the hadeeth, “Write it down for Abu Shaah”; or the hadeeth of the saheefah of ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him); the hadeeth of the book of ‘Amr ibn Hazm, which contains laws on inheritance, sunnahs and diyaat (blood money); the hadeeth about writing down charity, and the minimum amounts at which zakaah becomes obligatory (nisaab), with which Abu Bakr sent Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) to Bahrain; the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah which says that Ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas used to ; write things down but he (Abu Hurayrah) did not write things down, and other ahaadeeth. And it was said that the hadeeth forbidding writing down ahaadeeth was abrogated by these ahaadeeth. The prohibition was in effect when there was the fear that the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) might be mixed with the Quran. When that danger was no longer present, permission was given to write down (ahaadeeth). And it was said that the prohibition mentioned in the hadeeth referred to writing ahaadeeth on the same page as Quran, lest they become mixed and thus the reader would be confused when looking at this page. And Allah knows best. 

The hadeeth of Abu Shaah was narrated by al-Bukhaari from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said: ‘When Allah granted His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) victory over Makkah, he stood before the people and praised and glorified Allah, then he said: “Allah protected Makkah from the elephant and has given authority to His Messenger and the believers over it, so fighting was forbidden for anyone before me, and was made permissible for me for part of a day, and it will not be permissible for anyone after me. Its game should not be chased, its thorny bushes should not be uprooted, and picking up its fallen things is not allowed except for one who makes public announcement for it, and he whose relative is murdered has the option either to accept a compensation for it or to retaliate.” Al-‘Abbas said, “Except Al-Idhkhir (a kind of plant), for we use it in our graves and houses.” The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Except Al-Idhkhir.” Abu Shaah, a Yemeni, stood up and said, “O Messenger of Allah ! Get it written for me.” The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Write it for Abu Shaah.”  (al-Luqatah, 2254) 

Ibn Hajar said: What may be understood from the story of Abu Shaah (“Write it for Abu Shaah”) is that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) gave permission for hadeeth to be written down from him. 

This contradicts the hadeeth of Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri, which says that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, ‘Do not write down anything from me except the Quran.’ (Narrated by Muslim). 

The two may be reconciled by noting that the prohibition applied only to the time when the Quran was being revealed, lest it be confused with something else, and that permission was given at other times; or that the prohibition applied only to writing down things other than Quran with the Quran on one thing, and that permission was given to write them separately; of that the prohibition came first and the permission abrogated that, when there was no longer any fear of confusion. This is most likely to be the case.                               

It was said that the prohibition applied only to those whom it was feared would depend on the writing and not memorize things, and that permission was given for those from whom such a thing was not feared. 

The scholars said: a group of the Sahaabah and Taabi’een regarded it as makrooh to write down the hadeeth and they regarded it as mustahabb to learn it from them by heart, as they had learned it. But when people were no longer able to strive so hard (in memorizing) and the scholars feared that knowledge might be lost, they compiled it in books.”

Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

Excerpted, with some modifications, from: http://islamqa.com/en/

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