Is A Fabricator Of Hadeeth A Disbeliever?

Rejecting The Narrations Of Fabricators 

The scholars agree that narrations of hadeeth are not accepted from one who lied even once about the Prophet (saw). They also agree that it is one of the greatest sins to lie about the Prophet (saw).

Is The Repentance Of A Fabricator Accepted?

There is a difference of opinion over this matter.

Opinion 1) Imaam Maalik said:

“But if one repents for his lies and then becomes known for truthfulness and uprightness, then the majority of scholars hold that both his repentance and narrations are accepted.”

Opinion 2) Imaaam Maalik said:

“Aboo Bakr As-Sairafee dissented, saying: ‘When we reject the narration of anyone for a lie that he was exposed with, we never return to accepting his narrations, not even after an outward repentance.‘ “

These scholars have said that anyone who has deliberately lied concerning a hadeeth or is involved in forgery is disqualified for ever and may never be admitted again even if he repents and corrects himself. [Al-Kifaaya of Al-Baghdaadee, p. 145]

Aboo Al-Mudhaffir As-Sam’aani ruled that if someone lied regarding even one narration, all of his previous narrations must also be rejected.

Is The Fabricator A Disbeliever?

Although the scholars agree that lying in hadeeths is from the major sins, they disagree about whether the fabricator is a disbeliever.

Opinion 1) A group of scholars hold that fabricators are disbelievers.

Opinion 2) Another group say they are not disbelievers.

Should The Fabricator Be Executed?

Owing to the great sensitivity of this matter, some scholars went so far as to say that intentional propagation of lies in the name of hadeeth amounted to disbelief (kufr) and validated the death punishment for its perpetrator. [Tadreeb Ar-Raawee of As-Suyootee, p.22 & Usool Al-Hadeeth of Al-Khateeb, p.274]

Is His Repentance Accepted?

Although these scholars say that the fabricator must be executed, they disagree among themselves whether his repentance is accepted.

Opinion 1) Ahmad Ibn Hanbal and Aboo Bakr Al-Humaydee (the shaykh of Imaam Bukhaaree) say that the repentance of a fabricator is never accepted.

Opinion 2) An-Nawawee, on the other hand, positively asserts that his repentance is accepted and that his narrations, like his testimonies, are from that time (i.e. the time of his repentance) onward accepted, and that his situation is similar to that of a disbeliever who acceptes Islaam.

As for repentance from other major sins, it may qualify the repenter again when his sincerity and good conduct becomes known and established beyond doubt.[Uloom Al-Hadeeth of Ibn As-Salaah, p. 116]


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