Do Weak Hadeeths Prove A Deed To Be Minimally Desirable?


Istihbaab (desirability) is not proven by da’eef (weak) ahaadeeth because istihbaab is one of the five decrees of the Sharee’ah (1) and any Sharee’ah decree can only be proven on the basis of some authentic hadeeth, which is not the case in da’eef ahaadeeth. Shaykh Al-Islaam, Ibn Taymiyyah also adopted the same point of view.

Similarly Shaykh Naasir Ad-Deen Al-Albaanee says that it is not lawful to establish the obligatory nature of acting on da’eef hadeeth because the least level of legality is istihbaab (desirable), which is one of the five decrees of Islaam and none of the decrees could be proved without any authentic argument in its favour.

[Taken from Shaykh Imraan Ayoob’s introduction to Shaykh Ehsaan Aly ‘Uteby’s book, “100 Famous Weak Hadeeth Among Khateebs And Speakers”, p.20]

Footnotes:

(1) The five levels of decree are: (1) Obligatory, (2) Desirable (3) Permissible, (4) Disliked, and (5) Unlawful. Every deed one does falls in one of these five categories. So to put a deed into one of these five categories requires proof. And proof cannot be from unauthentic sources, hence why saying that weak hadeeths can at the very least prove the deed to be desirable is not correct.

Similar to this point is when we see some say that when we have two hadeeth, one showing a deed to be permissible and another showing a deed to be impermissible, it renders the deed disliked. This is said so as to be on the safe side, this, however, is incorrect (as Ibn Taymiyyah stated) because to say a deed is disliked requires a (Shariah based) proof, and just due to a difference of opinion among scholars (or a clash in two hadeeths) does not validate the deed becoming disliked.

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