Archive for the Hadith Studies Category

Ibn Taymiyyah’s View On Mursal Reports

Posted in Hadith Studies with tags , , , , , , on February 1, 2016 by TheAuthenticBase

Ibn Taymiyyah said:

“The scholars have differed whether to accept or reject the mursal reports. The most correct opinion is that some of them are acceptable, others are rejected, and others are mawqoof…

A mursal report that conflicts with the reports of trustworthy narrators is rejected. And if a mursal report is narrated by two narrators whose shaykhs are different, this confirms its truth, because one would not usually expect them to make identical errors.”

[From an unprinted manuscript by Al-Haafidh Ibn ‘Abdul-Haadee in Al-Maktabat Az-Zahiriyyah in Damascus]

See this post for more quotes regarding the Mursal narrations.

The Eloquent Speech Of The Prophet (saw) Are Known To The Scholars

Posted in Hadith Studies with tags , , , , , , on October 20, 2015 by TheAuthenticBase

From the signs in the text of a narration that point to its fabrication is when the matn (text) is of a stilted or awkward speech, lacking the Arabic eloquence.

The scholar who is familiar with the intricate details of the Arabic language knows when a given word or phrase is stiff or stilted (artificial, unnatural) and concludes that it is impossible to have emanated from one who is eloquent and well spoken – how then could such words have emanated from the most eloquent person to have ever spoken Arabic, Muhammad (saw)?

Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajr pointed out that this is sign is valid when exact words of the Prophet (saw) are being quoted.

Ibn Daqeed Al-‘Eed said:

“Scholars often rule a narration to be fabricated based on this principle – based on the wording of the narration. Because of their extensive research in hadeeth literature, they have developed string mental and spiritual faculties, through which they are able to differentiate between what the prophet (saw) might have uttered and what the Prophet (saw) could not have uttered.”

Al-Bilqeenee said:

“If one serves under a master for a number of years, he knows what he loves and what he hates, so if a third party were to claim that the master hated something, while the servant knew for a fact that he loved that things, he would, immediately upon hearing the claim, reject it as a lie.”

For example scholars of this field are known to have statements like “There is darkness upon this hadeeth,” or “Its text is dark,” or “The heart denies it,” or “The soul does not find peace in it.”

Ar-Rabee’ Ibn Khuthaym said:

“Among hadeeths, there is the hadeeth that has the illumination of the day, by which you know it (to be true). And among hadeeths there is the hadeeth that has the darkness of the night, by which you know it (to be false).”

Ibn Al-Jawzee said:

“The skin of the student of knowledge quivers upon hearing the munkar hadeeth (that which is unauthentic as well as contradicting the authentic). And most of the time his heart has an aversion to it.”

[The Sunnah And Its Role In Islamic Legislation” p. 139]

Criticising Narrators In Hadeeth, By Ibn Rajab

Posted in Hadith Studies with tags , , , , , on April 25, 2015 by TheAuthenticBase

Ibn Rajab said:

“As for the people of knowledge and understanding and those who adhere to the sunnah and the Jamaa’ah, then indeed they only mention the defects of the hadeeth out of sincerity to the religion and in order to preserve and safeguard the Prophet’s sunnah and to identify what befell the narrators of hadeeth from error, forgetfulness, and weakness.

This type of criticism was not required for other than weak and defective hadeeths. Rather, in their view, this strengthened the authentic hadeeths, since they were free from these defects and errors. So these individuals are the ones who are truly aware of the sunnah of the messenger of Allaah. And they are the great intellectual critics who criticeze the hadeeth after having skillfully and efficiently examined them in order to discredit the fake from the authentic…

[Sharh ‘Ilal At-Tirmidhee, 2/808]

Elsewhere he said:

“The righteous Imaams went to great lengths in forsaking the weak sayings (opinions) of some of the scholars. And they refuted them with the highest degree of refutation, as Imaam Ahmad used to censure Aboo Thawr and others in their opinions that they were alone in saying. And he went to great extremes in refuting them in these opinions…

[Al-Farq Bayna An-Naseeha Wat-Ta’yeer, p.30]

Criticising Narrators Without Any Fear

Posted in Hadith Studies with tags , , , , , , , , on January 1, 2015 by TheAuthenticBase

From among the righteous Salaf, there were men, who knew no fear when it came to criticising narrators, regardless whether that man was a ruler or the lowest man in society.

Likewise, they did not fear the blame of anyone, nor did they hesitate to proclaim openly any defect found in narrators.

It was said to Yahyaa Ibn Sa’eed Al-Qattaan:

“Do you not fear that these whose narrations you have abandoned will be your opponents before Allaah on the Day of Judgement?”

He said:

For these to be my opponents is more beloved to me than for the Messenger of Allaah (saw) to be my opponent, saying to me, ‘Why did you not expel lies from my hadeeth?‘ “

[Quoted in “The Sunnah And Its Role In Islamic Legislation” p.130]

Accepting Narrations From Truthful Innovators On Conditions

Posted in Biddah / Innovation, Hadith Studies with tags , , , on October 10, 2014 by TheAuthenticBase

The people of the sunnah did not vilify or discredit their opponent unless:

1) His innovation led to disbelief,

2) He attacked one of the Companions,

3) He was inviting others to his innovation, or

4) The hadeeth he was narrating was in harmony with the innovation to which he was inviting others.

The scholars of hadeeth criticism would consider all of these points as evidence showing that the narrator was not truthful or sincere. This is why the books of the Sunnah, and in their forefront Bukhaaree and Muslim, related hadeeths from some innovators whom history has shown to be truthful.

Examples of such narrators are ‘Umraan Ibn Hattaan Al-Khaarijee and Abbaan Ibn Taghlab Ash-Shi’ee. As he was discussing the biography of Abbaan Ibn Taghlab Al-Koofee, Al-Haafidh Adh-Dhahabee said:

“A dyed-in-the-wool Shi’ee, but he is truthful. For us is his honesty and against him is his innovation.”

Imaam Aboo Is-haaq Ibraaheem Ibn Ya’qoob Al-Jawzjaanee said:

“Among them was he who deviated away from the truth, yet still possessed an honest tongue. And his hadeeth would be widespread amongst the people since he was forsaken for his innovation but trusted with is narration.

So concerning these individuals, I see no other alternative but to take from their hadeeth that which is (already) known, so long as his innovation does not become strengthened because of that.”

[Ahwaal Ar-Rijaal, p.538]

Orientalists & Hadeeth Origin

Posted in Hadith Studies with tags , , , , , , on September 24, 2014 by TheAuthenticBase

The Orientalist Schacht claims that hadeeth were all fabricated by the companions and successors whenever they saw a good practise in the lands they conquered. He says: “Mutilation as a punishment for coin clippers and counterfeiters is advocated by spurious “hadeeths” quoted in Baladhooree. R.S. Lopez in Byzantine, 16/445 ff, has suggested a Byzantine origin. If this is correct, it would be a case of proposed adoption of a judicial practice which existed in the conquered territories.” [Foreign Elements, 14]

Ash-Shaykh M. M. Al-Azami replies to this by stating: “In Baladhooree, there are references to the practice of Marwaan and Abaan Ibn ‘Uthmaan who punished coin-clippers by flogging or chopping off the hand. But there is no hadeeth; neither spurious nor authentic. Thus his statement is wrong.

Further, if they punished, and Romans also used to punish this crime, then to claim that it might have been taken from them is ridiculous. It is doubtful whether any government would reward the coin-clippers for their “fine-art” and “handskill”. It is quite normal that every government would punish them.” [Studies In Early Hadeeth Literature, p. 267]

Two Reasons Why Aboo Haneefah Differed With The Majority In His Rulings

Posted in Hadith Studies with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 10, 2014 by TheAuthenticBase

1) Unauthenticating Many Authentic Narrations:

Aboo Haneefah stipulated strict conditions for a narration to be accepted – very difficult conditions indeed, but he only did so because fabrication in hadeeth became a widespread phenomenon. During his time, Iraaq was the source of revolutionary and intellectual groups in the Islaamic world, and as such, it was fertile soil for fabrications and fabricators to thrive.

These factors impelled Imaam Aboo Haneefah to be more circumspect when accepting the authenticity of a hadeeth, and so he only accepted those hadeeth that were famous and widespread, and came from trustworthy people. In this regard he was more careful and strict than even the scholars of hadeeth which is why he deemed many hadeeths to be weak, which in the view of the scholars of hadeeth, were authentic and accepted.

2) Accepting Mursal Narrations:

Although he was strict in one aspect of judging the authenticity of hadeeths, he was more lenient in another: he would consider disconnected (mursal) narrations to be acceptable, but only if the one who narrated it was trustworthy.

Mursal narrations are narrations wherein one of the Taabi’een would narrate a hadeeth without mentioning the source from whom he took it.

Imaam Aboo Haneefah’s view in this matter is contrary to the view of the majority of Hadeeth Scholars, which led him to arguing issues based on hadeeths that were considered to be weak and inapplicable by others.

[Taken from “The Sunnah And Its Role In Islaamic Legislation” by Mustafa As-Sibaa’ee, p.492]

Is It Permissible To Quote Only Half Of A Hadeeth?

Posted in Hadith Studies with tags , , , , on May 10, 2014 by TheAuthenticBase

Sometimes the transmitter reports a Hadith but omits a part of it. The question then arises as to whether this form of transmission is permissible at all.

In principle, the narrator of Hadith, of any type of Hadith, must not omit any part which is integral to its meaning. For instance: when the omitted part consists of a condition, or an exception to the main theme of the Hadith, or which makes a reference to the scope of its application. However, the narrator may omit a part of the Hadith which does not affect the meaning of the remaining part. For in this case, the Hadith at issue will be regarded, for all intents and purposes, as two hadith.

It has been a familiar practice among the ulema to omit a part of the Hadith which does not have a bearing on its main theme.

But if the omission is such that it would bring the quoted part into conflict with its full version, then the issue will be determined, not under the foregoing, but under the rules of conflict and preference (al-ta’arud wa’l-tarjih).

In any case, the preferred practice is not to omit any part of the Hadith, as the omitted part may well contain valuable information on some point and serve a purpose that may not have occurred to the narrator himself.

[Taken from “Principles Of Islamic Jurisprudence” by M. H. Kamali, Pp.106-107]

A Not-So-Smart Orientalists

Posted in Hadith Studies, Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , on May 5, 2014 by TheAuthenticBase

When a certain amount of research finally yields a theory, academia dictates that this theory must face rigorous testing. If it fails then it must be either modified and retested, or abandoned altogether.

But studies of Islaam [done by non-Muslims] are unfortunately littered with ill-conceived theories that have ascended to the point of almost becoming hard facts, even when they fail on several counts.

[For example] Professor Wensinck comments on the famous hadeeth regarding the five pillars of Islaam:

“Islaam has been built on five pillars: testifying there is no god but Allaah, performing the prayers, paying the zakaah, fasting Ramadhaan, and making the pilgrimage to the House (Ka’bah).” [Saheeh Muslim]

He views this as spurious since it contains the kaimah shahaadah (bearing testimony that there is no god but Allaah). According to his view, the Companions of the Prophet Muhammad introduced the kalimah only after coming across some Christians in Syria who employed a declaration of faith, this thieving this idea from the Christians to develop one of the core pillars of Islaam.

Confronted with the problem that the kalimah shahaadah is also part of the tashahhud in the daily prayers, Wensinck put forward another theory instead of modifying his earlier one: the prayer was standardised after the Prophet’s death [see Wensinck, Muslim Creed, p. 19-32].

Perhaps a further theory is required, since Wensinck has not explained the existence of the kalimah in the adhaan and the iqaamah, nor when these two were introduced into Islaam.

[“The History of The Quranic Text”, by M. M. Al-Azami, see preface p. xix]

Have All The Hadeeth Survived Till This Day?

Posted in Hadith Studies with tags , , , , , , , on February 25, 2014 by TheAuthenticBase

Imaam Bukhaari states that he had memorised over 600,000 hadeeth from which he extracted about 7000 for his saheeh, (or about 2600 without repetition) [Al-Khateeb Al-Baghdaadee, Taareekh Baghdaad, 2/8]. Those with a sickness in their hearts, use this statement to say that there are so many saheeh ahaadeeth which have not survived to this day and age. Ash-Shaykh Muhammad Mustafa Al-Azami refutes such a claim by saying:

As for the problem of enormous numbers, every channel of transmition is counted as a separate hadeeth. ‘Abdur-Rahmaan Ibn Mahdee (d. 198) said: “I have 13 traditions from Al-Mugheerah transmitting from the Prophet (saw) concenrining “al-mash ‘alaa al-khuffayn.” ” It is quite obvious that Al-Mugheerah is reporting a single action of or habit of the Prophet. It does not matter how many times this action was repeated. It would be reported as a single action. As this single action is reported to ‘Abdur-Rahmaan Ibn Mahdee from 1 channels

The first four centuries of the hijrah were the golden age for the science of transmition and the number of transmitters grew tremendously.

Ibn Khuzaymah (d. 311) gives some 30 isnaads for one hadeeth in one chapter, concerning the single act of ‘Aa’ishah, for cleansing the cloth. Meanwhile it is obvious that there might have been many other channels of transmition which were unknown to him.

Muslim Ibn Hajjaaj (d. 261) cites the names of a number of transmitters,when he argues about certain points, especially when there is a mistake committed by some transmitters. For example, he gives 13 traditions concerning the single incident of Ibn ‘Abbaas and his tahajjud prayer. In the prayer he stood on the left side of the Prophet and then the Prophet pulled him to his right side. Yazeed Ibn Abee Ziyaad related on the authority of Kulaib, that Ibn ‘Abbaas stood on the right side of th Prophet, but he was placed on the left. On this occasion Muslim gives 13 isnaads – making 13 hadeeths – contradicting Yazeed’s statement. Further, he does not give the complete isnaad ad their full growth until his time. He mostly gives details of channels until about 130 AH> Had he given the complete comprehensive isnaad flourishing in his own time, they might have grown to 50 traditions at least.

There have been some traditionists who claim that they had every hadeeth from 100 channels, and many others who have written every hadeeth from 20 or 30 channels. So we may now infer what the real numbers of the traditions were which were described as 600,000.

Another point is that they were not purely traditions of the Prophet (saw), but the sayings of the Companions and the Successors and their legal decisions as well; the word “hadeeth” covers all these subjects and matters in some scholars’ terms…

Now it is clear that when traditionists give enormous numbers for the traditions, they mean channels and sources of their transmission, and so not man real numbers of hadeeth. But when they give small figures, saying: “Al-Zuhree has 1,000 hadeeth, or Al-Qaasim has 200 hadeeth” they most probably man hadeeth as a subject matter not counted according to its isnaad.

[“Studies In Early Hadeeth Literature”, by M. M. AlAzami; Suhail Academy; Lahore, Pakistan; Pp. 302-3]

What is The Minimum Number Required For Mutawaatir

Posted in Hadith Studies with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 30, 2013 by TheAuthenticBase

Some scholars have attempted to specify a minimum, varying from as low as four, to as many as twenty, forty and seventy up into the hundreds. All of these figures are based on analogies (qiyaas).

Opinion 1) The required number of four is based on the similar number of witnesses that constitues legal proof. Allaah says, “And those who accuse chaste women, and produce not four witnesses, flog them with eighty stripes, and reject their testimony forever, they indeed are the Fasiqun (liars, rebellious, disobedient to Allah).” [24:4] Based on this aayah, they say that 4 witnesses constitutes undoubted proof.

Opinion 2) Twenty is analogous with the Quraanic aayah, “If there are twenty steadfast men among you, they will overcome two hundred (fighters).” [8:65] The first one to speculate twenty was a Mu’tazilee by the name of Aboo Al-Hudhayl, he said regarding this aayah, “They cannot fight unless they represent a number that establishes them as proof against their enemy.”

Opinion 3) The next number, that is seventy, represents an analogy with another Quraanic passage where we read that, “Moses chose seventy men among his people for an appointment with Us.” [7:155] Thus proving that seventy was required to constitute a decisive proof.

Opinion 4) Some have drawn an analogy with the number of participants in the battle of Badr.

[See “Principles Of Islaamic Jurisprudence”, by Muhammad Haashim Kamali, p.93, and “The Sunnah, And Its Role In Islaamic Legislation”, by Mustafa As-Sibaa’ee, p.196]