Defending the Muhadditheen from forging self concocted principles – A reply to the fans of Mawdudi and ilk

 

fahmsized2

 

INDEX 

1. Why this article 


2. Ten Summarized points to briefly (shortly) refute the allegation (those who intend to read more in depth can scroll down to the following sub-topics , otherwise this sub-topic is enough i believe to convey my message) 


3. A collection of some Verses  which are used in developing the sciences of hadeeth 


4. A collection of some Ahadeeth which are used in developing or extracting the sciences of hadeeth 


4.1) The Proof of sincerity


4.2) The Proof of adhering to the chain of narrators

4.3) The proof of taking only from the righteouss

4.4) The Proof of studying the biographies of the narrators

4.5) The proof of studying the birth and death date of narrators

4.6) The Proof of not lying when transmitting narrations

4.7) The Proof of refuting false narrations and beliefs using a variety of means

4.8) The Proof of refuting and criticising the narrators

4.9) The proof of abandoning the claim of one who is untrustworthy and speaks out of personal grudge

4.10) The Proof of defending the Pious scholars even if by disparaging those who deserve it. 

5. Concluding statement

6. Relevant reads




1. Why this article 


Some of the people who are victims to their own intellect being superior to the experts of their field have fallen into a disease called as hypocricy as well as irrationality . 

Hypocricy because they wouldn’t let a salesman or a tailor interfere and judge on medical issues of surgery but they would very easily defend the interference and analysis of a non scholar in scholarly issues. 


as for irrationality then it is because some of the followers of respected Muslim men such as mawlana mawdudi rahimahullah and his ilk happen to be affected by their blunders and therefore have caused the opening of the door of inkaar of hadeeth. I for one belong to the regions affected with this deviated idealogy and have been in the circles of many of these groups and NGO’s who take mawdudi as their hero yet due to lack of proper knowledge have succumbed to his mistakes and taken it as a Hujjah.  

2. Ten Summarized points to briefly (shortly) refute the allegation (those who intend to read more in depth can scroll down to the following sub-topics , otherwise these ten points in this sub-topic is enough i believe to convey my message and for any reader to take heed) 



this short post is to refute their notion that the science of hadeeth is MERELY something the later generation like Bukhaari and ilk have devised or invented using their own ijtihaad ALONE.  I beg to differ and following are very few examples why so : 

1. First of all bukhaari was preceded by hundreds if not thousands of `ulema who wrote ahadeeth as well as transmitted it orally using the principles of usool al hadeeth and asmaa ur-rijaal all the while. E.g shu`bah ibn al-Hajjaj and Ibn Mubarak and even people before him such as Ibn `Abbas radhiallahu `anhu and ibn sireen.  See this article to see how early the sahaaba started compiling and writing ahadeeth and the prophet made them proof read as well : http://the-finalrevelation.blogspot.com/2013/01/hadeeth-books-and-compilations-by.html

2. Also the principles or parameters of verification or usool of hadeeth is something which the muhadditheen surely did reform and extend but have based it from the original Qur`an and Sunnah and that is where it stems from. There is a difference in saying they devised the entire science VS they merely extended or reformed the istilaahat (terminologies ) and application

From the principle of having two witnesses to the sunnah of accepting the testimony of someone known to be of good virtue, all of these were taken from the qur`an , hadeeth and 1st three generations but i will give some e.g’s from the sahaaba only  


Also 


(قول عمر رضى الله عنه: ” المسلون عدول بعضهم على بعضهم “.


`Umar (radhiallahu `anhu) said (to Abu Musa al-`Ashari regarding judgement issues that) muslims are worthy (or just enough to judge or testify for or against) each other 


[Ref: Bayhaqi (10/155-156)] 


3.  The hadeeth in Bukhaari wherein `umar r.a asked abu sa`eed khudri to prove that what he narrated was from the prophet and eventually other sahaaba testified. This is a small glimpse showing that the Muhadditheen took verification protocols from the sahaaba 

 

See: http://the-finalrevelation.blogspot.com/2013/12/yes-sahaaba-and-salaf-used-to-verify.html

4. In saheeh bukhaari we read Abu Bakr radhiallahu anhu told Zaid ibn Thabit why he chose him for compiling the qur`an : ….”you are a wise young man and we DO NOT HAVE ANY SUSPICION ABOUT YOU (YOUR CHARACTER OR SHORTFALLS) . 


This also proves that it is the sunnah of the best of mankind to verify the characteristic traits before taking something from him which the muhadditheen used as one of their usool. 


5.  We also know of many narrations including the one in Muqaddamah of Muslim ibn Hajjaj that Ibn `Abbas (radhiallahu `anhu) and other sahaaba also verified the men and their idealogy or creed before accepting a statement. Again the muhadditheen took this from them 

6. So much so that the principle used by the muhadditheen of not accepting a ghareeb riwayat or not accepting the riwaya of a majhool person or a mu`dal riwayat or even a mu`allaq also comes from the verdict of the sahaaba which is marfoo` in hukm and recorded in muqaddamah saheeh Muslim e.g

Abdullah ibn mas`ood (radhiallahu `anhu) said:


‘Indeed Satan will appear in the form of a man and he will come to the people, narrating to them false Ḥadīth, and they will then depart. Then a man among them will say: ‘I heard a man whose face I recognize but I do not know his name narrating [such and such]…’


7. So much so that the Muhadditheen themselves agree and confess that their principles are taken from the prophetic ahadeeth such as Imam as-shaf`ee in his risalah (397/ number 1094) himself said after mentioning a hadeeth….


“This is the most emphatic hadith ever transmitted from the Messenger of Allah on this matter. We have relied on it as well as on other hadiths in not accepting any hadith except from a trustworthy transmitter and we know the truthfulness of those who transmitted it from first to last…..” 


So anyone who accuses the Muhadditheen of inventing these principles is a liar



8. If some ignorant individual again wants to strike a doubt asking okay they said to take from trustworthy person but they never said what determines the trustworthiness of a person then we reply to their lies using the following out of the many other narration : 


From Sulaymaan ibn Mus-hir: from Kharashah ibn al-Hurr, who said:


“A man bore witness in the presence of `Umar ibn al-Khattaab -radiyallaahu `anhu, so `Umar said to him: “I do not know you, and it does not harm you that I do not know you, but bring someone who does know you.”


So a man said: ‘I know him, O Chief of the Believers.’


He said: “What do you know of him.”


He said: ‘Uprightness.’


He said: “Is he your closest neighbour; so that you know about his night and his day, and his comings and goings?”


He said: ‘No.’


He said: “So have you had (monetary) dealings with him involving dirhams and deenars, which will indicate his piety?”


He said: ‘No.’


He said: “Then has he been your companion upon a journey which could indicate to you his good character?”


He said: ‘No.’


He said: “Then you do not know him.”


Then he said to the man: “Bring me someone who knows you.


[Ref: Reported by al-Bayhaqee and others, and it was declared to be ‘saheeh’ (authentic) by Ibnus-Sakan, and our Shaikh [i.e.Muhammad Naasiruddeen al-Albaanee] agreed; and refer to’al-Irwaa’ (no.2637).]

9. Another example is that Yahya ibn Ma`een rahimahullah went to the students of Hammad ibn Salamah (d 169 Ah) , including haroon and Musa ibn Isma`eel and wanted to read back what he took from the other routes so as to verify if what he received is correct. One may ask what is the basis of this “process of verification” usually classified in mustalahal hadeeth under the baab of Turuk at-tahammaul (means of transporting the hadeeth) as ”  `Ardh ”  Though the term may be new but where is the `Asl of this practise? it goes back to the prophet sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam and Zaid ibn thabit but here is another example of another sahaabi approving this method and validating it :

عن زيد بن ثابت قال: كنت أكتب الوحي لرسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، وكان «إذا نزل عليه أخذته برحاء شديدة، وعرق عرقا شديدا مثل الجمان، ثم سري عنه» ، فكنت أدخل عليه بقطعة الكتف أو كسرة، فأكتب وهو يملي علي، فما أفرغ حتى تكاد رجلي تنكسر من ثقل القرآن، وحتى أقول: لا أمشي على رجلي أبدا، فإذا فرغت قال: «اقرأه» ، فأقرؤه، فإن كان فيه سقط أقامه، ثم أخرج به إلى الناس

Zaid bin Thabit, one of the chief scribes relates: “I used to write down the revelation for the Holy Prophet, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. When the revelation came to him he felt intense heat and drops of perspiration used to roll down his body like pearls. When this state was over I used to fetch a shoulder bone or a piece of something else. He used to go on dictating and I used to write it down. When I finished writing the sheer weight of transcription gave me the feeling that my leg would break and I would not be able to walk anymore. Anyhow when I finished writing, he would say, ‘Read!’ and I would read it back to him. If there was an omission or error he used to correct it and then let it be brought before the people 

[Ref: Mu`jam Al-Tabarani Al-Awst, Hadith 1913. Dar al-Haramain, Cairo, 1415 AH. Authenticated by Al-Haithmi in Majma’ Al-Zawaid 8/257, Hadith 13938]

Sa’eed Ibn Hilaal narrates that Anas Ibn Maalik (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu) would mention everything he had written by memory; whilst showing us he would say :

I heard this narration from the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu alayhewa sallam) myself and I would write it down and repeat it to the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) so that he would affirm it.” 

[Ref: Saaheefa Ibn Humaam (p. 34) from Khateeb al-Baghdaadee and al-Haakim (3/573-574]

 

 

أَخْبَرَنَا مَخْلَدُ بْنُ مَالِكٍ، حَدَّثَنَا مُعَاذٌ، حَدَّثَنَا عِمْرَانُ بْنُ حُدَيْرٍ، عَنْ أَبِي مِجْلَزٍ، عَنْ بَشِيرِ بْنِ نَهِيكٍ، قَالَ: “ كُنْتُ أَكْتُبُ مَا أَسْمَعُ مِنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ، فَلَمَّا أَرَدْتُ أَنْ أُفَارِقَهُ، أَتَيْتُهُ بِكِتَابِهِ فَقَرَأْتُهُ عَلَيْهِ، وَقُلْتُ لَهُ: هَذَا سَمِعْتُ مِنْكَ؟ قَالَ: نَعَمْ “

 

I used to write whatever I learnt from Abu Huraira. Then as I intended to organize them/ depart from him – I came to him with the book and read it to him (to verify back) and asked, “This is what I heard from you (right)?” Abu Huraira said, “Yes.” 


[Ref: Sunan Darmi, Hadith 494 (or 511 in shamila). Shaykh Hussain Salim Asad graded the report as Sahih , Also see Jaami al-Bayaan (1/72) and Tahdheeb at-Tahdheeb (1/470); Also reported in Kitaab al-`Ilm of Abu Khaithama an-Nasa`ee (137 ) ]
Likewise many Muhadditheen, thanks to their blessed skill of having memorized hundreds of thousands of routes used to instantly catch hold of even a single word that were fishy .
قَالَ أَبُو مُحَمَّدٍ رَأَيْتُ فِي كِتَابٍ كَتَبَهُ عَبْدُ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنُ عُمَرَ الأَصْبَهَانِيُّ الْمَعْرُوفُ بِرُسْتَةَ مِنْ أَصْبَهَانَ إِلَى أَبِي زُرْعَةَ بِخَطِّهِ: وَإِنِّي كُنْتُ رَوَيْتُ عِنْدَكُمْ عَنِ ابْنِ مَهْدِيٍّ عَنْ سُفْيَانَ عَنِ الأَعْمَشِ عَنْ أَبِي صَالِحٍ عَنْ أَبِي هريرة عن النبي صلى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَنَّهُ قَالَ: أَبْرِدُوا بِالظُّهْرِ فَإِنَّ شِدَّةَ الْحَرِّ مِنْ فَيْحِ جَهَنَّمَ، فَقُلْتُ: هَذَا غَلَطُ، النَّاسِ يَرْوُونَ عَنْ أَبِي سَعِيدٍ عن النبي (92 ك) صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، فَوَقَعَ ذَلِكَ مِنْ قَوْلِكَ فِي نَفْسِي فَلَمْ أَكُنْ أَنْسَاهُ حَتَّى قَدِمْتُ ونظرت في الاصر فَإِذَا هُوَ عَنْ أَبِي سَعِيدٍ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، فَإِنْ خَفَ عَلَيْكَ فَأَعْلِمْ ابا حاتم عافاه الله (172 م) وَمَنْ سَأَلَكَ مِنْ أَصْحَابِنَا فَإِنَّكَ فِي ذَلِكَ مَأْجُورٌ إِنْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ، وَالْعَارُ خَيْرٌ مِنَ النَّارِ

 

`Abdur-rahman ibn `Umar al-Asbahaani once narrated a hadeeth from the chain :

From Ibn Mahdi from Sufyan from al-`Amash from Abi Salih from Abu Huraira radhiallahu `anhu that the Prophet sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam said ” ‘Wait for it (Zuhr prayer timing) to cool down before you pray, for intense heat is from the flaring up of the Hell-fire.”

Abu Zur`ah immediately said : ” This is incorrect, the people (i.e. hadeeth scholars) have narrated this (not via Abu Huraira but) from Abu Sa`eed radhiallahu `anhu.”

`Abdur-rahman rahimahullah took this very seriously upon himself [1] and did not forget so when he reached (home) and checked , he found in his book the narration to be from Abu sa`eed and not abu huraira so he wrote to Abu Zur`ah acknowledging his mistake and asking him to take the trouble of clarifying this to their companions (students whom he narrated to) and inform them about his mistake for Allah would reward him (Abu zur`ah) because shame [2] is better than hell 

[Ref: Jarh wa ta`deel of Ibn Abi Hatim , 1/336 shamela]

[1] That’s how scholars were. A tiny error, even if it were a humane error would be enough to nullify a person’s rank, grade, trustworthyness in hadeeth transmission which was the world to them. This is what they lived for, to serve the deen and to be labelled as weak or one who cannot be relied upon in his transmission was a burden that was tantamount to having mountains placed on their chest.

[2] Subhanallah ! the shaykh preferred being named and shamed instead of sticking to his ego and trying to protect his rank and eventually get the sin for lying [Bukhari 8/118 narrated by Samurah ibn Jundub] and transmitting a wrong report on the prophet without correcting his public mistake publicly. This was the piety of these scholars whom many liberals apostates, ignorant Muslim folks and islamaphobic non muslims dare attack!!.

 


10) Another example though all of these are very “logical and rational” yet these victims of “ironic” taqleed [1] do not understand. Let me give another example. The salaf truly wrote books and considered it as one of the requirements that a Muhaddith has to travel to gain the different asaaneed without which his reliability is put to question. One may ask where did they get this motivation from? One of the examples are :


Jaabir ibn `Abdullaah radhiallahu `anhu (a sahaabi to those who don’t know) said, “I purchased a camel and rode it hard for a month until I reached al-Shaam. `Abdullaah ibn Unais was there, and I sent word to him, saying, “Jaabir is at the door.” The messenger returned and asked, “Jaabir ibn `Abdullaah?” I replied: “Yes”. So `Abdullaah came out and embraced me. I said, “A Hadeeth reached me (on your authority) which I had not heard before and I feared that one of us might die.” He (`Abdullaah bin Unais) went on, “I heard the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم say, The people will be gathered uncircumsised and buhman.  ……(cont) 



[Adab al-Mufrad (970) of al-Bukhaaree and graded as “Hasan” (good) by Shaikh al-Albaanee. He also authenticated it in “Takhreej Kitaab al-Sunnah” (514)]

[1] Ironic because they say they don’t blind follow a scholar such as Mawdudi or Ghamidi, yet whatever they parrot seems to be exactly their writings even when their writings are opposed by EVERY SCHOLAR before. 



Yahya ibn Ma`een rahimahullah remarked about such a man : that anyone who limits his studies to his city alone and refuses to journey, cannot reach scholarly maturity


[Ref: Al-Khatib, ar-Rihla, Damascus, 1395 (1975), p. 89]


Many examples could be given.  Al-Khateeb al-Baghdadi has written an entire work on the subject of traveling in search of hadeeth.  His work is entitled Al-Rihla fi Talab al-Hadeeth (“Travels in Search of Hadeeth”).  What makes this work even more interesting is that it is not simply concerned with scholars traveling to learn hadeeth.  This was done by almost every scholar in the history of Islam.  Indeed, if a scholar did not travel that was usually pointed out as something strange, as the norm was to travel.  However, this book, as pointed out by the editor of the work Noor al-Deen Its, is about travels in search of just one hadeeth and not hadeeth in general


The famous Taabi’ee, Imaam Abu al-Aaliyah ar-Riyaahi said:

“كنا نسمع الرواية عن أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بالبصرة، فلم نرض حتى ركبنا إلى المدينة، فسمعناها من أفواهم”
“We used to hear a narration from the Companions of Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) in Basrah (through the Taabi’een), and we would not have satisfied until we travelled to Madeenah and heard the narration from the very mouths of the Companions themselves.”

[Al-Jaami by al-Khateeb (# 1684), Chain Saheeh; Taken from: http://ahlulisnaad.blogspot.com/2014/09/subtletiesof-isnaad-lataaif-ul-isnaad.html]

3. A collection of some Verses which are used in developing or extracting the sciences of hadeeth 




Note: I am not going to group the below texts as per the conditions of a saheeh hadeeth or rijaal. Because it would become too confusing and cumbersome for many. I’d rather just keep quoting the various verses and ahadeeth which are used to extract the rules of usool al-hadeeth (including praise and criticism principles and other pillars such as enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil) and mention what is extracted from them underneath in one or two lines or via the fatwa of a scholar. This is an effort to only show the Muslims that the Muhadditheen did not base their science on their own personal inventions (whims) as the Munkirul hadeeth and other deviant groups claim . So this section will include Qur`anic verses, prophetic ahadeeth and fatawa from the sahaaba   which have been used by the Muhadditheen/scholars 


3.1) 
(the two sisters said) “ ‘O my father! Hire him (Moses)! Verily, the best of men for you to hire is the strong, the trustworthy’”

[al-Qasas 28:26] 

This shows that the qualities of one being strong (in emaan or in tolerance in patience and etc) and one who is trustworthy (free from treachery, dishonesty, slackness ) is to be given preference
3.2) 

Allah I said, “Allah will not leave the believers in the state in which you are now, until He distinguishes the wicked from the good.” (3:179)


Imam Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah said in, Bada’i`u at-Tafsir, 1/536-537, “This verse is one of the treasures of the Qur’an which points to the wisdom of Allah , which necessitates that he distinguishes the wicked from the good, and that differentiation only happens through His messengers [1] .  Allah chooses among them whom He Wills, and sends them to His slaves; through their messages, the good is differentiated [from the wicked], the helper from the enemy, and who is fit to be a companion [of that messenger] and who is only fit to be fuel [for hellfire is differentiated].  


[1] The scholars are the inheritors of the Messenger’s knowledge, thus after the Messengers are gone, this responsibility befalls upon the scholars 
3.3) 
Allah I said, “O you who believe! If a rebellious evil person comes to you with a news, verify it, lest you harm people in ignorance, and afterwards you become regretful to what you have done.” (49:6)


This verse is a fundamental when it pertains to taking into account the `adala (uprightness; someone who possesses `adala [an `adl] is not a sinner or liar) and dhabt (trustworthiness; someone who possesses dhabt [a dhabit] does not have a weak memory or is quick to forget) of someone narrating, just as it is proof that it is obligatory to double check and ascertain as to the authenticity of the news brought by a sinner.

[Ref: Dhawabit al-Jarh wa at-Ta`dil, pg. 27] 


Ibn Taimiyyah said, “This also proves clearly that believing a single upright person is not forbidden always, and this proves that we can accept the testimony of one upright person…”  


[Ref: Majmu` al-Fatawa, 3/463]


He also noted another principle :  “This is a proof which shows that the report of one sinner should be ascertained, as for two or more sinners, then its indication needs to be established by it being introduced separately in the verse… ascertaining was only ordered for the report of one sinner, and not for two.  The report of two sinners necessitates more belief than the report of only one.


[Ref: Majmu` al-Fatawa, 4/7] 
3.4) 

Allah I said, “And thus do We explain the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) in detail, that the way of the Mujrimoon(criminals, polytheists, sinners), may become manifest.” (6:55)


This verse was explained by the Muffassiroon of all times, including the late Shaykh as-Sa`di rahimahullah in his Tafseer that this verse is a proof that we need to make distinct falsehood and truth and likewise distinct the practises of the evil doers by criticising, pointing them and their practises out and so on so when we know what constitutes falsehood we can abstain from it. This is what the Muhaddithoon worked using . 


[Ref: Tafseer as-sa`di page 50 and 258 for original explanation] 
3.5) 

Allah  said, “And take for witness two just persons from among you (Muslims). And establish the witness for Allah.” (65:2); and, “As adjudged by two just men among you.” (5:95)



These verses are a proof that witness and testimonies of the Muhaddithoon in regards to more serious issues than what the verses were revealed for are all the more important. 

[Ref: Al-Khulasah fi `Ilm al-Jarh wa at-Ta`dil, by `Ali bin Nayif al-Shuhud, pg. 18, with slight changes.] 

 


4. A collection of some Ahadeeth which are used in developing or extracting the sciences of hadeeth 

 

4.1) The Proof of sincerity


The Deen (religion) is naseehah (advice/sincerity)’. We said ‘To whom?’ He said ‘To Allah and His Book, and His Messenger, and to the leaders of the Muslims and their common folk.’ [Related by Muslim no 55]


This hadeeth makes it incumbent that every advice and everything related to the deen revolves around sincerity. Whether it be towards the religion itself or in Mu`amalat i.e with people and rulers 



4.2) The Proof of adhering to the chain of narrators

 

And it is known that Isnaad (chain of transmission) is one of the specialties of this Ummah. This is by which we come to know of the proven Prophetic traditions as it is narrated from Abdullah bin Abbaas (radiallah anhu) that he said: The Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said:

 

You hear (from me), and others will hear from you; and people will hear from them who heard from you.”


[Ref: Ahmed (2945), Abu Dawood (3659) and Ibn Hibbaan (62) in his Saheeh with a Saheeh chain]



4.3) The proof of taking only from the righteouss



«يَا ابْنَ عُمَرَ دِينُكَ دِينُكَ , إِنَّمَا هُوَ لَحْمُكَ وَدَمُكَ , فَانْظُرْ عَمَّنْ تَأْخُذُ , خُذْ عَنِ الَّذِينَ اسْتَقَامُوا , وَلَا تَأْخُذْ عَنِ الَّذِينَ »


The prophet (sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam) is reported to have said to Ibn `Umar (r.a) : Oh Ibn `umar, your deen is your faith, indeed it is your flesh and blood (i.e life) so, be careful for whom you are receiving it from, receive it from the( pious and )steadfast and do not take it from those leaning astray



[Ref: al-Kifayah , khateeb al Baghdadi page 121 – Dha`eef]


Though this hadeeth has some weaknesses, but based on this report the salaf have formulated many principles as well such as that of the importance of the sanad , the condition of men being from proper righteouss creed and doctrine , the importance of taking caution in receiving and transmitting islamic information 

such as :


Imaam Maalik (r.h) said : “The knowledge of hadeeth is your flesh and blood and you will be asked concerning it on the Day of Judgement . so Look whom you take it from ! 

[Ref: Al Muhaddithul Faasil (p.416) an al-Kifaayah (p.21) of Al Khateeb]

4.4) The Proof of studying the biographies of the narrators


Abu Huraira and Anas radhiallahu `anhu said :


إِنَّ هَذَا العِلْمَ دِيْنٌ فَانْظُرُوا عَمَّنْ تَأْخُذُونَ دِيْنَكُمْ

“Verily, this knowledge is our Religion, therefore let each of you carefully observe from whom he takes his Religion!” 

[Ref: From Abu Hurayra and Anas in al-Khatib’s al-Jami` li-Akhlaq al-Rawi and al-Hakim’s Mustadrak; from Ibn Sirin or spelled as Sireen and Ibn `Awn in Muslim’s Sahih and al-Khatib’s al-Faqih wal-Mutafaqqih and also via Ibn Abbas and Collected by Ibn Habân in Al-Majruheen  1/152].


This along with other ahadeeth are used by the muhaddithoon to read, study and transmit the biographies of the narrators so to analyze and be careful of whom they take their religion from. 


4.5) The proof of studying the birth and death date of narrators


وَحَدَّثَنِي عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ الدَّارِمِيُّ، قَالَ سَمِعْتُ أَبَا نُعَيْمٍ، ‏.‏ وَذَكَرَ الْمُعَلَّى بْنَ عُرْفَانَ فَقَالَ قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو وَائِلٍ، قَالَ خَرَجَ عَلَيْنَا ابْنُ مَسْعُودٍ بِصِفِّينَ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ أَبُو نُعَيْمٍ أَتُرَاهُ بُعِثَ بَعْدَ الْمَوْتِ

Abd Allah bin Abd ar-Rahman ad-Dārimī narrated to me, he said:

‘I heard Abu Nu’aym and he mentioned al-Mu’alla bin Urfan, so [Abu Nu’aym] said, [al-Mu’alla] said: ‘Abu Wa’il narrated to us, he said ‘Ibn Mas’ud attacked us on the day of Siffin’. So Abu Nu’aym said: ‘Do you think he was raised after death? [Ibn Mas’ud passed away in 32 or 33H, several years before the day in question so how can he attack in that battle when he was long dead before that year?]

[Ref: Saheeh Muslim ] 
By identifying when a narrators was born and when died it is possible to ascertain of there was a likelihood that he met the narrator from whom he claims he got the report.

Once a man named `Umar ibn Musa came to Homs. The people gathered round him in the mosque and so he began speak: ‘We were informed by your pious Shaykh such and such hadith.  When he kept mentioning him `Afeer b. Mi`daan asked him: Who is your pious Shaykh? Give us his name so we can identify him `Umar ibn Musa replied: he is Khalid b. Mi’daan. `Afeer asked him: which year did you meet him? He said: I met him in the year 108 AH. So he asked: where did you meet him? He replied: I met him in the battle of Armenia.

So Afeer said: ‘Fear Allah O Shaykh and do not lie. Khalid b. Mi`dan died in the year 104 AH but you claim that you met him after his death by four years.

[Ref: the above example was given by al-Khateeb in his al-Kifayah fee `ilmir riwaayah]

This is a proof from the sahaabi that the dates of those who died , i.e the narrators are also to be taken heed of, this is why sufyan ath-thawri rahimahullah said when they started lying , we started using the dates 

 

4.6) The Proof of not lying when transmitting narrations

The prophet (sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam) said :

المستشار مؤتمن



The one who is consulted (for advice) is entrusted 


[Ref: Al-Adab Al-Mufrad 256; The context of this statement of the prophet can be read from this hadeeth : http://sunnah.com/adab/13/1] 


One may wonder how did this hadeeth urge or motivate the muhadditheen. Very simple, another hadeeth explains this :


The signs of the hypocrite are three: when he speaks, he lies; when he makes a promise, he breaks it; and when he is entrusted with something, he betrays that trust.” 


[Ref: Narrated by al-Bukhari, 33; Muslim, 59]


And ” he is not one of us who betrays the trust” 


This hadeeth combined with hadeeth no. 3.2 above makes it incumbent upon the muhadditheen to not only implement these tests of piety upon themselves but also instill this very principle in the usool of hadeeth and asmaa ur-rijaal . This is why they rejected the hadeeth of one who is a liar. 



4.7) The Proof of refuting false narrations and beliefs using a variety of means

Abu Huraira (r.a) reported that The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:


يحمل هذا العلم من كل خلف عدوله ينفون عنه تحريف الغالين وانتحال المبطلين وتأويل الجاهلين 


“This knowledge will be carried by the trustworthy ones of every generation. They will expel from it the alteration made by those going beyond bounds; the false claims of the liars and the false interpretations of the ignorant ones.


[Ref: Saheeh: Related by al-Bayhaqee in Sunanul-Kubraa (10/209), Ibn Abee Haatim in al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel (2/17) and Ibn ‘Abdil-Barr in at-Tamheed (1/57-58), from the Hadeeth of Ibraaheem ibn ‘Abdir-Rahmaan al-‘Udharee radiallaahu ‘anhu. It was authenticated by Imaam Ahmad  (see Tareekh Dimishq 7/39) – as occurs in Sharafu Ashaabul-Hadeeth (p.29) of al-Khateeb al-Baghdaadee. Authenticated in Silsilah al-Saheeha 227 ] 


Can there be a bigger good tiding , a bigger motivation from the Messenger of Allah himself to ensure that the scholars (or people of `ilm) strive to carry this religion and it’s teachings and strive to expel the interpolation made by the deviants and to refute the false claims of deviants (e.g Munkirul hadeeth) and their false interpretations  These narrations play a major role in not only motivating but extracting and formulating the principles which the muhaddithoon work with . 



4.8) The Proof of refuting and criticising the narrators



`Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, narrated that a man asked permission to enter on the Prophet.  When the Prophet saw him, he said, “What an evil brother of his tribe!” When that man sat down, the Prophet sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam behaved with him in a nice and polite manner and engaged in a conversation with him.  When that person had left, `Aisha said [to the Prophet], “O Allah’s Messenger! When you saw that man, you said, “What an evil brother of his tribe” about him, then you showed him a kind and polite behavior, and you enjoyed his company?” Allah’s Messenger said, “O `Aisha! Have you ever seen me speaking a bad and dirty language? [Remember that] the worst people in Allah’s sight on the Day of Resurrection will be those whom the people leave (undisturbed) to be away from their evil (deeds).”   

[Ref: Bukhaari and Muslim] 

Another hadeeth like this is 

when fatima bint qays came to the prophet (sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam) with the proposals she got he (sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam) said:“As for Abu Jahm, he does not put down his staff from his shoulder (he is abusive), and as for Mu`awiyah, he is a poor man having no property; (so) marry Usamah bin Zaid… 


[Ref: Saheeh Muslim]

These ahadeeth are a proof that the  criticizing and speaking out of the Muhadditheen against the evil of narrators is permissible and serves general benifit as the prophet spoke/criticised that bedouin. 

[Ref: See Dhawabit al-Jarh wa at-Ta`dil, pg. 30]
See: http://fahmalhadeeth.com/why-do-muhadditheen-criticize-by-imam-ibn-athir-d-606-ah/


4.9) The proof of abandoning the claim of one who is untrustworthy and speaks out of personal grudge
لاَ تَجُوزُ شَهَادَةُ خَائِنٍ وَلاَ خَائِنَةٍ وَلاَ زَانٍ وَلاَ زَانِيَةٍ وَلاَ ذِي غِمْرٍ عَلَى أَخِيهِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar (r.a): Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said: “It is not permissible to accept the testimony of a man or a woman who does not fulfil their trusts (or is deceitful as it comes in another narration), or of one who harbors a grudge against his brother, ……” 


[Ref: Reported by Ahmad and Abu Dawud. This narration has also come from `Umar (r.a) in Malik’s Muwatta].


This is a proof used when the Muhadditheen reject one who does not fulfil his trust such as lying or a deceitful man or one who holds a grudge against another scholar, in such a case his testimony is not accepted. For e.g : 
Imam al-Dhahabi (r.h) speaking about the Jarh done by scholars out of envy or other similar reasons said:

“…..We don’t claim that the scholars (of Jarh wa T`adeel) are infallible from mistakes [minal ghalat an-naadhira] and we also do not negate (the fact) that there does/can exist enmity or severity (such as extremism/oppression/etc , Arabic : shahnaa] and this is known through the speeches of those who are/were contemporaries to each other that some of them that criticise the other and such (criticism) is rejected or has no quality (muhdarul laa `ibratah bih, because jarh or radd based on such grounds such as enmity, jealousy, etc is rejected)……”

[Ref:  Siyar `Alam an-Nubla Vol.1 , Page 40-41]

4.10) The Proof of defending the Pious scholars even if by disparaging those who deserve it. 
Narrated Sa`id ibn Al-Musaiyyab: ‘Umar came to the mosque while Hassaan was reciting a poem. (‘Umar disapproved of that). On that Hassaan said, “I used to recite poetry in this very mosque in the presence of one (i.e. the Prophet ) who was better than you.” Then he turned towards Abu Hurairah and said (to him), “I ask you by Allah, did you hear Allah’s Messenger saying (to me), ‘Retort on my behalf. O Allah! Support him (i.e., Hassaan) with the Ruh Al-Qudus [i.e. Jibril (Gabrael)]?” Abu Hurairah said, “Yes.” [Ref: Bukhaari Vol 4; Hadeeth Number 3212]

Imaam Abu Haatim (rahimahullaah) said: There is evidence in this narration similar to a command to disparage the du’afaa. That is because the Prophet ((sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam) said to Hassaan (radiyallaahu-anhu), ‘’Retort on my behalf.’’ He (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) commanded [Hassaan (radiyallaahu-anhu)] to defend him against the lies that the idol worshippers used to utter about him. 


And if it is the case that the Messenger of Allaah (sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam) commanded (Hassaan) to defend him against the lies of the idol worshipers, even though their lies did not harm the Muslims, and neither did they declare what is Haraam to be Halaal nor  what is Halaal to be Haraam due to (those lies); then it is more proper that he ((sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam) is defended against those Muslims who lie about him (sallal-laahu-alahu-wasallam) through their (weak, fabricated) narrations and thus declare what is Haraam to be Halaal and what is Halaal to be Haraam.


[Ref: Muqaddimah Kitaab Al-Majrooheem Minal Muhadditheen of Imaam Ibn Hibbaan (rahimahullaah). Page: 67-68]




4.11) The proof of leaving the doubtful narrations

The messenger of Allah (sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam) said : Leave that which makes you doubt for that which does not make you doubt.”


[Ref: Sunan an-Nasa’ee, Tirmidhi and elsewhere] 

This verdict of the prophet `alayhi salatu was-salaam is echoed in a variety of narrations using different expressions such as 

فضل العلم خير من فضل العبادة وخير دينكم الورع

 The excellence of knowledge is better than the excellence of worship. The best of your religion is wara’. [1]   

[1] al-Jurjani, al-Ta`rifat, p. 325, said that it was ‘The leaving of anything doubtful for fear of falling into the prohibited. It is also said that it is to adhere firmly to all beautiful deeds

And another wording replaces khayra with Ahabbu

فَضْلُ الْعِلْمِ أَحَبُّ إِلَيَّ مِنْ فَضْلِ الْعِبَادَةِ وَخَيْرُ دِينِكُمُ الْوَرَعُ

The virtue of knowledge is more beloved to me than the virtue of worship, and the best of your religion is mindfulness (al-wara’).”


[Ref:  818 الآداب للبيهقي الآداب للبيهقي باب من اتقى الشبهات مخافة الوقوع] 

And he `Alayhi salatu was-salaam is reported to have said : 


واعلم أن الله يحب البصر النافذ عند مجيء الشبهات والعقل الكامل عند نزول الشهوات

And know that Allaah loves the acute (cautious) eye when dealing with questionable matters and a wholesome mind when dealing with desires;

[Ref: The hadeeth is also narrated by Al-Bayhaqi in Az-Zuhd and Abu Nu’aym in Al-Arba’een; Dha`eef; this is translated by raza hasan ] 

These reports make the muhadditheen be careful and practise caution in accepting the narration or weak narrators . For example a narration who is accused of lying may not lie in everything he reports, yet since he was accused of lying the doubt of lying always remains and thus until and unless there is no way to affirm he did not lie in a particular report, the caution of the Muhaddithoon dictates that they are to leave his report. 



5) Concluding statement: 

I merely gave a few examples from the sahaaba themselves , leaving out the multitude of other examples from qur`an , sunnah as well as the sahaaba themselves. This is only to show these ignorant brothers may allah guide them that the very Qur`an you hold in your hand today was preserved the EXACT SAME WAY THE AHADEETH WERE PRESERVED.  Whatever principles the salaf applied upon the Qur`an also applied it on the Hadeeth . Then why do you affirm the former yet doubt/reject the latter? Have you not `Aql? 

I have a lengthy document in my drafts titled : ” Defending the Muhadditheen”. This was something i started compiling way back to answer the common Muslims who cast doubts on the reliability and efforts of the Muhadditheen. In sha allah i pray allah enables me to publish it containing benifit to the intended. 

6.3) studies in  hadith methodology and literature by Mustafa azami from page 61 onwards. This book shuts down every shameless individual who criticizes and falsely accuses the hadith scholars of any shortfall or forgery.
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