Archive for April, 2015

Thoughts on Accepting Hadiths

Posted: April 8, 2015 by Admin in Ulum ul Hadeeth
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بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

With Allah’s name, the Ultimate, the Merciful

The word hadith, (plural ahadith) simply refers to any statement made by anyone and more specifically to all those narratives related to the Prophet’s ministry beyond what one finds in the Qur’an.

Many believe these narratives to be a secondary source of revelation equivalent to the Qur’an as they believe them to be inspired by Allah.

However, these ahadith were not transmitted the same way as the Qur’an and were only compiled and canonized many generations after the Prophet’s contemporaries had passed away.

أَفَلَا يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْآنَ ۚ وَلَوْ كَانَ مِنْ عِندِ غَيْرِ اللَّهِ لَوَجَدُوا فِيهِ اخْتِلَافًا كَثِيرًا

So do they not reflect upon the Qur’an? Had it been from other than Allah, surely they would have found much contradiction in it.
[4:82]

وَقَوْلِهِمْ إِنَّا قَتَلْنَا الْمَسِيحَ عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَمَا قَتَلُوهُ وَمَا صَلَبُوهُ وَلَٰكِن شُبِّهَ لَهُمْ ۚ وَإِنَّ الَّذِينَ اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ لَفِي شَكٍّ مِّنْهُ ۚ مَا لَهُم بِهِ مِنْ عِلْمٍ إِلَّا اتِّبَاعَ الظَّنِّ ۚ وَمَا قَتَلُوهُ يَقِينًا

And for their saying, “Indeed, we killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, Allah’s Apostle.” And they did not kill him, nor crucify him; though it had looked that way to them. And indeed, those who differed over it, are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge in it, except following assumption. For, surely they did not kill him.
[4:157]

So whenever an event or practice explicitly opposes the Qur’an, that means that either this information must be a forgery, or a misunderstanding.

وَمَا كَانَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ لِيَنفِرُوا كَافَّةً ۚ فَلَوْلَا نَفَرَ مِن كُلِّ فِرْقَةٍ مِّنْهُمْ طَائِفَةٌ لِّيَتَفَقَّهُوا فِي الدِّينِ وَلِيُنذِرُوا قَوْمَهُمْ إِذَا رَجَعُوا إِلَيْهِمْ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَحْذَرُونَ

And it is not for the believers to set out collectively. So, then from among every division among them, let a ta’ifah set out to gain understanding in the religion and warn their people when they return. So that perhaps they might beware.
[9:122]

ta’ifah (ie. portion) may be a small group of people or even a single individual, but that does not necessarily mean that those who were warned are obliged to believe everything this ta’ifah is relaying to them.

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِن جَاءَكُمْ فَاسِقٌ بِنَبَإٍ فَتَبَيَّنُوا أَن تُصِيبُوا قَوْمًا بِجَهَالَةٍ فَتُصْبِحُوا عَلَىٰ مَا فَعَلْتُمْ نَادِمِينَ

O you who have believed, when a fasiq brings you information, verify, lest you harm a people due to ignorance and become regretful over what you have done.
[49:6]

Therefor one always needs to verify reports from those who are not trustworthy, but does that necessarily mean one should always believe those who are?

فَمَا لَكُمْ فِي الْمُنَافِقِينَ فِئَتَيْنِ وَاللَّهُ أَرْكَسَهُم بِمَا كَسَبُوا ۚ أَتُرِيدُونَ أَن تَهْدُوا مَنْ أَضَلَّ اللَّهُ ۖ وَمَن يُضْلِلِ اللَّهُ فَلَن تَجِدَ لَهُ سَبِيلًا

What is with you [that you are] two groups concerning the munafiqin, while Allah has made them fall back for what they have earned. Do you wish to guide those whom Allah has sent astray? And whoever Allah sends astray you will never find for him a way.
[4:88]

وَإِذَا رَأَيْتَهُمْ تُعْجِبُكَ أَجْسَامُهُمْ ۖ وَإِن يَقُولُوا تَسْمَعْ لِقَوْلِهِمْ ۖ كَأَنَّهُمْ خُشُبٌ مُّسَنَّدَةٌ ۖ يَحْسَبُونَ كُلَّ صَيْحَةٍ عَلَيْهِمْ ۚ هُمُ الْعَدُوُّ فَاحْذَرْهُمْ ۚ قَاتَلَهُمُ اللَّهُ ۖ أَنَّىٰ يُؤْفَكُونَ

And when you see them, their forms please you, and if they speak, you listen to their speech. As if they were pieces of wood propped up, they think every shout is against them. They are the enemy, so beware of them. May Allah destroy them; how are they so deluded?
[63:4]

So some may unknowingly believe and then convey false reports because he believes their sources to be reliable.

وَلَقَدْ عَهِدْنَا إِلَىٰ آدَمَ مِن قَبْلُ فَنَسِيَ وَلَمْ نَجِدْ لَهُ عَزْمًا

And We had already taken a promise from Adam before, but he forgot; and We did not find him to be resolute.
[20:115]

وَقَالَ لِلَّذِي ظَنَّ أَنَّهُ نَاجٍ مِّنْهُمَا اذْكُرْنِي عِندَ رَبِّكَ فَأَنسَاهُ الشَّيْطَانُ ذِكْرَ رَبِّهِ فَلَبِثَ فِي السِّجْنِ بِضْعَ سِنِينَ

And he said to the one whom he thought would be saved among the two, “Mention me to your lord.” But Satan had made him forget to mention him to his lord. So he was left in prison, several years.
[12:42]

قَالَ أَرَأَيْتَ إِذْ أَوَيْنَا إِلَى الصَّخْرَةِ فَإِنِّي نَسِيتُ الْحُوتَ وَمَا أَنسَانِيهُ إِلَّا الشَّيْطَانُ

He said, “Did you see when we retired to the rock? Indeed, I forgot the fish. And none made me forget it except Satan”
[18:63]

Furthermore, all humans have a natural tendency to err, so even those who do not intentionally lie may forget, misunderstand, or be misunderstood.

سَنُقْرِئُكَ فَلَا تَنسَىٰ, إِلَّا مَا شَاءَ اللَّهُ ۚ إِنَّهُ يَعْلَمُ الْجَهْرَ وَمَا يَخْفَىٰ, وَنُيَسِّرُكَ لِلْيُسْرَىٰ, فَذَكِّرْ إِن نَّفَعَتِ الذِّكْرَىٰ

We will make you recite, and you will not forget, except what Allah wills. Indeed, He knows what is declared and what is hidden. And We will ease you toward ease. So remind, if the reminder benefits.
[87:6-9]

وَاسْتَشْهِدُوا شَهِيدَيْنِ مِن رِّجَالِكُمْ ۖ فَإِن لَّمْ يَكُونَا رَجُلَيْنِ فَرَجُلٌ وَامْرَأَتَانِ مِمَّن تَرْضَوْنَ مِنَ الشُّهَدَاءِ أَن تَضِلَّ إِحْدَاهُمَا فَتُذَكِّرَ إِحْدَاهُمَا الْأُخْرَىٰ ۚ وَلَا يَأْبَ الشُّهَدَاءُ إِذَا مَا دُعُوا ۚ وَلَا تَسْأَمُوا أَن تَكْتُبُوهُ صَغِيرًا أَوْ كَبِيرًا إِلَىٰ أَجَلِهِ ۚ ذَٰلِكُمْ أَقْسَطُ عِندَ اللَّهِ وَأَقْوَمُ لِلشَّهَادَةِ وَأَدْنَىٰ أَلَّا تَرْتَابُوا

And call two witnesses from among your men to testify. And if not two men, then a man and two women from those whose testimony you accept, so if she deviates, the other will remind her. And let the witnesses not refuse when they have been called [to testify]. And do not grow weary, that you write it, whether it is small or large, regarding its term. That is more just with Allah and stronger as testimony and more likely that you not have doubt
[2:282]

So even though recording one’s statements in the presence of two witnesses helps to minimize doubts, all those who related these narratives can no longer be called to testify to what they’ve seen or heard.

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