|An Introduction to the Science of Hadith
|Suhaib Hassan, Al-Quran Society, London
|All Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessings of Allah be
upon our Prophet Muhammad, and on his family and companions.
|We have undoubtedly sent down the Reminder, and We will truly preserve it.
(Al-Qur'an, Surah al-Hijr, 15:9)
|The above promise made by Allah is obviously fulfilled in the undisputed purity
of the Qur'anic text throughout the fourteen centuries since its revelation.
However, what is often forgotten by many Muslims is that the above divine
promise also includes, by necessity, the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (may
Allah bless him and grant him peace), for it is the practical example of the
implementation of the Qur'anic guidance, the Wisdom taught to the Prophet (may
Allah bless him and grant him peace) along with the Scripture, and neither the
Qur'an nor the Sunnah can be understood correctly without recourse to the
Hence, Allah preserved the Qur'an from being initially lost by the martyrdom of
its memorisers, by guiding the Rightly-Guided Caliphs, endorsed by the
consensus of the Messenger's Companions (may Allah bless him and grant him
peace and may He be pleased with them), to compile the ayat (signs, miracles,
"verses") of the Qur'an into one volume, after these had been scattered in
writing on various materials and in memory amongst many faithful hearts. He
safeguarded it from corruption by its enemies: disbelievers, heretics, and
false prophets, by enabling millions of believers to commit it to memory with
ease. He protected its teachings by causing thousands of people of knowledge to
learn from its deep treasures and convey them to the masses, and by sending
renewers of His Deen at the beginning of every century.
Similarly, Allah preserved the Sunnah by enabling the Companions and those
after them (may Allah be pleased with them) to memorise, write down and pass on
the statements of the Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and
the descriptions of his Way, as well as to continue the blessings of practising
the Sunnah. Later, as the purity of the knowledge of the Sunnah became
threatened, Allah caused the Muslim nation to produce outstanding individuals
of incredible memory-skills and analytical expertise, who journeyed tirelessly
to collect hundreds of thousands of narrations and distinguish the true words
of precious wisdom of their Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace)
from those corrupted by weak memories, from forgeries by unscrupulous liars,
and from the statements of the enormous number of 'ulama', the Companions and
those who followed their way, who had taught in various centres of learning and
helped to transmit the legacy of Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him
peace) - all of this achieved through precise attention to the words narrated
and detailed familiarity with the biographies of the thousands of reporters of
Hadith. Action being the best way to preserve teachings, the renewers of Islam
also revived the practice of the blessed authentic Sunnah.
Unfortunately however, statements will continue to be attributed to the Prophet
(may Allah bless him and grant him peace) although the person quoting them may
have no idea what the people of knowledge of Hadith have ruled regarding those
ahadith, thus ironically being in danger of contravening the Prophet's
widely-narrated stern warnings about attributing incorrect/unsound statements
to him. For example, here are some very commonly-quoted ahadith, which actually
vary tremendously in their degree of authenticity from the Prophet (may Allah
bless him and grant him peace):
"Surah al-Ikhlas is worth a third of the Qur'an."
The hadith about the Ninety-Name Names of Allah.
Allah says, "I was a hidden treasure, and I wished to be known, so I created a
creation (mankind), then made Myself known to them, and they recognised Me."
Allah says, "Were it not for you (O Muhammad), I would not have created the
When Allah completed creation, He wrote in a Book (which is) with Him, above
His Throne, "Verily, My Mercy will prevail over My Wrath."
Allah says, "Neither My heaven nor My earth can contain Me, but the heart of My
believing slave can contain Me."
"He who knows himself, knows his Lord."
"Where is Allah?"
"Love of one's homeland is part of Faith."
"I have left amongst you two things which, if you hold fast to them, you will
never stray: the Book of Allah, and my Sunnah."
"I have left among you that which if you abide by, you will never go astray:
the Book of Allah, and my Family, the Members of my House."
The hadith giving ten Companions, by name, the good tidings of Paradise.
"If the iman (faith) of Abu Bakr was weighed against the iman of all the people
of the earth, the former would outweigh the latter."
"I am the City of Knowledge, and 'Ali is its Gate."
"My companions are like the stars: whichever of them you follow, you will be
"The differing amongst my Ummah is a mercy."
"My Ummah will split up into seventy-three sects: seventy-two will be in the
Fire, and one in the Garden."
Prophecies about the coming of the Mahdi (the guided one), Dajjal (the False
Christ, the Anti-Christ) and the return of Jesus Christ son of Mary.
Description of punishment and bliss in the grave, for the wicked and pious
Intercession by the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), and the
believers seeing Allah, on the Day of Judgment.
"Paradise is under the feet of mothers."
"Paradise is under the shade of swords."
"Seeking knowledge is a duty upon every Muslim."
"Seek knowledge, even if you have to go to China."
"The ink of the scholar is holier than the blood of the martyr."
"We have returned from the lesser Jihad to the greater Jihad (i.e. the struggle
against the evil of one's soul)."
|The methodology of the expert scholars of Hadith in assessing such narrations
and sorting out the genuine from the mistaken/fabricated etc., forms the
subject-matter of a wealth of material left to us by the muhaddithun (scholars
of Hadith, "traditionists"). This short treatise is a humble effort to
introduce this extremely wide subject to English readers. The author has
derived great benefit from the outstanding scholarly work in this field,
Muqaddimah Ibn al- Salah.
A brief explanation of the verdicts from the experts in this field on the above
ahadith is given in the Appendix.
We ask Allah to accept this work, and make it beneficial to its readers.
Section A : Introduction
Section B : The Classification of Hadith
Section C : Further branches of Mustalah
and Rijal Al-Hadith
|The Muslims are agreed that the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless
him and grant him peace) is the second of the two revealed fundamental sources
of Islam, after the Glorious Qur'an. The authentic Sunnah is contained within
the vast body of Hadith literature.1.
A hadith (pl. ahadith) is composed of two parts: the matn (text) and the
isnad (chain of reporters). A text may seem to be logical and
reasonable but it needs an authentic isnad with reliable reporters to be
acceptable; 'Abdullah b. al-Mubarak (d. 181 AH), one of the illustrious
teachers of Imam al-Bukhari, said, "The isnad is part of the religion: had it
not been for the isnad, whoever wished to would have said whatever he liked."2.
During the lifetime of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and
after his death, his Companions (Sahabah) used to refer to him directly, when
quoting his sayings. The Successors (Tabi'un) followed suit; some of them used
to quote the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) through the
Companions while others would omit the intermediate authority - such a hadith
was later known as mursal. It was found that the missing link between the
Successor and the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) might be
one person, i.e. a Companion, or two people, the extra person being an older
Successor who heard the hadith from the Companion. This is an example of how
the need for the verification of each isnad arose; Imam Malik (d. 179) said,
"The first one to utilise the isnad was Ibn Shihab al- Zuhri" (d. 124).3.
The other more important reason was the deliberate fabrication of ahadith by
various sects which appeared amongst the Muslims, in order to support their
views (see later, under discussion of maudu' ahadith). Ibn Sirin (d. 110), a
Successor, said, "They would not ask about the isnad. But when the fitnah
(trouble, turmoil, esp. civil war) happened, they said: Name to us your men. So
the narrations of the Ahl al-Sunnah (Adherents to the Sunnah) would be
accepted, while those of the Ahl al-Bid'ah (Adherents to Innovation) would not
|A brief history of Mustalah al-Hadith
(Classification of Hadith)
|As time passed, more reporters were involved in each isnad, and so the
situation demanded strict discipline in the acceptance of ahadith; the rules
regulating this discipline are known as Mustalah al-Hadith (the Classification
Amongst the early traditionists (muhaddithin, scholars of Hadith), the rules and
criteria governing their study of Hadith were meticulous but some of their
terminology varied from person to person, and their principles began to be
systematically written down, but scattered amongst various books, e.g. in
Al-Risalah of al- Shafi'i (d. 204), the Introduction to the Sahih of Muslim (d.
261) and the Jami' of al-Tirmidhi (d. 279); many of the criteria of early
traditionists, e.g. al-Bukhari, were deduced by later scholars from a careful
study of which reporters or isnads were accepted and rejected by them.
One of the earliest writings to attempt to cover Mustalah comprehensively, using
standard (i.e. generally-accepted) terminology, was the work by al-Ramahurmuzi
(d. 360). The next major contribution was Ma'rifah 'Ulum al-Hadith by al- Hakim
(d. 405), which covered fifty classifications of Hadith, but still left some
points untouched; Abu Nu'aim al-Isbahani (d. 430) completed some of the missing
parts to this work. After that came Al-Kifayah fi 'Ilm al- Riwayah of al-Khatib
al-Baghdadi (d. 463) and another work on the manner of teaching and studying
Hadith; later scholars were considered to be greatly indebted to al-Khatib's
After further contributions by Qadi 'Iyad al- Yahsubi (d. 544) and Abu Hafs
al-Mayanji (d. 580) among others, came the work which, although modest in size,
was so comprehensive in its excellent treatment of the subject that it came to
be the standard reference for thousands of scholars and students of Hadith to
come, over many centuries until the present day: 'Ulum al- Hadith of Abu 'Amr
'Uthman Ibn al-Salah (d. 643), commonly known as Muqaddimah Ibn al-Salah,
compiled while he taught in the Dar al-Hadith of several cities in Syria. Some
of the numerous later works based on that of Ibn al-Salah are:
" An abridgement of Muqaddimah, Al-Irshad by al- Nawawi (d. 676), which he
later summarised in his Taqrib; al-Suyuti (d. 911) compiled a valuable
commentary on the latter entitled Tadrib al-Rawi.
" Ikhtisar 'Ulum al-Hadith of Ibn Kathir (d. 774), Al-Khulasah of al-Tibi (d.
743), Al- Minhal of Badr al-Din b. Jama'ah (d. 733), Al- Muqni' of Ibn
al-Mulaqqin (d. 802) and Mahasin al-Istilah of al-Balqini (d. 805), all of
which are abridgements of Muqaddimah Ibn al- Salah.
" Al-Nukat of al-Zarkashi (d. 794), Al-Taqyid wa 'l-Idah of al-'Iraqi (d. 806)
and Al-Nukat of Ibn Hajar al-'Asqalani (d. 852), all of which are further notes
on the points made by Ibn al- Salah.
" Alfiyyah al-Hadith of al-'Iraqi, a rewriting of Muqaddimah in the form of a
lengthy poem, which became the subject of several commentaries, including two
(one long, one short) by the author himself, Fath al-Mughith of al-Sakhawi (d.
903), Qatar al-Durar of al- Suyuti and Fath al-Baqi of Shaykh Zakariyyah
al-Ansari (d. 928).
|Other notable treatises on Mustalah include:
|" Al-Iqtirah of Ibn Daqiq al-'Id (d. 702). Tanqih al-Anzar of Muhammad b.
Ibrahim al- Wazir (d. 840), the subject of a commentary by al-Amir al-San'ani
" Nukhbah al-Fikr of Ibn Hajar al-'Asqalani, again the subject of several
commentaries, including one by the author himself, one by his son Muhammad, and
those of 'Ali al-Qari (d. 1014), 'Abd al-Ra'uf al-Munawi (d. 1031) and Muhammad
b. 'Abd al-Hadi al-Sindi (d. 1138). Among those who rephrased the Nukhbah in
poetic form are al-Tufi (d. 893) and al- Amir al-San'ani.
" Alfiyyah al-Hadith of al-Suyuti, the most comprehensive poetic work in the
field. Al-Manzumah of al-Baiquni, which was expanded upon by, amongst others,
al-Zurqani (d. 1122) and Nawab Siddiq Hasan Khan (d. 1307). Qawa'id al-Tahdith
of Jamal al-Din al-Qasimi (d. 1332).
" Taujih al-Nazar of Tahir al-Jaza'iri (d. 1338), a summary of al-Hakim's
|Mustalah al-Hadith (Classification of Hadith)
|Mustalah books speak of a number of classes of hadith in accordance with their
status. The following broad classifications can be made, each of which is
explained in the later sections:
" According to the reference to a particular authority, e.g. the Prophet (may
Allah bless him and grant him peace), a Companion, or a Successor; such ahadith
are called marfu' (elevated), mauquf (stopped) and maqtu' (severed)
" According to the links in the isnad, i.e. whether the chain of reporters is
interrupted or uninterrupted, e.g. musnad (supported), muttasil (continuous),
munqati' (broken), mu'allaq (hanging), mu'dal (perplexing) and mursal
" According to the number of reporters involved in each stage of the isnad,
e.g. mutawatir (consecutive) and ahad (isolated), the latter being divided into
gharib (scarce, strange), 'aziz (rare, strong), and mashhur (famous).
" According to the manner in which the hadith has been reported, such as using
the (Arabic) words 'an ("on the authority of"), haddathana ("he narrated to
us"), akhbarana (- "he informed us") or sami'tu ("I heard"). In this category
falls the discussion about mudallas (concealed) and musalsal (uniformly-linked)
ahadith. [Note: In the quotation of isnads in the remainder of this book, the
first mode of narration mentioned above will be represented with a single
broken line thus: ---. The three remaining modes of narration mentioned above,
which all strongly indicate a clear, direct transmission of the hadith, are
represented by a double line thus: ===.]
" According to the nature of the matn and isnad, e.g. an addition by a reliable
reporter, known as ziyadatu thiqah, or opposition by a lesser authority to a
more reliable one, known as shadhdh (irregular). In some cases, a text
containing a vulgar expression, unreasonable remark or obviously-erroneous
statement is rejected by the traditionists outright without consideration of
the isnad: such a hadith is known as munkar (denounced). If an expression or
statement is proved to be an addition by a reporter to the text, it is declared
as mudraj (interpolated).
" According to a hidden defect found in the isnad or text of a hadith. Although
this could be included in some of the previous categories, a hadith mu'allal
(defective hadith) is worthy to be explained separately. The defect can be
caused in many ways; e.g. two types of hadith mu'allal are known as maqlub
(overturned) and mudtarib (shaky).
" According to the reliability and memory of the reporters; the final judgment
on a hadith depends crucially on this factor: verdicts such as sahih
(sound), hasan (good), da'if (weak) and maudu' (fabricated, forged) rest mainly
upon the nature of the reporters in the isnad.
|Rijal al-Hadith (the study of the reporters of Hadith)
|Mustalah al-Hadith is strongly associated with Rijal al-Hadith (the study of
the reporters of hadith). In scrutinising the reporters of a hadith,
authenticating or disparaging remarks made by recognised experts, from amongst
the Successors and those after them, were found to be of great help. Examples
of such remarks, in descending order of authentication, are:
"Imam (leader), Hafiz (preserver)."
"Abandoned (by the traditionists)."
"Liar, used to fabricate ahadith."5
Reporters who have been unanimously described by statements such as the first
two may contribute to a sahih ("sound", see later) isnad. An isnad containing a
reporter who is described by the last two statements is likely to be da'if
jiddan (very weak) or maudu' (fabricated). Reporters who are the subject of
statements such as the middle two above will cause the isnad to be da'if
(weak), although several of them relating the same hadith independently will
often increase the rank of the hadith to the level of hasan (good). If the
remarks about a particular reporter conflict, a careful verdict has to be
arrived at after in-depth analysis of e.g. the reason given for any
disparagement, the weight of each type of criticism, the relative strictness or
leniency of each critic, etc.
The earliest remarks cited in the books of Rijal go back to a host of
Successors, followed by those after them until the period of the six canonical
traditionists, a period covering the first three centuries of Islam. A list of
such names is provided by the author in his thesis, Criticism of Hadith among
Muslims with reference to Sunan Ibn Majah, at the end of chapters IV, V and VI.
Among the earliest available works in this field are Tarikh of Ibn Ma'in (d.
233), Tabaqat of Khalifa b. Khayyat (d. 240), Tarikh of al- Bukhari (d. 256),
Kitab al-Jarh wa 'l-Ta'dil of Ibn Abi Hatim (d. 327) and Tabaqat of Muhammad b.
Sa'd (d. 320).
A number of traditionists made efforts specifically for the gathering of
information about the reporters of the five famous collections of hadith, those
of al-Bukhari (d. 256), Muslim (d. 261), Abu Dawud (d. 275), al- Tirmidhi (d.
279) and al-Nasa'i (d. 303), giving authenticating and disparaging remarks in
detail. The first major such work to include also the reporters of Ibn Majah
(d. 273) is the ten-volume collection of al-Hafiz 'Abd al-Ghani al-Maqdisi (d.
600), known as Al-Kamal fi Asma' al-Rijal. Later, Jamal al-Din Abu 'l-Hajjaj
Yusuf b. 'Abd al-Rahman al-Mizzi (d. 742) prepared an edited and abridged
version of this work, punctuated by places and countries of origin of the
reporters; he named it Tahdhib al- Kamal fi Asma' al-Rijal and produced it in
twelve volumes. Further, one of al-Mizzi's gifted pupils, Shams al-Din Abu
'Abdullah Muhammad b. Ahmad b. 'Uthman b. Qa'imaz al- Dhahabi (d. 748),
summarised his shaikh's work and produced two abridgements: a longer one called
Tadhhib al-Tahdhib and a shorter one called Al-Kashif fi Asma' Rijal al-Kutub
A similar effort with the work of al-Mizzi was made by Ibn Hajar (d. 852), who
prepared a lengthy but abridged version, with about one- third of the original
omitted, entitled Tahdhib al-Tahdhib in twelve shorter volumes. Later, he
abridged this further to a relatively-humble two- volume work called Taqrib
The work of al-Dhahabi was not left unedited; al- Khazraji (Safi al-Din Ahmad b.
'Abdullah, d. after 923) summarised it and also made valuable additions,
producing his Khulasah.
A number of similar works deal with either trustworthy reporters only, e.g.
Kitab al-Thiqat by al-'Ijli (d. 261) and Tadhkirah al-Huffaz by al-Dhahabi, or
with disparaged authorities only, e.g. Kitab al-Du'afa' wa al-Matrukin by al-
Nasa'i and Kitab al-Majruhin by Muhammad b. Hibban al-Busti (d. 354).
Two more works in this field which include a large number of reporters, both
authenticated and disparaged, are Mizan al-I'tidal of al- Dhahabi and Lisan
al-Mizan of Ibn Hajar.
|THE CLASSIFICATION OF HADITH:
|According to the reference to a particular authority
The following principal types of hadith are important:
" Marfu' - "elevated": A narration from the Prophet (may Allah bless him and
grant him peace), e.g. a reporter (whether a Companion, Successor or other)
says, "The Messenger of Allah said ..." For example, the very first hadith in
Sahih al-Bukhari is as follows: Al- Bukhari === Al-Humaidi 'Abdullah b.
al-Zubair === Sufyan === Yahya b. Sa'id al-Ansari === Muhammad b. Ibrahim
al-Taymi === 'Alqamah b. Waqqas al-Laithi, who said: I heard 'Umar b. al-
Khattab saying, while on the pulpit, "I heard Allah's Messenger (may Allah
bless him and grant him peace) saying: The reward of deeds depends on the
intentions, and every person will get the reward according to what he has
intended; so whoever emigrated for wordly benefits or for a woman to marry, his
emigration was for what he migrated."
" Mauquf - "stopped": A narration from a Companion only, i.e. his own
statement; e.g. al-Bukhari reports in his Sahih, in Kitab al-Fara'id (Book of
the Laws of Inheritance), that Abu Bakr, Ibn 'Abbas and Ibn al-Zubair said,
"The grandfather is (treated like) a father." It should be noted that certain
expressions used by a Companion generally render a hadith to be considered as
being effectively marfu' although it is mauquf on the face of it, e.g. the
"We were commanded to ..."
"We were forbidden from ..."
"We used to do ..."
"We used to say/do ... while the Messenger of Allah was amongst us."
"We did not use to mind such-and-such..."
"It used to be said ..."
"It is from the Sunnah to ..."
"It was revealed in the following circumstances: ...", speaking about a verse
of the Qur'an.
" Maqtu'- "severed": A narration from a Successor, e.g. Muslim reports in the
Introduction to his Sahih that Ibn Sirin (d. 110) said, "This knowledge (i.e.
Hadith) is the Religion, so be careful from whom you take your religion."
The authenticity of each of the above three types of hadith depends on other
factors such as the reliability of its reporters, the nature of the linkage
amongst them, etc. However, the above classification is extremely useful, since
through it the sayings of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace)
can be distinguished at once from those of Companions or Successors; this is
especially helpful in debate about matters of Fiqh.
Imam Malik's Al-Muwatta', one of the early collections of hadith, contains a
relatively even ratio of these types of hadith, as well as mursal ahadith
(which are discussed later). According to Abu Bakr al-Abhari (d. 375), Al-
Muwatta' contains the following:
600 marfu' ahadith,
613 mauquf ahadith,
285 maqtu' ahadith, and
228 mursal ahadith; a total of 1726 ahadith.6
Among other collections, relatively more mauquf and maqtu' ahadith are found in
Al-Musannaf of Ibn Abi Shaibah (d. 235), Al-Musannaf of 'Abd al- Razzaq (d.
211) and the Tafsirs of Ibn Jarir (d. 310), Ibn Abi Hatim (d. 327) and Ibn
al-Mundhir (d. 319).7
|THE CLASSIFICATION OF HADITH:
|According to the links in the isnad Musnad
|Al-Hakim defines a musnad ("supported") hadith as follows: "A hadith which a
traditionist reports from his shaikh from whom he is known to have heard
(ahadith) at a time of life suitable for learning, and similarly in turn for
each shaikh, until the isnad reaches a well- known Companion, who in turn
reports from the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace)."8
By this definition, an ordinary muttasil hadith (i.e. one with an uninterrupted
isnad) is excluded if it goes back only to a Companion or Successor, as is a
marfu' hadith which has an interrupted isnad.
Al-Hakim gives the following example of a musnad hadith: We reported from Abu
'Amr 'Uthman b. Ahmad al-Sammak al-Baghdadi === Al-Hasan b. Mukarram ===
'Uthman b. 'Amr === Yunus --- al-Zuhri --- 'Abdullah b. Ka'b b. Malik --- his
father, who asked Ibn Abi Hadrad for payment of a debt he owed to him, in the
mosque. During the ensuing argument, their voices were raised until heard by
the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), who
eventually lifted the curtain of his apartment and said, "O Ka'b! Write off a
part of your debt" - he meant remission of half of it. So he agreed, and the
man paid him.
He then remarks,
"Now, my hearing from Ibn al-Simak is well- known, as is his from Ibn Mukarram;
al- Hasan's link with 'Uthman b. 'Amr and the latter's with Yunus b. Zaid are
known as well; Yunus is always remembered with al- Zuhri, and the latter with
the sons of Ka'b b. Malik, whose link to their father and his companionship of
the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) are well- established."9
The term musnad is also applied to those collections of ahadith which give the
ahadith of each Companion separately. Among the early compilers of such a
Musnad were Yahya b. 'Abd al- Hamid al-Himmani (d. 228) at Kufah and Musaddad
b. Musarhad (d. 228) at Basrah. The largest existing collection of ahadith of
Companions arranged in this manner is that of Imam Ahmad b. Hanbal (d. 241),
which contains around thirty thousand ahadith. Another larger work is
attributed to the famous Andalusian traditionist Baqi b. Makhlad al-Qurtubi (d.
276), but unfortunately it is now untraceable.
|Mursal, Munqati', Mu'dal, & Mu'allaq
|If the link between the Successor and the Prophet (may Allah bless him and
grant him peace) is missing, the hadith is mursal ("hurried"), e.g. when a
Successor says, "The Prophet said ...".
However, if a link anywhere before the Successor (i.e. closer to the
traditionist recording the hadith) is missing, the hadith is munqati'
("broken"). This applies even if there is an apparent link, e.g. an isnad seems
to be muttasil ("continuous") but one of the reporters is known to have never
heard ahadith from his immediate authority, even though he may be his
contemporary. The term munqati' is also applied by some scholars to a narration
such as where a reporter says, "a man narrated to me ...", without naming this
If the number of consecutive missing reporters in the isnad exceeds one, the
isnad is mu'dal ("perplexing"). If the reporter omits the whole isnad and
quotes the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, directly (i.e. the
link is missing at the beginning, unlike the case with a mursal isnad), the
hadith is called mu'allaq ("hanging") - sometimes it is known as balaghah ("to
reach"); for example, Imam Malik sometimes says in Al-Muwatta', "It reached me
that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said ..."
|Example of a munqati' hadith
|Al-Hakim reported from Muhammad b. Mus'ab === al- Auza'i --- Shaddad Abu 'Ammar
--- Umm al-Fadl bint al-Harith, who said: I came to the Messenger of Allah (may
Allah bless him and grant him peace) and said, "I have seen in a vision last
night as if a part of your body was cut out and placed in my lap." He said,
"You have seen something good. Allah Willing, Fatimah will give birth to a lad
who will be in your lap." After that, Fatimah gave birth to al- Husain, who
used to be in my lap, in accordance with the statement of the Messenger of
Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). One day, I came to the
Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and placed al-
Husain in his lap. I noticed that both his eyes were shedding tears. He said,
"Jibril came to me and told me that my Ummah will kill this son of mine, and he
brought me some of the reddish dust of that place (where he will be killed)."
Al-Hakim said, "This is a sahih hadith according to the conditions of the Two
Shaykhs (i.e. Bukhari & Muslim), but they did not collect it." Al-Dhahabi
says, "No, the hadith is munqati' and da'if, because Shaddad never met Umm
al-Fadl and Muhammad b. Mus'ab is weak."11
|Example of a mu'dal hadith
|Ibn Abi Hatim === Ja'far b. Ahmad b. al-Hakam Al- Qurashi in the year 254 ===
Sulaiman b. Mansur b. 'Ammar === 'Ali b. 'Asim --- Sa'id --- Qatadah --- Ubayy
b. Ka'b, who reported that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and
grant him peace) said, "After Adam had tasted from the tree, he ran away, but
the tree caught his hair. It was proclaimed: O Adam! Are you running away from
Me? He said: No, but I feel ashamed before You. He said: O Adam! Go away from
My neighbourhood, for By My Honour, no-one who disobeys Me can live here near
Me; even if I were to create people like you numbering enough to fill the earth
and they were to disobey Me, I would make them live in a home of sinners."
Ibn Kathir remarks, "This is a gharib hadith. There is inqita', in fact i'dal,
between Qatadah and Ubayy b. Ka'b, may Allah be pleased with them both."12
|Authenticity of the Mursal Hadith
|There has been a great deal of discussion amongst the scholars regarding the
authenticity of the Mursal Hadith (pl. Marasil), since it is quite probable
that a Successor might have omitted two names, those of an elder Successor and
a Companion, rather than just one name, that of a Companion.
If the Successor is known to have omitted the name of a Companion only, then the
hadith is held to be authentic, for a Successor can only report from the
Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) through a Companion; the
omission of the name of the Companion does not affect the authenticity of the
isnad since all Companions are held to be trustworthy and reliable, by both
Qur'anic injunctions and sayings of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant
However, opinions vary in the case where the Successor might have omitted the
names of two authorities (since not all the Successors were reliable in matters
of Hadith). For example, two widely-differing positions on this issue are:
The Marasil of elder Successors such as Sa'id b. al-Musayyab (d. 94) and 'Ata'
b. Abi Rabah (d. 114) are acceptable because all their Marasil, after
investigation, are found to come through the Companions only. However, the
Marasil of younger Successors are only acceptable if the names of their
immediate authorities are known through other sources; if not, they are
The Marasil of Successors and those who report from them are acceptable without
any investigation at all. This opinion is supported by the Kufi school of
traditionists, but is severely attacked by the majority.
To be precise in this issue, let us investigate in detail the various opinions
regarding the Mursal Hadith:
The opinion held by Imam Malik and all Maliki jurists is that the Mursal of a
trustworthy person is valid as proof and as justification for a practice, just
like a musnad hadith.13 This view has been developed to such an extreme that to
some of them, the mursal is even better than the musnad, based on the following
reasoning: "the one who reports a musnad hadith leaves you with the names of
the reporters for further investigation and scrutiny, whereas the one who
narrates by way of Irsal, being a knowledgeable and trustworthy person himself,
has already done so and found the hadith to be sound. In fact, he saves you
from further research."14
Imam Abu Hanifah (d. 150) holds the same opinion as Malik; he accepts the
Mursal Hadith whether or not it is supported by another hadith.15
Imam al-Shafi'i (d. 204) has discussed this issue in detail in his al-Risalah;
he requires the following conditions to be met before accepting a mursal
In the narrative, he requires that one of the following conditions be met: that
it be reported also as musnad through another isnad; that its contents be
reported as mursal through another reliable source with a different isnad; that
the meaning be supported by the sayings of some Companions; or that most
scholars hold the same opinion as conveyed by the mursal hadith.
Regarding the narrator, he requires that one of the following conditions be
met: that he be an elder Successor; that if he names the person missing in the
isnad elsewhere, he does not usually name an unknown person or someone not
suitable for reporting from acceptably; or that he does not contradict a
reliable person when he happens to share with him in a narration.16
On the basis of these arguments, al-Shafi'i accepts the Irsal of Sa'id b.
al-Musayyab, one of the elder Successors. For example, al- Shafi'i considers
the issue of selling meat in exchange for a living animal: he says that Malik
told him, reporting from Zaid b. Aslam, who reported from Ibn al-Musayyab that
the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) forbade the
selling of meat in exchange for an animal. He then says, "This is our opinion,
for the Irsal of Ibn al-Musayyib is fine."17
Imam Ahmad b. Hanbal (d. 241) accepts mursal and (other) da'if (weak) ahadith
if nothing opposing them is found regarding a particular issue, preferring them
to qiyas (analogical deduction). By da'if here is meant ahadith which are not
severely weak, e.g. batil, munkar, or maudu', since Imam Ahmad classified
ahadith into sahih and da'if rather than into sahih, hasan and da'if, the
preference of most later traditionists. Hence, the category da'if in his view
applied to ahadith which were relatively close to being sahih, and included
many ahadith which were classed as hasan by other scholars.18 Overlooking this
fact has caused misunderstanding about Imam Ahmad's view on the place of da'if
ahadith in rulings of Fiqh and in matters of Fada'il al-A'mal (virtues of
various acts of worship).
Ibn Hazm (d. 456) rejects the Mursal Hadith outright; he says that the Mursal
is unacceptable, whether it comes through Sa'id b. al-Musayyib or al-Hasan
al-Basri. To him, even the Mursal which comes through someone who was not
well-known to be amongst the Companions would be unacceptable.19
Abu Dawud (d . 275) accepts the Mursal under two conditions: that no musnad
hadith is found regarding that issue; or that if a musnad hadith is found, it
is not contradicted by the mursal hadith.20
Ibn Abi Hatim (d. 327) does not give a specific opinion about the Mursal
Hadith. However, he did collect an anthology of 469 reporters of hadith,
including four female reporters, whose narratives were subjected to criticism
due to Irsal. This collection is known as Kitab al-Marasil.
Al-Hakim (d. 405) is extremely reluctant to accept the Mursal Hadith except in
the case of elder Successors. He holds, on the basis of the Qur'an, that
knowledge is based on what is heard (directly), not on what is reported
(indirectly). In this regard, he quotes Yazid b. Harun who asked Hammad b.
Laith: "O Abu Isma'il! Did Allah mention the Ahl al-Hadith (scholars of Hadith)
in the Qur'an?" He replied, "Yes! Did you not hear the saying of Allah, If a
party from every expedition remained behind, they 21 could devote themselves to
studies in religion and admonish the people when they return to them, that thus
they may guard themselves (against evil)' (Qur'an, 9:l22). This concerns those
who set off to seek knowledge, and then return to those who remained behind in
order to teach them."22 Al-Hakim then remarks, "This verse shows that the
acceptable knowledge is the one which is being heard, not just received by way
Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi (d. 462) strongly supports the view of those who reject
the Mursal except if it comes through an elder Successor. He concludes, after
giving a perusal of different opinions about this issue, "What we select out of
these sayings is that the Mursal is not to be practised, nor is it acceptable
as proof. We say that Irsal leads to one reporter being ambiguous; if he is
ambiguous, to ascertain his reliability is impossible. We have already
explained that a narration is only acceptable if it comes through a reporter
known for reliability. Hence, the Mursal should not be accepted at all."24
Al-Khatib gives the following example, showing that a narrative which has been
reported through both musnad and mursal isnads is acceptable, not because of
the reliability of those who narrated it by way of Irsal but because of an
uninterrupted isnad, even though it contains less reliable reporters:
The text of the hadith is: "No marriage is valid except by the consent of the
guardian"; al- Khatib gives two isnads going back to Shu'bah and Sufyan
al-Thauri; the remainder of each isnad is:
Sufyan al-Thauri and Shu'bah --- Abu Ishaq --- Abu Burdah --- the Prophet.
This isnad is mursal because Abu Burdah, a Successor, narrates directly from
the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). However, al-Khatib
further gives three isnads going back to Yunus b. Abi Ishaq, Isra'il b. Yunus
and Qais b. al-Rabi'; the remainder of the first isnad is:
Yunus b. Abi Ishaq --- Abu Ishaq --- Abu Burdah --- Abu Musa --- the Prophet.
The other two reporters narrate similarly, both of them including the name of
Abu Musa, the Companion from whom Abu Burdah has reported. Al- Khatib goes on
to prove that both al-Thauri and Shu'bah heard this hadith from Abu Ishaq in
one sitting while the other three reporters heard it in different sittings.
Hence, this addition of Abu Musa in the isnad is quite acceptable.25
Ibn al-Salah (d. 643) agrees with al-Shafi'i in rejecting the Mursal Hadith
unless it is proved to have come through a musnad route.26
Ibn Taimiyyah (d. 728) classifies Mursal into three categories. He says, "There
are some acceptable, others unacceptable, and some which require further
investigation: if it is known that the reporter does so (i.e. narrates by
Irsal) from reliable authorities, then his report will be accepted; if he does
so from both classes of authorities, i.e. reliable and unreliable, we shall not
accept his narration (on its own, without further investigation), for he is
narrating from someone whose reliability is unknown; all such mursal ahadith
which go against the reports made by reliable authorities will be rejected
Al-Dhahabi (d. 748) regards the Mursal of younger Successors such as al-Hasan
al-Basri, al- Zuhri, Qatadah and Humaid al-Tawil as the weakest type of
Later scholars such as Ibn Kathir (d. 744), al- 'Iraqi (d. 806), Ibn Hajar (d.
852), al-Suyuti (d. 911), Muhammad b. Ibrahim al-Wazir (d. 840), Jamal al-Din
al-Qasimi (d. 1332) and Tahir al- Jaza'iri (d. 1338) have given exhaustive
discussions about this issue, but none of them holds an opinion different to
those mentioned above.
|THE CLASSIFICATION OF HADITH:
|According to the number of reporters involved in each
stage of the isnad
|Mutawatir & Ahad
|Depending on the number of the reporters of the hadith in each stage of the
isnad, i.e. in each generation of reporters, it can be classified into the
general categories of mutawatir ("consecutive") or ahad ("single") hadith. A
mutawatir hadith is one which is reported by such a large number of people that
they cannot be expected to agree upon a lie, all of them together.29
Al-Ghazali (d. 505) stipulates that a mutawatir narration be known by the
sizeable number of its reporters equally in the beginning, in the middle and at
the end.30 He is correct in this stipulation because some narrations or ideas,
although known as mutawatir among some people, whether Muslims or non-Muslims,
originally have no tawatur. There is no precise definition for a "large number
of reporters"; although the numbers four, five, seven, ten, twelve, forty and
seventy, among others, have all been variously suggested as a minimum, the
exact number is irrelevant (some reporters, e.g. Imams of Hadith, carry more
weight anyway than others who are their contemporaries): the important
condition is that the possibility of coincidence or "organised falsehood" be
Examples of mutawatir practices are the five daily prayers, fasting, zakat, the
Hajj and recitation of the Qur'an. Among the verbal mutawatir ahadith, the
following has been reported by at least sixty-two Companions from the Prophet
(may Allah bless him and grant him peace), and has been widely-known amongst
the Muslims throughout the ages: "Whoever invents a lie and attributes it to me
intentionally, let him prepare his seat in the Fire."
Ahadith related to the description of the Haud Kauthar (the Basin of Abundant
Goodness) in the Hereafter, raising the hands at certain postures during
prayer, rubbing wet hands on the leather socks during ablution, revelation of
the Qur'an in seven modes, and the prohibition of every intoxicant are further
examples of verbal mutawatir ahadith.32
A hadith ahad or khabar wahid is one which is narrated by people whose number
does not reach that of the mutawatir case. Ahad is further classified into:
|Gharib, 'Aziz & Mashhur
|A hadith is termed gharib ("scarce, strange") when only a single reporter is
found relating it at some stage of the isnad. For example, the saying of the
Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace),
"Travel is a piece of punishment" is gharib; the isnad of this hadith contains
only one reporter in each stage: Malik --- Yahya b. Abi Salih --- Abu Hurairah
--- the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). With regard to its
isnad, this hadith is sahih, although most gharib ahadith are weak; Ahmad b.
Hanbal said, "Do not write these gharib ahadith because they are unacceptable,
and most of them are weak."33
A type of hadith similar to gharib is fard ("solitary"); it is known in three
similar to gharib, i.e. a single person is found reporting it from a well-known
the people of one locality only are known to narrate the hadith;
narrators from one locality report the hadith from narrators of another
locality, such as the people of Makkah reporting from the people of Madinah.34
If at any stage in the isnad, only two reporters are found to narrate the
hadith, it is termed 'aziz ("rare, strong"). For example, Anas reported that
the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, "None of
you (truly) believes until I become more beloved to him than his father, his
son, and all the people."
Two reporters, Qatadah and 'Abdul 'Aziz b. Shu'aib, report this hadith from
Anas, and two more reporters narrate from each of them: Shu'bah and Sa'id
report from Qatada, and Isma'il b. Ulayyah and 'Abd al-Warith from 'Abd
al-'Aziz; then a group of people report from each of them.35
A hadith which is reported by more than two reporters is known as mashhur
("famous"). According to some scholars, every narrative which comes to be known
widely, whether or not it has an authentic origin, is called mashhur. A mashhur
hadith might be reported by only one or two reporters in the beginnning but
become widely-known later, unlike gharib or 'aziz, which are reported by one or
two reporters in the beginning and continue to have the same number even in the
times of the Successors and those after them. For example, if only one or two
reporters are found narrating hadith from a reliable authority in Hadith such
as al-Zuhri and Qatadah, the hadith will remain either gharib or 'aziz. On the
other hand, if a group of people narrate from them, it will be known as
According to al-'Ala'i (Abu Sa'id Khalil Salah al-Din, d. 761), a hadith may be
known as 'aziz and mashhur at the same time. By this he means a hadith which is
left with only two reporters in its isnad at any stage while it enjoys a host
of reporters in other stages, such as the saying of the Prophet (may Allah
bless him and grant him peace), "We are the last but (will be) the foremost on
the Day of Resurrection." This hadith is 'aziz in its first stage, as it is
reported by Hudhaifah b. al-Yaman and Abu Hurairah only. It later becomes
mashhur as seven people report it from Abu Hurairah.37
|THE CLASSIFICATION OF HADITH:
|According to the manner in which the hadith is reported
|Mudallas hadith & Tadlis
|Different ways of reporting, e.g. (he narrated to us), (he informed us), (I
heard), and (on the authority of) are used by the reporters of hadith. The
first three indicate that the reporter personally heard from his shaikh,
whereas the fourth mode can denote either hearing in person or through another
A mudallas ("concealed") hadith is one which is weak due to the
uncertainty caused by tadlis. Tadlis (concealing) refers to an isnad where a
reporter has concealed the identity of his shaikh. Ibn al-Salah describes two
types of tadlis:
A person reports from his shaikh whom he met, what he did not hear from him, or
from a contemporary of his whom he did not meet, in such a way as to create the
impression that he heard the hadith in person. A mudallis (one who practises
tadlis) here usually uses the mode ("on the authority of") or ("he said") to
conceal the truth about the isnad.
tadlis al-shuyukh. The reporter does mention his shaikh by
name, but uses a less well-known name, by-name, nickname etc., in order not to
disclose his shaikh's identity.38
Al-'Iraqi (d. 806), in his notes on Muqaddimah Ibn al-Salah, adds a third type
tadlis al-taswiyyah. To explain it, let us assume an isnad
which contains a trustworthy shaikh reporting from a weak authority, who in
turn reports from another trustworthy shaikh. Now, the reporter of this isnad
omits the intermediate weak authority, leaving it apparently consisting of
reliable authorities. He plainly shows that he heard it from his shaikh but he
uses the mode "on the authority of" to link his immediate shaikh with the next
trustworthy one. To an average student, this isnad seems free of any doubt or
discrepancy. This is known to have been practised by Baqiyyah b. al-Walid,
Walid b. Muslim, al-A'mash and al- Thauri. It is said to be the worst among the
three kinds of tadlis.39
Ibn Hajar classifies those who practised tadlis into five categories in his
essay Tabaqat al- Mudallisin:
Those who are known to do it occasionally, such as Yahya b. Sa'id al-Ansari.
Those who are accepted by the traditionists, either because of their good
reputation and relatively few cases of tadlis, e.g. Sufyan al-Thauri (d. 161),
or because they reported from authentic authorities only, e.g. Sufyan Ibn
'Uyainah (d. 198).
Those who practised it a great deal, and the traditionists have accepted such
ahadith from them which were reported with a clear mention of hearing directly.
Among these are Abu 'l- Zubair al-Makki, whose ahadith narrated from the
Companion Jabir b. 'Abdullah have been collected in Sahih Muslim. Opinions
differ regarding whether they are acceptable or not.
Similar to the previous category, but the traditionists agree that their
ahadith are to be rejected unless they clearly admit of their hearing, such as
by saying "I heard"; an example of this category is Baqiyyah b. al- Walid.
Those who are disparaged due to another reason apart from tadlis; their ahadith
are rejected, even though they admit of hearing them directly. Exempted from
them are reporters such as Ibn Lahi'ah, the famous Egyptian judge, whose
weakness is found to be of a lesser degree. Ibn Hajar gives the names of 152
Tadlis, especially of those in the last three categories, is so disliked that
Shu'bah (d. 170) said, "Tadlis is the brother of lying" and "To commit adultery
is more favourable to me than to report by way of Tadlis."41
|A musalsal (uniformly-linked) isnad is one in which all the reporters, as well
as the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), use the same mode of
transmission such as 'an, haddathana, etc., repeat any other additional
statement or remark, or act in a particular manner while narrating the hadith.
Al-Hakim gives eight examples of such isnads, each having a different
characteristic repeated feature:
use of the phrase sami'tu (I heard);
the expression "stand and pour water for me so that I may illustrate the way my
shaikh performed ablution";
haddathana (he narrated to us);
amarani (he commanded me);
holding one's beard;
illustrating by counting on five fingers;
the expression "I testify that ..."; and
interlocking the fingers.42
Knowledge of musalsal helps in discounting the possibility of tadlis.
|THE CLASSIFICATION OF HADITH:
|According to the nature of the text and isnad
|Shadhdh & Munkar
|According to al-Shafi'i, a shadhdh ("irregular") hadith is one which is
reported by a trustworthy person but goes against the narration of a person
more reliable than him. It does not include a hadith which is unique in its
contents and is not narrated by someone else.43 In the light of this
definition, the well-known hadith, "Actions are (judged) according to their
intentions", is not considered shadhdh since it has been narrated by Yahya b.
Sa'id al-Ansari from Muhammad b. Ibrahim al-Taimi from 'Alqamah from 'Umar, all
of whom are trustworthy authorities, although each one of them is the only
reporter at that stage.44
An example of a shadhdh hadith according to some scholars is one which Abu Dawud
and al-Tirmidhi transmit, through the following isnad:
'Abdul Wahid b. Ziyad --- al-A'mash --- Abu Salih --- Abu Hurairah === the
Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace): "When one of you offers the
two rak'ahs before the Dawn Prayer, he should lie down on his right side."
Regarding it, al-Baihaqi said,
"'Abdul Wahid has gone against a large number of people with this narration,
for they have reported the above as an act of the Prophet (may Allah bless him
and grant him peace), and not as his saying; 'Abdul Wahid is alone amongst the
trustworthy students of al-A'mash in narrating these words."45
According to Ibn Hajar, if a narration which goes against another authentic
hadith is reported by a weak narrator, it is known as munkar (denounced).46
Traditionists as late as Ahmad used to simply label any hadith of a weak
reporter as munkar.47 Sometimes, a hadith is labelled as munkar because of its
contents being contrary to general sayings of the Prophet (may Allah bless him
and grant him peace). Al-Khatib (d. 463) quotes al-Rabi' b. Khaitham (d. 63) as
"Some ahadith have a light like that of day, which we recognise; others have a
darkness like that of night which makes us reject them."
He also quotes al-Auza'i (d. 157) as saying,
"We used to listen to ahadith and present them to fellow traditionists, just as
we present forged coins to money-changers: whatever they recognise of them, we
accept, and whatever they reject of them, we also reject."48
Ibn Kathir quotes the following two ahadith in his Tafsir, the first of which is
acceptable, whereas the second contradicts it and is unreliable:
Ahmad === Abu Mu'awiyah === Hisham b. 'Urwah --- Fatimah bint al-Mundhir ---
Asma' bint Abi Bakr, who said, "My mother came (to Madinah) during the treaty
Quraish had made, while she was still a polytheist. So I came to the Prophet
(may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and said to him, 'O Messenger of
Allah, my mother has come willingly: should I treat her with kindness?' He
replied, 'Yes! Treat her with kindness'."
Al-Bazzar === 'Abdullah b. Shabib === Abu Bakr b. Abi Shaibah === Abu Qatadah
al- 'Adawi --- the nephew of al-Zuhri --- al- Zuhri --- 'Urwah --- 'A'ishah and
Asma', both of whom said, "Our mother came to us in Madinah while she was a
polytheist, during the peace treaty between the Quraish and the Messenger of
Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). So we said, 'O Messenger of
Allah, our mother has come to Madinah willingly: do we treat her kindly?' He
said, 'Yes! Treat her kindly'."
Ibn Kathir then remarks:
"This (latter) hadith, to our knowledge is reported only through this route of
al- Zuhri --- 'Urwah --- 'A'ishah. It is a munkar hadith with this text because
the mother of 'A'ishah is Umm Ruman, who was already a Muslim emigrant, while
the mother of Asma' was another woman, as mentioned by name in other
In contrast to a munkar hadith, if a reliable reporter is found to add something
which is not narrated by other authentic sources, the addition is accepted as
long as it does not contradict them; and is known as ziyadatu thiqah (an
addition by one trustworthy).50 An example is the hadith of al-Bukhari and
Muslim on the authority of Ibn Mas'ud: "I asked the Messenger of Allah (may
Allah bless him and grant him peace), 'Which action is the most virtuous?' He
said, 'The Prayer at its due time'." Two reporters, Al-Hasan b. Makdam and
Bindar, reported it with the addition, "... at the beginning of its time"; both
Al-Hakim and Ibn Hibban declared this addition to be sahih.51
|An addition by a reporter to the text of the saying being narrated is termed
mudraj (interpolated).52 For example, al-Khatib relates via Abu Qattan and
Shababah --- Shu'bah --- Muhammad b. Ziyad --- Abu Hurairah --- The Prophet
(may Allah bless him and grant him peace), who said,
"Perform the ablution fully; woe to the heels from the Fire!"
Al-Khatib then remarks,
"The statement, 'Perform the ablution fully' is made by Abu Hurairah, while the
statement afterwards, 'Woe to the heels from the Fire!', is that of the Prophet
(may Allah bless him and grant him peace). The distinction between the two is
understood from the narration of al- Bukhari, who transmits the same hadith and
quotes Abu Hurairah as saying, "Complete the ablution, for Abu 'l-Qasim (may
Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: Woe to the heels from the Fire!"."53
Such an addition may be found in the beginning, in the middle, or at the end,
often in explanation of a term used. Idraj (interpolation) is mostly found in
the text, although a few examples show that such additions are found in the
isnad as well, where the reporter grafts a part of one isnad into another.
A reporter found to be in the habit of intentional idraj is generally
unacceptable and considered a liar.54 However, the traditionists are more
lenient towards those reporters who may do so forgetfully or in order to
explain a difficult word.
|THE CLASSIFICATION OF HADITH:
|According to a hidden defect found in the isnad or text
of a hadith
Before discussing ma'lul (defective) ahadith, a brief note on mudtarib (shaky)
and maqlub (reversed) ahadith would help in understanding ma'lul.
|According to Ibn Kathir, if reporters disagree about a particular shaikh, or
about some other points in the isnad or the text, in such a way that none of
the opinions can be preferred over the others, and thus there is uncertainty
about the isnad or text, such a hadith is called mudtarib (shaky).55
For example with regard to idtirab in the isnad, it is reported on the authority
of Abu Bakr that he said, "O Messenger of Allah! I see you getting older?" He
(may Allah bless him and grant him peace) replied, "What made me old are Surah
Hud and its sister surahs." Al-Daraqutni says,
"This is an example of a mudtarib hadith. It is reported through Abu Ishaq, but
as many as ten different opinions are held about this isnad: some report it as
mursal, others as muttasil; some take it as musnad of Abu Bakr, others as
musnad of Sa'd or 'A'ishah. Since all these reports are comparable in weight,
it is difficult to prefer one above another. Hence, the hadith is termed as
As an example of idtirab in the text, Rafi' b. Khadij said that the Messenger of
Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) forbade the renting of land.
The reporters narrating from Rafi' give different statements, as follows:
Hanzalah asked Rafi', "What about renting for gold and silver?" He replied, "It
does not matter if it is rent for gold and silver."
Rifa'ah --- Rafi' --- the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace),
who said, "Whoever owns a piece of land should cultivate it, give it to his
brother to cultivate, or abandon it."
Salim --- Rafi' --- his two uncles --- the Prophet (may Allah bless him and
grant him peace), who forbade the renting of farming land.
The son of Rafi' --- Rafi' --- the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him
peace), who forbade the renting of land.
A different narration by Rafi' from the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant
him peace), who said, "Whoever owns a piece of land should either cultivate it
or give it to his brother to cultivate. He must not rent it for a third or a
quarter of the produce, nor for a given quantity of the produce."
Zaid b. Thabit said, "May Allah forgive Rafi'! I am more aware of the hadith
than he; what happened was that two of the Ansar (Helpers) had a dispute, so
they came to the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), who said
after listening to their cases, 'If this is your position, then do not rent the
farms.' Rafi' has only heard the last phrase, i.e., 'Do not rent the farms'."
Because of these various versions, Ahmad b. Hanbal said,
"The ahadith reported by Rafi' about the renting of land are mudtarib. They are
not to be accepted, especially when they go against the well-established hadith
of Ibn 'Umar that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him
peace) gave the land of Khaibar to the Jews on condition that they work on it
and take half of the produce."57
|A hadith is known as maqlub (changed, reversed) when its isnad is grafted to a
different text or vice versa, or if a reporter happens to reverse the order of
a sentence in the text.
As an example relating to the text, in his transmission of the famous hadith
describing the seven who will be under the shelter of Allah on the Day of
Judgment, Muslim reports one of the categories as, "a man who conceals his act
of charity to such an extent that his right hand does not know what his left
hand gives in charity." This sentence has clearly been reversed by a reporter,
because the correct wording is recorded in other narrations of both al-Bukhari
and Muslim as follows: "... that his left hand does not know what his right
hand gives ..."58
The famous trial of al-Bukhari by the scholars of Baghdad provides a good
example of a maqlub isnad. The traditionists, in order to test their visitor,
al-Bukhari, appointed ten men, each with ten ahadith. Now, each hadith (text)
of these ten people was prefixed with the isnad of another. Imam al-Bukhari
listened to each of the ten men as they narrated their ahadith and denied the
correctness of every hadith. When they had finished narrating these ahadith, he
addressed each person in turn and recounted to him each of his ahadith with its
correct isnad. This trial earned him great honour among the scholars of
Other ways in which ahadith have been rendered maqlub are by replacement of the
name of a reporter with another, e.g. quoting Abu Hurairah as the reporter from
the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) although the actual
reporter was someone else, or by reversal of the name of the reporter, e.g.
mentioning Walid b. Muslim instead of Muslim b. Walid, or Ka'b b. Murrah
instead of Murrah b. Ka'b.60
|Ma'lul or Mu'allal
|Ibn al-Salah says, "A ma'lul (defective) hadith is one which appears to be
sound, but thorough research reveals a disparaging factor." Such factors can
declaring a hadith musnad when it is in fact mursal, or marfu' when it is in
showing a reporter to narrate from his shaikh when in fact he did not meet the
latter; or attributing a hadith to one Companion when it in fact comes through
Ibn al-Madini (d. 324) says that such a defect can only be revealed if all the
isnads of a particular hadith are collated. In his book al- 'Ilal, he gives
thirty-four Successors and the names of those Companions from whom each of them
heard ahadith directly. For example, he says that al-Hasan al-Basri (d. 110,
aged 88) did not see 'Ali (d. 40), although he adds that there is a slight
possibility that he may have seen him during his childhood in Madinah.62 Such
information is very important, since for example, many Sufi traditions go back
to al- Hasan al-Basri, who is claimed to report directly from 'Ali.
Being a very delicate branch of Mustalah al- Hadith, only a few well-known
traditionists such as Ibn al-Madini (d. 234), Ibn Abi Hatim al-Razi (d. 327),
al-Khallal (d. 311) and al-Daraqutni (d. 385), have compiled books about it.
Ibn Abi Hatim, in his Kitab al-'Ilal, has given 2840 examples of ma'lul ahadith
about a range of topics.
An example of a ma'lul hadith is one transmitted by Muslim on the authority of
Abu Hurairah, who reports the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace)
"Allah created the land on Saturday; He created the mountains on Sunday; He
created the trees on Monday; He created the things entailing labour on Tuesday;
He created the light (or fish) on Wednesday; He scattered the beasts in it (the
earth) on Thursday; and He created Adam after the afternoon of Friday, the last
creation at the last hour of the hours of Friday, between the afternoon and
Regarding it, Ibn Taimiyyah says,
"Men more knowledgeable than Muslim, such as al-Bukhari and Yahya b. Ma'in,
have criticised it. Al-Bukhari said, 'This saying is not that of the Prophet
(may Allah bless him and grant him peace), but one of Ka'b al-Ahbar'."64
|THE CLASSIFICATION OF HADITH:
|According to the reliability and memory of the reporters
|The final verdict on a hadith, i.e. sahih (sound), hasan (good), da'if (weak)
or maudu' (fabricated, forged), depends critically on this factor.
Among the early traditionists, mostly of the first two centuries, ahadith were
classified into two categories only: sahih and da'if; al- Tirmidhi was to be
the first to distinguish hasan from da'if. This is why traditionists and
jurists such as Ahmad, who seemed to argue on the basis of da'if ahadith
sometimes, were in fact basing their argument on the ahadith which were later
to be known as hasan.65
We now examine in more detail these four important classes of ahadith.
|Al-Shafi'i states the following requirement in order for a hadith which is not
mutawatir to be acceptable:
"Each reporter should be trustworthy in his religion; he should be known to be
truthful in his narrating, to understand what he narrates, to know how a
different expression can alter the meaning, and report the wording of the
hadith verbatim, not only its meaning. This is because if he does not know how
a different expression can change the whole meaning, he will not know if he has
changed what is lawful into what is prohibited. Hence, if he reports the hadith
according to its wording, no change of meaning will be found at all. Moreover,
he should be a good memoriser if he happens to report from his memory, or a
good preserver of his writings if he happens to report from them. He should
agree with the narrations of the huffaz (leading authorities in Hadith), if he
reports something which they do also. He should not be a mudallis, who narrates
from someone he met something he did not hear, nor should he report from the
Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) contrary to what reliable
sources have reported from him. In addition, the one who is above him (in the
isnad) should be of the same quality, [and so on,] until the hadith goes back
uninterrupted to the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) or any
authority below him."66
Ibn al-Salah, however, defines a sahih hadith more precisely by saying:
"A sahih hadith is the one which has a continuous isnad, made up of reporters of
trustworthy memory from similar authorities, and which is found to be free from
any irregularities (i.e. in the text) or defects (i.e. in the isnad)."
By the above definition, no room is left for any weak hadith, whether, for
example, it is munqati', mu'dal, mudtarib, maqlub, shadhdh, munkar, ma'lul, or
contains a mudallis. The definition also excludes hasan ahadith, as will be
discussed under that heading.
Of all the collectors of hadith, al-Bukhari and Muslim were greatly admired
because of their tireless attempts to collect sahih ahadith only. It is
generally understood that the more trustworthy and of good memory the
reporters, the more authentic the hadith. The isnad: al- Shafi'i --- Malik ---
Nafi' --- 'Abdullah b. 'Umar --- The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him
peace), is called a "golden isnad" because of its renowned reporters.67
Some traditionists prefer Sahih al-Bukhari to Sahih Muslim because al-Bukhari
always looked for those reporters who had either accompanied or met each other,
even if only once in their lifetime. On the other hand, Muslim would accept a
reporter who is simply found to be contemporary to his immediate authority in
The following grading is given for sahih ahadith only:
those which are transmitted by both al- Bukhari and Muslim;
those which are transmitted by al-Bukhari only;
those which are transmitted by Muslim only;
those which are not found in the above two collections, but
which agree with the requirements of both al-Bukhari and Muslim;
which agree with the requirements of al- Bukhari only;
which agree with the requirements of Muslim only; and
those declared sahih by other traditionists.69
|Al-Tirmidhi means by hadith hasan: a hadith which is not shadhdh, nor contains
a disparaged reporter in its isnad, and which is reported through more than one
route of narration.70
Al-Khattabi (d. 388) states a very concise definition, "It is the one where its
source is known and its reporters are unambiguous."
By this he means that the reporters of the hadith should not be of a doubtful
nature, such as with the mursal or munqati' hadith, or one containing a
Ibn al-Salah classifies hasan into two categories:
one with an isnad containing a reporter who is mastur ("screened", i.e. no
prominent person reported from him) but is not totally careless in his
reporting, provided that a similar text is reported through another isnad as
one with an isnad containing a reporter who is known to be truthful and
reliable, but is a degree less in his preservation/memory of hadith in
comparison to the reporters of sahih ahadith.
In both categories, Ibn al-Salah requires that the hadith be free of any
Al-Dhahabi, after giving the various definitions, says, "A hasan hadith is one
which excels the da'if but nevertheless does not reach the standard of a sahih
hadith."72 In the light of this definition, the following isnads are hasan
according to al-Dhahabi:
Bahz b. Hakam --- his father --- his grandfather;
'Amr b. Shu'aib --- his father --- his grandfather;
Muhammad b. 'Amr --- Abu Salamah --- Abu Hurairah.
Reporters such as al-Harith b. 'Abdullah, 'Asim b. Damurah, Hajjaj b. Artat,
Khusaif b. 'Abd al- Rahman and Darraj Abu al-Samh attract different verdicts:
some traditionists declare their ahadith hasan, others declare them da'if.73
Example of a hasan hadith
Malik, Abu Dawud, al-Tirmidhi and al-Hakim reported through their isnads from
'Amr b. Shu'aib --- his father --- his grandfather, that the Messenger of Allah
(may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said,
"A single rider is a devil (i.e. disobedient), two riders are two devils, but
three makes a travelling party."
Al-Tirmidhi declares this hadith to be hasan because of the above isnad, which
falls short of the requirements for a sahih hadith.74
Several weak ahadith may mutually support each other to the level of hasan
According to the definitions of al-Tirmidhi and Ibn al-Salah, a number of
similar weak ahadith on a particular issue can be raised to the degree of hasan
if the weakness found in their reporters is of a mild nature. Such a hadith is
known as hasan li ghairihi (hasan due to others), to distinguish it from the
type previously-discussed, which is hasan li dhatihi (hasan in itself).
Similarly, several hasan ahadith on the same subject may make the hadith sahih
li ghairihi, to be distinguished from the previously-discussed sahih li
However, in case the weakness is severe (e.g., the reporter is accused of lying
or the hadith is itself shadhdh), such very weak ahadith will not support each
other and will remain weak. For example, the well-known hadith, "He who
preserves forty ahadith for my Ummah will be raised by Allah on the Day of
Resurrection among the men of understanding", has been declared to be da'if by
most of the traditionists, although it is reported through several routes.75
|A hadith which fails to reach the status of hasan is da'if. Usually, the
weakness is one of discontinuity in the isnad, in which case the hadith could
be mursal, mu'allaq, mudallas, munqati' or mu'dal, according to the precise
nature of the discontinuity, or one of a reporter having a disparaged
character, such as due to his telling lies, excessive mistakes, opposition to
the narration of more reliable sources, involvement in innovation, or ambiguity
surrounding his person.
The smaller the number and importance of defects, the less severe the weakness.
The more the defects in number and severity, the closer the hadith will be to
being maudu' (fabricated).76
Some ahadith, according to the variation in the nature of the weakness
associated with its reporters, rank at the bottom of the hasan grade or at the
top of the da'if grade. Reporters such as 'Abdullah b. Lahi'ah (a famous judge
from Egypt), 'Abd al-Rahman b. Zaid b. Aslam, Abu Bakr b. Abi Maryam al-Himsi,
Faraj b. Fadalah, and Rishdin b. Sa'd attract such types of varying ranks as
they are neither extremely good preservers nor totally abandoned by the
|Al-Dhahabi defines maudu' (fabricated, forged) as the term applied to a hadith,
the text of which goes against the established norms of the Prophet's sayings
(may Allah bless him and grant him peace), or its reporters include a liar,
e.g. the forty ahadith known as Wad'aniyyah or the small collection of ahadith
which was fabricated and claimed to have been reported by 'Ali al-Rida, the
eighth Imam of the Ithna 'Ashari Shi'ah.78
A number of traditionists have collected fabricated ahadith separately in order
to distinguish them from other ahadith; among them are Ibn al-Jauzi in
al-Maudu'at, al-Jauzaqani in Kitab al-Abatil, al-Suyuti in al-La'ali al-
Masnu'ah fi 'l-Ahadith al-Maudu'ah, and 'Ali al- Qari in al-Maudu'at.
Some of these ahadith were known to be spurious by the confession of their
inventors. For example, Muhammad b. Sa'id al-Maslub used to say, "It is not
wrong to fabricate an isnad for a sound statement."79 Another notorious
inventor, 'Abd al-Karim Abu 'l-Auja, who was killed and crucified by Muhammad
b. Sulaiman b. 'Ali, governor of Basrah, admitted that he had fabricated four
thousand ahadith declaring lawful the prohibited and vice-versa.80
Maudu' ahadith are also recognised by external evidence related to a discrepancy
found in the dates or times of a particular incident.81 For example, when the
second caliph, 'Umar b. al- Khattab decided to expel the Jews from Khaibar,
some Jewish dignitaries brought a document to 'Umar apparently proving that the
Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) had intended that they stay
there by exempting them from the jizyah (tax on non-Muslims under the rule of
Muslims); the document carried the witness of two Companions, Sa'd b. Mu'adh
and Mu'awiyah b. Abi Sufyan. 'Umar rejected the document outright, knowing that
it was fabricated because the conquest of Khaibar took place in 6 AH, whereas
Sa'd b. Mu'adh died in 3 AH just after the Battle of the Trench, and Mu'awiyah
embraced Islam in 8 AH, after the conquest of Makkah!82
The author, in his Criticism of Hadith among Muslims with reference to Sunan Ibn
Majah, has given more examples of fabricated ahadith under the following eight
categories of causes of fabrication:83
factions based on issues of creed;
fabrications by zanadiqah (enemies-within spreading heretical beliefs);
fabrications by story-tellers;
fabrications by ignorant ascetics;
prejudice in favour of town, race or a particular imam;
inventions for personal motives;
proverbs turned into ahadith.
Similar to the last category above is the case of Isra'iliyat ("Israelite
traditions"), narrations from the Jews and the Christians84 which were wrongly
attributed to the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace).
| FURTHER BRANCHES OF MUSTALAH AND RIJAL
AL-HADITH (classification of hadith and their reporters)
|The above-mentioned classification of ahadith plays a vital role in
ascertaining the authenticity of a particular narration. Ibn al- Salah mentions
sixty-five terms in his book, of which twenty-three have been discussed above.
Two further types not included by Ibn al-Salah, mu'allaq and mutawatir, have
been dealt with from other sources. The remaining forty-two types follow in
brief, which help further distinguish between different types of narrations.
Knowledge of i'tibar ("consideration"), mutaba'ah ("follow-up") and shawahid
("witnesses"). Traditionists are always in search of strengthening support for
a hadith which is reported by one source only; such research is termed i'tibar.
If a supporting narration is not found for a particular hadith, it is declared
as fard mutlaq (absolutely singular) or gharib. For example, if a hadith is
reported through the following isnad: Hammad b. Salamah - -- Ayyub --- Ibn
Sirin --- Abu Hurairah --- the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him
peace), research would be done to ascertain whether another trustworthy
reporter has narrated it from Ayyub; if so, it will be called mutaba'ah tammah
(full follow-up); if not, a reporter other than Ayyub narrating from Ibn Sirin
would be sought: if so, it will be called mutaba'ah qasirah (incomplete
follow-up). Whereas mutaba'ah applies to the isnad, i.e. other narrations from
the same reporters, a narration which supports the text (meaning) of the
original hadith, although it may be through a completely different isnad, is
called a shahid ("witness").85
Afrad (singular narrations).
The type of character required in an acceptable reporter.
The way a hadith is heard, and the different ways of acquiring ahadith.
How a hadith is written, and punctuation marks used.
The way a hadith is reported.
The manners required in traditionists.
The manners required in students of Hadith.
Knowledge of a higher or lower isnad (i.e. one with less or more reporters
Knowledge of difficult words.
Knowledge of abrogated ahadith.
Knowledge of altered words in a text or isnad.
Knowledge of contradictory ahadith.
Knowledge of additions made to an isnad (i.e. by an inserting the name of an
Knowledge of a well-concealed type of mursal hadith.
Knowledge of the Companions.
Knowledge of the Successors.
Knowledge of elders reporting from younger reporters.
Knowledge of reporters similar in age reporting from each other.
Knowledge of brothers and sisters among reporters.
Knowledge of fathers reporting from their sons.
Knowledge of sons reporting from their fathers.
Knowledge of cases where e.g. two reporters report from the same authority, one
in his early life and the other in his old age; in such cases the dates of
death of the two reporters will be of significance.
Knowledge of such authorities from whom only one person reported.
Knowledge of such reporters who are known by a number of names and titles.
Knowledge of unique names amongst the Companions in particular and the
reporters in general.
Knowledge of names and by-names (kunyah).
Knowledge of by-names for reporters known by their names only.
Knowledge of nicknames (alqab) of the traditionists.
Knowledge of mu'talif and mukhtalif (names written similarly but pronounced
differently), e.g. Kuraiz and Kariz.
Knowledge of muttafiq and muftariq (similar names but different identities),
e.g. "Hanafi": there are two reporters who are called by this name; one because
of his tribe Banu Hanifah; the other because of his attribution to a particular
Madhhab (school of thought in jurisprudence).
Names covering both the previous types.
Names looking similar but they differ because of the difference in their
father's names, e.g. Yazid b. al-Aswad and al-Aswad b. Yazid.
Names attributed to other than their fathers, e.g. Isma'il b. Umayyah; in this
case Umayyah is the mother's name.
Knowledge of such titles which have a meaning different from what they seem to
be, e.g. Abu Mas'ud al-Badri, not because he witnessed the battle of Badr but
because he came to live there; Mu'awiyah b. 'Abdul Karim al- Dall ("the one
going astray"), not because of his beliefs but because he lost his way while
travelling to Makkah; and 'Abdullah b. Muhammad al-Da'if ("the weak"), not
because of his reliability in Hadith, but due to a weak physique.
Knowledge of ambiguous reporters by finding out their names.
Knowledge of the dates of birth and death of reporters.
Knowledge of trustworthy and weak reporters.
Knowledge of trustworthy reporters who became confused in their old age.
Knowledge of contemporaries in a certain period.
Knowledge of free slaves (mawali) amongst the reporters.
Knowledge of the homelands and home towns of reporters.86
|Appendix & Endnotes
Verdicts on the ahadith mentioned in the Foreword
1. Mutawatir, as declared by many scholars, including Ibn Taimiyyah, al-Suyuti,
Najm al-Din al-Iskandari (d. 981) and al-'Ijlouni (d. 1162). About this hadith,
al-Daraqutni said, "It is the most authentic one regarding the virtues of any
surah." It is related by al-Bukhari, Muslim and others.
The following is the sahih hadith of al- Bukhari, Muslim, al-Tirmidhi, Ibn
Majah and Ibn 'Asakir: "Verily, Allah has Ninety-Nine Names which if a person
safeguards them, he will enter the Garden." In some narrations of this hadith
found in al-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, al-Hakim and others, the names are listed at
the end; however, at least three different listings are given, e.g. one list
being, "He is Allah, besides whom there is no other deity, the Merciful, the
Compassionate, ..., the Forbearing" while another is "Allah, the Unique, the
Absolute, ..., the One who has nothing like unto Him." It is agreed that these
latter narrations are da'if, and this is why al-Bukhari and Muslim did not
include them in their Sahihs. Al-Tirmidhi says in his Sunan, "This (version of
the) hadith is gharib; it has been narrated from various routes on the
authority of Abu Hurairah, but we do not know of the mention of the Names in
the numerous narrations, except this one." Ibn Taimiyyah says, "Al-Walid (one
of the narrators of the hadith) related the Names from (the saying of) one of
his Syrian teachers ... specific mention of the Names is not from the words of
the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), by the agreement of
those familiar with Hadith."87 Ibn Kathir says in his Tafsir, under verse 180
of Surah al- A'raf, that these narrations are mudraj. Ibn Hajar takes a similar
view in his commentary on Sahih al-Bukhari. Various scholars have given
different lists of 99 Names from their study of the Qur'an and Sunnah,
including Ja'far al- Sadiq, Sufyan b. 'Uyainah, Ibn Hazm, al-Qurtubi, Ibn Hajar
and Salih b. 'Uthaimin.
Ibn Taimiyyah says, "It is not from the words of the Prophet (may Allah bless
him and grant him peace), and there is no known isnad for it, neither sahih nor
da'if"; al-Zarkashi (d. 794), Ibn Hajar, al-Suyuti and others agreed with him.
Al-Qari says, "But its meaning is correct, deduced from the statement of Allah,
I have not created the Jinn and Mankind, except to worship Me, i.e. to
recognise/know me, as Ibn 'Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them both) has
explained." These statements are mentioned by al-'Ijlouni, who adds, "This
saying occurs often in the words of the Sufis, who have relied on it and built
upon it some of their principles."88
Al-'Ijlouni says, "Al-Saghani (d. 650) said: Maudu'. I say: But its meaning is
correct, even if it is not a hadith." no. 2123. 'Ali al- Qari says, "But its
meaning is correct, for al- Dailami has related from Ibn 'Abbas as marfu':
'that Jibril came to me and said: O Muhammad! Were it not for you, the Garden
would not have been created, and were it not for you, the Fire would not have
been created', and in the narration of Ibn 'Asakir: 'Were it not for you, the
world would not have been created'." Al- Albani also quotes al-Saghani's
verdict, and comments on al-Qari's words thus, "It is not appropriate to
certify the correctness of its meaning without establishing the authenticity of
the narration from al-Dailami, which is something I have not found any of the
scholars to have addressed. Personally, although I have not come across its
isnad, I have no doubt about its weakness; enough of an indication for us is
that al-Dailami is alone in reporting it. As for the narration of Ibn 'Asakir,
Ibn al-Jauzi also related it in a long marfu' hadith from Salman and said, 'It
is maudu', and al-Suyuti endorsed this in al-La'ali."89
Sahih - related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.
Al-'Ijlouni says, "Al-Ghazali mentioned it in Ihya' 'Ulum al-Din with the
wording, Allah says, "Neither My heaven nor My earth could contain Me, but the
soft, humble heart of my believing slave can contain Me." Al-'Iraqi said in his
notes on Al-Ihya', "I do not find a basis (i.e. isnad) for it", and al-Suyuti
agreed with him, following al-Zarkashi. Al-'Iraqi then said, "But in the hadith
of Abu 'Utbah in al-Tabarani there occurs: ... the vessels of your Lord are the
hearts of His righteous slaves, and the most beloved to Him are the softest and
most tender ones." Ibn Taimiyyah said, "It is mentioned in the Israelite
traditions, but there is no known isnad from the Prophet (may Allah bless him
and grant him peace) for it." Al-Sakhawi said in Al- Maqasid, following his
shaykh al-Suyuti in Al- La'ali, "There is no known isnad from the Prophet (may
Allah bless him and grant him peace) for it, and its meaning is that his heart
can contain belief in Me, love of Me and gnosis of Me. But as for the one who
says that Allah incarnates in the hearts of the people, then he is more of an
infidel than the Christians, who specified that to Christ alone. It seems that
Ibn Taimiyyah's mention of Israelite tradition refers to what Ahmad has related
in Al-Zuhd from Wahb b. Munabbih who said that Allah opened the heavens for
Ezekiel until he saw the Throne, so Ezekiel said, 'How Perfect are You! How
Mighty are You, O Lord!' So Allah said, 'Truly, the heavens and the earth were
too weak to contain Me, but the soft, humble heart of my believing slave
contains Me'." He also quoted from al- Zarkashi's writing that one of the
scholars said that it is a false hadith, fabricated by a renegade (from the
religion), and that it is most-often quoted by a preacher to the masses, 'Ali
b. Wafa, for his own purposes, who says at the time of spiritual rapture and
dance, "Go round the House of your Lord." He further said that al-Tabarani has
related from Abu 'Utbah al- Khawlani as marfu', "Truly, Allah has vessels from
amongst the people of the earth, and the vessels of your Lord are the hearts of
his righteous slaves, and the most beloved of them to Him are the softest and
most tender ones"; in its isnad is Baqiyyah b. al-Walid, a mudallis, but he has
clearly stated hearing the hadith."90 Al-Albani rates this last hadith
mentioned as hasan.91
Al-Nawawi said, "It is not established." Ibn Taimiyyah said, "Maudu'."
Al-Sam'ani said, "It is not known as marfu', but it is quoted as a statement of
Yahya b. Mu'adh al-Razi." Al- Suyuti endorsed al-Nawawi's words, and also said,
"This hadith is not authentic." Al- Fairozabadi said, "It is not a Prophetic
statement, although most of the people think it is a hadith, but it is not
authentic at all. In fact, it is only related in the Israelite traditions: O
Man! Know yourself: you will know your Lord." Ibn al-Gharas said, after quoting
al-Nawawi's verdict, "... but the books of the Sufis, such as Shaykh Muhi
al-Din Ibn 'Arabi and others, are filled with it, being quoted like a hadith."
Ibn 'Arabi also said, "This hadith, although it is not proved by way of
narration, is proved to us by way of Kashf ('unveiling', while in a trance)."92
Regarding this methodology, al-Albani says, "Authenticating ahadith by way of
Kashf is a wicked innovation of the Sufis, and depending upon it leads to the
authentication of false, baseless ahadith ... This is because, even at the best
of times, Kashf is like opinion, which may be right or wrong - and that is if
no personal desires enter into it! We ask Allah to save us from it, and from
everything with which He is not pleased."93
Sahih. Related by Malik in Al-Muwatta', al- Shafi'i in Al-Risalah (p. 110, Eng.
trans.) and Muslim (1:382; Eng. trans. 1:272). This was the first of two
questions which the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) put to a
slave-girl to test her faith, the second one being, "Who am I?" She answered,
"Above the heaven" and "You are the Messenger of Allah" respectively, to which
he said, "Free her, for she is a believer." Her first answer, which is found in
the Qur'an (67:16-17, the word fi can mean 'above/on', as in 6:11, 20:71 &
27:8), means that Allah is above and separate from His creation, not mixed in
with it, the erroneous belief which leads to worship of creation.
Maudu', as stated by al-Saghani and others. Scholars differ as to whether its
meaning is correct or not, in what way, and to what extent.94 It is sometimes
used to justify divisive, anti- Islamic nationalism and patriotism!
Sahih. Related by Malik as mursal/mu'allaq/balaghat (depending on choice of
terminology), and related twice as musnad by al- Hakim. The meaning of the
hadith is contained in the Qur'an, in the mention of the Book and Wisdom
(2:129, 2:151, 2:231, 3:164, 4:113, 33:34 & 62:2); al-Shafi'i says, "I have
heard the most knowledgeable people about the Qur'an say that the Wisdom is the
Sunnah" (Al-Risalah, Eng. trans., p. 111).
Sahih. Related by al-Tirmidhi, Ahmad, Ibn Abi 'Asim, al-Hakim, al-Tabarani,
al-Dailami and al-Tahawi.95 The phrase Ahl al-Bayt (members of the house)
refers: (i) primarily to the Prophet's wives (may Allah bless him and grant him
peace), from the clear context of the relevant verse of the Qur'an (33:33);
(ii) to 'Ali, Fatimah, Hasan & Husain, from the "hadith of the garment"
(cf. Sahih Muslim, Book of the Virtues of the Companions). It is imbalanced and
unjust to exclude either of these categories from the hadith.
A sahih hadith related by Abu Dawud, al- Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah & Ahmad, and
well-known amongst the people. The fullest narration is, "Abu Bakr will be in
the Garden; 'Umar will be in the Garden; 'Uthman will be in the Garden; 'Ali
will be in the Garden; Talhah will be in the Garden; al-Zubair will be in the
Garden; 'Abd al-Rahman b. 'Auf will be in the Garden; Sa'd b. Abi Waqqas will
be in the Garden; Sa'id b. Zaid will be in the Garden; Abu 'Ubaidah b.
al-Jarrah will be in the Garden."
Related by Ishaq b. Rahawaih and al-Baihaqi with a sahih isnad as a statement
of 'Umar. It is also collected by Ibn 'Adi and al-Dailami from Ibn 'Umar as
marfu', but in its isnad is 'Isa b. Abdullah, who is weak. However, it is
strengthened by another narration of Ibn 'Adi, and also supported by the hadith
in the Sunan that a man saw in a dream that Prophet (may Allah bless him and
grant him peace) was weighed against Abu Bakr, and was found to be heavier;
then Abu Bakr was weighed against everyone else ...96
Related by al-Hakim, al-Tabarani and others. It is also related by al-Tirmidhi
with the wording, "I am the House of Wisdom, and 'Ali is its Door".
Al-Daraqutni labelled the hadith as mudtarib, both in isnad and text;
al-Tirmidhi said it is gharib and munkar; al-Bukhari said that it has no sahih
narration; Ibn Ma'in said that it is a baseless lie. Similar dismissals of the
hadith are reported from Abu Zur'ah, Abu Hatim and Yahya b. Sa'd. Al-Hakim
declared the original hadith as sahih in isnad, but Ibn al- Jauzi regarded both
versions as maudu', and al- Dhahabi agreed with him. Several of the later
scholars, including Ibn Hajar al-'Asqalani, Ibn Hajar al-Makki and al-Suyuti
declared it hasan due to its various routes of narration. Al- 'Ijlouni says,
"... none of this devalues the consensus of the Adherents to the Sunnah from
the Companions, the Successors and those after them, that the best of the
Companions overall is Abu Bakr, followed by 'Umar ...", and quotes this view
from Ibn 'Umar and 'Ali himself, as recorded in Sahih al-Bukhari.97 Al-Albani
declares the hadith to be maudu'.98
A da'if or maudu' hadith, as stated by Ahmad b. Hanbal, Ibn 'Abd al-Barr,
al-Bazzar and many others. Ibn Hazm states that not only is the isnad unsound,
but the hadith cannot be true for two further reasons: (i) the Companions were
not infallible, and hence made mistakes, so it would be wrong to say that
following any of them leads to guidance; (ii) the comparison with the stars is
wrong, for not every star guides one through every journey! There is a
different, authentic comparison with the stars given in Sahih Muslim: the
Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, "The stars are the
custodians of the sky, so when the stars depart, there will come to the sky
what is promised for it (i.e. on the Day of Judgment). I am the custodian of my
Companions, so when I depart, there will come to my Companions what is promised
for them (i.e. great trials and tribulations). My Companions are the custodians
for my Ummah, so when my Companions depart, there will come to my Ummah what is
promised for it (i.e. schisms, spread of innovations, etc.)." (4:1961, Eng.
No isnad exists for this hadith: al-Subki (d. 756) said, "It is not known to
the scholars of Hadith, and I cannot find an isnad for it, whether sahih,
da'if, or maudu'." It, along with the previous one, is often used to justify
the following two extremes: (i) blind following of the views of men, with no
reference to the Qur'an and Sunnah; (ii) conveniently following whichever
scholar holds the easiest view, or that most agreeable to one's desires, again
without reference to the fundamental sources.
Numerous narrations of this hadith are found in the collections of Abu Dawud,
al-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, al-Hakim, Ahmad and others: they vary in being sahih,
hasan, or da'if, but the hadith is established. Among those who have
authenticated this hadith are al-Tirmidhi, al- Hakim, al-Shatibi, Ibn
Taimiyyah, Ibn al-Qayyim, al-Dhahabi, Ibn Kathir, Ibn Hajar and al-'Iraqi. Most
narrations mention the splitting-up of the Jews and the Christians into
seventy-one or seventy-two sects, all being in the Fire except one, prior to
mention of the Muslims dividing even more. In some of the narrations, the
Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) describes the Saved Sect
variously as "the Jama'ah (community, congregation, main body)", "the largest
body (al-sawad al-a'zam)" and "that which follows what I and my Companions are
upon." The hadith does not mean that the majority of Muslims will be in the
Hellfire, for most of them ("the masses") are not involved in intentional,
divisive innovation; further, mention of the Fire does not necessarily imply
that the seventy-two sects will remain there forever, or that those sects are
Although the Mahdi is not mentioned explicitly in the collections of al-Bukhari
and Muslim, numerous sahih ahadith, which are mutawatir in meaning, speak of
the coming of the Mahdi, a man named Muhammad b. 'Abdullah and a descendant of
the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) through Fatimah, who will
be the Leader (Imam, Khalifah) of the Muslims, rule for seven years and fill
the world with justice and equity after it had been filled with tyranny and
oppression. He will also fight the Dajjal along with Jesus son of Mary. The
author, in his The Concept of the Mahdi among the Ahl al-Sunnah, has named 37
scholars who collected ahadith about the Mahdi with their own isnads and 69
later scholars who wrote in support of the concept, compared to 8 scholars who
rejected the idea. The ahadith prophesying the Dajjal (False Christ), a
one-eyed man who will have miraculous powers and will be followed by the Jews,
and the return of Jesus Christ son of Mary (peace be upon them), who will
descend in Damascus and pray behind the Mahdi, kill the Dajjal at the gate of
Lod in Palestine, break the Cross, kill the Pig, marry and have children and
live for forty years before dying a natural death, are mutawatir in meaning.
They have been collected by al-Bukhari and Muslim, as well as other
Mutawatir in meaning, and collected by al- Bukhari, Muslim and others.
Mutawatir in meaning, and collected by al- Bukhari, Muslim and others. Mention
of the inadmissibility of intercession on the Day of Judgment in the Qur'an,
e.g. 2:48 2:123, must be understood in the light of other verses, e.g. 20:109
and sahih ahadith. The reward of seeing Allah for the believers is referred to
in the Qur'an, e.g. 75:22-23 and 83:15. These ahadith and those of the previous
two categories were generally rejected by the classical Mu'tazilah
(Rationalists), as well by those influenced by them today, on one or more of
the following bases: (i) they contradict the Qur'an (in their view); (ii) they
contradict Reason (in their view), and (iii) they are ahad, not mutawatir, and
hence not acceptable in matters of belief (a flawed argument). Hence, the
scholars who wrote the 'aqidah (creed) of the Ahl al-Sunnah included these
concepts in it, to confirm their denial of the wrong ideas of the Mu'tazilah.
Other authentic ahadith rejected by the Mu'tazilah are many, and include those
describing the Prophet's Mi'raj (ascension to the heavens), which are again
mutawatir in meaning.
The hadith with this wording is da'if, but its meaning is contained in the
hadith of Ibn Majah and al-Nasa'i that a man came to the Prophet (may Allah
bless him and grant him peace) and said, "O Messenger of Allah! I intend to go
on a (military) expedition, but I have come to ask your advice." He said, "Is
your mother alive?" He said, "Yes." He said, "Then stay with her, for the
Garden is under her feet." This latter hadith is declared to be sahih by
al-Hakim, al-Dhahabi and al-Mundhiri.99
A sahih hadith, collected by al-Bukhari, Muslim and others.
This hadith has many chains of narration on the authority of more than a dozen
Companions, including twenty Successors apparently reporting from Anas alone.
They are collected by Ibn Majah, al-Baihaqi, al-Tabarani and others, but all of
them are da'if, according to Ahmad b. Hanbal, Ishaq b. Rahuwaih, Ibn 'Abd
al-Barr, al- Bazzar and others, although some scholars authenticated a few of
the chains. Al-Baihaqi said that its text is mashhur while its isnad is da'if,
while al-Hakim and Ibn al-Salah regarded it as a prime example of a mashhur
hadith which is not sahih. However, it is regarded by later scholars of Hadith
as having enough chains of narration to be strengthened to the level of hasan
or sahih, a view which is stated by al- Mizzi, al-'Iraqi, Ibn Hajar, al-Suyuti
and al- Albani.100
This additional statement is found in a few of the (weak) narrations of the
previous hadith, and is declared as maudu' by Ibn Hibban, Ibn al- Jauzi,
al-Sakhawi and al-Albani.101
Mentioned by al-Manjaniqi in his collection of ahadith of older narrators
reporting from younger ones, on the authority of al-Hasan al- Basri. Al-Khatib
al-Baghdadi said that it is maudu' as a narration from the Prophet (may Allah
bless him and grant him peace), but that it is a statement of al-Hasan
Related as marfu' by al-Baihaqi with a da'if isnad, according to al-'Iraqi. Ibn
Hajar said that it is actually a saying of Ibrahim b. Abi 'Ablah, a
*NB: The scholars of Hadith agree that a da'if or maudu' hadith must not be
attributed to the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), e.g. by
saying, "The Prophet said: ...", even if the meaning is considered to be
correct or if it is actually the saying of a Muslim scholar, for that would be
a way of lying about the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace).
Ar. Sunnah: Way, Path, Tradition, Example. See An Introduction to the Sunnah by
Suhaib Hasan (Understanding Islam Series no. 5, published by Al-Quran Society),
for Qur'anic proofs of revelation besides the Qur'an, the importance of the
Sunnah, and a brief history of the collections of Hadith. See also Imam al-
Shafi'i's al-Risalah for the authoritative position of the Sunnah (Eng. trans.,
pp. 109- 116).
related by Imam Muslim in the Introduction to his Sahih - see Sahih Muslim (ed.
M.F. 'Abdul Baqi, 5 vols., Cairo, 1374/1955), 1:15 & Sahih Muslim bi Sharh
an-Nawawi (18 vols. in 6, Cairo, 1349), 1:87. The existing English translation
of Sahih Muslim, by Abdul Hamid Siddiqi, does not contain this extremely
Ibn Abi Hatim al-Razi, Al-Jarh wa l-Ta'dil (8 vols., Hyderabad, 1360-1373),
Sahih Muslim, 1:15. See Suhaib Hasan, Criticism of Hadith among Muslims with
reference to Sunan Ibn Maja (Ta Ha publishers / Al-Quran Society, London,
1407/1986), pp. 15-17 for discussion of this statement of Ibn Sirin.
Remarks like these are exceptions from the basic Islamic prohibition of
backbiting (ghibah) another Muslim, even if the statement is true. Such
exceptions are allowed, even obligatory in some cases, where general benefit to
the Muslim public is at stake, such as knowing which ahadith are authentic. See
e.g. Riyad al- Salihin of al-Nawawi, Chapter on Backbiting, for the
justification for certain types of backbiting from the Qur'an and Sunnah.
Muhammad Adib Salih, Lamahat fi Usul al-Hadith (2nd ed., al-Maktab al-Islami,
Beirut, 1389), p. 143.
Tahir b. Ahmad al-Jaza'iri, Taujih al-Nazar ila Usul al-Nazar (Maktaba
'Ilmiyyah, Madinah, N.D.), p. 68.
Muhammad b. 'Abdullah al-Hakim, Ma'rifah 'Ulum al-Hadith (ed. Mu'azzam Husain,
Cairo, 1937), p. 17.
Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti, Tadrib al-Rawi (ed. A.A. Latif, 1st ed., Cairo,
Al-Dhahabi, Talkhis al-Mustadrak (printed with Mustadrak al-Hakim, 4 vols.,
Abu 'l-Fida' 'Imad al-Din Ibn Kathir, Tafsir al-Qur'an al-Azim (4 vols., Cairo,
Yusuf b. 'Abdullah Ibn 'Abdul Barr, Tajrid al- Tamhid lima fi l-Muwatta' min
al-Asanid (Cairo, 1350), 1:2.
For the discussion in detail, see al-Shafi'i, al-Risalah (ed. Ahmad Shakir,
Cairo, 1358/1940, pp. 461-470; English translation: M. Khadduri, 2nd ed.,
Islamic Texts Society, Cambridge, 1987, pp. 279-284, where the mursal hadith
has been translated as "interrupted tradition").
al-Suyuti, 1:199; Muhammad b. Mustafa al- Ghadamsi, Al-Mursal min al-Hadith
(Darif Ltd., London, N.D.), p.71.
Ibn al-Qayyim, I'lam al-Muwaqqi'in (2nd ed., 4 vols. in 2, Dar al-Fikr, Beirut,
Ibn Hazm, Al-Ihkam fi Usul al-Ahkam (Matba'ah al-Sa'adah, Cairo, 1345), 2:135.
Al-Hazimi, Shurut al-A'immah al-Khamsah (ed. M.Z. al-Kauthari, Cairo, N.D.), p.
According to the different interpretations of this verse, "they" here could
refer to those who stay behind, or those who go forth.
al-Hakim, p. 26.
Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi, Al-Kifayah fi 'Ilm al- Riwayah (Hyderabad, 1357), p.
ibid., pp. 411-413.
Zain al-Din al-'Iraqi, Al-Taqyid wa 'l-Idah Sharh Muqaddimah Ibn al-Salah
(al-Maktabah al- Salafiyyahh, Madinah, 1389/1969), p. 72
Ibn Taymiyyah, Minhaj al-Sunnah an-Nabawiyyah fi Naqd Kalam al-Shi'ah wa
'l-Qadariyyah (al- Maktabah al-Amiriyyah, Bulaq, 1322), 4:117.
Al-Dhahabi, Al-Muqizah (Maktab al-Matbu'at al- Islamiyyah, Halab, 1405), p. 40.
al-Jaza'iri, p. 33.
Ibn Hajar al-'Asqalani, Sharh Nukhbah al-Fikr (ed. M. 'Aud & M.G. Sabbagh,
Damascus, 1410/1990), pp. 8-9.
al-Jaza'iri, p. 49; Muhammad b. Isma'il al- Amir al-San'ani, Taudih al-Afkar (2
vols. ed. M.M. 'Abdul Hamid, Cairo, 1366), 2:405.
al-Hakim, pp. 96-102.
al-'Iraqi, p. 268.
al-'Iraqi, p. 96.
Ibn Hajar, Tabaqat al-Mudallisin (Cairo, 1322), p. 7f.
al-'Iraqi, p. 98.
al-Hakim, pp. 30-34.
ibid., p. 119.
Ibn Kathir, Ikhtisar 'Ulum al-Hadith (ed. Ahmad Shakir, 2nd imp., Cairo, 1951),
al-Suyuti, 1:235; M. A. Salih, p. 260.
al-Khatib, p. 431.
Ibn Kathir, Tafsir, 4:349.
Ibn Kathir, Ikhtisar, p. 62.
al-Hakim, p. 39.
al-'Iraqi, p. 129f.
Ibn Kathir, Ikhtisar, p. 72.
Ibn 'Abdul Barr, Al-Tamhid, 3:32, as quoted by Luqman al-Salafi, Ihtimam
al-Muhaddithin bi Naqd al-Hadith, p. 381f.
Ibn Kathir, Ikhtisar, p. 88.
ibid., p. 87.
Shams al-Din Muhammad b. 'Abd al-Rahman al- Sakhawi, Fath al-Mughith Sharh
Alfiyyah al- Hadith li 'l-'Iraqi (Lucknow, N.D.), 1:278.
'Uthman b. 'Abd al-Rahman al-Dimashqi Ibn al- Salah, 'Ulum al-Hadith (commonly
known as Muqaddimah, ed. al-Tabbakh, Halab, 1350), p. 116.
'Ali b. 'Abdullah b. Ja'far Ibn al-Madini, Kitab al-'Ilal, p. 58. Ibn Hajar
al-'Asqalani mentions that the Imams of Hadith have agreed that al-Hasan
al-Basri did not hear a single word from 'Ali.
Sahih Muslim, 4:2149 (English transl., IV:1462, Sharh Nawawi, 17:133).
Ibn Taimiyyah, Majmu' Fatawa (37 vols., ed. 'Abd al-Rahman b. Qasim & his
son Muhammad, Riyad, 1398), 18:18f. Ibn Taimiyyah mentions that Imam Muslim's
authentication of this hadith is supported by Abu Bakr al-Anbari & Ibn al-
Jauzi, whereas al-Baihaqi supports those who disparaged it. Al-Albani says that
it was Ibn al-Madini who criticised it, whereas Ibn Ma'in did not (the latter
was known to be very strict, both of them were shaikhs of al-Bukhari). He
further says that the hadith is sahih, and does not contradict the Qur'an,
contrary to the probable view of the scholars who criticised the hadith, since
what is mentioned in the Qur'an is the creation of the heavens and the earth in
six days, each of which may be like a thousand years, whereas the hadith refers
to the creation of the earth only, in days which are shorter than those
referred to in the Qur'an (Silsilah al-Ahadith as-Sahihah, no. 1833).
al-Dhahabi, p. 27.
al-Shafi'i, p. 370f (Eng. trans., pp. 239- 240).
al-Dhahabi, p. 24.
al-Nawawi, Muqaddimah, p. 14.
al-Tibi, al-Husain b. 'Abdullah, al-Khulasah fi Usul al-Hadith (ed. Subhi
al-Samarra'i, Baghdad, 1391), p. 36.
ibid., p. 38.
al-Nawawi, Muqaddimah, p. 43.
al-Dhahabi, p. 26.
ibid., pp. 32-33.
al-Albani, Silsilah al-Ahadith al-Sahihah, no. 62.
al-Jaza'iri, p. 149.
al-Dhahabi, pp. 33-34.
ibid., p. 36.
al-Nawawi, Taqrib, 1:275.
see Ibn al-Qayyim, al-Manar al-Munif fi 'l- Sahih wa 'l-Da'if (ed. A.F. Abu
Ghuddah, Lahore, 1402/1982), pp. 102-105 for a fuller discussion. Ibn al-Qayyim
mentions more than ten clear indications of the forgery of the document, which
the Jews repeatedly attempted to use to deceive the Muslims over the centuries,
but each time a scholar of Hadith intervened to point out the forgery - such
incidents occurred with Ibn Jarir al-Tabari (d. 310), al-Khatib al-Baghdadi (d.
463) and Ibn Taimiyyah (d. 728), who spat on the document as it was unfolded
from beneath its silken covers.
Suhaib Hasan, Criticism of Hadith, pp. 35-44.
The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) allowed such narrations,
but they are not to be confirmed nor denied, except for what is confirmed or
denied by the Qur'an and Sunnah. See e.g. An Introduction to the Principles of
Tafseer of Ibn Taimiyyah (trans. M.A.H. Ansari, Al-Hidaayah, Birmingham,
1414/1993), pp. 56-58.
ibid., p. 156.
see Muqaddimah Ibn al-Salah.
Fatawa Ibn Taimiyyah, 6:379-382.
Isma'il b. Muhammad al-'Ijlouni, Kashf al- Khafa' (2 vols. in 1, Cairo/Aleppo,
N.D.), no. 2016.
Al-Albani, Silsilah al-Ahadith al-Da'ifah, no. 282.
Kashf al-Khafa', no. 2256.
Sahih al-Jami' al-Saghir, no. 2163; Silsilah al-Ahadith al-Sahihah, no. 1691.
Kashf al-Khafa', no. 2532; Al-Da'ifah, no. 66.
Al-Da'ifah, no. 58.
Kashf al-Khafa', no. 1102; Al-Da'ifah, no. 36.
Al-Sahihah, no. 1761.
Kashf al-Khafa', no. 2130.
Kashf al-Khafa', no. 618.
Da'if al-Jami' al-Saghir, nos. 1410, 1416.
Kashf al-Khafa', no. 1078; Al-Da'ifah, no. 593.
Kashf al-Khafa', no. 1665; Sahih al-Jami' al- Saghir, nos. 3913-4.
Al-Da'ifah, no. 416; Da'if al-Jami' al- Saghir, nos. 1005-6.
Kashf al-Khafa', no. 2276.
Kashf al-Khafa', no. 1362.
|Title: An Introduction to the Science of Hadith
Author: Dr. Suhaib Hasan
Editorial, Foreword & Appendix: Usama Hasan
Cover design: Zaynah Na'eem
101 Belmont Road,
London N17 6AT.
|OTHER PUBLICATIONS OF AL-QURAN SOCIETY
"The Study of Al-Quran" Correspondence Course (Lessons 1-20).
Understanding Islam Series.
The Muslim Creed
Faith in Predestination
The Many Shades of Shirk
An Introduction to the Qur'an
An Introduction to the Sunnah
The Role of the Mosque in Islam
Why do we Pray?
The Rights and Duties of Women in Islam
Interpretation of the Meanings of the Noble Qur'an.
The Truth about Ahmadiyyat (a refutation of Qadianism).
Criticism of Hadith among Muslims with reference to Sunan Ibn Maja.
The Crumbling Minarets of Spain.
An Introduction to the Science of Hadith.
Printed by: Best Printing Services,
tel: 071 249 5175