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Foundation of Islamic Studies Module 3.4-Bilal Philips-www.islamicgazette.com

Foundation of Islamic Studies Module 3.4-Bilal Philips-www.islamicgazette.com

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Islamic Online University

The Foundations of Islamic Studies 101

Islamic Online University

http://www.islamiconlineuniversity.com

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Islamic Online University

The Foundations of Islamic Studies 101

‫أﺻ ل ﺪر ﺳ ت ﻹﺳﻼﻣﯿﺔ‬ ِ ‫ُ ُﻮ ُ اﻟ ﱢ َا َﺎ ِ اْ ِ َ َ ِﱠ‬

The Foundations of Islaamic Studies
By Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips
CHAPTER THREE:

HADEETH

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Islamic Online University

The Foundations of Islamic Studies 101

3.4 CLASSIFICATION OF HADEETH
Hadeeth are divided into two main categories: Hadeeth Saheeh and Hadeeth Da‘eef.
The Hadeeth Saheeh If all of the narrators in the Sanad fulfill the following three conditions, the Hadeeth is classified as an accurate saying or action of the Prophet (r) and named Saheeh. This means that we can be certain that the Prophet (r) actually said or did what was reported in the Hadeeth. (1) The narrators must all be known to be truthful. (2) They must all have had good memories, or have written down what they heard.1 (3) They must all have met each other. Such a Hadeeth can be used to prove a point of Islamic Law which should be followed. The Hadeeth are the second most important source of Islamic Law and all true Muslims must follow them. Allaah in the Qur’aan said,

‫ﻮﺍ‬ ‫ﺘ‬‫ ﻓﹶﺎﻧ‬ ‫ﻨ‬‫ ﻋ‬‫ﺎ ﹸﻢ‬‫ﻬ‬‫ﺎ ﻧ‬‫ﻣ‬‫ ﻭ‬ ‫ ﹸﻭ‬ ‫ﻮ ﹸ ﻓﹶ‬  ‫ ﺍﻟ‬‫ﺎ ﹸﻢ‬‫ﺎ ﺁﺗ‬‫ﻣ‬‫ﻭ‬ ‫ﻛ ﻪ ﻬ‬ ‫ﻛ ﺮﺳ ﻝ ﺨﺬ ﻩ‬
“Whatever the messenger give you, you should accept and whatever he forbids you, you should reject.” The only way that we can follow that command of God is to learn the Hadeeth of the Prophet (r) and put them into practice. The Hadeeth mentioned at the beginning of the chapter is a Hadeeth Saheeh which teaches Muslims about Faith (Eemaan). True belief in God will cause the believer to treat others well especially their brothers in faith. Human beings
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Scholars later graded the memories of narrators into excellent and acceptable. If all had excellent memories the Hadeeth was rated Saheeh, and if some were acceptable it was rated Hasan. However, both categories are considered authentic.

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The Foundations of Islamic Studies 101

naturally want to be treated nicely, as such, good treatment is an important part of a comfortable and pleasant life. It develops love, trust, respect and many other good characteristics among people. In order to establish good human relations, Islaam encourage Muslims to treat others in the same good manner in which they would like to be treated by others. Al-Bukhaaree collected from Muhammad ibn al-Muthannaa, from ‘AbdulWahhaab, from Ayyoob from Abu Qailaabah, from Maalik that the Prophet (r) said, “ Pray as you have seen me praying.” 2 This Hadeeth fulfills the abovementioned conditions and is therefore Saheeh. The point of Islamic law in it is that in formal prayer (Salaah) we must follow the method used by the Prophet (r). Muslims are not allowed to make up their own personal style of prayer, as it is not only disobedience to the Prophet (r) but it will also lead to confusion in the prayer lines. The correct description of the Prophet’s (r) Salaah can be found in the books of Hadeeth. So we must read and find out how the Prophet (r) prayed in order to follow him properly. The Hadeeth Da‘eef If any of the narrators in the Sanad were known to have had any of the following faults, the Hadeeth is then classified as being inaccurate and referred to as Da‘eef. If any were known to have been liars. If any were known to have had bad memories. If any were known to have not met the one he was supposed to be narrating from. The Hadeeth Da‘eef is not a true saying or action of the Prophet (r) and cannot be used to prove any point of Islamic Law. Any law which is based on such a Hadeeth is considered incorrect. For example, Hadeeth scholars Abu Daawood and Ahmad collected a narration from Hafs ibn Ghayyaath who reported from ‘Abdur-Rahmaan ibn Is-haaq from Ziyaad ibn Zayd from Abu Juhayfah that ‘Alee ibn Abee Taalib was supposed to have said, “The Sunnah position of hands in Salaah is to place on hand on the other hand, below the navel.”3 However, this Hadeeth is classified as Da‘eef in the sub-category of
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Sahih Al-Bukhari (Arabic-English), vol.1, p.345, no.604. Sunan Abu Dawud (English Trans.), vol.1, p.194, no.756.

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The Foundations of Islamic Studies 101

mawdoo‘ (fabricated) because ‘Abdur-Rahmaan was a known liar. Therefore, it can not be used to support the practice of placing one’s hands below the navel in Salaah. The correct practice is as Taawoos reported in another Hadeeth which is Saheeh. He said that Allaah’s Messenger (r) used to put his right hand on his left hand and place them on his chest whenever he was in Salaah.4 This Hadeeth was also collected by Abu Daawood and Ahmad as well as Ibn Khuzaymah. Of course, the placing of one’s hands below the navel or on the navel does not ruin one’s Salaah.
Al-Hasan ibn ‘Ateeyah reported from Abu ‘Aatikah from Anas that the Prophet (r) said, “Seek knowledge even in China.” This Hadeeth was collected by the Hadeeth scholars Ibn ‘Adee and Abu Nu‘aym. Although it is commonly quoted Hadeeth which is well known among Muslims, it is not accurate. Abu ‘Aatikah was accused of falsifying Hadeeths, thus this narration is classified as Da‘eef. In fact, Hadeeth scholars have put it in a special category of Da‘eef Hadeeths called Mawdoo‘ (fabricated). Consequently it is incorrect to quote this statement as a Hadeeth of the Prophet (r), because many of his companions have quoted him as saying, “ Let whoever deliberately lies about me take his seat in the Hellfire.” 5 The most famous books of Hadeeths are called “the Sound Six” (as-Sihaah asSittah). They are Saheeh al-Bukhaaree, Saheeh Muslim, Sunan Abu Dawood, Sunan at-Tirmithee, Sunan an-Nasaa’ee and Sunan Ibn Maajah. The oldest collection of Hadeeths to reach us is the Muwatta’ of Maalik and the largest collection of Hadeeths is the Musnad of Ahmad. The most accurate collection of Hadeeths is that of al-Bukhaaree and the second most accurate is that of Muslim. The most accurate collection of Hadeeths is that of al Bukhaaree and the second most accurate is that of Muslim. That is, one may freely quote Hadeeths from both the Saheehs of al Bukhaaree and Muslim as evidence, because they are very nearly all authentic. However, the other books of Hadeeths contain a number of inaccurate narrations which cannot be used as evidence. Therefore, only the Hadeeths which have been rated accurate by the scholars may be used from the other books. It should also be noted that most modern books only mention the last narrator before the Prophet (r) when quoting Hadeeth is order to save time and space.

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Sunan Abu Dawud, (English Tana.), vol.1, p.194, no.757, and rated Saheeh by al-Albaanee in Saheeh Sunan Abee Daawood, vol.1, p.144, no.687. 5 Narrated by ‘Alee ibn Abee Taalib, Ibn ‘Abbaas, Abu Sa‘eed al-Khudree, ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr, Abu Hurayrah, Ibn Mas‘ood, al-Mugheera ibn Shu‘bah and az-Zubayr, and collected by alBukhaaree and Muslim as well as most other collectors of Hadeeths.

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