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Sabeel Retreat Study Notes

Delivered by Dr. Sheikh Haitham al-Haddad

The Divine Science Part Two: An introduction into the Sciences of the Sunnah
1433AH / 2012CE Muslim Research & Development Foundation

Chapters                                Pages     Transliteration  table                                      03     Preface                                          04       01.      Chapter  One  –  Introduction                                                                                                                                                              09     02.      Chapter  Two  –  Compilation  &  Transmission  of  the  Hadith                            14     03.      Chapter  Three  –  Hadith  Literature                                                                        21     04.      Chapter  Four  –  Authority  of  Sunnah                                  30           05.      Chapter  Five  –  Principles  &  Tools  for  Understanding  Hadith                            38     06.      Chapter  Six  –  Classification  of  Hadith                                                                40     07.      Chapter  Seven  –  Criticism  of  the  text  of  Hadith                                46                              


In the name of Allâh, All-Merciful, Most Merciful

        Consonants       ‫  ﺀ‬ ‫  ﺐ‬ ‫  ﺖ‬ ‫  ﺚ‬ ‫  ﺝج‬ ‫  ﺡح‬ a/i/u/’   b   t   th   j   h   kh   ‫  ﺩد‬ ‫  ﺬ‬ ‫  ﺭر‬ ‫  ﺯز‬ ‫  ﺱس‬ ‫  ﺵش‬ ‫  ﺹص‬ d   dh   r   z   s   sh   s   ‫  ﺽض‬ ‫  ﻁط‬ ‫  ﻅظ‬ ‫  ﻉع‬ ‫  ﻍغ‬ ‫  ﻑف‬ ‫  ﻕق‬ d   t   z   ‘   gh   f   q   ‫  ﻙك‬ ‫  ﻝل‬ ‫  ﻡم‬ ‫  ﻥن‬ ‫  ﻩه‬ ‫  ﻭو‬ ‫  ﻱي‬ k   l   m   n   h   w   y  

‫  ﺥخ‬     Vowels,  diphthongs,  etc.       Short:   ◌ Long:   Diphthongs:    

  ‫◌  ﺎ‬  

a   á/aa    


◌ ‫  ﻲ‬ ◌ ‫◌   ﻲ‬

i   í/ie/ee   ai/ay  

  ‫  ﻭو‬

o/u   oo/ú  

‫ ◌   ﻭو‬aw  

Divine Science Part Two Study Notes 1433AH / 2012CE Muslim Research & Development Foundation


  In the Name of Alláh (Subhanahu wa –ta’ala), Ar-Rahmán, Ar-Raheem. All Praise is for Alláh (Subhanahu wa –ta’ala). We Praise Him and Seek His Help and Forgiveness. We turn to Him in repentance and seek refuge in Alláh (Subhanahu wa – ta’ala) from the evil of our selves and the evil of our own deeds. Whomsoever Alláh (Subhanahu wa –ta’ala) guides, cannot be led astray and whomsoever Alláh (Subhanahu wa –ta’ala) misguides, none can guide him. I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except Alláh (Subhanahu wa – ta’ala) alone without any partner. I bear witness that Muhammed (ṣall Allāhu ʿalay-hi wa-sallam) is His Slave and Messenger. Alláh (Subhanahu wa –ta’ala) sent him with the Guidance and Religion of Truth. He conveyed the Message, fulfilled the Trust placed upon him, Sincerely Advised the Ummah, made Jihád in the Cause of Alláh (Subhanahu wa –ta’ala) in its truest sense and worshipped his Lord until he met the inevitable certainty. May the Salaah and Salaam of Alláh (Subhanahu wa –ta’ala) be upon him, his Household, his Companions and those who followed them exactly in Faith and Worship. To proceed: This document consists of personal notes taken from the Sabeel retreat; The Divine Science Part two, delivered during weekend of 6th and 7th Dhul-Qa’idah 1433 by Sheikh Haitham al-Haddad. I ask Alláh (Subhanahu wa –ta’ala) to make this an accurate and successful presentation. And I take Alláh (Subhanahu wa –ta’ala) as a Witness that whatever Truth and Good is in it is from Him and by His Leave Alone and whatever opposes that is from my own mistakes and ignorance and from the accursed (la), and Alláh (Subhanahu wa –ta’ala), His Messenger (ṣall Allāhu ʿalay-hi wa-sallam), the Authors (rh) and Sheikh Haitham al-Haddad (ha) are free from that and I free myself from that and regret it and take it back. I ask Alláh (Subhanahu wa –ta’ala) to reward those who have assisted in this work and to make it a means of benefit for myself, those who have assisted in this work, the Authors, and the Readers. We ask Alláh (Subhanahu wa –ta’ala) to make us from those who preserve the Sunnah of His final Prophet and Messenger (ṣall Allāhu ʿalay-hi wa-sallam) and from those who adopt it. Abú Hudhayfah 7th Dhul-Qa’idah 1433


Saturday 22nd September 2012/ Sabt 6th Dhul-Qa’idah 1433 09:45am – Session One As we said yesterday that the main aim of this organization are two: 1) to develop European brothers and sisters to be the leaders of the Muslim community in Europe. 2) Produce literature based on orthodox Islam that can appeal to western audiences. These two aims can be achieved throughout our projects. One of the projects in line with the first aim; to develop brothers and sisters to be leaders is this programme – Sabeel programme. It doesn’t provide education, but tries to provide a holistic programme that develops brothers and sisters to be future leaders in Europe. Sabeel is a package that helps brothers and sisters to be leaders in the near future in Europe. We have to work in a number of directions; one is providing knowledge and tarbeeyah (includes ibadah and cultivation). In terms of ilm, we found one of the main shortcomings of many students of knowledge and practicing people is that they don’t understand Islam in a structured way. Due to this, they can be misled, and sometimes think they know, when they do not and are not able to articulate Islam to a western audience. These three issues are major problems. Many brothers and sisters study Islam, but their outcome is minimal. They do not have an organised, systematic methodology and this is a big problem. Those who study Islam in an unstructured, un-academic way think that they know, when they do not. This is a big problem. We have seen a tendency of people who do not know and not acknowledging that they don’t know. The third problem is that an individual cannot articulate orthodox islam to a western audience. The problem is that those who follow orthodox Islam,


isolated themselves because they felt they could not compete with those who are intellectual and this is a problem, because the Prophet Salallaahu alayhee wa salaam was sent to propagate Islam and if we do not continue to do so, this is a big problem – a disaster. Also, due to the fact some couldn’t articulate Islam in a western manner, began to change their stances towards a liberal notion, which is not dissimilar to non-Muslims, which has caused nonMuslims, to perceive what they promote as not different to what they already practice – and such promotion is considered to be sinful. We must not live in a bubble and must be part of positive integration and those Muslims who follow orthodox Islam but unable to articulate their views to a western audience, began to liberalise themselves and views to a very extreme level. There are two types of people: those who live in a bubble and don’t integrate positively and those who are unable to communicate with a western audience and begin to liberalise themselves. Concerning the result insults against our noble Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salaam, many duaats have began to shape their discourse as blaming Muslims, and have not quoted any scholars of the past to affirm this discourse. They also replicate Christian principles, by quoting the patience of the Prophet sallaahu alayhee wa salaam and that he did not protest or march, but was forgiving. If a person reads a simple seerah and researches the conquest of Makkah, you will see that many people who insulted the Prophet salallahu alayee wa salaam were killed. There was an individual who changed wahy and some people said he insulted the prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salaam. He came to the Prophet salallaahy alayhee wa salaam and said “I am repenting, I am repenting” and the Prophet


salallaahu alayhee wa salaam turned to the companions and said “why did you not kill him?” Women who recited poems to mock the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salaam, were ordered to be killed during the conquest of Makkah. Ka’b ibn al ashra – Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salaam said who will kill him? And he was assassinated under the supervision of Allaah. Are we shy to hold this position? Some people are embarrassed to mention such positions and some people propagate certain ideas and practices in a counter-productive way. We should distinguish how and when to say Islamic things. This is the deen of Allaah and Allaah is the one who revealed the Qur’an to the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salaam and Allaah is the one who sent the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salaam. The Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salaam was taught by Allaah what is best for humanity – Islam, with all its details and rulings and thus we must know how to pass this message to others in a way that if they don’t at least except Islam, that they appreciate it and are not put off by it. We are on this earth first and foremost to protect the honour of Allaah and the honour of his messenger salallaahu alayhee wa salaam. Allaah says in the Qur’an: They are annoying/harming Allaah and his messenger; Allaah prepared for them a punishment. We need scholars who know about aqeedah and fiqh, and can give a balanced view, not embarrassed by their history. We need these du’aat and tulaabul ilm,


who are articulate to propagate orthodox Islam for the whole community. To achieve this, we need a systematic way of studying. We found this systematic way is based on providing students, brothers, sisters, tulaabul ilm with a framework of how we can understand Islam and this framework once understood, can help an individual to articulate Islam to nonMuslims, to face the challenges we are facing and to put what he has learnt into practice. This framework is the methodology of understanding Islam. Although many of us are tulaabul ilm, we miss the structure of how to study Islam. § The way of studying Islam deeply is to develop this structure and develop ourselves, according to this framework – the methodology of understanding Islam. To understand and implement Islam, we need to understand where Islam comes from, what are the sources of Islam and how to understand those sources and finally how are we going to put these sources that we have understood into practice. These are the three main steps within this framework. The sources of Islam are Qur’an, Sunnah, Ijma’ and Qiyaas. We have studied Qur’an as a source of Islam and in this particular course (retreat) we will be studying the Sunnah of the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salaam and studying it mainly as a source of Islam and not sunnah acts and details which are in fiqh. We will study the sunnah of the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salaam as source in Islam. BREAK – 10:30am


10:50am - Session Two

Chapter One - Introduction
We have mentioned in these courses we will study the sources of Islam and how to understand these sources. Afterwards, we will study some courses that help to put this understanding in place. If we want to study anything in our life, we will be following a very similar methodology e.g. If you want to study medicine. The aim of medicine is to treat people. You will have to first study about medicine, and gain the correct information from the sources, learning about the chemistry of the body and different materials, you have to study the right information from the right sources. You will not get a car mechanic to learn about medicine. When you are studying, you will study in English. You have to make sure that you understand what you have learnt. Afterwards, you will require some help in order to practice the information you have gained. Similarly, in Islam you have to put into practice the information you have gained from the sources. Throughout the Sabeel courses, we will be studying linked subjects and moving from one topic to another and to a certain degree all the topics are built on top of each other. We have mentioned the sources of Islam are Qur’an, Sunnah, Ijma’ and Qiyaas. The first source of Islam is the Qur’an, which we have studied. The second source of Islam is the Sunnah of the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam. At the end of this course we will be able to: 1. Understand Sunnah as one of the main sources of Islam. We may understand the Sunnah as a source, but not know the relationship 9

between the Qur’an and Sunnah – we will learn this. This is one of two main objectives in this course. 2. The second main objective of this course is to understand how the Sunnah came about, how it was compiled. The history of the compilation of Sunnah will give an insightful idea of Islam as a religion. Muslims and non-Muslims always attack the Sunnah, claiming it includes many weak and fabricated narrations, there were hypocrites and people at that time were illiterate. Once we understand the compilation of the Sunnah we will know if this is true or not and will be able to defend the Sunnah. We will also learn whether those criticize the sunnah are being subjective. This will also give us confidence that Allaah has protected the Sunnah. We will also gain an overall understanding of all the books that have compiled the Sunnah. These are the main aims and objectives of studying this course. Usool ul Fiqh is a science, which helps a person understand where the rulings came from. It gives you the principles that were used to derive particular rulings. Some people claim that this course is Usool ul Fiqh. Although, the courses foundation is Usool ul Fiqh, it is a bit more than just Usool ul Fiqh.


Uloom ul Sunnah Uloom means science. Sunnah linguistically means path. The word sunnah can have three or four technical definitions. You may use the word sunnah meaning one thing and someone else may use it, meaning something else. If a person doesn’t believe in the Sunnah, they are a non-Muslim – Someone may say that they don’t pray their Sunnah prayers. In this situation they have two different meanings. Is it obligatory to act according to Sunnah? – Depends what you mean when you mention Sunnah. The scholars of Fiqh when they use the word Sunnah mean recommended actions, which are desirable to be performed. If we say the one who is not following the Sunnah is following bid’ah. Does this mean the person who doesn’t pray the four rakats before Dhuhr is committing bid’ah? No – so what do we mean by the initial question? We mean the denial of the Sunnah as the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam’s way, the methodology of the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam. Sunnah here is different from Sunnah as a recommended action as it includes some obligatory actions in addition to recommended actions. When we say that a person who doesn’t believe in the Sunnah is a non-Muslim. Sunnah in this statement is referring to the Sunnah as a source of legislation. When we say that Sunnah is a source of legislation in the Shari’ah, it refers to everything that came from the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam. The Quraniyoon do not believe in the Sunnah as a legislative source and are thus non-Muslim.


Denying the Sunnah as a source means you reject everything from the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam in totality. However, denying the Sunnah as a methodology of the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam e.g. the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam never allowed people to wipe people’s arms and ask them for barakah – therefore, such an action is bid’ah. Denying the methodology of the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam can be very extreme and lead to disbelief (kufr). The compilation of hadiths is a branch of studying Sunnah as a source of legislation – we ask questions concerning where it came from, how we know it is authentic etc. One extreme is to say a person is committing bid’ah by not placing their hands on their chest. Another extreme is to say a person is rejecting the Sunnah by not placing their hands on their chest, as rejecting the Sunnah leads to a person being a non-Muslim (kufr). The meaning of Sunnah according to the scholars of hadith is everything that been narrated or reported about the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam. In this chapter we will be studying Sunnah as a synonym to hadith, developing the perspective of the scholars of Hadith. How do we differentiate between the Qur’an and Sunnah? The Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam told us what is Qur’an and what is Sunnah. If we do not believe in what he says, we are not confident that Surah Ikhlas is Qur’an; because he is the one that told us it is the Qur’an. If we believe in the Qur’an, we have believed in the Sunnah.


Once we say Hadith, we are referring to what has been transmitted from the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam, in terms of his sayings, actions and tacit approvals. The terms Sunnah and Hadith can be used interchangeably. Definition of Ulum al Sunnah Riwayat-ul-hadith is how a hadith is compiled until reaches us. Dirayat-ulhadith is concerning the understanding of the hadith and it’s meaning when it has reached us. Ilm Riwayat-ul-Hadith: Science studying the sayings, actions and tacit approvals and description of the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam. Some scholars also add to the, the narrations of companions and tabi’un. The subject matter is whatever is attributed to the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam; the science investigates the narration, its chains, its wordings and authenticity. In sum Ilm Riwayatul Hadith is concerning the transmission of narrations and Ilm Dirayat-ul hadith is concerning the meaning of hadiths. Break – 12:00pm


Chapter Two – Compilation and Transmission of the Hadith
The Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam is the most beloved created being to Allaah. He is more beloved than jibreel alayhi-salaam, which is why Allaah honoured him and raised his status and no-one from the creation has reached the status of the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam and we ask Allaah to be among the ummah of the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam, who the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam will interced for and we ask Allaah to increase our love for the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam and to make us his real followers and to make us amongst those who are next to him in jannah. We ask Allaah to make us amongst those that defend him and his honour. The Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam during the Mi’raj, reached a place. Jibreel, is the greatest of angels and has been given great power and strength. The prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam says he saw Jibreel alayhis-salam twice, once when he came with revelation. He says that he saw Jibreel alayhisalaam covering the horizon and he had six hundred wings. Allaah honoured Jibreel alayhus salaam by making him the angel who delivered wahy. When Jibreel alayhi-salam took the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam to the seventh heaven, he told the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam “proceed, I cannot proceed”. This is a point that nobody has ever proceeded and only you are able to proceed. The Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam then went to Allaah and went to a place called Maqam Mahmoud according to some scholars and spoke to Allaah directly and according to some scholars he saw Allaah. Ibn Abbas mentions that Allaah looked at the hearts of the humans and found the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam’s heart as the purest heart and Allaah took the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam as his closest companion, alKhalil and Prophet. Allaah made him the highest of all the Prophets and he will 14

lead them on the day of resurrection as he led them in prayer on the night journey. We should love and respect everything about our Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam. Imam Malik would order the people to lower their voices when reading hadiths. If the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam is not present, his hadith is present, his words are present. Muhummad Ahmad Awdah was imprisoned by the regime of Sedat in Egypt. He was placed in a cell with ten dogs, which urinated and defecated on his body. One of his inmates was able to come out of his cell due to the scale of defecation from the dogs. It has been mentioned that when he would narrate a hadith of the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam he would sit down. Some Azhari schoalrs would take their shoes off when narrating hadiths out of respect. Imam malik would only narrate hadiths when he had wudhu. It is part of eeman to love every aspect of the prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam. It is part of hypocrisy, to dislike anything related to the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam. A companion came to the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam and asked when is the hour? The prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam asked “what have you prepared for it?” He said “Nothing, except that I love Allaah and his Messenger salallaahu alayhee wa salam”. The Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam replied “You will be with those whom you love”. Ubayy ibn Ka’b’s son came to the prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam and asked I want to make half of my dua for you, and the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam “Yes”. He then said, I want to make all of my dua for you


and the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam said “You will be sufficed”. This dua is not concerning obligatory matters or concerning his need. This is how we should love and honour our Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam Allaah sent the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam and this began his sunnah. When he salallaahu alayhee wa salam spoke, the companions listened and conveyed this to their friends, families and student. Those companions would further narrate it to their friends and so on, until there was a stage when some scholars came and decided to record the narrations from the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam to them and this is called the chain of narrators. The process of recording the statements of the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam from the first generation to the next is called the compilation of the sunnah. This compilation can be divided into three main stages. 1. During the first two centuries of the Hijrah era. 2. During the third and fourth centuries. 3. During the fifth century and subsequently. During the Era of the Prophet (salallaahu alayhee wa salam) During the life of the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam there are many characteristics of compilation of this era. The companions would record everything concerning the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam carefully and would ask other companions if they themselves missed anything. The companions would divide their time in order to spend time with the prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam and to record everything. As we know, the lengthy journey Jabir took to hear one hadith. One of the wisdoms behind the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam having nine wives at one point is that he will be monitored by a numbr of people at


any single point in his life. Everything the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam did, has been recorded, including his appearance and how he had sexual relations. This shows that he is a perfect role model and indicates that the companions were very keen to follow the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam in everything. The companions would listen, see and memorise and would rarely write what they heard from the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam. However, some companions did write the hadiths of the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam. Abdullah ‘Amr ibn ‘As would write everything he heard from the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam with the intention of memorizing it, until the Quraish forbade me as they said “do you write everything, including when he gets angry?”. The Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam in response to this said “By Allaah, write everything, whatever comes out of my mouth is the truth. The Era of the Companions (Sahaba) The sahaba are many and some were close to the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam such as Abu Hurayrah and some accepted Islam late and travelled all over the place to do Jihad Fi-sabeelillah like Khalid Ibn Waleed. Thus, Abu Hurayrah narrated many narrations, thousands, whilst Khalid ibn Waleed only narrated a handful and between them there are number of companions who narrate a lot and some who narrated a few. The companions would learn from each other in this era. Ibn Abbas who was close to the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam would go to the elderly companions to listen to the hadiths they took from the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam and he would wait outside their doors to listen to their hadiths.


Some companions missed a number of hadiths and when they were corrected and told what the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam said, they would take it without questioning it. Some of these companions were the main companions like Abu Bakr who was reminded of the hadith of the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam that “no prophet is buried, except where they died”, when he was deciding where to bury the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam. None of the companions have encompassed all the hadiths of the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam. It is true Abu Hurayrah narrated over seven thousand hadiths, but he did not encompass all the hadiths. The companions would accept what they missed and what the other companions told them. Era of Tab’ieen – End of the First century to the Middle of the Second Century The Main characteristic of this era is that islam spread far to other regions in the world. During the era of Hajjaj, Islam reached India, the beginning of China, Morocco, Turkey and almost the whole peninsula. The Islamic state was huge, expanding from the borders of Iran, parts of India, Pakistan, and the Soviet Union all the way to Morocco. This is a very expansive range. The companions and tabi’een were spread all over the world. This meant that it was difficult to establish teachers in all the different areas due to the expansive range of all these areas. It was also difficult due to the barriers in language and cultures. This led to the preparation of the second stage, where scholars began to record the hadiths they heard at the end of the first century, this is known as the era of tabi’un (1st Century Hijrah).


Stages of Writing
The First Stage: This covers the period of the first century A.H. which began in 622 C.E. or the early part if the century C.E. It was the age of the companions and their successors often referred to as the age of the sahifah, that is a sheet or some sort of writing material such as shoulder blades or parchments on which a number of hadith were written. E.g. Sahifah Abu Bakr. The Second Stage: This covers the middle of the second Century A.H. and is referred to as the stage of Musannaf (i.e. classified organized work). The second stage represents a planned compilation of hadith grouped under headings denoting their subject matter. E.g. Muwatta Malik. The second generation began to write because their memory was not like the companions and they wanted to send books to other people. Sahifa wahb ibn Munabbi is considered to be the oldest written book. The main book that was written in the second stage is Muwatta Imam Malik and is the oldest, fully compiled book that recorded the hadith of the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam. Imam Malik died in 179 A.H. Between him and the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam there was two to three generations and he wrote Muwatta for Harun Rashid. Muwatta means ‘easy’, for people to take guidance from it. This is the main book written in that stage and is still considered to be one of the main books of Sunnah. By the end of the second hijrah century, is when Islamic knowledge flourished and this is the main era of the four schools of thoughts – Imam Abu Hanifah died in 150 A.H. Imam Malik died in 179 A.H. Imam Shafi’ died in 204 A.H and Imam Ahmad died in 241 A.H.


The Third Stage: This is known as the stage of Musnad (Compilation of hadith according to companion’s names). This stage began at the close of second Century A.H. e.g. Musnad Ahmad. Break - 13:15pm 16:30pm – Session Three Anas ibn Malik: “I haven’t touched a hand, softer than the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam, and I have not detected fragrance better than the breath of the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam”. Amr ibn ‘As says “When we are with the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam we cannot raise our eyes to look at him”. Therefore, we should ensure that we look our best at all times.


Chapter Three – Hadith Literature
By the end of the second century A.H, the scholars felt that there was a need to record hadiths which were narrated from their predecessors, back to the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam. The main work that took place in the end of the second

Imam Malik died in 179 A.H which corresponds to the second half of the 8th Gregorian century. They said in his tarjama’ that he spent forty years writing this book. It is said that he presented it to fifty scholars from Madinah and sscholars from other parts of the world he had visited. They claim it is called “Muwatta” because many schoalrs accepted it. Others claim it is called “Muwatta” because he made it easily accessible. Imam Muhammad Ahmad as-Surati from our contemporary times had one of the highest chain of narrators in Muwatta and Sahih al Bukhari. There was a maqrah conducted in Sahih Bukhari with the sheikh and sheikh Akram nadwi. Subsequently, there was a maqrah in Muwatta Imam Malik. The movement to publish books increased and majority of books in hadith were published between 200 – 250 A.H, such works include the Musnad of Imam Ahmad, Imam Ahmad died in 241 A.H. Imam Ahmad wrote this book and called it “Musnad”. Imam Ahmad was the last of the four Imams. Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal has many virtues and qualities. If you read about Imam Malik, Imam Abu Hanifah, Imam Shafi’ and Imam Ahmad, you will feel like they are each the best imams of their time. The


followers of each school, tend to focus solely on the imam they follow. They are all imams and the ummah has agreed they are imams to be followed. Imam Ahmad was known as a muhaddith more than a faqih. His most well known book is the “Musnad”, in which he said he collected all the books he came across, which are sahih or just below sahih, but no fabricated hadiths are included. In this compilation he included over thirty thousand hadiths. He organised these hadiths, unlike Muwatta, which is organised into the chapters of Fiqh e.g. Chapter of Tahara, with all the hadiths pertaining to tahara in this chapter. Imam Ahmad went though the sahaba, beginning with the ten guaranteed paradise and put their hadith first e.g. starting with the narrations of Abu Bakr radiallaahu anhu. Thus, all the hadiths Imam Ahmad heard which Abu Bakr radiallaahu anhu narrated are included in the first chapter, except those, which Imam Ahmad knew to be fabricated, thereafter, he organsised the hadiths of Umar ibn al Khattab radiallaahu anhu and so on. Thus, he didn’t organize the hadiths according to subjects, but according to narrators. He didn’t organize the narrators alphabetically, but rather according to the status of the companion, beginning with the ten-guaranteed paradise, starting with Abu Bakr radiallaahu anhu. Imam Ahmad had another book called “virtues of the sahaba” (two volume book, which has been verified by Sheikh Waseeullah Abbas). In this book he had a criteria, determining the virtuosity of each companion and as such organised the sahaba in this manner within his musnad. Q. What is the wisdom behind Imam Ahmad’s organization of the “Musnad”? A. Some sahaba like Hudhayfah narrated hadiths related to fitna. Abu darda narrated hadiths mostly pertaining to raqaiq (Heart softening hadiths). Thus, the wisdom behind Imam Ahmad’s compilation is to create an encyclopedia and to give us a further understanding of the companions (sahaba).


Imam Ibn hajar Asqalani wrote a text to prove that there were no fabricated narrations in Musnad Imam Ahmad. Abu Hurayrah narrated many narrations – how did Imam Ahmad compile a particular sahaba’s narrations? Some people say, he did it according to the subject matter, others say due to the authenticity of the narrations; whilst some say that this is the order that he took the hadiths from his sheikh. The matn is the body of the hadith; the body of the hadith is transmitted by companions from one generation to another this leads to the creation of a list of narrators (a chain). This chain is called isnaad. Hadith: Actions are judged by their intentions. This is a hadith of the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam. Umar ibn al Khattab radiallaahu anhu took this hadith from the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam. Alqamah ibn Waqqas took it from Umar ibn al Khattab radiallaahu anhu. Yahya ibn Sa’eed al-Ansari took it from Umar ibn al Khattab radiallaahu anhu. They say that on each level above, the names mentioned are the only ones that took the hadith. This hadith is considered ghareeb. After, Yahya ibn Sa’eed al-Ansari, there are many narrators, as many people took it from him. Sufyan ath-Thawri and Abdullah ibn Zubayr al-Humaidy are amongst some of the scholars to take it from Yahya ibn Sa’eed al-Ansari. Imam Bukhari, then took the hadith from Abdullah ibn Zubayr al-Humaidy.


Imam Bukhari mentions this hadith seven times in his sahih. Each time he narrates, he narrates it through a different narrator. All of the seven narrators might have taken it from a narrator between Yahya ibn Sa’eed al Ansari and him, however, his chain does not go beyond him, as Yahya ibn Sa’eed is the only one in that place in the chain. “Whoever lies upon me purposely, should take his place in the hellfire”. This hadith concerning lying on the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam is claimed to be narrated by five sahaba, among them is Abu Hurairah, Ali ibn Abi Talib, Abu Bakr and other companions. Each of the five narrators, have given it to many of the tabi’een. This led to many of tabi’een narrating this hadith. The tab’ieen that received this narration then conveyed it to an uncountable number of scholars. Due to the volume of transmissions of this hadith, it is considered as a Mutawatir hadith, whilst the narration concerning actions by their intentions is a ghareeb hadith as Umar ibn al-Khattab radiallaahu anhu is the only sahabi to narrate it. According to the early scholars, each tareeq (process of each individual taking a narration from another individual) is considered to be a hadith. However, today the hadith is only considered to be the main narration transmitted from the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam. There are books that have nothing to do except discuss the individuals who are in this process. A person cannot claim to have taken a hadith from a certain individual as their biography, teachers and students are known. How reliable is a biography? One person, however, did not write a biography of an individual many scholars wrote biographies, thus we can crosscheck


between the different biographies. If there is a discrepancy between records, then a question mark is attached to this individual. Break – 17:15 20:00 – Session Three There were two great books classified as musannaf. The first one is the musannaf of Abdur Razzak. Abdur razzak was one of the shuyookh of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal and he speaks highly of him and one of the shuyookh of Imam Abdur Razzak is Imam Mudabi (look up) and Imam Zuhri. Imam Abdur Razzak recorded hadith, statements of sahaba and statements of ta’bieen and this is the main quality of this piece of work. It is a great encyclopedia of statements from the companions and the tab’ieen. These include statements of these individuals and not narrations of hadiths that they obtained. A hadith can be classified into two types. It can be attributed to the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam directly. Another can be a statement of a companion from the companion himself. A statement of a companion can have the same vaule as a hadith though it is not attribute to the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam. This occurs when the sahabi would not have said such a statement themselves, and have definitely taken it from the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam although they don’t say so. The statements of the sahaba are called Hadith Mawqoof, when the companion doesn’t attribute it to the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam, but this statement has value. Anything attributed to the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam is Hadith Marfu’. Imam Malik in his Muwatta mentioned many statements attributed to the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam (Hadith Marfu’), in addition to statements


of the companions (Hadith Mawqoof) and the tabi’een. The Mussanaf similarly included hadiths of the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam, statements of the companions and the tab’ieen. These books are rich with the statements of the companions and the tabi’een. If we had access to these books, we would acknowledge the vastness and diversity of the companion’s knowledge and opinion. Following the mussanaf of Abdur Razzak and Mussanaf Ibn Abee Shaybah, we have the famous classical masterpiece; Sahih al-bukhari. Imam Dhahabi said the most authentic book after the Qur’an is Sahih al Bukhari and Imam Bukhari had many dreams where he was following the footsteps of the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam. Millions and trillions of people have benefited due to his work. Sahih Bukhari is a book, which has recorded sahih hadith only. In his biography, Imam Bukhari mentioned that he only included sahih narrations and made istikharah before he included any narration in his sahih. The scholars said that if you love Sahih Bukhari, you are on the sunnah. If anybody criticizes Bukhari, they they’re a misguided individual. Imam Bukhari had a very intelligent way of recording hadith; in a manner which scholars until today do not understand why he recorded them in such a way. Imam Bukhari included the hadith “every action is judge by its intention” with a longer riwayah because this longer riwayah had an additional word. Imam Bukhari did not just list the hadith but listed them in a way that gives insights to the meanings and jurisprudence that could be extracted from them. He was intelligent to put titles for his chapters, which have very deep meanings and scholars are still engaging in discussions concerning this today.


Abu Abdillah Muhammad ibn Ismaeel al-Bukhari was born in Bukhara in 810 C.E. Imam Muslim was one of his students and compiled Sahih Muslim. However, the level of authenticity of the hadiths mention in Sahih Bukhari is higher than those mentioned in Sahih Muslim. Imam Muslim, like Imam Bukhari, also resolved to only include authentic narrations. Imam Bukhari did not write an introduction to his book, the introduction of his book is the first narration in the text. There are levels in authenticity though they’re both authentic e.g. a mutawatir narration is on a higher level than a ghareeb narration. Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim overlap in about 2,000 hadiths and these narrations are considered to be of the highest authenticity, these narrations are called “Mutafaqun ‘alayhi”. Many scholars wrote books compiling these narrations such as the classical work of ‘al-Lulu w’al Marjan’. Imam Bukhari had stricter conditions on the reliability of an individual in comparison to imam Muslim. Imam Bukhari also placed more stringent conditions on a narration of an individual taken from his ustadh, whilst Imam Muslim had softer conditions. These are slight differences in their methodology and a few reasons why Sahih Bukhari is considered more authentic than Sahih Muslim. There is one aspect in which Imam Muslim’s compilation supersedes Sahih Bukhari. Imam Muslim was very careful in narrating the matn of the hadith as he got it from the narrators, without changing anything in the wording, so he was more precise and accurate in narrating the hadith. Imam Bukhari, did not mind narrating the meaning of the hadith, and did not put as much emphasis on the wording of the narration. Any hadith that has been narrated or recorded by Bukhari and Muslim is of the highest authenticity and scholars tend to quote Sahih Muslim due to his


accuracy in the wording of the narration. Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim together are considered to be the sahihain. The four sunan works and the two sahihs are considered as “the six”. The four books included in “the six”, are the following; sunan at-tirmidhee. He included in his work, the opinion of scholars and the fiqh behind a particular hadith. One of Tirmidhee’s teachers was Imam Bukhari and he passed away in 279 A.H. After Imam Tirmidhee, we have An-Nasaa’ee, whose compilation is considered by some as the third authentic book after Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, though we cannot confirm the narrations in An-Nasaa’ee are authentic. Following this book, we have Sunan Abu Dawud. In this text, Imam Abu Dawud pays attention to fiqh. The final book is Sunan Ibn Majah and it is said Imam Ibn Majah included hadith that is mostly recorded by Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, At-Tirmidhee, An-Nasaa’ee and Abu Dawud. These six books are considered as the books that constitute the sunnah and they’re referred to as ‘Kutub as-Sittah’ – the six books. We add to these six books, Muwatta Imam Malik and the Musnad Imam Ahmad and it is said that these eight books constitute the Sunnah of Islam. Some scholars claimed that if there is narration, which is not in any of these eight books, it is definitely not authentic. Some scholars add Muhammad ibn Sa’id ad Daarimee’s hadith compilation as a ninth text to these eight books mentioned. The scholars said that there is definitely no hadith, which is talking about any of the main principles of Islam, which is outside these books. Among the sahaba there were munafiqeen who were around the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam and some narrated hadiths. Some could’ve fabricated hadiths and not all the munafiqeen were known. It is a possibility that the munafiqeen passed this narration onto others.


Our deen is a profound deen. Allaah will not allow falsehood to enter into the deen of Islam, thus, if there were a narration from a munafiq, it would be purged by other authentic narrations if it contradicts or goes against them. Therefore, the deen is preserved. Break – 21:00


21:40pm – Session Four

Chapter Four – The Authority of the Sunnah
The sources of Islam are Qur’and, Sunnah, Ijma’ and Qiyaas. Is Sunnah a source of Islam? Without a shadow of a doubt the sunnah is a source of Islam, because the Qur’an says so. There are a number of Qur’anic verses that confirm sunnah is a source of Islam. The sunnah here is in reference to anything that comes from the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam. Ibn Taymiyyah mentions there are over thirty verses in the Qur;an that confirm the Sunnah is a source of Islam. The Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam from an aqeedah perspective and rational argument, the sunnah must be a source in Islam, otherwise one could argue there is no point/benefit in sending the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam as a messenger. Once we understand this point, we can understand the second point that the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam himself established the Sunnah as a source of Islam. However, someone might dispute the proving of the Sunnah as a source via the Sunnah itself. We must first establish the sunnah as a source and then consider whether what has reached us is from his sunnah. If you believe in the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam and he says the sunnah is a source, then you must believe in it. If someone rejects this, you must establish whether the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam is a messenger or not. The prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam distinguished what was Qur’an and what was not Qur’an. He salallaahu alayhee wa salam defined what the Qur’an was. There are some individual who if they saw every single sign will not submit, therefore we should not waste our time with such individuals. The premise is to accept the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam as a messenger, 30

this acceptance of him and his message, leads to us accepting the Qur’an and the Sunnah as a source. When the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam established his sunnah as a source, some may claim that it is authentic at his time only. However, this argument is easily defeated as Allaah sent the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam for the whole of mankind, as mentioned in the Qur’an many time. The Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam was not only sent for the companions and those around the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam. Also, if the Sunnah was only valid during his time, how could we follow him now? We wouldn’t be able to, which goes against these verses from Allaah. Thus, this is impossible, the sunnah must still be valid for us today, for us to follow the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam. The Qur’an itself defeats the false belief of the Quraniyoon who reject the Sunnah as a source, as the Qur’an clearly tells us to follow the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam, which we wouldn’t be able to do if we didn’t adopt the Sunnah. Surah Al-Hijr 15:9 Surah al-Nahl 16:44 The Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam himself said “follow me” and there are numerous hadith in which the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam harshly condemns those who reject his sunnah. The Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam said: “Soon it will be that a man will recline on his could and will be a told a hadith of mine and will say, ‘between us and you is the book of Allaah. What we find allowed therein, we allow. What we find prohibited therein, we prohibit’. But


truly, what the Messenger of Allaah salallaahu alayhee wa salam has forbidden is similar to what Allaah has forbidden”. (At-Tirmidhi) Hasan ibn ‘Atiyah: “Jibreel would reveal the sunnah to the Messenger of Allaah salallaahu alayhee wa salam like he would reveal the Qur’an to him”. Another famous example is when he took his shoes off during the prayer and the companions enquired about it and he salallaahu alayhee wa salam said that “Jibreel informed me I had some najasat on them”. A man had saffron on his garment in ihram and enquired about it to the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam, the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam did not know the answer and Jibreel came to him and told him the answer. At times, Allaah would inspire the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam to do things. Allaah inspires the bees to go to plants and extract the nectar via pollen. The Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam would also act by himself and Allaah would correct him if he wanted him to do something differently. Allaah protected the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam and would not allow anything to be introduced in his deen. Allaah wouldn’t allow munafiqeen to introduce something in the deen and then command us to follow it. Allaah created Imam Bukhari and created Imam Muslim. Allaah guided Imam Bukhari to collect Sahih Bukhari and Allaah guided Imam Muslim to collect Sahih Muslim and Allaah guided the other authors to collect other Sunnah. When Allaah commanded us to follow the Sunnah, he knew it would be preserved via Bukhari, Muslim and these other authors who collected the Sunnah. Thus, if someone was to claim that they might be something missing in the Sunnah, they are claiming that part of the deen is missing and Allaah allowed it to be missed. Also, if part of it is missed, we will only be held


accountable according to what has come to us and not that, which hasn’t reached us. Allaah will not hold us accountable for something that the whole ummah did not know about. Allaah inspired Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim to collect these hadiths and He is pleased with this. The miracle is that Allaah inspired the scholars to have the knowledge to filter what is authentic and what is unauthentic. Whatever Imam Bukhari attributed to the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam is authentic and the things attributed to the companions have softer principles attached to them. In Sahih Bukhari, Ibn Abbas narrates that the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam married Maymuna bint al Harith when he was in ihram. Some scholars said that this hadith is weak. However, this hadith met Imam bukhari’s condition. This hadith is the interpretation and understanding of Ibn Abbas and thus cannot be considered to be a weak hadith. The hadith is sound, the wording is correct but we should not take the meaning as it is, as this needs further explanation. Scholars differed in grading of hadiths, based on the fact some scholars accepted some individuals to accept a hadith, whilst others rejected certain individuals and would not accept the hadith. In Sahih Bukhari, Aisha radia-allaahu anha mentions that she was married to the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam at the age of six and consummated at the age of nine. A recent article claims that there were no birth certificates at that time to register age. However, even though there were no birth certificates at that time, the discrepancy in age wouldn’t be ten years, but more like a year


or a few months. For some people this is not acceptable because the West finds it odd, which has caused us to now find it odd. Firstly, this was the norm at the time of the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam. Also, Aisha radia-allaahu anha was engaged to someone before her marriage to the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam. Abu Bakr radia-allaahu anhu told the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam that she has reached puberty and that they could now consummate the marriage. Also, Aisha radi-allaahu anha was a strong woman and could’ve objected if she didn’t want to get married. Another point is that none of the enemies of the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam once used this as an attack against the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam, showing that it was the norm.


Sunday 23rd September 2012/ Ahad 7th Dhul-Qa’idah 1433 10:15am – Session One In order to understand Sunnah, you need to know the different definitions. Following knowledge of the definitions, we focused upon Sunnah as a source of legislation as we are focusing on the sources of Islam. Sunnah as a source of legislation means everything came from the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam, however, this leads to the question as to how the Sunnah reached us from the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam. Therefore, we have a record of the compilation of the Sunnah via the written collection of hadiths. We have proved the sunnah is a source of legislation both rationally and textually. It is now important to examine the authority of the Sunnah as a source. One of the main concepts of the sunnah as a source is that sunnah is a revelation. If the sunnah is a revelation, the Qur’an is also revelation. If the Qur’an tells us to refer to the Sunnah then it is of the same legislative status as the Qur’an. E.g. Domestic violence is not considered within family law, which means a person must refer to criminal law to learn the rulings concerning its consequences. Although, a person has to refer to a different law, namely criminal law in this case, it doesn’t indicate that criminal law is superior to family law. Ahad doesn’t mean that one person narrated it; three companions could narrate it, who each relayed it to one person could narrate it. Therefore, the chain grows in number.


There is nothing (in terms of rulings) in the shari’ah that came from one hadith only. In the shari’ah you will find rulings supported by many hadiths indirectly. Some people said that the classification of mutawatir and ahad is just a technicality, but this doesn’t have a major effect on the evidence to be accepted, as these hadiths are supported by many hadiths. E.g. The hadith that mentions applying perfume – this is in harmony with the shari’ah. Also, the marriage of Aisha radi-allaahu anha, this is not only supported by the hadith in Bukhari, but also many other narrations, incuding the seerah, which says the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam let Aisha raid-Allaahu anha play with other children. There is no acceptable ahad hadith which is contradiction with the rest of the Shari’ah. Some people reject the punishment in the grave because the hadith is ahad. However, there are other corroborating evidences, such as the narration concerning the one who will be punished in the grave because he didn’t purify himself after going to the toilet. Also, Aisha radi-allaahu anaha asked about the grave and the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam told her about it. Thus, it is no longer ahad. We can say that the whole shari’ah is mutawatir. If other hadiths and the body of the shari’ah support a single hadith, we should mention this and not consider it as a single hadith. The implementation of the hadith requires a different discussion; at the moment we are only discussing the authority of the Sunnah. If someone brings a hadith, we should consider if it in harmony with the shari’ah or whether it is odd. The shari’ah has an immune system, if there is something odd introduced to it the shari’ah repels it immediately. If someone rejects something in a ahad hadith, which is mentioned in the Qur’an and other hadiths which are mutawatir, they are rejecting these ayats in the Qur’an which have this meaning and the hadiths. This is a major problem


and causes one to commit kufr (an act of disbelief). However, if a person accepts the narration but has a different interpretation this is a separate issue. If a person is following a correct methodology and comes with an outcome, which is wrong, we say the outcome is wrong. However, if a person has a wrong methodology and the wrong outcome, they are engulfed in darkness completely. Both the Qur’an and Sunnah are primary sources of Islam. So many narrators convey a Mutawatir hadith that it is impossible to imagine that they would have agreed on a lie or all made the same mistake. Also, it is impossible to imagine that the number of narrators has to exist in all levels of isnad – no specific number. Finally, the narration has to be something based on five senses. A Mutawatir hadith is always authentic. An ahad hadith is a hadith that has been transmitted by three narrators at any point in the chain. This is merely a matter of classification and the implication is minimal. An Ahad hadith can be authentic or unauthentic. We have now established the Sunnah as a source and the authority of the Sunnah.


Chapter Five – Principles & Tools for Understanding Hadith
This chapter focuses on the principles and tools of hadith mainly it links the understanding of the text to hadith specifically. Allaah revealed the Qur’an and Sunnah in Arabic; therefore we have to refer to the Arabic language to understand the Qur’an and Sunnah. In order to understand the Qur’an and Sunnah we have to refer to the Arabic language, this is similarly the case in order to understand the hadiths. We cannot understand one hadith in isolation but need to examine all of them together to gain a holistic overview of what the hadith mentions. We can also examine the seerah to establish the context of the hadiths. We have to look at how the companions understood the hadiths, because their understanding is far better than ours as they were closer to the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam. Ibn Taymiyyah: “Before one can interpret and understand the Qur’an and the hadith, he must know the denotations and connotations intended by the words of Allaah and His Messenger salallaahu alayhee wa salam. How can their words be understood? Knowledge of the Arabic language in which we were addressed will help us to understand what Allaah and His Messenger salallaahu alayhee wa salam {…}”. Establishing the context helps understand the meaning of a hadith. The hadith that mentions, “When it is Jumu’ah perform ghusl”. If we under the context, we learn that the companions would wear woolen clothes and perspire as they worked hard and the masjid would be packed, causing a bad smell. Thus, by understanding the context we can understand the meaning of the hadith.


If we see a hadith contradicting another hadith, we should consider whether the hadith is abrogated or whether it could be reconciled. In order to understand the Qur’an and Sunnah we must look at them holistically, so we need to gather all the hadith and all the ayat and once we gather them we will find contradiction between one hadith and another. E.g. touching the private parts, one-hadith mentions that touching the private parts breaks your wudhu and another hadith, says it doesn’t. This is an apparent contradiction. We should initially look to reconcile between them in any way and this is the highest priority. Why must they be reconciled? This is because it is all from Allaah, thus we must believe in all of it. If we take only one hadith and reject another one, means we are not applying and believing in all of it, thus, reconciling is of the highest priority. If we cannot reconcile, we should look at the dates of the hadiths and see whether there has been an abrogation. If we know the date of the hadiths, then the one that comes later abrogates the one that came before. If we are unable to establish the date, we establish which is more authentic based on a set of principles. The scholars used all this information to check the meaning of the hadith itself. The scholars did not only check the authenticity of narrators solely, but to preserve the harmony of the shari’ah they checked the meanings of the hadiths themselves and this is called ‘matn criticism’. E.g. the hadith concerning th Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam’s marriage to Maymuna whilst in ihram. The hadith is authentic, but the meaning is doubtful. The scholars say that Ibn Abbas was young at the time, so he may not have understood what had happened. This issue of matn criticism is a very long subject, which we have provided a brief overview of. The prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam said “check your heart,” so you should do so when you have two opinions and don’t know which one to follow. You don’t simply pick the easiest of the two opinions.


11:30am - Session Two

Chapter Six – Classification of Hadith
The scholars want to reach a degree of certainty that a text was said by the prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam. If we have a matn (text), we try and establish if it was said by the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam or not. Our judgement of whether this text was said by the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam will vary in certainty and if we can establish it as being said by the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam it can become a proof for an act of worship or even an article of faith. We want to establish if the chain going back to the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam is connected and we are also interested in each narrator whithin that chain. Concerned with their dalalah (trustworthiness) and dabt (memory strength in recalling information) and this will vary in the way a person communicates the narration. If they narrate it from memory we adopt a different stance to the one who narrates it from a book, which has a more lenient approach. There are five conditions for a hadith to be authentic: 1. A connected chain; this means Imam Bukhari heard this hadith from his teacher, who heard it from his teacher and so on, all they way back to the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam. If this chain is broken, it is not authentic.


The following are concerned with the narrators themselves. 2. The narrators must be trustworthy. This means he’s a good muslim and doesn’t commit major sins nor minor sins constantly. Also, he is not an innovator. This is not an exact science as Imam Bukhari narrates from some mubtadi’ and qualify this by saying that if a person commits a bid’ah which qualifies him to lie, we reject them. However, the khawarij had an innovated belief that anybody who committed a major sin has left the fold of Islam. Thus, for them, lying was a major sin. Their belief does not allow for them to lie, thus, we can accept this. Also, if a person who is a mubtadi’ relates a narration but doesn’t narrate about their innovated beliefs, we can take from them. 3. The narrator needs to have a good memory; to ensure what they are saying is accurate. This is established by comparing what he narrates in comparison to his teachers. Again, we have to stress that this is not an exact science. The degree of an individual’s precision is recorded in books. Individuals recorded who were present in a majlis. The students and teachers of each individual are recorded. This science is amazing. The fact our scholars could preserve these hadiths of the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam in an age with no technology. We are more sure that the Prophet salallaahu alayhee wa salam said the words that are classified as authentic, than you know who your father is. Why? This is because one person told you this information – your mother. However, many impeccable individuals of great character and memory related this hadith to us.


Huge scholars who devoted their lives to this science made assessments about narrators. Imam shu’bah ibn Hajjaj had a mountain of knowledge and said he memorsied 100,000 hadith like Surah Fatihah and he said if they told me to go and buy some onions, I wouldn’t know how to do it. This is because, hadith was his life, and he devoted himself to it. Imam Shafi’ mentioned that when I read a book, I have to cover the other side in order that I don’t memorise it. Imam Malik became upset that he memorized his books in a few days as it took him about twenty years to write it. Imam Bukhari, when he was a teenage would go with the elders and attend the gatherings of the scholars of hadith and he wouldn’t write anything. They criticized him because he wouldn’t write anything. He told them to open their notes and corrected them. Thereafter, they would sit with him to correct their notes after their class. Muhammad Yahya Ibn Zuhri was a great alim and he was imam Bukhari’s and imam Muslim’s teacher. Imam Bukhari travelled and later became the greatest scholar, his name became great and he became renowned for his sharpness. Before he (Imam Bukhari) came to Baghdad, ten scholars of Hadith wanted to test how great he was. Each scholar came with ten hadiths and each person mixed their chains with another person. He went to the masjid and prayed two rakat as is the custom when you go to a new place, and everyone gathered around him. The ten scholars of hadith asked him have you heard this Hadith? And they each quoted ten Hadith and he replied that he hasn't heard any of them. The masses became shocked as Imam Bukhari said he memorised 200,000 da’eef (weak) hadiths with isnad and 100,000 authentic hadiths


with isnaad and from this Sahih Bukhari was extracted without repetition. With all the hadiths he said he doesn't know, but the scholars knew he caught on to their trick. After he said I haven't heard any of your hadiths he repeated all the hadiths with correct isnaad. What is amazing is not that he memorized the hadiths and isnad but that he remembere the Hadith and could link it to another isnaad mentioned by the other scholar. After he did this, the people said “Bukhari is the greatest scholar in the world”. After Imam bukhari finished Sahih Bukhari, he showed it to his teaches Yahya ibn Ma’een and Abu Sae’ed al Qahtan, so it has scholarly backing. 4. The hadith should not be shadh (peculiar). It shouldn’t disagree with a more authentic hadith. The chain might be fine, but the matn might disagree with another hadith, with another matn, which has a stronger chain. If this is the case, the hadith is considered as shadh and rejected. 5. There shouldn’t be any hidden defects. Only the expert is able to examine this and decipher if there is a hidden defect. If something incorrect is said, the shari’ah as mentioned already has an immune system, which rejects odd opinions, which go against it. These are the conditions for a hadith to be sahih (authentic). These conditions apply to both the chain and the matn (as seen in points four and five). Much criticism of hadiths now, is concerning the matn, as criticism of the chain has already been explored in detail. Criticism of the matn has also been explored by scholars of the past; however, this is what most hadith criticism focuses on today rather than criticism of the chain.


The ijazah system was established to preserve knowledge, however, this system of ijazah is now redundant except in Qur’an as someone having an ijazah in Sahih Bukhari who recites it, is no different to the individual who recites it from a printed book. The principles Imam Bukhari would use to disparage a particular narrator might be different to the principles Imam Ahmad or other scholars use. However, this is a different science in itself, which is extensive and not explored within this course. Only people who knew a particular person would write the biographies. It is a redundant exercise for someone who doesn’t know an individual to write a biography. If we look at the biography of an individual and find only one scholar praised him as an individual, and found no negative characteristics, he would still be classified as unknown, as the scholars requested, at least two character attestations from two different scholars in order to consider an individual. Imam Muslim was so particular when he was narrating would record terms if they were different but synonymous and point it out. We shouldn’t make qiyas from ourselves to previous generations. Our memories are weak and our characters are much worse. The sahaba and the tab’ieen are completely different. The medium in which they passed on information was via oral means and not written. Thus, they were very good at retaining information via oral transmission. There’s a narration on the authority of Umm Dhar, where five, six get together to speak about their husbands. They use a tremendous amount of figurative terminologies. Aisha radi-allaahu anha heard this once and memorized this once. We could read this many times and not even understand it.


In contemporary times, Mauritanian’s are considered as having a good memory. They don’t have distractions, so their environment is suited to this. There was a fight that occurred between two foreigners and one killed the other. A sheikh witnessed the whole incident. The Police came and asked the sheikh what happened. The sheikh relayed the whole incident including the exact speech the foreigners used even though it was a different language. People tend to be ashamed of this aspect of Islam. However, we should be proud about the nature of Hadith compilation, as this is the most advanced and superior system in recording information. If a chain goes back to the Prophet salallahu alayhee wa salam it is Marfu’ and if it goes back to the sahaba it is Mauquf. A narration that only goes back to the tabi’een is called Maqtoo. If the chain is linked back to the Prophet salallahu alayhee wa salam, we say it is musnad. However, if there is a break in the chain, we say it is Munqati’. Mu’dal means that there are two or more links missing in succession in the middle of the chain. This narration is weaker than the munqati’. Mu’allaq means that there is a link, which has been omitted at the beginning of the chain by the collector of the hadith. These terminologies are here to show the classification of the chain and to indicate breakages in the isnad. Break – 1:15pm


Chapter Seven – Criticism of the Text of the Hadith
17:00pm – Session Three We have mentioned that if we come across two hadiths, which appear contradictory, we should adopt two approaches. We should first try to reconcile both hadiths and maintain both of them as they are both revelation and we should try our utmost to preserve both of them. If we are unable to reconcile, we should look at the date of both hadiths and see if the later hadith abrogates the earlier narration which appears to be contradictory. The process of recording and compiling hadith went through a very advanced system, which ensures nothing is recorded, unless full details concerning its authenticity is present. A maqra’ah is a sitting to read quickly a book of the books of hadith. The aim of it is to see how the book is presented. Once you get used to this method you will be able to remember the hadith and this has many benefits. It is good to attend one if you have the opportunity to do so.

- End of the Retreat -