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The Definition of Hadith and its Types
Allama Maulana Imran Raza Khan Manani Mia

In the nomenclature of the majority of the Hadith specialists, a Hadith means: It is the reported speech of the Messenger of Allah, whether this is: (a) explicit (sarih) or (b) implicit (hukmi). It is also the action of the Messenger of Allah, also split into the two categories, and also what someone did or said in front of the Messenger of Allah, but the Messenger of Allah did not condemn that action or what was said, but, in fact remained silent and established it through his action. This is also split into two categories, as mentioned above. Sarih means that a companion of the Messenger of Allah clearly states that, “I heard the Messenger of Allah state that…” / “I saw the Messenger of Allah doing…” / “such and such a person or a person did such and such a thing or said such and such a thing, ut the Messenger of Allah ne!er disappro!ed of that” " or a companion or their successor#s$ or anyone reports, stating e%plicitly that: “the Messenger of Allah has said that…” or states that: “It has een transmitted from the Messenger of Allah that he said …” Hu&mi means that any companion who does not transmit anything from the earlier oo&s #such as from the 'eople of the (oo&$ informs of anything in which there is no room for ijtihad ) e%ercising personal judgement* +or e%ample, the companion informs us a out
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and also passed away in that state #of Iman$* Hadith also means the reported speech. thus. as re!elation still continued* If that action was impermissi le.nl www. as a companion cannot inform a out these things without ha!ing heard it from the Messenger of Allah* Hu&mi also means that a companion does something in which there is no room for ijtihad" they must ha!e seen the Messenger of Allah do it. wars and the trials and tri ulations that shall inflict the .net www.nl e!ents a out the 'rophets" or informs a out e!ents that shall happen in the future such as attles. people used to do such and such**” this is also Hu&mi as it is /uite apparent that the Messenger of Allah must ha!e &nown a out their action. a companion states that.alahazrat. and the latter did not condemn it$* A companion is such a no le personality. then the Messenger of Allah must certainly ha!e een informed a out it through re!elation. prohi ited the companion#s$ from doing so* Hadith can also e defined as to include the reported speech.www.tangali. who was lessed with eing in the company of a companion of the Messenger of Allah. action or ta/reer of the successors to the companions of the Messenger of Allah ) the 1a i2un* A successor #1a i2i$ is such a no le personality. while the companion is in the state of Iman.noorani.mmah" informing a out the fright of the -ay of .udgement" or inform a out a specific reward or punishment for an action. action or ta/reer #tacit appro!al 0 what was said or done in front of a companion. and thence. “In the lessed era of the Messenger of Allah. in the state of Iman. following the Messenger of Allah the companions ha!e done it* Moreo!er. and also passed away in the state of Iman* 2 . who was lessed with eing in the company of the Messenger of Allah.

alahazrat. Hadith can e categorised into three types: 1.nl www. ut we shall confine oursel!es to mention and e%amine only three &inds of aHadith which are common among the masses.ast 9eporter #9a!i$* 1his means that there should e no gap in the chain of reporters. one connected with the following or ne%t reporter till the last reporter* # $ <ach reporter or narrator of the Hadith must e a person of righteous moral e%cellence in all his sayings and deeds in all wal&s of life* :o transgressor #+asi/$ or one whose autecedents or past career is hidden and un&nown cannot e accepted as an authentic or /ualified 9a!i or 9eporter of the Hadith #c$ All the reporters must possess healthy retenti!e memory. namely #6$ Hadith0e03ahih or Accurate #7$ Hadith0e0Hasan or good and relia le and #8$ Hadith0e0-aeef or wea& and of dou tful origin* Hadith-e-Sahih is that which contains these four qualities #a$ 1he authenticity of which is assured y the contiuance of the chain of 9eporters or :arrators #9a!is$ is un ro&en or uninterrupted from the Holy 'rophet #'eace and (lessings e upon Him$ to the 5ompiler or .www. 1he chain e%plicitly or implicitly goes to a 5ompanion* 1his is called maw/uf ) the 4halted0chain2* 4 ro&en0chain2* 3.tangali. without ecoming wea& on account of illness or senility #d$ 1he Hadith reported y him must not e rare or of an uncommon or peculiar nature* It must ear the mar& of common or natural occurrence or in other words it must not e against well &nown Hadith called Hadith0e0Mash=hoorah* HA3A:: (y this &ind of Hadith is meant that its :arrator or reporter may ot possess the /ualities re/uired of a 9a!i of 3ahih Hadith" his righteousness #1a/!a$ or memory not e 3 .net www.noorani.nl Fundamental Division of a Hadith After &nowing the a o!e definitions as mentioned y Hadrat 3hai&h 4A d al0Ha/ “Muhaddith0e0-ehlwi”. 1he chain e%plicitly or implicitly goes to a 3uccessor* 1his is called ma/tu2 ) the +rom the point of !iew of authenticity #proof of genuineness or otherwise$ there are many &inds of aHadith. 1he chain e%plicitly or implicitly goes to the Messenger of Allah* 1his is called marfu2 ) 4the raised0chain2* 2.

aw 0 the 3hari2ah.net www. ma&ing it o ligatory upon us to follow his teachings* 4 . in which on innumera le occasions we ha!e een commanded to follow in the footsteps of the Messenger of Allah* 1hus.nl www.tangali. as these are the one and only means of gaining information as regards the Messenger of Allah" his commands" his sayings" his actions" his e%planations and commentaries on the !erses of the Holy >ur2an.nl of the e%ecllent le!el or which has een imparied on account of sic&ness. all of which are necessary for us to &now in order for us to understand the Holy >ur2an* :ow.noorani. without the Messenger of Allah it is merely impossi le for anyone to understand the >ur2an" its e%planations and meanings. we /uote a few of the many !erses from the Holy >ur2an.www.alahazrat. senility or some accident* -A<<+: 1he :arrator of such a Hadith is not righteous or whose memory is not strong and healthy and relia le* The Status of Hadith in Religion It does not need us to e%plain that the first and foremost primary source of the 3acred . and it is also impossi le to learn the detailed rulings of each and e!ery o ligation in Islam* 1herefore.aw #3hari2ah$ is the Holy >ur2an ) the (oo& of Allah* It is through the clear and e%plicit commands and teachings of the Holy >ur2an that we are o liged to follow the Messenger of Allah* 1his is ecause. the Ahadith of the Messenger of Allah certainly form the second source for the 3acred Islamic .

alahazrat.ord. otherwise you will show timidity…” A3urah:B ) al0Anfal. Cerse:BDE IL* “? elo!ed@ 3ay: 4? ey Allah and the Messenger*2 then. if they turn away. and those who ha!e power of command amongst you.tangali. ? elo!ed@ (y your . they shall not e Muslims until they ma&e you judge in all disputes among themsel!es…” A3urah:F ) al0:isa. Cerse:IJE CII* “? you who elie!e@ ? ey Allah and o ey the Messenger. Cerse:87E L* “And what the Messenger gi!es you. Cerse:GIE CI* “? elie!ers@ ? ey Allah and o ey the Messenger. then follow me" Allah will lo!e you…” A3urah:8 ) Al0e0Imran. Cerse:KE LI* “3urely you ha!e an e%cellent e%ample for your guidance in #the life of$ the Messenger of Allah…” A3urah:88 ) al0AhMa .noorani. refer it to Allah and His Messenger…” A3urah:F ) al0:isa2. all of the law and orders enforced y the Messenger of Allah are incum ent upon us to follow in the same way. 4? people@ If you lo!e Allah. Cerse:FGE III* “And He did not send any Messenger ut that he should e o eyed y Allah2s will*” A3urah:F ) al0:isa2. then again if there may arise any difference amongst you. as the command of the Messenger of Allah is indirectly the command of Allah the Most <%alted* 5 . Cerse:7DE II* “And o ey Allah and His Messenger and dispute not with one another. Cerse:86E C* “then.nl www. ta&e it and what he for ids you. and his teachings* 1herefore. and let not your deeds go waste*” A3urah:FK.nl I* “? elie!ers@ ? ey Allah and His Messenger and turn not away from him after hearing him…” A3urah:B ) al0Anfal. Cerse:76E It has een clearly esta lished and pro!en from the a o!e0/uoted !erses from the Holy >ur2an that it is incum ent upon each and e!ery Muslim to follow the Messenger of Allah. surely Allah lo!es not the infidels*” A3urah:8 ) Al0e0Imran. as it is o ligatory upon us to follow e!ery -i!ine command that is transmitted to us y the Holy >ur2an. Cerse:88E CIII* “He who o eys the Messenger. Muhammad. and a stain from it…” A3urah:IJ ) al0Hashr.www. then !erily he has o eyed Allah…” A3urah:F ) al0:isa2. Cerse:GFE IC* “? elo!ed@ 3ay.net www.

nl www. or does this apply till the -ay of . mean that acting upon the >ur2an. then it has een pro!en that to follow the Messenger of Allah and showing o edience to him is also a command that shall not cease till the -ay of . >ur2an and its teachings till the -ay of .net www. then this would /uite simply.udgement.www.noorani. in other words. following the teachings of Islam is also limited and specified to the lessed era of the Messenger of Allah* 1his is ecause to follow the teachings and sayings of the Messenger of Allah were made incum ent upon e!ery single Muslim.alahazrat.tangali. we should contemplate and ponder carefully upon a /uestion that is posed: “Is this command of following the Messenger of Allah as reiterated y many !erses of the Holy >ur2an #as mentioned a o!e$ only related to when the Messenger of Allah was physically ali!e in this mundane world. when it has een commanded to follow Islam.udgement* 6 .nl One Fundamental Question After ha!ing understood all of what has just een e%plained. it is impossi le for anyone to follow the teachings of Islam and the >ur2an* 1hus. only for the fact that without this.udgementN” If ) Allah for id@ ) this -i!ine command was specified only to the physical life of the Messenger of Allah.

aw it is always the commands and orders that are followed* 1hus.tangali. e%planations to the >ur2anic !erses and 3acred laws that ha!e een transmitted to us from the Messenger of Allah are called “Ahadith”* +rom this we understand the importance of Ahadith. sayings. it is necessary that the laws. the language. are separate to those -i!ine commands that are mentioned in the Holy >ur2an* After this introduction. whose following and o eying has een made o ligatory upon as. imitate and o ey the Messenger of Allah. and that it is impossi le for anyone to ha!e &nowledge and thus act upon the laws and rulings of Islam and the Holy >ur2an without following and imitating the Messenger of Allah. we must elie!e after ha!ing stated all of this. the common law and the 3acred Islamic .net www. actions. then another fundamental /uestion arises: According to rational thin&ing. laws. where are those commands and orders enforced y the Messenger of Allah.nl One Great roof for the !uthentication of !hadith Hhen it has een clearly understood that to follow Islam and the >ur2an is till the -ay of 9esurrection.aw itself@ 1herefore. only such a foolish person who denies o edience to the Messenger of Allah ) Allah for id@ 7 . and its status in Islam* :o one would deny its importance.www. whose o edience.alahazrat. that the laws and orders of the Messenger of Allah. orders and commands of the Messenger of Allah are present efore us #so that we can 4follow2$* It is apparent that the laws and commands of the Messenger of Allah are not those that ha!e een gi!en y Allah in His (oo& ) the >ur2an. when e!en today the >ur2an demands us to follow. we need not say that the collection of the commands. commands and orders #to follow them$ is merely against logic and the 3acred . imitation and following the >ur2an has made o ligatory upon usN 1his is ecause the demand to follow without ha!ing any laws. as it is /uite sufficient as an o ligation upon us to follow these -i!ine commands* 3o.nl www.noorani.

net www.noorani.alahazrat. preser!e and then transmit the Ahadith y tongue* Imam Muslim narrates from Hadrat A u 3a2id al0Ohudri. who reports that the Messenger of Allah has stated.nl www. this was why the Messenger of Allah emphasised o!er and o!er again that the 5ompanions compile and write only the !erses of the Holy >ur2an ) nothing else* 1his was so that no confusion e made if anything esides the Holy >ur2an would also e recorded* Howe!er. then he should prepare for himself an a ode in the fire of Hell*” A3ahih MuslimE on top of this. permission was gi!en to memorise. record.nl Histor" on the #om$ilation of the !hadith (efore we touch upon the merits and !irtues of the science of Hadith and what relates to it. it is necessary to e%plain why the Ahadith were compiled from the lessed era of the 5ompanions till this date and how was the process of compilationN A !ery rief insight into this is that the lessed era of the Messenger of Allah was the time when the !erses of the Holy >ur2an were eing re!ealed* ecause the most important tas& in this era was the collection of these !erses and preser!ing this -i!ine trust. “:o one should write my speech* Hhosoe!er has written anything eside the >ur2an should eliminate it" and transmit my Ahadith !er ally" there is no harm in doing so* Hhosoe!er attri utes a lie to me. there were some 5ompanions ) who had full certainty not to confuse the Cerses of the Holy >ur2an from the reported speech of the Messenger of Allah ) who wrote the Ahadith* 8 .www.tangali.

lema*” AIntroduction to the Alfiyyah ) 'g* IE :ot only this. compiling and writing the Ahadith egan in the era of the 9ighteous 5aliph 4. and I did not do that*” Hhen all of the !erses of the Holy >ur2an ) some that were written on separate pieces of paper. 3a2id i n 4.thman" and all of the copies of the Holy >ur2an were distri uted far and wide to many different countries. “1here was none from among the 5ompanions who narrated the most Ahadith e%cept for Hadrat 4A dullah i n 4Amr #i n al04As$" as he used to record them y writing them down. were contemporary and of one category* Most of them were the students of Hadrat A u (a&r i n HaMm and Imam i n 3hiha al0Puhri* Afterwards.arir i n 4A dullah in 9ai. i n Isha/ and I n A i -hi2 and also the !ice of the 5aliph in the 5ourt of .mar i n 4A d al04AMiM upon his suggestion* 1he editor of Imam .net www. y many elite 3huyu&h who came from many different places* Among those who compiled and wrote oo&s of Hadith at this !ery early age of its compilation were i n .aith.sul0e0 Hadith or the 'rinciples of Hadith* 9 . the Ahadith were spread far and wide due to the compilation and writing of oo&s on Ahadith" laying down the foundation principles for accepting or rejecting a report" collecting ac&ground information of the narrators and their eliefs" writing oo&s on the eti/uettes and manners essential for a student pursuing this sacred &nowledge of Hadith* All of these were compiled to form a su 0su ject of Hadith ) .mar i n 4A d al04AMiM wrote to all those far and wide to collect and compile any Hadith of the Messenger of Allah. as he feared #sacred$ &nowledge ecoming e%tinct. “when Hadrat 4.pon the moti!ation. the process of collecting.alal al0-in al03uyuti2s commentary on the Alfiyyah states in the introduction that. some on deer s&in.noorani. Mali&. AwMa2i. and relentless efforts of Hadrat 4. Hadrat 4.mar i n 4A d al04AMiM was gi!en the responsi ility of eing a 5aliph in the year JJ A*H* he wrote to Hadrat A u (a&r i n HaMm ) the 3hai&h of the Imams Ma2mar.rwah and Hammad i n 3alimah in (asra" Imam 3ufyan al01hawri in Oufa" Imam al0AwMa2i in 3yro0'alestine" Hisham in Hasit" .tangali. ut in fact. some that were memorised in the hearts ) were collected and compiled into one oo& form during the lessed era of Hadrat 4.mar al0+aru/ and Hadrat 4.nl www. innumera le oo&s were written and compiled on different topics of this precious science of sacred &nowledge. some on slates.ustice of al0Madinah al0Munawwarah ) to collect and compile all the Ahadith of the Messenger of Allah. and i n al0Mu ara& in Ohurasan* All of these men of great &nowledge. y which there was no concern for the !erses of the Holy >ur2an eing confused with the reported speech #Ahadith$ of the Messenger of Allah. they find* A1ari&h Isfahan ) A u :u2aimE .uraij in Ma&&ah al0Mu&arramah" i n Isha/ and Imam Mali& in al0 Madinah al0Munawwarah" 9a i2 i n 3a ih.nl Imam al0(u&hari narrates on the authority of Hadrat A u Hurairah who states.mar i n 4A d al04AMiM. and the demise of the possessors of this &nowledge ) the 4. some on lea!es.alahazrat. encouragement. . the first oo& on the science of Hadith was compiled y Hadrat A u (a&r i n HaMm* 1hereafter.www.

mmah from the e!il of the onslaughts of those who reject Ahadith. for those hypocrites who deny the relia ility of Ahadith.ami2 of Imam al01irmidhi. his progeny. :asa2i and I n Majah* He ha!e shed some light upon Ahadith.mmah today* His choicest lessings and salutation e upon the est of His creation. its History of 5ompilation. they can falsely claim to e the followers of it* He as& Allah the Most <%alted to protect the Muslim . our Master Muhammad. and its status in Islam* 1hose true and sincere Muslims who lo!e Islam and the >ur2an. and that he gi!es them guidance to roaden the light of Ahadith to eliminate the dar&ness that pre!ails the . howe!er.net www. are not in need of any e!idence to pro!e the !eracity of Ahadith* Qes.nl Ahadith were compiled using the rigorous of all criterions and rules to accept a report.noorani. which is flourishing with its long0lasting heritage of o!er fourteen hundred years of an un ro&en chain of transmission to our liege lord the Messenger of Allah. until the 3i% Authentic 5ollections of Ahadith ecame accepted and popular* 1hese are the 3ahih of Imams (u&hari and Muslim.mmah.tangali. if I had much time.nl www. yet name themsel!es 'eople of the >ur2an.www. upon his companions and all of his followers* 10 . the . I would ma&e it apparent li&e the certitude of the sun at midday with irrefuta le proofs and e!idences that their denial of the Ahadith is in reality the denial of the words of Allah* 1hey are not doing this only to ma&e way for themsel!es not to follow the >ur2an* 1heir main argument is that the translation and meaning of the !erses of the Holy >ur2an should e left to their own will" howe!er they desire they e%tract the meanings of the Holy >ur2an. e!en after altering the correct meaning and translation of the >ur2anic !erses. so that.alahazrat. the 3unan of Imams A u -awud. and who recognise themsel!es as indi!iduals of this .