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Al-TirmidhÐ’s Use of Defective ÍadÐth (ÝIlal) as a Hermeneutical Device
Muhammad Mansur Ali School of History, Archeology and Religion Centre for the Study of Islam in the UK Cardiff University CF10 3EU
For submission to either Islamic law and Society or Oxford Journal of Islamic Studies or Muslim World
Muhammad Mansur Ali
Al-TirmidhÐ’s Use of Defective ÍadÐth (ÝIlal) as a Hermeneutical Device
Until recently Western ÍadÐth scholarship took no notice of the methodological devises used by Muslim scholars in analyzing and verifying ÍadÐth . Partially responsible for this was Goldziher and Schacht who claimed that Muslim ÍadÐth criticism focused too much on the form and less on the content. Be that the case, we argue that this does not take away any of the ingenuity and creativity from the ÍadÐth scholars. In this paper we look at how al-TirmidhÐ used Ýilal (defects in ÍadÐth ) as a hermeneutical device to read into ÍadÐth and bolster the practice of the scholars of ÍadÐth.
Keywords: ÍadÐth, Ýilal, al-TirmidhÐ, Sunan, practice
It has widely been viewed by Western scholars of ÍadÐth 1 that Muslim ÍadÐth criticism focused mainly on the chains of narration (isnÁd) to the exclusion of the content (matan ).2 Muslim ÍadÐth scholars are partially responsible for giving such impression as a cursory glance at the different literature on ÍadÐth criticism shows. From the biographical and prosopographical dictionaries, to personal epistles of scholars to the books of nomenclatures, the greater focus is on the men and women who were involved in narrating the Íadith and not the content of the ÍadÐth itself. Other scholars, mainly Muslims, have responded to this and shown that this was not always the case. 3 In this paper, we are not concerned with the truth of this claim. What concerns us here is that one can infer from the orientalists’ criticism of the ÍadÐth scholars’ overt emphasis on the chain of narrations, that ÍadÐth scholars lacked any ingenuity and creativity in their work. Their approach was monolithic and concerned only at looking at peoples’ names and dates to verify Íadith. We argue in this paper, that an overt emphasis on the chains of narration does not take away any of the creativity from the ÍadÐth scholars and a doctrinal war can be fought by using a plethora of names as ammunition. We do this by looking at the concept of Ýilal (sing. Þillat, hidden defects in ÍadÐth) employed by al-TirmidhÐ (210/825-279/892) in his Sunan. Rather than looking at Ýilal from a traditional ÍadÐth point of view, i.e. defects in ÍadÐth which are to be discarded, We make the case here that al-TirmidhÐ uses Ýilal as a hermeneutical devise to read in to ÍadÐth in order to bolster the position and practice of the scholars of ÍadÐth (aÒÎÁb al-ÍadÐth) as
Throughout the paper I have used the word ‘ ÍadÐth’ to mean more than one ÍadÐth as well as the science of ÍadÐth. 2 Ignaz Goldziher, Muslim Studies 2 , trans. S.M. Stern and C.R. Barber (London: George Allen and Unwin LTD, 1971). Pp. ; Joseph Schacht, The Origins of Muhammedan Jurisprudence (4th edn.; Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1967). Pp. 3 Jonathan Brown, 'How We Know Early ÍadÐth Critics Did Matan Criticism and Why It’s So Hard to Find', Islamic Law and Society 15 (2008), pp. 143-184.
2:335 and. 1:268. Muslim Studies. by Timothy Winter.). al-RisÁla al-MustaÔrifa . 1992). Where there is a conflict between practice and text. (Beirut: DÁr alThaqÁfa. al-TirmidhÐ gives preference to practice.J. 250. JaÝfar al-KattÁni. 2:335. 796-97. The following are the main sources for the life of al-TirmidhÐ: al-SamÝÁnÐ. n. Ibn KhallikÁn.]: Maktabat al-QudsÐ. Geschichte der Arabischen Litteratur: Supplement. ed. by MuÒÔafÁ ÝAbd al-QÁdir ÝAÔÁÞ. MÙsÁ b. in Encyclopedia of Islam. 1:75-91. We try to show that for alTirmidhÐ the driving factor for accepting or rejecting a ÎadÐth is the practice of the scholarly community and not the chains of narrations as such.J.J. 1992). 9:153. (Cairo. ed. Tadhkirat al-ÍuffÁÛ. Sawra b. (Beirutt: MuÞassasat al-RisÁla. (Leiden: E. Carl Brockelmann.7 Al-TirmidhÐ's ancestors were originally from Merv. p.]. ÝÏsÁ. “Tarjumat al-TirmidhÐ” in al-JÁmiÝ al-ÑaÎÐÎ wa huwa Sunan al-TirmidhÐ . 1967) 1:154-159. Brill.” 4 The article is divided into two sections with an introduction and a conclusion. al-DhahabÐ. 1993). MuÒÔafÁ AÝzamÐ. ÝAbd al-SamÐÝ Deobandi. ÝAbd al-ÝAzÐz al-DihlawÐ. 1983). The Tradition of Islam – An Introduction to the Study of the ÍadÐth Literature . M.]). 4:279. Wensinck. (Cambridge: Islamic Text Society. 271: wulida fÐ ÎudÙd sana Ýashra wa miÞatayn. Studies in ÍadÐth Methodology and Literature . In explaining a ÎadÐth in the Sunan the text of which is apparently ambiguous. but immigrated to the 4 5 Al-TirmidhÐ. (Hyderabad: MaÔbaÝat Majlis DÁÞirat alMaÝÁrif al-ÝUthmÁniyya. pp. 1907) 3:117. Siyar AÝlÁm al-NubalÁÞ. 2:121. by IÎsÁn ÝAbbÁsÐ.. (Leiden: E. (Beirut: DÁr ÑÁdir. In section one.A. James Robson. 1943-49) 1:169. we also discuss some general background information concerning Ýilal. 2nd edition. ed. Juynboll. Siyar AÝlam al-NubalÁ.17. has al-TirmidhÐ being born in 3 . TahdhÐb al-TahdhÐb. 1937-42). 3:45. Ibn Íajar al-ÝAsqalÁnÐ. by BashshÁr ÝAwwÁd MaÝrÙf. Ibn Íibban. Sawra b. See alSamÝÁnÐ. 2002). 5:546. 1956). “Transmission of TirmidhÐ's JamÐÝ”. idem. p. (Beirut: DÁr al-Kutub al-ÝIlmiyya. 13:270. Brill. Geschichte des Arabischen Schrifttums. ed. p. by ÑalÁÎ MuÎammad ÝUwayda. (Hyderabad: MaÔbaÝat Majlis DÁÞirat al-MaÝÁrif al-ÝUthmÁniyya. ÝÏsÁ b. idem. 2:229-30. al-ÂaÎÎÁk al-TirmidhÐ5 al-BÙghÐ al-SulamÐ al-ÂarÐr6 whose name is attached to a collection of ÍadÐth (the Sunan) was born around 210/825.pub. pp. In section two. pp. Alfred Guillaume. MuÎammad b. 1971). Sahl al-TirmidhÐ. ShadhurÁt al-Dhahab fÐ AkhbÁr man Dhahab. (Beirut: DÁr Ibn Íazm. 1995). trans. 64-67. Introduction AbÙ ÝÏsÁ MuÎammad b. idem. p. G. 20:459-62. by ShuÝayb al-ArnaÞÙÔ. idem. Geschichte. in Encyclopaedia of Islam 2 . ShaddÁd b. TÁrÐkh al-IslÁm (Beirut: DÁr al-KitÁb al-ÝArabÐ. Development and Special Features. ÝÏsÁ b. ÍadÐth literature : its Origin. 6 A second alternative genealogy was provided by al-SamÝÁnÐ as: MuÎammad b. MaÔbaÝat al-SaÝÁda.Brockelmann erroneously calls him MuÎammad b.Muhammad Mansur Ali Draft 2 opposed to their adversaries the scholars of reason (asÎÁb al-rayy ). 1980). idem. Sawra b. since for him ÍadÐth is silent and it is only through practice that a ÎadÐth can be made to speak. “al-TirmidhÐ”. 2:174-75. 1937). 34-35. (Karachi: Educational Press. ([n. TahdhÐb al-KamÁl. ÝÏsÁ b. ed. 103. YazÐd b. al-TirmidhÐ’s concluding remarks regarding it is “This is what the jurists have said [about this ÎadÐth] and the jurists are more knowledgeable regarding the meanings of ÍadÐth.YÙsuf al-MizzÐ. and a third one by the ÍadÐth biographer al-MizzÐ as: MuÎammad b. TaqrÐb al-TahdhÐb. . (Karachi: Qadimi Kutub Khana. 310. Ignaz Goldziher. a scholar from Bangladesh who has written on the lives and works of the major ÍadÐth scholars. (Indianapolis: American Trust Publications. Brill. ÝÏsÁ b. 1983). 2:633. 250-52.. [n. SeeBrockelmann. al-Sakan. (Cairo: MuÒÔafÁ al-BÁbÐ al-ÍalabÐ.289-95.. MuÎammad Zubair ÑiddÐqÐ. (Beirut: MuÞassasat al-RisÁla. AÎmad ShÁkir. ed. al-AnsÁb.J. we move onto al-TirmidhÐ’s use of the Ýilal as a methodological device for reading into ÍadÐth based on the practice of the scholars of ÍadÐth.p. WafayÁt al-AÝyÁn. Fuat Sezgin. 1931). ÑiddÐqÐ. (Leiden: E. YÙsuf al-MizzÐ..d. 1992).d. A. Îadith 991. 7 Al-DhahabÐ. 9:387. p. al-AnsÁb. 258-70. pp. “al-TirmidhÐ”. we define the term Ýilal and briefly introduce two works of al-TirmidhÐ on the subject: KitÁb al-ÝIlal al-ÑaghÐr and KitÁb al-ÝIlal al-KabÐr. pp. 1991). (Beirut: [n. Ibn al-ÝImÁd. al-JÁmiÝ al-ÑaÎÐÎ wa huwa Sunan al-TirmidhÐ. BustÁn al-MuÎaddithÐn. MÐzÁn al-IÝtidÁl. Geschichte der Arabischen Litteratur.1:169.. Thiqa t.H. TahdhÐb al-KamÁl.
however it carries no weight if it is a general statement. Barthold. In the ÑaÎÐÎ al-BukhÁrÐ. Therefore a man’s saying ‘she is divorced if I marry her’ is valid according to them. SiddÐqÐ writes. 9 Al-TirmidhÐ was a student and disciple of MuÎammad b.]). narrator criticism and points of history found in this book from the KitÁb al-TÁrÐkh [of al-BukhÁrÐ]. 4 . ÍadÐth Literature . MÁlik (d. foremost amongst them AbÙ ÍanÐfa (d. 148. “Tirmidh”.MÁlik. al-SayyÁr. vandalized by the Soviets. and is now once again an important centre for pious visits. See SiddÐqÐ. 257-58. This gives him a lot more flexibility in producing ÍadÐth to prove a legal position than al-BukhÁri.Muhammad Mansur Ali Draft 2 Khurasanian town of Tirmidh during the time of al-Layth b. Al-TirmidhÐ was born and has died in this village. hence the name al-TirmidhÐ al-BÙghÐ. 179/796) from the ÍijÁzÐ school was of the opinion that if the divorce refers to a specific woman then it will be implemented. jawÁb al-sharÔ) is only fulfilled when the subordinate conditional clause (sharÔ) is available. 256/870) a ÍadÐth critique and master of recognizing defects in ÍadÐth. p. The chapter is Mecca. 150/767). and in most cases I have debated [these points] with MuÎammad b. Siyar AÝlÁm al-NubalÁÞ.” See SiddÐqÐ. IsmÁÝÐl. The bulk of the ÍadÐth scholars and the ÍijÁzÐ scholars were of the opinion that this sort of divorce is not valid. “MuÎammad b. One example to demonstrate this will suffice. 170.5:542. 64. [n. 8 Approximately three miles from Tirmidh is a small village called BÙgh. It is famous for its soap and is known as madÐnat al-rijÁl' the ‘city of men’ due to the many erudite scholars it has produced. 2002). were of the opinion that a divorce which is issued with a condition on marriage is valid.11 This is because a result clause (jazÁ’.10 Al-BukhÁrÐ stipulates very stringent conditions for including ÍadÐth into his collection. Thus.” He says: I have extracted whatever mention of ÍadÐth defects. in the book of divorce under the chapter ‘no divorce before marriage’ al-BukhÁrÐ could not manage to bring any ÍadÐth to prove this point. 9. In contrast to this al-TirmidhÐ works with the Ýilal thus letting the maximum number of ÍadÐth to be included in to his Sunan. was restored by the Uzbek authorities in 1410/ 1990. There was a difference of opinion amongst the ÍijÁzÐ and Iraqi scholars over the validity of issuing a divorce before marriage. 10 Al-TirmidhÐ. His profound influence on alTirmidhÐ is evident throughout the entire Sunan. IsmÁÝÐl’s opinion is…”. pp.d. history and recognition of the isnÁd than MuÎammad b. IsmÁÝÐl al-BukhÁrÐ (d. nor has it been mentioned by any other scholars. Tirmidh is a town on the north bank of the Oxus River (Nahr JayÎÙn) in the southern part of the present-day Uzbekistan Republic. a common feature of the Sunan is alTirmidhÐ saying “I asked MuÎammad”. KitÁb al-ÝIlal al-ÑaghÐr. ÍadÐth Literature . The Iraqis. 13:270. 8 W. however he has not given his reference therefore it is not possible to verify his claim. p. “It is interesting to record that his [al-TirmidhÐ's] tomb. note. “I debated with MuÎammad. in Encyclopaedia of Islam 2 . 9 Al-DhahabÐ. 11 MuÎammad al-ShaybÁnÐ. hence the presence of Ýilal in his collection is minuscule. (Beirut: DÁr al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyya. p. IsmÁÝÐl […] I have not found anyone in the whole of Iraq and Khurasan more knowledgeable in the field of defects. MuwaÔÔÁ (al-ShaybÁnÐ’s version) with commentary al-TaÝlÐq al-Mumajjad ÝalÁ MuwaÔÔÁ MuÎammad by al-LakhnawÐ. Delhi: Faruqiya Book Depot.
 ÝÀmir b. So give them a present and set them free i. This is because his conditions are more relaxed than those of al-BukhÁrÐ. On the contrary. he closes the chapter. al-TirmidhÐ can comfortably include aÎadÐth on this subject. The full chapter heading reads as follows: Chapter: There is no divorce before marriage.  AbÁn b. 147.his grandfather – who said that the Prophet said: 12 13 Ibn MÁja. (Riyad: Darussalam.  ÝAlÐ b.  ShurayÎ.  SulaymÁn b. KaÝb. 14 Al-BukhÁrÐ. the correct reading of the verse.  AbÙ Bakr b. methodologically al-BukhÁrÐ can neither use this ÎadÐth nor the ÍadÐth narrated by his twenty-four authorities as textual proof. al-Musayyib.  ÝAÔÁÞ. Al-BukhÁrÐ understands this and therefore draws upon Ibn ÝAbbÁs to give. Sunan. Below is the full chapter from the Sunan al-TirmidhÐ: Chapter on what has been narrated on ‘no divorce before marriage’: [Al-TirmidhÐ says] AÎmad b.Muhammad Mansur Ali Draft 2 void of any ÍadÐth and it just jumps to the next chapter. Then without mentioning any ÍadÐth. 12 However.  ÝUrwa b.  al-Íasan.  ÓÁwÙs. ManÐÝ – has reported to us (ÎaddathanÁ ) that – Hushaym – has reported to him that – ÝÀmir al-AÎwal reported to him – from (Ýan ) ÝAmr b.13 Ibn ÝAbbÁs said: AllÁh has mentioned the divorce after the wedding. 1997). YasÁr. in his opinion.  SaÝd b. 33:49. ÑaÎÐÎ. In contrast to al-BukhÁrÐ’s self-imposed strained conditions.  ÝUbayd AllÁh b. ÝAbd AllÁh b. Jubayr. This is because all the ÍadÐth on this subject fall below the standard that al-BukhÁrÐ stipulated for including ÍadÐth in his collections.  SaÝÐd b. Harim and  ShaÝbÐ all said that a woman cannot be divorced before being married. Jubayr.  JÁbir b. when you marry believing women and then divorce them before you have sexual intercourse with them.  NÁfiÝ b. 9:472. the wording of the chapter heading is a Prophetic ÎadÐth found in the Sunan Ibn MÁja collection.  al-QÁsim. no divorce prescribe period have you to count in respect of them. ÝUtba. Zayd. p. ÝAbd al-RaÎmÁn.  ÝIkrima.  SÁlim. ÝAbd alRaÎmÁn.  MujÁhid.e. ÝUthmÁn. he lists the names of twenty-four authorities who narrated ÍadÐth (Prophetic and non-Prophetic) on the subject.  MuÎammad b.14 It can be observed from the verse presented by al-BukhÁrÐ that it is only a statement regarding what a man should do when he divorces his wife.  ÝAmr b. SaÝd. ShuÝayb – from – his father – from . QurÞÁn: sÙrat al-AÎzÁb. Íusayn. divorce in a handsome manner. And the statement of AllÁh ‘O you who believe. The verse is not explicit about the injunctions relating to the in/validity of divorce before marriage. al-Zubayr.  al-QÁsim b. 5 . It is reported that  ÝAlÐ. This is not to say that al-BukhÁrÐ did not know of any ÍadÐth on the subject. He then cites the names of the people who held the opinion that a woman cannot be divorced before being married. In fact.
17 Goldziher. Regarding the different conditions stipulated by the scholars of ÍadÐth in including ÍadÐth in their collections. This is because other than in the ÑaÎÐÎ. that in the isnÁd one or another of the informants was weak. 16 It is interesting to note that alBukhÁrÐ does include the narrations of this narrator in his polemical treatise on fate against the MuÝtazilite known as Khalq AfÝÁl al-ÝIbÁd. they had at the same time a further task. 368. p. If the authors of theses collections [i. entry 5066. p. This example is sufficient to demonstrate that the presence of an Ý illa facilitates the inclusion of the maximum number of ÍadÐth which otherwise would have been hard for al-TirmidhÐ to include in his Sunan. ed. 1:737. ÎadÐth 1183. Also see al-TirmidhÐ. added by the collector to the ÎadÐth cited. nor is there divorce of (that woman) whom he does not possess. It must not be thought that they registered the collected traditions as perfectly equal and indisputable material for Islamic law. however. in that their shurÙÔ [conditions] show a greater liberality.. Ibn Íajar. alBukhÁrÐ did not stipulate such stringent conditions for including ÍadÐth in his books. al-BukhÁrÐ was not able to include this ÎadÐth because of the presence of the narrator ÝAmr b. 6 . Muslim Studies. ÎadÐth 322 for further discussions on ÝAmr.. At every step –and no page of these collections is without this–we find remarks. not only as affects their judgement of the inner coherence of isnÁds but also in dividual informants (rijÁl) occurring in them..] chose the most practical point of view of all collectors. Sunan. by MuÒÔafÁ ÝAbd al-QÁdir ÝAÔÁÞ (Karachi: Qadimi Kutub Khana. 1992). every sentence to which at any time reference had been made. the four Sunan s] were more liberal in their acceptance of ÎadÐth s than the authors of the two SaÎÐÎs.15 Methodologically. TaqrÐb al-TahdhÐb. in other words. neither is th ere emancipation of that (slave) which he does not own. 123. since as al-BaghawÐ 15 16 Al-TirmidhÐ.e.] al-TirmidhÐ [. ShuÝayb who is a mediocre narrator.. etc.17 He further writes: There is.Muhammad Mansur Ali Draft 2 There is no pledge (nadhar) for the son of Adam in what he does not own. an even more marked difference which they share among themselves in contrast to the two ÑaÎÐÎ s. Without this liberality it would hardly have been possible to find traditional guidance for all points of legal practice. Sunan p. Goldziher writes: [. that improbabilities or impossibilities occur in it in so far as the transmitters mentioned as contemporaries did not live at the same time or could not have been in touch with each other. He accepts any tradition which is known to have served as proof or argument for a lawyer in legal practice. 231.
Hence. 1966). Although the term Ýilal had been given a specific technical meaning. 7 . but also uses ‘beautiful’ ÎadÐth s. (Haydarabad: Majlis DÁÞirat alMaÝÁrif al-ÝUthmÁniyya. MaÝrifatÝUlÙm al-ÍadÐth. its error will not become apparent. 21 Ibn Íajar.Muhammad Mansur Ali Draft 2 so rightly remarked. This type of exercise will show up any anomaly. As a result of this.1:407. 22 Another 18 19 Ibid. in practice every type of problem in the chain of narration and text is given the blanket term Ýilla. (Beirut: DÁr al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyya. Contrary to the weak ÎadÐth. ed. p. p. 230. SharÐk lost touch with narrating ÍadÐth when he was made a judge of Kufa. 234/849) says. the Ýilla takes refuge under the protective shelter of the sound ÍadÐth therefore goes unnoticed.e. The Meaning of ÝIlal ÝIlla is a technical term to mean a specific type of defect in ÍadÐth that is not apparent at first sight and is harder to detect. His position as a judge apparently kept him so busy with everyday mundane problems that he did not get any time to practice narrating ÍadÐth. by NÙr al-DÐn ÝItr.’ 21 There are many reasons why defects occur in a ÎadÐth : one might be the lack of accuracy in narrating such as in the case of a narrator called SharÐk b. Al-ÝAsqalÁnÐ (d. i. 22 Ibn Rajab. The only way al-TirmidhÐ could include these ÍadÐth in his Sunan was if he showed what these problems were. mistakes in his work are not the rule but the exception. by RabÐÝ b. 1996). 2002). It is harder to detect because Ýilla is a quality that is found in the sound (ÒaÎÐÎ) ÍadÐth and since the status quo upholds that a reliable narrator produces and transmits reliable work.91. al-Nukat ÝalÁ Ibn al-ÑalÁÎ. in ÝUlÙm al-ÍadÐth. ed.18 What Goldiziher is trying to say above is that a major bulk of the textual evidence for legal positions is problematic. 852/1448) writes. (Damascus: DÁr al-Fikr. By showing the problem (Ýilla ) in the ÍadÐth included in the Sunan. 19 One of the main ways of detecting hidden problems in a ÎadÐth is to gather all its different narrations and scrutinize them one by one.140. On the other hand. 1998). HÁdÐ ÝUmayr. in my opinion the employment of Ýilal serves as the methodological device which enables al-TirmidhÐ to include the maximum number of ÍadÐth whilst remaining within the parameters of acceptable scholarship. p. It is apparent that the concept of Ýilal was invented to identify and diagnose the exceptions in sound ÍadÐth. as we shall show. ÝAlÐ b. at best those of second class. when he did narrate ÍadÐth he made mistakes. ÝAbd AllÁh. ‘If the lines of transmission of the ÎadÐth in a topic are not gathered. ‘Weakness in a narrator. ed.. 20 Quoted by Ibn al-ÑalÁÎ. the largest part of the aÎkÁm does not rest on entirely ‘sound’ÎadÐths. the ÝanÝana (use of the preposition Ýan in narrating) of a person who misrepresents ÍadÐth ( mudallis) and the lack of information regarding the life and career of a narrator are all seen as Ýilal in ÍadÐth. the problem in a weak (ÃaÝÐf) ÎadÐth is open for all to see and therefore can easily be detected. (Riyadh: DÁr al-RÁya. Al-BukhÁrÐ’s teacher. by al-Sayyid MuÝaÛÛam Íusayn. Al-ÍÁkim. 44. ÝUlÙm al-ÍadÐth. non-continuity of the isnÁd. SharÎ ÝIlal al-TirmidhÐ. MadÐnÐ (d. it functions as a disclaimer against charges of including weak and defected ÍadÐth. p.’ 20 It should be noted here that the definition of Ýilal presented above mostly remains in theory.
(2) the defect in the chain causes problems in the in itself but not in the text. ÝUbayd al-ÓanÁfasÐ –[who narrates] from (Ýan ) . 161/777) is a reliable ÍadÐth narrator and a jurist’. 126/743) is reliable and trustworthy. (3) the defect causes problems in both of them.25 ‘SufyÁn al-ThawrÐ (d. DÐnÁr and not ÝAmr b.e. p. 1:371 27 Ibid.26 ‘ÝAmr b. non-scrupulous]’. ‘YaÝlÁ (d. There are two more logical possibilities that are not found in practice: (6) the defect in the chain does not cause any problems in the chain but causes problems in the text and (7) the defect in the text causes problems in the text but not the chain. p. Al-ÝAsqalanÐ is quick to criticize him when it comes to narrating from al-ThawrÐ. DÐnÁr (d. 2:341. 1996). Al-ÝAsqalÁnÐ says. The Companion WÁÞil b. 136.. YÙsuf al-FiryÁbÐ and Makhlad b. These two possibilities have no practical application in the real world because any form of defect that impugns the text is a result of a problem in the chain. entry 7873. An example of the second possibility where the Ýilla in an chain affects the chain only and not the text can be seen in the following ÎadÐth : YaÝlÁ b. p.24 The chain of narrators of this ÎadÐth is perfect because it is continuous (i. examples of a few of the above mentioned Ýilal to make easier understanding. Íujr says... (Beirut: DÁr al Kutub al-ÝIlmiyya. ‘A flawed meaning was a symptom of problems in the isnÁd and not the disease itself. MaÝrifat ÝUlÙm al-ÍadÐth. “How We Know Early ÍadÐth Critics did Matan Criticism and Why it’s so Hard to Find”. randomly. ÝAbd AllÁh b. 1:734 8 . the narrator in front is a student of the previous narrator) and all the narrators are reliable and trustworthy. 25 Ibn Íajar. with the exception of the ÍadÐth that he narrates from SufyÁn al-ThawrÐ where he is soft [layyin. by comparison the defect is detected and YaÝlÁ is to be blamed for this mistake. by ÑalÁÎ ÝUwayÃa. In the above-mentioned usage of the word Ýilla its usage extends to all kind of defects that are found in the text or chain of narrators. this minor slip of the tongue (or pen) does not have any drastic effect on the text of the ÎadÐth because by comparison it has been found that YaÝlÁ did not make a mistake in the text. i. Hence. 207/822) is a reliable narrator. YazÐd. DÐnÁr.Muhammad Mansur Ali Draft 2 narrator from Egypt. This is why despite YaÝla being a reliable narrator. ed. TaqrÐb. 24 Al-ÍÁkim.. TadrÐb al-RÁwÐ .SufyÁn al-ThawrÐ – from ÝAmr b. al-SuyÙÔÐ. by comparing the narrations of other students of al-ThawrÐ who are equal to YaÝlÁ in probity and erudition such as al-FaÃl b.’23 We will provide. LahÐÝa started to narrate inaccurately when his books got burnt and he started to narrate from memory. ‘He heard the Prophet [read in prayer] “and not the path of those whom earn your anger [the last verse of the 23 Jonathan Brown. (5) the defect in the text causes problems in both of them. it can be seen that all of them narrate this ÎadÐth from ÝAbd AllÁh b. (4) the defect found in the text but does not cause any problems in the chain or the text. MuÎammad b. Jonathan Brown writes.’27 Although all the narrators are authentic. However. 26 Ibid. DÐnÁr – from Ibn ÝUmar that the Prophet said the buyer and seller are at liberty. Dukayn. 173. An example where Ýilal in the chain has an effect on both the chain and the text can be seen in a ÎadÐth recorded by al-TirmidhÐ. This gives rise to seven logical possibilities: (1) the defect found in the chain that does not impugn the chain or the text. 80.e.
YaÝqÙb b. i. Al-MadÐnÐ (KitÁb alÝIlal ). 2001). Brill. A more detailed analysis of this ÎadÐth. 29 Commenting on this ÎadÐth. (Leiden: E. However. therefore he narrated it as ‘The Prophet and the three caliphs after him initiated the recitation in the prayer with the fÁtiÎa and they did not read the basmala.J. p. 643/1245) says that based on this incorrect inference – the topic was about reciting the fÁtiÎa and not the basmala . p. 30. text and chain. 262/875) (al-Musand al-KabÐr al-ÝIlal). 9 . for a discussion of this book.d. It was found that this version did not tally with the others. Every other version of this ÎadÐth. 31 Ibn al-ÑalÁÎ. as well as other ÍadÐth on the same subject. An example of when the Ýilla in a text affects both the text and the chain is found in a ÎadÐth recorded in ÑaÎÐÎ Muslim which explicitly says that the Prophet and the three caliphs after him did not read the basmala (reading of bism AllÁh al-RaÎmÁn al-RÁhÐm) in prayer before commencing the recitation of the opening [sÙra] nor after it. al-TirmidhÐ (al-ÝIlal al-KabÐr). He was then followed by Ibn Íanbal (d. The Development of Early Sunnite ÍadÐth Criticism. hence although its chain of narrators is sound.e. ÑaÎÐÎ Muslim. mention that the Prophet and the three caliphs after him initiated the recitation in prayer with the opening chapter of the QurÞÁn and the topic of recitation of the basmala is not the point that is being discussed. al-BazzÁr (d.]) 1:172. Noth puts forward the suggestion that by analyzing the books of mawÃÙÝÁt Muslim and Western-trained academics 28 29 Al-TirmidhÐ. p. Al-ÍajjÁj. Ibn AbÐ ÍÁtim al-RÁzÐ (d. 30 We have already made reference to the point that a major problem in the matan is a symptom of a problem in the isnÁd. 32 See Eerik Dickenson. 241/855) ( al-Ilal wa MaÝrifat al-RijÁl). 385/995) (ÝIlal al-DaraquÔnÐ). Sunan. will be carried out shortly. Î . Brown and before him Albert Noth found that ÍadÐth that occur in the early Ýilal books also emerge in the later genre of ÍadÐth known as mawÃÙÝÁt (fabricated). (Deoband: DÁr al-IshÁÝat al-IslÁmiyya. 248. lithographic print. Ibn al-ÑalÁÎ (d. Ibn al-ÑalÁÎ remarks that some scholars have found this ÎadÐth to be problematic because it is based on incorrect inference. [n. 327/938) (ÝIlal al-ÍadÐth). 30 it has not been accepted as a reference for practice by the scholars of ÍadÐth. 31 Books on ÝIlal The first to have written on the subject is al-BukhÁrÐ’s teacher ÝAlÐ b. the absence of any mention of the basmala means that it was not practiced. 292/904-5) (al-ÝIlalal-WÁrida).the narrator paraphrased the ÎadÐth and narrated it as he understood it. ÝUlÙm al-ÍadÐth. 32 and finally the most rigorous of all critics al-DÁraqutnÐ (d.’ 28 A l-TirmidhÐ narrates two different versions of this ÎadÐth side by side and attempts to prove that the second version is wrong because of a defect in the chain of narrators which has also modified the content of the ÎadÐth.with al-NawawÐ’scommentary on the side note. one of the narrators must have inferred from this that reciting the basmala was not a practice of the Prophet or the three caliphs after him since there is no mention of it in all the versions of the ÍadÐth. 92.’ The problem was detected by comparing the texts of the different narrations as well as looking at other ÍadÐth on the subject.Muhammad Mansur Ali Draft 2 opening chapter of the QurÞÁn]” and then said the ÁmÐn in a loud voice. 99. Muslim b. Shayba (d.
463/1071) Taqyid al-ilm”.38-41. (2002). Therefore any serious study of the Sunan will remain incomplete without the help of this book. Prior to him all discussions on Ýilal were arranged according to the narrators not the topic. topically. SharÎ ÝIlal al-TirmidhÐ. 16. “The Epistemological Problem of Writing in Islamic Civilization: Al-Khatib al Baghdadi’s (d. It has been published as a monograph accompanied by a commentary by Ibn Rajab al-ÍanbalÐ. 38 It seems that the book is lost and we have not seen a manuscript registered anywhere under this name by al-TirmidhÐ. He gives answers to allegations leveled against the ÍadÐth scholars by ÒÙfÐs and rationalists that rijÁl criticism is an example of prohibited ‘back-biting’. al-TirmidhÐ expands in it points of Ýilal that he vaguely touches in the Sunan. Studia Islamica. 585/1189). pp. al-TirmidhÐ discusses in it some aspects of ÍadÐth nomenclature such as the different types of audition. 13 38 See the article by Jonathan brown for a good discussion on mawqÙf and marfÙÝ ÍadÐth. 39 Despite being an independent work. For a more exhaustive list of books on Ýilal see Brown.” Islamic Law and Society. pp. 33 Brown found that comparing the ÍadÐth in the Ýilal books with that of the mawÃÙÝÁt gives us a window into how early ÍadÐth scholars did text criticism. (2007). he talks about why and how he compiled the Sunan and touches on some technical terms that he uses in it. What we have in print is an edited version. 9. edited by a sixth/twelfth century scholar AbÙ ÓÁlib al-QÁÃÐ (d. One thing that can be understood from the KitÁb al-ÝIlal al-ÑaghÐr is that al-TirmidhÐ was the first one to arrange discussions onÝilal in the way that he has in the Sunan i. KitÁbal-ÝIlal al-ÑaghÐr is a little tract which is appended by al-TirmidhÐ to the end of the Sunan and is not an independent monograph as such. 36 For more information regarding this debate see the article by Paul Heck. 37 Ibn Rajab. 37 In this tract. 1-41. p. 39 Ibn Rajab. (Wiltshire: Ashgate Varioum. 35 See the article by Christopher Melchert for more on this subject. also see Ibn Rajab. Islamic Law and Society. it is unfortunate that al-TirmidhÐ’s original has not come down to us and is lost. 2004) pp. 10 . 36 Finally. “The Piety of the Hadith Folk”. The qÁdÐ decided to arrange the book according to subject matter 33 Albert Noth. 34 See Jonathan Brown. 425–39. Brown. alTirmidhÐ also alludes to another one of his writings in which he discusses points of Ýilal and law in depth. pp. the KitÁb al-ÝIlal al-KabÐr is closely related to the Sunan. “Critical Rigour vs Juridical Pragmatism: How Legal Theorists and ÍadÐth Scholars Approached the Backgrowth of IsnÁds in the Genre of ÝIlal al-ÍadÐth”. “Critical Rigour vs Juridical Pragmatism: How Legal Theorists and ÍadÐth Scholars Approached the Backgrowth of IsnÁds in the Genre of ÝIlal al-ÍadÐth. Other than this al-TirmidhÐ has two books featuring the word Ýilal : KitÁb al-ÝIlal al-ÑaghÐr and KitÁb al-ÝIlal al-KabÐr. (2002) pp. 34 Al-TirmidhÐ’s main contribution on Ýilal is found in the Sunan. he calls this book al-MawqÙfÁt and its main concern in to include non-Prophetic ÍadÐth. “How We Know Early ÍadÐth Critics Did Matan Criticism”. The KitÁb al-ÝIlal al-ÑaghÐr is not a book on Ýilal in the real sense. reception and transmission of ÍadÐth. International Journal of Middle East Studies.e. SharÎ ÝIlal al-TirmidhÐ. In fact. p. 85–114. 35 He also gives his opinions on the old debates about the permissibility and impermissibility of writing of ÍadÐth and transmitting it by paraphrasing (riwÁya bi al-maÝnÁ). On the contrary. in ÍadÐth: The Formation of the Islamic World Series edited by Harald Motzki. (2007). “Common Features of Muslim and Western ÍadÐth Criticism: Ibn al-JawzÐ’s Categories of ÍadÐth Forgers”. SharÎ ÝIlal al-TirmidhÐ. It also seems that Ibn Rajab has not even seen this book and just takes al-TirmidhÐ’s word for it. Saying this. p.Muhammad Mansur Ali Draft 2 maybe able to arrive at a common ground in their ÍadÐth studies. 209-216.
’  Many of the scholars from the Companions of the Prophet. ‘The ÎadÐth of WÁÞil is fair (Îasan ).  [matan version 2] that the Prophet recited “and not the path of those who earn your anger and not of those who have gone astray” and then said ÁmÐn whilst lowering his voice (wa khafaÃa bihÁ Òawtah ).’  AbÙ ÝÏsÁ says.  AbÙ ÝIsÁ says. we will look at it from the perspective of how it was used as a methodological device to include or exclude practice. We will not examine the concept of Ýilal in the way that classical scholars have done. the Followers and those who came after them hold the view that a person should raise his voice whilst saying the ÁmÐn and he should not lower his voice. This is the opinion of al-ShÁfiÝÐ. We will analyze this in detail here to show how al-TirmidhÐ makes the case for his view. Kuhayl – from – Íujr AbÐ al-ÝAnbas – from ÝAlqama b.  Chapter: About what has been reported regarding the saying of ÁmÐn  [IsnÁd version 1] [al-TirmidhÐ says] BundÁr MuÎammad b. Íujr who said:  [Matan version 1] ‘I heard the Prophet recite “and not the path of those whom earn your anger and not of those who have gone astray. with the different components (shown in square parenthesis) of the text numbered for easy reading. unlike the Sunan. Sometimes al-TirmidhÐ uses Ýilal to promote his own fiqh position.” [WÁÞil says] He then said ÁmÐn whilst raising his voice (madda bihÁ Òawtah). SaÝÐd and ÝAbd al-RaÎmÁn b. Al-TirmidhÐ’s Use of ÝIlal Employment of ÝIlal to prove his own Fiqh leaning We will now look at Ýilal from the perspective of what function it plays in the Sunan.SufyÁn al-ThawrÐ – reported to us from [Ýan] – Salama b. “The ÎadÐth of SufyÁn on this topic is more sound that of ShuÝba. Íujr. Here is the full discussion from the Sunan.  [IsnÁd version 2] and ShuÝba [ibn al-ÍajjÁj] narrated this ÎadÐth from Salama b. Al-TirmidhÐ’s original. ‘I heard MuÎammad [al-BukhÁrÐ] say. MahdÐ – reported to us that [both of them said that]. WÁÞil – from WÁÞil b. Kuhayl – from – Íujr b. was arranged by the names of narrators in alphabetical order in accordance with the typical literature in this genre. ShuÝba has made mistakes in many parts of the ÎadÐth 11 . AÎmad and IsÎÁq. Rather. ÝAnbas – from – WÁÞil b. and hence was hard to maneuver through without the help of an index or an encyclopedic knowledge of ÍadÐth narrators. BashshÁr – has reported to u s [ÎaddathanÁ] [who said that] – YaÎyÁ b. We have already vaguely alluded to the ÎadÐth of the Prophet regarding reading the ÁmÐn loudly in prayer.Muhammad Mansur Ali Draft 2 to correspond with the chapter titles of the Sunan.
ÎadÐth . 2) and AlÝAlÁÞ b. Whilst al-TirmidhÐ and al-SÎÁfÐÝÐ use the version of SufyÁn (isnÁd ver. It can be seen from the three narrations presented by al-TirmidhÐ that the common link in the isnÁd is Salama b. 2 and matan ver. Similarly he [ShuÝba] said ‘and he lowered his voice’ instead of ‘and he raised his voice. 99-100. matan ver. 1). whereas it should not be from ÝAlq ama. Here. ÝAnbas. Kuhayl – Íujr b.Muhammad Mansur Ali Draft 2 such as: he said from Íujr AbÐ al-ÝAnbas whereas in reality it is Íujr b. AbÁn – ÝAbd AllÁh b. pp. 5). KuhÁyl. KitÁb al-ÝIlal al-KabÐr. Numayr – al-ÝAlÁÞ b. al-TÁrÐkh al-KabÐr. who is known also by the paidonym AbÙ al-Sakan. ShuÝba (isnÁd ver. matan ver. al-BukhÁrÐ and AbÙ ZurÝa al-RÁzÐ (d. Íujr  [matan version 1] From the Prophet. al-ShÁfÐÝÐ and Ibn Íanbal are of the view that the ÁmÐn should be read out loud during the prayer. ÑÁliÎ – Salama b. 1 [para. al-TirmidhÐ provides the narrations of three of Salama’s students: SufyÁn (isnÁd ver. “The ÎadÐth of SufyÁn is more authentic than the ÎadÐth of ShuÝba. Sunan.41 Now that we have presented al-TirmidhÐ’s full discussion on this issue we will analyze it to see how al-TirmidhÐ makes his case. Kuhayl. 2 and matan ver. In contrast. He replied. 1. ÎadÐth. [The version of] al-ÝAlÁÞ b. AbÙ ÍanÐfa and the Iraqi school and MÁlik from the ÍijÁzÐ school are of the opinion that the ÁmÐn should be read silently. ‘I asked AbÙ ZurÝa about this ÎadÐth . 264/878) seem also to submit to this view. Both parties utilize this ÎadÐth to prove their point. 2 [para. 12 . See al-BukhÁrÐ. 98. the Iraqi school employ the version of ShuÝba (isnÁd ver. 2-3]).’40  AbÙ ÝÏsÁ says. 1. ÑÁliÎ al-AsadÐ from Salama b. As mentioned by al-TirmidhÐ (para. para. pp. Kuhayl is the same as the ÎadÐth of SufyÁn. ÑÁliÎ ( isnÁd ver. similar to the ÎadÐth of SufyÁn from Salama b.”  AbÙ ÝÏsÁ says [isnÁd verion 3] AbÙ Bakar MuÎammad b. 68-69. 3. The nature of reciting amÐn in the prayer is a disputed issue amongst the legal schools of thought. 1 [para. by SubÎÐ al-SÁmray. ed. 40 These criticisms mentioned by al-TirmidhÐ from al-BukhÁrÐ are also found in the al-TÁrÐkh al-KabÐr of alBukhÁrÐ. (digital copy. AlTirmidhÐ. Íujr. It is actually Íujr b. with revision by AbÙ ÓÁlib al-QÁÃÐ. ÝAnbas from WÁÞil b. 248. WÁÞil [in the isnÁd ]. 67]). He has also added ÝAlqama b. ÝAnbas – WÁÞil b. Maktabat el-shamela) 3:73 41 Al-TirmidhÐ. (Beirut: ÝÀlam al-Kutub. 10. 2008). matan ver. 3]).
He is also known as AbÙ al-Sakan al-KÙfÐ. Interpolation. two in the isnÁd and one in the matan : 1. 3. 1:134 44 Al-HaythamÐ.]). 447. 124. AbÙ al-ÝAnbas. AbÐ al-ÝAnbas ÝAlqama b. therefore to call Íujr the son of ÝAnbas or the father of ÝAnbas is perfectly accurate. To further consolidate his view he presents isnÁd version 3-cum-matan version 1 as corroboration. Íujr IsnÁd version 2 ShuÝba Salama Íujr b. (digital copy. It should read ‘raised h i s voice’ ( madda) and not ‘lowered his voice’ (khafaÃa) Looking at al-TirmidhÐ’s analysis one can assume that he provided convincing evidence for proving his point of view. ÝAnbas WÁÞil b. MawÁrid al-ÚamÞÁn fÐ ÑaÎÐÎ Ibn ÍibbÁn. ÝAnbas.matan version 2 is put forward to refute the opposite view by showing that it has technical flaws in it. 13 . 43 Ibn ÍibbÁn transmits isnÁd version two and instead of writing ‘Íujr AbÐ al-ÝAnbas’ he writes ‘Íujr b. As for the first criticism that ShuÝba got Íujr’s name wrong. Maktabat el-Shamela). TahdhÐb al-TahdhÐb. WÁÞil WÁÞil b. [n. ShuÝba made a mistake in the name of Íujr. p. Sunan. IsnÁd version 2-cum. ÎadÐth . However. (Calcutta: DÁr al-IshÁÝat al-IslÁmiyya. 2. Defective wording of the text.Muhammad Mansur Ali Draft 2 IsnÁd version 1 SufyÁn Salama Íujr b. Íujr Matan version 1 Matan version 2 Matan version 1 Table 1 : Comparison of the Three IsnÁds IsnÁd version 1-cum-matan version 1 is presented by al-TirmidhÐ to prove his point. this is not the case. ÑÁliÎ Salama Íujr b.’42 Further proof is found in the Sunan of AbÙ DawÙd who narrates through SufyÁn (isnÁd version 1) from Salama from Íujr AbÐ al-ÝAnbas. Ibn Íajar writes. ShuÝba has interjected the narrator ÝAlqama between Íujr and WÁÞil. Even today it is a tradition to name the first born son after the name of the child's grandfather as a way of showing respect and deep love for the grandfather. Inaccurate transmission. Íujr IsnÁd version 3 Al-ÝAlÁÞ b. whereas isnÁd 1 and isnÁd 3 agree that there is no one between these two.d. Maktabat el-Shamela). He called him Íujr AbÐ al-ÝAnbas (the father of ÝAnbas) whereas it should have been Íujr b. Al-TirmidhÐ finds three technical flaws. ‘Íujr b. 2:188. ÝAnbas (the son of ÝAnbas). AbÙ DawÙd. (digital copy. ÝAnbas WÁÞil b. ÝAnbas the Íadramite. By cross-checking al-TirmidhÐ’s criticisms we get a different picture. it can be seen in the books of RijÁl that both the father and son of Íujr are called ÝAnbas.’44 It can be understood from the 42 43 Ibn Íajar.
therefore his attestation of SufyÁn is not accepted. entry 1087. . pp. ‘What was his purpose [in combining the prayers without a valid reason]?’ He replied. Maktabat el-Shamela). 50 SulaymÁn b. 46 Surprisingly. Íujr. most knowledgeable regarding the ÍadÐth of AÝmash. ÎÁfÐÛ. ‘He did not want to inconvenience his people. 45 As for the third criticism that ShuÝba used defective wording in the text. The fact that a ÎadÐth has not been practiced upon by anyone is for al-TirmidhÐ an Ýilla which can be used to discard this ÎadÐth although it has a perfectly fine chain of narrators. 1999). (digital copy: Maktabat el-Shamela). reliable. As for the second criticism that ShuÝba has interpolated the name ‘ÝAlqama’ between WÁÞil and Íujr. reliable (thiqa ). Thus AbÙ DÁwÙd al-ÓayÁlisÐ writes that Salama b. MÐzÁn al-IÝtidÁl.’53 45 46 AbÙ DawÙd al-ÓayÁlisÐ. entry 2623. ÑaÎÐÎ. 1:183. (Karachi: Memon Islamic Publishers. 47 Employment of ÝIlal to Show that a ÍadÐth has not been Practiced We have mentioned elsewhere that for al-TirmidhÐ the practice (Ýamal) of the people of ÍadÐth takes precedence over the authentication of ÍadÐth through its chain of narrators. was a great faqÐh. Kuhayl says. Sariyy. As for isnÁd version 3.Ibid. al-TirmidhÐ wants us to accept that his reading is correct. AbÐ ThÁbit51 – SaÐÝd b. reliable. 48 HannÁd b. reliable. 2:270. The word madd can mean ‘to raise the voice’ or it can mean ‘to lengthen something’. From the above response given by the rival school of thought. 49 MuÎammad b. thabt . it can be explained in such a way that it is reconciled with matan 2. Muslim. Musnad. 79-80. 53 Al-TirmidhÐ. [and the situation was that] there was no fear [of an enemy] nor was there any rain.. hence both are used interchangeably.. 1:392. Ibn Íajar. ‘I heard Íujr b. 138. Al-TirmidhÐ writes: HannÁd48 – AbÙ MuÝÁwiya49 – AÝmash50 – ÍabÐb b. al-TaqrÐb. The only conclusion that can be reached is that through a very technical investigation of the ÎadÐth and drawing on points of Ýilal. the first by elongating the ÁmÐn and the second by doing it quietly.Muhammad Mansur Ali Draft 2 above that ‘Ibn ÝAnbas’ and ‘AbÙ al-ÝAnbas’ refers to the same person. 14 . Ibid. al-MahrÁn al-AÝmash. Jubayr52 – Ibn ÝAbbÁs who said that the Prophet combined the Ûuhr and Ýasr prayers and maghrib and ÝishÁÞ prayers in Medina. p. ÎadÐth . ÎÁfiÛ. KhÁzim AbÙ MuÝÁwiya. 51 ÍabÐb. 47 See TaqÐ ÝUthmÁnÐ. 1:521 for further details. entry 5859. 52 Reliable. 1:349 entry 2285. (digital copy. Ibid.. 2:70. Ibid. ÝAnbas say: “I heard ÝAlqama who reports from WÁÞil and I also heard from WÁÞil (directly)”’. ÑÁliÎ is a very weak narrator. 3:101. it is apparent that the picture is not as black and white as al-TirmidhÐ wants us to believe.. Al-DhahabÐ. Sunan. SufyÁn al-ThawrÐ himself adheres to the Iraqi view that the ÁmÐn should be recited quietly. If the second meaning is taken it is possible to act upon both versions of the texts. entry 7346. it is found in other versions of this narration that Íujr heard this ÎadÐth from both ÝAlqama and his father WÁÞil. 1024. TaqrÐr e TirmidhÐ. Ibn ÝAbbÁs was asked. al-ÝAlÁÞ b. 1:246.
however he adduces it as evidence to prove that it is more correct because the scholars based practice upon it. al-TirmidhÐ says this is one of the two ÍadÐth in the Sunan that has not been acted upon by anyone hence it is rejected. From this the scholars derived that these 54 55 Al-TirmidhÐ. and as long as these reasons exist it is permissible to combine the prayer or else it will be an act of major sin. 261/875) in his ÑaÎÐÎ. Ibn Íanbal and others have classified him as weak. However. ‘Whoever combines two prayers without a valid reason has committed a major sin. Khalaf al-BaÒrÐ . The ÎadÐth has also been recorded by Muslim (d.Muhammad Mansur Ali Draft 2 It is evident from the above chain of narrators that it is unblemished and all the narrators are reliable. sÙrat al-NisÁÞ .. ‘The prayer is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours (times). Some scholars from the Followers [tÁbiÝÐ] have permitted joining the prayer for an ill person. 4:103. heavy rain and sickness. p. It is rejected not on the basis of its chain. The practice of the people of knowledge is that prayers should not be combined other than in travels and on the plain of ÝArafa. He writes: AbÙ Salama YaÎyÁ b. Sunan. al-TirmidhÐ produces another ÎadÐth in response to this one. He produces the opinions of Ibn Íanbal. 1070. in the same chapter (the chapter of combining two prayers whilst not travelling) immediately after the above mentioned ÎadÐth. This is the opinion of al-ShÁfiÝÐ. Ibn Íanbal and IsÎÁq although alShÁfiÝÐ does not consider it [permissible] to combine the prayer for the sick person. although he acknowledges that it is weak.his father – Íansh – ÝIkrima – Ibn ÝAbb Ás from the Prophet who said. IsÎÁq and al-ShÁfiÝÐ to give the reading for the word Ýudhr (valid reason). 80. Al-TirmidhÐ. the scholars decision to combine the prayers was a result of their observation of myriad ÍadÐth reports in which the Prophet has been reported to combine prayers in one of the above three situations. p. 15 . 56 QurÞÁn.al-MuÝtamar b.] He is weak according the scholars of ÍadÐth..55 By al-TirmidhÐ’s confession this ÎadÐth is weak. but on the basis that none have practiced it. Some of the people of knowledge have said that it is possible to combine the prayers during rain. This is the opinion of Ibn Íanbal and IsÎÁq.’ 56 By combining the prayers one is going against the dictates of this QurÞÁnic injunction.54 Furthermore. ‘Íansh is [also known as] AbÙ ÝAlÐ al-RaÎbÐ [.’ AbÙ ÝÏsÁ says. However. thus bolstering its authenticity. Al-TirmidhÐ says: All the ÍadÐth in this book have been practiced and accepted by some of the people of knowledge with the exception of two ÍadÐth : the ÎadÐth of Ibn ÝAbbÁs that the Prophet combined the Ûuhr and ÝaÒr prayer and maghrib and ÝishÁÞ prayer in the absence of rain and fear [of an enemy] and the ÎadÐth that the Prophet said whoever gets caught drinking a fourth time should be killed. KitÁb al-ÝIlal al-ÑaghÐr. SulaymÁn . Valid reason has been identified by the scholars as travelling. It will be an act of major sin because the QurÞÁn says.
Here we have a clear example of practice dictating the acceptance of ÍadÐth. Al-TirmidhÐ judges this ÎadÐth to be fair sound (Îasan ÒaÎÐÎ). Sunan. travelling and sickness) are valid sharÝÐ reasons and come under the category of necessity (ÃarÙra ). It can be argued by the ÍanafÐs that this is a ÎadÐth of al-BukhÁrÐ and therefore is on the highest level of authenticity.. Ibn Íanbal and MÁlik are of the opinion that a minimum of three stones is obligatory. This implies that alBukhÁrÐ included a ÎadÐth in the ÑaÎÐÎ which if not weak then at least. 1:336. Al-TirmidhÐ answers this by saying that al-BukhÁrÐ got it wrong and when coaxed regarding this ÎadÐth would not give a clear answer. Î .”’57 Before commencing on an analysis of this ÎadÐth we will present the different opinions of the legal schools regarding the number of stones (toilet paper in modern times) needed to clean oneself after answering the call of nature. 11. KitÁb al-ÝIlal al-KabÐr. The ÎadÐth quoted above is the proof of the ÍanafÐ madhhab. Î . 27-29. practice takes precedence. 17. “It is filth. AbÙ ÍanÐfa is of the opinion that there is no fixed number of stones that one has to use and any number is sufficient as long as it does the job. p. 24. although the ÎadÐth has been established through practice. Ibid. 156. through a confusing labyrinth of isnÁd analysis al-TirmidhÐ manages to show the Ýilla of the ÎadÐth. Employment of ÝIlal to Establish the Normative Value of a ÍadÐth Sometimes a l-TirmidhÐ employs Ýilal to establish the value of a ÎadÐth. He took the stone and threw the dropping away saying. 58 As we have already noted. In other words.Muhammad Mansur Ali Draft 2 three situations (rain. This then is seen as a rejection of the ÍanafÐ position. we can say that there is a circular relationship between practice and the chain. I brought him two stones and [a hardened] dropping [of a goat]. ‘The Prophet went out to answer the call of nature. 16 . The consequences of this are two-fold: since the ÎadÐth has been shown to be defective therefore. They base their opinion on a ÎadÐth that al-TirmidhÐ narrates prior to this one. The ÎadÐth is as follows: ÝAbd AllÁh b. and in the situation where there is a clash between practice and text. ÑaÎÐÎ.. He said to me “Find me three stones”. However. according to SunnÐ Muslim scholarship. 24. to practice upon it is rendered weaker than the previous ÎadÐth which is ÒaÎÐÎ. the intensity of the practice is decided by the strength of the isnÁd. al-BukhÁrÐ. In this ÎadÐth the Companion SalmÁn al-FarsÐ is reported to have said that the Prophet forbade the use of less than three stones for cleaning oneself. MasÝÙd says. The example presented below is an interesting one because it challenges the authenticity of a ÎadÐth found in the ÑaÎÐÎ al-BukhÁrÐ. the ÎadÐth of Ibn MasÝÙd is found in the ÑaÎÐÎ al-BukhÁrÐ and therefore commands the highest degree of authority. the absence of practice is an Ýilla in itself. falls below his usual 57 58 Al-TirmidhÐ. p. Al-ShÁfiÝÐ. p. In other words. Thus. By employing the principle al-ÃarÙra tubÐÎ al-maÎdhÙrÁt (necessity permits the forbidden) they modified (taqyÐd ) the general (muÔlaq ) injunction of the QurÞÁn. Î . thus weakening it.
TaqrÐb. 1:88. honest (ÒadÙq) [his memory] changed when he became old. al-RabÐÝ al-AsadÐ AbÙ MuÎammad al-KÙfÐ. YazÐd from ÝAbd AllÁh.  This ÎadÐth has disruption (iÃÔirÁb ) in it.Muhammad Mansur Ali Draft 2 standards. We produce the whole discussion of al-TirmidhÐ here and then analyze it.  I asked MuÎammad [al-BukhÁrÐ] regarding this.] to be the most appropriate since he has included it in the book al-JÁmiÝ [ÑaÎÐÎ al-BukhÁrÐ]. entry 8264.  MuÎammad b. became confused during the later part of his life. ‘I asked ÝAbd AllÁh b.  [IsnÁd 3 and 4] MaÝmar and ÝAmmÁr b. YazÐd from ÝAbd AllÁh.. trustworthy pious. reliable. 2:432. entry 402. Ibid. [IsnÁd 1] HannÁd and Qutayba – WakÐÝ – IsrÁÞÐl59 – AbÙ IsÎÁq60 – AbÙ ÝUbayda61 – from ÝAbd AllÁh b. 2: 33.”  [IsnÁd 2] AbÙ ÝÏsÁ says: Qays b.  [IsnÁd 6] ZakariyyÁ b.’ 59 IsrÁÞÐl b. although he considers the version of Zuhayr [..” I brought him two stones and [a hardened] dropping [of a goat]. However. al-Aswad b. Murra who said ‘I asked AbÙ ÝUbayda if he remembered any [ÍadÐth ] from ÝAbd AllÁh. ÝAbd AllÁh AbÙ IsÎÁq al-SabÐÝÐ. trustworthy. YazÐd from al-Aswad b. he heard ÎadÐth from AbÙ IsÎÁq in the later days of the latter’s life. trustworthy. He said to me “Find me three stones.  [IsnÁd 5] Zuhayr63 narrated [this ÎadÐth] from AbÙ IsÎÁq from ÝAbd al-RaÎmÁn b. 62 Qays b.. YÙnus b. he did not say anything decisive. AlTirmidhÐ writes:  The chapter of what has been reported regarding the use of two stones in cleansing after relieving oneself. 1:317. He took the stone and threw the dropping away saying “It is filth. Ibid. Ibn Íajar. the dominant view is that he has not heard [any ÎadÐth ] from his father. MuÝÁwiya b.. Ibid. He did not say anything decisive. BashshÁr al-ÝAbdarÐ – MuÎammad b. al-RabÐÝ62 has also narrated this ÎadÐth from AbÙ IsÎÁq in the same manner from AbÙ ÝUbayda from ÝAbd AllÁh.’  AbÙ ÝÏsÁ says. 60 ÝAmr b. 1:739. MasÝÙd  The Prophet went out to answer the call of nature.. KhadÐj AbÙ Khaythama al-JuÝafÐ. AbÐ IsÎÁq al-SabÐÝÐ. ÝAbd al-RaÎmÁn [al-DaramÐ] regarding which narration from AbÙ IsÎÁq is the most authentic. His son interjected many ÍadÐth into his collections which were not his and he (Qays) transmitted those [thinking that they were his ÍadÐth]. trustworthy. entry 2056. 63 Zuhayr b. 61 AbÙ ÝUbayda. entry 5590. However. 17 . JaÝfar – ShuÝba – ÝAmr b. Zurayq narrated [this ÎadÐth] from AbÙ IsÎÁq from ÝAlqama from ÝAbd AllÁh. Ibid. alAswad from his father. Kufan. people have said things about him without any proof. like the ÎadÐth of IsrÁÞÐl. AbÐ ZÁÞida narrated [this ÎadÐth ] from AbÙ IsÎÁq from ÝAbd alRaÎmÁn b.’ He replied ‘no. entry 5081..
3) and ÝAmmÁr (isnÁd v. al-Íanbal say. Ibn al-MahdÐ makes a comparison between SufyÁn al-ThawrÐ (one of the most reliable students of AbÙ IsÎÁq) 66 and IsrÁÞÐl and consoles himself by saying that any ÍadÐth of AbÙ IsÎÁq that he did not hear from al-ThawrÐ were made up for because he heard them all from IsrÁÞÐl who was able to recall them better than al64 65 Al-TirmidhÐ.’  AbÙ ÝÏsÁ says ‘Zuhayr [is not as strong in the ÍadÐth ] of AbÙ IsÎÁq because his hearing [of ÍadÐth from AbÙ IsÎÁq] was at the end [of AbÙ IsÎÁq’s life].Muhammad Mansur Ali Draft 2  AbÙ ÝÏsÁ says ‘The most accurate [narration] in my opinion is the ÎadÐth of IsrÁÞÐl and Qays from AbÙ ÝUbayda from ÝAbd AllÁh because IsrÁÞÐl is more knowledgeable and competent regarding the ÍadÐth of AbÙ IsÎÁq than the rest of AbÙ IsÎÁq’s students and Qays b. al-RabÐÝ has narrated a parallel narration (tÁbaÝa). except those ÍadÐth that [both of them] narrated from AbÙ IsÎÁq. Qays (isnÁd v.’  AbÙ ÝÏsÁ says ‘I heard AbÙ MÙsÁ MuÎammad b. ÝUlÙm al-ÍadÐth. p. al-BukhÁrÐ’s teacher and an expert in recognizing the defects in ÍadÐth [para. Al-TirmidhÐ attempts to justify his opinion by quoting ÝAbd al-RaÎmÁn b. p. 198/814). Ibn al-ÑalÁÎ. 24. SharÎ ÝIlal al-TirmidhÐ. Al-TirmidhÐ is of the opinion that the narration of IsrÁÞÐl (isnÁd v. 18 . “When you hear any ÍadÐth from ZÁÞida and Zuhayr then do not bother to hear them from anyone else. p. ÝAbd AllÁh al-SabÐÝÐ al-HamdÁnÐ. 65 The disruption in this ÎadÐth occurs because the students of the AbÙ IsÎÁq (who is the common-link in the chain) cannot agree who AbÙ IsÎÁq heard the ÎadÐth from and how many people are between AbÙ IsÎÁq and Ibn MasÝÙd. al-TirmidhÐ says that this ÎadÐth has iÃÔirÁb (disruption) in it. 66 Ibn Rajab. He believes this to be the case because in his opinion IsrÁÞÐl is the most acute and accurate narrator of AbÙ IsÎÁq’s ÍadÐth [para.64 Analysis of al-TirmidhÐ’s Discussion In paragraph eight above. al-MahdÐ saying “None of the ÍadÐth of AbÙ isÎÁq that I missed hearing from SufyÁn al-ThawrÐ. Sunan. 12]. 4) have only one link between AbÙ ÝUbayda and Ibn MasÝÙd whereas the narrations of Zuhayr (isnÁd v. 1).”’  AbÙ IsÎÁq is called ÝAmr b. This causes a defect in the ÎadÐth since disruption indicates that a ÎadÐth has not been preserved properly hence rendering it weak. when I relied on IsrÁÞÐl because he was [able] to reproduce them in their entirety. I heard AÎmad b. 5) and ZakariyÁÞ (isnÁd v. the one that we are dealing with here is when only a few narrators narrate a ÎadÐth from a teacher and they all differ from each other in the isnÁd. 13]. al-MahdÐ (d. I heard ÝAbd alRaÎmÁn b. MaÝmar (isnÁd v. The narrations of IsrÁÞÐl (isnÁd v. MasÝÙd has not heard any [ÍadÐth ] from his father and his name is not known. al-MuthannÁ say. 6) have two people between them. have I [actually] missed. 94. 210. Out of the many forms of disruption. al-Íasan al-TirmidhÐ say that I heard AÎmad b. 2).  AbÙ ÝUbayda the son of ÝAbd AllÁh b.1) is the most accurate.
We say this because al-TirmidhÐ discusses this issue with his teacher al-DaramÐ (para. During this time. 67 Ibn AbÐ ÍÁÔim. Al-TirmidhÐ prefers this narration over any other as he believes that it is historically the most accurate. 10) and al-BukhÁrÐ (para. MasÝÙd. 1:42. It can be seen from the diagram that there is a link missing between AbÙ ÝUbayda and Ibn MasÝÙd. 14). Finally. Although al-TirmidhÐ does not mention anything here. 11) but neither of them give him a conclusive answer. we find that Ibn AbÐ ÍÁtim says that he heard AbÙ ZurÝa saying ‘The most correct [narration] in my opinion is the narration of AbÙ ÝUbayda which IsrÁÞÐl narrates from AbÙ IsÎÁq from AbÙ ÝUbayda. Al-TirmidhÐ relies on the judgement of Ibn Íanbal to prove his point (para.Muhammad Mansur Ali Draft 2 ThawrÐ. 14).’ 67 Al-TirmidhÐ tells us why he prefers the version of IsrÁÞÐl over the isnÁd’s of the other students of AbÙ IsÎÁq. By quoting Ibn al-MahdÐ here. Another reason why al-TirmidhÐ prefers the version of IsrÁÞÐl over the rest is because Qays b. (digital copy. another possible reason for al-TirmidhÐ’s preference maybe that IsrÁÞÐl is the grandson of AbÙ IsÎÁq and it is not uncommon for family members who are all in the same trade to excel in knowledge about their elder family members. al-TirmidhÐ obviously wants to presents IsrÁÞÐl as better than al-ThawrÐ. it seems that he is following the opinion of his teacher AbÙ ZurÝa al-RÁzÐ who believes also that IsrÁÞÐl is the most accurate transmitter of AbÙ IsÎÁq’s ÍadÐth. hence the chain is broken. al-RabÐÝ has corroborated his version by narrating the exact chain to Ibn MasÝÙd (isnÁd v. Maktabat el-Shamela). they are not on the same level of erudition as Zuhayr and IsrÁÞÐl. AbÙ IsÎÁq’s mind became feeble and weak and he started to forget things (par. ÝIlal Ibn AbÐ ÍÁtim al-RÁzÐ. He says that Zuhayr heard from AbÙ IsÎÁq during the later part of AbÙ IsÎÁq’s life. 19 . and IsrÁÞÐl is the most accurate of them all [in the ÍadÐth of AbÙ IsÎÁq]. He then gives his own opinion on this issue (para. 12). 2). As for the other students of AbÙ IsÎÁq. The following figure 2 is a diagrammatic representation of the different isnÁd-strands of the ÎadÐth of ÝAbd AllÁh b. By checking the opinions of AbÙ ZurÝa al-RÁzÐ collected by Ibn AbÐ ÍÁtim al-RÁzÐ in KitÁb alÝIlal.
al-TirmidhÐ simply tries to establish his legal 68 69 Al-MizzÐ. there is a missing link in the chain and a chain with a broken link is weak. In this long winded-way. 5). Criticisms of the Proto-Hadith Canon: al-DÁraqunÔnÐ’s Adjustment of the ÑaÎÐÎayn. MasÝÙd and that the narration that al-BukhÁrÐ included in the ÑaÎÐÎ does not have the strongest chain (isnÁd v. pp. 69 Most important. 1-37. 68 This then renders the chain of the narration broken i. ÍadÐth are judged by their most correct and authentic chain whereas the chains are judged by their weakest narrators.e. TahdhÐb al-KamÁl. Journal of Islamic Studies. entry 3051. The most correct chain of this ÎadÐth is broken. 9 and 16) who died when AbÙ ÝUbayda was seven years old. 14:62. Maktabat el-Shamela). and what does al-TirmidhÐ want to prove from this?’ We believe that what al-TirmidhÐ tries to establish here is that the most historically correct narration is weak and defected ( isnÁd v. The problem with this is that AbÙ ÝUbayda does not remember hearing any ÍadÐth from his father Ibn MasÝÙd (para. Al-TirmidhÐ finds flaws in the most correct narration because in it we find AbÙ IsÎÁq narrating from AbÙ ÝUbayda from Ibn MasÝÙd. For a discussion on this see Brown. ‘What is the purpose of such intense isnÁd analysis. (2004).Muhammad Mansur Ali Draft 2 Figure 2: IsnÁd of the ÍadÐth of ÝAbd AllÁh b. MasÝÙd One may ask. this ÎadÐth is weaker than the previous ÎadÐth where the Prophet commands the use of a minimum of three stones. 1) due to a missing link between AbÙ ÝUbayda and ÝAbd AllÁh b. (digital copy. 20 . hence the ÎadÐth is weak. This questions how far al-BukhÁrÐ adhered to the critical standards that he has stipulated in his ÑaÎÐÎ.
.]. 1997). Zuhayr’s narration has been attested by YÙsuf b. See Ibn Íajar al-ÝAsqalÁnÐ. (Riyad: Darusslam Publications. cit. This later became an independent study in ÍadÐth science known as fiqh al-BukharÐ fÐ ÔarÁjimihÐ (the jurisprudence of al-BukhÁrÐ in his chapter headings). a grandson of AbÙ IsÎÁq al-SabÐÝÐ. for a discussion on the chapter headings of alBukhÁrÐ. 21 . he tells his readers that he was aware of them. Second isnÁd: IbrÁhÐm b. 72 See the article by Vardit Tokatly. al-Aswad from his father who reported ÝAbd AllÁh b. ‘Why would al-TirmidhÐ be happy to include defective ÍadÐth in his book?’ Is it not the aspiration of all authors to include only authentic materials in their works? 71 The answer to this is that al-TirmidhÐ was using the defective ÍadÐth to his advantage.. These chapter headings served more as a hermeneutical device to interpret ÍadÐth according to his understanding than t itles for the beginning of new chapters. pp. However.). whereas in al-TirmidhÐ’s isnÁd there is no mention that AbÙ IsÎÁq heard from ÝAbd al-RaÎmÁn. 508-10. IsÎÁq.Muhammad Mansur Ali Draft 2 opinion in the issue and to reject the ÍanafÐ view. MasÝÙd saying [. such as the MawÃÙÝÁt of Ibn al-JawzÐ and al-ÂuÝafÁÞ of Ibn ÝAdÐ. Al-BukhÁrÐ’s isnÁd (al-TirmidhÐ’s isnÁd v. Hady al-SÁrÐ Muqaddima FatÎ al-BÁrÐ . Ibn Íajar says that this isnÁd strand is more superior than that of al-TirmidhÐ because in this isnÁd AbÙ IsÎÁq acknowledges that he also heard this ÎadÐth from AbÙ ÝUbayda. 92. by pointing out the defecst in ÍadÐth. 5) is as follows: AbÙ NuÝaym – Zuhayr – AbÙ IsÎÁq who said ‘it was not AbÙ ÝUbayda who mentioned this ÎadÐth to me but ÝAbd al-RaÎmÁn b. Al-TirmidhÐ’s teacher al-BukhÁrÐ read into ÍadÐth by employing chapter headings.. “The AÝlÁm al-ÍadÐth of al-KhaÔÔÁbÐ: A Commentary on al-BukhÁrÐ’s ÑaÎÐÎ or a Polemical Treatise?” Studia Islamica.. pp. The one question that comes to mind is. This was only possible because he used Ýilal as a methodological tool to include or exclude practice. It is a common trait of ÍadÐth scholars to foist their own views without saying too much. Also in this isnÁd.]. 70 Conclusion In conclusion. The Ýilal functioned a s a hermeneutical tool in manipulating the boundaries of ÍadÐth to conform to the practice of the scholars of ÍadÐth. 71 Unless the focus of the collection is to just include defected ÍadÐth for the sake of letting others know that they are defected. 70 It should be mentioned here that all the scholars that came post Ibn al-ÑalÁÎ defended al-BukhÁrÐ’s position by showing that in reality al-BukhÁrÐ’s isnÁd is the strongest. 72 In this article I have presented yet one more example of how traditional scholars of ÍadÐth displayed a level of ingenuity even though they are only working with names and dates.(2001). 53-91. we can say that al-TirmidhÐ purposely lowered his standards so that he was able to include defective ÍadÐth in the Sunan. YÙsuf from his father from AbÙ IsÎÁq who said ‘ÝAbd al-RaÎmÁn reported to me (ÎaddathanÐ )[. al-TirmidhÐ is also aware of this isnÁd and quotes it in his KitÁb al-ÝIlalal-KabÐr (op.
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