Important: Notice regarding the Obligation of Confirming the Strength of Ahadith – From a book of Sheikh Sulayman al Alwan

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Presents: (5)

Short points extracted from:

A very important book of the Muhaddith Sulayman al Alwan (May Allah protect him)

“Notice Regarding the Obligation of Confirming (the strength of) Ahadith and the Ruling on Acting upon Da’eef (weak) Ahadith”

Very important but neglected issues covered. From them:

1)       The one who says “The Prophet said….”while he does not know of the narrations strength is feared to be from the generality of liars upon the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam.

06 October 2013

 

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Short points extracted from:

Notice regarding the obligation of confirming (the strength of) Ahadith and the ruling on acting upon Da’eef (weak) Ahadith.

Written by al-Muhaddith Sulayman al-Alwan (May Allah protect him)

Due to the great importance of the booklet and my inability to produce a complete translation of the entire book, I have decided to note down the important beneficial points of the book for the English reader as this is a serious topic which is most often dealt with very much carelessness and only a few works exists in English about this topic.

Note that any footnote is my own words and not that of Sheikh al-Alwan.

Abu Dujanah Al Maaldifi

 

Introduction

1)      The Sheikh opens the book by the Khutba al-Haajat.

2)      The Sheikh says one of the things which causes sadness and grief is the widespread trend of laxness (too much ease) in narrating Hadith and abandoning the confirming of its strength amongst many scholars, students of knowledge, preachers and many others

3)      The Sheikh says we hear very often from many preachers – let alone the others – Ahadith which are Maudu’ (fabricated) or Da’eef Jiddan (very weak), yet they attribute it to the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam as “The Prophet said……” or “due to the saying of the Prophet…….”or by what is similar to those words. This is testimony upon the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam without any knowledge. This is establishing without evidence. And the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam said:

“من كذب علي متعمدا، فاليتبوأ مقعده من النار”

Meaning: “Whoever lies upon me intentionally then let him take his seat in the Hell fire”.

 

4)      Sheikh says that due to this being repeated over and over again by the preachers, Maudu and Da’eef Ahadith spread amongst the general public. Allah ordered us to confirm and verify the news which spreads between the people, so what then about the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam whose words and actions are legislation?

5)      Sheikh says that some others from these preachers would attribute a Hadith to the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam without knowing its status or who narrated it. And yet if you were to inquire and question him about its strength or who narrated it, the first thing he would say is: “not knowing the strength of it will do no harm as this is from the Fada’il al Aumaal.”[1] After expressing astonishment, the Sheikh brings the words of Allah:

آللَّهُ أَذِنَ لَكُمْ ۖ أَمْ عَلَى اللَّهِ تَفْتَرُونَ

Meaning: “Has Allah permitted you [to do so], or do you invent [something] about Allah?”

The Sheikh then says that even if it was from Fada’il al Aumaal, it is not permissible to mention Maudu (fabricated) narrations except that it be mentioned that it is Maudu and not authentic from the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam. (Trans. Note: So the preacher here does not even know whether it is Da’eef or Maudu)

6)      And the Sheikh says that due to this laxness (ease), the people of bid’a (innovation) have been able to spread their innovations under the pretext of “they are Ahadith of Fada’il (virtues) and there is no harm in acting upon them” forgetting that by this they are legislating for people as they will act upon these and convey these to others.

7)      And for this reason says the Sheikh that he felt to write this Risalat about the obligation of confirming the strength of Ahadith and the ruling on acting upon Da’eef Ahadith regarding Fada’il al-Aumaal, as an instruction for the beginner, a notification for the one higher than that, an advice for the Ummah and a discharging of the obligation.   [The Sheikh then makes a Dua and ends the introduction]

First Chapter

 

8)      The Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam said:

من كذب علي متعمدا، فاليتبوأ مقعده من النار

Meaning: “Whoever lies upon me intentionally then let him take his seat in the Hell fire.”

This is a Mutawatir narration and was narrated by al-Bukhari, Muslim and others from various companions.

9)      The Sheikh says that the following are included in lying upon the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam: Mentioning Da’eef Ahadith and saying that the Prophet said it. For example: “The Prophet said:….”or what is similar to that. The Sheikh says that this is not permissible as it is not proven that the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam said it. Rather what is obligatory upon you to say is that “it has been narrated” or something similar to those words. But when the greatness of Allah and the greatness of His Messenger have been diminished in the hearts, it has become easy to attribute Da’eef Jiddan (very weak) and Maudu (fabricated) Ahadith to the Prophet.

10)   And Sheikhul Islam Ibn Thaymiyya Rahimahullah said: “And from what Allah prohibited is that a man says about Allah what he does not know. For example, narrating from Allah and His Messenger Ahadith which the person does not know of its strength, but attributes it to them.” (Majmu al Fatawa 3/425)

11)   So Sheikh al-Alwan says that if the person who narrates Hadith which he does not know of its strength, is from the people who say about Allah what they do not know, then what about the ones who do know it is not from the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam? And in addition to that, it might even be in contradiction to the Sahih Ahadith.  So what about his condition?

12)   Al-Allamat Ibn al-Qayyim said: “Similarly it is not permissible to say “the Prophet said” for Ahadith which he does not know of its strength or the trustworthiness of its narrators. But rather people, if they see any Hadith in a book, they say “due to the saying of the Prophet” or “upon us is the statement of the Prophet.” This is a great danger and testimony upon the Prophet without knowledge.” (Ahkam ahl al-Dhimmath 1/20)

13)   And the Sheikh al-Mujaddid Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab Rahimahullah said: “It is not fitting that a person attributes to the Messenger sallallahu alayhi wasallam Ahadith which he does not know of its strength. This is speaking without knowledge.” (Al-Durar al-Saniyya 1/68)

14)   Sheikh al-Alwan says that what is Wajib upon every student of knowledge and preacher is to confirm the strength of the narration which he wants to attribute to the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam and research for it in the books of the scholars for they have left for us a great deal of knowledge. That is especially in the field of knowledge of Hadith where they have written (various) books on the authentic and the weak.

15)   The Sheikh says that the companions used to confirm Ahadith when narrating from the Messenger sallallahu alayhi wasallam to the extent some of them left clear attribution to him due to fear and caution.

16)   The Sheikh brings a narration from Bukhari and Muslim where Umar ibn al-Khattab did not accept the words of Abu Musa al-Ash’ary (radiallahu anhuma) who said that the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam said such and such until he (Umar) checked the authenticity of the narration.  This is the narration: (translated)

Abu Musa asked Umar to admit him but he was not admitted as ‘Umar was busy, so Abu Musa went back. When ‘Umar finished his job he said, “Didn’t I hear the voice of ‘Abdullah bin Qais? Let him come in.” ‘Umar was told that he had left. So, he sent for him and on his arrival, he (Abu Musa) said, “We were ordered to do so (i.e. to leave if not admitted after asking permission thrice). ‘Umar told him, “Bring witness in proof of your statement.” Abu Musa went to the Ansar’s meeting places and asked them. They said, “None amongst us will give this witness except the youngest of us, Abu Said Al-Khudri. Abu Musa then took Abu Said Al-Khudri (to ‘Umar) and ‘Umar said, surprisingly, “Has this order of Allah’s Apostle been hidden from me?” (Then he added), “I used to be busy trading in markets.”

And in some narrations of Muslim, Umar said: (translated) “I had heard something (in this connection), but I wished it to be established (as an undeniable fact).”

17)   The Sheikh says that the preachers should take a lesson in the above narration in regards to checking and confirming the strength of narrations such that it is guaranteed to be free from lying upon the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam.

Second Chapter

 

18)   The Sheikh says that the greatest factor for the spreading of Maudu Ahadith is the abandoning of confirming the strength.

19)   The Sheikh says that Bukhari and others narrated a wonderful Hadith in preventing people from spreading Ahadith which are fabricated or that which they do not know of its strength. The Hadith starts with informing what the greatest lies are and says

أو يقول على رسول الله ما لم يقل

Meaning: “Or saying that the Prophet said, what he did not say.”

 

20)   Then the Sheikh mentions some sayings of the Salaf that lying upon the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam is from the major sins and from Kufr which expels one from the religion. After mentioning them, the Sheikh says that it is clear that it is a major sin, but saying that it is Kufr needs to be further looked into. As for the one who lies believing it to be Halal, then the Sheikh says that this is Kufr by agreement.

21)   Imam al-Suyuti Rahimahullah said: “The scholars of Hadith have concluded that it is not permissible to narrate Maudu Hadith (fabricated Hadith) in any sense, except accompanied with a clear statement (bayan) indicating its position.”

22)   And the Imam narrates from Daraqutni that he said: “The Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam has threatened with Hell fire the one who lies upon him right after he ordered to narrate from him.[2]” From that there is a daleel (evidence) that the order to narrate is in regards to narrating what is Sahih and truth contrary to the weak and false. (And it proves that the order to narrate is) not an order to narrate or convey everything that has been narrated about him as the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam said:

كفى بالمرء إثما أن يحدث بكل ما سمع

Meaning: “It is enough of a sin for a person to narrate everything he hears.” (narrated by Muslim.)

 So the one who narrates everything what he hears attributed to the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam, without differentiating between the Sahih and the weak, the truth and the false, has fallen into sin and it is feared that he enters into the generality of liars upon the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam. As the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam judged such people to be from them in his statement:

من روى عني حديثا يرى أنه كذب، فهو أحد الكاذبين

Meaning: “whoever narrates from me a Hadith which he thinks to be a lie, then he is one of the liars.” (narrated by Imam Muslim in the Muqaddimat of his Sahih)

 So the apparent meaning of the Hadith proves that whoever narrates from the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam a Hadith which he is doubtful about it being authentic or inauthentic, will be like one of the liars. This is because the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam said:

من روى عني حديثا يرى أنه كذب

Meaning: whoever narrates from me a Hadith which he thinks to be a lie….”

and he did not say that he narrates it while he is sure that it is a lie. And in order to guard from this, the rightly guided caliphs and the chosen companions would be careful of excessive narrating from the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam and would be strict in that. From them: Abu Bakur, Umar, Uthman, Ali, Talhat, Zubayr, Abdur-Rahman bin Auf, Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas, Abdullah bin Mas’ud, Miqdad bin al-Aswad, Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, Thawban, Zayd bin Arqam, Anas bin Malik, Mu’awiyat bin Abi Sufyan, Imran bin Husein, Abu Hurayra, Abdullah bin Umar, Abdullah bin Abbas, Abu al-Darda, Abu Qatada, Suhayb, Qardat bin Ka’b and others.”

23)   After mentioning the above, Daraqutni said regarding his time: “And I looked at the students of knowledge and the writers of Hadith, and I found them to be in opposition to what the aforementioned Imams were upon. That is except the ones whom Allah gave Tawfiq to what is correct.”

24)   Sheikh al-Alwan mentions that are people who adds wording to Ahadith of zikr and they say that there is nothing wrong with is as long as the meaning is Sahih. The Sheikh says that this a disaster and such people are deserving of a punishment which would deter them from such statements upon Allah and his Messenger which they say without knowledge.

25)   Tirmizi narrated that a man sneezed in the presence of Ibn Umar and said (trans.) “Praise be to Allah and Salam be to the Messenger of Allah” Ibn Umar said that it is not the way the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam taught them and said (trans.) “Rather he taught us to say “Praise be to Allah in all circumstances.”

26)   And the Sheikh says that the Azkar (plural of Zikr) are based upon Tawqifiyya (stopping upto where it was narrated) and it is not permissible to add to it or deduct anything from it as it is an innovation, deviance and emendation of the Shar’ (legislation.)

Third Chapter

 

27)   The Sheikh says that the Companions and the ones after them would guard themselves against narrating excessive or too much from the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam due to fear of forgetting and falling into the threat which was promised.

28)   And the Sheikh brings many narrations including a narration of Abdullah bin Zubayr in Sahih al Bukhari where Abdullah was asked why he does not narrate from the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam as much as many others. And he replied that he never parted from him but he heard the Messenger sallallahu alayhi wasallam say:

من كذب علي فاليتبوأ مقعده من النار

Meaning: “whoever lies upon me then let him take his seat in hell fire.”

 And the Sheikh brings many other narrations which show the fear they had in regards to narrating and narrations from the scholars that if one were to narrate Hadith which he has no knowledge of its strength, then he becomes sinful by this even if the Hadith turns out to be Sahih as he has spoken about that he has knowledge of.

29)   And the Sheikh brings a narration which Ibn Majah narrated from a Sahih chain of narrators from Muhammad bin Sirin that he said: (trans.) “If Anas would narrate from the Messenger of Allah a Hadith, would say at the ending:

أو كما قال رسول الله

Meaning: “or as what the Messenger of Allah said”

 

30)   The Sheikh says that it is Wajib upon every scholar, preacher or etc that he does not narrate except that which he knows its references and strength. Or else against him there is great amount of threats authentic from the Prophet in forbiddance of lying against him. And a group of Salaf concluded that upon those who narrate false Ahadith is beating and imprisonment.

(In the fourth chapter, the Sheikh mentions various narrations which are weak and explain why they are weak. I did not include them in this file.)

Fifth Chapter

 

31)   The Sheikh stresses that more than one scholar of Hadith have stated that it is not said in regards to Da’eef Hadith “The Prophet said..” or other such decisive words. Rather it has to be said “It is narrated that the Prophet said…” or words similar to that.

32)   And then the Sheikh notifies that words similar to that are not said for the Ahadith which are Sahih. Rather what has to be said is “The Prophet said…” or “The Prophet did….” or “The Prophet informed…” or words similar to that for the Sahih or Hasan Hadith.

33)   The Sheikh says that the words of the Companions or those who were after them are also dealt in the same manner.

34)   Then the Sheikh says that many of the scholars and students of knowledge – let alone others – narrate the Sahih Hadith in a decisive wording and narrate the Sahih Hadith in a wording of weakness (trans. Note: such as “it is narrated that the prophet said…”) So the Sheikh says that it is important that they comply with the knowledge based terminologies (al-mustalahat al-ilmiyya)

Sixth Chapter

 

35)   The Sheikh mentions that the correct opinion is that Da’eef Hadith are not acted upon in regards to Aqida or Ahkam (rulings.) And mentions that this is the majority opinion.

36)   And the Sheikh says that if this was allowed, then this would open the door way for a great amount of evil which only Allah knows the extent.  And the innovators and deviants would then be able to justify their innovation and deviance with the Da’eef narrations.

37)   The Sheikh mentions that in regards to acting upon Da’eef narrations in regards to Fada’il al-Aumaal, [3] there are three opinions.

38)   There are those who allowed it completely. This is the majority opinion from them Imam Ahmed according to one narration from him from the two which was narrated.

39)   Another group forbade it completely from them Imam Muslim and others.

40)   Another group allowed it under conditions.


[1] Lit: virtues of actions.

[2] Daraqutni Rahimahullah is referring to the Hadith narrated by Imam Muslim that the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam said:

حدثوا عني ولا حرج، ومن كذب علي فاليتبوأ مقعده من النار

Meaning: “narrate from me there is no harm in that. Whoever lies upon me then let him take his seat in hell fire.”

[3] Ahadith of Fada’il al-Aumaal talks about the virtues of certain actions. But these actions themselves need to be proven by authentically in firstly. (That is considering that it is allowed to act upon Da’eef narrations of Fada’il al-Aumaal)

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