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Kamis, 04 Maret 2010

What is Hadith Terminology

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Key Arabic Words Terminology:
“Hadith” refers to one single Prophetic Saying, with and without its transmitters.
“Hadith” refers also to the Science of Prophetic Sayings itself.
“Ahadith” refers to more than two “Hadith”, with and without its transmitters.
“Hadithan” refers to two “Hadith”
Collection 1: see layout picture, Arabic introduction and concordances

Managed by Suyuti, Nabahani, Ghumari, Albani, and sealed and finalized by Darwish. Yet to be transmitted by (all of you who are interested to be young Muhaddiths), members of Muhammad.com

14,587 Ahadith broken down as follow:
8,266 authentic (this is over 70% of all authentic Hadith)
4,629 weak (but not false, so it is practiced)
27 of which are Mawkouf (standby)
1,806 false (so it is not practiced)

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What is Hadith Terminology?

The Terminology of the Science of Prophetic Quotation

1 Preface

I have had great pleasure in reviewing this excellent book containing some of the terminology of Hadith. It demonstrates to the western society a foundation of the science (Al Hadith) which they are unaccustomed.

The authenticity of this science is superlative, especially when compared to methods devised and adopted by western universities.

Grand Muhaddith
Professor Abdullah bin As-Seddiq Al-Ghumari
Azhar Mosque

2 Introduction

In the religious literature of Islam, Prophetic Quotations (Hadith) and Prophetic Ways (Sunnah) are two terms which are considered synonymous with each other. There is however a slight difference between them. The word “Sunnah” means precedent and custom. The technical sense implies both the actions and practices of the Holy Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, only. Sunnah therefore is a concrete implementation of the Will of Allah in the form of the Holy Prophet Muhammad’s deeds.

The word “Hadith” originally means a piece of news, a tale, a story or a report relating to a present or past event. In its technical sense, it stands for the report of the words and deeds, approval or disapproval of the Holy Prophet. It is comprised of two parts: the chain of transmission (Sanad) and the text (Matn).

In this book it is our intention, Allah willing, to study the terminology of Prophetic Quotations (Hadith), this is not an easy task as the majority of references are in Arabic.

3 Towards the Understanding of Hadith Terminology

We would like to begin this book by giving you examples of the authenticity of Prophetic Quotations (Hadith).

It should be clearly noted that the number of Hadith is counted on the basis of the chain of transmissions and not on the basis of the text. It is essential to make this point clear right at the beginning as there is considerable ignorance concerning this fact which has given rise to serious misgivings under which so many orientalists and westernized Muslims labor.

When we say that Imam Muslim, may Allah have mercy upon him, collected three hundred thousand Prophetic Quotations (Hadith) and included only four thousand in his compilation, this does not mean that he rejected the rest of the Prophetic Quotations (Hadith) deeming them to be unreliable. What it means is that the words and deeds of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, praise and peace be upon him, were transmitted to Imam Muslim through numerous chains of transmissions that ran into hundreds of thousands and from these he selected four thousand chains. He selected four thousand Ahadith covering the subjects which he included in his book, examples of which include fasting, prayer, et cetera, leaving many sound Prophetic Quotations (Hadith) out because he had sufficient material in other sound Hadith (s). His policy was not to gather the Prophetic Quotations (Hadith) which had been duplicated in other chains of transmission. At the same time some of the chains, although they were sound, did not meet either his policy or condition for inclusion in his book.

This is the beauty of the strength that has protected and protects the science of Hadith in whish are found many levels for the classification of the sound Hadith. Also, the policy of Imam Muslim was to collect only the top level Hadith (s) which were readily available to him. Again, many people have misunderstood this fact thinking that the reason he rejected the other Ahadith was because they were unsound. This is not the case.

The Imams that followed him had different plans for choosing their selections and selected other transmissions from the sound Prophetic Quotations (Hadith) which had not been included in Imam Muslim’s book.

The text (Matn) which was transmitted through one hundred chains (Sanad), is in Hadith literature treated as one hundred traditions. For instance, the text of the first Prophet Quotations (Hadith) in Bukhari (“Deeds are judged by the intention”) is counted as a selection of 1 out of 700 Hadith as it was transmitted through such a large number of different chains (Sanads).

The methods of terminology showing the authenticity of Prophetic Quotations (Hadith) were devised by the imams of this science which was hitherto unknown before the advent of Islam in the 7th century of the Christian era. This science was continuously implemented by its highly skilled imams up until the time of the 12th century at which time every piece of knowledge or information that had been transmitted was recorded and classified according to these uniquely devised methods. Such methods of transmission to protect the sources of any religion had never occurred in the history of mankind.

It is interesting to reflect that Europe was at this time still in the Dark Ages, peasants were prohibited from learning and suppressed by their rulers. In Arabia, the ordinary man wishing to learn more about any science, be it religious or otherwise would go to the imams and learn at no cost. The imams were of mixed races, the Arab having no superiority over the others because the revelations came for all humanity regardless of nationality, status, or color. The fact that the Holy Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, was an Arab did not favor the Arabs with any superiority over the rest of the Muslims. Learning was for those who wished to learn not just for the privileged class.

4 The Chains of Transmission

The breakdown of the generations from the time of the Holy Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, right up until now are the chains of transmitters of the Islamic Sciences which are traced directly to the Holy Prophet himself. The transmission of the Prophetic Quotations (Hadith) were handed down either by word of mouth or written down throughout the generations and these chains consist of thousands of both learned men and women.

According to the life span of the people in the chain, the numbers of links in the chain up to the Holy Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, vary. In some where a long life has prevailed you find for example, the chain contains only thirty names, in another you may find forty. The last link in the chain being alive today and it is he who bears the source of Islamic knowledge.

Let us start with the chains from the beginning to show the recorded Ahadith (in writing) and their transmission during the lifetime of the Holy Prophet, praise and peace be upon him.

The writing of the Prophetic Quotations (Hadith) actually started during the lifetime of the Holy Prophet, praise and peace be upon him. Abdullah son of Amr, a companion, was the first to write down the Prophetic Quotations. He compiled a book called “As-Saadiqah” (Ibn Saad vol. 2, page 125) which contains the Ahadith that he himself had heard. Similarly, Imam Ali, may Allah honor his face, compiled a large number of Ahadith (Sahih Bukhari, vol. 2 page 1084), Abdullah son of Abbas, another companions, made a collection (Tirmithi Kitab Ul’ilal, page 691). Jafir, son of Abdullah’s collection was used by the ‘Tabai’ Wahab (Tahzeeb, vol. 1, page 316) and those of Abu Hurairah, by Hammam son of Munabbeh were later reproduced in the books of Prophetic Quotations (Hadith) of Sahifa of Hammam, may Allah be pleased with all the companions.

Abdullah son of Amr says (ref. Tahawi, vol. 11, page 384) that Abu Hurairah used to record the Prophetic Quotations and then memorize them. The writing of Hadith (s) took place after the permission of the Holy Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, had been given. Abdullah son of Amr mentioned (ref. Fat-h-Al Bari, vol. 1, page 148) that Abu Hurairah had shown this collection to Abdullah son of Amr. For his own part, Abdullah son of Amr said (ref. Abu Dawud, vol. 1, page 157) that he used to write down what he heard from the Holy Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, but when some of the believers of the Koraysh tribe came to know about it, they tried to dissuade him from doing so on the grounds that sometimes the Holy Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, was pleased and at other times he did not encourage (If the Hadith’s writer was involved in writing the Koran). When the matter was referred to the Holy Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, he pointed to his mouth and said: “By Allah, in no state can anything untrue or unjust come out of it.” Rafey son of Khadij said (ref. Kanzul-Ammal vol. 11 page 223) that he was permitted by the Holy Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, to record his sayings. Likewise, Abdullah son of Masud recorded that which he heard from the Prophet, and his record was shown to the people by his son Abdul Rahman. The Prophetic Quotations (Hadith) quoted by yet another companion, Anas, were written down by his student Aban (ref. Darmi, page 68). The gathering of these scattered Hadith and those people who had memorized was initiated by the “Tabieen”, the people who were either the immediate disciples of the companions or persons living in the same age as the companions and the Holy Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, but had not been blessed to meet him. Among them were men of learning and intelligence, all pious, full of integrity, honesty, and fearing Allah; it was they who started the sacred task of collecting the Prophetic Quotations.

To name but a few: Muhammad son of Shahab Zuhr, Hesham son of Urawa, Kais son of Abi Hazam, Ata son of Abi Raba, and Said son of Jubair, may Allah be pleased with them, went from door to door to meet the narrators of the Prophetic Quotations and collected Ahadith numbering approximately three hundred thousand, where each Hadith was recorded and counted with its transmission chains for each repetition. Over two hundred thousand were repetitions because the same Prophetic Quotations had been repeated by many. A number of the interviewed narrated Hadith which were not strong in their authenticity, all these narrations were recorded in the book “Tahzeeb of Zuhri”.

The first of those well-known and authentic books is “Muwatta” which was compiled by Imam Malik (born 93 A.H. – died 120 A.H. in Medina). Imam Malik mentioned the names of twenty-five Tabieen from whom he had heard Prophetic Quotations, and that they lived in Medina during his life time. The last of the Tabieen died in 145 A.H.

The “Muwatta” was read to the Tabieen and copies were sent to the various Islamic regions. Approximately one thousand people read it including Shah Abdul Aziz Dehlavi and Busanul Muhaddisin. Imam Suyuti, in the forward of his book “Tanqir-ul-Hawalik” mentions the names of fifty scholars who studied the work with Imam Malik himself and then quoted him in their own books.

Many well known Islamic scholars such as Imam Bukhari (died 256 A.H.), Imam Muslim (died 261 A.H.), Imam Tirmithi (died 279 A.H.), Imam Ahmad son of Hanbal (died 241 A.H.), Imam Shafii (died 204 A.H.), Imam Abu Dawud (died 275 A.H.), Imam Nisai (died 303 A.H.), Imam Ibn Maja (died 273 A.H.), Darimy (died 255 A.H.), Darqutni (died 350 A.H.), Baihaqi (died 456 A.H.), and Razin (died 540 A.H.), as well as others, may Allah be pleased with them, organized the Prophetic Quotations (Hadith) into subject order at the same time recording their chains of deliverance. The methods employed were such that no scholar anywhere in the world, or in any period of history has ever attempted. The chain of transmitters of the Prophetic Quotations were verified even though in some cases it necessitated traveling to other countries. The piety, veracity, acumen, memory, and intelligence of the reporters was carefully examined.

If any link was found untrustworthy, then the Hadith was rejected, if a link was found to be missing but the Hadith stood up to the other testes it was described as being weak or poor. The result of theses laborious and painstaking investigations were that salient details of the lives of approximately 13,000 companions of the Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, and transmitters’ names were recorded and handed down for posterity.

Alongside the verification of the transmitters, critical tests were applied to examine the veracity of the Hadith in the light of the Holy Koran and authentic Ahadith, together with intelligence. Those Ahadith which failed to meet the standard were rejected or put to one side. Later, these Hadith were recorded separately so that there would be no reason to doubt which were authentic and which were not. It was indeed a great task, coupled with religious zeal and fervor together with dedication and piety on the part of the scholars. Imam Bukhari alone devoted sixteen years of his life to compile his great work.

It was from theses enormous works that Imam Abu Muhammad Hussain Baghawi (died 516 A.H.) selected 4,439 Prophetic Quotations for his book “Masabeeh-ul-Sunnah”. He divided the books into chapters following the style in which the books of jurisprudence had been written. Under each heading he grouped the Hadith from Bukhari and Muslim in one section and included others such as Abu Dawud and in another section Tirmithi, and did not mention the names of the transmitters nor did he give the names of references to the Books of Hadith. In the eighth century Hijrah, the learned scholar Waliuddin Al Khatib-ul-Umri compiled it afresh adding a large number of Hadith which had been omitted in its earlier compilation making the total of 6,285 Hadith. This collection of Hadith was given the title of “Mishat-ul-Masabeeh” and soon acquired great reputation and fame. The book contains a selection of Hadith taken from the famous “Sihah Sitta” or books of Hadith by Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmithi , Nisai, Abu Dawud, Ibn Maja, and others such as Musnad Ahmad, Musnad Razin, and Shaub-ul-Imam by Baihaqi, et cetera. This book serves as a handbook of guidance for all of us, in every walk of life.

“Jami1-ul-Usool” is another book of note which goes along with “Mishat-ul-Masabeeh”.

However, the last and best Hadith effort is the collection of Ghumari and Darwish totaling 8,266 Authentic Hadith, called “Encyclopedia of Bukhari and Muslim”. It is mentioned below, compiled in alphabetical order, in subjects, and in a concordance with the Koran. It concludes the first phase of the long awaited project of Hadith started by the first three generations and Suyuti.

The Hafiz Suyuti Grand Plan

Imam Suyuti collected 72 books, which are all the books on earth containing Hadith, into one book called “Al-Jami Al-Kabeer”. It contains 42,000 Hadith in alphabetical order, which was later arranged by subject by Al Mutaqi Al-Hindi in a book called “Kanz”. Al-Hindi then removed the repetition and compiled another book which was called “Muntakhab Kanz” containing about 32,000 Hadith.

Imam Suyuti selected 1,008 and 4,500 from the 42,000 and called them “Al-Jami Al-Saghir” and “Ziyada” respectfully, which were later compiled by Nabahani into one book called “Al-Fat-h Al-Kabeer” in alphabetical order.

The Wahabi Muhaddith Albani in tackling the first collection he produced it into small booklets, which later was printed together. He committed less than 150 errors in Arabic and more so in indexing. However having only less than 36 errors in Hadith rating, which later were corrected in the next mention work by his puperior non-wahabi Muhadith Al Ghumari.

The Grand Muhaddith Abdullah ben Siddique Al-Ghumari lead his student Ahmad Darwish to produce the best collection and called it “Rad el-Itibar” which is available on our websites in the corner for young Muhadiths.

At the moment all the Ahadith on earth are classified into 3 collections:

Collection 1: see layout picture, Arabic introduction and concordances

Managed by Suyuti, Nabahani, Ghumari, Albani, and sealed and finalized by Darwish. Transmitted by (all of you who are interested to be young Muhaddiths), members of Muhammad.com

14,587 Ahadith broken down as follow:
8,266 authentic (this is over 70% of all authentic Hadith)
4,629 weak (but not false, so it is practiced)
27 of which are Mawkouf (standby)
1,806 false (so it is not practiced)

The above collection is extracted from 30-72 books (including Bukhari and Muslim) and with world consensus of all scholars of Ahadith, even Albani of the Wahabi sect. Albani differs in 26 Hadith, where he was overruled. Due to the fact that he either judged some based on his Wahabi inclinations or because he learned the science from books and not transmitters his errors totaled 107.

At Muhammad.com, you can download the 8,266 in Arabic in one click. It includes a general ijazah, or traditional authentic permission from Muhaddith Ahmad Darwish, the servant of Hadith.

Also, it is worth noting that this collection is about equal in number to “Jama Al Masool” and “Mishkat al Musabeeh” combined, being short only 289 Ahadith.

This collection is in a very accurate mechanical, alphabetic order which corrected Albani’s inconsistent numerical ordering. Also, there is a section that corrects Albani in the 107 places of error. We kept to the etiquette of the scholars of Hadith and handled his Hadith issues only, keeping away from his Wahabi tendencies.

Also, this collection is in progress of being translated into contemporary English and all are given away free, as is the habit of all scholars of Hadith throughout time. We hope that the youth will revive the science of Hadith transmission by adhering to this collection.

Collection 2:
Managed by Suyuti, Mutaqi al-Hindi, Nabahani, Ghumari, and in progress of being sealed and finalized by Darwish and Ninowy.

Approximately 32,000 Hadith of Kanz without repetition, which includes the 14,587 above, leaving approximately 18,000 remaining to be finally researched. Pray that Sheikh Ahmad receives the success from Allah to be honored to serve it.

Collection 3:
Managed by Suyuti, Mutaqi al-Hindi superceded by both Collections 1 and 2 and kept for Hadith historical consideration.

46,624 Ahadith, prepared in alphabetical order by Suyuti. He extracted them from all Hadith books on earth, a total of 72 books, which with repetition comes to some 350,000 Ahadith. Mutakil Hindi later removed the repetition occurring in the 46,624 and arranged them in subjects, thereby reducing Collection 2, and thus superceding both Collections 1 and 2, rendering them for academic research only. Also worth noting is that production of Collections 1 and 2 were Suyuti’s intention before his passing. Therefore the scholars who finalized Collections 1 and 2 are true to the service of the Science of Prophetic Quotation according to Suyuti’s profound plan. Truly he was called the Sheikh of Sunnah, even by the Prophet in several visions.

The above 350,000 with repetitions spreading in all different directions of the world for the same exact Hadith text, reaching about 1 million.

This means that there are about 35,000 Ahadith trafficking among a million Hadith transmitters, where all are documented, guarded, and well known. The details are at such a level that if the Prophet said things in two ways, or if someone inserted a word, the very location and setting of the statement and who he said it to is known. And if it is falsified, they know who the liar who started it is and who reported it via him.

Verbal Transmission and Written Transmission
By the time of Baihaki (died 456 A.H.), every Hadith in a verbal form was written down in a well known book, so after him, no one could come up with a Hadith. Also, when they stamped the time, they knew where and when the transmitter was born and when he passed away.

And among the 100,000 companions the scholars of Hadith focuses on 13,000 companions and know the details of their entire lives and who received Hadith from them.

The significance of False Hadith
The Scholars of Hadith, starting with the companions of the Prophet and their children, were so ingenious in setting up a methodology to verify with witnesses that every Hadith reported second hand, not directly from the Prophet, is cornered (time stamping it at every stage of transmission, and constituting seven methodologies of delivering a Hadith from one person to another) and recorded including the integrity and biography of the transmitter and his relationship to the upstream and downstream transmissions.

This methodology was not only subjected to the good, honorable people, but also the liars. This indeed was an ingenious way to record every false statement ever said about the Prophet and also who said it, and entering it into dictionaries of Liars and dictionaries of false Ahadith. If they gathered everything about the false Hadith, imagine the authentic ones!

Methodology
So, our students of Hadith should focus on Hadith terminology and Collection 1. They do not have the authority to touch Collection 2 because they do not have the capability of the required professional judgment. In fact, there are only a handful of people on earth who can claim this authority.

The most current effort is found in www.Muhammad.com which is 8,266 authentic Hadith compiled by Ahmad Darwish As-Sheikh under the auspice of his Shaykh and the Grand Shaykh of Hadith in this century, the late Sayed Abdullah Ben Siddique al Ghumari.

5 The Characteristics of Those Bearing the Transmission of Hadith

The following lists the rules applied by the Masters of this Science for the purpose of dealing with the characteristics of those to whom the bearing of Hadith was entrusted.

They took into consideration the trustworthiness and piety of the narrators from the Holy Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, down to the current narrator. They did not accept any Hadith which was submitted unless they were fully satisfied that it came from the Holy Prophet Muhammad, praise and peace be upon him. To do this they applied such rules laid down below:

1. It must have been clearly mentioned that such and such a thing was said or done by the Holy Prophet, praise and peace be upon him.
2. The narrator stated that he was present or had heard the Hadith uttered by the Holy Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, or in the case of his being removed by distance of time and place, he had given a complete chain of narrators from the last link up to the Holy Prophet himself, praise and peace be upon him.
3. A Hadith leveling an accusation against a companion of the Holy Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, or Ahl-i-Bait (a member of the Prophet’s household) was rejected.
4. A Hadith having a non-Arabic style and inferior sense of words was rejected.
5. It must have been proved that he actually met each one of the chain of narrators from which he derived his information.
6. Proof that each of the narrators had received the Prophetic Quotation when they were old enough to understand the full importance of the quotation.
7. A quotation which was inconsistent with established historical facts was rejected.
8. The description of a tradition sanctioning a very severe punishment for the slightest fault or promising a high reward for a very small virtue was cause for rejection.
9. Each one of the narrators from the last person up to the Holy Prophet Muhammad, praise and peace be upon him, must have been by a person well known for his piety, virtue, and honesty.
10. Each one of the narrators must have been well known for his learning, so that he might safely be presumed to be competent both to understand the Hadith correctly and faithfully deliver to others what he had heard.
11. If a reporter narrated a Hadith which ought to have been known and acted upon by Muslims generally but was unknown, the reporter was alone in narrating it, it was discarded.
12. A saying which was contradictory to reason or a known principle of law was rejected
13. A quotation which was contradictory to the teaching of the Holy Koran was classified as being grounds for rejection.
14. A tradition contradicting the universally accepted sayings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, praise and peace be upon him, was rejected.

From the aforementioned, it is apparent that the Masters of the Science of Hadith approached the subject in various ways and developed it into a system of philosophy.

The narrators had certain qualifications which were known to the listeners. Not all the people collected the Ahadith and those who did would not be heard unless their good character had long been established. The following are some of the qualifications which the narrator of authentic Prophetic Quotations must possess.

The Masters of the Science said that these are the characteristics of the reliable chain of transmitters:

1. The name, familiar name, title, parentage, and occupation of a narrator must have been known together with date of birth and death.
2. The narrator must not have spoken falsely when relating any tradition from the Holy Prophet, praise and peace be upon him.
3. The narrator must not have been accused of any crime or known to be a liar.
4. He must not have made frequent mistakes or blundered.
5. The narrator must not have been careless in relating Hadith.
6. The narrator must not have been wicked in either words or deeds.
7. The narrator must not have held any peculiar religious view.
8. The narrator must not have had a bad memory.
9. The narrator must have examined the Hadith in detail in light of the Holy Koran.

In the case of spurious traditions, the Masters of Hadith recorded the following:

1. Whether it was invented by the narrator.
2. Whether it was borrowed from other people.
3. Whether it was based upon another doubtful Hadith.
4. Whether it was due to the narrator’s skepticism.
5. Whether it was due to ignorance on the part of a pious devotee.
6. Whether it was due to religious bigotry.
7. Whether it was to please the ruling classes, such as a king or an official.
8. Whether it was only for popularity.

In addition to these rules, the Masters went to great lengths to ascertain whether the narrator had only given the meaning of what he had heard or the actual words of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, praise and peace be upon him. Unless the narrator had been proved to be known for both learning and piety, the deviation was looked upon with suspicion and the Hadith rejected.

When Mecca peacefully surrendered to Prophet Muhammad, praise and peace be upon him, he had approximately ten thousand companions. As-Suyuti mentioned in one of his alphabetically arranged books concerning the biographies of twelve thousand companions of Prophet Muhammad, praise and peace be upon him, that when he left this world, he left behind him approximately one hundred and fourteen thousand companions.

In this science, we are taught that Imam Malik (who taught in the second century, died 179 A.H., 795 Christian Era at the age of 85) taught his book of Hadith “Muwatta” to no less than one thousand students. Consequently the numbers of the second and third generations of transmitters increased. At the same time the history of the lives of the transmitters increased and were known then recorded in the Science of Asma ur Rijal (the Lives of the Transmitters). In this way, both the true and false narrators became known and recorded. The false narrators were rejected with their work and verified transmitters were protected by the reinforcement of this science.

6 Classification of Prophetic Quotations (Hadith)

1. Mutawatir (Continuous) – This is a tradition reported by a large number of people at different times, so as to make it impossible for any corruption to permeate.
2. Sahih (Sound) – This title is given to the utterly flawless transmitted Hadith. There is neither weakness in regard to the chain of transmission (Sanad) nor in the text (Matn), nor is there any contradiction in the established belief in the Holy Koran.
3. Hasan (Approved) – This is similar to Sahih tradition except for the fact that some of its narrators have been found to have a defective memory when compared to the narrators of Sahih Hadith.
4. Ghareeb (Rare) – The Hadith in the chain of transmission for which the number of narrators is reduced to one at any stage is known as a Ghareeb Hadith. Imam Tirmithi used two special terms regarding both the Hasan and Gharib Ahadith expanding their categorization which are:
a. Hasan Sahih – A Hasan Sahih Hadith is one which has a higher degree of authenticity than that of Hasan, but at the same time its degree of authenticity is somewhat lesser than that of Sahih.
b. Hasan Sahih Gharib – A Hasan Sahih Hadith is at times qualified by the word Gharib when the link in transmission is joined to another at a certain point by one transmitter only. It is of course Hasan in respect to its soundness and Gharib only in regard to its chain of transmission.
5. Mashhur (Well Known) – This is a tradition which has been handed down by at least three different reliable authorities, or according to another definition, a tradition which, although widely spread later, was originally transmitted by one person in the first generation.
6. Muttasil or Mawsol (Joined) – This is a tradition which has successive narrators without any missing link, irrespective of the fact of whether it is traceable directly to the Holy Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, or to one of his companions, may Allah be pleased with them.
7. Marfu’ (Traced Directly) – This is a Hadith which is not as strong as the one in the previous classification and is traced directly to the Holy Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, and has more characteristics.
8. Mursal (Forwarded) – If a companion of the Holy Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, is found to be missing from the chain of transmission and one of the Tabieen (successors of the companions) transmits it, then the Hadith is called Mursal.
9. Maukuf (Suspended) – Maukuf is a Hadith in which the companion does not make the fact explicitly clear that he is narrating the Hadith of the Holy Prophet, praise and peace be upon him. For example, the narrator says that Hadrat ‘Umar Ibn Khatab said such and such.
10. Qudsi (Divine) – The Prophetic Quotation receives its meaning from Allah but the words are from the Prophet, praise and peace be upon him. In a Hadith Qudsi however, both the meaning and the words are from Allah such as those of the Holy Books given to Abraham, et cetera. The difference between the Hadith Qudsi and the Holy Koran is that the reading of the Holy Koran is used for worshipping and the Holy Koran contains the challenge from Allah for anyone to produce a verse like it. The following Hadith has been transmitted on the authority of Abu Dharr Ghifari, may Allah be pleased with him, in which the Holy Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, conveys the message of Allah in His very Name:

Hadith Qudsi:
“Oh My worshippers! I have made oppression unlawful for Me and have forbidden oppression for you also. Therefore, do not oppress one another. You all go astray except for the one whom I guide to the right path. Therefore beg guidance from Me only. (Muslim)

11. Da’if (Weak) – A Hadith which is weak has a defect either in the chain of transmission or in the correct understanding of the transmitter, or its contents are not in perfect agreement with Islamic belief and practices. It is in fact a tradition of weak or less reliable authority.
12. Maktu’ (Broken) – This is a Hadith with a chain of transmission that cannot be traced beyond one of the successors (Tabieen).
13. Shadh (Isolated) – This is a Hadith in which a comparatively less authentic narrator of Hadith opposes one whose account is more authentic than his.
14. Munkati’ (Disjointed) – This is a Hadith in which either a link in the chain of transmission is found to be missing or an unknown narrator is found to join the chain.
15. Maudu’ (Forged) – This is a type of “Hadith” which a liar fabricates and then attributes it to the Holy Prophet, praise and peace be upon him.
16. Munkar (Disapproved) – This is a Hadith in which a weak transmitter of Hadith opposes one who is reliable and a proven authentic transmitter of Hadith.
17. Mudallas (Deceptive) – If the transmitter of the Hadith does not mention the name of his teacher and gives the name of one who is a degree higher than his teacher using the words “meaning from so and so”, this type of Hadith is called Mudallas and the act of concealing the name of the teacher is called Tadlees (deception).

We would like to make it clear that the Mutawatir (the first term in this classification) is considered as the highest degree of authenticity. The transmission of the Holy Koran has been received in this way. The Holy Koran was revealed over a period of twenty three years and its verses were then learned and committed to heart and memory. It is amazing that because the Holy Koran was revealed in such magnificent and expressive Arabic, even the enemies of the Holy Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, knew the verses by heart.

It is because of the many pious, learned Muslims in each generation that meticulously bore the Prophetic Quotations together with their chains in such precise, detailed ways using this unique archiving methodology of transmission, which is a requisite of proof of authenticity with its degrees of classification –– makes all what receive up to date.

7 Which Hadith to Use

When it comes to practicing the Hadith, only the authentic Hadith (Sahih and higher) and Da’if (and no lesser) are permitted.

Regarding the Da’if Hadith, from the point of view of faith, one must not confirm that the Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, said it. Rather, it is referred to in the passive voice phrase by saying “Ruwia anhu”, which means “It has been reported about him”. The conditions pertaining to the acceptance of Da’if Hadith must not be waived, for example they must not be very Da’if. Nor should they be against the fundamental principals of Islamic theology or principals of jurisprudence. Generally speaking, in the arena of ethics, the use of Da’if Ahadith is frequent. However, the usage of the conditions pertaining to Da’if Ahadith are only to be conducted by those deep in Islamic knowledge.

Unfortunately, groups of ignorant or semi-knowledgeable people have started to apply these conditions to the authentic Ahadith and have caused thereby a great deal of confusion, with the result that they harm the authentic Hadith.

10 Major References of Hadith Graded for Study

1. Riyadh-us-Saliheen, compiled by Imam An-Nawawi. This reference contains approximately two thousand Ahadith arranged in two hundred and sixty one subjects. It covers all aspects of everyday life.
2. Miskhat-ul-Masabeeh, compiled by Shaikh Walay-ud-Din At-Tabrizii. This contains 6,285 Hadith (s) and is the first reference to be studied by those wishing to become specialists in the academic studies of Hadith. It is also an invaluable reference for imams to fortify their Islamic background.
And its explanation:
a. Al-Kashif Am Hakaik As-Sunna, by Al Hasan Ibn Muhammad At-Tibi (743 A.H.)
b. Minhaj Al Mishkat, by Abd Alaziz Ibn Muhammad Ibn Abd Alaziz Al Abhari (895 A.H.)
c. Mirkat Al Mafatih, by Alu Kari (1014 A.H.)
d. Mirkat Al Mafatih, by Abd Alhak Ubaid Allah Ibn Al Allama Muhammad Abdu Salam Mubarakbrui
e. At Tal’lik us Sabih Ala Mishkat ul Masabeeh, by Maulana Muhammad Idris Kandhalwi
f. Al Lama At, by Sheikh Abd Al-Hak Dehlvi
g. Mazahir-i-Hak, by Maulana Kutub-ud-Din Shahjahanpuri

3. Muwatta, by Imam Malik explained in:
a. Tanweer Al Hawalik, 2 volumes, by As-Suyuti
b. Az-Zorkani Ala Ala Muwatta
c. Al Montakaa by Al Bajee
d. At Tamheed, 16 volumes, by Al Hafiz Ibn Abdul Barr (recently printed for the first time by King Hasan of Morocco)
4. Jami At-Tirmithi , explained in:
a. Aaridat al Ahwazi Sharh At-Tirmithi, by Al Hafiz Abu Bakr Ibn Al Arabi
5. Abu Dawud, explained in:
a. Awnul-Ma’bod Sharh Sonan Abi Dawud
b. Ma’alem As Sonan, by Al Khattabi
c. Al Manhal Al Adhb Al Mawrood, by Sheikh M. Kattab Al Subkey
6. Sahih Al Bukhari, explained in:
a. Fat-hul-Bari Sharh Sahih Al Bukhari, by Hazif Ibn Hajar Askalani
b. Al Qustalani Ala Al Bukhari
7. Sahih Imam Muslim, explained in:
a. Sharh Muslim, by An Nawawi
b. Fat-hul-Mulhim Sharh Muslim, by Shabbir Ahmad Uthmani
8. An-Nesa’ee, explained in:
a. Zahrur-Roba, by As-Suyuti
9. Ibn Majah, explained in:
a. Misbah Az Zujajah Sharh Sonan Ibn Majah, by As Suyuti
10. Al Mustadrak, by Al Hakim. Another famous reference for the specialist in the study of Hadith.

9 Bukhari and Muslim Encyclopedia

Bukhari and Muslim Encyclopedia
11. In our Islamic Database, which is the largest in the world to date, we have included under the Science of Prophetic Quotations:
a. Bukhari and Muslim in English without repetition
b. Bukhari and Muslim Prophetic Quotations in English, complied by Imam An Nawawi, avoiding repetition and covering 373 subjects.
c. 8,266 Arabic Hadith Sahih. This is the largest collection extracted from Bukhari and Muslim as well as other authentic references, avoiding repetition. It comes with two databases, the first contains the references of each Quotation, and the second has an easy to understand introduction to the science of Hadith, with its terminology and veracity.
d. Jami Saghir. 12,874 Arabic Hadith, the largest collection of Hadith in Arabic, alphabetically arranged and with no false Hadith.
e. The Science of the Koran and Hadith. The Arabic Koran and Hadith combined – the 6,236 verses linked with the 8,267 Hadith. Each verse is marked to define whether it is from the Koran or Hadith and can be searched by selecting a word or more to receive everything the Koran and Hadith have to say upon your selected subject(s).
f. Hadith Terminology in English. This book.

The above mentioned references are suggested for the study of the text (Matn) of Hadith.

The following references are suggested for the terminology of Hadith:

1. Al Ba’ith Al Hatheeth, by Ibn Katheer
2. Mukaddemat Ibn As Salah
3. Tuhfat Al Fikar, by Ibn Hajar
4. Tadreeb Al Rawi, by As Al Hafiz Suyuti
5. Fath Al Mugheeth, by As Sakhawi
6. Tawjeeb An Nazar, by Al Hafiz Al Iraqi

10 General Arrangement of Hadith References

1. The 8,266 authentic among the above Collection 1.
2. The first one includes Bukhari, Muslim, the Muwatta of Imam Malik, and Mustadraj references. These references are the highest level of authentic Hadith. Unfortunately, the average Muslim is only familiar with Bukhari and Muslim although Muwatta and Mustadraj are of the same degree.
3. The second one includes Jami Tirmithi, Sunan Abu Dawud, Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, and Nasai. Theses references are of a lesser degree than the above references but are for the most part authentic. However, there are a few Ahadith that are not sound and these are referred to by their authors. The reason for mentioning this is that these unsound Ahadith can be used to illustrate morals and good deeds, however they must not be used for worshipping.
4. The third category consists of those Hadith which include all types of weak traditions. Their chains of transmission contain some missing links, for example, Musnad of Ibn Abi Shaiba and Musnad of Tayalsi. These references are mixed with sound and unsound Ahadith, the majority being unsound. Only the learned scholars can derive benefit from them.

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