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Muqaam-e-Hadith (The Actual Status of Hadith)
by G. A. Parwez
translated by Aboo B. Rana 

SAGA OF HADITH

Ahadith, meaning those sayings, deeds, ethos, et cetera, that are attributed to the Messenger MuhammadPBUH, have been orally transmitted and are now compiled in book form. Concerning these traditions, discussions were initiated from the beginning that they do not, at all belong to Deen, and are only of historical value. Their attribution towards the Holy Messenger is ambiguous. As far as news or oral news is concerned, the morning news is completely changed in the evening. The bigger the personality on its agenda, the faster is the modification done of its news, and the messenger happens to be the biggest personality in the world for Muslims. However, from the very beginning of first century hijra, the Ummah was incised into sects, and these sects for their own selfish motives of survival, made and concocted Ahadith and attributed it to the Messenger. Numerous translations of narrators and fibsters on Ahadith issues are present in compiled forms. They all stand witness to the fact, that none of these compiled books on Ahadith, were written in the times of the Messenger or in the era of his conferees. The publication of Muta by Imam Malik comes closest to the Messenger’s times and that also was written in second century hijra. All the remaining books on Ahadith, that is to include Saha Sitaa, were compiled in third century hijra.

The hadithists and authors who acknowledged these Ahadith of being a part of Deen and because of their influence, the Ummah took these Ahadith as Deen itself. Fortunately, there was one group among the scholars, who had always believed hadith as history of Deen and the Quran as Deen itself. I therefore thought it necessary, to bring in the limelight those chapters of the history of Ahadith, so as to project the real position of these traditions in history.

THE CUSTOM OF HADITH

The writing of traditions had commenced in the lifetime of the Messenger of AllahSWT. The times when his conferees were not privileged to have his company, they asked and listened to others, who were present in his respected company, It has it from Hazrat OmarR, who said, ‘Me and my neighbor took turns every day, to have the august company of the Messenger of AllahSWT (they lived in an area called Banu Umayya bin Zaid, a little distance from Masjid e Nabvi). Then we narrated to each other, whatever we went through each day. (Sahih Bokhari) As there were also hypocrites among them, so the confereesR listened to those whom they considered trustworthy. These hypocrites spread rumors about Messenger, and indulged in prate and gossip and also mixed with Muslims. It was difficult to distinguish them in the early years. Apparently it seems, that even God was compelled to warn and address His Messenger:  

“Some people in Medina are bent on splitting you, you knoweth not, we knoweth!” (9/101)

However, the Messenger himself had emphatically said, as to not to write about his sayings and deeds. That is why, during the lifetime of Messenger we find very few traditions and those that we do have, are of little significance. As for his followers, since they had been deprived of their most beloved leader, so during leisure time when three or four of them got together, they recalled the Messenger’s activities and refreshed their memories. Later we find contradictory statements among his disciplesR, because of which, the first Caliph, Hazrat Abu BakrR imposed a complete ban on the writing of Ahadith. He called them together and said:

            “You squabble among yourselves over hadith, this habit will increase as time goes by. Do not, therefore, narrate any saying of Messenger. If anyone wants to know, you can tell him the Quran is there between you and him. Whatever is allowed ought to be done, and refrain from what has been prohibited in the Quran.” (T’zakr tul Hifaaz)

Inspite of this prohibition, we find people continued with hadith, it was not considered… as a crime! The second Caliph also tried to put a ban on hadith writing—Qarza bin Ka’ab has it that once they commenced their journey for Iraq. Hazrat OmarR accompanied them till a place called Sira’ar, upon reaching there he inquired from them, “Do you know why I have come with you this far?” We replied, “For our welfare and in our honor!” He said, “Yes! And also that you are going, where the voice of Quran echoes like honeybees. Do not involve those people in Ahadith, and stop them from the Quran or narrate any traditions to them.” Qarza says, after that day, they did not remember narrating any hadith again. (Jama ul Biyaan)

Farooq e Azam (title of Hazrat OmarR) was so strict when it came to hadith, when he saw Abi bin Qa’ab narrating Ahadith, he went after him with his big cane. (T’zakr tul Hifaaz) Once Abu Salma asked Abu HurairaR who was famous for telling hadith, “Did you narrate Ahadith in the same way, during the reign of Hazrat OmarR.” He replied, “If I had done so, he would have physically scolded me.” (Quoted by Al Sheikh Zahir bin Saleh) Hazrat OmarR had no reservations at all, in matters of hadith, even for Messenger’s conferees. He reprimanded Hazrat Abdullah bin MasoodR, Abul DurdaR and Abu ZahryR, as to why they narrated the traditions of MuhammadPBUH? He then put all three under house arrest in Medina and did not let them out for as long as he lived. The third Caliph, Hazrat OthmanR did not pay any heed to hadith or traditions. Once Hazrat Ali's son came to Hazrat OthmanR with a script of command by MuhammadPBUH, about zakat. Hazrat OthmanR, asked to be excused! (quoted by Al Sheikh Azhir bin Saleh).

The fourth Caliph, Hazrat AliR also forbade people from hadith. And if anyone, narrated a hadith in front of him, he took an oath from that person, as to what he was saying was true. He often advised as not to narrate any hadith of which they did not know. As this habit of hadith would lead to disregarding the Messenger, which surely they all did not want.

Just like the Caliphs, in matters of traditions, they were extremely cautious, some of them completely looked the other way. It has it in Sahih Bokhari, Hazrat Abdullah asked his father Hazrat Zubair, "I have never heard you explaining ahadith like other confereesR of Messenger do?" His father replied, "I have remained very close to the Messenger and I heard him say, that whosoever spoke dishonestly about him, he must prepare himself for hellfire.

He further said, "I am noticing, people have purposely added                     in the sentence; God is my witness, I have not heard that word from the lips of Messenger. (Al Sheikh Zahir bin Saleh) It appears people have made an addition to amend the tradition. Otherwise the fact remains, whether purposely or without purpose, to attribute incorrect traditions to Messenger, is tantamount to inviting Hell. Hazrat AnsR also has it, the same statement quoted above, that it ceases me from explaining hadith.

Sunun Ibne Majah has it, Abdur Rahman bin abi Laila requested Hazrat Zaid bin ArqainR to narrate any hadith of Messenger MuhammadPBUH. He replied, “I have become old and have forgotten. Moreover, it is extremely hard to speak on this issue.” Saaib bin Yazid states, he went with Saad bin Malik to Medina, but did not hear anything from him on hadith. In the same way Imama Shay’bee said, he remained in the company of Hazrat OmarR for full one year, but did not hear any hadith from him. The followers or conferees of Messenger, not only refrained from narrating ahadith, they did not accept these parables even from others very easily and were very reluctant also.

Hazrat Abdullah Ibne AbbasR did not accept Abu HurairaR, when he narrated the tradition, that wadhu is annulled when anybody comes in contact with anything that has touched fire. He said, “That way, we must then not wadhu with hot water, as it has been touched by fire.” Hazrat Abdullah ibne OmarR also heard the tradition of field dog from Abu HurairaR and said, “I know Abu HurairaR has some fields!”

When Hazrat Mahmood AnsariR, who was a conferees of Messenger, narrated this hadith, “Whoever says                                                  will never be thrown into hell.” Hazrat Ayub AnsariR replied, “In the name of Allah! I do not think Messenger could ever have uttered these words.” (Sahih Bokhari—Chapter Salaat ul Nawafil)

Taking certain traditions to be against the Holy Quran, some of the conferees of Messenger refused to even acknowledge them. For example, the tradition of Fatima bint-e-Qais, that when the divorce is completed, the woman owes nothing to her husband. It was not accepted by Hazrat OmarR, who said, “How can I accept a woman’s statement, as opposed to Quran, who I do not know, has even remembered it correctly or not?”

When Hazrat ibne OmarR, narrated the tradition of Kaleeb-e-Badar, that even the dead can listen, Umm ul Momineen Hazrat Aisha said, “May Allah bless ibne Omar. What I read in Quran is: 

 

In the same way, another tradition, that the mourning of relatives is torture for the dead, was brought to the knowledge of Ummul Momineen, she said, “This tradition goes against the teachings of Quran. It is written therein: 

            ‘No human shall lift another’s burden in afterlife.’

From the above examples, it appears that confereesR did not give much significance to traditions. They refused to accept them, either because they were against the Quran or against common sense. Because of these reasons the treasure of traditions was meager among the conferees. Besides that the confereesR were more involved in practical life. The holy wars, discussions and explanations on Quran and all these practical matters, kept them so busy, they hardly had any time left to sit down and gossip idly among themselves. From these observations, there is every likelihood, all those traditions attributed to names of confereesR, belong to Post-Muhammadan era, when ahadith narrating had developed into an art. It was not possible, at a later period, to access the activities and sayings of Messenger directly, so every hadith had to be verified from one of his conferees first, before being considered as authentic. Among the confereesR of Messenger, Abu HurairaR is the leading name, with whom the maximum number of ahadith are associated; the total figure is five thousand three hundred and seventy four—although he embraced Islam in Khyber. He had the privilege to benefit from the life of Messenger for only three years. So how come, for ahadith associated with Abu HurariaR, we have such a big figure. Even then, many of these ahadith cannot be captured by knowledge or common sense. Therefore, our conscience is not inclined to accept that these traditions could have belonged to Abu HurariaR.

After the confereesR of Messenger, we enter the period of tabaeenR, this includes the Caliphs of Banu Umayyad whose impact had been stamped on Ummah by now. Instead of every living Muslim, having volition of being unique and emancipated, he was one completely tied and shackled to personalized Umayyan government. The whole of Muslim Community was under compulsion and force, turned into a subject race. Anyone could observe an outstanding change in mental attitudes. The intensity of conviction, which existed during the conferees of Messenger’s period, was no more visible. The church and state having been divided, the leadership was now with the priests. Therefore, the art of traditions gained in momentum, but that reluctance to accept them, was still to be obliterated. Gradually, over the passage of years, by early second century hijra, the compilation of ahadith began to take shape; hadith narration by now was an established art. The students of ahadith, now started to gather around these recognized religious priests to acquire knowledge of hadith. When we reach the Abbasid period, which began in a hundred and thirty two hijra, there was stupendous influx of ahadith. All the Muslim states were flooded with ahadith propaganda. This was happening, since the Caliphs and Ameers became indifferent towards Deen and were exhibiting propensities towards being worldly wise. Having no choice, all seekers of truth were pushed towards hadith narrators, consequently their authority was glorified. Hence the students of glamour and glitter, began to acquire the profession of hadith and by narrating all kinds of ahadith, right or wrong, they established their authority on public. The figures of ahadith, now ran into hundreds and thousands. Imam Ahmed bin HanbalR has it, the figure for correct hadith is over seven hundred thousands (Tog’hee ul Nazr) Imam Yahya bin MoeenR who is known as Ameer ul Momineen of ahadith, had twelve hundred thousand ahadith in his possession. In the introduction, Sahih Bokhari has it, out of six hundred thousand ahadith that Imama BokhariR had in his possession, he has gleaned seven thousand, two hundred and seventy ahadith that he surmised as being genuine.

In these very hadith scholars, who were occupied with ahadith day and night, there emerged some who came to abhor this profession and believed it against their faith. I am narrating a few extracts from Hafiz ibn Abdul bur’s (died hijra 463) concise edition of Jama-e-Biyaan ul Ilm-o-Fazal that states:

“Zhaq ibn Muza’hm (died hijra 105) harbingered, that Quran will be hung on top, until it will be covered with cobwebs. No need for it shall be required and people will act upon traditions and ahadith. Sulaiman bin Hya’an Azvi (died hijra 196) who is descendant of Abu Khalid-al-Ehmr, also says a time will come when, the manuscripts of Quran will be considered futile and people will completely indulge in hadith and fiqa. Imam Dawood Thai had quit hadith, somebody asked as to how long was he going to sit in the house and run away from hadith. He replied that he was not in favor of walking even one step that is against truth.

“When a group of hadith students called on Abid ul Harmain, Hazrat Fazeel bin Ayaz (died hijra 187), he did not allow them to enter his house. He just stuck his head out of the window, when the students after wishing greetings inquired about his welfare, he replied, “I am very well by the grace of Allah, but in big trouble from you all. Your profession is beginning to corrode religion.                                           You people have done away with Quran. If you had begotten that Book, you would have had your peace of mind.” The students replied that they had studied and gone through the whole Book. He again advised them, “It is a kind of Book, that will keep you and your coming generations occupied.” And then recited the following ayat, from the Quran:

(10/57-58)

"O People! Among you, is bestoweth by your Rab, advice and peace of mind. It is guidance and mercy for Momineen. Tell them to rejoice on this blessing, it is far better than what you are hoarding.”

“Imam Sufyan SauriR (died hijra 161) says with pathos and sadness, as to what use is this kind of knowledge. If only we could have broken even, getting neither hell or heaven. Once he also mentions, if hadith was good then why was it not progressing.

“Imam Sha’by said, that before he was pleased to see a hadith narrator, and now there is nothing more vile than his face. Once he vociferated to a group of hadith narrators:                                                                          Will you quit? As hadith stops from remembering Allah and offering our prayers. The interesting part is, besides                                     the rest of the sentence is a translation from Quran.

“Imam Saf’yan bin Ain’iyya (died hijra 198) often use to say, “I wish, this hadith was a basket of broken glasses on my head and fell on the floor to smithereens. At least I would have finished with its dealers. Once he mentioned, whoever wants to have enmity with me, I wish Allah would make him a hadith narrator. At another time, he said to a group of hadith seekers, if Hazrat OmarR had seen us, he would have scolded everyone. Just like Imam Shay’bee, he also detested the faces of hadith narrators. He lived in a town called Meel Akhzar, away from the crowd of hadith seekers. He said if hadith had been good, it would have decreased instead of spreading.”

A famous poet of that period has also expressed similar views, when he said: 

1.         The pen is now dry after writing the fate of all creatures, that have been destined to fortune and ill-fate.

2.         The time is fleeting and Allah is creating His creatures one by one.

3.         I descry good things are diminishing and hadith is on the rise.

4.         If it was good it would have diminished like other good things also. I think good is beyond it.

These are the views and opinions of hadith Imams and the wise of those days, who had descried the miracle and enigma of Quran. They came to know, Hadith was not God revealed. Most of the hadith scholars were so overwhelmed by the concept of hadith as divinely revealed, it was extremely difficult to get this out of their minds. Therefore to obliterate the thoughts of the few enlightened Imams, they spread the ideas of the blessings and greatness of hadith. They also fabricated pseudo ahadith to oppose these enlighted minds. Although Siddique-e-Akbar (title of Hazrat Abu BakrR), as we have written before, while prohibiting ahadith had said that if anybody questions, just tell him, there is the Quran between you and me. Whatsoever it has revoked must be eschewed and whatever it permits, must be consumed. Farooq-e-Azam said, “The Book of AllahSWT is enough for us!” This tradition opposes those traditions that are against Quran and proves them bogus.

It was because of these contradictory traditions, the Mo’tazilla inundated upon the hadith writers and rightly accused them of destroying Deen by psuedo-ahadith. They began to call each other athesist, and so the Muslim Ummah was being incised into sects. Imam ibne Qutaiba wrote a book on contradicting ahadith and attempted to solve this issue.

The edifice of hadith that had been shaken by these few scholars was not difficult to bring down for the hadith writers. However, hadith became so gigantic and powerful that it was now being declared above the Quran. Imam Au’za’ee said that Quran is more dependent on ahadith as vice versa. Imam Yahya bin Kaseer said, that hadith overcomes Quran and that Quran does not prevail upon hadith. When the same thing was mentioned to Imam Ahmed bin HanbalR, he replied, “I do not have the audacity to say that, although ahadith do explain the Quran. (quoted from Jama e Biyaan)

 

COMPILATION OF HADITH

The Messenger MuhammadPBUH had clearly vociferated: “Do not have anything else dictated from me, save the Quran. If anyone of you has written any word other than Quran, you must erase it!” The hadith writers could not ostracize this hadith of Messenger, at the same time it was uprooting their foundations. Hence hadithists came up with a justifying rationale, saying the purpose of prohibition was meant to save Quran from being amalgamated with other literature. They reasoned, when there is no fear of Quran being merged, then narration of hadith is permitted. This was how, hadith was vindicated and the Messenger’s mandate to cease writing was prevailed upon. Inspite of the fact, the Messenger had made it imperative and had given no cause for prohibition. Messenger could also have said—do not mingle Quran with hadith when writing the two. We do not think this reasoning of hadithists is cogent enough. The factual cause was what his conferees had understood, that previous civilizations, deviated from correct paths by writing biographies of their prophets.

Writing of the activities of messengers of God and especially the ahadith of Messenger, could have been extremely beneficial and interesting work. Since this entails a psychological dilemma, as after compiling the sayings and deeds of monumental personalities, cultures have granted these human works with divine authority and regressed the significance of actual Divine Books. This was the reason why the Messenger invoked preventive measures.

Hadithists have attempted to bring other traditions in support of their justificatory reasoning. For example, the tradition of Abu HurairaR that whatever he listened from the Messenger, he wrote it down. Then Abdullah bin Umru bin Aas is also said to have written down what he heard from the Messenger. In the same way, another hadith is quoted of a person called Abu Shah who requested the Holy Messenger if he could write down his sermon of Yemen and the Messenger conceded. But these are included in exceptions. As a general rule, the mandate was not to write down anything else besides Quran; his confereesR obeyed his words to their mettle. We also have another hadith, when calligrapher of revelations, Zaid bin Sabit had to go to Amir Mua’wiyya. He asked him for a hadith¸ which Zaid explained. The Amir asked a person to write it. Zaid took it from the person who had written the hadith and erased it. He said, it was Messenger’s orders not to write anything about him. This tradition is present in Abu Daweed’s kitabb ul Ilm.

In T’zakr tul Hifaaz, Imam Zay’bee has written Hazrat Abu BakrR had a collection of 500 ahadith. One night he was very perturbed. So he had it brought out in the morning and incinerated them. Obviously, what could have been more close to truth. Actually the thought of any incorrect tradition being included in this collection, prevented his faith from preserving this collection.

In Jama e Biyaan ul Ilm it is written of Arwah bin Zubair, who says that Hazrat OmrR once thought of compiling the sayings and deeds of Messenger. He even consulted with the conferees about it. After their consent, he prayed to AllahSWT and performed Istekhara for one month. Finally he decided and told, that previous civilizations destroyed themselves, by adhering to ahadith of their holy prophets and forgot the Book of AllahSWT.

Caliph Hazrat OmarR was as much strict in writing hadith as he was in narrating it. When ahadith, during his caliphate gained in volume, he asked everyone to bring them to him. After incinerating all ahadith, he proclaimed, ‘Are you trying to make the like of Quran?’ (quoted from Tb’qaat) The Jews collection of their Prophet’s sayings is called Misnaath

Of the activities of various disciplesR, I am writing from Jama e Biyaan ul Ilm, page 33:

“Abdullah bin Ye’saar said, “In a sermon Hazrat AliR told that he took everyone present under oath, to obliterate whosoever has any hadith, as previous civilizations, had been annihilated, because they followed the traditions of their learned and forgot about the book of AllahSWT!”

Abu Nzra asked Hazrat Abu Saeed KhudriR if he could write the ahadith that he heard from his lips? He replied, “Do you intend to make manuscripts?”

Caliph Mur’waan once called Hazrat Zaid bin SabitR. When he saw some persons writing down ahadith, he said it is quite possible, the tradition may not have been explained to you, in the same way as it has been written.

A collection was brought before Hazrat Abdullah bin MasoodR, that contained ahadith. He incinerated them and said, “I beg you for the sake of Allah, whoever has any knowledge of any person in possession of hadith, must let me know, so that I may reach him. Those before you with Divine Books, have been annihilated because of this habit. They forgot about the Book of AllahSWT.

Hazrat Abdullah bin AbbasR also prevented others from writing of hadith. He warned them that previous nations were destroyed due to these causes. The same was the situation with Hazrat Abdullah bin OmarR.

After the conferees, the tabaeen, for example Allqa, Musrooq, Qasim S’bee, Mansoor, Mugheera and Umsh and others, also did not consider it permissible to write hadith.”

Imam Au’zaee use to say, “As long as knowledge of hadith was oral, it was respected. Ever since it is being written, it has lost its enlightenment and gone in the hands of ignorant.” That was precisely why, until the period of tabaeen there is no sign of compilation of hadith and besides Holy Quran, there was no other book in possession of Ummah. Certain things were written only for the sake of knowledge. For example, Hazrat OmarR during his caliphate period from hijra 99 to 11, had ahadith written down from Saeed bin Ibrahim and sent a formal note to Qazi Abu Bakr Khurram of Medina to write the traditions of Umruh, as I fear after her death, this knowledge will go waste. Umruh was in possession of Um ul Momineen, Hazrat Aisha’s traditions.

The first compiler of hadith, according to Hadithists, is Imam ibne Shahab Zuhri (died hijra 124). It was under their orders that he wrote the ahadith. He himself was not in favor of writing ahadith, had it not been for the compulsory orders of these caliphs. (quoted in Jama e Biyaan ul Ilm).

Following Imam Zuhri was Jareej from Mecca, Muhammad bin Is’haaq and Malik bin Ans from Medina, Rabi bin Sabeeh and Hamad bin Slma from Basra, Saf’yan Sauri from Kufa, Au’zaee from Syria, Ma’amir from Yemen, Hai’sm from Wasat, Jareer from Rai and Ibn ul Mubarik from Khorasan. All of them who were contemporaries, compiled books of ahadith. All these writers belong to second century hijra. As far as we know, out of all their books, there is only one book Muta of Imam Malik (died hijra 179) that is extant. Even in this book, we have three to five hundred ahadith in various manuscripts. It has been written, as long as Imam Malik was alive, he froze a few ahadith every year. (Tog’hee ul Nazr) That is the reason why we observe the difference in the number of ahadith, in its various manuscripts.

In early publications, we find the ahadith of the Messenger, the sayings of confereesR and declarations of tabaeenR are all together. The later generations began to compile the ahadith of Messenger separately. These compilations are named Musnid e Hind. The first Musnid was written in early third century by Abdullah bin Moosa. After him followed, Musdood Basri, Asad bin Moosa, Naeem bin hamad and others. These were followed by the next generations. For example, Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal, Is’haaq bin Rahu’via, Uthman bin abi Shay’ba and others. In the fourth category comes Imam BokhariR (died hijra 252), who attempted to compile only the genuine ahadith. After him, followed his student Imam Muslim Nishapuri (died hijra 261). Both of these scholar’s books are named ‘Sahiheen.’ Following these books, the writing of ahadith became a popular occupation among hadithists.

All kinds of ahadith, of which there is no number now, came to be written. What needs to be investigated here, is the fact, if ahadith were divinely ordained, then Messenger himself and his conferees, would not have categorically prohibited the writing of it. On the contrary they would have made every attempt to preserve the ahadith.

 

HADITH NARRATION

No doubt the Messenger had repeatedly and emphatically stated, “Whosoever tells lies about me, is inviting hellfire.” And this saying has been confirmed by so many confereesR of Messenger and only for this reason, this hadith has been declared authentic (Muta’watir). Inspite of saying this, there were some people around at the time who began fabricating false ahadith. We read in Tog’hee ul Nazr (page 246), people told lies about Holy Messenger even during his lifetime. Even during the days of his conferees (after his soul departed from this earth), we find many hypocrites and atheists.

Besides the presence of hypocrites and atheists, when ahadith began to spread, during the times of conferees of Messenger, we do observe a mixture of doubt and falsification in them already. As is written in Sahih Muslim, “Basheer bin Ka’ab began to narrate ahadith in front of Hazrat ibne Abbas. He did not pay any attention. Basheer asked as to why he did not listen to him? To which he replied, “There was a time when anybody mentioned or talked about the deeds of Messenger we became all ears; ever since people have begun to prattle, we have given up listening to hadith.

After the period of conferees of Messenger, psuedo-narrators and narrators increased in abundance. During the times of Banu Umayyah, because of the division between the church and the state, there was no authority over ahadith writers. Therefore to concoct and fabricate traditions was now an open field. The Caliphs of Umayyad period took ahadith more to their advantage for power, as compared with Quran. It was they, who put in vogue the custom to vilify Hazrat Ali openly. Hundreds of counterfeit ahadith were written to eulogize Caliph Ameer Mu’awiyya. In the times of Abbasids, every Caliph’s prediction was written in hadith and eulogized. So much so, they fabricated a hadith, that no person has any faith until and unless he does not love Hazrat Abbas and his family. (quoted from Tog’hee ul Nazr) During this period ahadith were being produced like hot cakes and thousands adopted hadith writing and fabricating as their profession. Their only occupation, day and night, was to concoct ahadith..

Most of these narrators, because of their oration and story-telling expertise, commanded influence on the public and were looked upon as elderly and august. The Imams of ahadith were no comparison to them at all. Zuhby has, in Meezan ul Ait’adaal, copied a statement of Shay’bee, who was in Kufa the biggest Imam of hadith from among tabaeen, where it is said,

“I was in a mosque one day for my prayers. There was a hadith orator in there who was delivering a sermon and saying, ‘AllahSWT has created two trumpets. Each of them shall be sounded twice.’ I quickly finished my prayers and told the orator to have fear of AllahSWT and cease to narrate fabricated ahadith. There is only the mention of one trumpet, in the Quran. He felt onerous and was angry at me, for contradicting him. Soon after everybody there jumped on me and started beating me. Until they did not make me say that Allah has created three trumpets, they did not leave me.”

Mulla Ali Qari has written in Mauzoo’aat e Kabir, there was someone telling the story of Mahmood, that he shall sit next to Messenger on a throne in the skies. Imam ibne Jareer Tibri opposed this story-teller and on the door of his house, he wrote the words, ‘no one shares the throne with Allah.’ The people of Baghdad, stoned his house, until his whole entrance to the door was covered with stones.

Imam Ahmad bin HanbalR and Yahya bin MoeenR, both of them being the most honored as hadith Imams, once went to R’safa block in Baghdad to say their prayers. An orator in a mosque began delivering a speech that he had heard it from Ahmad bin Hanbal and Yahya bin Moeen, who heard from Ma’amr, he heard from Fut’ada, he in turn heard it from Hazrat AnsR, who heard it from the Messenger, when any man says                                                                    then AllahSWT creates a bird from every word that he utters. These birds have golden beaks and wings made of Zammurad. (This story is in twenty pages) After hearing the long story, both of them looked at each other, then Moeen called the orator and asked, as to wherefrom did he hear this hadith? He named Yahya bin Moeen and Ahmad bin Hanbal! He told him that he was Yahya and his partner was Ahmad, and that neither of them had ever heard this tradition before. If you had to fabricate, why did you not take somebody else’s name. To which he replied, he had heard that Yahya was stupid. They asked him why so? The orator said there are seventeen Ahmad Bin Hanbals and seventeen Yahya bin Moeens. What makes you think, you two are the only ones in this world? After hearing that, both of them walked away!

These speakers and orators were so influential that democrats (meaning government) took them as their leaders and listened to them. It is said, once mother of Imam Abu HanifaR inquired from him about a hadith problem. When the Imam provided her with an answer, she simply refused to accept his answer, until the Imam of Kufa mosque did not confirm. After the Imam of mosque confirmed, she believed in his answer.

It has it in Meezan ul Ait’adaal, that Imam Zuhby has copied it from Jaffer bin Hajjaj, that on reaching Mosel, Muhammad bin Abdullah was explaining weird and strange ahadith. When scholars came to know about him, a few of them decided to go and check him. He was delivering his heated oratorios, when he saw the scholars coming towards him, he understood the purpose. Abruptly he changed the topic and concocted a tradition from Jabar and said, ‘Quran is poetry of Allah, and non-creative.” (As was the custom in those days, it was a blind understanding, whosoever admitted that Quran was non-creative, became very famous and after that he was considered beyond critique) Now from the dread of people, the scholars could not dare to question him.

That is why, Dawood also gave up traditions, he said, “I am pained that when I dictate something, people come to me only to find faults in it.” Ibne Mz’ra use to say, whenever you see a Sheikh running, it must be understood that hadith scholars are after him.

There were hundreds of hadith orators who were potential hadith fabricators and who spread those ahadith in their group. When these orators became less influential, they used the names of trustworthy hadith narrators. Some of them considered it a blessing to make ahadith. Some of these people went so far out, they compiled books and books, of counterfeit ahadith. The names of some of these books are given in T’zakr tul Mau’zooaat. The following are some of the causes of these falsifications, given by Allama ibne Jauzy:

            1.         Some people because of their carelessness, distorted the version.

            2.         Some scholars lost their memory after taxing their minds, they spike whatever came in their minds.

            3.         Many trustworthy narrators, because of old age and mental deficiency, spoke of incorrect traditions.

            4.         Among them were also some, who inadvertently told incorrect traditions. When their mistakes were brought to their knowledge, these people considered it beyond their dignity to do anything about those wrong traditions.

            5.         The Ujh’meez (those people who became Muslims, although inwardly they were against Islam. Their number was not any less during the Abbasid period) made numerous counterfeit and fake ahadith that proved destructive to laws of Islam. In their ostensible eulogy, they were proving the Sha’riah incorrect, deleting the ayat of Quran and showing the character of Messenger as weak.

            6.         When religious bifurcation commenced, new sects came into existence, like Shiites, Sunnis, Qadris, Jehemy, Muz’jiya, Mo’tzilla et all. Each one of these made-up ahadith, that praised their own sect and was against all others.

            7.         Many good people also made ahadith with a good and holy moral in it.

            8.         Many thought, it was granted to attribute wise adages to Messenger and then have these traditions attested. They practically carried it through. It is written in Tz’kara tul Mau’zoo’aat that one hadithist gave up this profession in his old age and asked others to scrutinize ahadith before accepting them, as people include everything in Deen that which suits their temperament.

            9.         The favourites of Caliphs and Ameers, made traditions and used them as means of getting closer to top officials.

            10.       Professional orators and story-tellers, attributed various stories to Holy Messenger and made capitol on it.

These above mentioned are the ten main causes, because of which counterfeit and false traditions spread in the Ummah. Above all these were those false ahadith, that were made by different political parties to capture the hearts of public. These ahadith were then spread from East to West, sometimes openly and sometimes in a concealed manner. Because of these ahadith fabricators and orators, the hadith suffered a calamity like nobody’s business. They left no department and no stone unturned where they did no fabricate ahadith in tune with their own desires. Imam HanbalR says three types of books are totally useless. Mula’hym (predictions), Mughazi (warfares) and Tuf’seer (explanations) {quoted from Tz’kara tul Mau’zoo’aat} How many ahadith exist in these books, can be imagined from a book by one of the close associates of Imam Hanbal, Abu Zr’a, he had 140,000 ahadith in just his Tuf’seer. The height of falsification was reached when, leaving aside traditions, even fake conferees of Messenger were devised. In Tz’kara tul Mau’zoo’aat on page 102 we read about some of them:

¨                  Jabeer bin Harab—Hafiz Ibne Hajar writes, it was known that he had participated in Khun’dk holy war. Amir Abdul Karim said that along with Imam Nasir, he had the privilege of seeing him in hijra 573.

¨                  Abu Abdul Saqli belongs to fifth century hijra. It is known about him, he had the privilege of shaking hands with Holy Messenger. Hence people went only to shake hands with him too.

¨                  Qais bin Yatm Gilani—he had a mark on his forehead, they say it was due to a kick he received from Hazrat Ali’s mule. Ahadith are narrated about him in the beginning of sixth century hijra.

¨                  Baba Rattan Hindi—It is known about him, that he participated in Hazrat Fatima’s marriage. He lived in Hindustan (India) and died in hijra 632. (the actual word used is rukh’sati, I am not sure, it means marriage or departing of soul).

These alive conferees were made to stand in the open, and all kinds of traditions were spread in the Ummah, from their lips, It has in Ta’kara tul Mau’zoo’aat on page 102, Allama Afaq Shehri said, ‘Although we do not trust the ‘rattaniat,’ nevertheless it is a cause of blessing. ‘Many people, took the traditions of these fake conferees, and listed them in the source of blessing, in their compilations,’ Imam Zuhby revoked all traditions of Baba Rattan, which annoyed Allama Mujjadad ud deen. Allama Safdi put his foot down and stood up against Hafiz Ibne Hijr when he refuted these conversations.

This synopsis must have given you an idea of how powerful and authoritative was the influence of fake hadith writers and orators. It is strange to decry, an Ummah that was in possession of such an enlightening book like Quran, threw itself in the dark abyss of lies and deceptions.

 

CRITIQUE ON HADITH

When collectors compiled, they wrote whatever they could gather from the treasure of ahadith that was at their disposal. Only a handful of traditions were revoked, those that seemed glaringly false. (quoted from Tog’hee ul Nazar) These ahadith were testified before being compiled; in other words, they were written along with the names of all those, through which these ahadith had traveled to them. After this the system of critique began and also of sifting between right and false ahadith.

In this critique hadith scholars had two things in mind. The first was its title or preamble and second was the content of hadith. To recognize false titles of ahadith, these scholars formulated the following principles:

1.                  That is against reason or common sense.

2.                  That is against natural laws.

3.                  That is against circumstances.

4.                  That goes against the Holy Quran.

5.                  That goes against history.

6.                  Any traditions are attributed to Rafzis (dissenters) and Kharijites (those who drifted away from the main stream) against the Ahl-e-Bait (Family members of the Messenger)

7.                  That promised big rewards for minor deeds or big punishments for filmsy or negligible sins.

8.                  Many people are explaining the circumstances, but the tradition goes by only one name.

By these conditions, only a few ahadith could be sifted. Since those who fabricated ahadith, took care of every aspect, so as to give it genuine look. However, the door was left wide open for accommodating all types of ahadith. If any hadith was found to go against reason or Quran, it was modified and accepted.

Hence these formulations, to put a check on right or wrong ahadith, proved futile. The critics therefore, depended more on the contents of ahadith. It is also apparent, these critics were not prophets. It was not possible to sift from thousands of hadith narrators and counterfeits that were being produced for the last hundred or hundred and fifty years. Neither did these critics have any magic wand by means of which they could detect fake ahadith, that exercised tremendous influence on the power holders of those times. The source of detecting counterfeit ahadith was hadith itself. The criterion of correct and incorrect hadith, was based on that tradition, that was received from different sources. During the days of conferees of Messenger, and during the period of tabaeen, there were very few counterfeits and fakes. For this reason, there is not much literature on it. Only Imam Shay’bee, Ibne Sireen and Saeed bin Al maseeb have argued about some conferees.

In the  midst of second century hijra, Imam Umsh and Malik and others did begin a search on these fakes. Then the following, Mu’mr, Hasham, Wst’awhi, Au’zaee, Sufian Sauri, Ibnul Majshoon and Hamad bin Salma, after them Yahya bin Saeed ul Ktaan (died hijra 198) and Ibne Mehdi were confirmed Imams. But until their times the knowledge was only oral. In the third century the compilation began, and every narrator was reviewed and their biographical sketches were also collected. During this period we find two famous names, that of Imam Yahya bin MoeenR (died hijra 23) and Ahmad bin HanbalR (died hijra 241). After these personalities this system began to spread and formed into an art, that had hundreds of Imams and thousands of books written on this topic. (Tog’hee ul Nazr) As these were all man made written pages, on which there can be no divine witness, hence the contents of ahadith came under controversy.

The hadithists had hard knocks, as far as outward rituals were concerned. Imam Yahya bin Saeed al Ktaan said, in matters of ahadith, one will find no bigger liar than these righteous scholars. Imam Muslim, writes in the introduction of his Sahih, that righteous are liable to speak lies inadvertently. It has it in Tuj’hee ul Nazr, that Ayub Sukhtiani appreciated knowledge and erudition of his neighbor and his worshipping habits; at the same time he said he would not trust him, even if he stood witness to a single seed of date. For these reasons the criterion of judgement of ahadith was based on its fame and popularity. Fame and popularity of even a designated Imam, by the way was questioned in those days. When we read about any Imam, from his contemporaries, we begin to have doubts in our minds. I am copying some sayings from hafiz Ibne Abdul Bur’s, Jama e Biyaan ul Ilm, on page 196:

“When Abu Hanifa’s teacher Imam Hamad bin abi Sulaiman returned from his Meccan journey, to Iraq, he told those people surrounding him, ‘O Iraqis! Thanks to AllahSWT that I met with scholars of Hijaz. Your children, and your childrens’ children have more knowledge than them.’ And who were these Hijaz scholars? They were Ataa bin abi Rabah, Ta’aoos, Ak’rma, Mujahida and others were recognized scholars of Islam.

When Hamad’s teacher Ibraheem Nukh’ee was mentioned in front of Imam Shay’bee, he said, ‘He asks from us at night and in the morning he grants decrees on those statements.’ When Imam Ibraheem was told as to what was being said about him, he said, ‘Shay’bee is a liar, he narrates borrowed traditions, although he did not hear a word of it.’

Imam Mughazi Muhammad bin Is’haaq has mentioned about Imam Malik. He asked for his traditions to be produced. When Imam Malik came to know about it, he said Ibne Is’haaq was a Dj’aal. Somebody inquired about the scholars of Iraq, from Imam Malik. He said, ‘They are equal to people of the Book, neither confirm them nor criticize them.’ If you want to know as to who were these scholars of Iraq, one should ask Hanifa!

Imam Hanifa once visited Imam Umsh to ask his welfare. When leaving he said, “If my coming to your house, had not been a burden on you, I would have stayed longer.” He replied, “Your living in your own house, is also a burden to me!” Imam Hanifa stepped out and said that neither his prayers nor his fasting will be accepted.

The Hadithists’ opinions of these contemporary scholars were looked upon as mutual rivalries. For this reason there was much difference in their narrators. I do not want to involve myself in this. My sole purpose of mentioning this was, if controversies could prevail upon these contemporary Imams, then why can’t we say that, other feelings and inclinations could also prevail upon these Imams. The contents of any hadith, we clearly observe, were not endorsed merely upon their approval. It was also based upon student teacher relationships and harmony of thoughts. Whenever there arose any controversy, even the most trustworthy was made a target of scrutiny and debate. Harris Humdani had earned a tremendous trust, who was never proved a liar; since he expressed his love for Hazrat AliR, just for that reason, Imam Shy’bee calls him a liar. (quoted from Jama e Biyaan ul Ilm) And was then included with previous narrators. Many people wrote on contradictions of Imam Abu HanifaR. Ibne abi Zoib and Abdul Aziz bin Salma, argued on Imam Malik on certain specific issues. Yahya bin Moeen himself declared Imam Sha’afi as untrustworthy. In the same way hundreds of Imams were bruised for their difference of opinions. A famous poet, named Abul Attahiya, who belonged to the period of Caliph Haroon ur Rashed, gives condolences of this state of affairs. He said: 

“Islam was in tears, from the pathetic state of his scholars. The scholars still did not pay any attention to it. Majorities among these scholars are those, who declare any truth of opponent as a lie and consider their own lie, as all good. How can we expect any good about Deen from these and whose opinion should we trust?” In short the art of reason and arguments is all based on speculations……. It says in Tz’kara tul Mau’zoo’aat:

“Imam Hanbal, Ibne Mehdi and Ibne Mubarik all three declared that concerning matters in ahadith, they were extremely strict in distinguishing between what is permissible and prohibited in Islam. And have a soft corner in their hearts concerning ahadith of blessings.” Mullah Ali Qari writes in Mau’zoo’aat e Kabir, on page 16:

“The condition of all these ahadith is because of its being comprehensive; when hadithists examined their qualifiers, otherwise they cannot be trusted at all. As mind thinks, what was considered correct by qualifiers must be taken as intrinsically weak, and what is basically weak must be taken as true.”

For these reasons we cannot trust the contents of any hadith, whether it does or does not belong to the Messenger. All we can say, it is a saying the origin of which has been attributed to the Holy Messenger, which may or may not be the case, no one knows. Imam Malik often recited these words:

“We can only speculate, we do not have faith.”

The question arises, why is it necessary for the contents of any hadith to be correct, if the narrator of that hadith has been proved trustworthy. As we now know, hadith narrators attached trustworthy names with their names, so that it may not be called incorrect. As mentioned before, these orators had seventeen Yahya bin Moeen and seventeen Ahmad bin Hanbal. It ought to be, that first of all the contents of hadith must be examined, and secondly, when it becomes known, if anybody is falsely attributing a saying towards a trustworthy personality, he should never be accepted again. As will be descried, with this approach we shall be involving many famous scholars and Imams in this crime. The likes of which could be Imam Hassan Basri, Mq’bool Shami, Safyan ibne Ainiyya, Ibraheem Nukhee, Malik, Ans, Dar Katni and others. So this method of critical analysis of any hadith has also proved futile.

All factors aside, it is against faith and against rationale. When the Ummah possesses the Divine Quran, in which, it clearly says                                           (Allah completed the Deen of Islam for mankind). It does not behoove that in search of a perfect system and in order to examine the extent of truth in it, we must dig the dead bodies of bygone scholars and their traditions, and bring them in the courts of arguments and rationale. Not forgetting this scrutiny is also being based on gossip and hearsay.

When Imam Yahya bin MoeenR wrote the first history of mankind, along with numerous trustworthy and authentic ahadith, he mentioned hundreds of traditions that were completely bogus. The scholars of those days became onerous, fired up and expressed grave annoyance. A poet of those times, Bakr bin Hamad says: 

“Ibne Moeen has gossiped about other people. For which AllahSWT is going to question him. If that gossip proves incorrect, he will be heavily punished, otherwise he shall be rewarded.”

It is also said, contrary to the poet, a hadithist saw a dream, after Moeen had expired. In his dream he asks him as to his whereabouts. Moeen replies that AllahSWT granted him with four hundred beautiful angels (quoted from Kitaab ul Aswah, vol. I, page 158). In order to prove the viability of any hadith, it was necessary to have a standard. For that matter, no one cared for it and elongated their abracadabra into an established art. Today, they are proud to quote Dr. Sprenger On this topic, who said, “Muslims are unique for having preserved the biographies of their 500,000 Imams.” (translation of this quote is from Urdu).

The actual fact remains, out of these five hundred thousand names, excluding those who instantiated the principles of Islam, all the rest were busy destroying the verity of traditions. Now to do research on their names, their genealogies, who were their teachers or students, and how many of those are incorrect, is not any useful historical knowledge at all. You may say, by all means, that it is brain torture or hadith worship which the Ummah has been given in heritage.

 

PRINCIPLES OF HADITH

When I say principles of hadith, I certainly do not mean its terminology or conditions. What are being communicated are its limitations, which the ahadithist conceal in their traditions. These limitations or laws, nearly all of them are superficial and corroded, because of these factors, ahadith are very weak. In this discussion, I shall only take those laws that enable us to highlight hadith.

The first principle is of interpreted hadith. In other ways, it means traditions that are attributed to Messenger are not word for word; instead these interpret only the meanings of a tradition. Words for words are not possible. As the confreres that were present in the company of Messenger, neither were they permitted to write nor did they indulge in idle gossip, whenever Holy Messenger was recollected. Actually the time to talk about Messenger came at a much later period. For this reason they were virtually helpless to write down the exact words of statements which the Messenger made. Therefore, they began to interpret his statements. The ahadithist did not censor, so interpreted hadith came in vogue (quoted from Tauj’hee ul Nazr). Although his certain confreres, for example Hazrat Omar was against ahadith. He either kept his lips closed or only uttered those words that he was sure about. We all know, that meanings change when words are substituted. This tradition of hadith is completely opposed to faith. Hazrat Imran bin Hazain said that if he wanted, he could also, like others, explain and talk continuously on traditions for two nights and two days. I have also heard from the Messenger Muhammad, just as they have. I am afraid I will make those mistakes, that I observe others are making (Tuj’hee ul Nazr).” It appears, from the very beginning, that substitute words were changing the meanings, and differences had started to creep in. The seers and reformers were getting some lessons from this too.

With a few exceptions in the scholars of tabaeen, like Ibne Sereen, Malik, F’tawa and Abu Bakr Raazi, all the rest of hadithists were writing, interpreted traditions. Imam Safyan Sauri says, “If I tell you that the contents of my tradition, are the same what Holy Messenger MuhammadPBUH stated, then you must not trust me. I am only interpreting traditions (Tuj’hee ul Nazr).”

This statement has been given by other hadithists also. Qazi Badr ud deen said to his teacher Ibn e Malik, that traditions are mostly non-Arabic while the ahadith which are explained in his own words, are interpreted. So by what means, can we find the actual meanings of Holy Messenger’s words. He just listened and said nothing. (Tuj’hee ul Nazr).

Abu Hayan says that it is for this reason that the grammarians, while producing the evidence have refered to the ayats (verses) rather the traditions. This was so because he was not sure these traditions were actually the Messenger’s own words. If any tradition does preserve the same and exact words, it is only a matter of chance. (Tuj’hee ul Nazr).

When traditions came to be accepted as interpretations, its position and standing among sayings also changed. As it was only associated with Messenger in its meanings, it cannot be said with any certainty, how far the words went along with the meanings of that tradition. Since with only one word, the whole picture of the statement changes. Under these circumstances, it is very plain and simple, to extract any reasonable meaning from the words of a tradition is baseless, since we do not know the exact words of that tradition.

The second principle is the popularity of ‘individual news.’ The ahadithist declare it popular, once they have judged the purity and authenticity of any hadith, by their own standards. Provided the tradition contains only a single narrator in its history. Scholars and researchers made a pandemonium and opposed this principle. Ibraheem bin Ishmael said, hadith is just like presenting witness, unless it does not contain at least two narrators, it cannot be accepted. Mo’tzilla and specifically Abu Ali Jabbace also admonished seriously. Ahadithist did not care for all these cacophonous criticisms, otherwise that would mean slicing off a huge chunk of hadith treasure. Perhaps that was why, inspite of rational and philosophic orientations, Imam GhazaliR and RaaziR did not compromise with them. Although when Quran demands two witnesses on mundane commercial deals, why cannot we have the same in other matters of Deen also.

Their traditions speak for themselves, when Caliphs demanded witnesses on conflicting issues. Kabeesa explains that a woman called on Hazrat Abu BakrR, asking for a share in her grandson’s inheritance. He told her, he did not find any share for her in the scriptures of AllahSWT (Tuj’hee ul Nazr) He then asked her if she had any witness. Muhammad bin Muslma spoke up and became her witness, and enjoined her to give one-sixth of the share.

In the same way, as was the custom in those days, Abu Musa came to the door of Hazrat Omar’s house and shouted. When he did not get any answer, he retreated. Meanwhile, Farooq e Azam came out of the house, and asked why was he going away. Abu replied that, the Holy Messenger has said, if one does not get any reply after calling three times, the visitor must retreat. Hazrat OmarR told him to bring a witness to his statement, otherwise he would be inviting trouble for himself. Abu Musa ran towards the mosque and asked a few confreres, if any of them had heard these words of Messenger, he must accompany him. One confreres countered and became Musa’s witness, who was then able to get Hazrat OmarR off his back. (Tuj’hee ul Nazr).

            In the period of confreres of Holy Messenger, it was very possible to find an eye witness. In the later phase, the status of hadith narrator was no more that of an eye witness. If he desired to invoke a certain belief or an act, in the Ummah of His Holiness Muhammad, whose figures could go into thousands or perhaps millions. And his statement had been travelling from one confreres to another, the narrator comes under obligation to produce two witnesses, who could testify, that he was present when this tradition was being narrated. So this procedure continues, that two witnesses must be produced whenever any hadithist wants to write a hadith. Without these witnesses, by the law of court and Shar’iat, the hadithists’ words shall not be accepted.

Now it will be interesting to observe, the huge volumes of ahadith treasure that is among us, there is not a single tradition that has been proven by this procedure or can it be proved? Hence, all traditions are uncertain. There could have been one kind of tradition, that one may state with certainty, and that is called ‘Mutawaater.’ Hafiz ibne Hijr writes a definition of this kind of tradition in Tukhba tul Fiqr,’ that:

“An enormous number (of narrators), who narrate a tradition that is from starting to finish, also in huge number and it can also be felt, and it cannot be believed as a habitual lie. And that it touches the core of listeners’ hearts and satisfies.”

            In order for the tradition to be ‘Mutawaater,’ it has to go through four conditions:

¨                  The quantity  of a tradition’s different narrators has to be so enormous, it becomes impossible to accept it as a habitual lie.

¨                  From starting till its end, the number of its narrators at every stage has to be equally enormous. If the figure decreases, even at any stage, it cannot be called ‘Mutawaater.’

¨                  This kind of tradition has to be concrete in its foundations. The tradition cannot be in abstraction. For example, Mecca is a city. Even if the narrators of this news, are just a thousand; this news is declared convincing and mutawaater. On the contrary, if millions believe that Jesus is son of God, this news cannot be called mutawaater, as it is based on abstract conceptions.

¨                  The moment it is voiced, the listener becomes convinced and does not need any argument to prove its verity.

Any hadith that fulfills all of these four conditions shall become Mutawaater. The scholars believe it cogent, and logicians have included it in convictions. But this mutawaater hadith does not exit. Allama ibne Salah, who inspite of being very relaxed in these matters of hadith, has written, that according to the above definition it is difficult to find a mutawaater hadith. Hafiz ibne Hijr after copying the later statement, writes it is possible to find these kind of ahadith. The fact is, the four ahadith that have been pointed at as mutawaater, by hadithists, are the ones that are interpreted and not word for word. (Tog’hee ul Nazr). Leaving aside all, they have changed the meanings of Tawaater and have attempted to name all popular ahadith as mutawaater. And these ahadith cannot be declared as authentic. If any companion or Hadithiest related a tradition which was repeated by innumerable individuals, then it no longer remains ‘Mutawater’ (uninterrupted and continuous) because the number of narrators from beginning to end is no longer uniform. Those who attempt to regard the narrations of ‘Sahihain’ (The two authentic books of Hadith) as uninterrupted and continuous with a sense of tremendous dedicated attachment, for example Imam Tamiyah or ibn-e-Sallah, we can go along with them as for as the continuity of their own compilers is concerned. But the period of two hundred and fifty years which elapsed between them and the Messenger (taking us back to the times of the Messenger) there were khabr-e-wahid only. More explicitly it may be stated that the continuous narration (Mutawatar) is the one which is self-evidentory and which is independent of any pre-supposition, proof and precedent. There, however, is no such tradition, rather most of the traditions are infact the ones known as khabr-e-wahid which according to the experts on the subject are not reliable.

 

RATIONALE OF HADITH

Ahadithist have attempted to rationalize ahadith as part of Deen, and brought the ayat of Quran in support of it. It is necessary to answer, in order for these facts to come out in the open. Imama Shaafi (died hijra 204) writes:

“In the responsibilities of Ummah, imposed in the canons of Quran, we differentiate between those that are mundane and those that are outstanding. Some laws are considered compulsory while others are optional. You must not make these decisions, based on traditions that have been narrated by those people, most of whom you have neither met nor seen. Inspite of being impressed by their confidence and being legitimate, you do not believe them of being beyond error, misunderstanding, discrepancy or mistake. Regardless of that, you take their traditions of being so true and authentic, that you divide and cut the commands of AllahSWT on the basis of those traditions.”

The answer given by Imam in short means, that it is because of these traditions, the truth and purity of sunnat reaches us. And sunnat is wise knowledge in the words of Quran (                                                   ). At another palace it quotes:  

            “You taketh what Rusul giveth you, and abstain from what he stops you from.” (59:7) This ayat of Quran, according to them, proves that sunnat is part of Deen.

The truth is, we think it’s the charisma of Imam Shaafi that convinces the denial, by rationalizations. Otherwise it is hard to answer, even a portion of the question. The objection, of negater of ahadith as part of Deen, is aimed at the source of hadith and existence of hadith, that the hadith is ambiguous in comparison to Quran’s ayat. However, the Quran’s word of wisdom, which has been taken to mean hadith, is not correct. The Arabic word for wisdom                     , means god-like conversations. One of the characteristics of Quran is also called ‘hakeem’ in Arabic, meaning that which consists of wise contents. As is scattered in various ayat

“And Allah sent upon you, book and wisdom.” (4:113)

In the chapter of Bani Israel, where in Quran, in contrast with ten commandments of Torah, Allah proclaims after promulgating thirteen commandments: 

“It is this wisdom, which your Rab has revealed unto you.” (17:29)

The negater, himself had objected, the wives of Messenger have been commanded in the Quran: 

“Those ayat of Allah and wisdom, that are being recited in your houses, ought to be recalled.” (33:34)

From this we understand that wisdom is included in Quran. Otherwise who cares about reciting ahadith? It seems, the Imam did not care to concentrate on this, although he does believe that ahadith are not divinely revealed. (It is due to this reason, the term ‘Ghair Mutloo’ was coined for ahadith. Ghair Mutloo means, that revelation which cannot be recited.) Moreover, when we are certain, of the wisdom that has been sent from Allah, then how can it be made part of hadith? When the Holy Quran says, “ And we granted wisdom to Luqman!” Does that by any way mean, Luqman was given the ahadith of the Last of Messengers?

The second ayat that is brought in proof is:                                           Because of this ayat the religious scholars, even until today say, that Quran supports hadith. This ayat has absolutely nothing, whatsoever, to do with hadith. It is talking about the distribution of items among Ummah, in peaceful times. Here the word                  as opposed to                   has been used by the Quran. People have misconstrued this word completely, although Quran has used this word numerous times in the book. At every place, wherever                appears, its meaning is ‘to give.’ Hence this reasoning is also not correct.

The third argument, according to some, comes from the chapter of Najm, wherein is said,

“Rusul does not speak on his own; it is revelation that is being sent upon him.” (53:3-4)

It is being construed from this, that each and every word that His Holiness, the Messenger uttered was revelation. Again this justification is far removed from reality. In the later ayat, in contrast to the denial of atheists, Quran is saying, that these scriptures came into existence through revelations that we sent. And that is Quran. When His Holiness the Great Messenger, discussed family matters with his wives, or other mundane matters that he spoke about those have nothing to do with revelations. These common conversations have never been declared as ‘revelations.’ The purpose of all opposition was Quran, it was this, that had been sent down via revelation, called ‘Wahi’ in Arabic. The following ayat throws more light,  

“And this Quran has been sent upon me, through this I may aware you and also those to whom it reaches. (6:19)

            At another instance it says, 

“Say it! I aware you by means of this revelation.” (21:45)

Some people have divided revelation into two kinds. One is mutloo and the other is ghair mutloo or jalee or khafee. One kind is called Quran, while the other is called hadith. These terms are only figments of their imagination that have nothing to do with Quran. If ahadith were also revelation, why then were they not written as the Quran?

The fourth reason is vociferated with the following explanation. In plenty of ayat, they say, AllahSWT has commanded us to follow the Messenger. How can we follow, unless ahadith are not made part of Deen? Actually, this is the biggest and supreme mistake, because of which ahadith are claimed as Deen. (This has been discussed in chapter one of this book. Tolu e Islam) for the present, I thought it necessary to point out, that Messenger had two capacities:

¨                  Messenger: To deliver the letters of AllahSWT to the people, in all honesty. It is made mandatory to have faith in Messenger and confirm him in this capacity. This messengership was terminated with his personality.

¨                  Leader: To run the affairs of Ummah according to Quran. Conduct the affairs of administration, take decisions on legal matters, follow through on schemes, execution of collective matters like war and peace, and leading the people through on these. In all these issues, subordination and obedience to Messenger is compulsory.

The splendor of Ummah, that unfolded by the character and personality of MuhammadPBUH, was established for the development of all humankind. It has to remain for all times to come and will be kept alive by the dynamic vicegerents of Holy Messenger. The canons in Quran for the obedience of Holy Messenger, are not confined to his life and times only. Those are meant for leadership, in which are included all those Caliphs who will follow Messenger Muhammad. To obey the Messenger, means obeying AllahSWT. Wherever Quran mentions or commands to follow AllahSWT and His Holy Messenger or obey AllahSWT, it means to obey the Imam of the times or obey the Markaz e Millat (central governing authority).

As long as Muhammad was present in the Ummah, it was mandatory to obey him, as that would mean obeying Allah and His Messenger (and this Ummah shall remain faithful to him, as to have cast its faith in him). After the Messenger, to obey his live representatives, will mean obeying Allah and His Messenger. That does not mean, that any Zaid or Bakr, whoever refers to his name, can stand up and command submission from us. This type of submission or mental attitude emerged when there was no faithful Caliph left in Islam. Usurpers grabbed the throne and enslaved the Ummah. The leadership of Deen was taken over by traditions and professional priests. Since that time, the Ummah has involved itself in religious conflagrations and disintegration. Otherwise the mandates of Deen are fulfilled by abiding by the canons of Quran and Imam of the time. The Imam shall be covered by a group of chosen executives from the Ummah, with whose consent and counsel, he shall run the affairs of Ummah. He shall be responsible for maintaining solidarity and unity in the Ummah.

It is necessary, at this place to clarify, that AllahSWT in Quran, has addressed the human mind. The mind has been granted the instinctive powers to conceive and perceive. The light needed for its guidance, has been preserved in this book, for all spatio-temporal dimensions. It cannot be limited to any specific time period, in contrast with traditions, that only take us back to historical periods.

            Quran is an explanatory book and the revealing light. It was understood informally by its pioneer audience, meaning the confreresR of Holy Messenger. The Messenger felt very little need to explore and explain the meaning of Quran. The questions about Quran, asked by confreresR from MuhammadPBUH, according to Imam Raazi’s calculation are fourteen in number, and in the tradition of Hazrat Abdullah bin AbbasR, they are twelve in number. The answers to these are present in Quran, that are narrated one by one in the Ite’kan of SeyyutiR and in the concluding pages of Mukhasar Jama e Biyaan ul Ilm. In fact anybody can count these from the Quran that are contained in the words                           and                              .

 

QURAN AND HADITH

Quran is the only book of faith proclaimed by Allah. 

 

“The Messenger put his faith in, that was revealed by his Rab, and also did the momineen.” (2:285)

            The Holy Messenger and his Ummah have been directed to have faith in this book.  

“Say! We put our faith in Allah and that which He hath revealed to us.” (2:135)  

“Say ye! I put my faith in the book, that which Allah hath revealed.” (42:15)

These kind of ayat in Quran are countless in number. Also, in the whole of Quran, there is no mention of any hadith or book other than Quran. As a matter of fact, hadith has been explicitly censored: 

“And are those people who are buying the occupation of hadith, so they may deviate others from the path of Allah. And make it ludicrous. Hellfire is awaiting them.” (31:6)

This ayat explains three characteristics of hadith:

¨                  It is used to deviate people.

¨                  It is not based on knowledge or conviction.

¨                  It makes Allah’s path or Deen ludicurous.

That is why those who associate it with music, they are not right or correct, because music implies joy and happiness, and is not a misleading phenomenon. Nor is it ridiculing Allah’s ways, neither does it has anything to do with knowledge and conviction. They are merely part of stories and narrations.

Just as Quran demands conviction, it also has practical constitutional mandates. And is written therein to follow them: 

“Follow that which your Allah hath revealeth unto ye!” (6:106)

And the Messenger is directed to announce: 

“Say! Follow I only that, which my Allah hath revealeth to me.” (7:203)

And it has been mandated for Ummah that: 

“Follow which your Allah hath revealeth for ye, and follow not the knowledge hoarders.” (7:3)

The center meaning the Imam, is directed to rule according to this book: 

“And make decisions based on the revelation of Allah!” (5:48)

He who does not abide by the Book is a transgressor.

“And those people, who do not decide from the Book of Allah are the transgressors” (5:47)

It is the duty of Messenger to deliver and spread the word of Quran: 

“O Messenger! That which your Allah hath revealeth unto you, ye must deliver it to people. And if ye did not do so, you did not spread the message.” (5:67)

Even to those who have received the message, it says: 

“Say! I warn ye by that which hath been revealeth unto me.” (21:45)

In short, the Messenger himself walks in the light of the Quran. And then runs his affairs of public. It was this light of truth that enlightened the core of his heart and has been bedazzling humanity ever since. It is only this knowledge that he spreads and warns others with, that he has, and which comforts human souls, by bringing them out of their darkness of sinful deeds.

“The marvelous Book that we have revealeth unto ye, so that ye may bring people out into light from their darkness.” (14:1)

He judged matters in public according to this: 

“We hath sent unto ye the Book of Truth, as ye may understand and decide among them.” (4:105)

And this book is perfection: 

“This Book hath no doubts in it!” (2:2)

It is forbidden to follow ambiguous things in Deen:

“Do not follow of which ye knoweth not; your sight, hearing and cognitive capabilities will be questioned.” (17:36)

As for speculations it says: 

“Speculations cannot replace truth.” (53:28)

“On this earth are mostly those, that shall deviate ye from Allah’s path, if ye listen to them. They only follow illusions!”

            The Jews had made a collection of their messenger’s ahadith. And in their belief, they shall not remain in hellfire for more than a few days. Quran says about them:

“These gossips that they have included in Deen, shall deceive them.” (3:24)

 

HADITH AND INTELLECT

When examined rationally, we are unable to provide any kind of divine proof, on hadith. As they have travelled orally to us through numerous lips. For example, I heard it from Zaid, who heard it from Omar, he got it from Bakr, he listened it from Khalid, he listened it from Asghar, who listened from Akbar. So any statement, having been through so many channels will neither be knowledge nor witness, nor can it become conviction.

Let us say an individual, with whom I am acquainted, illustrates a story to me. I can decide, on the basis of my opinions that I formed about him, whether what he decided is correct or not. But he says that he heard it from Zaid, in that case, since Zaid is not known to me, I am devoid of any standard by which I could decide, how far and to what extent it is correct. Now when he says that Zaid heard it from Imran, then he also, having no standards to judge from, cannot measure the truth in the story. Therefore statements that have been transmitted orally, through so many individuals, shall lose their verity between the teller and the trusted. We can only say, those through whom the statement travelled orally were very authoritative. The confidence and trust, is not based on statements, but rather on the views of contemporaries of its narrators. The trust has now become historical in essence. We can build history, but not the structure of Deen upon these statements. History is only speculation, but Deen demands conviction, which is rarely to be found in traditions, except in cases of mutawaater. We just discussed about mutawaater traditions, that they are nowhere to be found. In fact all present ahadith, have travelled from one narrator to another, that is why they are called ‘khabr e wahid,’ or ‘individual news,’ that have yet to come to the level of conviction. Imam GhazaliR writes in his famous work on principles, on page 145, vol. I, called Al Mustasfa,’ that: 

“Individual news does not give us the benefit of conviction!”

Now individual news, is also explained on the same page:

“At this state, by individual news we mean a hadith, that even after touching the limits of tawatir, is still not convincing. For example, a hadith that has been explained to a group, by five or six narrators is called ‘individual news.”

Five or six narrators have just been said as an example. Actually, until any hadith fulfills all the four conditions of tawaatir discussed above, even if it has been narrated by hundreds of people, will remain an alien to individual news traditions or tawaatir.

We detailed an account of hadith, that it was compiled in second century hijra, when Banu Umayyads had enslaved the Muslims. The total collections that we have with us now, cannot stand the test of verity. The saha sitaa or the famous six ahadith books, were compiled in third century hijra. As the Caliphs, during the Umayyads’ period, had abandoned the leadership of true Islam that started evolving with Holy Messenger. Hence, those ahadith were now in the hands of different kinds of narrators, that worshipped splendor and grandeur. This in turn influenced hundreds of other worldly wise narrators of hadith, who began to adopt them as their profession. Out of these, disparate factions, for their own purpose, fabricated and made many ahadith and spread them among the Ummah. Much later, when critics or connoisseurs on ahadith took their stand, they were at a loss to find any criterion, except the words from peoples’ mouths and their own opinions, to sift between good and better ahadith. Even those ahadith that have been screened by these critics, are not beyond ambiguity. Therefore, those non-Muslim scholars and critics on Islam, actually are quoting and forwarding these ambiguous ahadith, that in fact have all proven bogus. As we know, that all statements of Deen are beyond criticism and doubt. That is why, hadith scholars explained, in matters of ahadith, one must refrain from speculating. It therefore becomes incumbent upon us to measure and gauge them. As hadith is news, and being so, is liable of being true or false.

Moreover scholars themselves have attempted to question their verity. This makes for the dominating fact that ahadith are being examined by knowledge, and are therefore not counted in the values of Deen. So that no human may doubt His message, AllahSWT has commanded to have faith in His messengers. On the contrary, it is nowhere written in the Quran, to have faith in tradition narrators. Leaving aside traditions, there are thousands of narrators who are called trustworthy by some, while others are filing non-confidence motions against them. Since everybody is at liberty when voicing his conscience, so traditions are being criticized by knowledge, and have only historical significance. They shall never achieve the status of Deen.

 

THE RANK OF HADITH

            The preceding pages have revealed to us, the following facts:

¨                  Ahadith came into existence, against the desires of Messenger and his confreresR. As MuhammadPBUH had emphatically stated, not to narrate traditions about him and his followers, the CaliphsR also made continuous attempts to stop the pens of hadith writers.

¨                  The same was the situation of its calligraphy. The Holy Messenger strongly prohibited the writing of it. His confreresR and CaliphsR kept on incinerating and erasing the manuscripts of Ummah and attempted to arrest the menace of hadith.

¨                  The criterion of judging right from wrong ahadith is also based on surmise and speculation. The scholars of rationale and criticism had no other means besides hearsay or their own speculation, by which to distinguish between true or false hadith. Therefore these testified ahadith are also based on speculations. In their books, an authentic hadith, has the following words in it:

            “opinions prevail, the Holy Messenger must have said……….”

Nowhere, have these narrators been able to talk with conviction. As Mullah Ali Qari has said in his work called Mau’zoo’aat, that:

“The extent of verity in hadith, is understood by ahadithist, after looking into its narrators. Otherwise none of them are based on conviction. It appears what ahadithist believe to be true, is in fact false and vice versa.”

However, these ahadith that are declared true, are in their books ‘interpreted hadith,’ that have given way to numerous contradictions. And giving these ahadith any place next to Deen, disintegrated the solidarity in Muslim brotherhood and divided the Ummah in numerous factions. The Sunnis and Shiites both have their own kinds of ahadith. Every faction or sect has decorated its religion, according to traditions of his inclinations. Every sect takes the traditions of other sects to be false and its own traditions as authentic. Let me say, in the spirit of Quran, to make divisions in Islam is shirk (placing another god besides God): 

“And do not be among msh’reqeens, those who divided their Deen.” (30:31-32)

There is every possibility of misconstruing the meanings of Quran. These misunderstandings or conflict are not about the verity of the words in Quran, but are due to non-comprehension. And these conflicts can be eradicated by further concentrating on the words of Quran, eventually blocking those ways that bifurcate Islam.

However, the correct stature of hadith happens to be as history of Deen. It can prove beneficial to history, but to present it forward to rationalize Deen, will carry little meanings. The most damaging aspect of placing hadith next to Deen, caused Quran, that is full of life, to go into eclipse. Furthermore, from the days of Holy Messenger till today, the landmarks of ahadithist, that have remained debatable, are those that have no link with practical matters of the social fabric of Ummah. For example, who is greater of the two, Hazrat Abu BakrR or Hazrat AliR? Is Quran animate or inanimate? How does Allah descend to the lowest heavens in the later part of the night. While standing for prayers, must we fold our arms? Is it necessary, while praying in congregation, to recite ‘Fatiha,’ after the mullah? Should we say ‘Amin,’ in high volume or low? So on and so forth, they go on with these and similar kinds of questions. On the contrary if Quran had been the focus of attraction, then Muslim Ummah would have concentrated on matters, as to how we can consolidate and fortify the central governing authority and make it more practical? How can we search for ways and means to bring Muslim brotherhood closer to each other and the application of Quran more popular in the milieu? The natural universe, which Quran states, can all be harnessed by man. How can we possibly control its potential energies, to serve in the development and emancipation of humanity. How can we turn our faith and virtuous deeds into life giving reality, so that each individual in the Ummah can become a vicegerent on earth, for which the human being is being evolved and so on and so forth.


.Translator’s Note:- (Perhaps because hadith was ready made material, and to concentrate on Quran needs taxing one’s mind, time, energy and fear of rejection)