Uloom Al Hadith Spring 2010

Beginning Uloom al-Hadith / Beginning Sciences of Hadith II 

Overview of the Course: Beginning Uloom al-Hadith

Required Textbook:

Bilal Philips. Usool al-Hadith (available at MCA Bookstore and al-Huda Bookstore)


Final Exam 100% or 90% (One final, May 30, one week before last week of class)

Pop Quiz 10% at the discretion of the instructor


Basic Outline of the Class

Topic 1: Criticism (Philips, pp. 117-131)

Topic 2: Classification (Philips, pp. 51-111)

This course is intended to give a basic introduction to the principles of hadith, such that when people read about these topics or hear the terms involved, they will grasp what is being discussed. It is also hoped that this series of courses will lay the groundwork for more advanced courses in the future.

2010-04-04 Class Notes 

The information presented in the textbook is trustworthy. There are other books which are more comprehensive but they are not reliable. 

Review of the past session

The ways by which hadith is transmitted or passed on. Samahtu (sheikh is reading directly from his book or memory in a hadith session). Qirah or Ardh (student is reading back to the sheikh from sheikh's book or notes and the sheikh has to approve of his reading) 

Asma-ul-rijaal - Identifying the narrators, who they are, who are their teachers, who are their students

Al Jarh wa tadeel - Quality of the narrator - concept of tadeel, dhabeet, piety and proficiency of the narrator, concept of theeqah, one who is both pious and proficient in narrating hadith

Classroom discussion

If information comes to you, what are some of the qualities or reasons due to which you will not accept information from an individual?

1. Not religious // not very practicing

2. Lying

3. Lacking chivalry / shameless

4. Faasiq

5. Extreme heretic

6. He seems to be contradicting quran and sunnah

7. Unknown person

8. Lacking wara' - level of taqwa (wara' means piousness, godliness, godfearingness)

9. Lack of proficiency

10. Conflict of interest

We have to be careful about rejecting narrators based on unacceptable or baseless reasons. If there is something that is mubaha or permissible in the shareeah but is culturally frowned upon, could it be used as a reason for rejecting a narrator? No.

We cannot reject something that is permissible but contradicts the social mores or customs of the society.

If narrator is doing something permissible but contradicts the norms of the society, then can we reject his narration? No. 

It is mubaha to see the woman before getting married, but it is not accepted in some societies.

What about differences in ijtihaad? Something that you find haraam but the narrator considers permissible. Difference of opinion - weak versus strong. Weak is baseless and is not based on Quran and Sunnah, Strong difference of opinion is based on actual differences between scholars.

Drinking nabeedh nectar and then being carried on donkey - It was considered acceptable in Qufa but unacceptable in Baghdad. People in Qufa believed in it, sometimes to the point of religiousity.  

It happens today in Yemen wrt chewing Qat. Some in Yemen believe it is acceptable or their religiousity to chew Qat. 

Classroom discussion of rejecting narrations by an Extreme heretic 

Definition: Bida'h that takes you out of the fold of Islam. There can be an act that is Kufr but does not make the person a Kafeer. 

Scholars opinion of Ahl al Bida'h. 

Scholars divide them into the following categories:

1. Those on bidah which is kufr

2. Those on bidah which is less than kufr

3. Relatively minor bidah - an act versus belief

4. Those who make dawah to the bida'h (leaders versus followers)

We want narrators to be adl and dhabeet. Is it possible for a person to be from Ahl al Bidah and still be adl and dhabeet? Why should we reject the narrations of ahl al bida'h?

It is not a clear cut opinion. 

Some people will reject opinion or teachings of a visiting lecturer or scholar due to some leanings of the scholar. This is similar to narrators of hadith.

There were accusations againsts many scholars of hadith. Sheikh gave example of persecution of Imam Bukhari and Habbani??

Discussion about Imam Nawawi

Nawawi says there is ijmaa to reject those narrators who are following bidah that is kufr

Suyuti points out that this claim for ijmaa is not correct

Some scholars say that person who is following bidah that is kufr can still be adl and dhabeet. 

Some scholars say that if person rejects the five daily prayers or something of that nature then you cannot accept his narration.

Imam Shafieeh was famous for his statement that we accept witness of everybody except rafeedah. Because the rafeedah were famous for ...

Apostle Paul said that you could lie for the sake of spreading christianity.

Discussion about which specific groups of bidah  from Bukhari and Muslim.

Al-Suyuti's analysis: 16 murjiah narrators, 

                                7 nasabiyya (pro-Uthman responders)

                               26 from Shia

                               29 from Qadriya

                               1 from the Jahmiya

                               2 from the Khawareej

                               1 from the Waqifiah (Quran is created)

However Khawareej were accepted because they believed that any act of lying is major sin that will lead to hellfire. So some scholars say that they are adl and dhabeet and we can accept their narrations.

2010-04-11 Class Notes

There were some scholars who rejected narations from ahl al-bidah. Sheikh mentioned names of two scholars.

We accept narations from people of bidah except people who permitted lying.

There was a group of people Al Qarraniya who permitted lying on behalf of the prophet (not against him, ie they forged hadith)

Al Khattabiya were the group from Shia who also lied on behalf of the prophet or forged hadith

Ibn Taymiyyah wrote that bidahs are of various type. Khawareej were not the people who intentionally lied. Their hadith are from the most authentic hadith. However they were ignorant and strayed on their beliefs. So their bidah was not to hurt or damage Islam intentionally.

Footnote: Khawareej said lying was a major sin and will be sent to hellfire. Hence they did not lie. You may come across a story of khawareej who on his deathbed said that he fabricated hadith. According to the sheikh, this story is not true or correct. Somebody later on added that the person is khawareej. So be careful when you come across this story.

Scholars distinguished between leaders and the followers of the bidah. ie people who made dawah to the bidah. These scholars were Imam Hambali

Gravity of bidah - some scholars such as ibn Hajr distinguished between major and minor bidah.

early shia versus rafidah. Early shia belief was Ali was more virtuous than Uthman. They believed Ali was correct in the battle that broke out between Ali and others. Some might have believed that Ali was more virtuous. This is tashiah - early shia belief. Later shia believe rejected many sahaba, they were unbelievers and stole the khilafa etc were their beliefs, this belief would be called rafidah. Unfortunately most of the shia today are rafidah.

Khawareej believed that Ali was kafir because he accepted human judgement. The early shia did not like the khawareej

Qadriya and Majriya began as small misconceptions. Some of them later developed into schools of thought. In Basra, almost everybody had a Qadriya belief. Imam Ahmad and Ibn Taybiyyah said if we were to live the narrations of Qadriya then we would have to discount all the narrations from people of Basra.

Case by Case basis - His honesty. His Bidah. Particular Narration. This is the reason you find narrations from ahl al bidah in the books of Bukhari and Muslim, because they did a case by case evaluation of a narrator.

Six Basic Principles in judging others

1. Realize or recognize danger in declaring some muslim to be a disbeliever

2. An action or statement can be kufr does not mean that the person who did that action is a kafeer.

3. Every innovation is a misguidance from the state path, however bidah are at different levels. Just like sins

4. The ahl al bidah also are at different levels

5. In one individual you may find combination of sunnah and bidah.

6. Making mistakes in detailed matter of aqeedah does not mean that the person has strayed and is ahl al bidah

These principles were followed by Ahl al hadith when they judged narrators.

Would you accept narration from some one who reviles or abuses the sahaba?

Is the person adl and dhabit? If he is and he still reviles or abuses the sahaba.

Suppose some one says all the sahaba are kufr except 10 or 12 sahaba? 

This statement is kufr. And it can be proved from Quran and Sunnah. 

Someone accuses Abu Bakr of stealing the khilafa? Would you accept their narration?

This statement is kufr because it goes against the ijma of the sahaba.

What is someone says sahabi is stingy?

So even reviling sahaba can be at diferent levels. Why is the person saying it? We have to consider the context and know more to understand the facts

Unknown Narrators

There are three categories: Majhool, Mastoor al Hal, Majhool al Ain

First Category - Majhool

1. He is not a student of hadith. He may be famous for Qira or his pious

2. Scholars don't know who this person is

3. There is only one narration from him. He is obscure.

The whole point is that we can verify the narrators and ascertain that they are acceptable as narrators. 

There are unknown in both private and public lives.

Scholars are going to reject him, until they find some more information

Second Category - One whose condition is unknown - Mastoor al Hal

He looks like adl from his public life but details of his private life is not known. 

Some of the compilers of hadith would accept narrations from these narrators. Statement of Ibn Silah 

Hanafi view - distinguish between the first three generations (sahaba, tabien, taba tabien) and the other generatios then we can presume goodness and accept their narations

Does some one become adl by virtuing of confirmation that the person is adl throughout his life or is it enough to not have any negative information about the narrator.

Third Category - Majhool al ain

All the scholars do not accept narrations from Majhool al ain - an individual that we cannot identify from any of the biographical sources that we have.  And hence scholars do not accept narrations from majhool al ain.

Somebody might be unknown to one scholar but known to others. Later scholars by ibn Hajr is he says he is unknown, then we can assume that he has taken the time to research the narrator.

ibn Hazm has a record for categorizing the most of majhool. He said Tirmiddhi and somebody else were Majhool.

It is better to say that somebody is not known to you and not to just label them majhool.

ibn Abi Hateem used majhool but he meant mastoor al hal. But he was quick in determining something???


How about somebody who does not lie while narrating hadith but he may lie in other matters?

We don't see any contradictions in his narrations but he lies in other matters

Lying is a major sin. But nowadays the culture is different and it is common to find lying is very common now a days.

What about somebody who made tawbah from lying? He has repented and he undid the wrongs that he did. Can we now accept his narrations? 

Majority of the scholars do not accept his narrations but some of the scholars might accept his narration. It is not a common occurence. This is a theoretical question.

What about somebody who lied while narrating hadith but now he has repented? Can we accept his narrations?

All scholars agree, we will never accept his narration. It doesn't matter whether he has repented.

2010-04-18 Class Notes

I joined the class 15 minutes late.

Todays Topic started with Tadless

Tadless means-  to conceal or to hide. Example of someone selling something. If you know something is bad that you are selling and you conceal it, this is tadless. 

Tadless al Isnad

X is a student of Y

Chain is from X -> Y -> A

And then you drop Y from the chain, X -> A.

This is tadless al Isnad

ibn Abbas learned a majority of the hadith from other sahaba. But when he reported the hadith he said, aan rasulallah. So this is tadlees.

Tadlees is dropping the most immediate narrator from the prophet?

You believe the narrator is thikka but the others do not believe it and you simply drop it from the chain.

Sometimes you might have lot of hadith from shaikh and secondary sources. You might simply say aan shaikh, this would be forced case of tadlees. For the case where you dont remember when you dont remember whether it is from your sheikh or from secondary source. If the person is doing 

Tadlees al Shayukh

You don't drop anyone from the chain. But you use name for you shaikh that is other than his common name. Intentionally using a name other than the most commonly known name of the narrator.

One of the problems is that the actual narrator might not be recognized. 

Suppose the original narrator was a trustworthy narrator but because a less recognized name is used for the narrator and his identity is confused with some other narrator who is not a trustworthy narrator. And this leads to a hadith being rejected even though it is from a trustworthy narrator.

Reasons for changing the name. The reporter might want to show that his hadith is not only from one source, create an impression that your hadith collection is diverse. Maybe for fame, etc.

Tadlees al Taswiyah

The most dangerous kind of tadlees. Chain going back from prophet, E -> D -> C -> B -> A -> Prophet. The one who is going to make tadlees is narrator E. He knows C is a rejected narrator. So he drops C and replaces it by using Aan.  If D was a student of B and both B and D are acceptable narrators then it can create many problems. If B and D are not known to each other, then you can detect this weakness of the chain or the tadlees of the chain.

In all of the above cases of tadlees, the person doing tadlees is not lying.

If someone commits tadlees, do we now reject the narrator on the basis of adl. 

Opinion of the scholars. One view that we should go ahead and accept their narrations even if they did tadlees. It is the opinion of the Zaidi madhab. 

If you look at the approach of fuqaha (fiqh scholars) they accept the narration of tadleesin as opposed to the approach of scholars of hadith who reject narration of the tadleesin. This is one of the most distinguishing characteristics. 

This went unnoticed for a couple of centuries. When the scholars of hadith realized what the fiqh scholars were doing, the madhab has already been established.  

This created a backlash because the scholars of hadith now said that the fuqaha were wrong. Then some of the fuqaha started analyzing muhadeethin and then they found out that the muhadeethin were passing on hadith without understanding what they were narrating. They started pointing out these examples.

Early scholars of the hadith did not have this problem, the later muhadeethin were just passing on information without paying attention.

Sheikh gave an example, where the hadith that described the use of stones to purify after urination and the word used was witr to imply odd number of stones and some to the muhadeethin would pray witr, to highlight that they did not understand the usage of the word witr. This happened in the 5th century of Hijra.

Another view if that you reject all of the narrators of the tadleesin. Reject all of their narrations, not only the ones that they performed tadlees. 

Yahya ib Muin said tadlees is the brother of lying. He considered it zeena to be a lesser crime than tadlees.

The dominant view among the scholars of hadith, if the narrator is theeka, then you only reject the hadith unless it shows how he performed tadlees. If he said Aan then you reject it, if he uses akbarahana or hadathini then you accept the hadith.

If you have someone who commited tadlees al taswiyah and there is Aan anywhere in the hadith then you reject it. Only if he has used terms such as hadathana then you accept it. If you find the person doing tadlees is doing to hide a untrustworthy narrator then the rank of the tadleesin is reduced and the hadith is rejected.

Categorization of the tadleesin

Scholars of hadith ranked people who committed tadlees. What is the nature of the tadlees? How often did they do tadlees? They used five categories and ibn Hajar built futher upon this categorization. It was started by ...

1. People who rarely did tadlees for example Imam Malik

2. Great scholars of hadith and they were fully aware of relating hadith. And it was known that they would never perform hadith to cover up weak or rejected narrators.  Sufyan al Thauri and Sufyan ibn Uyyad. 

We accept narrations from categories 1 and 2. We trust their intentions for performing tadlees

3. Those who committed a lot of tadlees and if they used the word Aan we would not accept the hadith.  If they used the word Aan we reject it. Hasan al' Basri, Qatadah Sudushi, Abdul Razak Sanani

4. Bad practices of tadlees to the point of affecting their adala (adl). Most of the scholars would reject them outright or only reject them if they used the word Aan.

5. Rejected narrators so it doesn't matter if they used Aan or Akbarahana or Hadathini

Ibn Hajar has the following enumeration of the tadleesin:

33 in the first category

33 in second category

55 in third category

12 in fourth category

14 in the last category

Walid ibn Muslim, Waqiyah??? were well known for ???

People of Kufa and Basrah were well known for making tadlees. Only one person from Baghdad who is known to perform tadlees.

2010-04-25 Class Notes

The theft of hadith

- سارق الحديث : To claim that you heard the hadith from someone when you did not. 

- Why different from liars? More talking about the chain; whereas liars are people who fabricating the text of the hadith. 

- So he's not creating a new hadith, he's creating a new isnaad. 

- One of the leaders the mu'tazilah, 'Amr ibn 'Ubaid. Hadith about whoever points a weapon at us is not one of us. Why does this hadith matter to us? Because it allows them to say that someone who is a major sinner is in a special category. The hadith is authentic. He did not have an isnaad for this hadith. So he fabricated an isnaad for this hadith going through Al-Hasan al-Basri -- even though it is authentic. 

- Not a minor issue. 

- Other things that are done under this category. It's very similar to tadlees al-taswiyah -- sometimes also called saariq al hadith. 

- Or replace weak narrators with the names of strong narrators. 

- Or simply replace the entire chain with another chain. 

- What is difference between this and tadlees? Tadlees he says "'an" -- you are hiding something. In this case, though you are outright fabricating something. 

- Would you accept someone who did this? It is outright lying. 

- What you'll find sometimes in the books of narrators is that he has been accused of stealing hadith. 

- One must distinguish between one who is a liar and one who is accused of lying. 

- Could be someone who made mistakes.  

- Have to consider how it affects both his adaalah and his thabt. If he occasionally makes mistakes then it affect his thabt. But could you use it as supporting evidence.  Therefore have to distinguish between someone who is accused of stealing hadith and someone who stole hadith (e.g. proving that he narrated from people he never met). 

- Example: عبدالله بن لهيعة - At one point in time his books were destroyed in a fire. His memory was not very strong. After the time of the fire, his hadith are not acceptable.

- Some people say before the burning of his books, his hadith are not acceptable. 

- Then you have study from him and see if you reject before the incident of after the incident. 

- Accused of either stealing hadith or making tadlees. Defence -- he was making a lot of mistakes. Hence Adaalah is not affected. But his thabt was affected. Abdurrahman b Mahdi, companion of Ahmad b. Hanbal said that Ibn Lahiyah sent him a book. Took this book to Abdullah b. Al-Mubaarak. So some people make an exception if the hadith comes through Abdullah b. Al-Mubaarak. But many of the texts narrate from Aamir b. Shu'aib. Ibn Lahi'a in his book said "haddathana Amr b. Shu'aib." But Al-Mubaarak said that all of these hadith come through Ibn Abi Farwah through Amr b. Shu'aib. 

- Hence Ibn Hibban says that he uses tadlees. His defenders say that he is saariq but unintentionally -- doesn't realize that he's making this mistake. 

- So would conclude that he is weak -- not in terms of his 'Adaalah, but in terms of his thabt. 

- "The deen is Al-Aql. If someone doesn't deen he doesn't have aql."  -- no authentic hadith that speaks about the virtues of al-Aql. But one author fabricated chains as well. 3 different fabricated chains makes this harder. Someone coming much later might say: I have all these different chains. 

- We don't have the same kind of listings of thieves of hadith. And some of the biographies do not highlight this aspect of someone's career. 

- Ibn Hibbaan - كتاب المجروحين and Ibn Adi -- al-kaamil fi duafaa al rijaal.  make a point of mentioning if someone is accused of stealing hadith. Ibn Adi -- will analyze all their hadith and measure how consistent with other narrators. 

- Some things are excused

  - E.g. Muadh b. Jabal narrated to us means narrated to us -- doesn't necessarily mean to that person directly. But if it is felt that it is part of natural speech, then it is overlooked. 

  - Sometimes the term they used for acquiring knowledge. E.g. wijaadah -- you have a book for which you have no reading for it -- you're not allowed to narrate from that book. 

  - Some of the people from the time of Bukhari would say "haddathani" if you have a book -- wijaadah -- they did not see anything wrong with it. This would be called a kind of stealing of hadith. 

- Therefore must analyze the stealing of hadith: is he really lying, or is he following a different terminology. You have to know that sometimes when a particular narrator uses haddathani, he may not mean directly -- he may mean via wijaadah. 

Other categories of rejected narrators

- Mistake-prone. 

  - How many hadith would someone make before we reject his hadith? 

  - One of the things they divide on is how many mistakes are a lot of mistakes? 

  - Some scholars are more lenient as others. 

  - But none are as lenient on fuqaha -- 50%. But no scholar of hadith would accept that. 

  - Within scholars of hadith there is some of the variation. 

  - Strictest: Ibn Hibban.

- Also some people who were not strict in the session: 

  - E.g. someone was known to doze off during hadith sessions. 

  - Or would be preoccupied while narrating hadith. 

  - Or would allow his students to be preoccupied.

  - Is it enough to reject a narrator? Probably not. 

- Being lenient wrt to talqeen تلقين. 

  - Where someone will come to the shaikh someone will be reading the hadith and the sheikh is not careful about which hadith were his and which ones were not. 

  - One of the ways that scholars are tested. 

- Ikhtilaat

  - Due to senility or some other event in someone's life. Someone goes from being a good narrator to not being a good narrator. Did these students receive these narrations before or after the sheikh was affected. Clearly can tell if someone only talked part of the time. What if someone studied before and after? Can not accept it on its own. 

- Narrating from weak narrators, or unknown narrators or fabricated hadith

  - Some scholars -- if someone is known to narrate weak/fabricated hadith, some would not accept their hadith. 

  - If someone is going to reject a narrator, important to explain why you are rejecting a narrator. 

2010-05-02 Class Notes

Mistake prone narrators

We definitely have problems with such narrators. Some of the kinds of mistakes they talk about are: 

1. Any change in the wording in particular to add something to the text that doesn't belong

2. Problem of tahseef: You write without dots on the alphabets and then read them back incorrectly, it is related to the quality of writing. When it comes to re-read the shorthand text of arabic without dots and vowels and the difficult 

3. Al Ihtiraaf (something that is shaky) where narrator narrates inconsistently, You cannot determine what is the correct narration. The narration is not consistent.

4. Mixing up chains of hadith not on purpose but mistakenly. It gives the impression that some hadith are narrated by a different chain but in reality are not.

5. Consistency or contradiction to other narrators. If you find a group of narrators from the same session of hadith transmission and the mistake prone narrator contradicts the other narrators from the same session.

6. Tabkeel??? When hadith is read back to the sheikh by the student and the sheikh or teacher fails to identify that this is not his hadith. Sometimes this is done by mistake or sometimes on purpose by the student to test the teacher and it shows the mistake prone nature of the sheikh.

7. Senile due to old age or dramatic event in their life. 

A general group of people that scholars were very cautious about were the following:

1. Pious people or Adl people - They are dedicated to worship but not dedicated to study and when they narrate, it is quite often the case that they made mistakes. They did not make good narrators. They are referred to as Abid 

2. Storytellers - Every big mosque had one or two of these people, they stood up after prayers to exort the people to do good deeds and the more grandeur the story you make the better, unfortunately these stories were not true. They might be sincere and have lots of energy, but their field is not the study of hadith and they might not be precise. They embellish hadith, the quran and the stories of the quran. They don't mean to decieve, they present in such a way to get people more excited, but you have to be more careful about their narrations of hadith. The common people believe it and cannot recognize what is authentic and what is embellishment. 

A very long hadith is a sign that there might be some fabrications, however there are some exceptions and there are some long hadith which are well-known.

Hadith which says that if you do this then you get reward and if you don't do this then these are the punishments, the kind of internet hadith that get passed around are example of the storyteller hadith. 

Categorization of rejected narrators

We discussed the rejected narrators and now we will see how scholars categorized the rejected narrators and the labels for the rejected narrators. In pages 127-128 of the text book, categorization from strongest to weakest of the accepted narrators and now we will continue with the rejected narrators from strongest to the weakest. Be careful when using these categorizations by one or two terms.

7. Least of the rejected narrators. The term that is used to describe them is kind:

7a. Feehi da3af, which means he has some weakness.

7b. Layyin - fragile

7c. Feehi maqal - ???

7d. Feehi  - warrants further investigation, suspicion

7e. Mastoor al haal

Al Bukhari was very gentle when talking about rejected narrators and if he used the term in category 7 in reality it could mean category 10 or 11. Point is that different scholars can use these terms to imply 

None of these statements cast doubt on the narrator's adl, it is to deal with the narrator's proficiency. It is possible that narrators of these categorization corroborated each other then we can increase the level of acceptabilty of the hadith.

The terms are going to get stronger as we move down

8. Daeef Narrators. The terms use to describe them are

8a. Munkar al hadith - means his hadith are rejected

8b. La yuhtaju bihi - Do not accept him as an authority

8c. Wahin - gives the impression that he makes big mistakes

8d. Majhool

9. Daeef Jiddan Narrators - they make so many mistakes that scholars doubt their varacity. The terms used to describe them are:

9a. Mardu al hadith 

9b. Wahin al murra

9c. He is not worth anything or not worth a penny

9d. Majhool

You can make a dividing line between 8 and 9. Adala of the narrator is not questioned but level 9 means that he might be right by mistake, since he is so error prone.

10. Doubting the person's integrity completely. Accused of lying and stealing hadith, signs point to it but we cannot explicitly prove it. He is not theeqa.

11. Liars

11a. Kadhab

11b. Dajjal

12. Most liars

12a. Fullan akhdan bin nass - he is pillar of lying

So you don't touch any hadith from level 10-12, you cannot use it to corroborate. You can use 7-8 to corroborate. 9 can be used to corroborate by some scholars. For some scholars, level 9 is difficult to accept because they don't know what the intentions are of level 9 when they make those mistakes

Page 233, narrator #??? Laisa bin Qawi - narrator is not very strong, he is first of the weak narrators, level 7. this term is used by ibn hajr

Daeef is from the 8th level. 

Al amish losing sight

Majhool, narrator 1453 - ibn haban says that the chain is broken. It will be level 8 or 9 depending to the scholar.

So we have finished talking about accepted and rejected narrators, now we will move on to the books of narrators.

Books of narrators

These books are divided into different types.

1. Dedicated just to the sahaba - For example, Al ihsaab fi tameez al sahaba a four volume book by Ibn Hajr. These books include the story of the sahaba and their narrations, It also includes information about which there are disputes about whether they are sahaba. These books are biographies of the sahaba. He combined the previous works by ibn darr and ibn abi???

2. Books of narrator in general - For example, Al Bukhari collected biographies of narrators when he was 16 or 17, the book is called tahreek al kabeer. This was very early in his career and has many mistakes as pointed out by the later scholars. He also has tahreek al sagheer.  

Another important book by ibn abi hateem wrote jarr wa tahdeel. He compiled the books by his father and other scholar. 

Another book is tahreek al damishq about all the narrators who passed through narrators, it is 67 volume. 

Tahreek al baghdadi by ...  

Books that are concentrated on just trustworthy narrators, such as Kitab ut thaqaat by ibn Haban. Please note that ibn Haban's madhab for theeqa is much more lenient.

Books dedicated to weak narrators, to any narrator that is ever criticized or declared weak in any way, the author will include him in his book and then discuss whether it is justified or not. Dhaahabi has Abu Hanifa in such a book. 

Bukhari has a large collection of weak narrators. Sai also has a book. ibn Haban's book of weak narrators is much smaller than his book on theeqa. 

Most popular books on narrators

Some of the books that are commonly used or popular family of books that discuss the narrators. These books have influence on everyone in the class.

Abdul Ghani al Maktasi - Al kamal wa fi asma al rijaal

He collected all of the narrators in six books - Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, Musnad Ahmed, Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood ibn Majah

This book had such influence on hadith that it had much more impact on the six books that he referenced. The six books became very prominent. This work by al maktasi is very large, it exists in manuscript format but has not been published. 

Al Madhi - Tahdeeb al kamal

This book came after al maktasi's work and the name implies abridgement but it included much more information.  For this reason there were abridgements of this book

Ibn Hajr - Tah dheeb al Tahdeeb

Dhahaabi - Tadh heeb al Tahdeeb 

Ibn al Atheer - Jami3al usool

Ibn Hajr - Takreeb al Tahdeeb

There was another attempt to bring these books was called Takreeb al Tahdeeb also by ibn Hajr. This has the barest of the information about the narrators. Bilal Phillips refers to this book which an abridgement of an abridgement and there is not much information about the narrators.

Khulasa al tahdeeb by Al Khazraji

2010-05-09 Class Notes

Discussion of the literature on Asma al rijal and its evolution

1. Al Kamal fi asma al rijal from 544-600 Hijri. Al Maktasi put together al kamal fi asma al rijal. Asakeer had written a previous book on asma al rijal which was only about the shayukh. (Kamal means completion)

2. Tahdeeb al Kamal by Al Mazzi who died in 743 Hijri. Mazzi was ibn Taymiyyah's teacher as well as student. They were colleagues. Tahdeeb means abridgement so the book title is the abridgement of the completion.,

3. Tadheeb al Tahdeeb by Al Dhahabi 677-748 Hijri. Again this is an abridgement of abridgement

4. Al Kashif by Al Dhahabi

5. Ikmaal al Kamaal by Mughlatai, he thought Mazzi was not complete so his work is the completion of the completion, kamal means completion. But this work is not popular????

6. Tahdheeb al Tahdheeb by Ibn Hajar 773-852 Hijri

7. Taqreeb al Tahdeeb. Also written by ibn Hajar. Taqreeb means to bring it closer to the people, so the title means it is a popular abridgement for the masses. To reduce the number of volumes so that it is accessible to the masses. Published as one volume.

8. Al Khulasa by Al Khazraji died in 923 Hijri. Published as one volume.

9. Tahreer Taqreeb al Tahdheeb  by Shuyab Al Arnaut and edited by Bashaar. It is a book by a contemporary author. It was published 8 years ago.

10. Al Kamal fi dhahafa fi rajal by ibn Addi. Complete work of weak narrators ibn Addi who died in 365. He is one of the best scholars who was analytical and was able to spot mistakes made by narrators. Any narrator who is critiqued you will find him in this book.

Maktasi missed some narrators, Mazzi provided new information about narrators. Mazzi included narrators from number of other books written by the compiler of six books. For example, Bukhari has other books such as aqeedah, creation of the action of human beings, etc, Mazzi put together narrators from these other books by the compilers of six books. For that reason Tahdeen is a much larger book than Al Kamal. It has 8045 entries about narrators in his book. He added over 1700 narrators. 

First important abridgement of Mazzi's work was Al Dhahabi 677-748 Hijri. Dhahabi was Mazzi's student and colleagues. It has 8864 entries. Shiekh found the number of narrators by looking at the last  entry, so some of them might be cross references. So the sheikh might be incorrect in his conclusion about the entries, they might not be unique and the numbers are from the current publishers. The work is an abridgement of Mazzi's Tahdeeb al Kamal. Dhahabi also wrote Al Kashif.

The later works such as Taqreeb and Al Khulasa are just one volume long. So they are very very abridged works of the previous authors.

This is not an entire picture, there are many more books on asma al rijal. Let's find out how these books differ.Sheikh is worried about how some people do research using the later books which are abridgements. You cannot use one or two word abridgements of the narrators to do takhreej or research. 

Criticism of one narrator Ubaydullah ibn Abi Ziyad - Laysa bi Kawi


Let's study an example from page ?? of Bilal Philips book where he discusses a narrator Ubaydullah ibn abi ziyad. This should not be considered sufficient research to conclude the weakness of the narrator. Yes the narrator is weak but it is not sufficient research.

He is contrasting it with Khazarji's book and he showed an excerpt from the book with no margins no indentations. Sometimes it seems the book is one big paragraph. He then discusses the narrator.  He discusses Abu Tufail who was the last sahaba to die. Abu Hatim says laisa bi ... he is not strong. Khazraji provides more evidence. He does not provide his conclusion. Taqreeb gives you less information than Khazraji but ibn Hajar gives you his conclusion which is what researchers are looking for. 

Al Kashif by Dhahabi, he gives you the name of the narrator and names of people who narrated from him. Then he says fihi laiyin... there is some weakness. Then Dhahabi says, Abu Dawood says that there is strangeness in the narrators hadith. Abdu Dawood concludes that he did not see any munkar him. Dhahabi provides his conlusion and of course he was a well respected scholar.

So Al Kashif and Al Khulasa have more details than Taqreeb. Ibn Hajar provides conclusion. So does Al Dhahabi provide his conclusion.Tahdeeb and Tadheeb typically did not have conclusions. But it provided more critical information. The amount of information is the earlier works is large compared to the alter abridgements. Statements of scholars increases but no conclusions, the conclusions are in taqreeb or kashif.

Tahdeeb's discussion for the same narrator runs into 4-5 pages. Who narrated from the narrator is mentioned. Anything in particular about the narrator. For example, one of the hadith that comes from is about the name of Allah and something else related to Surah Baqarah.

Sheikh also demonstrated the quality of the later printings of the books.

How to do research on narrators?

If you are serious about research then Tahdeeb al Kamal is very important. But if you are pressed for time, then you look at the conclusions from Tadheen, Al Kishaf and Taqreeb. And then sheikh uses one more book by Shuyab Al Arnaut. And finally he recommends using Al Kamal fi Dhahafa fi rajal by ibn Addi.

If there is some discrepancy then you have to go back to Tahdeeb al kamal because it will provide you additional information. The later printing of this book has footnote which shows where this is discussed in all of the other works. It is an index of all other books. So you can go and find them in the other works.

There is a dissertation about the conlusions of ibn Hajar.

If you have a hadith from Musnad Ahmad, you might not have common narrators that are listed in the 9 books listed above. Most of the books are written before 600 Hijri. 

Revival of the uloom al hadith

Al Albani contributed to the revival by making this topic accessible to the masses. Another person who contributed to the revival was father of Hasan Al Banna, Shaykh Ahmad al-Banna was a scholar and a watch maker. He rearranged Musnad Ahmad according to the topic and wrote a commentary on the book. He lived in the previous century. Musnad Ahmad was arranged by narrators and if you wanted to find a hadith on salat in it, you would have a difficult time finding it. Another scholar is Jamaluddin al Kasimi who contributed to the revival.

2010-05-16 Class Notes

Notes/Observations on previous class

Sometimes you will see contradictory statements even from one scholar, usually there are reasons for the contradictions but we will not go into those details. Rarely used terms are difficult to understand. These issues we will discuss in the intermediate level. When you find narrators in some of the books such as Abi Hatim's book where the author is silent about the narrator, what does his silence mean, depending upon the scholar it could mean positive or negative.

Classification of Hadith 

Now we will move on from jarr (criticism of narrators) to the topic of classification of hadith and in particular what it means for a hadith to be sahih.

Sahih Hadith Criteria

1. Muttasil: Chain must be unbroken. Narrator has received information from its source and received information in an acceptable manner. 

2. Every narrator in the chain must be adl (righteous). This must be a person we trust, he is not a liar. However honesty and religiosity is not sufficient.

3. Every narrator in the chain must be dhabit (proficient and accurate) in the science of transmitting hadith.

    Every narrator that is adl AND dhabit is known as thiqa

4. The report must be free of shudhoodh or shaadh (contradicting any strong source). 

    Classroom discussion on the is possibility of abrogation. However you will find more evidence where the sahaba would say we used to do such and such thing. Statements of fact and aqeedah cannot be abrogated. 

5. 3illah  علله The report (both isnaad and the chain) must be free from any hidden or damaging defects. Under closer observation, you will find that there is a defect.

For example, if you have a narration and a complete sound chain, lets say back to Abdullah ibn Masood, one of your students when he is narrating this report on your authority and he does not stop at aan abdullah ibn masood (narrating from sahabi is known as Mauqoof) but he continues the chain and says aan rasulallah (mistakenly says it is narrated by the prophet, narration from prophet is known as Marfooh). This is an example of hidden defect and you can correct it by checking all the transmissions of the hadith and checking the chains to find where the mistake was made. Statement of Abdullah ibn Masood was whatever a muslim sees as good, Allah swt sees it as good and whatever a muslims sees as bad, Allah swt sees it as bad. 

Sometimes it is difficult to determine this defect has been made. For example the following hadith from Sahih Bukhari ... right hand does not know how much the left hand gives... most of the narration states that the left hand does not know how much the right hand gives. Somebody switched the usage of right and left hand in the narration. Is this hadith defective? 

How did the statement of Abdullah ibn Masood get reported in the collection of hadeeth?

Depends upon who is compiling the reports, it could be reported as statement of Abdullah ibn Masood, or it could be reported as how the report was incorrectly transmitted, or the compiler may not be aware of the mistake.

For a report to be authentic, no matter what the topic or who made the statement, there is no relaxing of the criteria. Statements of tabieen are not hujjah, but you don't relax the criteria. Even the books of history they have to use isnaad, you cannot report something as authentic without following the above criteria.

Sahih li Dhatihi صحيح لي ذاته

Hadith that is sahih without requiring any external evidence or corraborative evidence. If you have hadith that meets all of the above criteria on its own then it is sahih li dhatihi.

Discussion of an example to determine its authenticity

qal al ju3fi haddathana abdullah bin yusuf akhbarna malik 3an ibn shahab 3an muhammad bin jubair bin mut3am 3an abbihi

قال أل جوعفي حدثنا عبدالله بن يوسف أخبرنا مالك عن ابن شهاب عن محماد بن جبير بن مطعم عن أبيه 

I heard the prophet recite surah tur in salat maghrib when imaan first entered my heart

Is it permissible to recite Surah Tur in maghirb, is there some prohibition regarding the length of surah? There is an authentic narration that prophet recited surah Aaraf in Maghrib prayers which is longer than Surah Tur.  There is no prohibition on the recitation of lengthy surah in maghrib prayers. So we can say that without external corraboration we cannot  evaluate fifth criteria.

What about 3an in the chain? Is this a problem and how do we handle it?

We discussed who met the narrators in the chain and how to handle the 3an. We will continue the discussion next time.

2010-05-23 Class Notes

Continuing the hadith from last time and as a reminder here are the five conditions for hadith to be sahih.

Five conditions for hadith to be authentic

1. Chain is broken

2. Every narrator is adl

3. Every narrator is dhabit

4. No shudhoodh

5. No 3illah

Jubair -> Muhammad ibn Jubair -> Ibn Sheehab (Zuhari) -> Malik -> Abdullah ibn Yusuf -> Al Ju3fi (Muhammad bin Ismail al Bukhari al Ju3fi)

We are discussing the chain and determining if it is broken. Have the narrators of the chain indeed met each other.  Sheikh has informed us that indeed the narrators met one another.

Is the chain a case of tadlees, stating that you heard it from your teacher when in fact you did not? Check if any of the narrators have been accused of committing of tadlees? The sheikh informed us that none of the narrators have done tadlees.

What about hadathana and akbarahana? If the narrators did indeed met and if they are not liars then the chain is unbroken.

Are the narrators theeka (adl and dhabit)? Jubair's adala has been established but there is no report of deficiency of dhabit. Muhamaad ibn Jubair is also son and a sahabi and there are no reports of mistakes. Ibn Sheehab is also known as Zuhari, he is one of the greatest collectors of hadith from the tabieen. He is both adl and dhabit. Malik is Imam Malik was both a scholar of fiqh and hadith, among the four imams, in particular Malik, Ahmad and Shafiee there is no doubt about their adl and dhabit except unfortunately for Imam Hanafi. Abdullah ibn Yusuf was one of Imam Malik's students and he is adl and dhabit. Al Jaufi was Muhammad bin Ismail al Bukhari al Ju3fi.

Discussion about Imam Malik and whether he considered Surah Tur to be a lengthy surah and did not recite lengthy surah in Maghrib prayers. Since Imam Malik consider it to be makrooh then does this cast doubt on the hadith?  This does not mean that the hadith is shaadh.

Discussion about different narrations and different matns. 

The shortest chain is Bukhari is four and this chain is five. 

This whole thing is in Bukhari the last text added to the matn does not exist in Bukhari. It has a different isnaad. Sheikh added it for this class to test us and see whether we went to Bukhari and checked the matn and isnaad. With the added part, is also from Bukhari but has a different isnaad. With the added part now this hadith is 3illah

Mistakes make the hadith go from sahih to weak very quickly. Jews used to present documents to the Muslim rulers showing that they do not have to pay some taxes and they determined the document was forged by theem.

This hadith without the additional part is known as Sahih li dhatih or sahih based on its own merits.

Scholars talk about two categories of hadith sahih and hasan hadith. By the way we have a final exam next week. So there must be some other hadith that are also accepted by scholars which are considered hadith. Are there any relaxations of the five conditions that make it hasan? Hasan is something less than sahih, it has a lower rank than sahih. One person wrote a PhD dissertation 1800 pages long on hasan hadith and it has some interesting conclusions.


We cannot accept a hadith that is shaadh and then say that we accept it.  What about maalool? If you have a doubt about the hadith then you do not accept it. Al Mutarram is shaky hadith, hadith that is narrated in so many inconsistent ways that we have to reject all of the narrations. Ibn Hajr says there is no such thing as mutarram.

If we conclude that hadith is maaloom will you reject it?

What about if the chain is broken? If someone is missing, you might accept the hadith. Discussion about mursal hadith and sahabi reporting a hadith that is missing one narrator.

You cannot compromise on the adala. You can overlook khareem al muru3ha.

Can you overlook dhabit? Imam Malik has narrated hundreds of hadith but he has made mistakes in 2 or 3 hadith, you would accept it. What about somebody else would you accept it? You might accept it but call it hasan. You accept it but it should not contradict something stronger is not shudhooh. This is one category of hasan.

We have different chains for hadith and when we study those different chains, the text is exactly the same but two different chains

Chain A: Meets all of the criteria for the authenticity and it is sahih li dhatihih

Chain B: This chain is hasan. Hadith Sahih wa isnad hasan. This is an example of sahih li ghairihi, it is sahih due to supporting evidence. Albani will put a note and say that it is sahih and then we you go and study his more detailed works you will find the evidence.

Hasan li ghairihi is below hasan and is a hadith that starts out as weak but is raised to the level of hasan due to supporting evidence.

Bilal Philips gives an example of sahih li ghairihi hadith and that could be found on page 57. It is hadith from sunan abi dawood, were it not hardship for my ummah, I would have ordered them to use miswak for every salat.

Then on the next page, he says the author of Muqaddeemah comprehensive books on uloom al hadith says that one of the narrator is honest but is known for making big mistakes. And then he says something about Tirmiddhi who has a student of Bukhari. It was Tirmiddhi who introduced the term hasan and he was an expert in using supporting evidence. However it was defined later.

2010-06-06 Class Notes

Imam Bukhari was an expert in illah or hidden defects of hadith but he did not compile a book of hidden defects of hadith.

Q9: Narrators have to be adl and dhabit. If somebody is from ahl al bidah might not affect his proficiency so we have to worry about his adala. 

Tadlees al Isnad - Important point is that the narrator who drops the immediate narrator has to be his sheikh.

Tadlees al Shayukh - Reporting Imam Bukhari has Juhufi

Hasan al Basri used to perform tadlees frequently. He was known to narrate from almost anybody, as he was known to do, then when he drops somebody from the chain we are then in a quandary.

Tadlees al Taswiyah - Baqiyah and Al Walid are two narrators who did this tadlees.

For the question about hadith, we should have stated that the reports were students of each other and they were not known to do tadlees. Abdullah ibn Umar is a sahaba and son of Umar, Naafi was the slave of Umar, and Malik is Imam Malik. So all we could say that the isnaad is sahih but we would not to determine that the report does not have any shudooh or illah to report it to be sahih.

Summer session will be for 7 weeks instead of 10 weeks and we will focus only on sahih hadith. The important works are Sahih al Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, Sahih Ibn Hibban, Al Albani, Sahih ibn Khuzaymah, Muwatta of Imam Malik

Out of the "six books" we included only Bukhari and Muslim, because the other books are not collections of only sahih hadith, they also include non-sahih hadith.

Why would somebody say that Al Albani is not a source work?

Akhrajahu Al Bukhari - it was recorded by Al Bukhari. The word akhraja refers to a source work. Al Albani is not a source work. There is no isnaad back from Al Albani to the prophet. Similarly the works of Imam Nawawi is not a source work.

Muwatta of Imam Malik is not a true hadith collection, it contains reports from sahaba and tabieen, it is not complete in providing all of the isnaads for the hadith. Many times Imam Malik would drop the source. However the reports are authentic. Imam Shafiee said that the muwatta of Imam Malik is the most authentic. Imam Shafiee was student of Imam Malik, Imam Ahmad was student of Imam Shafiee and Imam Bukhari was student of Imam Ahmad, so Imam Shafiee had not seen the work of Imam Bukhari.

Works that will discuss in the next session:

Al Mustadrak ala al Sahihain by Al Haakim (the two sahihs)

Sahih al Rabee ibn Habeeb (some connection to the remnants of the Khawareej and people of Oman who are ar-rabee)

Usool min al Kaaf al Kulain by Al Kulaini (Important book for the Shia)

Musnad of Zaid bin Ali (Important to Zaidees from Yemen)

If a hadith is truly mutawattir then it must be sahih. We have no fear that a mistake has been made and removed the possibilities of collusion to report a fabricated hadith. They have to eye witnesses of the report, it cannot be ijtihaad of the reporters. 

Any report that is truly mutawattir is considered sahih from Usool al Fiqh point of view. It conveys definitive knowledge. 

If it does not meet the condition for mutwattir, it is known as Ahaad.

We need atleast 4 sahaba to report from the prophet and then at least 4 independent tabieen, you will most likely have more in the later chains, to meet the criteria for mutawattir.

You could have 1000 chains but only 3 sahaba in the chain then it is Mashhoor, Mustafeed


Mutawattir (Minimum of 4 sahabas in the chain)

Ahaad - Mashhoor, Mustafeed (3 sahabas in the chain)

         - Azeez (Minimum of 2 sahabas in the chain)

         - Ghareeb (Only 1 sahaba in the chain)