Uloom al Hadith Summer 2011

Beginning Uloom al-Hadith VI

Required Textbook: Usool al-Hadith by Bilal Philips (available at MCA Bookstore and al-Huda Bookstore)

Grading: Final Exam 100%

When: Sundays 3:15 PDT - 4:15 PDT June 5, 2011 to July 30, 2011 (Please note that the last class is on a Saturday and not a Sunday)

Basic Outline of the Class Weak Hadith (Philips, pp. 66-92, 106-110)

2011-06-05 Class Notes

Review of weak hadith before we begin. Weak hadith are hadith that are not acceptable by the Shari’ah. Going over material more than once is a very important step in learning.

Weak hadith are those hadith that do not meet the conditions of acceptability.  We have accepted hadith and rejected hadith.

Conditions for acceptability of hadith

Brief overview of five basic conditions for acceptability:

1.  No breaks in the chain of narrators

2.  All of the narrators in the chain are adl (people of integrity).

3.  All of the narrators in the chain are proficient (dhaabit).

4.  The text or chain of the narration does not contradict stronger reports or evidence.

5.  Contains no hidden damaging defects; hidden damaging defects in the sense that during a detailed study there are issues found that can affect the validity of the hadith.

A hadith has to violate only one of the above conditions for it to be considered weak.

Some problems associated with weak hadith can be divided into one of the following three categories:

I Problems with broken chains

Problems with respect to the chain being broken can be divided into two categories, break is obvious and break is obscure. These categories can be further divided (for example, Ibn Hibban had more than 100 different types). But here are some broader categories:

1.  Break in chain is obvious (Arabic term for this category was not specified -- or perhaps munqati?) This category is further subdivided into the following sub-categories.

1a. Mursal (مرسل) hadith: The name of the sahabi in the chain is missing and therefore the chain is broken, violating the first condition.  However, hadith in this category is the strongest of the weak hadith.  The only narrator missing from the chain is one of the Sahabah and we know that the Sahabah are acceptable narrators.  If more than just the Sahabi is missing, it might be more of a problem but is still considered a mursal hadith.

1b. Munqati’ ( ) hadith - there is a break somewhere in the chain of narrators; this is the most generic term.

1c. Mu’dal (معضل) hadith: At least two consecutive narrators are missing in the chain.  If you are not reading a book written by a muhadith (scholar of hadith), you will not see this term used.

1d. Mu’allaq (معلّق) hadith (Hanging or suspended): Missing narrators from the compiler’s side, ie the one who compiled the hadith has left his source (or source’s source, etc) out of the narrations; we are missing some of the compiler’s sources. (See the notes in the previous quarter of this class about the Mu’allaq hadith of Sahih Bukhari)

2.  Break in chain is obscure. (Arabic term for this category was not specified, it could be ???) Obscurity could be for intentional or unintentional.

2a. Obscurity due to intentional act: A narrator is doing something that makes the break hard to identify (intentional). (There is a possibility of committing tadlees ???)

2a.i. Mudallas (مدلّس) - this is a hadith where a student narrates a hadith from his sheikh that he did not learn from the sheikh.

Suppose we have a chain from A to B.  We know B is A’s student.  It is possible that B heard a hadith from C that heard it from A.  He could possibly narrate from A through C without lying by using a generic term, ‘an, but by doing that B is hiding the fact that the chain is broken.  So in this case, the break is obscure because B is A’s student but B has essentially hidden C from the chain of narration.  This is obviously not a good practice.  If someone is known to do this, we will reject his reports that use the generic term ‘an in the chain of narration.  there are other kinds of hadith that fall under this category but we will be following this.

2b. Reporting a narration from somebody who did not meet each other or did not have student - teacher relationship for narrating hadith. It is not clear whether two narrators actually met from the understanding of the scholar; our lack of knowledge, our weakness).

2b.i Al mursal alkhafi (المرسل الخفيّ) - Hidden or obscure.  If one is narrating from a contemporary narrator, someone who is living at the same time the narrator is.  In reality, the two, D and E, never met but just happened to live during the same time.  If D narrates from E using the term ‘an, he would not be lying.  People reading this narration may know that D and E were not related.  however, someone may come later and think that the narrator narrated from the source and not E.  This one takes a more trained eye (experience) to identify.

II Problems with respect to the integrity (adala) of the narrators

Here the categorization is based on the quality of the narrators. You get narrators of different quality.

1. Liars, people who fabricate hadith.  We would call these hadith fabricated.  

2. Narrators who do not have the academic??? capability to narrate hadith quality.  They may or may not contradict what better narrators narrate.

3. Matrook (متروك) hadith or discarded hadith.  There must be someone in the chain who is really a “bottom of the barrel” narrator.

4. Munkar (منكر) - The word munkar has many different meanings.  This category is one of the weakest hadith.  These are narrated by weak narrators and contradict stronger authorities.

5. Da’if jiddan (ضعيف جدّا) - very weak hadith.  

6. Majhool (مجهول) - As a hadith narrator, the narrator narrated very few hadith (we don’t know his quality) or we don’t know much about the narrator.  Scholars describe hadith narrated by someone in this category as weak.

III Problems with respect to the accuracy of the report

The reliability of the report is in question or has been lost.

1. Mudraj (مدرج) - Where something has been inserted either into the text or isnad.  For example, there are some words present in the hadith that don’t belong there. These could be words inserted by the narrator to explain a term.

2. Mudtarab (مضطرب)- A “shaky” hadith for which a problem in the text or isnad cannot be reconciled.  What is meant by this term is there is some conflict and confusion regarding how this hadith has been narrated in such a way that the conflict cannot just be ignored or explained away; it is a true conflict or contradiction.  At the same time, we cannot determine what is the correct narration.  There are two problems here; in the case of contradiction, we follow the one that is correct and ignore the one that is wrong.  However, here we also cannot identify the correct narration and we must therefore discard all of them and not use any of them as a proof or evidence.

3. Maqloob (مقلوب) - it means inverted, upside-down.  A substitution.  Something has been turned or twisted, either in the isnad or the text.  This would include inverting some one’s name in the chain.  Many narrators may have similar names.  It is very easy especially when dealing with descendants of a narrator.  People would some times get the genealogy wrong e.g. instead of Murra ibn Ka’b vs Ka’b ibn Murra. What if there is someone else called Ka’b ibn Murra? This was especially likely in Arabic as there are not that many unique names.

If someone is known to do this repeatedly, we will reject him as a narrator.  This is a serious kind of mistake.

This also includes putting the wrong narrator in the chain of narration.  

For example, the hadith of athan for fajr.  The Prophet saas said that you should continue to eat and drink until you hear the athan of Ibn Umm Maktoom.

There is a hadith in Sahih muslim that talks about the seven that will be shaded by Allah swt on the Day of Judgment.  In Sahih Muslim, one of those seven is the one who gives in charity so much that his right hand does not what his left hand gives.  (the substitution is the right and left are interchanged).

Would you reject this hadith as maqloob?  Sometimes you have to be careful as there many be times where there are multiple authentic narrations and sometimes the Prophet saas said something differently.  We need to look at the source to see whether it is in fact a different hadith.  Abu Karim,a contemporary scholar, concluded that this is not a maqloob hadith.  There is a hadith that talks about a man that gives a great deal of money in charity and it is described by the narrators that the prophet saas said that he would give right, left, right (giving so much) and thus it is possible that the right and left hands don’t know what the other is giving.  Therefore, the hadith according to the scholar is not maqloob.

Picture of board diagram and notes:

2011-06-12 Class Notes

3. Maqloob (مقلوب) - it means inverted, upside-down.  A substitution.  Something has been turned or twisted, either in the isnad or the text.  This would include inverting some one’s name in the chain. (Continuing from the previous week)

There are three basic reasons for the occurrence of hadith that are maqloob:  The first two of them are intentional.

3.1 Stealing hadith to make it seem as if you have a new hadith by performing maqloob. The is done intentionally and is not a good practice. These are known as stealer's of hadith.  They try to make it look like they have a hadith that no one else has.  They will take a hadith that is well known or better known amongst people and they will change the isnad for fame and notoriety for themselves.  If someone is caught doing something like this, all of their hadith will be rejected and they will be labeled as unreliable narrators.  This is pure lying; it is not even deception or tadlees but it is explicitly lying.

3.2 To test scholars and “hadith people” by intentionally performing maqloob. As a scholar or narrator of hadith, you had better know the hadith with the chain.  If you cannot differentiate what hadith go with what chain, then your quality of narration will be impaired.  Sometimes people would be tested by being given hadith with a different chain.  When Al Bukhari went to Baghdad, his reputation had already proceeded him and the people were really looking forward to meeting a scholar of this reputation.  Ten scholars proceeded to read to him ten hadith each (a total of 100 hadith).  After listening to each hadith, al Bukhari said he did not know any of the hadith after each hadith and at the end of the presenting of the 100.  Al Bukhari said after they were done that I will tell you the hadith that I know.  He proceeded from the beginning one by one each hadith with the correct isnad.  Ibn Hajr said that the interesting thing in this story was Bukhari repeating back to them the list of hadith with the wrong isnad (as recited by the people testing him) before presenting the correct isnad.  Some scholars say that this type of testing a scholar by intentionally subverting something in the hadith is wrong to do.  Perhaps some people in the audience leave without knowing that this is a test and they take the hadith presented with the incorrect isnad.  It was common practice for teachers and students to test each other but we must be careful to make sure that no one gets the wrong impression or comes away with incorrect information.  

3.3 Mistakes made by narrators or unintentionally performing maqloob.  

A narrator may know a hadith but attach an incorrect isnad to the narration.  If someone does this repeatedly or consistently, this can become a big problem and will affect the reputation of the narrator.  The fuqahah are much more lax in this area compared to the scholars of hadith.  They will take the isnads for these hadith as just different isnads for the same hadith whereas the scholars of hadith identify and isolate these incorrect isnads.  The fuqahah typically do not appreciate the technicalities of isnads; this is why you need specialists in hadith to address these issues.  

4. Al Musahhaf and Al Muharraf Distorted or Changed Hadith

The next two kind will be put together as they are typically dealt with together. The names for these categories have passive voice equivalents. These problems are with both isnad and the text of the hadith. And we are still in the section dealing with the problems with respect to the accuracy of the reports. One of the common false claims of the ulimah is that they did not look at these issues.

Al Musahhaf (المصحّف)

To change or distort something.

The technical/specialized meaning:

If you strip a word in Arabic of all of its notation, you get its basic form.  There are two basic ways of making mistakes here.  For example, placing the dots in the wrong place.  This is known as Musahhaf.  Also putting the wrong vowels will fall into this.

General usage:

At-tasheef is a general word.

Al Muharraf (المحرّف) -

The technical/specialized meaning:

If you change the basic structure of a word.

General usage:

Al-lahan (اللحن) - more general grammatical errors, like using the wrong form of a verb.  This means incorrect grammar as well.

Hearing it wrong, writing it wrong and reading it wrong: this is musahhaf and muharraf.

Even if it doesn’t affect the meaning, it indicates there is an issue with thabt.

Even in Surah al Fatihah, people make mistakes which some consider not affecting the meaning of the surah but this is not what the Qur’an is. (Shaikh mentioned how some people recite Al humdullilah, he mentioned two variations)

It’s never ok to make mistakes but grammatical mistakes made in the isnad typically don’t cause a great deal of harm.  If a grammatical mistake is made in the text, the impact can be much more significant.

Tasheef is much more problematic because everything looks fine, even grammatically. Whereas Lahn, you know that it is wrong.

The passive voice names for Al Musahhaf and Al Muharraf are tasheef (تصحيف) and tahreef (تحريف).

Why do tasheef and tahreef occur?

Reason #1: Copying from books.

Copying from one line and skipping down to an adjacent line that has the same word.  This occurred a lot with copies of other religious texts. It is important that copies be reviewed by an expert or source to ensure accuracy of the content.  

Sometimes you will see a circle after the end of the hadith.  The sheikh that hears this hadith during the review session will put a line through this circle to indicate that it has been verified for accuracy.

The differences in hadith manuscripts (of Sahih al Bukhari) tend to be minuscule.  Shaikh mentioned one edition of Al Bukhari which has asterisks and symbols to denote the different versions that existed for each hadith in different manuscripts.

This issue of tasheef is something that scholars paid a great amount of attention to.  On books of uloom ul hadith, there will always be a section on the manners of writing and things to take care of, like using good quality paper, pens and use good penmanship.  It would be common to have just one writer during a halaqa session.  Students would be watching the sheikh, listening to the sheikh and one or two to record the session.  People take their copies and compare, after which a final copy is generated for review by the sheikh.  It was very formalized.  They knew what they were doing.

Reason #2: the closeness in resemblance of many of the Arabic letters.  

Many of the letters look close to each other and can be confused during reading. Manuscripts did not have dots, taa and raa would look the same, etc

Reason #3: Not hearing things well.

The sheikh would read and there would be someone in the crowd who would repeat what the sheikh said; these were typically professionals and experts at this as not everyone can repeat things with the best quality.

Reason #4: Mentally the person gets used to something and it becomes easy to mentally assume that what you read or hear is like what you are used to hearing or reading.

Automatic reflex, auto-replacing something from your habits or memory because you think it is close to what has been said. Ajmad versus Ahmad, you hear Ajmad but you write Ahmad.

This could be with respect to names or text.

Al ladheena versus Ad deen. Shaikh mentioned an incident when he was teaching a class in Berkeley and he said Al ladheena instead of Ad deen. This is an example of tasheef.

Reason #5: Selective perception.

Especially the groups of bid’a, they have what we call selective perception by definition.  It can cloud what you hear.

(Footnote: Studies done in the US among Caucasians showed that they would automatically select a perpetrator of a crime to be from other race (African American) even if they were shown films in which the perpetrator of the crime was from the Caucasian race.)

Reason #6: Natural causes with respect to damaged texts caused by moisture or contamination.


Tasheef can be a cause for rejecting a narrator for looking at hadith and thinking they are authentic while they are not, or the opposite.

In some cases, there is a fine line between tasheef and tahreef (distortion).  Was it just a mistake or was it a distortion?  Some scholars pointed out nowadays that there are some cases of what scholars in the past recognized these as tasheef and were used by some modern scholars when they should have not.  

Examples of Tasheef to highlight how dangerous it is.

(Footnote: Exam for the students of the Arabic class.)

Example #1: Prophets cannot leave behind an inheritance, it is all left as sadaqah

Laa nurithu ma tarakna sadaqah (لا نورث ما تركنا صدقة)

What we leave behind is sadaqah versus what we leave as sadaqah cannot be inherited

Footnote: Shaikh is asking us to ignore the Arabic text, he seems to think that there is some mistake in his notes, and we will discuss it later. Since he has made a mistake in copying the text, he is unwilling to discuss the distorted version of the Arabic text.

This hadith talks about how we are not to be inheriting or inherited from the prophets; what we leave behind is sadaqah.  Anything that the Prophets leave behind is a kind of sadaqah.  Putting a period after the thaa can be a mistake.  

The Shi’a do not like this hadith.  Why do they not like this hadith?  

Fatima went to Abu Bakr to ask for her inheritance from the Prophet saas.  Abu Bakr narrated this hadith and said that there is no inheritance from the prophets and everything that they leave behind is sadaqah (does not go to any heirs).  There is nothing that the daughter of the Prophet saas, Fatima, to inherit.

The Shi’a see this as a sign of Abu Bakr as usurping the rights of the family of the Prophet saas.  

Abu Bakr heard these words from the Prophet saas and the usage of these by Abu Bakr is correct as he heard it from Abu Bakr.

if you change this slightly, it can say what we leave as sadaqah cannot be inherited.  There is a difference here between this statement and the previous meaning provided.  

The sheikh appears to have something wrong in his notes in terms of how it is written in Arabic but he is fairly certain the meaning is correct.

Tahreef and tasheef can occur unintentionally but can be done intentionally as well.  It could have been done originally as an innocent mistake and in other cases it could be a cause of deliberate tampering.

Example #2: Tasheef to falsely implicate Abu Awaanah as a fabricator

Two lines of Arabic text here.....

Line #1  وضّاح ذاك العبد

(waddah is the name of that slave)

Line #2   وضّاع ذاك العبد  

(that slave is a fabircator)

Famous story concerning a narrator, he goes by the kunya, Abu Awaanah

The bottom line which is tasheef or distortion of the first line, means that that person is a fabricator (وضّاع ذاك العبد).  It basically means “that slave is a fabricator.”  This is referring to a person by the name of Abu Awaanah.  It is clear by reading this story from different texts that calling this person a fabricator is a case of tahseef.  The correct word is wadaah (وضّاح).  Someone made this statement in reference to Abu Awaanah as an exclamatory statement.

Most people do not know that Abu Awaanah’s name is Wadaah.   We have enough information and narration to know that Wadaah is the name of Abu Awaanah. And we have the original statement preserved and we know Abu Awaanah and that he is not a fabricator.

Someone was trying to reject a narration of Abu Awaanah and did so by making tasheef in this statement. The original mistake was unintentionally made, but somebody used it century ago to conclude that Abu Awaanah was a fabricator, but we do not know anything about the intention of the person who made this mistake by using this distortion.

Sheikh mentioned that this individual did tasheef multiple times, so his intention might be questionable. Note: I did not hear properly, whether this was about the above person or some other example.

Next week, the sheikh will give an example of a case where a scholar rejected a hadith but was mistakenly done because of tasheef.  

2011-06-19 Class Notes

Tas’heef and Tah’reef

Last time in class, we discussed tas-heef and tahreef, distortion is one of the meanings of this but is a very negative word, from the technical perspective, we are talking about more of the types of mistakes and issues (in some cases there is intentional mistakes).

The problem is that when you make mistakes, there can be many ramifications, including rejecting hadith that are acceptable, accepting hadith that are not acceptable, rejecting narrators that are acceptable, etc.

Reasons for tas’heef and tah’reef

One of the issues with the Arabic language is that there is a lot of closeness between many of the letters and some differ by just a dot in notation.  Things can be changed quite a bit without many details having been changed.

Tah’reef Distorting the Arabic text

كادت والله vs كاذب والله Distorting the phrase almost able to ( ) to the word liar (adjective)

There is a story, where one scholar comes to the narrator and questions him about his hadith, this scholar was testing the narrator to ensure that he can identify the chains of the hadith that he narrated. The narrator after some time realized that he is being tested, and he said that you are almost able to accomplish what you set out to do, and then this story has been distorted in some books to even say that the person is a liar. (In the above story, the phrase almost able to is distorted to the word liar). You see a very strong statement being made about the one being tested.

This story can be found in two different publications, one by Ad Dhahabi (الذهبي) -- a famous uloom ul hadith scholar and a historian titled Mizan Al I’tidaal (ميزان الاعتدال -- “the balance of justice”) which is a collection of narrators who have been critiqued in one way or another; this is a collection of weak narrators in general but not all are necessarily weak but rather is anyone who has been critiqued or degraded as a narrator.  Even if the final conclusion is that a criticism of one narrator is changed you can still find it in this book.  Ibn Hajr expanded this book and disagreed with some of Dhahabi’s work.  The work is titled Lisan al Mizan (لسان الميزان).

Another reference to this story can be found in a book written by Al- O’qayli (العقيلي). The name of the book is Adu’afa al Kabir (الضعفاء الكبير).  The entry is Mujahid ibn Musa al Makhrami (مجاهد ابن موسى المخرمي).

Tah’reef Distortions due to paper and writing instruments

Another reason for distortion would be imperfections in the paper or the quality of the writing instruments or wear and tear of the paper over time. So fatha and damma or dots would be appear because of the distortions or imperfections of the paper or writing instruments..

When you add more diacritical marks or dots or vowels to the Qur’an, you are restricting the Qur’an to a single qira’ah. So sometimes people are not aware of the different qira’aat and correct people. It was really around the time of the tabi’een that dots and vowels started being added.

In order to remove these distortions, the scribe or the person taking notes has to review the notes with his teacher.

Tah’reef Distortions due to mistaken identity of narrator due to writing mistakes

Al Jawzy’s compilations of authenticated and fabricated hadith

There was a classic case with a scholar named Ibn Al Jawzy (ابن الجوزي).  There was a scholar of hadith known as Al Hakim who compiled a book named Al-Mustadrak (المستدرك). What was said about this book (which isn’t true) is that any hadith that had the possibility of being authentic was included here.  Al Jawzy wrote a work called Al-Mawdoo’ah (الموضوعة) that contained the opposite, ie. every hadith that could possibly be fabricated.   

There is a hadith reported in Ahmad’s collection and also in Al-tabarani. “At the end of time, there will be men who have whips like the tails of the cows and they go out earning Allah’s displeasure and return earning Allah’s anger.” It was narrated by someone called Abdullah ibn Bukhair (عبد الله ابن بخير), which is a very uncommon name. One reason for making a mistake, is that you mistakenly refer back to what you are used to hearing.  For example some people would misread a name ma’mar (معمر) to be muammar (معمّر).

Abullah ibn Bukhair is an acceptable narrator but in one of the books, his name is mistakenly referred to as Abdullah ibn Buhir (بحير).  There is a dot missing in the name and there existed a person with this name. So this incorrect narration is found in Al Tabarani’s Mu’jam al Kabeer (المعجم الكبير), published in 22 volumes. Unfortunately it has many mistakes, due to the publishers shortcomings.

Al Jawzy saw this narration by Buhir and he includes it in his collection of fabricated hadith, however he should have been aware of the correct narration by Bukhair since he is from the Hanbali madhab.

Footnote: Nowadays too many people grade too many hadith too quickly.  Sometimes they rely on manuscripts that have not been reviewed in any detail; it is not a good practice.  This has existed then and it exists now (relying on mistaken information that is).  

So if someone intentionally does this, even just changing or removing that dot, what would you think about this narrator?  He would be considered a liar and all of his narrations would be rejected.  We can’t take chances that he lied here and didn’t there.

How do we deal with a narrator who does this mistake unintentionally?  

If it happened to someone rarely, it is a mistake and people make mistakes (even if the end result of the mistake was not very good).  People make innocent mistakes; however if we see a pattern in this or if the mistakes are repeated, even if we believe he is not doing it intentionally we will still reject him as a hadith due to this weak ability to narrate, his dhaabiticity is now called into question.  We cannot tolerate this because these mistakes can cause authentic hadith to be rejected and vice-versa.

When does tah’reef become the really bad tah’reef?

When passing on this knowledge, the person has to be as honest and precise as possible.  This is something that the Ulimah understood very welll and emphasized and gave many principles/points of means by which we can protect ourselves from making these mistakes.  They taught the etiquette of being a good narrator (using good paper, writing implement, penmanship, etc.); the manners and etiquette of narration.

Qur’an’s view on tah’reef

It’s a fine line when tah’reef is intentional and unintentional.  The word tah’reef is used in the Qur’an to describe the jews, “from those among the Jews are those that distort the words.”  

Five possible meanings of tah’reef as described in the Qur’an.

1.) Mixing the truth with falsehood to the point where the truth cannot be recognized.  Al imran verse 71.

2.) Concealing the truth (not exposing the truth at all).

3.) Hiding the truth (when you hide it, you keep it away from view, but when you conceal it, it goes without being heard. for example, the fine print of modern contracts is concealing the truth since it is written in such a way that most people cannot comprehend it and maybe changing the contract without informing you is hiding the truth??? What do you think about this???.)

4.) To distort either the wording or the meaning; to actually change the wording or meaning.

5.) Where something is mispronounced, resulting in a different meaning.

Tah’reef of the Qur’an

One of the problems is how does one know when going from innocent tah’reef to intentional tah’reef.  The Qur’an and the Sunnah of the prophet saas are the major two sources of information for Muslims.  The Qur’an is difficult with someone to play with; it is almost untouchable.  (Footnote: Even though there is a book which tries to distorts the Qur’an, the author has purposely merged two verses to distort the meaning.) The reasons why it is difficult to distort the Qur’an, is because many people have memorized the Qur’an and can recognize the tah’reef.

Tah’reef of the Hadith

Hadith now is something else; if a hadith is distorted, how many people are out there who will recognize that this hadith has been distorted?  This is a very different and big issue.  For this reason, even today, we must be diligent in dealing with hadith.

Categories of people or madhabs who perform tah’reef

There are a number of examples that the Sheikh has that come from the people who most likely make tah-reef:

1.) Ahl al Bida - they need something to hang on to.

2.) The people who are really into taqleed - Anytime you are into taqleed, regardless who you are making taqleed for, the one who you are making taqleed for may act in a way that contradict hadith, resulting in some people distorting hadith.

The hadith of the Prophet saas is the main source of Islam for people and is a primary target for people who want to attack the deen.

If someone quotes a hadith to you and has a strange sound or unfamiliar understanding that contradicts well-known rulings, you should question it and verify it.

Example of distorted hadeeth (Intentional distortion of hadeeth) to further their agenda

A hadith from Sunan Abu Dawud dealing with taraweeh.  Umar khataab gathered the people behind Ubayy ibn Ka’b who led the prayer for 20 nights.  He did not make qunoot for them except in the last half of the month.  During the last 10 nights of the month, he did not go out to the people but instead prayed at his house.  The people would say that Obayy has run away.  There are many editions of Sunan Abu Dawood; all of them said that Ubayy led them in prayer for 20 nights.  

Badw Al Majhood (بدو المجهود) and there is commentary on the outside (footnotes) of the book.  In one of the copies, it says 20 rakah instead of nights.  (So the distortion is moving from 20 nights to 20 rakah in the footnotes.) Based on this, in a more recent edition, it is stated in the margin also with rakah.  

What is the significance of this distortion?  

This has been used by some to prove that taraweeh should be 20 rakah.  This is one of the pieces of evidence for people to say that 20 rakah is preferred for taraweeh (and this evidence is then combined with a weak hadith narrated from Malik). So here something from the footnote that was distorted is used as evidence.

Example of distorted hadeeth to further an agenda

In the Mustadrak of al Hakim, there is a hadith from A’ishah that says the Prophet saas used to make witr with three rakahs and he would not sit except at the end of them.  In other narrations, it is said that he would not make any separation between them and without sitting.  This hadith has been used with the word “not sitting” was changed to “not giving salaam” except at the end of it.  

Sometimes it’s difficult to identify where the mistake is from, it is more than a mistake from .....

There was a book called Al Hidaya by Al Marghinani. Darayah Muhammadi critiqued this book and picked up some issue.

There are a number of things in that text (al Hidaya), for example, there’s a hadith that says the Prophet saas used to begin his salaat by making the takbir and then he would say a dua’a subhanalla bi hamdeeka and not say anything more than that.  This last part is not part of the hadith at all and can be found in al-margheenani but it was idraaj (it was not part of the original hadith).

With respect to the sutra during the prayer; they don’t really believe in the sutra unless you are in the desert.  In two places he quotes a hadith that talks about being in the desert and using a sutra. Some of these may not be authentic.

When is the tah’reef committed?

A mistake is committed somewhere and then that mistake is used to further an agenda elsewhere.

We have good expectations of our brothers and sisters in Islam and we must be careful when information regarding the deen is being passed on, especially when it involves passing on the hadith of the Prophet saas.

Nasb Al Raya fee Takhreej Ahadeeth Al Hidaayah (نسب الراية في تخريج أحاديث الهداية)

This above book is cataloging all the mistakes in the hadeeth of Al-Hidaayah.

Maghinani died in 593 hijri.  Shaikh is showing us contemporary as well as earlier scholars who did research in this topic.

Classic examples can be taken from Ibn Abi Shaibah’s book, Al-musannaf.

...  ibn Hajar, a companion of the Prophet saas said that he saw the Prophet saas put his right hand over the left during the prayer.  

In the first publication of Shaibah’s book from Bombay the hadith was reported correctly without any mistakes or distortions, however in a later publication published in Karachi, has an addition that is not found in any other manuscripts; “I saw the Prophet saas put his right hand over the left below his navel.” The distortion here is the part which added below the navel. Shaikh said there is no more reason to comment on this, again he does not want to impugn the intentions of anybody who made this mistake, he is simply pointing the distortion and where it occurred.

Ibn Al Qayyim has a book called Munar al Mudif, a collection of easy-to-learn rejected hadith, discussing topics where there are no authentic hadith.  In one of the publications, the editor is obviously someone who does not like ibn taymiyya and  Ibn Qayyim much.  There is one portion where he has a footnote that states “there is no authentic hadith about mosquitos/flies” or yaa kulinia al bargheeth.  

Footnote: Yaa kulini al bargheeth, The interesting thing is the subject and the verb are both plural. This is a dialect of ......

Why is the footnote above not authentic hadith about mosquitoes/flies important?  

That means there is no authentic hadith about whether it is najjas or whether it needs to be removed from the garment.  In the footnote, the one who writes the footnote that quotes Al Haythami, saying ibn Abi and others consider this narrator as trustworthy and the rest of the narrators from the Sahih.  He is misquoting Al Haythami in a very big way; he said that there was some weakness and the rest are narrators are sahih.  What was left out was a reference to some weakness.

How to avoid the pitfalls of tah’reef?

We have to go back to the best sources and verify from more than one source.

We should check back with the most important editions of the books of hadith.

We should refer back to the commentaries of various hadith.

Tah’reef can occur, we don’t know whether it is intentional or not, but we should be aware of it and ascertain the hadith that are quoted as evidence for opinions.

If done often, we have to reject the narrator and if we find out if the narrator did it intentionally then we have to reject the narrator and label him as a liar.

2011-06-26 Class Notes

Three textbooks that focus on tahreef

Q: What is the difference between tas-heef and tahreef? Does it matter to know the technical differences between them?

A: The technical definition is not that important, but the understanding that it is errors in the text of hadith.

Q: What is the responsibility of ‘ulema once they discover an error of tas-heef or tahreef in the published books?

A: First it is important to note that tasheef and tahreef has increased.  Note: Adobe has OCR (optical character recognition) software to scan books and publish it online and different websites. The amount of tahreefat has increased exponentially because of the errors introduced by the OCR.  Shamila (software -- http://www.islamport.com/) digitizes books, if you get it from the official source, then you will have some editorial responsibilities, but others who contribute content, you have to be careful about it.

In this era, the number of occurrences of tahreef has increased, that is why published books have better quality. However some old publishers did not do a great job or eliminating mistakes, it was important that they got the books out. One of the works is Ibn Abi-Adee who wrote a book on weak narrators (الكامل في ضعفاء الرجال) -- had very many errors. Scholars are not super-people, but they should do what they can. The real question is:  Do publishers have editors to identify and a process to handle the mistakes? Some are more careful than others, some have errata published for it.

Q: What is the responsibility of a non-scholar when you find out the tahreef?

A: You can make nasiha to others, but they don’t have responsibility to follow you. It depends on you capability and if you have influence over a close group of circles, then you can give them nasiha.

Q: What else am I following that is based on tahreef of hadith?

A: We are only responsible for what we are capable of and inshaAllah Allah swt will judge us based on our sincerity.

The worst case of tahreef is amongst the Orientalists. Some of them have pretty poor Arabic. It is not known if this tahreef is intentional or not.  If you’re not part of the culture, you may not understand how the words are used. Most of the books done by Orientalists, there are some interesting passages.

What has happened with the Arabic texts is that the bar has been raised: the newer books are much better. Example: Al-Mu’jam Al-Kabeer by Al-Tabarani -- 27 volumes. You’ll need to find someone to re-edit the entire text. It’s still a business -- and the PDF copies flying around are not helping. Also technologies like spell-checkers is also improving things.

Q: Are deadlines from publishers putting undue pressure on the authors?

A: Both writers and publishers must have some balanced expectations when it comes to deadlines for completing documents for publishing purposes so that quality is not affected yet the work is released in a reasonable amount of time. One other concern is the internet allows people

Good publishers: Obeikaan (high quality, but expensive), Maktabat u-Rushd, Al-Ma’arif.

Controversial tah’reef that occurred in the writings of Ibn Taymiyah

A famous city in Turkey called Mardin. It was a place that Muslims had ruled before, but had been taken over by people under control of the Tartars/Mongols. Ibn Taymiyah had received several letters asking for fatawa about this city.

The famous one requested an opinion from ibn Taymiyaah about whether Mardin is a land of war or peace, were the citizens of Mardin obliged to migrate? What is the status of the land they live in? Is it a land of war or peace? If they support the government, are they committing a sin?

His fatawa about making jihaad against the Tartars is well known; this is a separate situation. By combining his view from these distinct fatawaahs, Orientalists distort his views on the subject.

What Ibn Taymiyah says in response to the request for fatawa about Mardin?

The lives of Muslim are inviolable whether or not in Mardin or otherwise, assisting

If they can not practise Islam, then they must emigrate. If they can practice their religion then it is not obligatory. He said that they should not assist the army of non-Muslims (oppressors) and they should avoid helping the non-Muslims, through evasiveness, flattery or whatever needs to be done.  

Whether it is a land of war or peace? He said it is a mixed situation; it is not a daar al salaam (land of peace), where the legal rulings of Islam are applied and its armed forces are of Muslim nor is it daar al harb (land of war), where the armed forces are non-Muslim.  The situation is a third category.

side note: Ibn Taymiyyah was known to have very poor handwriting and in his lifetime dots (tashkeel) were not being used in the Arabic text.

Shaikh is now writing the fatawa on the board and he has a copy of the manuscript. The copy of the manuscript is not from ibn Taymiyyah, it is from Al-Ba’li  and it is circa 1776 CE??

“The Muslims should be dealt with in accordance to their rights. As for the one outside the authority of the shari’ah …..... according to what they deserve” (the dotted text has tahreef, it is not known if it was intentional or unintentional tahreef) there are at least couple of possible readings of the text in question :

How should they (outside the shariah) be dealt with? The original was something like -- يعامل

Clearly from the context yu’aamal makes more sense. This has become a big problem because of the use by certain groups (e.g. some of the groups in Egypt) to justify the use of violence -- there has been a conference on Mardin, known as the “Mardin Conference.” According to some researchers, one of the big things to come out of it was that many of the terrorists groups were based on a misprint of a fatwa.  Obviously, this is crazy. Their beliefs are not just based on this misprint. And even if this is quoted, it is not a reasonable basis for terrorism.

One researcher investigated whether Osama Bin Laden referenced this fatwa but was not able to find any such evidence.

But in the meantime, they put the blame on Ibn Taymiyah and so called Salafis for terrorism. This is definitely a case of tahreef. Hence it is possible to have negative consequences, but not the kind of things that have been claimed concerning this fatwa.


The attendees to the Mardin conference tried to link terrorism to Ibn Taymiyah (salafi group) through this fatwa. This is incorrect. They then try to say that it was also based on a misprint. But this is a false accusation and an incorrect aspersion on Ibn Taymiyah. Then the second outcome is the revisionist approach of trying to redefine the terms such as Dar-al-salam and Dar-al-harb to make it compliant it modernist’s view on these terms.

Footnote: In the above fatawa, Ibn Taymiyyah says you do not have to emigrate from the land, if you can practice your deen. We will not discuss this now, there will be a class on emigration in the next quarter.

Q: What is the purpose to malign ibn Taymiyaah?

A: The opponents of Islam, know what is true Islam, and they try to attack it as much as possible, even if there is no apparent connection. You don’t see them attacking shia or sufi beliefs. And unfortunately you see many people following their lead and attack, even amongst the problem.

At that time Ibn Taymiah was in Egypt or Shaam where it was still under islamic (shariah) law. Tatars came and took hold of Mardin and they applied “Yasiq” which was not a full shariah law. The fatwah of Mardin is very relevant to us these days, e.g. you don’t have to make hijra if you can practice your deen in land which is under non-islamic law.

But we also should realize that Ibn Taymiah’s words are not words of Allah, it was his own ijtihaad and we should analyze it accordingly. The blind taqleed of anyone including Ibn Taymiaah may lead one to believe in these words with or w/o tahreef.

Q: Shouldn’t we adopt a live and let live attitude?

A: We all have mistaken concepts. But in matter of tauheed, you are saying in essence that I don’t care what will happen to you in the hereafter. If you draw it to the logical conclusion. However you don’t force people to adhere to your beliefs, you reason with them and open the door to discussion.

There is a difference in knowing your responsibility and how you go about conveying the information. You shouldn’t confuse them. It is not as simple as I correct them or I attack them. This is incorrect. You don’t have to hurt people when conveying the information. You have to let people know that they are wrong if they are mistaken in their aqeedah, even to ahl-al-bidaa, they may not like your proofs, as the reason they are following that bidaa is that they are fond of their proofs and taweels.

Unfortunately, tahreef continues and we have to be aware of it. And don’t be fooled by attacks based on tahreef.

In the book “Neglected Duty” -- الفريضة الغائبة -- the author relies more on the opinion of the Hanafis than on the opinion of Ibn Taymiyyah.

Moving on to the next category of weak hadith...

Shaadh hadith (الشاذ)

It means something that contradicts a stronger source. This is a report in which the dhabitcy of the report has been lost. There are a number of definitions of shaadh hadith.

Imam Shafi’i definition of Shaadh (And also of the majority of the ulema)

Shaadh is not the narration that is solitarily narrated by trustworthy narrators.  [this is kind of one of the approaches of defining shaadh hadith, they tend to be from solitary sources].  It has to meet two conditions: it comes solitarily from trustworthy sources and it contradicts a stronger source (or sources).  

This is the view of the majority of the scholars of hadith.  As opposed to munkar narrations which comes solitarily from rejected narrators and contradicts stronger sources.

Al Haakim’s definition

In essence, it is anything that is solitarily narrated by a trustworthy narrator for which we can find no supporting evidence; it is a “really” unique narration that can’t be found anywhere else. Note that in the Haakim’s definition of the Shadh hadith, it does not have to contradictory.

Example: Surah Talaaq verse 12

Sahih International

It is Allah who has created seven heavens and of the earth, the like of them. [His] command descends among them so you may know that Allah is over all things competent and that Allah has encompassed all things in knowledge.

Muhsin Khan

It is Allah Who has created seven heavens and of the earth the like thereof (i.e. seven). His Command descends between them (heavens and earth), that you may know that Allah has power over all things, and that Allah surrounds (comprehends) all things in (His) Knowledge.

The idea of Allah swt creating earths (note the plural) is unusual. What does it mean?

Ibn Abbas explains this verse, it is not a hadith of the Prophet saws. Ibn Abbas said while explaining this verse, seven earths in each earth there is Prophet like your Prophet, Adam like your Adam, Nuh like your Nuh, Musa like your Musa, Isa like your Isa.

When you trace it back to Ibn ‘Abbas, many scholars say that the chain is saheeh. Example: Al-Bayhaqi says that its Isnaad is Saheeh to ibn ‘Abbaas, but it is Shaadh bimurra -- ie. very strange and I do not know anyone who confirms this reports.

So according to Al-Haakim’s definition this is definitely shaadh, there is only one chain from trust worthy narrator and the concept that it contains is unknown (unique). So how do we reconcile this?

We will discuss this narration from ibn Abbas and how to deal with it next time.  We will also see how the ulema have dealt with it.

2011-07-03 Class Notes

We are discussing shaadh or hidden defects in hadith, we will end up with four different definitions.

Imam Shafiee’s definition of shaadh

Two key components for the definition, (a) it has to come solitarily from a trustworthy source and it (b) contradicts a stronger source.

Al Haakim’s definition of shaadh

(a) Comes solitarily from a trustworthy source (b) it is unique and nothing comparable at all in the general sense, we do not have anything similar narrated by another trustworthy source.

According to definition of al-Haakim, narration from a trustworthy source with a mistake is not shaadh. According to scholars of hadith, al-Haakim’s def of shaadh is one of the most difficult to identify and analyze.  Authentic chain !=> sahih report

A report that comes to us from an authentic chain, ..... To get a shaadh report from Haakim’s definition, the muhadeetheen have to perform a rather broad scope of analysis, he has to identify that there is no report similar to it and that there is nothing in meaning similar to it.

We discussed the tafseer of the verse Surah Talaq verse 12 as an example of shaadh report that could fit Al Haakim’s definition. We discussed ibn Abbaas’s hadith about the meaning of the seven heavens and seven earths. The report said that each earth has a Noah like our prophet Noah and Muhammad like our prophet Muhammad.

Bayhaqi said that its isnaad is sahih but it is completely shaadh.

Ibn Abi Haatim narrates from Mujaheed that ibn Abbas said that if I were to narrate to you its tafseer, you would commit kufr, because you would refute the tafseer, (even though the chain is sound??).

As Suyooti and Ibn Kathir both have something similar; the isnad is sahih but the hadith is shadh.  As Suyooti said that this is a most excellent statement from Bahaqi as it is possible for a chain to be sahih but there is some textual defect that prevents it from being sahih.

This is a strange statement coming from As Suyooti, as As Suyooti is one scholar that would put together many weaker hadith or hadith that had stranger content than what most scholars would compile.

This is not a hadith of the Prophet saas.  We are dealing with a statement of Ibn Abbas (the chain is sahih back to Ibn Abbas).  Ibn Katheer concludes that this is probably from the Israeli’at.  There are some reports that indicate that Ibn Abbas would sometimes get information from the Jews and Christians at that time.  Ibn Kathir continues that if it is not reported back to someone who is protected from error (Ma’soom), e.g. the Prophet saas, then it should be rebuked (“thrown back” in his words) thrown back to the one who said it (wa hua mardoodun an qaalihi).  

Another scholar, Kashmiri (in his commentary on Sahih Bukhari) said that it is shadd and we are not obligated to believe in it as we are obligated only to obey and follow statements that are authentic back to the Prophet saas.

This hadeeth is an example of Al Haakim’s definition of shaadh and he gave this example. So it meets the two components, it is from trustworthy source and it is uncomparable to anything else that has been narrated by stronger sources.

Al Haakim’s definition is fairly unique to him.  he was fairly prominent of promoting Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim and his book on uloom ul hadith is one of the first books written on the Uloom al hadith. (Ma2rifath Uloom al Hadeeth)

Notice that this is not in modern terms; in modern terms, this is like a narration that is completely off the wall.  We can have solitary narrations that have very plausible meanings.  Imam Muslim mentions in his introduction to Sahih Muslim that Az-Zuhuri has about 80 things mentioned in his narrations that are only collected by Az Zuhuri; these are all plausible. However, what Haakim is describing are hadith that are not plausible and have no similar statements that could possibly validate them.

There is no statement from any Sahabi except Ibn Abbas that mentions something even remotely close to this statement of there being a Prophet and a Nooh for each universe that exists.

Some people criticize the scholars of hadeeth as only relying on the isnaad, this is not true. The isnaad can be sound, yet the scholars will analyze the text of the hadeeth and try to determine whether there are any inconsistencies of the text in comparison to other stronger sources.

That is Haakim’s definition and it stays with Haakim; it highlights an aspect of hadith science where a hadith can have a sound chain of narration but the text can be completely off the wall.

Q: Why don’t we say that this hadeeth is fabricated?

A: First of all this is not a hadeeth of the Prophet saas. He is ma’soom here, this is the narration of ibn Abbas. What about the hadeeth that whoever is named Muhammad will go to Jannah?

Difference between this hadith and statement of ibn Abbas:

(i) This hadith (name of Muhammed) contradicts everything that our Prophet saas has taught us, so we can say it is fabricated without even analyzing its isnaad.

(ii) Whereas in the case of ibn Abbas’s narration is possible that he could have said it, he is human and can make mistakes. Hence we cannot say that this statement of ibn Abbas is a fabrication. He could have heard it from Jews and be convinced that it is correct interpretation of the verse.

Defining someone as a fabricator is a strong statement;  there is a huge difference between an implication of fabrication and being accused/categorized as a fabricator.

Q: How to deal with Israilia’t?

A: There are three possibilities (a)it is affirmed by something in Qur’an and Sunnah then we accept it, (b)secondly it could contradict Qur’an and Sunnah then we can say it is fabricated and we reject it, (c)thirdly the Qur’an and Sunnah have nothing to say about it, for example the names of the inhabitants of the Cave and their dog comes from Israilia’t and are not mentioned in Surah Al Kahf, here we cannot say it is fabricated, since it does not contradict anything in Quran and Sunnah.

Q:Where does Al-Kshmiri discusses this hadith of ibn Abbas?

A: Sahih Bukhai has a book on tafseer and there is a chapter in it “about what is mentioned about seven earths” (Bab Ma Jaa fi sabi samawatin), in the commentary about it, and this is what ibn Hajr and Kashmiri did when discussing the tafseer of ibn Katheer about the verse.

Q: Any information regarding Ghaib from Sahabah don’t we consider this as Marfoo' ? (In general)

A:Yes it is true, but there are exceptions, when we know they have taken from the Israeeliyaat. And since ibn Abbas was known to have taken reports from Israilia’t, therefore even though this report deals with al-Ghaib, but it cannot be treated as marfoo’.

Q: Do marfoo statements have to be reports of the statements of the prophet by the sahabah and not individual statements of the sahaba?

A: If we have something from a sahabi that is not a matter of ijtihaad like the matters of Aqeedah and matters of Ghaib (unseen), then even though it is coming from the sahabi, we consider the source to be from the Prophet, since it is unfathomable that the sahaba could have come up with this information on their own ijtihaad and it has to be from the prophet. However if we know the sahabi took from Israeliyaat then we no longer consider it to be marfoo’ as there is a chance that the sahabi took it from Jews (Now this is perfectly clear, to me, Jazakallah khair yaa shaikh.... :-)

Conclusions about Al Haakim’s definition of shaadh

1) It is a shaadh definition of shaadh hadith (pun intended).

2) Very few people use this definition.  The take-away here is to remember the concept that Al Haakim brought up in his definition.

3.) Definition of Shaadh according to Al Khaleeli

Which has only one chain to it and if that chain goes through untrustworthy source then we reject it as matrook. If there is only one chain and that goes through a trustworthy source then we  must suspend judgement on that hadith and do not use it as a basis for our deen.  The hadith type discussed here assumes that it is a unique narration. The definition of al Khaleeli is similar to al Haakim’s definition of shaadh as he is not concerned about contradiction with the stronger sources.

Az Zuhri is a good example; he was a massive collector of information and used to record information that other students may have considered not important to record.  What generation was Az Zuhri?  He’s from the Tabi’ien, he was an important teacher of Imam Malik.  This was early in the period of recording hadith when hadith were not typically recorded.  He would sit in gatherings with his colleagues and record pretty much everything.  later on in life, his colleagues realized that Az Zuhri had an advantage over them as he started recorded everything much sooner than they thought was necessary.  He had a “technology” that helped him. He is considered a very trustworthy source that rarely made mistakes.  

If there is some narration which is a solitary narration from Zuhri would that be shocking ? Should you reject his narration or suspend judgement  because we only have it from Az-zuhri ? Or should we be willing to accept because of who Az-Zuhri is ? (we are talking about plausible cases not off the wall scenarios)

Khaleeli says that we should suspend judgement about such a hadeeth. What do you think about it?

In 70 of his reports, Az Zuhuri has elements that are unique to him that are shared by no other narrators. And this leads to the 4th definition of Shaadh.

4.) Definition of Shaadh according to Ibn Daqeeq and Ad Dhahabi (Best definition as per Sheikh)

Two basic conditions:

i.) Comes from a trustworthy source

ii.) And it meets either of the following conditions

ii.a) contradicts a stronger source

ii.b) comes from someone who we would not accept solitary narrations from (there is some question in his ability to narrate or is not known to go out and collect information).  A narrator who has narrations that no other narrator has and it is not his nature. That is we do not accept isolated reports from that type of narrator

The shaikh believes that this is the best definition as the concept of shaadh is closely related to the concept of ziyaadah al thiqa (additional information or part of the report that has been passed on in the report from a trustworthy source).

For example: There are 10 lines which as reported by 10 different people and 11th one has 3 more extra lines this is ziyaadah al thiqa, but by looking at it in we could say this is shaadh by looking at the face value. Why would we say it is Shaadh by looking at the face value ?  Because this one narrator is contradicting other 10 narrators. If this discrepancy between what 10 people and this one extra report there can be contradictory in the meaning then it is problematic. So how are we going to deal with this kind of report ?

Some people reject  ziyaadah al thiqa as this is kind of Shaadh. Usoliyeen and Fuqaha go to other extreme and they accept all ziyaadah al thiqa and the scholars of hadith who understand what is going on and they analyse this in more detail and based on that may accept or reject the additional part.

Q; How can the additional three lines change the meaning?

A: For example, you could add some text that could change the meaning. “You have to pay zakat al fitr for all of your slaves” and somebody comes and adds, those who are muslims at the end of the statement. Now the ruling of paying zakat has been restricted to a smaller set, earlier it was a general statement and there were no restrictions on the type of slaves.

Next time we will analyze it and discuss the fiqh conclusions that are reached by it.

Q: Is Al Khaleeli’s view one extreme compared to other scholars?

A: You could say that Al Khaleeli’s view is an extreme view. As the practice of the madhab of Al Waqafiyas those who suspend judgement, come to the same conclusion as those who reject it, since you are rejecting it for all practical purposes, since they cannot use it for deriving rulings based on this evidence, as in the case of Khaleeli’s shaadh hadith it is a unique report.

Q: Does the text have to be unique or both text and isnaad have to be unique?

A: Eventually is leads to the uniqueness of the text and not just the isnaad, for the shaadh hadeeth.

Q: Can solitary be a ratio such as 80-20?

A: Solitary is unique and not a ratio. Footnote: Shaikh wrote a book on this topic of solitary reports and asked his brother who is a linguist to review it before publishing, he reprimanded him on using this definition of solitary as this means some kind of state. Shaikh still remembers the note, but still continues to use the definition. Which according to him, this is a unique statement and cannot be found any where else?????

2011-07-10 Class Notes

We will continue our discussion of shaadh hadith.

4.) Definition of Shaadh according to Ibn Daqeeq and Ad Dhahabi

In order for a hadeeth to be considered shaadh, it has to meet the following conditions, it has to come from solitarily from a trustworthy source and it either contradicts a stronger source or the nature of the source is such that we would not accept such solitary reports.

Ibn Hajr gives an example of Shaadh hadeeth that meets the above definition

Ibn Hajr said that not every trustworthy narrator will we accept in a solitary nature.  Once example he gives is regarding salaat al tasbeeh (this salat is apparently offered at MCA during Ramadan).  

What is salaat al tasbeeh again?  

In each movement of the prayer, something is repeated many times.  

Ibn Hajr writes about the narration of Ibn Abbas regarding salaat al tasbeeh.  It’s close to the conditions for hasan, however it is shaadh due to the “extremity of its solitary nature” and the fact that there is no corroborating or supporting evidence and the fact that it contradicts the way that we know how to pray in all of the other prayers.  It’s narrator, Musa ibn Abdul Aziz, even though he is honest and pious, we do not accept such solitary reports from someone like him.  Scholars like Ibn Taymiyyah and Al-Mizzi consider it weak and ad Dhahabi suspended judgment on it (although he applied his definition to it, it should have been shaadh but he did not do so).  

There is much more that needs to be looked at when analyzing hadith. The first three of the five conditions for grading  a hadith to be saheeh are the easy ones to judge.  When these three are accepted (chain is unbroken, narrators are adl and dhaabit), then we can say that the isnaad is sahih.  (The next two conditions state that it  should not be shaadh and must not contain hidden or damaging defects.)

Can you go from that and, by acting out of caution, can we say we will now act on the hadith (which has sahih isnaad)?  Is that a good precautionary step?  You must look at the text of the hadith and also the scholar who makes the assessment of the isnaad.  If the scholar is very knowledgeable in the field, then we can accept their decision.  

Last time we gave four definitions; based on any of those four, can we have a hadith that is sahih and shaadh at the same time?

If you take Hakim’s definition, then we can have a hadith that is sahih and shaadh.  This is a reason why his definition is rejected.  It is not something that is followed and applied by the Ulimah. You can have sahih and Ghareeb, but not sahih and shaadh.

In general, when you hear the word shaadh, that means a rejected report, a kind of weak hadith.  

(Footnote: Shaykh has no problems in saying that salat al tasbeeh should not be prayed.)

Trustworthy versus untrustworthy narrators in Shaad definitions of hadeeth

We brought up a big issue related to shaadh last time.  If we have a text that comes down to us through many different isnaads.  What’s in the blue is all reported by that chain.  Suppose now that there is some additional information that has a solitary branch somewhere going off we call it as Ziyaadht-ul-thiqah  (it’s rooted in one individual and from him many others may have gotten it).  This individual happens to be a trustworthy narrator.  

This is additional information from someone who is trustworthy.  If this individual was not trustworthy or had some weakness to him, we would not accept the report and it’s not an issue.  Would we call this report shaadh if the person is not trustworthy?  No, because the first condition of shaadh is that it comes from a trustworthy source.  We would call this munkar and it wouldn’t be a big deal, since we can categorize it as munkar and there is no confusion, and we can move on happily.  

Important Issue regarding Shaadh definition of hadeeth and trustworthy sources

The issue is when this comes through someone who is a trustworthy source; how do we deal with it?  Can we just accept it outright?  Does it make sense?  if someone says that we need to accept it then what would be your response?

By default, do we accept him and his addition? As it is contradictory just by being different, it is contradicting due to its discrepancy.

Fuqaha versus Muhaditheen approach to the shaadh definition of hadeeth and trustworthy sources

Fuqaha and usooleen would accept ziyadath theeqa (solitary additions by trustworthy sources) Muhaditheen (scholars of hadeeth) would not accept ziyadath theeqa or additions by trustworthy sources.

Shaikh posed this question to class (“any addition as long as the narrator is trustworthy, we accept it?)”, it was divided into whether you agree or disagree. Those of you who disagree, you disagree with the fuqaha and the jurists and you are agreeing with the muhadith approach.

Khateeb al Baghdadi was the first to recognize this difference in approach of accepting ziyadath theeqa (and other weaker reports) by fuqhas. By that time the madhabs were established and it was difficult to reverse the damage caused by this difference in approach. Earlier scholars of hadith were much more careful in analyzing and accepting ziyadath theeqa, later scholars of hadith are quicker in accepting such reports.

This answers the question as to why you find rejected hadith in books of fiqh.  Among contemporary writers in fiqh, there are those who are not bound by a madhab that give judgment based on input from the muhaditheen.  

The ultimate cause of it is that the legal jurists discuss it at such a theoretical level whereas the muhaditheen are the ones are at the ground who are more familiar with the nature of the hadith.  The muhaditheen are the ones who believe that there are different cases and situations that need to be looked at.

muhaditheen > fuqaha ? :) (“greater than”)

Sometimes there is clear proof to show the differences in the methodology of the contemporary v classic scholars, sometimes there is not.

How do the muhaditheen deal with ziyadath ul theeqa or additions to the reports?

The first thing of course is that we must analyze the text itself or the isnaad.  The shaadh can be in the text or isnaad.

The muhaditheen look at it by analyzing what is the difference (additional lines) that this unique narration is presenting.  

Case #1: Sometimes, the difference can actually be contradictary or in some cases completely nullifies the meaning of original narration.  

Case #2: Sometimes you have an addition that is not necessarily contradicting what is said by others but is altering what is in the original report.  

Shaykh is writing the following on the board:

Case #1.) Ziyadath ul theeqa (ZT) negates the shorter  version (here shorter means the text without the addition and longer means text with the addition) => it will be rejected.  As it contradicts stronger sources. Ideal case is to accept the shorter and the longer but in this case it contradicts. In general we reject such a Ziyadath ul Theeqa.

Case #2.) Ziyadath ul theeqa (ZT) does not negate, at least completely, but alters the shorter.

Case #3.) Ziyadath ul theeqa (ZT) does not negate nor alter the shorter.  

How could Ziyadath ul theeqa neither negate nor alter the shorter version?  

For example, sometime the Prophet stated something about prayer and zakaat and the shorter version only mentioned the prayer. And the ziyaadath ul theeqa mentioned the part about the zakaat (in addition to prayer) . In this example, we can have Ziyadath ul theeqa that does not alter nor negate the shorter version.

Bukhari does abridge the hadeeth, but we know that those hadeeth have been abridged, and is different than ZT.

Let’s go to the analysis of case #3.  Should this be accepted without question? Is it acceptable under all circumstances?

Acceptance of this (case #3) as the default case is the approach of many contemporary scholars, earlier scholars would take it on case by case basis. Cases 1 and 2 earlier scholars and most of the later scholars would analyze and accept on case by case basis.

For example, there is a hadith in sunnan at tirmidhi.  This hadith says, (on the authority of Uqbah ibn Amr) the day of Arafah and the day of the sacrifice and the days of tashreeq are days of Eids for us people of Islam and these are days of eating and drinking.  

Are Ahl ul Islam those who are making hajj or all of us?  It is all of us.

How do we deal with this?  What category would it fall into above?  

The additional part here is saying on the day of Arafah.  This particular addition here is narrated from Musa ibn Ali ibn Ribah, on the authority of his father, Ali ibn Ribah, on the authority of Uqbah ibn Umar (a sahabi).  This is the only chain through which we have this day of Arafah.  We have this hadith recorded in An Nisai, Baihaqi, Ibn Majah, Ibn Haban, Muslim, Abu Dawud, Ad-Darami, without this part about the day of Arafah.  Al Albani’s grading of this hadith from at-Tirmidhi is sahih.  He’s not the only one who says it’s sahih.  

For example, several scholars recorded this hadith without this day (of arafah) on the authority of various Sahabi (from Ali ibn Taalib in Ahmad, Nisaii, Haakim and Baihaqi, from Abu Hurairah in Sahih Muslim and Abu Dawood).  All of those are without the words “day of Arafah.”

Al Albani can say that this is sahih because several sahabi have corroborated this hadith. That’s why they don’t consider this hadith shaadh. Here the important point is who is the source of the addition? A sahabi. They heard it from the prophet and because of this source, this is no longer a shaadh report and it is considered sahih. So even though it looks like shaadh because it is solitary, and it looks like ziyadath ul theeqa, but it is considered sahih, due to the source, it is from a sahabi who is reporting what the prophet said.

The other reason why this is considered sahih is that these different reports are coming from different sahabis, so prophet (SAW) could have stated that at different times. One possibility is that the narration of Uqbah was during the time of prophet’s hajj, whereas the other narrations from Ali and Abu Hurairah may have been narrated from different occasions.

How do we apply this hadith?  What do we do on the Day of Arafah?  

When you are in Arafah on that day, it is a day of feasting.  When you are not there at Arafah on that day, then you fast. The specific hadith about fasting on the day of arafah is not for people who are making hajj.

Q: Do all reports from Uqbaa have the same additions?

A: This is a good and important point. If you look at all of the narrations that trace back to this particular sahabi, all of them have this addition.  If they were missing this addition, that would be problematic.

Approach of the Muhaditheen with respect to shaadh reports

One has to analyze when it comes to shaadh.  This is the approach of the muhaditheen.  You must first analyze the text itself to see if it’s contradictory in the sense that it says one thing that cannot coexist with the other narrations and see if it falls into case #1 - #3.  e.g. the hadith about paying zakat al fitr for your believing slaves would fall into case #2, since the addition of believing slaves does not negate the shorter version, but it alters it.  

Shaadh reports that belong to case #1 would be rejected.  

Shaadh reports that belong to case #3 would most likely be accepted.

The scholars of hadith often go deeper than these three categories as they are concerned with what the stronger narration is.  

Q: Can shahabi make ziyadatl thiqah?

Sahaba were very careful, they were humans and can make mistakes, but they did not go and add their own statements to the statement of the prophet. Sahaba were very careful when comes to narrating on behalf of prophet. Therefore unless there is a specific evidence to show otherwise, the default case is that sahabah did not make ziyadatl thiqah.

We will discuss the analysis performed by ibn Hajr of Sahih Bukhari in Fath al Bari, and he highlights the principles or rules he uses to deal with ziyadath ul theeqa. We will discuss it later.

Extreme muhaditheen reject all of the ziyadath ul theeqa.

Another thing to look at, in an Nisai, Aisha (ra) reports at the end of the hadith that the Prophet saas never fasted any of the ten days of Dhul HIjjah.  

In Sunan at Tirmidhi, when he reports a hadith with the list of isnaad, it does not mean these hadith were reported with the same text or wording, it means that they are narrated on the same topic.  “wa fil baab” => on this topic, we have from so and so, so and so, etc.

The hadith quoted above from Uqbah can be found in Ahmed Shakr’s edition of Sunan At Tirmidhi, pg 134, volume 3.  It’s in the chapter on the hajj.  Hadith number 703 and 773.

2011-07-17 Class Notes

Why are we discussing ziyadat-al-theeqa under weak hadith?

We were discussing what is Shaadh. If someone has some additional portion to the text, and the person is solitary in terms of his narration, then by definition something is going on. But in treating it we want to avoid the two extremes, 1) rejecting it automatically and  2) accepting it automatically

Scholars of hadith say that if this additional part comes from someone trustworthy, then we have to take it seriously (don’t accept by default nor reject it). If it is by a rejected narrator, then of course, we do not accept it. However, if the additional portion is from trustworthy narrator we need to look deeper,.

If additional portion just alters the meaning slightly, then it may be acceptable.

If it negates what is narrated from other, it is not just going against what others have narrated, it is negating what they have said, in this case ZT will be rejected if we can not figure out any way to re-conciliate the meanings between the two.

Once we see that reconciliation is possible, we need to look at the state of the narrator and the state of the narration so to speak.

Two possibilities for reconciliation:

1) No possible reconciliation due to conflicting or negating information and the ziyaadah is rejected.

a) Conflicting/negating

b) Ziyaadah rejected

2) Reconciliation is possible and there is no “negating” in the ziyadaah

Two sub-possibilities

a) Solitary source is not a likely candidate, i.e. they are not narrators that would have this type of unique information.

b) Solitary source is a likely candidate.

This approach is different for scholars of hadith from the usooleen and Fuqaha. The above categorization is how Muhaditheen (hadith scholars) look at it. Muhaditheen will not take 1, and will take 2(b), for 2(a) some will be accepted others rejected.

Approach of ibn Hajr (in Fath al Bari)  for ziyadat al theeqa from trustworthy solitary sources

In Fath al Bari, ibn Hajr discusses his approach for trustworthy solitary sources. Even among trustworthy ones, there are categories for them. Just like A+ students, A students or A- students. There are distinctions between even these three grades of students.  A+ students may pass down fewer hadith with better quality compared to A- students who may pass down more hadith with slightly less quality; ultimately, this can result in some conflicts in the narrations.  So there are scholars who are good in passing down the information and the others who are good in preserving the information.  This is like comparing good versus excellent.  

For example, there is a source with lines (shown in black on the board) and then there is additional portion with the red (on board). Say this is from Sh. Zuhri, we have 7 sources. 5 transmit black and 2 are passing with additional red. The 5 are good, and the 2 are excellent (i.e. higher then good).

So which one should be accepted? 5 (good) or 2 (excellent).

Say we have 3 good and 1 excellent...? So it is 1 Vs. 3. What is the probability of 1 making a mistake compared to the 3? So here we need to weigh things in more details. Conflict between numbers and excellence of passing on.

So one looks at family of the narrators i.e. certain hadith has been preserved in the family, so if such hadith is coming out of the family, then ibn Hajr will weigh between family Vs. non-family narrators. Ibn Hajr, will give benefit of the doubt to the family narration if two are equal. ZT can be from the family narrartor or vice versa.

Second thing is to look at the area/location of the Shaykh. So if hadith is coming from students from the same location, where there is is multiple listening and reviewing then this is preferred compared to the one who came outside the city and heard it once. So here, the 3 good from the same location/city are preferred over the 1 excellent one from outside the city. The same way you will give preference to the one who have heard hadith multiple times over the one who have heard it once.

Sometimes, chronologically the student who heard from the Shaykh earlier is preferred compared to the one who chronologically heard it later. One reason can be old age of Shaykh, and if any signs of forgetfulness are there in old age, then we accept earlier narration.

What if no signs of forgetfulness or senility? To ibn Hajr, he still prefers the one which is chronologically earlier, since it is closer to the point where he heard from his teacher. So it is more likely that he got it right earlier. However, if there is evidence that hadith was heard more then once and was later reinforced by the student, then we can accept the later iteration of the narration. This weighing is subjective and one has to look at all of the different possibilities.

They would also look at the nature and the way the hadith was narrated, e.g. if it was dictated “Imlaa’”, most formal way, sheikh has his books and dictating directly to students.

Ibn Hajr will give preference to the one which has the most detailed context and details to it. It is not Ziyaadah in the text, but the nature of the ziyaadah is different. These are details which are special, for example, when Prophet (pbuh) said it or what was the occasion when Prophet (pbuh) said it, etc. This shows the strenght of memory.

Sometimes the ziyadah is looked at if the narration is consistent with the practice and madhab of the Shaykh who is reporting it. For example, lets take az-Zuhri, if there is longer and shorter narration from him then we look for which one was his practise. If actions are consistent with the longer one, then it is more likely that if is from Al-Zuhri. This is done by ibn Hajr for the border line cases, where all other tests of hadith has been passed by the hadith.

Sometimes we look for the shorter form of hadith by the same narrator. If the longer narration has some problem in the portion of the text which is overlapping with the shorter text,  then it is likely that the additional (red portion on board) has mistakes. if there is any kind of doubt expressed by the narrotor in any way then ibn hajr would reject it, e.g. he says this or that then it shows he is not proficient.

BTW: The above analysis is from a dissertation that Sh. JZ obtained that goes through a detailed analysis of Ibn Hajr’s method contained in his work, Fath al Bari. “al-mahfoodh wa shaadh”

Act described as Ziyaadah should not weigh into the grading of the hadith, they may act upon it out of ihtiyaat. Grading of hadith is completely different than acting on it. Next semester we will talk about how to act on weak hadith.


In grading of the hadith, the main concern is to know what Prophet (pbuh) said, i.e. actual statements of Prophet (pbuh). Here it is not like in Jesus Seminar, where they even had a category which contained: “what they wish Jesus (pbuh) would have said”.

Example of Shudhoodh in isnaad

Hammad ibn Salama OTA (on the authority of) Ayyoob OTA Abu Qilaabah OTA Abdullah ibn Yazeed OTA Aisha (ra) discusses the love of Prophet (pbuh) in the heart towards the mother of the believers. So Prophet (pbuh) said at dividing the money and time (material things, e.g the days he spent with them) among the wives: He said oh Allah, these are the things that I have control over and oh Allah don’t blame me for things I do not have control over (emotions of the heart)  [Ed: Treating all of the wives equally, however there were some emotions of the heart which are beyond the control of a human being.]

This is a complete chain, narrated by ibn abi shaieba, Ahmad, T, N, AD, IM, ibn Habban, Haakim, Baihaqi

Hammad is Thiqa “I don’t know anyone who corroborates him here and he is the only one who narrates in this fashion”. This is the statement of Abu Zir3a.

All of the students of Ayyoob and Abu Qilaabah narrate it in mursal form

In al-Tirmidhi:

Hammad ibn Zayd and Hammad ibn Salama have same teacher, they narrate from same narrators and both of them are theeqa. However Hammad ibn Zayd narrates it from Ayyoob in different way and T says that the narration of H ibn Zyd are stronger than the narration of H ibn Salamah.....T says I ask Bukhaari about it and he says this is defective.

Nisaai also recorded it and says this is weak.

ibn Saiy also recorded it and he later said that it is not a proper narration.

From the strongest sources, we do not know the link from abu Qilaabah to the prophet. The problem is that the source that we have from Abu Qilaabah is narrated without intermediate narrators. Now when Hammad ibn Salama comes with the complete chain, we have problem with it, because we cannot ascertain the chain.

That is the reason why this hadeeth is considered weak. Al-Albani considers this to be a weak hadeeth.

The chain of Hammad is the shaadh. Without the complete chain, the hadeeth is considered mursal.

Other students of Ayub narrated the same hadith without the intermediate narrators as listed by Hammad ibn Salama.

If we have different narrations from Abu Qilaabah and there were different narrators in that chain as reported by Abu Qilaabah, then we would not have a problem with it. But Abu Qilaabah did not give those intermediate narrators to the Ayub.

An example of the hadith which is Shaadh in the text: the hadith about the salat, during sitting making duaa, and question of pointing and moving the finger while making the duaa?

What is the Sunnah regarding the pointing and or moving of the finger in Tashahuud?

We will inshaAllah, next week start from this question on the Tashahuud.

2011-07-24 Class Notes

Today’s class has some fiqh as Sunnah aspects mixed with usul al hadith. We are discussing the Shaad hadith. The following definition of Shaad is what is the strongest (from earlier lecture):

Definition of Shaadh according to Ibn Daqeeq and Ad Dhahabi (Best definition as per Sheikh)

Two basic conditions:

i.) Comes solitarily from a trustworthy source

ii.) And it meets either of the following conditions

ii.a) contradicts a stronger source

ii.b) comes from someone who we would not accept solitary narrations from (there is some question in his ability to narrate or is not known to go out and collect information).  A narrator who has narrations that no other narrator has and it is not his nature. That is we do not accept isolated reports from that type of narrator

For today’s class, Shaikh has prepared a flow-chart or diagram to depict the topic of discussion, alhamdullilah it looks colorful, maybe Br Asif can sneak a picture of it?  [I’ll try to if given a good opportunity :).]

Today we will discuss the question of what to do with finger in the Salaat?

Right now we are discussing all the variants of the movement or absence of movement of the finger during salaat. We did not capture all of the opinions of the students.

a. Finger raised throughout tashahhud and dua

b. Finger raised at a certain time during tashahhud’ and then putting it down

c. Finger raised on tashahhud and then shaking (up/down) during dua

d. Finger raised on tashahhud and then finger shaking in circle

e. Finger raised and shaking throughout - tashahhud and dua.

Shaykh asked about shaking the finger east and west and also narrated about a person who would raise his finger with hand up and down  and how they tried to convince him about it.

Shaykh asked about not raising the finger at all.

1)  We have a number of hadeeth that mention two things (a) pointing with the index finger or (b) raising the index finger. Based on this, every madhab has raising of the finger at some point during the whole sitting.

2) Some narrations say prophet “ did not move it”

In the Hanafi Madhab: You raise it when you say la ilaha and put it down it when you say illallah. This is the only time strict Hanafi’s raise it.

In the Shafiee Madhab: You raise it when you say illallah

In the Hambali Madhab: Raise it when you say illallah and every time they mention Allah in a dua.

In the Maliki Madhab: Move it from left to right throughout the whole prayer until the end of the prayer.

Some scholars say it is haraam to move it, but they say it does not invalidate the prayer, some say it is makroo’ to move it. A majority of Shafiee scholars say it is haraam or makrooh to move it. This is from Imam Nawawi.

(Footnote: It is difficult to determine when a scholar is saying in plural, does he refer to his madhab or to scholars of different madhab in general.)

As-Sanani (in his work, “bulughul maraam”) and Al Qurtubi (Maliki scholar form Andalaus) say that sometimes you should move it and sometimes point it (do not move the finger). (Footnote: As Sanani changed his madhab from Zaydi to Ahl-Sunnah wa’l Jamaa’)

Al Albaani’s opinion: You should move it vigorously during the prayer. How vigorous? Shaikh demonstrated it by moving his finger (very minor shaking at high speed).

Since we have many hadeeth that mention pointing or raising of the index finger, this is the reason for why all madhab have it.

Hadeeth #2: We have an explicit hadeeth that states that the prophet did not move the index finger. This is from the Sunan Abu Dawood from Abdullah ibn al-Zubair

“The prophet(SWS) used to point with his finger during dua and would not move it”

Isnaad of the above hadeeth (it is hasan isnaad and chain is good)

From Ibn Juraij

From Ziyad ibn Sad (thiqah)

From Mohammed ibn Ajlan (sadooq)

From Aamr ibn Abdullah عامر

From Abdullah ibn al-Zubair

The text of the hadeeth said, that he did not move the finger

Al Albaani would say that this is hasaan isnaad, but with the wording “did not move it” it is shaadh. He says the part “did not move it” is ziyadat al thiqa. Al Albaani says this chain would be hasan if it were free from a couple of contradictions. Al Albaani is calling it shaad or munkar because of this portion, he says Ziyad ibn Saad is theeqa but he is contradicting 4 thiqah narrators from ibn Ajlaan who report this without this additional wording, so it is shaad...

Is this ziyaada (al thiqa) such that we can reject it from the beginning, the condition for this rejection is if it is contradictory and negating the text of the hadeeth itself.

No we cannot reject it outright, because it is not negating, Yes there is a discrepancy. So we need to move further in the analysis.

If it is not negating, then does it contradict stronger sources?

Ziyaad from his source ibn Ajlaan contradics 4 thiqah narrators with this wording and Ibn Ajlan from his source, Aamr ibn Abdullah contradicts three stronger sources, i.e. thiqa narrators who are better than ibn Ajlaan who is sadooq. So Al-Albani says that these additional words are munkar or shaadh. And then he says there there is no doubt that the scholars have affirmed the Shudood with evidence much less then what we have produced here. This is further supported by the fact that we have a number of a narrations mentioning Prophet (saws) pointing his finger and none these mention the part that he did not move it. He then quotes number of authentic hadith, e.g. a hadith from Sahih Muslim from ibn Umar, “when prophet (saas) sit in tashahud in salah he would put his hand on the knee, he would point his finger and make duaa ….”

The interesting thing about all of his evidences is that not one of the hadeeth that he mentions says that you move the finger.  He is saying that none of the stronger sources of hadeeth say that you cannot move the finger, but none of the hadeeth that he brings forth as evidence mention the moving of the finger as well.

Al Albaani did not notice something in the same text in Abu Dawood. ... and shaikh read the isnaad as mentioned by the various scholars in Arabic ..... trying to determine what exactly did Al Albaani not notice in the chain......

After the text of hadith #2 in Abu Dawood, Nisai and Tabarani record that:

“Qaala ibn Juraij wa zada Amr ibd Dinaar akhbarni Aamr ibn abdullah un abdullah ibn al-zubair that prophet would put his right hand on the right thigh”

If you pay attention to the above isnaad it clearly says that Aamr ibn Dinaar added the text above which is ziyaada al thiqa, with the additional part being “putting his right hand on his right thigh. Therefor Amr ibn Dinaar is also reporting the hadith with the wording that “he would make dua and not move his finger”.  So the point is that this ziyaada (al thiqa) was not only from ibn Ajlan but also from Amr ibn Dinaar, and Amr ibn Dinaar was Imam of Hadith and is more theeqa than ibn Ajlan and others.

So this ziyaada al thiqa by ziyaad ibn saad is no longer shaad as we have supporting evidence through a different chain (amr ibn dinaar). But Al Albaani does not discuss this at all.

So the part that the prophet did not move his finger is not a shaad report. Unless we have another narration that contradicts this report, then we can discuss it.

(Edit: I am confused and lost here..... specially the word ziyaad for addition and the name of the narrator ziyad, cannot determine when the shaikh is mentioning one versus the other????)

(Edit: Also I am lost exactly what are the different additions, what are the different chains, I am completely lost, not sure what question to ask????? We need a classroom discussion with the students who are in MCA and try to understand from them, I think my question will bring the class to a halt.)

Footnote: You have to be careful of the words, ziyaad and thaabit, since they are technical terms as well as names of narrators. Thaabit means confirmed and there is a narrator, called Thaabit who narrated from Anas. (Somebody asked the question about ziyaad in the classroom.)

Evidence for Al-Albaani’s position:

Hadeeth #3: However, there is a hadith on authority of Wail ibn Hujr (a sahabi) is one of the main sources on details of how Prophet (pbuh) prayed. There is a long narration from him, and Wail says, then Prophet (pbuh) raised his finger and I saw him moving it making duaa with it”. This hadith to Al-Albani is Saheeh and it is recorded in Musnad Ahmad, Sunan of Darimi, Nasai, Bayhaqi, Tabarani, sahih of ibn Khuzaima

Chain of the above hadeeth:

From Abdul Samad

From Zaaidah (take a note of this name, it is not ziyad or ziyaadat ul theqa)

From Asim ibn Kulaib

From Kulaib

From Wail ibn Hujr

Shuaib al Aranoot and his team published Musnad Ahmad in 50 volumes with takhreej of every hadith. Aranoot says that “do not move it” hadith is saheeh (marked as hadeeth #2 from Sunan Abu Dawood in notes above) and the portion about not moving the finger from Wail ibn Hujr is Shaadh (marked as hadeeth #3 in the notes above.)

Ibn Khuzayma, a scholar recorded this report and said there is no report that mentions “moving it” except the narration from Zaaidah (the narrator as discussed above in hadeeth #3).

Hadeeth of Wail ibn Hujair is very long, it describes the various parts of the prayer and then mentions the part of moving of the finger.

Zaaidah is the only one who mentions the moving of the finger part, and by mentioning the moving of the finger, contradcits 21 stronger narrators, that is this part of moving the finger is not mentioned by the 21 different stronger narrators of this hadeeth reporting from Asim who do not mention this only zaaidah reports this.

This hadeeth of Wail is also narrated by Alqamah and it has seven trustworthy narrators (independent of 21 mentioned above) and none of them mention moving the finger.

Based on this fact, Shuaib Al Arnaout says hadeeth #3 is shaad and the hadeeth #2 is sahih (or hasan).

Discussion of hadeeth #2 and #3 that describes not moving the finger and moving the finger

Hadeeth #2 has two different chains, and the chain from Amr ibn Dinaar makes the hadeeth #2 hasan and you can no longer ignore it.

Accepting Hadeeth#3 is very hard as Ziyaadah is contradicting what  21+7 thiqah narrators are narrating.

Where does the burden of proof lie? As logically the authentic narrations where prophet is decribed to be pointing the finger, it would make sense that they would have noticed him moving the finger. By not mentioning moving it is more closer to assume that he did not move it rather he moved it.

We only have hadeeth #3 that discusses moving the finger.

Suppose for the sake of argument, say that theoretically Prophet did move his finger. So the question is how did he move it?

There is video of Al Huwayni, who is a student of Al-Albani who shows how to move the finger (the moving it like shaking it to Al-Albani, who rejects the Maliki opinion of moving right to left and then back). Where did he get it from?

We only have the report of hadeeth #3, so where does he get the information on how to move the finger. They go and correct people’s mistakes about moving the finger, but based on what?

Ibn Uthaymeen would say that the prophet saws would move his finger up and down. And then ibn Uthaymeen would give details on when to raise the finger, and shaikh is listing different words from the tashahud and duaas on when to raise the finger. Based on what?

They say that it is based on the hadeeth that the prophet used to move his finger when reading a dua, but the above hadeeth #3 does not mention which dua?

Conclusion: Prophet (saws) would raise the finger and point it and look at the finger while sitting in salaat (tashahuud) based upon all the evidence that is in front of us.

Moving it is based on one (shaadh) report and How to move the finger is pure conjecture as there is no report on it.

Q: Can you say that the finger is raised throughout the tashahuud?

A: Yes you can say that, based on the hadeeth that the prophet used to raise the finger in dua.

Even if you are in quandary whether to move or not to move, you still have to raise and point the finger.

2011-07-31 Class Notes

Note: This is the last class for the quarter. The next session will begin after Ramadan.

Since this is the last class, we will not start discussing the next type of weak hadith.  We will be moving forward and tying it in with Ramadhan at the same time.

We have been covering different kinds of weak hadith.

One thing good to know is where to find collections of weak hadith.  [Edit: In case we come across a hadith and find it in this collection, then we know it is weak.]

In the old days, there were collections of weak and rejected narrators.  However, there were really no large collections of weak hadith, the exception being fabricated hadith.

Al Albaani is the first scholar who put the collection of weak hadith. From the among the work he has done he went to the four Sunan books and separated Saheeh and Da’eef hadith.

For example, there is Saheeh of Sunan Abi Daud and Daeef of Sunan Abi Daud. Then a company in Riyadh put the two work together with grading Saheeh or Daeef with it.

Al Albaani also compiled the work Saheeh al Targheeb and al-Tarheeb. Many scholars had put books on targheeeb and tarheeb. Many scholars have compilation of this nature, such as  Al-Mundiri had a book on targheeb and tarheeb, Albaani went through this work also.  He also went through Mundari’s compilation called jamih al sagheer.

Albani also went through Saheeh Jami al Sagheer of Al-Suyuti. (contains something like 13,000 hadith) He has another collection in which he arranged them in alphabetical order.  It is called Jami al Imama.

If you are looking for alaymal niyah, then you will find it it aleph. After Suyuti quotes the hadeeth, he give you information about the hadeeth, then he tells you in abbreviation where you will find it, da for ..., ha for another collection, and then he notes in abbreviation whether it is hasan, sahih,

Suyuti however was not a very thorough critic of hadeeth, Albaani went and critiqued the hadeeth properly.

The Sunan books (Ibn Majah and Abu Dawud) were arranged in order related to fiqh.

In all of these books there is no discussion of the takhreej of the hadeeth. In all of the works listed by Al Albaani. And that is where we are headed. (Edit: meaning a defintive catalogue of weak hadeeth with a discussion of the takhreej.)

Silsila al Ahadeeth al-Daeefa wal Maudu3a wa Asariha al sayi ala al Ummah

Detailed discussion of hadeeth by Al Albaani

Al Albaani also has another collection called Silsila Hadith … Silsila means chain and is not generally interchanged with the word isnad but it is used as synonym of sorts.  There are 14 volumes each containing 500 hadith, so there is a total of 7000 hadeeth in the collection.  In this collection, he discusses in details as to why he has made the conclusions he has made for the hadith, eg. da’if or da’if jaddan.  He will discuss his conclusion and the reasoning behind it.  There seems to be no reason or methodology behind how it is ordered.  It just happens to be the hadith he was working on over a period of time and just presented them in a particular way.  If you are interested in some examples of weak hadith and how to work through them, this would be the collection that you would turn to.  The other collections on the board don’t have the discussion about why he rejecting the hadith.  There is no collection similar to this from previous scholars so this would be the one to turn to.  

Al Albaani also has a silsila hadeeth collection which discusses hasan li ghairihi (hadeeth that are raised to a level of hasan based on external evidence) which we will discuss next quarter.

Q: In the footnotes of Arabic works most authors refer to the grading done by Albani, do such authors do their own research as well to corroborate or are they making taqleed?

A: Most of the time they are referring to Jami as Sagheer.

Q: Concise presentation of Quran and Sunaah by author does what?????

A: If something is not in brackets, that means that is from the original source. Translators use brackets to insert things such as comments or side notes.

Q: What happens when Al Albaani changes his opinion about the ranking of his hadeeth?

A: There are at least three different books where Al Albani has changed his opinion. (Edit: And this information is published in those three books???] His work was done in the pre-computer days and he was not known as a great memorizer.  He often refused to debate with Sheikh bin Baz because bin Baz was someone who memorized.

One of the books is two volumes discussing 500 hadith.

This is some of the problems with making taqleed as they can change their minds about something.  One scholar commented and said that it is better to make taqleed of someone who is dead as they cannot change their opinion (was a joke...)

Weak Hadith related to Ramadhan

We will now discuss weak hadith related to Ramadhan.  The sheikh had a talk about this in Boulder on this issue and it was about nine pages of discussion.

Hadeeth #871 from Volume II of Silsila al Hadith al Da’ifa

One of the hadith is the famous hadith where the Prophet saas gives a khutbah at the end of the month of sha’ban.  And this hadeeth is narrated as: Oh people, there is coming to you a great month a blessed month that contains a night that is better than a thousand months, a month Allah has prescribed the fasting and the voluntary night prayers to draw near to Him.  Anyone who performed an obligatory act in this month will be recorded as 70 obligatory acts in another month.  It is a month of patience and the reward of patience is Jannah.  it is a month of equality.  It is the month of increasing the provisions of the believer.  Whoever feeds a fasting person will have his neck saved from the hellfire and get the reward of someone who was fasting without lessening their reward.  A companion said that not all of us can give that kind of thing.  The Prophet saas responded that they should give whatever they can and they will be rewarded.  … It is a month of forgiveness and the end is the release from the Hellfire.  [note that this is not the complete hadith].

A number of you are familiar with this hadith or at least portions of it.  

Popular quotes of the benefits of Ramadhan based on the hadeeth #871

1.) The reward of performing obligatory deeds in Ramadhan is worth 70 times the deeds outside of ramadan

2.) The voluntary actions equal the obligatory actions.

3.) Sins are multiplied in this month. (Edit: If you commit sin in this month then it’s punishment is increased.)

4.) The beginning of the month is mercy, then middle is forgiveness then end is release from the hellfire.

All of these are based on the hadith that we discussed above.

Al Albani says about this hadith which #871 in Silsila al Hadith al Da’ifa in the second volume.

Footnote: Now there are topical indices as well as regular indices created later by various people..  Salim al Hilali and another scholar created indices for all of Al Albaani’s works but you have to now how the hadith began.  The indices will tell you where the hadith can be found. Shaikh joked that you could always look for hadith that start with Inna????

Takhreej of hadeeth #871

This hadith #871 was recorded by several sources.  There is really only one isnad for this hadith.  For that one portion of talking about the different parts of Ramadhan, this is actually found in another hadith which is even worse than this one. And this other hadeeth cannot be used as supporting evidence.

in discussing this hadith, Al Albani says that it has two defects, he uses the word illatan (two illas).  Albaani by using illa here means defect, not hidden defect (as is discussed in the conditions of saheeh hadith).  ie. it has two big problems.  

The chain is Yusuf ibn Ziad from Hamam ibn Yahya from Ali ibn Zaid ibn Jiddan from Said um Said (? is this correct) from Salman al Farsi.

Footnote: When people like a hadeeth and you mention that it is weak, they always question why it is weak. Otherwise they take the analysis of a hadeeth scholar at face value, but that is not the case with popular hadeeth.

First defect in hadeeth #871

The first issue with this chain is Yusuf ibn Ziad.  Ibn Haban said that one thing you recognize about his hadith is that they are rarely supported by narrations from trustworthy narration.  He is solitary in reporting from trustworthy narrators that do not sound like his hadith.  Therefore, he is dropped and cannot be used as evidence.  

If you know Shakespeare and if I give your something from Steinbeck, you would know immediately that the quote is not from Shakespeare, you have a feeling for the work of an author.

Similarly, you would get a feeling for quotes from a scholar. And if you see that it is not similar to the work of a scholar, and somebody quotes a statement from a scholar that does not look or feel like the work of a scholar, then the person who is quoting the scholar is doing it on purpose.

We will reject his report but we are not saying that he is a liar or fabricator.  Al bukhari describes this narrator’s hadith as munkr hadiht.  Al Uqaili used to memorize his hadith but no one corroborates his narrations.  An Nisai says he is not trustworhty.  Al Daraqutni said that he is well known to narrate things that are not correct.  This is the first illa or defect.

Second defect in hadeeth #871

The second defect is Ali Ibn Zaid.  Sho’ba described him as kana rafa’a, he was rafa’a.  Rafa’a means that he used to take reports that were not associated with the Prophet saas and would attribute it to the Prophet saas, make the hadeeth marfu’.  Ahmad Ibn Hanbal said that he is not strong.  Abu Hatim said to record his hadith but do not accept him as an authority (this is pretty typical for the ulimah of hadith to keep records).  

Critique of Ali ibn Zaid by ibn ‘Ady

A scholar by the name, Ibn ‘Ady (his works were discussed before) is one of tte ones who are most in depth in analyzing the different narrations from an individual narrator.  Then he gives you a very good and clear conclusion based on everything he has seen.  He says about this narrator (Ali ibn Zaid) that he was somewhat extreme in his Shi’a-ism from among those from Basrah.  Then he says that even with his weakness, his hadith are still recorded.  

Ibn Haban, in another of his books al Majroheen (published as 4 volumes), he said about this narrator that Ali ibn Zaid was a noble sheikh but he used to make mistakes in his reports to the point where it became very large in number and therefore this narrator cannot be used as an authority. Footnote: This shows that the scholars would praise the shia scholars?????

With respect to Yusuf ibn Ziad and his place in the chain, there is someone who supports his narration but unfortunately that narrator as well is very weak (matrook al hadith).  

So the conclusion from the scholars of hadith like Abu Hatem and Ibn Hajr and also Al Albaani is that this is a rejected hadith.  However, it is in Sahih ibn Khuzayma.  What do you think of this?  Isn’t this interesting?  How do you get from munkar to sahih?  

There is one thing that one needs to be careful about with respect to Sahih ibn Khuzayma and not everyone who quotes from this will give you this information.  What ibn Khuzayma did is that he sometimes included hadith in his work but he will give some view or sign that makes it clear that this narration is not necessarily authentic according to him.  He leaves the door open.  In this case, the chapter heading where this hadith is recorded is “the chapter about the virtues of Ramadhan if this report is authentic.”  When you search for this hadith using some computer Software (SW) out there, not all of those SW’s will tell you the chapter heading so you might look at this and say this scholar said it is sahih, how come the other scholars didn’t.  There are many examples of this nature.  Like in the case of Al Hakim, he might have had the intention to go back and clean up his collections/compilation.  he compiled and taught to his student and he actually started editing his work; you can actually see in his manuscripts where he stopped editing due to his death.  This ¼ of what he edited is much higher quality than the remainder of his work.

In response to a question if scholars should perform taqleed of scholars of hadith instead of just relying on the taqleed of Al Albaani, since according to the student Albaani was lax in his critique?

Response: It is unrealistic and not practical to expect people to verify every point where they make taqleed on.  There are some realities involved depending on circumstance and constraints which may limit the amount of research involved in the verification process.  Of course, if the time and opportunity was available, scholars would of course double-check and verify everything.

Foonote: Shaikh discussed how much time and effort is required to research just one hadeeth, how many books need to be referenced to verify the narration.  His wife took a picture of the amount of books and such the Sheikh had to go through to verify just one hadith.  If he is able to find the picture he may share it. Shaikh tries to research every hadeeth in his lectures or writings and it very labor intensive. So if somebody is preparing for a lecture and refers to the takhreej of Al Albaani, he does not see any problem with it?????? is this correct????

Q: Multiplication of sins

A: Gravity of the sin can be greater, depending upon time, place. For example, if you are lying at the Kaaba, and you have signs in front of you, and if you are brazen with respect to Allah swt, then the gravity of the sin is greater.

A king who lies is greater than ordinary people. Since king has no reason to lie.

An old man who commits zina and since his desires are less and still goes out and increases his desire, hence his sin is graver

If your attitude towards a sin, if you commit a small sin but your attitude towards it is nonchalant and you don’t care about it, then the gravity of the sin can be raised.

The attitude towards the sin can make a small sin into a grave sin.  Similarly, you can commit a grave sin that you are so fearful and regretful for that it may be reduced to a small sin.

This concept of committing a sin close to the Kabaa being a grave sin clearly contradicts the Qur’an.

A sin is not going to be multiplied but it’s level as a sin may increase or decrease as discussed earlier.

If I make something bigger, did I multiply it? No


A: Gravity of one will be greater than the other.


A: People follow scientific theories even though they cannot prove it.

Is there a dua’ that you make when you break a fast? Yes.

What is the dua that you make?

Some responses from the students

Laka samtuka ...

A different version of the above

Alhumdullillah hi .......

All of them are weak, except for the one about the thirst is quenched

Dua that you hear just before Ramadan is also very weak.

There are numerous hadeeth about Ramadan that are weak. But here the goal was to discuss the takhreej of the weak hadeeth, so shaikh is not listing the weak hadeeth just for their own sake.

Intention or niyah is something in your heart and you don’t have to say it by your tongue. Except for the intention of hajj which has to be said out loud. Shaikh mentioned that the act of setting an alarm clock to wake up for Suhoor is an indicator of your intention.

Fortress of the Muslim is one of the good book for Dua and is fairly free of weak hadith.

The book, Words of Remembrance and Reminder, has weak hadith and authentic hadith as evidence but has footnotes explaining and identifying the weak hadith. Shaikh mentions that this would be good for the students of this class, since you can perform the analysis of the weak hadeeth by going through the footnotes.

What should our attitude be towards weak hadith?  How much weight should we give them?  How can we raise weak hadith to a different level given the appropriate conditions and such are met?  We will discuss these topics and questions during the next session after Ramadhan.

Is there any justification for paying Zakat in Ramadan?

No there is no justification for performing that act just solely in Ramadan. This is an obligation that is there on every Muslim and it has to be fulfilled. Some claim the rewards are multiplied in Ramadan by 70. And others use Ramadan as a reminder to pay Zakat. But you could pay Zakat before Ramadan.

Some more comments about ibn Abbaas and paying Zakat in Ramadan that I missed.