Islamic Book PDF An Introduction to the Science of Hadith

An Introduction to the Science of Hadith
Suhaib Hassan, Al-Quran Society, London
l Some commonly-quoted ahadith [Be sure to look at the appendix below! -Ed. note]
l Introduction
l A brief history of Mustalah al-Hadith
l Mustalah al-Hadith (the Classification of Hadith)
l Rijal al-Hadith (the study of the reporters of Hadith)
¡ According to the reference to a particular authority
¡ According to the links in the isnad
¡ According to the number of reporters in each stage of the isnad
¡ According to the manner in which the hadith is reported
¡ According to the nature of the text and isnad
¡ According to a hidden defect found in the isnad or text of a hadith
¡ According to the reliability and memory of the reporters
l Further branches of Mustalah and Rijal
l Verdicts on the ahadith mentioned in the Foreword
All Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessings of Allah be upon our Prophet
Muhammad, and on his family and companions.
We have undoubtedly sent down the Reminder, and We will truly preserve it. (Al-Qur’an, Surah
al-Hijr, 15:9)
The above promise made by Allah is obviously fulfilled in the undisputed purity of the Qur’anic text
throughout the fourteen centuries since its revelation. However, what is often forgotten by many
Muslims is that the above divine promise also includes, by necessity, the Sunnah of the Prophet
Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), for it is the practical example of the
implementation of the Qur’anic guidance, the Wisdom taught to the Prophet (may Allah bless him and
grant him peace) along with the Scripture, and neither the Qur’an nor the Sunnah can be understood
correctly without recourse to the other.
Hence, Allah preserved the Qur’an from being initially lost by the martyrdom of its memorisers, by
guiding the Rightly-Guided Caliphs, endorsed by the consensus of the Messenger’s Companions (may
Allah bless him and grant him peace and may He be pleased with them), to compile the ayat (signs,
miracles, “verses”) of the Qur’an into one volume, after these had been scattered in writing on various
materials and in memory amongst many faithful hearts. He safeguarded it from corruption by its
enemies: disbelievers, heretics, and false prophets, by enabling millions of believers to commit it to
memory with ease. He protected its teachings by causing thousands of people of knowledge to learn
from its deep treasures and convey them to the masses, and by sending renewers of His Deen at the
beginning of every century.
Similarly, Allah preserved the Sunnah by enabling the Companions and those after them (may Allah be
pleased with them) to memorise, write down and pass on the statements of the Messenger (may Allah
bless him and grant him peace) and the descriptions of his Way, as well as to continue the blessings of
practising the Sunnah. Later, as the purity of the knowledge of the Sunnah became threatened, Allah
caused the Muslim nation to produce outstanding individuals of incredible memory-skills and analytical
expertise, who journeyed tirelessly to collect hundreds of thousands of narrations and distinguish the
true words of precious wisdom of their Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) from
those corrupted by weak memories, from forgeries by unscrupulous liars, and from the statements of the
enormous number of ‘ulama’, the Companions and those who followed their way, who had taught in
various centres of learning and helped to transmit the legacy of Muhammad (may Allah bless him and
grant him peace) – all of this achieved through precise attention to the words narrated and detailed
familiarity with the biographies of the thousands of reporters of Hadith. Action being the best way to
preserve teachings, the renewers of Islam also revived the practice of the blessed authentic Sunnah.
Unfortunately however, statements will continue to be attributed to the Prophet (may Allah bless him
and grant him peace) although the person quoting them may have no idea what the people of knowledge
of Hadith have ruled regarding those ahadith, thus ironically being in danger of contravening the
Prophet’s widely-narrated stern warnings about attributing incorrect/unsound statements to him. For
example, here are some very commonly-quoted ahadith, which actually vary tremendously in their
degree of authenticity from the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace):

  1. “Surah al-Ikhlas is worth a third of the Qur’an.”
  2. The hadith about the Ninety-Name Names of Allah.
  3. Allah says, “I was a hidden treasure, and I wished to be known, so I created a creation (mankind),
    then made Myself known to them, and they recognised Me.”
  4. Allah says, “Were it not for you (O Muhammad), I would not have created the universe.”
  5. When Allah completed creation, He wrote in a Book (which is) with Him, above His Throne,
    “Verily, My Mercy will prevail over My Wrath.”
  6. Allah says, “Neither My heaven nor My earth can contain Me, but the heart of My believing slave
    can contain Me.”
  7. “He who knows himself, knows his Lord.”
  8. “Where is Allah?”
  9. “Love of one’s homeland is part of Faith.”
  10. “I have left amongst you two things which, if you hold fast to them, you will never stray: the Book
    of Allah, and my Sunnah.”
  11. “I have left among you that which if you abide by, you will never go astray: the Book of Allah,
    and my Family, the Members of my House.”
  12. The hadith giving ten Companions, by name, the good tidings of Paradise.
  13. “If the iman (faith) of Abu Bakr was weighed against the iman of all the people of the earth, the
    former would outweigh the latter.”
  14. “I am the City of Knowledge, and ‘Ali is its Gate.”
  15. “My companions are like the stars: whichever of them you follow, you will be guided.”
  16. “The differing amongst my Ummah is a mercy.”
  17. “My Ummah will split up into seventy-three sects: seventy-two will be in the Fire, and one in the
  18. Prophecies about the coming of the Mahdi (the guided one), Dajjal (the False Christ, the AntiChrist) and the return of Jesus Christ son of Mary.
  19. Description of punishment and bliss in the grave, for the wicked and pious people respectively.
  20. Intercession by the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), and the believers seeing
    Allah, on the Day of Judgment.
  21. “Paradise is under the feet of mothers.”
  22. “Paradise is under the shade of swords.”
  23. “Seeking knowledge is a duty upon every Muslim.”
  24. “Seek knowledge, even if you have to go to China.”
  25. “The ink of the scholar is holier than the blood of the martyr.”
  26. “We have returned from the lesser Jihad to the greater Jihad (i.e. the struggle against the evil of
    one’s soul).”
    The methodology of the expert scholars of Hadith in assessing such narrations and sorting out the
    genuine from the mistaken/fabricated etc., forms the subject-matter of a wealth of material left to us by
    the muhaddithun (scholars of Hadith, “traditionists”). This short treatise is a humble effort to introduce
    this extremely wide subject to English readers. The author has derived great benefit from the outstanding
    scholarly work in this field, Muqaddimah Ibn al- Salah.
    A brief explanation of the verdicts from the experts in this field on the above ahadith is given in the
    We ask Allah to accept this work, and make it beneficial to its readers.
    The Muslims are agreed that the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him
    peace) is the second of the two revealed fundamental sources of Islam, after the Glorious Qur’an. The
    authentic Sunnah is contained within the vast body of Hadith literature.1.
    A hadith (pl. ahadith) is composed of two parts: the matn (text) and the isnad (chain of reporters).
    A text may seem to be logical and reasonable but it needs an authentic isnad with reliable reporters to be
    acceptable; ‘Abdullah b. al-Mubarak (d. 181 AH), one of the illustrious teachers of Imam al-Bukhari,
    said, “The isnad is part of the religion: had it not been for the isnad, whoever wished to would have said
    whatever he liked.”2.
    During the lifetime of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and after his death, his
    Companions (Sahabah) used to refer to him directly, when quoting his sayings. The Successors
    (Tabi’un) followed suit; some of them used to quote the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him
    peace) through the Companions while others would omit the intermediate authority – such a hadith was
    later known as mursal. It was found that the missing link between the Successor and the Prophet (may
    Allah bless him and grant him peace) might be one person, i.e. a Companion, or two people, the extra
    person being an older Successor who heard the hadith from the Companion. This is an example of how
    the need for the verification of each isnad arose; Imam Malik (d. 179) said, “The first one to utilise the
    isnad was Ibn Shihab al- Zuhri” (d. 124).3.
    The other more important reason was the deliberate fabrication of ahadith by various sects which
    appeared amongst the Muslims, in order to support their views (see later, under discussion of maudu’
    ahadith). Ibn Sirin (d. 110), a Successor, said, “They would not ask about the isnad. But when the fitnah
    (trouble, turmoil, esp. civil war) happened, they said: Name to us your men. So the narrations of the Ahl
    al-Sunnah (Adherents to the Sunnah) would be accepted, while those of the Ahl al-Bid’ah (Adherents to
    Innovation) would not be accepted.”4.
    A brief history of Mustalah al-Hadith (Classification of Hadith)
    As time passed, more reporters were involved in each isnad, and so the situation demanded strict
    discipline in the acceptance of ahadith; the rules regulating this discipline are known as Mustalah alHadith (the Classification of Hadith).
    Amongst the early traditionists (muhaddithin, scholars of Hadith), the rules and criteria governing their
    study of Hadith were meticulous but some of their terminology varied from person to person, and their
    principles began to be systematically written down, but scattered amongst various books, e.g. in AlRisalah of al- Shafi’i (d. 204), the Introduction to the Sahih of Muslim (d. 261) and the Jami’ of alTirmidhi (d. 279); many of the criteria of early traditionists, e.g. al-Bukhari, were deduced by later
    scholars from a careful study of which reporters or isnads were accepted and rejected by them.
    One of the earliest writings to attempt to cover Mustalah comprehensively, using standard (i.e.
    generally-accepted) terminology, was the work by al-Ramahurmuzi (d. 360). The next major
    contribution was Ma’rifah ‘Ulum al-Hadith by al- Hakim (d. 405), which covered fifty classifications of
    Hadith, but still left some points untouched; Abu Nu’aim al-Isbahani (d. 430) completed some of the
    missing parts to this work. After that came Al-Kifayah fi ‘Ilm al- Riwayah of al-Khatib al-Baghdadi (d.
    463) and another work on the manner of teaching and studying Hadith; later scholars were considered to
    be greatly indebted to al-Khatib’s work.
    After further contributions by Qadi ‘Iyad al- Yahsubi (d. 544) and Abu Hafs al-Mayanji (d. 580) among
    others, came the work which, although modest in size, was so comprehensive in its excellent treatment
    of the subject that it came to be the standard reference for thousands of scholars and students of Hadith
    to come, over many centuries until the present day: ‘Ulum al- Hadith of Abu ‘Amr ‘Uthman Ibn al-Salah
    (d. 643), commonly known as Muqaddimah Ibn al-Salah, compiled while he taught in the Dar al-Hadith
    of several cities in Syria. Some of the numerous later works based on that of Ibn al-Salah are:
    l An abridgement of Muqaddimah, Al-Irshad by al- Nawawi (d. 676), which he later summarised in
    his Taqrib; al-Suyuti (d. 911) compiled a valuable commentary on the latter entitled Tadrib alRawi.
    l Ikhtisar ‘Ulum al-Hadith of Ibn Kathir (d. 774), Al-Khulasah of al-Tibi (d. 743), Al- Minhal of
    Badr al-Din b. Jama’ah (d. 733), Al- Muqni’ of Ibn al-Mulaqqin (d. 802) and Mahasin al-Istilah of
    al-Balqini (d. 805), all of which are abridgements of Muqaddimah Ibn al- Salah.
    l Al-Nukat of al-Zarkashi (d. 794), Al-Taqyid wa ‘l-Idah of al-‘Iraqi (d. 806) and Al-Nukat of Ibn
    Hajar al-‘Asqalani (d. 852), all of which are further notes on the points made by Ibn al- Salah.
    l Alfiyyah al-Hadith of al-‘Iraqi, a rewriting of Muqaddimah in the form of a lengthy poem, which
    became the subject of several commentaries, including two (one long, one short) by the author
    himself, Fath al-Mughith of al-Sakhawi (d. 903), Qatar al-Durar of al- Suyuti and Fath al-Baqi of
    Shaykh Zakariyyah al-Ansari (d. 928).
    Other notable treatises on Mustalah include:
    l Al-Iqtirah of Ibn Daqiq al-‘Id (d. 702). Tanqih al-Anzar of Muhammad b. Ibrahim al- Wazir (d.
    840), the subject of a commentary by al-Amir al-San’ani (d. 1182).
    l Nukhbah al-Fikr of Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani, again the subject of several commentaries, including
    one by the author himself, one by his son Muhammad, and those of ‘Ali al-Qari (d. 1014), ‘Abd alRa’uf al-Munawi (d. 1031) and Muhammad b. ‘Abd al-Hadi al-Sindi (d. 1138). Among those who
    rephrased the Nukhbah in poetic form are al-Tufi (d. 893) and al- Amir al-San’ani.
    l Alfiyyah al-Hadith of al-Suyuti, the most comprehensive poetic work in the field. Al-Manzumah
    of al-Baiquni, which was expanded upon by, amongst others, al-Zurqani (d. 1122) and Nawab
    Siddiq Hasan Khan (d. 1307). Qawa’id al-Tahdith of Jamal al-Din al-Qasimi (d. 1332).
    l Taujih al-Nazar of Tahir al-Jaza’iri (d. 1338), a summary of al-Hakim’s Ma’rifah.
    Mustalah al-Hadith (Classification of Hadith)
    Mustalah books speak of a number of classes of hadith in accordance with their status. The following
    broad classifications can be made, each of which is explained in the later sections:
    l According to the reference to a particular authority, e.g. the Prophet (may Allah bless him and
    grant him peace), a Companion, or a Successor; such ahadith are called marfu’ (elevated), mauquf
    (stopped) and maqtu’ (severed) respectively .
    l According to the links in the isnad, i.e. whether the chain of reporters is interrupted or
    uninterrupted, e.g. musnad (supported), muttasil (continuous), munqati’ (broken), mu’allaq
    (hanging), mu’dal (perplexing) and mursal (hurried).
    l According to the number of reporters involved in each stage of the isnad, e.g. mutawatir
    (consecutive) and ahad (isolated), the latter being divided into gharib (scarce, strange), ‘aziz (rare,
    strong), and mashhur (famous).
    l According to the manner in which the hadith has been reported, such as using the (Arabic) words
    ‘an (“on the authority of”), haddathana (“he narrated to us”), akhbarana (- “he informed us”) or
    sami’tu (“I heard”). In this category falls the discussion about mudallas (concealed) and musalsal
    (uniformly-linked) ahadith. [Note: In the quotation of isnads in the remainder of this book, the
    first mode of narration mentioned above will be represented with a single broken line thus: —.
    The three remaining modes of narration mentioned above, which all strongly indicate a clear,
    direct transmission of the hadith, are represented by a double line thus: ===.]
    l According to the nature of the matn and isnad, e.g. an addition by a reliable reporter, known as
    ziyadatu thiqah, or opposition by a lesser authority to a more reliable one, known as shadhdh
    (irregular). In some cases, a text containing a vulgar expression, unreasonable remark or
    obviously-erroneous statement is rejected by the traditionists outright without consideration of the
    isnad: such a hadith is known as munkar (denounced). If an expression or statement is proved to
    be an addition by a reporter to the text, it is declared as mudraj (interpolated).
    l According to a hidden defect found in the isnad or text of a hadith. Although this could be
    included in some of the previous categories, a hadith mu’allal (defective hadith) is worthy to be
    explained separately. The defect can be caused in many ways; e.g. two types of hadith mu’allal are
    known as maqlub (overturned) and mudtarib (shaky).
    l According to the reliability and memory of the reporters; the final judgment on a hadith depends
    crucially on this factor: verdicts such as sahih (sound), hasan (good), da’if (weak) and
    maudu’ (fabricated, forged) rest mainly upon the nature of the reporters in the isnad.
    Rijal al-Hadith (the study of the reporters of Hadith)
    Mustalah al-Hadith is strongly associated with Rijal al-Hadith (the study of the reporters of hadith). In
    scrutinising the reporters of a hadith, authenticating or disparaging remarks made by recognised experts,
    from amongst the Successors and those after them, were found to be of great help. Examples of such
    remarks, in descending order of authentication, are:
    l “Imam (leader), Hafiz (preserver).”
    l “Reliable, trustworthy.”
    l “Makes mistakes.”
    l “Weak.”
    l “Abandoned (by the traditionists).”
    l “Liar, used to fabricate ahadith.”5
    Reporters who have been unanimously described by statements such as the first two may contribute to a
    sahih (“sound”, see later) isnad. An isnad containing a reporter who is described by the last two
    statements is likely to be da’if jiddan (very weak) or maudu’ (fabricated). Reporters who are the subject
    of statements such as the middle two above will cause the isnad to be da’if (weak), although several of
    them relating the same hadith independently will often increase the rank of the hadith to the level of
    hasan (good). If the remarks about a particular reporter conflict, a careful verdict has to be arrived at
    after in-depth analysis of e.g. the reason given for any disparagement, the weight of each type of
    criticism, the relative strictness or leniency of each critic, etc.
    The earliest remarks cited in the books of Rijal go back to a host of Successors, followed by those after
    them until the period of the six canonical traditionists, a period covering the first three centuries of
    Islam. A list of such names is provided by the author in his thesis, Criticism of Hadith among Muslims
    with reference to Sunan Ibn Majah, at the end of chapters IV, V and VI.
    Among the earliest available works in this field are Tarikh of Ibn Ma’in (d. 233), Tabaqat of Khalifa b.
    Khayyat (d. 240), Tarikh of al- Bukhari (d. 256), Kitab al-Jarh wa ‘l-Ta’dil of Ibn Abi Hatim (d. 327) and
    Tabaqat of Muhammad b. Sa’d (d. 320).
    A number of traditionists made efforts specifically for the gathering of information about the reporters
    of the five famous collections of hadith, those of al-Bukhari (d. 256), Muslim (d. 261), Abu Dawud (d.
    275), al- Tirmidhi (d. 279) and al-Nasa’i (d. 303), giving authenticating and disparaging remarks in
    detail. The first major such work to include also the reporters of Ibn Majah (d. 273) is the ten-volume
    collection of al-Hafiz ‘Abd al-Ghani al-Maqdisi (d. 600), known as Al-Kamal fi Asma’ al-Rijal. Later,
    Jamal al-Din Abu ‘l-Hajjaj Yusuf b. ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Mizzi (d. 742) prepared an edited and abridged
    version of this work, punctuated by places and countries of origin of the reporters; he named it Tahdhib
    al- Kamal fi Asma’ al-Rijal and produced it in twelve volumes. Further, one of al-Mizzi’s gifted pupils,
    Shams al-Din Abu ‘Abdullah Muhammad b. Ahmad b. ‘Uthman b. Qa’imaz al- Dhahabi (d. 748),
    summarised his shaikh’s work and produced two abridgements: a longer one called Tadhhib al-Tahdhib
    and a shorter one called Al-Kashif fi Asma’ Rijal al-Kutub al- Sittah.
    A similar effort with the work of al-Mizzi was made by Ibn Hajar (d. 852), who prepared a lengthy but
    abridged version, with about one- third of the original omitted, entitled Tahdhib al-Tahdhib in twelve
    shorter volumes. Later, he abridged this further to a relatively-humble two- volume work called Taqrib
    The work of al-Dhahabi was not left unedited; al- Khazraji (Safi al-Din Ahmad b. ‘Abdullah, d. after
    923) summarised it and also made valuable additions, producing his Khulasah.
    A number of similar works deal with either trustworthy reporters only, e.g. Kitab al-Thiqat by al-‘Ijli (d.
    261) and Tadhkirah al-Huffaz by al-Dhahabi, or with disparaged authorities only, e.g. Kitab al-Du’afa’
    wa al-Matrukin by al- Nasa’i and Kitab al-Majruhin by Muhammad b. Hibban al-Busti (d. 354).
    Two more works in this field which include a large number of reporters, both authenticated and
    disparaged, are Mizan al-I’tidal of al- Dhahabi and Lisan al-Mizan of Ibn Hajar.
    THE CLASSIFICATION OF HADITH: According to the reference to a particular
    The following principal types of hadith are important:
    l Marfu’ – “elevated”: A narration from the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace),
    e.g. a reporter (whether a Companion, Successor or other) says, “The Messenger of Allah said …”
    For example, the very first hadith in Sahih al-Bukhari is as follows: Al- Bukhari === Al-Humaidi
    ‘Abdullah b. al-Zubair === Sufyan === Yahya b. Sa’id al-Ansari === Muhammad b. Ibrahim alTaymi === ‘Alqamah b. Waqqas al-Laithi, who said: I heard ‘Umar b. al- Khattab saying, while on
    the pulpit, “I heard Allah’s Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) saying: The
    reward of deeds depends on the intentions, and every person will get the reward according to what
    he has intended; so whoever emigrated for wordly benefits or for a woman to marry, his
    emigration was for what he migrated.”
    l Mauquf – “stopped”: A narration from a Companion only, i.e. his own statement; e.g. al-Bukhari
    reports in his Sahih, in Kitab al-Fara’id (Book of the Laws of Inheritance), that Abu Bakr, Ibn
    ‘Abbas and Ibn al-Zubair said, “The grandfather is (treated like) a father.” It should be noted that
    certain expressions used by a Companion generally render a hadith to be considered as being
    effectively marfu’ although it is mauquf on the face of it, e.g. the following:
    “We were commanded to …”
    “We were forbidden from …”
    “We used to do …”
    “We used to say/do … while the Messenger of Allah was amongst us.”
    “We did not use to mind such-and-such…”
    “It used to be said …”
    “It is from the Sunnah to …”
    “It was revealed in the following circumstances: …”, speaking about a verse of the Qur’an.
    l Maqtu’- “severed”: A narration from a Successor, e.g. Muslim reports in the Introduction to his
    Sahih that Ibn Sirin (d. 110) said, “This knowledge (i.e. Hadith) is the Religion, so be careful from
    whom you take your religion.”
    The authenticity of each of the above three types of hadith depends on other factors such as the
    reliability of its reporters, the nature of the linkage amongst them, etc. However, the above classification
    is extremely useful, since through it the sayings of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him
    peace) can be distinguished at once from those of Companions or Successors; this is especially helpful
    in debate about matters of Fiqh.
    Imam Malik’s Al-Muwatta’, one of the early collections of hadith, contains a relatively even ratio of
    these types of hadith, as well as mursal ahadith (which are discussed later). According to Abu Bakr alAbhari (d. 375), Al- Muwatta’ contains the following:
    l 600 marfu’ ahadith,
    l 613 mauquf ahadith,
    l 285 maqtu’ ahadith, and
    l 228 mursal ahadith; a total of 1726 ahadith.6
    Among other collections, relatively more mauquf and maqtu’ ahadith are found in Al-Musannaf of Ibn
    Abi Shaibah (d. 235), Al-Musannaf of ‘Abd al- Razzaq (d. 211) and the Tafsirs of Ibn Jarir (d. 310), Ibn
    Abi Hatim (d. 327) and Ibn al-Mundhir (d. 319).7
    THE CLASSIFICATION OF HADITH: According to the links in the isnad
    Al-Hakim defines a musnad (“supported”) hadith as follows: “A hadith which a traditionist reports from
    his shaikh from whom he is known to have heard (ahadith) at a time of life suitable for learning, and
    similarly in turn for each shaikh, until the isnad reaches a well- known Companion, who in turn reports
    from the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace).”8
    By this definition, an ordinary muttasil hadith (i.e. one with an uninterrupted isnad) is excluded if it goes
    back only to a Companion or Successor, as is a marfu’ hadith which has an interrupted isnad.
    Al-Hakim gives the following example of a musnad hadith: We reported from Abu ‘Amr ‘Uthman b.
    Ahmad al-Sammak al-Baghdadi === Al-Hasan b. Mukarram === ‘Uthman b. ‘Amr === Yunus — alZuhri — ‘Abdullah b. Ka’b b. Malik — his father, who asked Ibn Abi Hadrad for payment of a debt he
    owed to him, in the mosque. During the ensuing argument, their voices were raised until heard by the
    Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), who eventually lifted the curtain of his
    apartment and said, “O Ka’b! Write off a part of your debt” – he meant remission of half of it. So he
    agreed, and the man paid him.
    He then remarks,
    “Now, my hearing from Ibn al-Simak is well- known, as is his from Ibn Mukarram; al- Hasan’s link with
    ‘Uthman b. ‘Amr and the latter’s with Yunus b. Zaid are known as well; Yunus is always remembered
    with al- Zuhri, and the latter with the sons of Ka’b b. Malik, whose link to their father and his
    companionship of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) are well- established.”9
    The term musnad is also applied to those collections of ahadith which give the ahadith of each
    Companion separately. Among the early compilers of such a Musnad were Yahya b. ‘Abd al- Hamid alHimmani (d. 228) at Kufah and Musaddad b. Musarhad (d. 228) at Basrah. The largest existing
    collection of ahadith of Companions arranged in this manner is that of Imam Ahmad b. Hanbal (d. 241),
    which contains around thirty thousand ahadith. Another larger work is attributed to the famous
    Andalusian traditionist Baqi b. Makhlad al-Qurtubi (d. 276), but unfortunately it is now untraceable.
    Mursal, Munqati’, Mu’dal, & Mu’allaq
    If the link between the Successor and the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) is missing,
    the hadith is mursal (“hurried”), e.g. when a Successor says, “The Prophet said …”.
    However, if a link anywhere before the Successor (i.e. closer to the traditionist recording the hadith) is
    missing, the hadith is munqati’ (“broken”). This applies even if there is an apparent link, e.g. an isnad
    seems to be muttasil (“continuous”) but one of the reporters is known to have never heard ahadith from
    his immediate authority, even though he may be his contemporary. The term munqati’ is also applied by
    some scholars to a narration such as where a reporter says, “a man narrated to me …”, without naming
    this authority.10
    If the number of consecutive missing reporters in the isnad exceeds one, the isnad is mu’dal
    (“perplexing”). If the reporter omits the whole isnad and quotes the Prophet, may Allah bless him and
    grant him peace, directly (i.e. the link is missing at the beginning, unlike the case with a mursal isnad),
    the hadith is called mu’allaq (“hanging”) – sometimes it is known as balaghah (“to reach”); for example,
    Imam Malik sometimes says in Al-Muwatta’, “It reached me that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah
    bless him and grant him peace) said …”
    Example of a munqati’ hadith
    Al-Hakim reported from Muhammad b. Mus’ab === al- Auza’i — Shaddad Abu ‘Ammar — Umm alFadl bint al-Harith, who said: I came to the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him
    peace) and said, “I have seen in a vision last night as if a part of your body was cut out and placed in my
    lap.” He said, “You have seen something good. Allah Willing, Fatimah will give birth to a lad who will
    be in your lap.” After that, Fatimah gave birth to al- Husain, who used to be in my lap, in accordance
    with the statement of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). One day, I
    came to the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and placed al- Husain in his
    lap. I noticed that both his eyes were shedding tears. He said, “Jibril came to me and told me that my
    Ummah will kill this son of mine, and he brought me some of the reddish dust of that place (where he
    will be killed).”
    Al-Hakim said, “This is a sahih hadith according to the conditions of the Two Shaykhs (i.e. Bukhari &
    Muslim), but they did not collect it.” Al-Dhahabi says, “No, the hadith is munqati’ and da’if, because
    Shaddad never met Umm al-Fadl and Muhammad b. Mus’ab is weak.”11
    Example of a mu’dal hadith
    Ibn Abi Hatim === Ja’far b. Ahmad b. al-Hakam Al- Qurashi in the year 254 === Sulaiman b. Mansur
    b. ‘Ammar === ‘Ali b. ‘Asim — Sa’id — Qatadah — Ubayy b. Ka’b, who reported that the Messenger of
    Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “After Adam had tasted from the tree, he ran
    away, but the tree caught his hair. It was proclaimed: O Adam! Are you running away from Me? He
    said: No, but I feel ashamed before You. He said: O Adam! Go away from My neighbourhood, for By
    My Honour, no-one who disobeys Me can live here near Me; even if I were to create people like you
    numbering enough to fill the earth and they were to disobey Me, I would make them live in a home of
    Ibn Kathir remarks, “This is a gharib hadith. There is inqita’, in fact i’dal, between Qatadah and Ubayy b.
    Ka’b, may Allah be pleased with them both.”12
    Authenticity of the Mursal Hadith
    There has been a great deal of discussion amongst the scholars regarding the authenticity of the Mursal
    Hadith (pl. Marasil), since it is quite probable that a Successor might have omitted two names, those of
    an elder Successor and a Companion, rather than just one name, that of a Companion.
    If the Successor is known to have omitted the name of a Companion only, then the hadith is held to be
    authentic, for a Successor can only report from the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace)
    through a Companion; the omission of the name of the Companion does not affect the authenticity of the
    isnad since all Companions are held to be trustworthy and reliable, by both Qur’anic injunctions and
    sayings of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace).
    However, opinions vary in the case where the Successor might have omitted the names of two
    authorities (since not all the Successors were reliable in matters of Hadith). For example, two widelydiffering positions on this issue are:
  27. the Marasil of elder Successors such as Sa’id b. al-Musayyab (d. 94) and ‘Ata’ b. Abi Rabah (d.
    114) are acceptable because all their Marasil, after investigation, are found to come through the
    Companions only. However, the Marasil of younger Successors are only acceptable if the names
    of their immediate authorities are known through other sources; if not, they are rejected outright.
  28. the Marasil of Successors and those who report from them are acceptable without any
    investigation at all. This opinion is supported by the Kufi school of traditionists, but is severely
    attacked by the majority.
    To be precise in this issue, let us investigate in detail the various opinions regarding the Mursal Hadith:
  29. The opinion held by Imam Malik and all Maliki jurists is that the Mursal of a trustworthy person
    is valid as proof and as justification for a practice, just like a musnad hadith.13 This view has been
    developed to such an extreme that to some of them, the mursal is even better than the musnad,
    based on the following reasoning: “the one who reports a musnad hadith leaves you with the
    names of the reporters for further investigation and scrutiny, whereas the one who narrates by way
    of Irsal, being a knowledgeable and trustworthy person himself, has already done so and found the
    hadith to be sound. In fact, he saves you from further research.”14
  30. Imam Abu Hanifah (d. 150) holds the same opinion as Malik; he accepts the Mursal Hadith
    whether or not it is supported by another hadith.15
  31. Imam al-Shafi’i (d. 204) has discussed this issue in detail in his al-Risalah; he requires the
    following conditions to be met before accepting a mursal hadith:
  32. In the narrative, he requires that one of the following conditions be met: that it be reported
    also as musnad through another isnad; that its contents be reported as mursal through
    another reliable source with a different isnad; that the meaning be supported by the sayings
    of some Companions; or that most scholars hold the same opinion as conveyed by the
    mursal hadith.
  33. Regarding the narrator, he requires that one of the following conditions be met: that he be
    an elder Successor; that if he names the person missing in the isnad elsewhere, he does not
    usually name an unknown person or someone not suitable for reporting from acceptably; or
    that he does not contradict a reliable person when he happens to share with him in a
    On the basis of these arguments, al-Shafi’i accepts the Irsal of Sa’id b. al-Musayyab, one of the
    elder Successors. For example, al- Shafi’i considers the issue of selling meat in exchange for a
    living animal: he says that Malik told him, reporting from Zaid b. Aslam, who reported from Ibn
    al-Musayyab that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) forbade the
    selling of meat in exchange for an animal. He then says, “This is our opinion, for the Irsal of Ibn
    al-Musayyib is fine.”17
  34. Imam Ahmad b. Hanbal (d. 241) accepts mursal and (other) da’if (weak) ahadith if nothing
    opposing them is found regarding a particular issue, preferring them to qiyas (analogical
    deduction). By da’if here is meant ahadith which are not severely weak, e.g. batil, munkar, or
    maudu’, since Imam Ahmad classified ahadith into sahih and da’if rather than into sahih, hasan and
    da’if, the preference of most later traditionists. Hence, the category da’if in his view applied to
    ahadith which were relatively close to being sahih, and included many ahadith which were classed
    as hasan by other scholars.18 Overlooking this fact has caused misunderstanding about Imam
    Ahmad’s view on the place of da’if ahadith in rulings of Fiqh and in matters of Fada’il al-A’mal
    (virtues of various acts of worship).
  35. Ibn Hazm (d. 456) rejects the Mursal Hadith outright; he says that the Mursal is unacceptable,
    whether it comes through Sa’id b. al-Musayyib or al-Hasan al-Basri. To him, even the Mursal
    which comes through someone who was not well-known to be amongst the Companions would be
  36. Abu Dawud (d . 275) accepts the Mursal under two conditions: that no musnad hadith is found
    regarding that issue; or that if a musnad hadith is found, it is not contradicted by the mursal
  37. Ibn Abi Hatim (d. 327) does not give a specific opinion about the Mursal Hadith. However, he did
    collect an anthology of 469 reporters of hadith, including four female reporters, whose narratives
    were subjected to criticism due to Irsal. This collection is known as Kitab al-Marasil.
  38. Al-Hakim (d. 405) is extremely reluctant to accept the Mursal Hadith except in the case of elder
    Successors. He holds, on the basis of the Qur’an, that knowledge is based on what is heard
    (directly), not on what is reported (indirectly). In this regard, he quotes Yazid b. Harun who asked
    Hammad b. Laith: “O Abu Isma’il! Did Allah mention the Ahl al-Hadith (scholars of Hadith) in
    the Qur’an?” He replied, “Yes! Did you not hear the saying of Allah, If a party from every
    expedition remained behind, they 21 could devote themselves to studies in religion and
    admonish the people when they return to them, that thus they may guard themselves
    (against evil)’ (Qur’an, 9:l22). This concerns those who set off to seek knowledge, and then
    return to those who remained behind in order to teach them.”22 Al-Hakim then remarks, “This
    verse shows that the acceptable knowledge is the one which is being heard, not just received by
    way of Irsal.”23
  39. Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi (d. 462) strongly supports the view of those who reject the Mursal except
    if it comes through an elder Successor. He concludes, after giving a perusal of different opinions
    about this issue, “What we select out of these sayings is that the Mursal is not to be practised, nor
    is it acceptable as proof. We say that Irsal leads to one reporter being ambiguous; if he is
    ambiguous, to ascertain his reliability is impossible. We have already explained that a narration is
    only acceptable if it comes through a reporter known for reliability. Hence, the Mursal should not
    be accepted at all.”24
    Al-Khatib gives the following example, showing that a narrative which has been reported through
    both musnad and mursal isnads is acceptable, not because of the reliability of those who narrated
    it by way of Irsal but because of an uninterrupted isnad, even though it contains less reliable
    The text of the hadith is: “No marriage is valid except by the consent of the guardian”; al- Khatib
    gives two isnads going back to Shu’bah and Sufyan al-Thauri; the remainder of each isnad is:
    Sufyan al-Thauri and Shu’bah — Abu Ishaq — Abu Burdah — the Prophet.
    This isnad is mursal because Abu Burdah, a Successor, narrates directly from the Prophet (may
    Allah bless him and grant him peace). However, al-Khatib further gives three isnads going back to
    Yunus b. Abi Ishaq, Isra’il b. Yunus and Qais b. al-Rabi’; the remainder of the first isnad is:
    Yunus b. Abi Ishaq — Abu Ishaq — Abu Burdah — Abu Musa — the Prophet.
    The other two reporters narrate similarly, both of them including the name of Abu Musa, the
    Companion from whom Abu Burdah has reported. Al- Khatib goes on to prove that both al-Thauri
    and Shu’bah heard this hadith from Abu Ishaq in one sitting while the other three reporters heard it
    in different sittings. Hence, this addition of Abu Musa in the isnad is quite acceptable.25
  40. Ibn al-Salah (d. 643) agrees with al-Shafi’i in rejecting the Mursal Hadith unless it is proved to
    have come through a musnad route.26
  41. Ibn Taimiyyah (d. 728) classifies Mursal into three categories. He says, “There are some
    acceptable, others unacceptable, and some which require further investigation: if it is known that
    the reporter does so (i.e. narrates by Irsal) from reliable authorities, then his report will be
    accepted; if he does so from both classes of authorities, i.e. reliable and unreliable, we shall not
    accept his narration (on its own, without further investigation), for he is narrating from someone
    whose reliability is unknown; all such mursal ahadith which go against the reports made by
    reliable authorities will be rejected completely.”27
  42. Al-Dhahabi (d. 748) regards the Mursal of younger Successors such as al-Hasan al-Basri, al-
    Zuhri, Qatadah and Humaid al-Tawil as the weakest type of Mursal.28
    Later scholars such as Ibn Kathir (d. 744), al- ‘Iraqi (d. 806), Ibn Hajar (d. 852), al-Suyuti (d. 911),
    Muhammad b. Ibrahim al-Wazir (d. 840), Jamal al-Din al-Qasimi (d. 1332) and Tahir al- Jaza’iri (d.
    1338) have given exhaustive discussions about this issue, but none of them holds an opinion different to
    those mentioned above.
    THE CLASSIFICATION OF HADITH: According to the number of reporters
    involved in each stage of the isnad
    Mutawatir & Ahad
    Depending on the number of the reporters of the hadith in each stage of the isnad, i.e. in each generation
    of reporters, it can be classified into the general categories of mutawatir (“consecutive”) or ahad
    (“single”) hadith. A mutawatir hadith is one which is reported by such a large number of people that
    they cannot be expected to agree upon a lie, all of them together.29
    Al-Ghazali (d. 505) stipulates that a mutawatir narration be known by the sizeable number of its
    reporters equally in the beginning, in the middle and at the end.30 He is correct in this stipulation
    because some narrations or ideas, although known as mutawatir among some people, whether Muslims
    or non-Muslims, originally have no tawatur. There is no precise definition for a “large number of
    reporters”; although the numbers four, five, seven, ten, twelve, forty and seventy, among others, have all
    been variously suggested as a minimum, the exact number is irrelevant (some reporters, e.g. Imams of
    Hadith, carry more weight anyway than others who are their contemporaries): the important condition is
    that the possibility of coincidence or “organised falsehood” be obviously negligible.31
    Examples of mutawatir practices are the five daily prayers, fasting, zakat, the Hajj and recitation of the
    Qur’an. Among the verbal mutawatir ahadith, the following has been reported by at least sixty-two
    Companions from the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), and has been widely-known
    amongst the Muslims throughout the ages: “Whoever invents a lie and attributes it to me intentionally,
    let him prepare his seat in the Fire.”
    Ahadith related to the description of the Haud Kauthar (the Basin of Abundant Goodness) in the
    Hereafter, raising the hands at certain postures during prayer, rubbing wet hands on the leather socks
    during ablution, revelation of the Qur’an in seven modes, and the prohibition of every intoxicant are
    further examples of verbal mutawatir ahadith.32
    A hadith ahad or khabar wahid is one which is narrated by people whose number does not reach that of
    the mutawatir case. Ahad is further classified into:
    Gharib, ‘Aziz & Mashhur
    A hadith is termed gharib (“scarce, strange”) when only a single reporter is found relating it at some
    stage of the isnad. For example, the saying of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace),
    “Travel is a piece of punishment” is gharib; the isnad of this hadith contains only one reporter in each
    stage: Malik — Yahya b. Abi Salih — Abu Hurairah — the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him
    peace). With regard to its isnad, this hadith is sahih, although most gharib ahadith are weak; Ahmad b.
    Hanbal said, “Do not write these gharib ahadith because they are unacceptable, and most of them are
    A type of hadith similar to gharib is fard (“solitary”); it is known in three ways:
  43. similar to gharib, i.e. a single person is found reporting it from a well-known Imam;
  44. the people of one locality only are known to narrate the hadith;
  45. narrators from one locality report the hadith from narrators of another locality, such as the people
    of Makkah reporting from the people of Madinah.34
    If at any stage in the isnad, only two reporters are found to narrate the hadith, it is termed ‘aziz (“rare,
    strong”). For example, Anas reported that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him
    peace) said, “None of you (truly) believes until I become more beloved to him than his father, his son,
    and all the people.”
    Two reporters, Qatadah and ‘Abdul ‘Aziz b. Shu’aib, report this hadith from Anas, and two more
    reporters narrate from each of them: Shu’bah and Sa’id report from Qatada, and Isma’il b. Ulayyah and
    ‘Abd al-Warith from ‘Abd al-‘Aziz; then a group of people report from each of them.35
    A hadith which is reported by more than two reporters is known as mashhur (“famous”). According to
    some scholars, every narrative which comes to be known widely, whether or not it has an authentic
    origin, is called mashhur. A mashhur hadith might be reported by only one or two reporters in the
    beginnning but become widely-known later, unlike gharib or ‘aziz, which are reported by one or two
    reporters in the beginning and continue to have the same number even in the times of the Successors and
    those after them. For example, if only one or two reporters are found narrating hadith from a reliable
    authority in Hadith such as al-Zuhri and Qatadah, the hadith will remain either gharib or ‘aziz. On the
    other hand, if a group of people narrate from them, it will be known as mashhur.36
    According to al-‘Ala’i (Abu Sa’id Khalil Salah al-Din, d. 761), a hadith may be known as ‘aziz and
    mashhur at the same time. By this he means a hadith which is left with only two reporters in its isnad at
    any stage while it enjoys a host of reporters in other stages, such as the saying of the Prophet (may Allah
    bless him and grant him peace), “We are the last but (will be) the foremost on the Day of Resurrection.”
    This hadith is ‘aziz in its first stage, as it is reported by Hudhaifah b. al-Yaman and Abu Hurairah only.
    It later becomes mashhur as seven people report it from Abu Hurairah.37
    THE CLASSIFICATION OF HADITH: According to the manner in which the hadith
    is reported
    Mudallas hadith & Tadlis
    Different ways of reporting, e.g. (he narrated to us), (he informed us), (I heard), and (on the authority of)
    are used by the reporters of hadith. The first three indicate that the reporter personally heard from his
    shaikh, whereas the fourth mode can denote either hearing in person or through another reporter.
    A mudallas (“concealed”) hadith is one which is weak due to the uncertainty caused by tadlis. Tadlis
    (concealing) refers to an isnad where a reporter has concealed the identity of his shaikh. Ibn al-Salah
    describes two types of tadlis:
  46. tadlis al-isnad. A person reports from his shaikh whom he met, what he did not hear from him, or
    from a contemporary of his whom he did not meet, in such a way as to create the impression that
    he heard the hadith in person. A mudallis (one who practises tadlis) here usually uses the mode
    (“on the authority of”) or (“he said”) to conceal the truth about the isnad.
  47. tadlis al-shuyukh. The reporter does mention his shaikh by name, but uses a less well-known
    name, by-name, nickname etc., in order not to disclose his shaikh’s identity.38
    Al-‘Iraqi (d. 806), in his notes on Muqaddimah Ibn al-Salah, adds a third type of tadlis:
  48. tadlis al-taswiyyah. To explain it, let us assume an isnad which contains a trustworthy shaikh
    reporting from a weak authority, who in turn reports from another trustworthy shaikh. Now, the
    reporter of this isnad omits the intermediate weak authority, leaving it apparently consisting of
    reliable authorities. He plainly shows that he heard it from his shaikh but he uses the mode “on the
    authority of” to link his immediate shaikh with the next trustworthy one. To an average student,
    this isnad seems free of any doubt or discrepancy. This is known to have been practised by
    Baqiyyah b. al-Walid, Walid b. Muslim, al-A’mash and al- Thauri. It is said to be the worst among
    the three kinds of tadlis.39
    Ibn Hajar classifies those who practised tadlis into five categories in his essay Tabaqat al- Mudallisin:
    l Those who are known to do it occasionally, such as Yahya b. Sa’id al-Ansari.
    l Those who are accepted by the traditionists, either because of their good reputation and relatively
    few cases of tadlis, e.g. Sufyan al-Thauri (d. 161), or because they reported from authentic
    authorities only, e.g. Sufyan Ibn ‘Uyainah (d. 198).
    l Those who practised it a great deal, and the traditionists have accepted such ahadith from them
    which were reported with a clear mention of hearing directly. Among these are Abu ‘l- Zubair alMakki, whose ahadith narrated from the Companion Jabir b. ‘Abdullah have been collected in
    Sahih Muslim. Opinions differ regarding whether they are acceptable or not.
    l Similar to the previous category, but the traditionists agree that their ahadith are to be rejected
    unless they clearly admit of their hearing, such as by saying “I heard”; an example of this category
    is Baqiyyah b. al- Walid.
    l Those who are disparaged due to another reason apart from tadlis; their ahadith are rejected, even
    though they admit of hearing them directly. Exempted from them are reporters such as Ibn
    Lahi’ah, the famous Egyptian judge, whose weakness is found to be of a lesser degree. Ibn Hajar
    gives the names of 152 such reporters.40
    Tadlis, especially of those in the last three categories, is so disliked that Shu’bah (d. 170) said, “Tadlis is
    the brother of lying” and “To commit adultery is more favourable to me than to report by way of
    A musalsal (uniformly-linked) isnad is one in which all the reporters, as well as the Prophet (may Allah
    bless him and grant him peace), use the same mode of transmission such as ‘an, haddathana, etc., repeat
    any other additional statement or remark, or act in a particular manner while narrating the hadith.
    Al-Hakim gives eight examples of such isnads, each having a different characteristic repeated feature:
    l use of the phrase sami’tu (I heard);
    l the expression “stand and pour water for me so that I may illustrate the way my shaikh performed
    l haddathana (he narrated to us);
    l amarani (he commanded me);
    l holding one’s beard;
    l illustrating by counting on five fingers;
    l the expression “I testify that …”; and
    l interlocking the fingers.42
    Knowledge of musalsal helps in discounting the possibility of tadlis.
    THE CLASSIFICATION OF HADITH: According to the nature of the text and isnad
    Shadhdh & Munkar
    According to al-Shafi’i, a shadhdh (“irregular”) hadith is one which is reported by a trustworthy person
    but goes against the narration of a person more reliable than him. It does not include a hadith which is
    unique in its contents and is not narrated by someone else.43 In the light of this definition, the wellknown hadith, “Actions are (judged) according to their intentions”, is not considered shadhdh since it
    has been narrated by Yahya b. Sa’id al-Ansari from Muhammad b. Ibrahim al-Taimi from ‘Alqamah
    from ‘Umar, all of whom are trustworthy authorities, although each one of them is the only reporter at
    that stage.44
    An example of a shadhdh hadith according to some scholars is one which Abu Dawud and al-Tirmidhi
    transmit, through the following isnad:
    ‘Abdul Wahid b. Ziyad — al-A’mash — Abu Salih — Abu Hurairah === the Prophet (may Allah bless
    him and grant him peace): “When one of you offers the two rak’ahs before the Dawn Prayer, he should
    lie down on his right side.”
    Regarding it, al-Baihaqi said,
    “‘Abdul Wahid has gone against a large number of people with this narration, for they have reported the
    above as an act of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), and not as his saying; ‘Abdul
    Wahid is alone amongst the trustworthy students of al-A’mash in narrating these words.”45
    According to Ibn Hajar, if a narration which goes against another authentic hadith is reported by a weak
    narrator, it is known as munkar (denounced).46 Traditionists as late as Ahmad used to simply label any
    hadith of a weak reporter as munkar.47 Sometimes, a hadith is labelled as munkar because of its
    contents being contrary to general sayings of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace).
    Al-Khatib (d. 463) quotes al-Rabi’ b. Khaitham (d. 63) as saying,
    “Some ahadith have a light like that of day, which we recognise; others have a darkness like that of night
    which makes us reject them.”
    He also quotes al-Auza’i (d. 157) as saying,
    “We used to listen to ahadith and present them to fellow traditionists, just as we present forged coins to
    money-changers: whatever they recognise of them, we accept, and whatever they reject of them, we also
    Ibn Kathir quotes the following two ahadith in his Tafsir, the first of which is acceptable, whereas the
    second contradicts it and is unreliable:
  49. Ahmad === Abu Mu’awiyah === Hisham b. ‘Urwah — Fatimah bint al-Mundhir — Asma’ bint
    Abi Bakr, who said, “My mother came (to Madinah) during the treaty Quraish had made, while
    she was still a polytheist. So I came to the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and
    said to him, ‘O Messenger of Allah, my mother has come willingly: should I treat her with
    kindness?’ He replied, ‘Yes! Treat her with kindness’.”
  50. Al-Bazzar === ‘Abdullah b. Shabib === Abu Bakr b. Abi Shaibah === Abu Qatadah al- ‘Adawi —
  • the nephew of al-Zuhri — al- Zuhri — ‘Urwah — ‘A’ishah and Asma’, both of whom said, “Our
    mother came to us in Madinah while she was a polytheist, during the peace treaty between the
    Quraish and the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). So we said, ‘O
    Messenger of Allah, our mother has come to Madinah willingly: do we treat her kindly?’ He said,
    ‘Yes! Treat her kindly’.”
    Ibn Kathir then remarks:
    “This (latter) hadith, to our knowledge is reported only through this route of al- Zuhri — ‘Urwah —
    ‘A’ishah. It is a munkar hadith with this text because the mother of ‘A’ishah is Umm Ruman, who was
    already a Muslim emigrant, while the mother of Asma’ was another woman, as mentioned by name in
    other ahadith.”49
    In contrast to a munkar hadith, if a reliable reporter is found to add something which is not narrated by
    other authentic sources, the addition is accepted as long as it does not contradict them; and is known as
    ziyadatu thiqah (an addition by one trustworthy).50 An example is the hadith of al-Bukhari and Muslim
    on the authority of Ibn Mas’ud: “I asked the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him
    peace), ‘Which action is the most virtuous?’ He said, ‘The Prayer at its due time’.” Two reporters, AlHasan b. Makdam and Bindar, reported it with the addition, “… at the beginning of its time”; both AlHakim and Ibn Hibban declared this addition to be sahih.51
    An addition by a reporter to the text of the saying being narrated is termed mudraj (interpolated).52 For
    example, al-Khatib relates via Abu Qattan and Shababah — Shu’bah — Muhammad b. Ziyad — Abu
    Hurairah — The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), who said,
    “Perform the ablution fully; woe to the heels from the Fire!”
    Al-Khatib then remarks,
    “The statement, ‘Perform the ablution fully’ is made by Abu Hurairah, while the statement afterwards,
    ‘Woe to the heels from the Fire!’, is that of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). The
    distinction between the two is understood from the narration of al- Bukhari, who transmits the same
    hadith and quotes Abu Hurairah as saying, “Complete the ablution, for Abu ‘l-Qasim (may Allah bless
    him and grant him peace) said: Woe to the heels from the Fire!”.”53
    Such an addition may be found in the beginning, in the middle, or at the end, often in explanation of a
    term used. Idraj (interpolation) is mostly found in the text, although a few examples show that such
    additions are found in the isnad as well, where the reporter grafts a part of one isnad into another.
    A reporter found to be in the habit of intentional idraj is generally unacceptable and considered a liar.54
    However, the traditionists are more lenient towards those reporters who may do so forgetfully or in
    order to explain a difficult word.
    THE CLASSIFICATION OF HADITH: According to a hidden defect found in the
    isnad or text of a hadith
    Before discussing ma’lul (defective) ahadith, a brief note on mudtarib (shaky) and maqlub (reversed)
    ahadith would help in understanding ma’lul.
    According to Ibn Kathir, if reporters disagree about a particular shaikh, or about some other points in the
    isnad or the text, in such a way that none of the opinions can be preferred over the others, and thus there
    is uncertainty about the isnad or text, such a hadith is called mudtarib (shaky).55
    For example with regard to idtirab in the isnad, it is reported on the authority of Abu Bakr that he said,
    “O Messenger of Allah! I see you getting older?” He (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) replied,
    “What made me old are Surah Hud and its sister surahs.” Al-Daraqutni says,
    “This is an example of a mudtarib hadith. It is reported through Abu Ishaq, but as many as ten different
    opinions are held about this isnad: some report it as mursal, others as muttasil; some take it as musnad of
    Abu Bakr, others as musnad of Sa’d or ‘A’ishah. Since all these reports are comparable in weight, it is
    difficult to prefer one above another. Hence, the hadith is termed as mudtarib.”56
    As an example of idtirab in the text, Rafi’ b. Khadij said that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless
    him and grant him peace) forbade the renting of land. The reporters narrating from Rafi’ give different
    statements, as follows:
  1. Hanzalah asked Rafi’, “What about renting for gold and silver?” He replied, “It does not matter if
    it is rent for gold and silver.”
  2. Rifa’ah — Rafi’ — the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), who said, “Whoever
    owns a piece of land should cultivate it, give it to his brother to cultivate, or abandon it.”
  3. Salim — Rafi’ — his two uncles — the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), who
    forbade the renting of farming land.
  4. The son of Rafi’ — Rafi’ — the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), who forbade
    the renting of land.
  5. A different narration by Rafi’ from the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), who
    said, “Whoever owns a piece of land should either cultivate it or give it to his brother to cultivate.
    He must not rent it for a third or a quarter of the produce, nor for a given quantity of the produce.”
  6. Zaid b. Thabit said, “May Allah forgive Rafi’! I am more aware of the hadith than he; what
    happened was that two of the Ansar (Helpers) had a dispute, so they came to the Prophet (may
    Allah bless him and grant him peace), who said after listening to their cases, ‘If this is your
    position, then do not rent the farms.’ Rafi’ has only heard the last phrase, i.e., ‘Do not rent the
    Because of these various versions, Ahmad b. Hanbal said,
    “The ahadith reported by Rafi’ about the renting of land are mudtarib. They are not to be accepted,
    especially when they go against the well-established hadith of Ibn ‘Umar that the Messenger of Allah
    (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) gave the land of Khaibar to the Jews on condition that they
    work on it and take half of the produce.”57
    A hadith is known as maqlub (changed, reversed) when its isnad is grafted to a different text or vice
    versa, or if a reporter happens to reverse the order of a sentence in the text.
    As an example relating to the text, in his transmission of the famous hadith describing the seven who
    will be under the shelter of Allah on the Day of Judgment, Muslim reports one of the categories as, “a
    man who conceals his act of charity to such an extent that his right hand does not know what his left
    hand gives in charity.” This sentence has clearly been reversed by a reporter, because the correct
    wording is recorded in other narrations of both al-Bukhari and Muslim as follows: “… that his left hand
    does not know what his right hand gives …”58
    The famous trial of al-Bukhari by the scholars of Baghdad provides a good example of a maqlub isnad.
    The traditionists, in order to test their visitor, al-Bukhari, appointed ten men, each with ten ahadith.
    Now, each hadith (text) of these ten people was prefixed with the isnad of another. Imam al-Bukhari
    listened to each of the ten men as they narrated their ahadith and denied the correctness of every hadith.
    When they had finished narrating these ahadith, he addressed each person in turn and recounted to him
    each of his ahadith with its correct isnad. This trial earned him great honour among the scholars of
    Other ways in which ahadith have been rendered maqlub are by replacement of the name of a reporter
    with another, e.g. quoting Abu Hurairah as the reporter from the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant
    him peace) although the actual reporter was someone else, or by reversal of the name of the reporter, e.g.
    mentioning Walid b. Muslim instead of Muslim b. Walid, or Ka’b b. Murrah instead of Murrah b.
    Ma’lul or Mu’allal
    Ibn al-Salah says, “A ma’lul (defective) hadith is one which appears to be sound, but thorough research
    reveals a disparaging factor.” Such factors can be:
  7. declaring a hadith musnad when it is in fact mursal, or marfu’ when it is in fact mauquf;
  8. showing a reporter to narrate from his shaikh when in fact he did not meet the latter; or attributing
    a hadith to one Companion when it in fact comes through another.61
    Ibn al-Madini (d. 324) says that such a defect can only be revealed if all the isnads of a particular hadith
    are collated. In his book al- ‘Ilal, he gives thirty-four Successors and the names of those Companions
    from whom each of them heard ahadith directly. For example, he says that al-Hasan al-Basri (d. 110,
    aged 88) did not see ‘Ali (d. 40), although he adds that there is a slight possibility that he may have seen
    him during his childhood in Madinah.62 Such information is very important, since for example, many
    Sufi traditions go back to al- Hasan al-Basri, who is claimed to report directly from ‘Ali.
    Being a very delicate branch of Mustalah al- Hadith, only a few well-known traditionists such as Ibn alMadini (d. 234), Ibn Abi Hatim al-Razi (d. 327), al-Khallal (d. 311) and al-Daraqutni (d. 385), have
    compiled books about it. Ibn Abi Hatim, in his Kitab al-‘Ilal, has given 2840 examples of ma’lul ahadith
    about a range of topics.
    An example of a ma’lul hadith is one transmitted by Muslim on the authority of Abu Hurairah, who
    reports the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) as saying,
    “Allah created the land on Saturday; He created the mountains on Sunday; He created the trees on
    Monday; He created the things entailing labour on Tuesday; He created the light (or fish) on
    Wednesday; He scattered the beasts in it (the earth) on Thursday; and He created Adam after the
    afternoon of Friday, the last creation at the last hour of the hours of Friday, between the afternoon and
    Regarding it, Ibn Taimiyyah says,
    “Men more knowledgeable than Muslim, such as al-Bukhari and Yahya b. Ma’in, have criticised it. AlBukhari said, ‘This saying is not that of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), but one
    of Ka’b al-Ahbar’.”64
    THE CLASSIFICATION OF HADITH: According to the reliability and memory of
    the reporters
    The final verdict on a hadith, i.e. sahih (sound), hasan (good), da’if (weak) or maudu’ (fabricated,
    forged), depends critically on this factor.
    Among the early traditionists, mostly of the first two centuries, ahadith were classified into two
    categories only: sahih and da’if; al- Tirmidhi was to be the first to distinguish hasan from da’if. This is
    why traditionists and jurists such as Ahmad, who seemed to argue on the basis of da’if ahadith
    sometimes, were in fact basing their argument on the ahadith which were later to be known as hasan.65
    We now examine in more detail these four important classes of ahadith.
    Al-Shafi’i states the following requirement in order for a hadith which is not mutawatir to be acceptable:
    “Each reporter should be trustworthy in his religion; he should be known to be truthful in his narrating,
    to understand what he narrates, to know how a different expression can alter the meaning, and report the
    wording of the hadith verbatim, not only its meaning. This is because if he does not know how a
    different expression can change the whole meaning, he will not know if he has changed what is lawful
    into what is prohibited. Hence, if he reports the hadith according to its wording, no change of meaning
    will be found at all. Moreover, he should be a good memoriser if he happens to report from his memory,
    or a good preserver of his writings if he happens to report from them. He should agree with the
    narrations of the huffaz (leading authorities in Hadith), if he reports something which they do also. He
    should not be a mudallis, who narrates from someone he met something he did not hear, nor should he
    report from the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) contrary to what reliable sources
    have reported from him. In addition, the one who is above him (in the isnad) should be of the same
    quality, [and so on,] until the hadith goes back uninterrupted to the Prophet (may Allah bless him and
    grant him peace) or any authority below him.”66
    Ibn al-Salah, however, defines a sahih hadith more precisely by saying:
    “A sahih hadith is the one which has a continuous isnad, made up of reporters of trustworthy memory
    from similar authorities, and which is found to be free from any irregularities (i.e. in the text) or defects
    (i.e. in the isnad).”
    By the above definition, no room is left for any weak hadith, whether, for example, it is munqati’,
    mu’dal, mudtarib, maqlub, shadhdh, munkar, ma’lul, or contains a mudallis. The definition also excludes
    hasan ahadith, as will be discussed under that heading.
    Of all the collectors of hadith, al-Bukhari and Muslim were greatly admired because of their tireless
    attempts to collect sahih ahadith only. It is generally understood that the more trustworthy and of good
    memory the reporters, the more authentic the hadith. The isnad: al- Shafi’i — Malik — Nafi’ —
    ‘Abdullah b. ‘Umar — The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), is called a “golden
    isnad” because of its renowned reporters.67
    Some traditionists prefer Sahih al-Bukhari to Sahih Muslim because al-Bukhari always looked for those
    reporters who had either accompanied or met each other, even if only once in their lifetime. On the other
    hand, Muslim would accept a reporter who is simply found to be contemporary to his immediate
    authority in reporting.68
    The following grading is given for sahih ahadith only:
  9. those which are transmitted by both al- Bukhari and Muslim;
  10. those which are transmitted by al-Bukhari only;
  11. those which are transmitted by Muslim only;
    those which are not found in the above two collections, but
  12. which agree with the requirements of both al-Bukhari and Muslim;
  13. which agree with the requirements of al- Bukhari only;
  14. which agree with the requirements of Muslim only; and
  15. those declared sahih by other traditionists.69
    Al-Tirmidhi means by hadith hasan: a hadith which is not shadhdh, nor contains a disparaged reporter in
    its isnad, and which is reported through more than one route of narration.70
    Al-Khattabi (d. 388) states a very concise definition, “It is the one where its source is known and its
    reporters are unambiguous.”
    By this he means that the reporters of the hadith should not be of a doubtful nature, such as with the
    mursal or munqati’ hadith, or one containing a mudallis.
    Ibn al-Salah classifies hasan into two categories:
  16. one with an isnad containing a reporter who is mastur (“screened”, i.e. no prominent person
    reported from him) but is not totally careless in his reporting, provided that a similar text is
    reported through another isnad as well;
  17. one with an isnad containing a reporter who is known to be truthful and reliable, but is a degree
    less in his preservation/memory of hadith in comparison to the reporters of sahih ahadith.
    In both categories, Ibn al-Salah requires that the hadith be free of any shudhudh (irregularities).71
    Al-Dhahabi, after giving the various definitions, says, “A hasan hadith is one which excels the da’if but
    nevertheless does not reach the standard of a sahih hadith.”72 In the light of this definition, the
    following isnads are hasan according to al-Dhahabi:
  18. Bahz b. Hakam — his father — his grandfather;
  19. ‘Amr b. Shu’aib — his father — his grandfather;
  20. Muhammad b. ‘Amr — Abu Salamah — Abu Hurairah.
    Reporters such as al-Harith b. ‘Abdullah, ‘Asim b. Damurah, Hajjaj b. Artat, Khusaif b. ‘Abd al- Rahman
    and Darraj Abu al-Samh attract different verdicts: some traditionists declare their ahadith hasan, others
    declare them da’if.73
    Example of a hasan hadith
    Malik, Abu Dawud, al-Tirmidhi and al-Hakim reported through their isnads from ‘Amr b.
    Shu’aib — his father — his grandfather, that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him
    and grant him peace) said,
    “A single rider is a devil (i.e. disobedient), two riders are two devils, but three makes a
    travelling party.”
    Al-Tirmidhi declares this hadith to be hasan because of the above isnad, which falls short of
    the requirements for a sahih hadith.74
    Several weak ahadith may mutually support each other to the level of hasan
    According to the definitions of al-Tirmidhi and Ibn al-Salah, a number of similar weak ahadith on a
    particular issue can be raised to the degree of hasan if the weakness found in their reporters is of a mild
    nature. Such a hadith is known as hasan li ghairihi (hasan due to others), to distinguish it from the type
    previously-discussed, which is hasan li dhatihi (hasan in itself). Similarly, several hasan ahadith on the
    same subject may make the hadith sahih li ghairihi, to be distinguished from the previously-discussed
    sahih li dhatihi.
    However, in case the weakness is severe (e.g., the reporter is accused of lying or the hadith is itself
    shadhdh), such very weak ahadith will not support each other and will remain weak. For example, the
    well-known hadith, “He who preserves forty ahadith for my Ummah will be raised by Allah on the Day
    of Resurrection among the men of understanding”, has been declared to be da’if by most of the
    traditionists, although it is reported through several routes.75
    A hadith which fails to reach the status of hasan is da’if. Usually, the weakness is one of discontinuity in
    the isnad, in which case the hadith could be mursal, mu’allaq, mudallas, munqati’ or mu’dal, according to
    the precise nature of the discontinuity, or one of a reporter having a disparaged character, such as due to
    his telling lies, excessive mistakes, opposition to the narration of more reliable sources, involvement in
    innovation, or ambiguity surrounding his person.
    The smaller the number and importance of defects, the less severe the weakness. The more the defects in
    number and severity, the closer the hadith will be to being maudu’ (fabricated).76
    Some ahadith, according to the variation in the nature of the weakness associated with its reporters, rank
    at the bottom of the hasan grade or at the top of the da’if grade. Reporters such as ‘Abdullah b. Lahi’ah (a
    famous judge from Egypt), ‘Abd al-Rahman b. Zaid b. Aslam, Abu Bakr b. Abi Maryam al-Himsi, Faraj
    b. Fadalah, and Rishdin b. Sa’d attract such types of varying ranks as they are neither extremely good
    preservers nor totally abandoned by the traditionists.77
    Al-Dhahabi defines maudu’ (fabricated, forged) as the term applied to a hadith, the text of which goes
    against the established norms of the Prophet’s sayings (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), or its
    reporters include a liar, e.g. the forty ahadith known as Wad’aniyyah or the small collection of ahadith
    which was fabricated and claimed to have been reported by ‘Ali al-Rida, the eighth Imam of the Ithna
    ‘Ashari Shi’ah.78
    A number of traditionists have collected fabricated ahadith separately in order to distinguish them from
    other ahadith; among them are Ibn al-Jauzi in al-Maudu’at, al-Jauzaqani in Kitab al-Abatil, al-Suyuti in
    al-La’ali al- Masnu’ah fi ‘l-Ahadith al-Maudu’ah, and ‘Ali al- Qari in al-Maudu’at.
    Some of these ahadith were known to be spurious by the confession of their inventors. For example,
    Muhammad b. Sa’id al-Maslub used to say, “It is not wrong to fabricate an isnad for a sound
    statement.”79 Another notorious inventor, ‘Abd al-Karim Abu ‘l-Auja, who was killed and crucified by
    Muhammad b. Sulaiman b. ‘Ali, governor of Basrah, admitted that he had fabricated four thousand
    ahadith declaring lawful the prohibited and vice-versa.80
    Maudu’ ahadith are also recognised by external evidence related to a discrepancy found in the dates or
    times of a particular incident.81 For example, when the second caliph, ‘Umar b. al- Khattab decided to
    expel the Jews from Khaibar, some Jewish dignitaries brought a document to ‘Umar apparently proving
    that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) had intended that they stay there by
    exempting them from the jizyah (tax on non-Muslims under the rule of Muslims); the document carried
    the witness of two Companions, Sa’d b. Mu’adh and Mu’awiyah b. Abi Sufyan. ‘Umar rejected the
    document outright, knowing that it was fabricated because the conquest of Khaibar took place in 6 AH,
    whereas Sa’d b. Mu’adh died in 3 AH just after the Battle of the Trench, and Mu’awiyah embraced Islam
    in 8 AH, after the conquest of Makkah!82
    The author, in his Criticism of Hadith among Muslims with reference to Sunan Ibn Majah, has given
    more examples of fabricated ahadith under the following eight categories of causes of fabrication:83
  21. political differences;
  22. factions based on issues of creed;
  23. fabrications by zanadiqah (enemies-within spreading heretical beliefs);
  24. fabrications by story-tellers;
  25. fabrications by ignorant ascetics;
  26. prejudice in favour of town, race or a particular imam;
  27. inventions for personal motives;
  28. proverbs turned into ahadith.
    Similar to the last category above is the case of Isra’iliyat (“Israelite traditions”), narrations from the
    Jews and the Christians84 which were wrongly attributed to the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant
    him peace).
    of hadith and their reporters)
    The above-mentioned classification of ahadith plays a vital role in ascertaining the authenticity of a
    particular narration. Ibn al- Salah mentions sixty-five terms in his book, of which twenty-three have
    been discussed above. Two further types not included by Ibn al-Salah, mu’allaq and mutawatir, have
    been dealt with from other sources. The remaining forty-two types follow in brief, which help further
    distinguish between different types of narrations.
  29. Knowledge of i’tibar (“consideration”), mutaba’ah (“follow-up”) and shawahid (“witnesses”).
    Traditionists are always in search of strengthening support for a hadith which is reported by one
    source only; such research is termed i’tibar. If a supporting narration is not found for a particular
    hadith, it is declared as fard mutlaq (absolutely singular) or gharib. For example, if a hadith is
    reported through the following isnad: Hammad b. Salamah – — Ayyub — Ibn Sirin — Abu
    Hurairah — the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), research would be done to
    ascertain whether another trustworthy reporter has narrated it from Ayyub; if so, it will be called
    mutaba’ah tammah (full follow-up); if not, a reporter other than Ayyub narrating from Ibn Sirin
    would be sought: if so, it will be called mutaba’ah qasirah (incomplete follow-up). Whereas
    mutaba’ah applies to the isnad, i.e. other narrations from the same reporters, a narration which
    supports the text (meaning) of the original hadith, although it may be through a completely
    different isnad, is called a shahid (“witness”).85
  30. Afrad (singular narrations).
  31. The type of character required in an acceptable reporter.
  32. The way a hadith is heard, and the different ways of acquiring ahadith.
  33. How a hadith is written, and punctuation marks used.
  34. The way a hadith is reported.
  35. The manners required in traditionists.
  36. The manners required in students of Hadith.
  37. Knowledge of a higher or lower isnad (i.e. one with less or more reporters respectively).
  38. Knowledge of difficult words.
  39. Knowledge of abrogated ahadith.
  40. Knowledge of altered words in a text or isnad.
  41. Knowledge of contradictory ahadith.
  42. Knowledge of additions made to an isnad (i.e. by an inserting the name of an additional reporter).
  43. Knowledge of a well-concealed type of mursal hadith.
  44. Knowledge of the Companions.
  45. Knowledge of the Successors.
  46. Knowledge of elders reporting from younger reporters.
  47. Knowledge of reporters similar in age reporting from each other.
  48. Knowledge of brothers and sisters among reporters.
  49. Knowledge of fathers reporting from their sons.
  50. Knowledge of sons reporting from their fathers.
  51. Knowledge of cases where e.g. two reporters report from the same authority, one in his early life
    and the other in his old age; in such cases the dates of death of the two reporters will be of
  52. Knowledge of such authorities from whom only one person reported.
  53. Knowledge of such reporters who are known by a number of names and titles.
  54. Knowledge of unique names amongst the Companions in particular and the reporters in general.
  55. Knowledge of names and by-names (kunyah).
  56. Knowledge of by-names for reporters known by their names only.
  57. Knowledge of nicknames (alqab) of the traditionists.
  58. Knowledge of mu’talif and mukhtalif (names written similarly but pronounced differently), e.g.
    Kuraiz and Kariz.
  59. Knowledge of muttafiq and muftariq (similar names but different identities), e.g. “Hanafi”: there
    are two reporters who are called by this name; one because of his tribe Banu Hanifah; the other
    because of his attribution to a particular Madhhab (school of thought in jurisprudence).
  60. Names covering both the previous types.
  61. Names looking similar but they differ because of the difference in their father’s names, e.g. Yazid
    b. al-Aswad and al-Aswad b. Yazid.
  62. Names attributed to other than their fathers, e.g. Isma’il b. Umayyah; in this case Umayyah is the
    mother’s name.
  63. Knowledge of such titles which have a meaning different from what they seem to be, e.g. Abu
    Mas’ud al-Badri, not because he witnessed the battle of Badr but because he came to live there;
    Mu’awiyah b. ‘Abdul Karim al- Dall (“the one going astray”), not because of his beliefs but
    because he lost his way while travelling to Makkah; and ‘Abdullah b. Muhammad al-Da’if (“the
    weak”), not because of his reliability in Hadith, but due to a weak physique.
  64. Knowledge of ambiguous reporters by finding out their names.
  65. Knowledge of the dates of birth and death of reporters.
  66. Knowledge of trustworthy and weak reporters.
  67. Knowledge of trustworthy reporters who became confused in their old age.
  68. Knowledge of contemporaries in a certain period.
  69. Knowledge of free slaves (mawali) amongst the reporters.
  70. Knowledge of the homelands and home towns of reporters.86
    Appendix & Endnotes
    Verdicts on the ahadith mentioned in the Foreword
  71. Mutawatir, as declared by many scholars, including Ibn Taimiyyah, al-Suyuti, Najm al-Din alIskandari (d. 981) and al-‘Ijlouni (d. 1162). About this hadith, al-Daraqutni said, “It is the most
    authentic one regarding the virtues of any surah.” It is related by al-Bukhari, Muslim and others.
  72. The following is the sahih hadith of al- Bukhari, Muslim, al-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and Ibn ‘Asakir:
    “Verily, Allah has Ninety-Nine Names which if a person safeguards them, he will enter the
    Garden.” In some narrations of this hadith found in al-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, al-Hakim and others,
    the names are listed at the end; however, at least three different listings are given, e.g. one list
    being, “He is Allah, besides whom there is no other deity, the Merciful, the Compassionate, …, the
    Forbearing” while another is “Allah, the Unique, the Absolute, …, the One who has nothing like
    unto Him.” It is agreed that these latter narrations are da’if, and this is why al-Bukhari and Muslim
    did not include them in their Sahihs. Al-Tirmidhi says in his Sunan, “This (version of the) hadith
    is gharib; it has been narrated from various routes on the authority of Abu Hurairah, but we do not
    know of the mention of the Names in the numerous narrations, except this one.” Ibn Taimiyyah
    says, “Al-Walid (one of the narrators of the hadith) related the Names from (the saying of) one of
    his Syrian teachers … specific mention of the Names is not from the words of the Prophet (may
    Allah bless him and grant him peace), by the agreement of those familiar with Hadith.”87 Ibn
    Kathir says in his Tafsir, under verse 180 of Surah al- A’raf, that these narrations are mudraj. Ibn
    Hajar takes a similar view in his commentary on Sahih al-Bukhari. Various scholars have given
    different lists of 99 Names from their study of the Qur’an and Sunnah, including Ja’far al- Sadiq,
    Sufyan b. ‘Uyainah, Ibn Hazm, al-Qurtubi, Ibn Hajar and Salih b. ‘Uthaimin.
  73. Ibn Taimiyyah says, “It is not from the words of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him
    peace), and there is no known isnad for it, neither sahih nor da’if”; al-Zarkashi (d. 794), Ibn Hajar,
    al-Suyuti and others agreed with him. Al-Qari says, “But its meaning is correct, deduced from the
    statement of Allah, I have not created the Jinn and Mankind, except to worship Me, i.e. to
    recognise/know me, as Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them both) has explained.” These
    statements are mentioned by al-‘Ijlouni, who adds, “This saying occurs often in the words of the
    Sufis, who have relied on it and built upon it some of their principles.”88
  74. Al-‘Ijlouni says, “Al-Saghani (d. 650) said: Maudu’. I say: But its meaning is correct, even if it is
    not a hadith.” no. 2123. ‘Ali al- Qari says, “But its meaning is correct, for al- Dailami has related
    from Ibn ‘Abbas as marfu’: ‘that Jibril came to me and said: O Muhammad! Were it not for you,
    the Garden would not have been created, and were it not for you, the Fire would not have been
    created’, and in the narration of Ibn ‘Asakir: ‘Were it not for you, the world would not have been
    created’.” Al- Albani also quotes al-Saghani’s verdict, and comments on al-Qari’s words thus, “It is
    not appropriate to certify the correctness of its meaning without establishing the authenticity of
    the narration from al-Dailami, which is something I have not found any of the scholars to have
    addressed. Personally, although I have not come across its isnad, I have no doubt about its
    weakness; enough of an indication for us is that al-Dailami is alone in reporting it. As for the
    narration of Ibn ‘Asakir, Ibn al-Jauzi also related it in a long marfu’ hadith from Salman and said,
    ‘It is maudu’, and al-Suyuti endorsed this in al-La’ali.”89
  75. Sahih – related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.
  76. Al-‘Ijlouni says, “Al-Ghazali mentioned it in Ihya’ ‘Ulum al-Din with the wording, Allah says,
    “Neither My heaven nor My earth could contain Me, but the soft, humble heart of my believing
    slave can contain Me.” Al-‘Iraqi said in his notes on Al-Ihya’, “I do not find a basis (i.e. isnad) for
    it”, and al-Suyuti agreed with him, following al-Zarkashi. Al-‘Iraqi then said, “But in the hadith of
    Abu ‘Utbah in al-Tabarani there occurs: … the vessels of your Lord are the hearts of His righteous
    slaves, and the most beloved to Him are the softest and most tender ones.” Ibn Taimiyyah said, “It
    is mentioned in the Israelite traditions, but there is no known isnad from the Prophet (may Allah
    bless him and grant him peace) for it.” Al-Sakhawi said in Al- Maqasid, following his shaykh alSuyuti in Al- La’ali, “There is no known isnad from the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant
    him peace) for it, and its meaning is that his heart can contain belief in Me, love of Me and gnosis
    of Me. But as for the one who says that Allah incarnates in the hearts of the people, then he is
    more of an infidel than the Christians, who specified that to Christ alone. It seems that Ibn
    Taimiyyah’s mention of Israelite tradition refers to what Ahmad has related in Al-Zuhd from
    Wahb b. Munabbih who said that Allah opened the heavens for Ezekiel until he saw the Throne,
    so Ezekiel said, ‘How Perfect are You! How Mighty are You, O Lord!’ So Allah said, ‘Truly, the
    heavens and the earth were too weak to contain Me, but the soft, humble heart of my believing
    slave contains Me’.” He also quoted from al- Zarkashi’s writing that one of the scholars said that it
    is a false hadith, fabricated by a renegade (from the religion), and that it is most-often quoted by a
    preacher to the masses, ‘Ali b. Wafa, for his own purposes, who says at the time of spiritual
    rapture and dance, “Go round the House of your Lord.” He further said that al-Tabarani has
    related from Abu ‘Utbah al- Khawlani as marfu’, “Truly, Allah has vessels from amongst the
    people of the earth, and the vessels of your Lord are the hearts of his righteous slaves, and the
    most beloved of them to Him are the softest and most tender ones”; in its isnad is Baqiyyah b. alWalid, a mudallis, but he has clearly stated hearing the hadith.”90 Al-Albani rates this last hadith
    mentioned as hasan.91
  77. Al-Nawawi said, “It is not established.” Ibn Taimiyyah said, “Maudu’.” Al-Sam’ani said, “It is not
    known as marfu’, but it is quoted as a statement of Yahya b. Mu’adh al-Razi.” Al- Suyuti endorsed
    al-Nawawi’s words, and also said, “This hadith is not authentic.” Al- Fairozabadi said, “It is not a
    Prophetic statement, although most of the people think it is a hadith, but it is not authentic at all.
    In fact, it is only related in the Israelite traditions: O Man! Know yourself: you will know your
    Lord.” Ibn al-Gharas said, after quoting al-Nawawi’s verdict, “… but the books of the Sufis, such
    as Shaykh Muhi al-Din Ibn ‘Arabi and others, are filled with it, being quoted like a hadith.” Ibn
    ‘Arabi also said, “This hadith, although it is not proved by way of narration, is proved to us by
    way of Kashf (‘unveiling’, while in a trance).”92 Regarding this methodology, al-Albani says,
    “Authenticating ahadith by way of Kashf is a wicked innovation of the Sufis, and depending upon
    it leads to the authentication of false, baseless ahadith … This is because, even at the best of times,
    Kashf is like opinion, which may be right or wrong – and that is if no personal desires enter into it!
    We ask Allah to save us from it, and from everything with which He is not pleased.”93
  78. Sahih. Related by Malik in Al-Muwatta’, al- Shafi’i in Al-Risalah (p. 110, Eng. trans.) and Muslim
    (1:382; Eng. trans. 1:272). This was the first of two questions which the Prophet (may Allah bless
    him and grant him peace) put to a slave-girl to test her faith, the second one being, “Who am I?”
    She answered, “Above the heaven” and “You are the Messenger of Allah” respectively, to which
    he said, “Free her, for she is a believer.” Her first answer, which is found in the Qur’an (67:16-17,
    the word fi can mean ‘above/on’, as in 6:11, 20:71 & 27:8), means that Allah is above and separate
    from His creation, not mixed in with it, the erroneous belief which leads to worship of creation.
  79. Maudu’, as stated by al-Saghani and others. Scholars differ as to whether its meaning is correct or
    not, in what way, and to what extent.94 It is sometimes used to justify divisive, anti- Islamic
    nationalism and patriotism!
  80. Sahih. Related by Malik as mursal/mu’allaq/balaghat (depending on choice of terminology), and
    related twice as musnad by al- Hakim. The meaning of the hadith is contained in the Qur’an, in the
    mention of the Book and Wisdom (2:129, 2:151, 2:231, 3:164, 4:113, 33:34 & 62:2); al-Shafi’i
    says, “I have heard the most knowledgeable people about the Qur’an say that the Wisdom is the
    Sunnah” (Al-Risalah, Eng. trans., p. 111).
  81. Sahih. Related by al-Tirmidhi, Ahmad, Ibn Abi ‘Asim, al-Hakim, al-Tabarani, al-Dailami and alTahawi.95 The phrase Ahl al-Bayt (members of the house) refers: (i) primarily to the Prophet’s
    wives (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), from the clear context of the relevant verse of
    the Qur’an (33:33); (ii) to ‘Ali, Fatimah, Hasan & Husain, from the “hadith of the garment” (cf.
    Sahih Muslim, Book of the Virtues of the Companions). It is imbalanced and unjust to exclude
    either of these categories from the hadith.
  82. A sahih hadith related by Abu Dawud, al- Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah & Ahmad, and well-known
    amongst the people. The fullest narration is, “Abu Bakr will be in the Garden; ‘Umar will be in the
    Garden; ‘Uthman will be in the Garden; ‘Ali will be in the Garden; Talhah will be in the Garden;
    al-Zubair will be in the Garden; ‘Abd al-Rahman b. ‘Auf will be in the Garden; Sa’d b. Abi
    Waqqas will be in the Garden; Sa’id b. Zaid will be in the Garden; Abu ‘Ubaidah b. al-Jarrah will
    be in the Garden.”
  83. Related by Ishaq b. Rahawaih and al-Baihaqi with a sahih isnad as a statement of ‘Umar. It is also
    collected by Ibn ‘Adi and al-Dailami from Ibn ‘Umar as marfu’, but in its isnad is ‘Isa b. Abdullah,
    who is weak. However, it is strengthened by another narration of Ibn ‘Adi, and also supported by
    the hadith in the Sunan that a man saw in a dream that Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant
    him peace) was weighed against Abu Bakr, and was found to be heavier; then Abu Bakr was
    weighed against everyone else …96
  84. Related by al-Hakim, al-Tabarani and others. It is also related by al-Tirmidhi with the wording, “I
    am the House of Wisdom, and ‘Ali is its Door”. Al-Daraqutni labelled the hadith as mudtarib, both
    in isnad and text; al-Tirmidhi said it is gharib and munkar; al-Bukhari said that it has no sahih
    narration; Ibn Ma’in said that it is a baseless lie. Similar dismissals of the hadith are reported from
    Abu Zur’ah, Abu Hatim and Yahya b. Sa’d. Al-Hakim declared the original hadith as sahih in
    isnad, but Ibn al- Jauzi regarded both versions as maudu’, and al- Dhahabi agreed with him.
    Several of the later scholars, including Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani, Ibn Hajar al-Makki and al-Suyuti
    declared it hasan due to its various routes of narration. Al- ‘Ijlouni says, “… none of this devalues
    the consensus of the Adherents to the Sunnah from the Companions, the Successors and those
    after them, that the best of the Companions overall is Abu Bakr, followed by ‘Umar …”, and
    quotes this view from Ibn ‘Umar and ‘Ali himself, as recorded in Sahih al-Bukhari.97 Al-Albani
    declares the hadith to be maudu’.98
  85. A da’if or maudu’ hadith, as stated by Ahmad b. Hanbal, Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr, al-Bazzar and many
    others. Ibn Hazm states that not only is the isnad unsound, but the hadith cannot be true for two
    further reasons: (i) the Companions were not infallible, and hence made mistakes, so it would be
    wrong to say that following any of them leads to guidance; (ii) the comparison with the stars is
    wrong, for not every star guides one through every journey! There is a different, authentic
    comparison with the stars given in Sahih Muslim: the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him
    peace) said, “The stars are the custodians of the sky, so when the stars depart, there will come to
    the sky what is promised for it (i.e. on the Day of Judgment). I am the custodian of my
    Companions, so when I depart, there will come to my Companions what is promised for them (i.e.
    great trials and tribulations). My Companions are the custodians for my Ummah, so when my
    Companions depart, there will come to my Ummah what is promised for it (i.e. schisms, spread of
    innovations, etc.).” (4:1961, Eng. trans. IV:1344)
  86. No isnad exists for this hadith: al-Subki (d. 756) said, “It is not known to the scholars of Hadith,
    and I cannot find an isnad for it, whether sahih, da’if, or maudu’.” It, along with the previous one,
    is often used to justify the following two extremes: (i) blind following of the views of men, with
    no reference to the Qur’an and Sunnah; (ii) conveniently following whichever scholar holds the
    easiest view, or that most agreeable to one’s desires, again without reference to the fundamental
  87. Numerous narrations of this hadith are found in the collections of Abu Dawud, al-Tirmidhi, Ibn
    Majah, al-Hakim, Ahmad and others: they vary in being sahih, hasan, or da’if, but the hadith is
    established. Among those who have authenticated this hadith are al-Tirmidhi, al- Hakim, alShatibi, Ibn Taimiyyah, Ibn al-Qayyim, al-Dhahabi, Ibn Kathir, Ibn Hajar and al-‘Iraqi. Most
    narrations mention the splitting-up of the Jews and the Christians into seventy-one or seventy-two
    sects, all being in the Fire except one, prior to mention of the Muslims dividing even more. In
    some of the narrations, the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) describes the
    Saved Sect variously as “the Jama’ah (community, congregation, main body)”, “the largest body
    (al-sawad al-a’zam)” and “that which follows what I and my Companions are upon.” The hadith
    does not mean that the majority of Muslims will be in the Hellfire, for most of them (“the
    masses”) are not involved in intentional, divisive innovation; further, mention of the Fire does not
    necessarily imply that the seventy-two sects will remain there forever, or that those sects are
  88. Although the Mahdi is not mentioned explicitly in the collections of al-Bukhari and Muslim,
    numerous sahih ahadith, which are mutawatir in meaning, speak of the coming of the Mahdi, a
    man named Muhammad b. ‘Abdullah and a descendant of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and
    grant him peace) through Fatimah, who will be the Leader (Imam, Khalifah) of the Muslims, rule
    for seven years and fill the world with justice and equity after it had been filled with tyranny and
    oppression. He will also fight the Dajjal along with Jesus son of Mary. The author, in his The
    Concept of the Mahdi among the Ahl al-Sunnah, has named 37 scholars who collected ahadith
    about the Mahdi with their own isnads and 69 later scholars who wrote in support of the concept,
    compared to 8 scholars who rejected the idea. The ahadith prophesying the Dajjal (False Christ), a
    one-eyed man who will have miraculous powers and will be followed by the Jews, and the return
    of Jesus Christ son of Mary (peace be upon them), who will descend in Damascus and pray
    behind the Mahdi, kill the Dajjal at the gate of Lod in Palestine, break the Cross, kill the Pig,
    marry and have children and live for forty years before dying a natural death, are mutawatir in
    meaning. They have been collected by al-Bukhari and Muslim, as well as other traditionists.
  89. Mutawatir in meaning, and collected by al- Bukhari, Muslim and others.
  90. Mutawatir in meaning, and collected by al- Bukhari, Muslim and others. Mention of the
    inadmissibility of intercession on the Day of Judgment in the Qur’an, e.g. 2:48 2:123, must be
    understood in the light of other verses, e.g. 20:109 and sahih ahadith. The reward of seeing Allah
    for the believers is referred to in the Qur’an, e.g. 75:22-23 and 83:15. These ahadith and those of
    the previous two categories were generally rejected by the classical Mu’tazilah (Rationalists), as
    well by those influenced by them today, on one or more of the following bases: (i) they contradict
    the Qur’an (in their view); (ii) they contradict Reason (in their view), and (iii) they are ahad, not
    mutawatir, and hence not acceptable in matters of belief (a flawed argument). Hence, the scholars
    who wrote the ‘aqidah (creed) of the Ahl al-Sunnah included these concepts in it, to confirm their
    denial of the wrong ideas of the Mu’tazilah. Other authentic ahadith rejected by the Mu’tazilah are
    many, and include those describing the Prophet’s Mi’raj (ascension to the heavens), which are
    again mutawatir in meaning.
  91. The hadith with this wording is da’if, but its meaning is contained in the hadith of Ibn Majah and
    al-Nasa’i that a man came to the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and said, “O
    Messenger of Allah! I intend to go on a (military) expedition, but I have come to ask your advice.”
    He said, “Is your mother alive?” He said, “Yes.” He said, “Then stay with her, for the Garden is
    under her feet.” This latter hadith is declared to be sahih by al-Hakim, al-Dhahabi and alMundhiri.99
  92. A sahih hadith, collected by al-Bukhari, Muslim and others.
  93. This hadith has many chains of narration on the authority of more than a dozen Companions,
    including twenty Successors apparently reporting from Anas alone. They are collected by Ibn
    Majah, al-Baihaqi, al-Tabarani and others, but all of them are da’if, according to Ahmad b.
    Hanbal, Ishaq b. Rahuwaih, Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr, al- Bazzar and others, although some scholars
    authenticated a few of the chains. Al-Baihaqi said that its text is mashhur while its isnad is da’if,
    while al-Hakim and Ibn al-Salah regarded it as a prime example of a mashhur hadith which is not
    sahih. However, it is regarded by later scholars of Hadith as having enough chains of narration to
    be strengthened to the level of hasan or sahih, a view which is stated by al- Mizzi, al-‘Iraqi, Ibn
    Hajar, al-Suyuti and al- Albani.100
  94. This additional statement is found in a few of the (weak) narrations of the previous hadith, and is
    declared as maudu’ by Ibn Hibban, Ibn al- Jauzi, al-Sakhawi and al-Albani.101
  95. Mentioned by al-Manjaniqi in his collection of ahadith of older narrators reporting from younger
    ones, on the authority of al-Hasan al- Basri. Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi said that it is maudu’ as a
    narration from the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), but that it is a statement of
    al-Hasan al-Basri.102
  96. Related as marfu’ by al-Baihaqi with a da’if isnad, according to al-‘Iraqi. Ibn Hajar said that it is
    actually a saying of Ibrahim b. Abi ‘Ablah, a Successor.103
    *NB: The scholars of Hadith agree that a da’if or maudu’ hadith must not be attributed to the Prophet
    (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), e.g. by saying, “The Prophet said: …”, even if the meaning
    is considered to be correct or if it is actually the saying of a Muslim scholar, for that would be a way of
    lying about the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace).
  97. Ar. Sunnah: Way, Path, Tradition, Example. See An Introduction to the Sunnah by Suhaib Hasan
    (Understanding Islam Series no. 5, published by Al-Quran Society), for Qur’anic proofs of
    revelation besides the Qur’an, the importance of the Sunnah, and a brief history of the collections
    of Hadith. See also Imam al- Shafi’i’s al-Risalah for the authoritative position of the Sunnah (Eng.
    trans., pp. 109- 116).
  98. related by Imam Muslim in the Introduction to his Sahih – see Sahih Muslim (ed. M.F. ‘Abdul
    Baqi, 5 vols., Cairo, 1374/1955), 1:15 & Sahih Muslim bi Sharh an-Nawawi (18 vols. in 6, Cairo,
    1349), 1:87. The existing English translation of Sahih Muslim, by Abdul Hamid Siddiqi, does not
    contain this extremely valuable Introduction.
  99. Ibn Abi Hatim al-Razi, Al-Jarh wa l-Ta’dil (8 vols., Hyderabad, 1360-1373), 1:20.
  100. Sahih Muslim, 1:15. See Suhaib Hasan, Criticism of Hadith among Muslims with reference to
    Sunan Ibn Maja (Ta Ha publishers / Al-Quran Society, London, 1407/1986), pp. 15-17 for
    discussion of this statement of Ibn Sirin.
  101. Remarks like these are exceptions from the basic Islamic prohibition of backbiting (ghibah)
    another Muslim, even if the statement is true. Such exceptions are allowed, even obligatory in
    some cases, where general benefit to the Muslim public is at stake, such as knowing which
    ahadith are authentic. See e.g. Riyad al- Salihin of al-Nawawi, Chapter on Backbiting, for the
    justification for certain types of backbiting from the Qur’an and Sunnah.
  102. Muhammad Adib Salih, Lamahat fi Usul al-Hadith (2nd ed., al-Maktab al-Islami, Beirut, 1389), p.
  103. Tahir b. Ahmad al-Jaza’iri, Taujih al-Nazar ila Usul al-Nazar (Maktaba ‘Ilmiyyah, Madinah,
    N.D.), p. 68.
  104. Muhammad b. ‘Abdullah al-Hakim, Ma’rifah ‘Ulum al-Hadith (ed. Mu’azzam Husain, Cairo,
    1937), p. 17.
  105. ibid.
  106. Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti, Tadrib al-Rawi (ed. A.A. Latif, 1st ed., Cairo, 1379/1959), 1:197.
  107. Al-Dhahabi, Talkhis al-Mustadrak (printed with Mustadrak al-Hakim, 4 vols., Hyderabad), 3:176.
  108. Abu ‘l-Fida’ ‘Imad al-Din Ibn Kathir, Tafsir al-Qur’an al-Azim (4 vols., Cairo, N.D.), 1:80.
  109. Yusuf b. ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Abdul Barr, Tajrid al- Tamhid lima fi l-Muwatta’ min al-Asanid (Cairo,
    1350), 1:2.
  110. ibid.
  111. al-Suyuti, 1:198.
  112. For the discussion in detail, see al-Shafi’i, al-Risalah (ed. Ahmad Shakir, Cairo, 1358/1940, pp.
    461-470; English translation: M. Khadduri, 2nd ed., Islamic Texts Society, Cambridge, 1987, pp.
    279-284, where the mursal hadith has been translated as “interrupted tradition”).
  113. al-Suyuti, 1:199; Muhammad b. Mustafa al- Ghadamsi, Al-Mursal min al-Hadith (Darif Ltd.,
    London, N.D.), p.71.
  114. Ibn al-Qayyim, I’lam al-Muwaqqi’in (2nd ed., 4 vols. in 2, Dar al-Fikr, Beirut, 1397/1977), 1:31.
  115. Ibn Hazm, Al-Ihkam fi Usul al-Ahkam (Matba’ah al-Sa’adah, Cairo, 1345), 2:135.
  116. Al-Hazimi, Shurut al-A’immah al-Khamsah (ed. M.Z. al-Kauthari, Cairo, N.D.), p. 45.
  117. According to the different interpretations of this verse, “they” here could refer to those who stay
    behind, or those who go forth.
  118. al-Hakim, p. 26.
  119. ibid.
  120. Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi, Al-Kifayah fi ‘Ilm al- Riwayah (Hyderabad, 1357), p. 387.
  121. ibid., pp. 411-413.
  122. Zain al-Din al-‘Iraqi, Al-Taqyid wa ‘l-Idah Sharh Muqaddimah Ibn al-Salah (al-Maktabah alSalafiyyahh, Madinah, 1389/1969), p. 72
  123. Ibn Taymiyyah, Minhaj al-Sunnah an-Nabawiyyah fi Naqd Kalam al-Shi’ah wa ‘l-Qadariyyah (alMaktabah al-Amiriyyah, Bulaq, 1322), 4:117.
  124. Al-Dhahabi, Al-Muqizah (Maktab al-Matbu’at al- Islamiyyah, Halab, 1405), p. 40.
  125. al-Jaza’iri, p. 33.
  126. ibid.
  127. Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani, Sharh Nukhbah al-Fikr (ed. M. ‘Aud & M.G. Sabbagh, Damascus,
    1410/1990), pp. 8-9.
  128. al-Jaza’iri, p. 49; Muhammad b. Isma’il al- Amir al-San’ani, Taudih al-Afkar (2 vols. ed. M.M.
    ‘Abdul Hamid, Cairo, 1366), 2:405.
  129. al-San’ani, 2:409.
  130. al-Hakim, pp. 96-102.
  131. al-San’ani, 2:455.
  132. al-‘Iraqi, p. 268.
  133. al-San’ani, 2:406.
  134. al-‘Iraqi, p. 96.
  135. ibid.
  136. Ibn Hajar, Tabaqat al-Mudallisin (Cairo, 1322), p. 7f.
  137. al-‘Iraqi, p. 98.
  138. al-Hakim, pp. 30-34.
  139. ibid., p. 119.
  140. Ibn Kathir, Ikhtisar ‘Ulum al-Hadith (ed. Ahmad Shakir, 2nd imp., Cairo, 1951), p. 57.
  141. al-Suyuti, 1:235; M. A. Salih, p. 260.
  142. al-San’ani, 2:3.
  143. ibid., 2:6.
  144. al-Khatib, p. 431.
  145. Ibn Kathir, Tafsir, 4:349.
  146. Ibn Kathir, Ikhtisar, p. 62.
  147. al-Suyuti, 1:248.
  148. al-Hakim, p. 39.
  149. al-‘Iraqi, p. 129f.
  150. al-Suyuti, 1:274.
  151. Ibn Kathir, Ikhtisar, p. 72.
  152. ibid.
  153. Ibn ‘Abdul Barr, Al-Tamhid, 3:32, as quoted by Luqman al-Salafi, Ihtimam al-Muhaddithin bi
    Naqd al-Hadith, p. 381f.
  154. Ibn Kathir, Ikhtisar, p. 88.
  155. ibid., p. 87.
  156. Shams al-Din Muhammad b. ‘Abd al-Rahman al- Sakhawi, Fath al-Mughith Sharh Alfiyyah alHadith li ‘l-‘Iraqi (Lucknow, N.D.), 1:278.
  157. ‘Uthman b. ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Dimashqi Ibn al- Salah, ‘Ulum al-Hadith (commonly known as
    Muqaddimah, ed. al-Tabbakh, Halab, 1350), p. 116.
  158. ‘Ali b. ‘Abdullah b. Ja’far Ibn al-Madini, Kitab al-‘Ilal, p. 58. Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani mentions that
    the Imams of Hadith have agreed that al-Hasan al-Basri did not hear a single word from ‘Ali.
  159. Sahih Muslim, 4:2149 (English transl., IV:1462, Sharh Nawawi, 17:133).
  160. Ibn Taimiyyah, Majmu’ Fatawa (37 vols., ed. ‘Abd al-Rahman b. Qasim & his son Muhammad,
    Riyad, 1398), 18:18f. Ibn Taimiyyah mentions that Imam Muslim’s authentication of this hadith is
    supported by Abu Bakr al-Anbari & Ibn al- Jauzi, whereas al-Baihaqi supports those who
    disparaged it. Al-Albani says that it was Ibn al-Madini who criticised it, whereas Ibn Ma’in did not
    (the latter was known to be very strict, both of them were shaikhs of al-Bukhari). He further says
    that the hadith is sahih, and does not contradict the Qur’an, contrary to the probable view of the
    scholars who criticised the hadith, since what is mentioned in the Qur’an is the creation of the
    heavens and the earth in six days, each of which may be like a thousand years, whereas the hadith
    refers to the creation of the earth only, in days which are shorter than those referred to in the
    Qur’an (Silsilah al-Ahadith as-Sahihah, no. 1833).
  161. al-Dhahabi, p. 27.
  162. al-Shafi’i, p. 370f (Eng. trans., pp. 239- 240).
  163. al-Dhahabi, p. 24.
  164. al-Nawawi, Muqaddimah, p. 14.
  165. al-Tibi, al-Husain b. ‘Abdullah, al-Khulasah fi Usul al-Hadith (ed. Subhi al-Samarra’i, Baghdad,
    1391), p. 36.
  166. ibid., p. 38.
  167. al-Nawawi, Muqaddimah, p. 43.
  168. al-Dhahabi, p. 26.
  169. ibid., pp. 32-33.
  170. al-Albani, Silsilah al-Ahadith al-Sahihah, no. 62.
  171. al-Jaza’iri, p. 149.
  172. al-Sakhawi, 1:99.
  173. al-Dhahabi, pp. 33-34.
  174. ibid., p. 36.
  175. al-Sakhawi, 1:264.
  176. ibid., 1:275.
  177. al-Nawawi, Taqrib, 1:275.
  178. see Ibn al-Qayyim, al-Manar al-Munif fi ‘l- Sahih wa ‘l-Da’if (ed. A.F. Abu Ghuddah, Lahore,
    1402/1982), pp. 102-105 for a fuller discussion. Ibn al-Qayyim mentions more than ten clear
    indications of the forgery of the document, which the Jews repeatedly attempted to use to deceive
    the Muslims over the centuries, but each time a scholar of Hadith intervened to point out the
    forgery – such incidents occurred with Ibn Jarir al-Tabari (d. 310), al-Khatib al-Baghdadi (d. 463)
    and Ibn Taimiyyah (d. 728), who spat on the document as it was unfolded from beneath its silken
  179. Suhaib Hasan, Criticism of Hadith, pp. 35-44.
  180. The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) allowed such narrations, but they are not
    to be confirmed nor denied, except for what is confirmed or denied by the Qur’an and Sunnah. See
    e.g. An Introduction to the Principles of Tafseer of Ibn Taimiyyah (trans. M.A.H. Ansari, Al-
    Hidaayah, Birmingham, 1414/1993), pp. 56-58.
  181. ibid., p. 156.
  182. see Muqaddimah Ibn al-Salah.
  183. Fatawa Ibn Taimiyyah, 6:379-382.
  184. Isma’il b. Muhammad al-‘Ijlouni, Kashf al- Khafa’ (2 vols. in 1, Cairo/Aleppo, N.D.), no. 2016.
  185. Al-Albani, Silsilah al-Ahadith al-Da’ifah, no. 282.
  186. Kashf al-Khafa’, no. 2256.
  187. Sahih al-Jami’ al-Saghir, no. 2163; Silsilah al-Ahadith al-Sahihah, no. 1691.
  188. Kashf al-Khafa’, no. 2532; Al-Da’ifah, no. 66.
  189. Al-Da’ifah, no. 58.
  190. Kashf al-Khafa’, no. 1102; Al-Da’ifah, no. 36.
  191. Al-Sahihah, no. 1761.
  192. Kashf al-Khafa’, no. 2130.
  193. Kashf al-Khafa’, no. 618.
  194. Da’if al-Jami’ al-Saghir, nos. 1410, 1416.
  195. Kashf al-Khafa’, no. 1078; Al-Da’ifah, no. 593.
  196. Kashf al-Khafa’, no. 1665; Sahih al-Jami’ al- Saghir, nos. 3913-4.
  197. Al-Da’ifah, no. 416; Da’if al-Jami’ al- Saghir, nos. 1005-6.
  198. Kashf al-Khafa’, no. 2276.
  199. Kashf al-Khafa’, no. 1362.