All praise is for Allah Who elevated the lamppost of truth and made it clear, Who debased falsehood and lies and exposed them, Who protected the Shari’ah from forgery and allegations, Who made the Wise Reminder (the Qur’an) protected from adulteration and distortion, and increase and decrease, due to Him preserving it in the vessels of knowledge, the bosoms of the people of retention and perfection, and due to him deeming lying against His Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, who was sent with the clear aspects of the truth and with evidence, as a grave sin.
Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has made the Muslim Ummah the guider and the guided, an Ummah which carries the banner of knowledge and disperses the darkness of ignorance. The heirs of the Ambiya’ ‘alayhim al Salam, i.e. the scholars of Din, took up the task of illuminating the lamppost of knowledge by way of what they researched and dispensed in their academic circles, and by way of the great works that they wrote; they wrote such works which were eternalised by history and became a source of pride for the Muslims. They served as lanterns for those who followed thereafter who used it to attain direction in restoring what had warn out of their civilisation and reviving what was covered by ignorance of the knowledge of the Book of their Lord and the Sunnah of their Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
The Ahlus Sunnah are the experts who elevated this Din, exerted themselves, and toiled in its service by subjugating their bodies, their minds, and their hearts for it. Hence, they finished their bodies and made their bosoms treasure troves for the jewels of the Sunnah and the fundamentals of Islam. They applied their minds to knowledge, to deliberating therein, deriving rulings, and gaining understanding. As a result, they preserved the Shari’ah and Allah protected the religion and established it because of their efforts.
And because the Prophetic Hadith is the second source in Islamic legislation, the scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah paid utmost attention to it and did whatever was within their ability for the preservation of hadith and its chains of transmission. Hence, they traversed to various places and transmitted knowledge by dispensing the hadith of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the verdicts and quotations of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum.
And they were in their collecting of hadith, critics and money exchangers who eradicated the counterfeit, straightened the distorted, and shunned lies back into the chest of its promoters without bothering. In essence, they continuously monitored the innovators, liars, charlatans, the thieves of transmission chains, and the lying story tellers.
A person will be amazed at what history has recorded regarding the scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah and the scholars of hadith in general, specifically the tales of their exhaustive journeys which they undertook because of knowledge, despite the immense distances and the overwhelming difficulties. They overcame all the obstacles, and considered all difficulties to be insignificant in the path of knowledge. Their objective thereby was not to gain prominence and positions which would occupy them, nor did they covet the world which they could procure.
Yes, they travelled to far flung places despite the immense distances and the great difficulty in order to seek hadith, search for its various transmissions, and at times even to procure one particular hadith. The stories of the scholars and their travels for this purpose are too many to be recollected, and a person’s amazement regarding them will never seize to end. They did all of this to preserve the Sunnah of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam from the distortions of the distorters and the fancies of those driven by ulterior motives.
The outcome of their blessed efforts was the emergence of hadith terminology and other related sciences. Hence, the rules were formed and the principles were founded for the validation of hadith and for its academic analyses. These principles later became known as the soundest principles for academic research pertaining to the authentication of reports and texts. This is a distinction which is not found in the legacy of any nation from the nations of the earth, not even in the study of their sacred books for that matter. This is indeed an accolade from the accolades of this Ummah; firstly, due to preceding all else, and secondly due to its comprehensiveness and objectivity, and the precise results and conclusion drawn therefrom. This is something to which even the unbiased non-Muslims have attested, to the extent that David Margoliouth said, “The Muslims can boast as much as they want regarding the science of their hadith.”
Thus, the science of hadith is exclusive to the Ahlus Sunnah, no one can match them in it or even come close to them in the painstaking attention they paid to it. They paved the way of glory for this Ummah amidst all the other nations. Hence, there is not a single nation whose chain of transmission extends from the earth to the heavens in a much cleaner, radiant, and glorious manner other than this blessed Ummah. This is all the result of these blessed souls treading in the footsteps of their Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
Had the scholars of hadith not exhausted their efforts for this purpose, Islam would have become convoluted, the heretics would have dominated it, and the charlatans would have emerged.
Furthermore, when the Rawafid saw that the Ahlus Sunnah have surpassed them in the fields of hadith—in terms of its transmission and its comprehension—and when they heard of the travels of the hadith scholars to every place as best as their capacities allowed in order to rectify a word, establish a chain of transmission, or double check a narration, melancholy arose in their hearts. Thus, they went on to found a methodology to document their narrations which are all lies and approbate narrators whose integrity is compromised. They did this with a thief’s approach, a fabricated application, and minds in which there remained no trace of sound reasoning. They tried to grade the narrations which are replete in their books, like al Kafi, al Istibsar, Man La Yahduruhu al Faqih, etc. In doing so they have tried to convert dust into something else, lies into principle, and falsehood into knowledge.
All that they have did is that they paged through the books of the Ahlus Sunnah which have been written regarding hadith terminology, plagiarised their contents and copied their style.
So, the objective of this dissertation is to expound upon the originality of the Ahlus Sunnah in the science of hadith and the plagiarism of the Rawafid. It is also aimed at discussing the principles of the methodology, charitably speaking, of the Rawafid and their scholars regarding their narrations, the laws of hadith according to them, and the underlying rules of their narrations which leap frantically in order to succeed. Do not ask how, for the infallible Imam, whose speech is the speech of his father, whose speech is the speech of his grandfather, whose speech is the speech of the lord of the universe, says:
عش مجبرا أو غير مجبر فالخلق مربوب مقدر
الخير يهمس بينهم وتقام للسوآت منبر
Live coerced or un-coerced, the creation is taken care of and its destinies are preordained.
Good but manages to whisper among them, whereas to vile traits a pulpit is erected.
We did not venture on this project but to eradicate darkness so that the light becomes clear, and to expose the flaws of falsehood so that the uprightness of the truth become known, and to lift the veil from lies so that the reality comes to the fore with clarity from which only a loser will go astray. And, thus, do we detail the verses, and, thus, the way of the criminals will become evident.
We seek the help of Allah, and upon Him we place our reliance, and there is no desisting from evil and strength to do good but with help of Allah. And may Allah send His salutations upon our master Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, his pure family, and his blessed Companions.
The study is encompassed in ten sections which are preceded by an introduction and a prefatory chapter. Hereunder is a brief layout of what the study entails:
Chapter One: The development of the science of hadith between the Ahlus Sunnah and the Rawafid. Hereunder there are two sections:
Section One: The development of the science of hadith by the Ahlus Sunnah.
Section Two: The development of the science of hadith by the Rawafid.
Chapter Two: The definition of Sunnah according to the Rawafid.
Chapter Three: The documentation of the Sunnah according to the Rawafid. Hereunder there are two sections:
Section One: Documentation according to the Ahlus Sunnah.
Section Two: Documentation according to the Rawafid.
Chapter four: The canonical works of the Rawafid. Hereunder there are four sections:
Section One: The eight Jawami’ collections, which entail the following:
Section Two: Brief and general comments about the eight collections
Section Three: A brief study of al Kafi, the supreme most work of the Shia. This will entail the following:
Chapter Five: The various gradings of hadith according to the Rawafid. This comprises of two sections as well:
Section One: The various gradings of hadith according to the Akhbari Rawafid.
Section Two: The various gradings of hadith according to the Usuli Rawafid.
Chapter Six: Isnad, chain of transmission, and its Importance. Therein there are three sections:
Section One: The definition of the Sanad, the chain of transmission, and the Matn, the text.
Section Two: The importance of Isnad and the attention paid to it be the scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah.
Section Three: The Rawafid and their chains of transmission.
Chapter Seven: The integrity of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. Therein there are six sections:
Section One: The integrity of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum in the Noble Qur’an.
Section Two: The integrity of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum in the Pure Sunnah.
Section Three: The consensus of the Ummah upon the integrity of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum.
Section Four: The integrity of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum in the books of the Rawafid.
Section Five: The stance of the Rawafid regarding the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum.
Section Six: The implications of reviling or excommunicating the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum.
Chapter Eight: Grading of hadith as authentic or weak between the Ahlus Sunnah and the Rawafid. Hereunder there are three sections:
Section One: Grading according to the Ahlus Sunnah, which comprises of the following:
Section Two: Grading according to the Rawafid, which comprises of the following:
Section Three: A brief comparison between the books of the Ahlus Sunnah and the books of the Rawafid regarding impugning and approbating, and authenticating and deeming weak.
Chapter Nine: The complaint of the Ahlul Bayt about the many liars who forged lies against them of those who claimed partisanship for them.
Chapter Ten: The status of the transmitters of the Rawafid. Hereunder there are three sections:
Section One: The impugned transmitters of the Rawafid based on their reliable sources. This will entail the following:
Section Two: A detailed analyses of some of the transmitters of the Rawafid from their reliable sources. This will comprise of the following:
Section Three: The unknown narrators in the books of the Rawafid.
I have used the title ‘Rawafid’ as is clear, because this a title from their many titles, as will become clear in the introduction about them. And this is a title they deserve. I have also kept brevity in mind when discussing these sections due to the fear of the book becoming too long.
I ask Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala for ability and guidance.
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