Point Three – Tashih and Tad’if According to Jafar al Subhani and a Refutation of him

Point Two – The Methodology of Tashih and Tad’if According to the Rawafid
November 30, 2021
Section Three – A Brief Comparison Between the Books of the Ahlus Sunnah and the Books of the Rawafid Regarding Jarh and Ta’dil and Tashih and Tad’if
November 30, 2021

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Point Three – Tashih and Tad’if According to Jafar al Subhani and a Refutation of him

 

Al Subhani and the Distillation of the Sunnah

Their scholar Jafar al Subhani,[1] a contemporary Rafidi, says in his book al Hadith al Nabawi bayn al Riwayah wa al Dirayah under the title, ‘Our methodology of distilling the Sunnah’:

 

قد عرفت أنّ منهج تلك الثلة من المحقّقين في الحكم على الاحاديث بالصحة أو السقم هو الاصول المسلمة في علم أصول الحديث ومصطلحه يعتمدون غالباً على الاَسانيد دون المضامين وعلى تنصيص علماء الرجال كوثاقة الراوي وضعفه وربما يتعرضون لنكارة المتن وغرابته ولا يخرجون عن تلك الضوابط والقواعد الرائجة في مختلف العصور.لكن هناك منهجا علميا آخر قل الالتفات إليه من قبل نقاد الحديث وهو عبارة عن عرض الحديث على الكتاب أوّلا والسنة المتواترة أو المستفيضة التي تلقاها الاعلام وجهابذة الحديث بالقبول ثانيا والعقل الحصيف الذي به عرفنا اللّه سبحانه وأنبياءه وخلفاءه ثالثا والتاريخ الصحيح رابعا واتفاق الامة خامسا فلو وجدنا الحديث مخالفا لواحد من تلك الحجج القطعية لحكمنا عليه بالوضع أو الدس أو الضعف حسب اختلاف مراتب المخالفة وممّا يجب إلفات الأنظار إليه هو أنّه لا يشترط في ثبوت الحديث كونه موافقاً لهذه الضوابط بل يشترط عدم مخالفته لها فبالمخالفة يسقط الحديث عن الحجّية

You have learnt that the methodology of that group of research scholars in grading narrations with authenticity or weakness is based upon the accepted principles of the science of hadith and its terminology wherein they mostly rely upon the Asanid, not the content. Likewise, they rely upon the verdicts of the scholars of transmitter biographies about the reliability of a narrator or his weakness. And sometimes they comment on the reprehensibility of the wording and its anomality. They have not gone beyond these principles and prevalent laws across the times.

However, there is another academic methodology to which very little attention has been paid by the critics of hadith. And that is studying the narration firstly in light of the Book of Allah, secondly in light of the Sunnah that enjoys mass-transmission or widespread popularity which the scholars and the experts of hadith have embraced with acceptance, thirdly in light of shrewd intellect through which we recognized Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, his Messengers, and his vicegerents, fourthly in light of authentic history, and fifthly in light of the consensus of the Ummah.

Hence, if we find a narration that opposes anyone one these categorical evidences, we will deem it to be either a fabrication, or an introduced lie, or a weak narration as per the degree of the conflict found therein. And it is important to draw attention to the fact that it is not a requisite for the authenticity of a narration that it be harmonious with these laws, rather the requisite is that it not be in conflict with them, for due to conflict the narrations drop from being evidence.[2]

 

And he says the very same thing in another place in different words whilst criticizing the critics of hadith:

لكن ثمة طريق آخر فاتهم سلوكه وهو عرض مفاد الحديث ومضمونه على ضوابط رصينة حتى يتميز بها الحق من الباطل والصحيح عن الزائف وهذه الضوابط عبارة عن الامور التالية:

    1. الكتاب العزيز
    2. السنّة المتواترة أو المستفيضة
    3. العقل الحصيف
    4. ما اتفق عليه المسلمون
    5. التاريخ الصحيح

فيعرض الحديث على هذه الضوابط التي لا يستريب فيها أي مسلم واع فإذا لم يخالفها نأخذ به إذا كان جامعاً لسائر الشرائط وإذا خالفها نطرحه وإن كان سنده نقياً هذا هو المقياس لتمييز الصحيح عن السقيم وإن كان الاِمعان في الأسانيد أيضاً طريقاً آخر لنيل تلك الغاية ولكن المحدّثين سلكوا النهج الأوّل دون الثاني ونحن بفضل اللّه سبحانه و تعالى نسلك الطريق الثاني،

But there is another path which missed them, and that is juxtaposing the meaning of the hadith and its content to the stringent laws, so that the truth becomes distinct from the falsehood and the authentic from the counterfeit. And these laws are the following:

    1. The Glorious Qur’an.
    2. The Sunnah that enjoys mass-transmission or widespread popularity.
    3. Sharp intellect.
    4. The consensus of the Muslims.
    5. Authentic history.

Hence, a narration will be juxtaposed with these laws about which no cognizant Muslim can be in doubt. If it does not oppose them, we will accept it if it meets all the requisites, and if it opposes them, we will discard it even if its Sanad is clean.

This is the standard for differentiating between the authentic and the lackluster, even though carefully scrutinizing the Asanid is also another method of reaching the same goal. However, the scholars of hadith adopted the first and not the second, and we by the grace of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala adopt the second.

 

Thereafter he says:

 

ونتناول بالبحث روايات أربعين صحابياً على ضوء الضوابط السابقة ليكون نموذجاً لما اخترناه بغية فتح الباب على مصراعيه في وجه الآخرين.

And we will discuss in our discussion the narrations of forty Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum in light of the aforementioned laws so that they serve as an example for the path we have chosen with the intention of opening the door completely for others.[3]

 

These are the laws which al Subhani has enlisted in his book and for which he has presented some examples. Detailing these laws and debating them require an independent study. However, we will mention only the first of these laws and will suffice on mentioning the one example al Subhani has cited under this law. Thereafter, we will refute it and provide a detailed rebuttal of his claim that the hadith scholars (thereby referring to the Ahlus Sunnah) did not lend importance to critiquing the wording as much they paid attention to critiquing the Sanad.

Furthermore, the aforementioned laws are completely harmonious with the methodology of the Ahlus Sunnah, as we will see ahead. However, the disparity lies in the underlying belief and in implementation; that is to say that al Subhani the Shia Rafidi discusses these laws together with advancing examples for them, but he does so under the bias of his false belief regarding Imamah, rulership and immediate successorship. Also, the methodology which al Subhani claims to follow is stolen from the Ahlus Sunnah, due to the Rawafid being the dependents of the Ahlus Sunnah in hadith and its compilations as has passed already. Hence, if al Subhani would come out of his fanaticism and bias for his dogma and refer to the books of the Ahlus Sunnah, the giants of this field, he would not find the contradiction he claims and on the basis of which he rejects the hadith; books such as: Ikhtilaf al Hadith of al Shafi’i, Ta’wil Mukhtalif al Hadith of Ibn Qutaybah al Dinawari, Mushkil al Athar of Abu Jafar Ahmed ibn Muhammad al Tahawi, and Mushkil al Hadith wa Bayanuh of Ibn Furak.

Nonetheless, we now mention the first law which al Subhani has cited in his book. Al Subhani says:

 

فإذا كان القرآن مهيمناً على جميع الكتب السماوية وميزاناً للحقّ والباطل الواردين فيها فأولى أن يكون مهيمناً على ما ينسب إلى صاحب الشريعة المحمّدية من صحيح وسقيم

وعلى ضوء ذلك فالمعيار الأوّل لتمييز الباطل عن الصحيح هو مخالفة الكتاب وعدمها فإذا كان الخبر المروي بسند صحيح مخالفاً لنص القرآن يُضرب به عرض الجدار إلاّ إذا كان ناسخاً للحكم الشرعي الوارد في القرآن

The first: … Presenting the hadith to the Qur’an… If the Qur’an is a guardian of all the divine books, and the criteria for the truth and the falsehood which have featured in them, then more so should it be a guardian of what is attributed to the bearer of the Muhammadi Shari’ah, of the authentic and the unauthentic.

In light of this, the first criterion for distinguishing falsehood from the authentic is opposing the Qur’an or not. So, if a narration with an authentic sanad happens to oppose the text of the Qur’an it will be thrown at the wall; yes, unless it is an abrogator for a Shar’i ruling which appears in the Qur’an.

 

He then goes on to cite examples of this from the Sunnah. Thus, he says under the title, ‘The punishing of the deceased due to the crying of his family’:

 

أخرج مسلم عن عمر عن النبي صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم قال الميت يعذب في قبره بما نيح عليه وأخرج أيضاً عن ابن عمر انّه لما طعن عمر أغمي عليه فصيح عليه فلمّـا أفاق قال أما علمتم انّ رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم قال إنّ الميت ليعذب ببكاء الحي

Muslim narrated from ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu from Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam that he said, “A deceased person is punished in his grave due to the wailing upon him.”[4] And he also narrates from Ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma that when ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu was stabbed and he fell unconscious and there was wailing upon him, he recovered and said, “Do you not know that Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has said, ‘A deceased person is punished due to the crying of the living.’”[5]

 

Thereafter al Subhani says:

هذه الرواية وإن رواها مسلم بطرق مختلفة لكنّها مرفوضة جداً لأنّـها تخالف صريح القرآن.قال سبحانه وَلا تَزِرُ وازِرَةٌ وِزْرَ أُخْرى وقال سبحانه وَإِنْ تَدْعُ مُثْقَلَةٌ إِلى حِمْلِها لا يُحْمَلْ مِنْهُ شَيءٌ وَلَو كانَ ذا قُربى. فكيف يمكن أن نقبل ان الميت البريء يعذب بفعل الغير وهو شيء يرفضه العقل والفطرة وقيل

غيري جنى وأنا المعاقب فيكم * فكأنّنـــي سبـّابة المتنــدّم

ولأجل ذلك ردّت السيدة عائشة هذه الرواية

This narration even though is narrated by Muslim with various transmissions; however, it is completely discarded, because it opposes the explicit text of the Qur’an. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says, “No soul shall bear the burden of another”[6] and He subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says, “And if a heavily laden soul calls another to (carry some of) its load, nothing of it will be carried, even if he should be a relative.”[7]

So how can we then accept that an innocent deceased person will be punished because of the doing of another. This is something which is discarded by intellect and human disposition. And it has been said:

Someone else has wronged and I am the punished one among you, it is as though I am the offence of the regretful

It for this reason Aisha rejected this narration.[8]

 

I say, this is the first law al Subhani has mentioned, and for which he has presented a few examples, amongst which is the aforementioned.

As for his drawing of evidence from the Qur’an, it is as per the Shia methodology which entails removing a word from its actual purport by offering various interpretations.

We would like to ask, which Qur’an is al Subhani talking about? The Qur’an wherein the Shia claim omissions and inclusions took place, and that there is something called the Mushaf of Fatimah which is other than our Qur’an. Added to this are the distortions and interpolations which tarnish the Qur’an and which support their false beliefs of Imamah and rulership. All of this is present in their reliable books, rather in their most reliable book al Kafi of al Kulayni.

Al Kulayni narrates the following in al Kafi from Abu Basir from Abu ‘Abdullah:

 

وإن عندنا لمصحف فاطمة عليها السلام وما يدريهم ما مصحف فاطمة عليها السلام قال قلت وما مصحف فاطمة عليها السلام قال مصحف فيه مثل قرآنكم هذا ثلاث مرات والله ما فيه من قرآنكم حرف واحد

And in our possession is the Mushaf of Fatimah, and what do they know what is the Mushaf of Fatimah?

He said, “I asked, ‘And what is the Mushaf of Fatimah?’”

He replied, “A Mushaf in which is contained three times the content of your Qur’an, and, by Allah, there is not in your Qur’an of it a single letter.[9]

 

And he also narrates from Abu Basir from Abu ‘Abdullah:

 

جعلت فداك قول الله سبحانه وتعالى سأل سائل بعذاب واقع للكافرين بولاية علي ليس له دافع من أنا لا نقرؤها هكذا فقال هكذا والله نزل بها جبرئيل على محمد صلى الله عليه وآله وهكذا هو والله مثبت في مصحف فاطمة

“May I be sacrificed for thee, the verse of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, ‘A Questioner asked regarding an impending punishment, for those who deny the rulership of ‘Ali and there is nothing to deflect it’ we do not read it like that?’”

He replied, “This is by Allah how Jibril descended with it upon Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and this is how it is established in the Mushaf of Fatimah ‘alayh al Salam.”[10]

 

And he also narrates the following from Abu ‘Abdullah:

 

إن القرآن الذي جاء به جبرئيل عليه السلام إلى محمد صلى الله عليه وآله سبعة عشر آية

The Qur’an which Jibril brought to Muhammad contains seventeen thousand verses.[11]

 

Nonetheless, the methodology of the Ahlus Sunnah is that the Qur’an can never contradict an established hadith of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Yes, a Sahih established narration can never be in conflict with the Book of Allah, as in the case of the hadith, ‘None of you will enter Jannat because of his actions and the verse of Allah, ‘Enter Jannat because of what you would do’.[12]

The correct understanding of this issue is that just as it is necessary to do actions through which a person will attain the pleasure of his Lord and deserve His mercy, for Jannat is not for the lazy and the lowly. Likewise, it is equally true that the accepted actions are only those which are coupled with humility, the denial of the self, and the fear that the Lord of the universe will reject them; because the flaws of a person are not hidden from Him, or due to it being inferior than what He deserves, or due to any other reason. Hence, whoever presents an action with arrogance assuming that he has presented it to definitively attain Jannat and that it is obligatory upon Allah to handover the keys of Jannat to him, from such an arrogant no action will be accepted and he will have no place in Jannat. As for the one who brings forth his action with humility and with a sense of humbleness, due to knowing that he has not presented before Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala what he is deserving of, such a person will enter Jannat with his actions. The evidences for this understanding are many, but it is only the people of knowledge that comprehend them.

The Sunnah is an ocean with crashing waves which can only be understood correctly by a jurist with a sound dogma; someone who understands the circumstances of every statement and also its true meaning. For Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam continued preaching to the people for twenty-three years, in various situations, and to different individuals, and regarding disparate issues.

Nonetheless, coming to the example advanced by al Subhani, it can be rebutted very easily. For had he put aside his leanings and fanaticism and conducted a thorough study he would not find any contradiction between the hadith and the verse of the Qur’an.

Al Nawawi mentions the following in reconciling between the hadith and the verse:

 

اختلف العلماء في هذه الأحاديث فتأولها الجمهور على من وصى بأن يبكى عليه ويناح بعد موته فنفذت وصيته فهذا يعذب ببكاء أهله عليه ونوحهم لأنه بسببه ومنسوب إليه قالوا فأما من بكى عليه أهله وناحوا من غير وصية منه فلا يعذب لقول الله تعالى وَلا تَزِرُ وازِرَةٌ وِزْرَ أُخْرى قالوا وكان من عادة العرب الوصية بذلك ومنه قول طرفة بن العبد

إذا مت فانعيني بما أنا أهله وشقي علي الجيب يا ابنة معبد

 قالوا فخرج الحديث مطلقا حملا على ما كان معتادا لهم وقالت طائفة هو محمول على من أوصى بالبكاء والنوح أو لم يوص بتركهما فمن أوصى بهما أو أهمل الوصية بتركهما يعذب بهما لتفريطه بإهمال الوصية بتركهما فأما من وصى بتركهما فلا يعذب بهما إذ لا صنع له فيهما ولا تفريط منه وحاصل هذا القول إيجاب الوصية بتركهما ، ومن أهملهما عذب بهما وقالت طائفة معنى الأحاديث أنهم كانوا ينوحون على الميت ويندبونه بتعديد شمائله ومحاسنه في زعمهم وتلك الشمائل قبائح في الشرع يعذب بها كما كانوا يقولون يا مؤيم النسوان ومؤتم الولدان ومخرب العمران ومفرق الأخدان ونحو ذلك مما يرونه شجاعة وفخرا وهو حرام شرعا وقالت طائفة معناه أنه يعذب بسماعه بكاء أهله ويرق لهم والصحيح من هذه الأقوال ما قدمناه عن الجمهور وأجمعوا كلهم على اختلاف مذاهبهم على أن المراد بالبكاء هنا البكاء بصوت ونياحة لا مجرد دمع العين

The scholars differ regarding these narrations. The majority have interpreted them as referring to one who bequeaths that wailing and crying upon him take place after his demise and his bequest is fulfilled. Such a person will be punished because of the crying of his family and their wailing, due to that occurring because of him and being attributed to him. The scholars, thus, say that a person upon whom his family cries without any bequest will not be punished because of the verse of Allah, ‘No bearing soul shall bear the burden of another.’[13] They aver that it was the habit of the Arabs to make such bequests, as in the poem of Tarafah ibn ‘Abd:

When I die then wail for me in a way befitting for me, and tear for me the opening of your garment o the daughter of Ma’bad.

And a group says that it will be interpreted as referring to one who makes a bequest of crying and wailing or does not bequeath that they should be avoided. Hence, whoever makes a bequest for them or neglects making a bequest of discarding them will be punished due to his inadvertence in not making a bequest. As for the one who makes a bequest that they should be discarded he will not be punished because of them, for there is no involvement from his side nor any inadvertence. The synopsis of this view is that it is obligatory to make a bequest of discarding them and that whoever is negligent in that will be punished.

Another group says that the meaning of the hadith is that they would wail upon the deceased by enumerating his qualities and feats according to them, whereas they happen to be reprehensible in the Shari’ah and, thus, he will be punished. For example: They would say, ‘O the one who made the women widows’, ‘O the one who made the children orphans’, ‘O the destroyer of civilisation’, and ‘O the separator of friends’ and their like; attributes which they considered to be indicative of bravery and pride but are impermissible in Shari’ah.

And yet another group says that he feels torment due to hearing the crying of his family and feels sympathy for them.

The preferred opinion in this regard is the opinion that we advanced of the majority. And they all concur, despite the disparity of their views, that what is meant by crying is crying with a voice and with wailing and not just the mere flowing of tears.

 

Furthermore, notice, O intelligent reader, the conceit of al Subhani and his diatribe against the Ahlus Sunnah. For he launches an attack against al Albani, when critiquing the narrations of the intellect. This is under the discussion of al Subhani regarding the third principle, which is presenting the hadith to shrewd intellect. Al Subhani says:

 

والعجب أن بعض المقتصرين على الضوابط المقررة في علم الحديث بغية تمييز الصحيح عن السقيم يتبجح عند نقد روايات العقل ويقول ومما يحسن التنبيه عليه أن كل ما ورد في فضل العقل من الأحاديث لا يصح منها شيء وهي تدور بين الضعف والوضع وقد تتبعت ما أورده منها أبو بكر بن أبي الدنيا في كتابه العقل وفضله فوجدتها كما ذكرت لا يصح منها شيء ثم نقل عن ابن قيم الجوزية قوله أحاديث العقل كلها كذب وأول حديث نقده ذلك البعض هو حديث: الدين هو العقل ومن لا دين له لا عقل له وذكر في موضع آخر بأن رواية قوام المرء عقله ولا دين لمن لا عقل له موضوعة

أقول إن الغاية من وراء تضعيف أحاديث العقل وإن كانت حجيته مستغنية عن هذه الأحاديث ويكفي فيها أن الذكر الحكيم ذكره خمسين مرة بصيغ مختلفة هي التساهل أمام الروايات الدالة على أن الإنسان مسير والقضاء والقدر حاكم على مصيره وتصرفاته وليس له أي اختيار في انتخاب ما ينوط به الإيمان والكفر أو التساهل أمام الروايات المدسوسة في الأحاديث الإسلامية من قبل مستسلمة أهل الكتاب الدالة على التشبيه والتجسيم وإثبات الجهة

It is befuddling that some people who suffice upon the established laws of the science of hadith in order to differentiate the authentic from the lacklustre say the following when critiquing the narrations of the intellect, “It would be appropriate to point out that from all the narrations which have featured regarding the virtues of the intellect nothing is authentic, for they are either weak or forgeries. I have studied in detail all the narrations which Abu Bakr ibn Abi al Dunya has cited in his book al ‘Aql wa Fadluhu and found them as I have mentioned, i.e., none of them is authentic.” He thereafter quotes Ibn Qayyim al Jawziyyah who says, “The narrations of the intellect are all lies.”[14]

And the first narration that he goes on to critique is the narration: ‘Religion is the intellect and he who has no religion has no intellect.’[15]

And he mentions in another place that the narration: ‘The basis of a person is his intellect, and there is no religion for one who has no intellect’ is a forgery.[16]

I say (still al Subhani speaking), “The objective behind deeming the narrations of the intellect, even though it being an authority is independent of these narrations and it is enough that the Wise Reminder (the Qur’an) has made mention of it fifty times in various forms, is inadvertence toward the narrations which suggest that the human is driven (does not have free will), and that the divine decree decides his eventual outcome and his doings, and that he has no freewill in selecting belief or disbelief which is related to him. Or the reason is inadvertence toward the many false narrations which have been included into the Islamic Ahadith by those who accepted Islam from the People of the Book, narrations which suggest similarity between creation and creator, anthropomorphism, and establishing of direction (for Allah).

 

Thereafter al Subhani again brags and launches a diatribe against the scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah:

إن المتبجحين برفض العقل كابن تيمية والذهبي وابن قيم الجوزية من حذا حذوهم كمحمد بن عبد الوهاب وأخير الشيخ الألباني قد اتخذوا لأنفسهم موقفا مسبقا في مجال أخذ الحديث ورفضه فالمعيار عندهم هو اتباع السلف ومخالفة الخلف أخذا بقول الشاعر

وكل خير في اتباع السلف وكل شر في ابتداع الخلف

وكلامهم هذا نظير ما حكاه سبحانه عن المشركين قال: قَالُوا بَلْ نَتَّبِعُ مَا أَلْفَيْنَا عَلَيْهِ آبَاءَنَا أَوَلَوْ كَانَ آبَاؤُهُمْ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ شَيْئًا وَلَا يَهْتَدُونَ

Those who brag about discarding the intellect like Ibn Taymiyyah, al Dhahabi, Ibn al Qayyim, and whoever has followed in their footsteps like Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul Wahhab and finally al Albani, have adopted for themselves a presupposed stance regarding the accepting of hadith and its rejection. So, the standard according to them is following the predecessors and opposing the successors, thereby practicing upon the poem of the poet:

And all goodness is in following the predecessors, and all evil is in the innovation of the successors.

Their speech is just like what Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has cited from the polytheists. He says: “They say, ‘Rather we will follow that which we found our for fathers doing. Even though their father understood nothing, nor were they guided.’”[17][18]

 

In fact, al Subhani goes on to attack the Sahihayn of al Bukhari and Muslim under the title: ‘No book is Sahih besides the Noble Qur’an’. He says:

 

ثم إن المشكلة تكمن في أن المحدثين والباحثين وصفوا جامع البخاري ومسلم بالصحيحين وحكموا بصحة كل ما جاء فيهما من الأحاديث فعاق ذلك كثيرا من المحققين عن الفحص والتنقيب بما جاء فيهما من الروايات المخالفة للكتاب والسنة والعقل ولأجل ذلك بقي الكتابان في منأى عن التحقيق بخلاف السنن الأربع الباقية من الأصول الستة فقد تطرق إليها التحقيق منذ زمن بعيد

Furthermore, the predicament is hidden in the fact that the hadith scholars and researchers described the compendiums of al Bukhari and Muslim as Sahihayn and they deemed all the narrations in them to be Sahih. This proved to be an impediment for many research scholars and barred them from investigating and scrutinizing their narrations that oppose the Qur’an, the Sunnah, and reason. And that is why both these books remained distant from research, as opposed to the remaining four Sunan from the six canonical works. For research had made its way to them a very long time ago…[19]

 

I say: The only thing that has propelled al Subhani to lampoon the scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah and brag against them is his Rafidi leaning which abandons the truth in all its forms and shapes. This is not new for the Rawafid who impudently attack the Book of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, the Sunnah of Rasul salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. Hence, their hostile position toward the Sunnah and its people is obviously known.

Furthermore, I would like to say to al Subhani and his ilk: There is no contradiction between reason and authentic tradition. Hence, if there happens to be an authentic Sunnah from Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then it is not possible in any circumstance that it be in conflict with sound reason that is free from fantasies and innovation. For it is not possible that there be contradiction between a reason based categorical evidence and a transmission based categorical evidence. The examples of this are abundantly found in the books of the Ahlus Sunnah.[20]

 

The Rebuttal of al Subhani

Now we come to rebutting the misconception of al Subhani wherein he has accused the hadith scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah of not lending importance to critiquing the wording, as in his previously cited statement wherein he says:

 

However, there is another academic methodology to which very little attention has been paid by the critics of hadith. And that is studying the narration firstly in light of the Book of Allah, secondly in light of the Sunnah that enjoys mass-transmission or widespread popularity that the scholars and the experts of hadith have embraced with acceptance, thirdly in light of shrewd intellect through which we recognized Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, his Messengers, and his vicegerents, fourthly in light of authentic history, and fifthly in light of the consensus of the Ummah.

 

And in his second statement in another place:

 

But there is another path which missed them, and that is juxtaposing the meaning of the hadith and its content to the stringent laws, so that the truth becomes distinct from the falsehood and the authentic from the counterfeit. And these laws are following:

    1. The Glorious Qur’an.
    2. The Sunnah that enjoys mass-transmission or widespread popularity.
    3. Sharp intellect.
    4. The consensus of the Muslims.
    5. Authentic history.

 

In response I will say, hoping for inspiration and enablement from Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala:

 

Despite the methodology being clear and the path that the hadith scholars chose to document the Sunnah and preserve it being quite accurate, and despite them exposing the obfuscations of the forgers and the lies of the plagiarist by critiquing the Asanid and the wordings with a rigorous and academic approach; we still find al Subhani and the Orientalists who have treaded his path doubting the soundness of this methodology, shaking the confidence of its reliability, and enfeebling the conviction of its unbiasedness. All of this on the basis of baseless misconceptions which they treated as facts but in actual fact are very weak and clearly untenable. For when they found themselves dumbstruck before the laws and intricate principles introduced by the scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah to differentiate between the authentic and the inauthentic they came up with this fallacy, each one presenting it in his style whilst the objective of all being one. The fallacy that gives the impression that the efforts of the hadith scholars were channeled toward the critiquing of the sanad only. But in reality, the hadith scholars paid attention to studying the status of the narrated, just as they paid attention to studying the status of the narrator.

 

Hereunder is the elaboration of this:

Critiquing according to the hadith scholars entails differentiating the authentic narrations from the lackluster ones and grading the narrators with approbation and impugning.

 

 

Critiquing the Wording in the Era of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum

Lending importance to Critiquing the wording is not something that came about in the later eras, for the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum were the people who laid down the foundations of this principle. Hence, they would at times reject some narrations due to them not being in harmony with the fundamental tenets of Din according the knowledgeable among them.

Hereunder are some examples:

Abu Sa’id al Khudri radiya Llahu ‘anhu narrates:

 

كنت جالسا بالمدينة في مجلس الأنصار فأتانا أبو موسى فزعا أو مذعورا قلنا ما شأنك قال إن عمر أرسل إلي أن آتيه فأتيت بابه فسلمت ثلاثا فلم يرد علي فرجعت فقال ما منعك أن تأتينا فقلت إني أتيتك فسلمت على بابك ثلاثا فلم يردوا علي فرجعت وقد قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم إذا استأذن أحدكم ثلاثا فلم يؤذن له فليرجع فقال عمر أقم عليه البينة وإلا أوجعتك فقال أبي بن كعب لا يقوم معه إلا أصغر القوم قال أبو سعيد قلت أنا أصغر القوم قال فاذهب به

I was sitting in Madinah in the gathering of the Ansar when Abu Musa radiya Llahu ‘anhu came to us panicking. We asked him, “What is your matter?”

He replied, “‘Umar sent a message to me asking me to come to him. So I went to his door, greeted three times, and when he did not reply, I returned. He later asked me, ‘What held you back from visiting us?’ I replied, ‘I came, and greeted three times at your door, and you did not respond so I returned. For Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has said, “If any of you seek permission three times and is not granted permission he should return.”’ ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu said, ‘Furnish evidence upon that or I will punish you.’”

Ubay ibn Ka’b radiya Llahu ‘anhu, thus, said, “None should stand with him besides the youngest of the people.”

Abu Sa’id al Khudri radiya Llahu ‘anhu said, “I am the youngest.”

Whereupon he replied, “Go with him.”[21]

 

And al Dhahabi says in the biography of ‘Umar ibn al Khattab radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

وهو الذي سن للمحدثين التثبت في النقل وربما كان يتوقف في خبر الواحد إذا ارتاب

He is the one that initiated for the hadith scholars investigation of the transmission. And at times he would be hesitant to accept the narration of a lone narrator when he would doubt.[22]

 

And the examples are many…

 

The objective of these examples is to prove that the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum studied the wordings. However, I should not forget to mention that their rejection of some narrations did not exceed one of three possibilities: either it was because of difference of opinion in understanding those narrations; or because the purport of the narration was first practiced upon and thereafter it was abrogated and the abrogation did not reach its narrator due to which he continued to practice upon it; or because a Sahabi would be hesitant in the narrations that would reach him till he would ascertain that they originated from Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

 

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Critiquing the Wording in the Era of the Tabi’in

Just as was the condition in the era of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum so was the critiquing in the era of the Tabi’in. For they had followed the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum and treaded their path. In fact, this phenomenon had become very strong in the era of Tabi’in and those who succeeded them from the expert hadith critics. For over and above the importance they lent to the isnad and the critiquing of the transmitters, the criterion for the truth of hadith or its falsity, they also had some critical observations about the wording of the hadith and its authentication far from the sanad.

Some examples of this are the following:

  • Ibn ‘Adi has narrated in al Kamil from Sa’id ibn al Musayyab:

 

أن ابن عباس قال تزوج النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ميمونة وهو محرم فقال سعيد بن المسيب وهم ابن عباس وإن كانت خالته ما تزوجها إلا حلالا

Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma said, “Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam married Maimunah radiya Llahu ‘anha whilst in Ihram.”

So, Sa’id ibn al Musayyab said, “Ibn ‘Abbas has erred, even though she was his aunty. Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not marry her but when he was Halal (out of the state of Ihram).”[23]

 

  • And Suwaid ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz narrates the following from al Mughirah:

خرجنا إلى شيخ بلغنا أنه يحدث بأحاديث فلما انتهينا إلى إبراهيم قال ما حبسكم قلنا أتينا شيخا يحدث بأحاديث قال إبراهيم لقد رأيتنا وما نأخذ الأحاديث إلا من عرف وجوهها وإنا نجد الشيخ يحدث بالحديث يحرف حلاله من حرامه وما يعلم

We set out to a Sheikh regarding who it had reached us that he narrates some narrations. And when we reached Ibrahim, he asked us, “What has held you back?”

We replied, “We have come to a Sheikh who narrates some narrations.”

Ibrahim said, “We have noticed ourselves not taking narrations but from people who know their interpretations. And we find that the Sheikh narrates a narration in which he distorts its Halal with its Haram and does not even realize.”[24]

 

And the examples of this are many.

 

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The Critiquing of the Wording in the Era of the Followers of the Tabi’in

Just as the Tabi’in had followed the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum and treaded their path in critiquing narrations, likewise did the followers of the Tabi’in follow those who preceded them. Hence, critiquing became widespread and different outstanding schools of critiquing emerged in their era.

This critiquing had taken a new form, for some experts had specialized in this field, the likes of Malik, al Thawri, and Shu’bah. And they were followed by the likes of ‘Abdullah ibn al Mubarak, Yahya in Sa’id al Qattan, ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Mahdi, and al Shafi’i. And they were followed by the likes of Yahya ibn Ma’in, ‘Ali ibn al Madini, and Ahmed ibn Hambal.

Their books revolved around critiquing the hadith, both its sanad and its wording. And many of their verdicts suggest that the primary reason for them discarding certain narrators was due to the importance they paid to the wording before anything else. So, when they knew an individual to be so negligent that he could not grasp what was being read to him and was unable to differentiate between the correct and the incorrect of the wordings, he would be placed in the list of the impugned; and that was not because of his lack of integrity or the weakness of his trustworthiness, but because of his inaptitude of retaining the wordings and transmitting them as had reached him from their original source.

Some examples of this from the era of the followers of the successors are the following:

  • Ibn ‘Adi has narrated with his sanad to Ibn ‘Ulayyah that he said:

 

قال شعبة لا يجيء الحديث الشاذ إلا من الرجل الشاذ

Shu’bah said, “An anomalous narration cannot come but from an anomalous person.”[25]

 

  • And he also narrates with his sanad to Shu’bah:

 

حدثني الحكم بن عبد الرحمن بن أبي ليلى عن علي بن أبي طالب بحديث عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم، ولو حدثتكم به لترقصتم كلكم، والله لا تسمعونه مني أبدا

Al Hakam ibn ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Abi Layla narrated to me from ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu a hadith from Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. If I were to narrate it to you, you would all start to dance. By Allah you will not hear it from me ever.[26]

 

  • And he narrates with his sanad to Muhammad ibn al Ghusn that said:

 

سمعت نعيم بن حماد يقول قيل لابن المبارك يا أبا عبد الرحمن، تكثر القعود في البيت وحدك قال أنا وحدي وأنا مع النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم وأصحابه

I heard Nuaim ibn Hammad saying, “It was said to Ibn al Mubarak, “O Abu ‘Abdur Rahman, you frequently sit alone in the room?” He replied, “I am alone, but I am with Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and his Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum,” thereby intending the studying of hadith.[27]

 

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The Criteria Put in Place for the Critiquing of the Wording

There are several criteria put in place for critiquing the wording by the Ahlus Sunnah. Some of them are:

 

The Criteria of Critiquing According to the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum
1. Presenting the hadith to the Book of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala

This does not mean rejecting every hadith whose literal meaning disagrees with the Qur’an. Because the disagreement we intend here is complete contradiction and the impossibility of reconciling between them using any of the methods of reconciliation. Hence, many a times a hadith will feature whose literal meaning clashes with the Qur’an, but this clash very soon is resolved when it is discovered that the hadith specifies the general of the Qur’an, or qualifies its absolute, or abrogates one of its rulings.

The examples of this phenomenon are many. One of them is the hadith that has passed of Sahih Muslim which is narrated by ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu from Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, “A deceased is punished due to the wailing that takes place upon him,” when contrasted with the verse, ‘No bearing soul shall carry the burden of another.’[28]

We elaborated that there is no contradiction between them when discussing the first law mentioned by al Subhani, so refer to that.

 

2. Presenting the Sunnah, Some of it to Others

The methodology of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum regarding the first criterion was characterized with clarity. This is because they concurred upon the ruling of the Qur’an and relied upon it. However, their methodology regarding the second criterion, presenting the Sunnah to itself, was not of the same degree. This is because it hinges upon drawing evidence from hadith and comparing it to another which eventually entails giving preference to one hadith over another, or adopting one of the narrations that oppose it. Now, the factors of according preponderance are many, some being:

  • Asking a specialist in a field, as has transpired in many issues that would occur in the house of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Hence, they would send a query to one of the Mothers of the Believers to find out from her the Shar’i ruling and she would provide an answer. To illustrate: Muslim narrates with his sanad from ‘Abdul Malik ibn Abi Bakr ibn ‘Abdur Rahman from Abu Bakr:

 

سمعت أبا هريرة رضي الله عنه يقص يقول في قصصه من أدركه الفجر جنبًا فلا يصم  فذكرت ذلك لعبد الرحمن بن الحارث يعني أباه فأنكر ذلك فانطلق عبد الرحمن وانطلقت معه حتى دخلنا على عائشة وأم سلمة رضي الله عنهما فسألهما عبد الرحمن عن ذلك قال فكلتاهما قالت كان النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يصبح جنبًا من غير حلم ثم يصوم قال فانطلقنا حتى دخلنا على مروان فذكر ذلك له عبد الرحمن فقال مروان عزمت عليك إلا ما ذهبت إلى أبي هريرة فرددت عليه ما يقول قال فجئنا أبا هريرة وأبو بكر حاضر ذلك كله قال فذكر له عبد الرحمن فقال أبو هريرة أهما قالتاه لك قال نعم قال هما أعلم ثم رد أبو هريرة ما كان يقول في ذلك إلى الفضل بن العباس فقال أبو هريرة سمعت ذلك من الفضل ولم أسمعه من النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال فرجع أبو هريرة عما كان يقول في ذلك

I heard Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu narrating and he said in his narration, “Whoever the break of dawn reaches whilst in the state of major impurity should not fast.”

I, thus, mentioned that to ‘Abdur Rahman ibn al Harith (his father) and he denied that. ‘Abdur Rahman then went and I went with him till we entered upon Aisha and Umm Salamah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. ‘Abdur Rahman asked them about the matter and both of them said, “Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would enter the morning whilst in the state of major impurity without experiencing a nocturnal emission and then he would fast.”

We then went to Marwan and ‘Abdur Rahman made mention of that to him. Marwan thus said, “I emphasise upon you that you go to Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and dismiss before him what he says.”

Hence, we came to Abu Hurairah and Abu Bakr was present in all of that.

‘Abdur Rahman mentioned that to him, whereupon he asked, “Did both of them say that?”

He replied, “Yes.”

He responded, “They know better.”

Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu then referred what he said to al Fadl ibn ‘Abbas and said, “I heard that from al Fadl and I did not hear it from Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.”

He says, “Abu Hurairah, thus, retracted what he used to say.”[29]

 

In this example, we find unequivocal wording. They would hear and thereafter critique and confirm by passing what they heard through a specialist. As a result, the narration of the specialist would take precedence due to him knowing better.

 

  • One narration being supported by another narration or multiple narrations whereas the opposing narration is void of any corroboration. The example of this is what Muslim has narrated with his sanad from Nafi’ who says:

 

قيل لابن عمر إن أبا هريرة يقول سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول من تبع جنازة فله قيراط من الأجر فقال بن عمر أكثر علينا أبو هريرة فبعث إلى عائشة فسألها فصدقت أبا هريرة فقال ابن عمر لقد فرطنا في قراريط كثيرة

It was said to Ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, “Abu Hurairah says, ‘I heard Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying, “Whoever follows a Janazah (the bier of a Muslim) will receive one Qirat of reward.”’

Ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma thus said, “Abu Hurairah has narrated excessively to us,” and then sent a query to Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha.

She confirmed what Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu said, upon which Ibn ‘Umar said, “Indeed we have fallen short in acquiring many Qirats.”[30]

 

In this example, we find that the confirmation of Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha of what Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu narrated was the factor of giving preference. And immediately Ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma admitted his shortcoming and said, “Indeed we have fallen short in acquiring many Qirats.

 

3. Reason

One of the examples of this is when Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam ordered that wudu’ be done after coming into contact with anything heated upon the fire, as is narrated by al Nasa’i with his sanad from Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He says:

 

سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول توضئوا مما مست النار

I heard Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying, “Perform Wudu’ from that which is touched by fire.”[31]

 

Thereafter he abrogated that ruling, as is narrated by al Nasa’i again with his sanad from Umm Salamah radiya Llahu ‘anha:

 

أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أكل كتفا فجاءه بلال فخرج إلى الصلاة ولم يمس ماء

Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam ate a shoulder. Bilal radiya Llahu ‘anhu came to him whereafter he left for Salah without touching water.[32]

 

And because some Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhu were unaware of this abrogation, they continued to narrate the initial ruling and considered Wudu’ after coming into contact with anything touched by fire to be necessary, amongst them was Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

On the other hand, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma utilized reason to critique the narration of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He considered eating Halal food touched by the fire to be a violator of wudu’ to be far-fetched. For the known rule in the Shari’ah is that wudu’ is only nullified by an exiting impurity, and not by the entering of a Halal and pure substance.

Thereafter, the narration of Jabir radiya Llahu ‘anhu came about which clearly states abrogation, as is narrated by al Nasa’i with his sanad from Muhammad ibn al Munkadir:

 

كان آخر الأمرين من رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ترك الوضوء مما مست النار

I heard Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah radiya Llahu ‘anhu saying, “The last of the two matters from Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was leaving wudu’ from that which was touched by fire.”

 

Thereupon Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu found that the abrogation supported the preference of reasoning.

From this it is clear that the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum utilized this criterion, i.e., the criterion of reason. However, it is important to point out that their rejection of hadith was not purely based on reason, rather it was coupled with other considerations which cannot be neglected.

 

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The Criteria of Critiquing According to the Hadith Scholars

The criteria laid out by the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum to scrutinize a narration and reject it when it happens to contradict the explicit text of the Qur’an, a popular Sunnah of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, or even the categorically established tenets of Din were not really required by the early hadith scholars and transmitters but very rarely. For these criteria were obvious and did not require the application of reason for their extraction or their founding. However, when the movement of forging which was accompanied by lying and fabricating begun, these criteria started to come alive again. And the hadith scholars found themselves in dire need for their application to defend the Sunnah of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam from everything foreign.

And because fabricated narrations did not originate from Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, identifying their forgers could not be achieved from studying the narration only, but it was necessary to study all its narrators as well.

Likewise, the objective of some hadith scholars in their compilations was merely to record and document whatever was being narrated from Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam with its sanad. So, they would in this instance consider themselves beyond the obligation of critiquing what they narrated (due to citing its sanad).

Whereas the objective of others was to only cite Sahih narrations or narrations similar to them. Thus, they needed to critique the narrations in order to document the Sahih and discard the weak and the fabricated. And the standards of critiquing according to this groups were the following:

 

1. Presenting the Hadith to the Qur’an:

This did not mean what we previously stated, i.e. that every narration whose literal purport opposes the Qur’an will be rejected. Because what we intend thereby is complete disagreement which does not allow for any sort of reconciliation between the two with any of the known ways of reconciliation.

Some examples of this are the following:

Example one

 

الكريم حبيب الله ولو كان فاسقا، والبخيل عدو الله ولو كان راهبا

A generous person is the beloved of Allah even if he is a sinner, and miserly person is the enemy of Allah even if he is a monk.

 

Commenting upon this narration ‘Ali al Qari states:

 

لا أصل له بل الفقرة الأولى موضوعة لمعارضتها لنص قوله تعالى إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ التَّوَّابِينَ وَاللَّهُ لا يُحِبُّ الظَّالِمِينَ أو الْكَافِرِينَ انتهى فليتأمل

There is no basis for it. Instead, the first sentence is a fabrication due to it opposing the explicit verse of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, ‘Surely Allah loves those who repent abundantly’,[33] and the verse, ‘And Allah does not love the transgressors’[34] or ‘the disbelievers’[35]. So, one should ponder.[36]

 

And a sinner is either from the transgressors or from the disbelievers.

 

Example two

The narration about the age of the world and that it is seven thousand years and we are in the seventh millennium. Commenting upon this narration Ibn al Qayyim says:

 

وهذا من أبين الكذب لأنه لو كان صحيحا لكان كل أحد عالما أنه قد بقي للقيامة من وقتنا هذا مئتان وأحد وخمسون سنة والله تعالى يقول يَسْأَلُوْنَكَ عَنِ السَّاعَةِ أَيَّانَ مُرْسَاهَا قُلْ إِنَّمَا عِلْمُهَا عِنْدَ رَبِّيْ لَا يُجَلِّيْهَا لِوَقْتِهَا إِلَّا هُوَ ثَقُلَتْ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ لَا تَأْتِيْكُمْ إِلَّا بَغْتَةً يَسْأَلُوْنَكَ كَأَنَّكَ حَفِيٌّ عَنْهَا قُلْ إِنَّمَا عِلْمُهَا عِنْدَ اللّٰهِ وقال تعالى إِنَّ اللّٰهَ عِنْدَهُ عِلْمُ السَّاعَةِ

This is a blatant lie, because if it was true, each person would know that from our time till the coming of Qiyamah there are two hundred and fifty-one years left, whereas Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says, ‘They ask you about the hour: when is its arrival? Say, “Its knowledge is only with my lord. None will reveal its times except him. It lays heavily upon the heavens and the earth. It will not come upon you except unexpectedly. They ask you as if you are familiar with it. Say, “Its knowledge is only with Allah.’[37] And Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says, ‘Indeed Allah alone has the knowledge of the hour’.[38][39]

 

From the aforementioned it is evident that the hadith scholars utilized the criterion of presenting hadith to the Qur’an, and that they rejected many narrations which were in complete contrast with the Qur’an due to which they were unable to reconcile between them at all.

 

2. Presenting the Sunnah, Some of it to Others

The hadith scholars have also utilized this criterion. Hence, they would juxtapose a narration they heard against narrations known to the Ummah and bolstered by its practice. If it happened to disagree and both narrations happen to be Sahih, then if reconciliation between the two was possible by considering one to be a specifier for the generality of the other, or a qualifier for the absoluteness of the other, or an abrogator if the dates were known, then they would go with that and not reject the narration, or else it would be necessary to accord preponderance to one.

But if one was authentic and the other was weak, then the weak one would be rejected.

And to this extent, the scholars of hadith have enlisted a number of preference-giving factors. Some of them revolve around studying the wordings, and others revolve around studying the isnad.

Hence, the intergradation of the isnad and the wording is quite clear. However, it is not possible to always neglect the isnad, for there is no value in a text which does not reach us with an authentic isnad.

Al Khatib says:

 

وكل خبرين علم ان النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم تكلم بهما فلا يصح دخول التعارض فيهما على وجه وأن كان ظاهرهما متعارضين لأن معنى التعارض بين الخبرين والقرآن من أمر ونهي وغير ذلك أن يكون موجب أحدهما منافيا لموجب الآخر وذلك يبطل التكليف إن كانا أمرا ونهيا وأباحة وحظرا أو يوجب كون أحدهما صدقا والآخر كذبا إن كانا خبرين. والنبي صلى الله عليه وسلم منزه عن ذلك أجمع معصوم منه باتفاق الأمة وكل مثبت للنبوة وإذا ثبت هذه الجملة وجب متى علم أن قولين ظاهرهما التعارض ونفى أحدهما لموجب الآخر أن يحمل النفي والإثبات على أنهما في زمانين أو فريقين أو على شخصين أو على صفتين هذا ما لا بد منه

Any two narrations about which it is known that Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam communicated them, then it is not possible that they be characterized by contradiction, even though they are outwardly contradictory. Because contradiction between two narrations and the Qur’an where one entails an imperative command and the other a negative one, etc., implies that the purport of one of them is in complete contrast with the purport of the other. This will nullify responsibility if they both are pertaining to imperative and negative, or permissibility and impermissibility; or it would necessitate that one of them is true and the other is false in the case of two narrations. Whereas Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is free from all of that and is saved from that according to the consensus of the Ummah, and each narration independently is evidence of his Nubuwwah. Once this is established it is necessary that whenever apparent contradiction is noticed between two narrations in a way that one negates the other, then the negation and the affirmation be interpreted as referring to two different times, or two different groups, or two different people, or two disparate qualities. This is necessary.[40]

 

From the examples of this are the following narrations:

 

لا يورد ممرض على مصح

A sick animal should not be brought to a healthy animal.[41]

 

فر من المجذوم فرارك من الأسد

Run from a leper like how you would run from a lion.[42]

 

With the narration of there being no such a thing as contagion.[43]

The scholars have treaded various paths to reconcile between them:

 

The first answer: These sicknesses are not contagious in themselves, but Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has made interacting with the sick a cause of the sickness being contagious. Hence, at times contact will not bring about contagion as is the case in all other means. This is the path treaded by Ibn al Salah.

The second answer: The negation of contagion is general, and the imperative of running is in order to prevent potential causes of a misattribution; i.e., so that if a person who interacts with the sick happens to pick up the sickness due to the decree of Allah and not because of the negated contagion, he does not assume that that was because of his interaction and thereby consider contagion to be existent and become sinful. Hence, we have been ordered to abstain in order to circumvent from such misattributions. This is the path treaded by Ibn Hajar.

The third answer: Affirming contagion for leprosy and other similar sicknesses entails that they are excluded from the general negation of contagion. Hence, the statement, ‘There is no contagion’ does not include leprosy and similar ailments; so it is as though Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “No sickness is contagious besides those sicknesses which I have stated to be contagious.” This is the answer of Abu Bakr al Baqillani

The fourth answer: The injunction of running is due to taking into consideration the feelings of the leper. Because if he sees a healthy person his agony will double and his grief will increase.[44]

 

3. Presenting the Hadith to Established Facts of History

This is in the instance where the hadith contains a date which denotes the time of its occurrence whereas the known date of that event according to the scholar is different.

An example of this is the following:

Anas ibn Malik radiya Llahu ‘anhu narrates:

 

أقبل رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم من تبوك فاستقبله سعد بن معاذ الأنصاري فصافحه النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ثم قال له ما هذا الذي أكفت يداك؟ قال يا رسول أضرب بالمرو والمسحاة فأنفقه على عيالي قال فقبل النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يده وقال هذه يد لا تمسها النار

Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam returned from the Battle of Tabuk. He was welcomed by Sa’d ibn Muaz al Ansari. Hence, Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam greeted him and said, “What has made your hands so independent?”

He said, “O Rasul Allah I strike with the flint and with the shovel and I spend on my family.”

Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, thus, kissed his hand and said, “This is a hand that the fire will not touch.”[45]

 

Ibn al Jawzi has advanced historical evidence to point out that this narration is a forgery. Hence, he says:

 

هذا حديث موضوع وما أجهل واضعه بالتاريخ فإن سعد بن معاذ لم يكن حيا في غزاة تبوك لأنه مات بعد غزاة بني قريظة من السهم الذي رمى به يوم الخندق وكانت غزاة بني قريظة في سنة خمس من الهجرة فأما غزاة تبوك فإنها كانت في سنة تسع

This narration is a forgery, and how ignorant is its forger of history. For Sa’d ibn Muaz was not alive in the Battle of Tabuk, because he passed away after the Battle of Banu Qurayzah due to the arrow which had struck him on the day of Khandaq. And the battle of Banu Qurayzah took place in the fifth year after hijrah, as for the battle of Tabuk it took place in the nineth year after hijrah.[46]

 

4. The Hadith Containing an Impossible Matter

This refers to something impossible in itself, not to something impossible according to humans although possible for Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. Hence, it is necessary to preclude the narrations of miracles from the application of this criterion if they are established with authentic transmissions.

 

Example one

Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu narrates:

 

قيل يا رسول الله مم ربنا من ما مرور؟ قال لا من الأرض ولا من سماء خلق خيلا فأجراها فعرقت فخلق نفسه من ذلك العرق

It was said to Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, “From what is our Lord, from the water of Murur?”

He said, “Not from the earth and not from the heaven. He created a horse and made it run, and when it released perspiration, he created himself from that.”

 

Ibn al Jawzi says:

 

هذا حديث لا يشك في وضعه وما وضع مثل هذا مسلم وأنه لمن أرك الموضوعات وأدبرها إذ هو مستحيل لأن الخالق لا يخلق نفسه

There is no doubt regarding this narration being a forgery, and a Muslim could not have forged such a narration. For it happens to be the weakest of forgeries and the worst of them. Because it is impossible, due to the fact that the creator cannot create himself.[47]

 

So, this narration contains an impossible matter which deems the Creator subhanahu wa ta ‘ala the created.

In conclusion, it would be possible to say: it is evident through categorical proofs that the scholars of hadith and those who preceded them from the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum and the Tabi’in would scrutinize the hadith. In doing so, they would not just suffice on critiquing the isnad without critiquing the wording. In this is a rebuttal of the Rawafid, at the forefront of who is al Subhani and whoever adopts his methodology of accusing the hadith scholars of not critiquing the wording of the hadith. If this suggests anything, it suggests the precision of the Ahlus Sunnah in distinguishing between the authentic and all else besides it, and in founding immensely intricate and nuanced criteria so that the acceptable becomes distinct from the unacceptable.

And indeed, the one who has said the following has spoken the truth:

إن الروافض قوم لا خلاق لهم  من أجهل الناس في علم وأكذبه

والناس في غنية عن رد إفكهم  لهجنة الرفض واستقباح مذهبه

Surely the Rawafid are a people who have no share, and they are the most ignorant in knowledge and the biggest liars.

The people do not require to rebut their lies, due to Rafd being abominable and its dogma being disliked.

 

NEXT⇒ Section Three – A Brief Comparison Between the Books of the Ahlus Sunnah and the Books of the Rawafid Regarding Jarh and Ta’dil and Tashih and Tad’if


[1] Jafar ibn Muhammad ibn Hussain al Subhani. He was born in 1347 A.H. in the Tabrez City of Iran. He is a contemporary Rafidi. He has written several books on jurisprudence, theology and hadith. Some of them are: al Hadith al Nabawi bayn al Riwayah wa al Dirayah, al ‘Aqidah al Islamiyyah ‘ala Daw’ Madrasah Ahlul Bayt, al A’immah al Ithnay ‘Ashar, al Shia al Imamiyyah, al Ziyarat, al Manasik al Fiqhiyyah, amongst many others.

[2] Al Hadith al Nabawi bayn al Riwayah wa al Dirayah, p. 53, 54.

[3] Al Hadith al Nabawi bayn al Riwayah wa al Dirayah, p. 6. Another Shia scholar who has raised similar misconceptions is Salih al Wardani in his book al Khad’ah, p. 81, onwards.

[4] Sahih Muslim: chapter of Jana’iz: sub-chapter: the deceased is punished due to his family crying over him, hadith no. 927.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Surah al An’am: 164.

[7] Surah Fatir: 18.

[8] Al Hadith al Nabawi bayn al Riwayah wa al Dirayah, p. 55, 56.

[9] Usul al Kafi, 1/239

[10] Rawdah al Kafi, 8/57, 58.

[11] Usul al Kafi, 2/634.

[12] Surah al Nahl: 32.

[13] Surah al An’am: 164.

[14] Silsilah al Ahadith al Da’ifah, 1/78; and the statement of Ibn al Qayyim can be found in al Manar al Munif, p. 66.

[15] Ibid., 1/78.

[16] Ibid., 1/447.

[17] Surah al Baqarah: 170.

[18] Al Hadith al Nabawi bayn al Riwayah wa al Dirayah, p. 70.

[19] Ibid., p. 70.

[20] Refer to the book Dar’ Ta’arud al ‘Aql wa al Naql of Ibn Taymiyyah for further examples.

[21] Sahih al Bukhari: Chapter of seeking permission: sub-chapter regarding greeting and seeking permission three times: hadith no. 5891; Sahih Muslim, Chapter of etiquettes: sub chapter regarding seeking permission: hadith no. 2153.

[22] Tadhkirah al Huffaz, 1/6.

[23] Al Kamil, 3/379.

[24] Al Tamhid, 1/29; al Kifayah, p. 169.

[25] Al Kamil, 1/68.

[26] Ibid., 1/69.

[27] Ibid., 1/103.

[28] Surah al An’am: 164.

[29] Sahih Muslim, chapter of fasting: sub-chapter regarding the validity of the fast of person upon who the break of dawn dawns whilst in the state in of major impurity, hadith no. 1109.

[30] Sahih Muslim: chapter of Jana’iz: sub-chapter about the merit of performing Salah upon the Janazah and following it: hadith no: 945.

[31] Sunan al Nasa’i: chapter of Taharah: sub-chapter regarding wudu’ from that which the fire touched: hadith no. 171. And al Albani has deemed it authentic, as in Mishkat al Masabih: hadith no: 303.

[32] Ibid., hadith no: 182. Deemed authentic by al Albani, as in Mishkat al Masabih: hadith no. 325, and Sahih Ibn Majah: hadith no. 398.

[33] Surah al Baqarah: 222.

[34] Surah Al ‘Imran: 57.

[35] Surah Al ‘Imran: 32.

[36] Kashf al Khafa’, 2/921.

[37] Surah al A’raf: 187.

[38] Surah Luqman: 34.

[39] Al Manar al Munif, p. 80.

[40] Al Kifayah, p. 433.

[41] Sahih Muslim: Chapter of Salam: sub-chapter: there is no contagion and no bad omen: hadith no. 2221.

[42] Sahih al Bukhari: Chapter of Medicine: sub-chapter regarding leprosy: hadith no. 5380.

[43] Sahih al Bukhari: Chapter of Medicine: sub-chapter: there is no Safar, a sickness which grips the stomach: hadith no. 5387.

[44] Tadrib al Rawi, 2/197.

[45] Tarikh Baghdad of Abu Bakr al Khatib, 7/342; Tarikh Jurjan of al Sahmi, p. 262. Al Khatib has pointed out the same flaw in the narration as Ibn al Jawzi.

[46] Al Mawdu’at, 2/251.

[47] Al Mawdu’at, 1/105.

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