Posted by: ilmseeker | July 23, 2008
Terms related to #3 (precision and memory)
Sahih – The person has superb memory (Ex: Bukhari and his teacher Yahya ibn Maeen, Ali Al-Madeenee)
Hasan – The person has above average memory (Ex: regular student of ilm who had integrity and good memory but not as famous or well known as Bukhari)
*Note – this is the only
difference between Sahih and Hasan ahadeeth, both of them are acceptable in
Islamic law, aqeedah, fiqh, everything.
Daeef Jiddan – The person’s memory is very very bad.
Terms related to #4 (shadh – does not contradict something stronger than it)
Example: It is narrated in the Muwatta of Imam Malik that the Prophet (saw) said that when you pray 2 rakats of Fajr then they should lie down on the right hand side of the body. When you look at the isnaad of the hadeeth the isnaad would be hasan (the narrarators are acceptable). But when you look at the other ahadeeth in Bukhari and Muslim and other works that this was not a statement of the Prophet but it was an action reported by Aaisha. So one of the narrators accidentally (his memory failed him) made the action into a statement. All of the other chains concerning this hadeeth you find that the other narrators said it was an action but this particular narrator who made this into a statement. This hadeeth becomes shadh, a special category of daeef. Because the people in the hadeeth are good people the hadeeth is shadh.
Terms related to #5 (There can be no illahs or hidden defects)
A student of ilm would look at a hadeeth with the isnaad and would think everything is clear and fine. But when the Alim would compile all of the other ahadeeth from this person and on that topic he would be able to see a defect that the student would not see. This is where you separate the Alim from the student of knowledge (studied for 4-10 years but still not his speciality). Examples of such Ulema are Imam Bukhari, Ali Al-Madeenee, Imam Muslim, they were able to master these illal and able to point out the hidden defects.
Example of a hidden defect: One of the students of hadeeth wrote his notes with his Shaykh and walked out of the classroom. The wind blew and his notes were scattered and mixed up, so two pages ended up being reversed over. The isnaad of one hadeeth got mixed with the matan of another hadeeth. Everything looked good but Imam Bukhari was able to point out the mistake because he knew that this hadeeth has never been narrated by this isnaad.
Other Definintions concerning hadeeth:
All of the Prophet’s ahadeeth can be categorized as muttawatir or ahad.
Muttawatir – This means that the hadeeth has narrated by a large number of people in every generation. It is beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Prophet said.
Ahad – This type of hadeeth had not narrated in a large number.
The scholars of the past didn’t care about muttawatir vs ahad because any hadeeth that comes from the Prophet is a hadeeth. But when the scholars of innovation came and tried to destroy the Sunnah by differentiating the ahadeeth by muttawatir and ahad. The scholars of innovation only wanted to accept the ahad ahadeeth but by doing this they basically rejected the Sunnah because most of the Sunnah is from ahad ahadeeth.
For example the Mutazila will not accept ahad ahadeeth but the problem arises when you reject ahad ahadeeth you end up rejecting most of the fiqh. So then the Mutazila said they’ll accept ahad ahadeeth in fiqh but not in aqeedah, but this is a contradiction. And to this day this ideology is rampant amongst many Muslim groups, a very large and famous Sunni group denies ahad ahadeeth in aqeedah – they claim themselves Sunni but they are not Sunni by saying this.
*Note - For practical purposes every Sahih hadeeth needs to be acted upon and believed in regardless if it is muttawatir of ahad. The scholars have divided it for the sake of knowledge and the scholars of innovation have done it for destroying the Sunnah. Rejecting ahad ahadeeth is not the position of Ahlus Sunnah waal Jamaah. Imam Shafiee has a few chapters in his risala about defending ahad ahadeeth and Imam Bukhari has written in his Sahih a whole chapter dedicated to show that ahad ahadeeth can be used.
Marfoo – The hadeeth that goes directly up to the Prophet (saw), meaning that a Sahabi narrated directly from the Prophet (saw). (The phrase Qawla Rasool Allah (saw) occurs)
Qudsi – If the Prophet (saw) said that Allah (swt) said something.
Mawqoof - If the Sahaba said some statement, this statement stopped right before the Prophet (saw). These statements we benefit from and we respect them but they do not have the same legal weight as the Sunnah.
Maqtoo - A statement made by a Tabiee (one generation after the Sahaba), this means cut off. The statements of the Tabieen are also important in Islam but under that of the Sahaba and both of these under the marfoo and qudsi ahadeeth of the Prophet (saw).
Ilm ul-Rijaal - Science of Rijaal (The science of Men – their biographies of hadeeth narrators)
This is the one of the earliest scienes in the Muslim ummah. The books of rijaal basically discuss the biographies of the narrators of ahadeeth. So we have books written about the people in the isnaad of the hadeeth. This is something that is unique to the Muslim ummah where we have detailed information about the first three generations of the Muslims and maybe even 1 or 2 after that. Any scholar from that time period we have books written about them, what other scholars said about him, how reliable he was, the other ulema that tested him, etc. Had it not been for this science the ahadeeth would not have been preserved. Every single narrator found in every book of hadeeth, their name is atleast mentioned in the books of rijaal. About 90% of the narrators of ahadeeth you can find a biographical sketch of that person (birth, location, teachers, his students, who tested him, what did ulema say about him, where he narrated, any problems he had, etc).
Some major works of ilm ul-Rijaal
Tadheeb al-Kamal (37 vols) written by Al-Misdi – Al-Misdi was a student and very close friend of Shaykh ul-Islam ibn Taymiyyah. Tadheeb means condensation so this book was a condensed version of Al-Kamal. The original Al-Kamal talks about the narrators of the six books of ahadeeth.
Tadheeb at-Tadheeb written by Al-Hafiz ibn Hajar – Ibn Hajar, the Imam of the muhaditheen, he perfected the science of hadeeth of his time. This comes in 4 thick volumes in small print; this work is very comprehensive and is good for a beginning student of knowledge. This work deals only with the six famous books of ahadeeth.
Takreeb ut-Tadheeb writteb by Al-Hafiz ibn Hajar – Ibn Hajar’s students complained the 4 volumes were too big so he wrote this and condensed it to one volume. It basically gives each narrator 1 or 2 lines to them. It contains about the narrator: full name, full kunya, and date of death and their level of acceptance in ahadeeth. This is the standard and beginning step to go back to for ilm ul-rijaal.
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