________________________________________________________________________ | w w w |\ | || || | || |\ | o_,_7 _|| . _o_7 _|| 4_|_|| o_w_, |\ | ( : / (_) / ( . |\ | |\ | || || | || |T | | || | |\ | . _, _8 |_D_|| . _,_,_,_D_|| 4_|| q ]_o_7_o _|_c 4_|_|| _|,_p q |\ | (_): / (_): . : / (_S (_S / |\ | |\ | In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the All-Merciful |\ | Greeting of Allah be upon Muhammad and the pure members of his House |\ |_______________________________________________________________________|\ Salamun 'Alaykum The following question was kindly answered by Ma'alim Hasnain Kassamali. With Salaams and Du'as Maqbul Rahim Acting Moderator for ABDG-A ---------- Forwarded message ---------- Subject: Hadith from our Imams Questions: Q1. What role does the Prophet (PBUH&HF) play in regards to these injunctions? Certainly, he taught Imam Ali (as) the knowledge but why don't we (or we do) take the injunctions from the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&H) directly? Q2. Why is there more emphasis on the sayings of the Imams (as) than the Prophet's (PBUH&HF)? There are more sayings that we attribute to the Imams (as) than to the Holy Personality himself (PBUH&HF). ................................................................................ . Answers: In His name, the Beneficent, the Merciful. Let me begin responding to the questions by quoting the following hadiths: i. Umm Salamah quotes on the authority of the Holy Prophet (s): "`Ali is always with the Truth (haqq) and the Qur'an, and the Truth and the Qur'an are always with him until the Day of Judgement they will not be separated from each other." According to S.H.Nasr this hadith has been transmitted through fifteen channels in Sunni sources and eleven in Shi`ah sources. (Tabatab'i, SHI`AH, Tr. S.H.Nasr, Chapter I, Note 4; with slight difference in Mizan al-Hikmah, Hadiths 980, 981 & 982). ii. Imam Ja`far al-Sadiq (a) said: " My words (hadith) are the words of my father, and the words of my father are the words of my grandfather, and the words of my grandfather are the words al-Husayn, and the words of al-Husayn are the words of al-Hasan, and the words of al-Hasan are the words of Amir al-Mu'mineen (a), and the words of Amir al-Mu'mineen are the words of the Prophet of Allah (s) and the words of the Prophet are the sayings (qawl) of Allah." (AL-KAFI, The Book of Excellence of Knowledge, Hadith 154-14). iii. Once there was a disagreement between Hakam bin `Ayyinah and Imam Muhammad Baqir (a) on an issue. So the Imam said, " Son, get up and bring `Ali's book." He brought a big voluminous book and opened it. He looked closely in it for a while until he found the issue being debated. Abu Ja`far (i.e. the 5th Imam) said, "This is the handwriting of `Ali and the dictation of the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be Allah's peace and blessings." (M. Awliya'i, "Outlines of the Development of Science of Hadith", Al-Tawhid, vol. 1, No. 1). Only three out of many similar hadiths have been quoted here. The following answers to your questions will be better understood, I hope, in light of these hadiths. Answer to Question 1: Although with the Shi`ah Muslims Haidth is what was said by the Prophet and the twelve Imams (and some scholars include the sayings of Bibi Fatima also), the real source all Hadith is the Holy Prophet, sallal-lahu `alayhi wa-aalihi wa-sallam. Therefore, when we take a hadith from any Imam we are taking them indirectly from the Prophet (s). As for the question: why don't we take Hadith from the Prophet directly? I have the following to comment: 1. Where it is possible we do take directly from the Prophet. However, the scholar quoting these hadiths should be satisfied with their authenticity. `Allma Tabatab'i, for instance, often quotes from the Prophetic Hadith from Sunni sources in his celebrated and voluminous exegesis on the Holy Qur'an, AL-MIZAAN FEE TAFSEER AL-QUR'AN. So does Muhammad al-Ray Sharee in his MIZAN AL-HIKMAH, a collection of over 22,000 hadith in 10 volumes. Also, numerous books on Shi`ah-Sunni polemics have hadiths quoted from sunni sources. See for e.g. S A Sharafuddin, THE STRAIGHT PATH; M. Tijani Samawi, THEN I WAS GUIDED, and ASK THOSE WHO KNOW. Thus the claim of some western scholars that the Shi`ah "reject the six Sunni collections of hadith as deliberate distortions of the Prophet's conduct and discourse; they rely instead on hadith that omit mention of the sahaba and are traceable to Ali, his immediate family, and his more promiment descendants, the Imams" (B. Lawrence, "Sahaba" in The Perennial Dictionary of World Religions, New York:1989), depicts their ignorance in this area. 2. Our scholars have taken care to separate all those Hadith where our Imams quote the exact words of the Holy Prophet (s. In NAHJUL BALAGHA, for instance, the scholars have enclosed the quotes of the Holy Prophet in parentheses in about 38 places. 3. The caliphs who took over the control of leading the Muslim ummah after the death of Holy Prophet (s) prevented Muslims from commiting the Prophet's hadith in writing. It was almost after about 90 years that the prohibition was lifted. Consequently, very many unauthentic and fabricated hadith found places in some of the most renown books of Hadith. Of course, this was not the only reason for the arising of forged hadith. The Shi`ah who follow the school of the Ahlul Bayt are fortunate to take the Hadith from their Imams, for the Imams were in a better position to understand and interpret the Prophetic traditions. Answer to Question 2: Yes, apparently the emphasis on hadith from the Imams seems more than the Prophetic hadith. This is because: 1. As indicated earlier, hadith from Imams are in essence hadith from the Holy Prophet (s). 2. The period between the death of the Prophet and the Ghaybat of the Twelveth Imam, may the Almighty hasten his appearance, was two hundred and fifty years. Obviously, more hadiths were reported during this time than the hadith reported by the companions of the Prophet. 3. Political situation after the death of the Prophet prevented the recording of Prophetic Hadith. 4. Some Imams(e.g. 5th,6th and 8th) had a better opportunity to expound on various sciences of Islamic teachings. Thus we find bulk of Hadith from them, especially from the 6th Imam. Thus the name of our Madhhab: the Ja`fari. My apologies for lengthening the answer with various details. For further study one may refer to: 1. SHI`ISM: Doctrines, Thought, and Spirituality, Albany:1988, Chapter 4. 2.`Askari, M. A PROBE INTO THE HISTORY OF HADITH, Teheran: 1984. 3. Rizvi, S.A.A. QUR'AN AND HADITH, Mombasa: 1986. 4. Awliya'i, M. "Outlines of the Development of the Science of Hadith", 3 parts in Al-Tawhid, Vol I, Nos. 1, 2 & 3. 5. Ja`fariyan, R. "Tadwin al-Hadith" 3 Parts in Al-Tawhid, vol. v. Nos. 2, 3& 4 and Vol 6. No. 1. With salaams and du`as. Hasnain Kassamali Humble servant of the Ahlul Bayt (a).