Table of Contents


Before starting the discussion I committed myself to, truth calls me to give a foreword identifying in it the word “Sunnah” in respect of linguistics and terminology, demonstrating how it is judged by the Prophet’s traditions, and the position it occupies in religion, after which I go forward God-willing.

Lexically, “al-Sunnah” is defined to be the paved method and followed conduct, or the followed example. Its plural is sunan. The linguists say that it is derived from the saying: sanna al-ma’ (water), which meaning: he continued pouring it (water). Hence the Arabs resembled the straightforward method with the poured out water, which is due to succession of its flow on one course shall be like one thing.

A poet said: 1

Never be fed up of a conduct you followed,

The first be content with a rule is he who leads it.

In origin: to prescribe a good rule is to lay down a good method. And it is said, also: He followed his guide, and so and so is mutasannin, i.e. following the sunnah.

Ibn Taymiyyah said in Iqtida’ al-sirat al-qadim:

The Sunnah is the habit, and the repeated method, that people may or may not consider to be worship. The Most High said:

قَدْ خَلَتْ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ سُنَنٌ فَسِيرُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ

“Indeed, there have already been before you examples, travel ye therefore in the earth…” (3:137)

The Prophet (S) said too: “You shall verily follow the sunan, (conducts) of those who preceded you.” Ittiba‘ (following) is to tread in somebody’s steps and following his example.

The Prophet’s Sunnah is his sirah (conduct) he used to follow, and Allah’s sunnah (method) may be said to mean the method of His Wisdom, and the way of obedience to Him, such as:

سُنَّةَ اللَّـهِ فِي الَّذِينَ خَلَوْا مِن قَبْلُ وَلَن تَجِدَ لِسُنَّةِ اللَّـهِ تَبْدِيلًا

“(Such has been) the way of God concerning those who have passed away before; and never shalt thou find in the way of God any change.” (33:62)


فَلَن تَجِدَ لِسُنَّتِ اللَّـهِ تَبْدِيلًا

“…and never shalt thou find in the course of God any alteration.” (35:43)

In al-Ta’rifat, al-Jurjani is reported to have said: Al-Sunnah, in language, is the method (tariqah), whether be pleasant or not. According to Shari‘ah (Islamic Law) it is the method followed in religion with no prescription or obligation. The Sunnah is every act or practice which the Prophet (S) persevered on doing it, with leaving it sometimes. If this perseverance be out of worship it will be a guidance Sunnah, and if it be out of habit it will be a superfluous Sunnah.

The Messenger’s Sunnah represents his and his close Companions’ acts and conduct (sirah). It is known from the Companions through practice and apprising, like: so and so is of the Sunnah. Then the traditionists termed the Messenger’s speech as hadith and Sunnah, i.e. it is a modernized term that was never known in the language, nor used in its literature. I have employed this term in denominating my book and the theme of my research. It would be rather better to call it: Defence of hadith, since it is laid down in fact for this purpose. So I have added it in the title of this edition.

It is said that the term ‘sunnah’ being used for every saying or act or report ascribed to the Prophet.

Position of Sunnah in Religion

They (traditionists) made the spoken Sunnah in the third degree, following the practised Sunnah, which comes after the Qur’an, that reached us through successive chain (mutawatir), in a way no doubt can be ascribed to it. For this reason it is quite established outright. While the Sunnah reached us through an unsuccessive chain, the fact entailing its being doubtful as a whole. The second rank in religion is given to the practical Sunnah (the Prophet’s acts).

In al-Muwafiqat,2 al-Shatibi is reported to have said: The position of Sunnah comes in consideration after the Book (Qur’an) for the following proofs:

First: The Book being decisive and asserted, while the Sunnah is doubtful. And affirming it (Sunnah) is valid only in its generalities not the details, on the contrary of the Book which is established in general and in details. And that which is fixed is prior to that which is suspicious, the fact necessitating to give the Book precedence over the Sunnah.

Second: The Sunnah is either expository for the Book, or be excessive to this. If it be an exposition its order of consideration would be after the exposed thing (Book), as the decline of the exposed requires decline of the exposition, while the opposite is not true. That whose status is thus is more meritorious to be superior, and if it be not an exposition, no consideration is given to it unless it be there in the Book. This verily is an evidence to give priority to the Book in consideration.

Third: The akhbar (reports) and (old) traces, like the hadith of Mu’adh, when the Prophet asked him: On what basis do you pronounce the hukm (rule)? He replied: On the basis of the Book of Allah. He (S) inquired: If you can’t find it there (with what you give the rules)? He said: With the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah? He again asked: If you can’t find it there (with what then)? He said: I exert my opinion.3

Citing many proofs from Umar, Ibn Mas’ud and Ibn Abbas, confirming this issue, al-Shatibi said: And that which is decisively established in this regard being the fact that the Sunnah can never reach the degree of consideration of the Book. He also said: The Sunnah has in fact the position of interpretation and exposition of the denotations of the rules in the Book. This is indicated in the Qur’an:

لِتُبَيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ مَا نُزِّلَ إِلَيْهِمْ

“…that thou mayest make clear unto mankind what hath been sent down unto them…”( 16:44)

And the Sunnah in meaning is referred to the Book, as it is the elaboration of its generality, and exposition of its ambiguity, and elucidation of its concised statements.

It (the Sunnah) is in short the exposition of the Book outright. This is indicated in Almighty’s words:

وَأَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الذِّكْرَ لِتُبَيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ مَا نُزِّلَ إِلَيْهِمْ

“…and We sent down unto thee the Remembrance (i.e. the Qur’an) that thou mayest make clear unto mankind what hath been sent down unto them.” (16:44)

No issue or point can be found in the Sunnah,4 unless that meaning has been indicated generally or elaborately. Further, whatever indicating the Qur’an’s being the universality of the Shar’ah5 (Islamic Law), and a fountain for it, is verily an evidence indicating this fact. Also since Allah said:

وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلَىٰ خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ

“And most certainly thou standest on sublime morality,” (68:4)

which was interpreted by A’ishah that his morality being the Qur’an itself no more no less. This indicates that his utterances, acts and approval are altogether taken from the Qur’an. And since morality is represented only by these things and as Allah has made the Qur’an an explanation for everything,6 the fact requiring that the Sunnah being contained in it on the whole, as bidding and forbidding being the first things revealed in the Book. And like His saying:

مَّا فَرَّطْنَا فِي الْكِتَابِ مِن شَيْءٍ

“We have not neglected in the Book anything,”7 (6:38)

and His saying:

الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ

This day have I perfected for you, your religion (5:3)

with which intending to mean the revelation of the Qur’an.

As a conclusion, Sunnah then is an exposition of what the Book contains, the fact giving the meaning of its (Sunnah) being referred to it (Book), that was confirmed too through investigation. In the outset of the book al-Adillah, it was proved that the Sunnah being dependent on the Book, otherwise it should have never been approved, which is a sufficient principle in this regard.” He added: The cause behind heeding to the Sunnah lies in its being an exposition of the Qur’an, as to obey Allah is to abide by the rules of His Book, and to obey the Messenger is to act according to his expositions of the Book of Allah through saying, or deed, or judgement.

Had there been anything in the Sunnah having no root in the Book, it would have never been expository for it, the fact excepting not the Sunnah’s containing the explanation of the Qur’an’s general rules, though seeming out of it, like the prayer that is stated in general in the Qur’an and in details in the Sunnah. But through this elaboration we got to know its being Allah’s intention from the prayer He generally stated it in His Book.”

He also said:8 “The Sunnah elucidates the generality, restricts the absolute, and specifies the common.” He said 9 too: “The objective of the Sunnah is to expose the Book, and expound its meanings.”

When asked about the hadith saying: The Sunnah is baffling the Book, al-Imam Ahmad replied: I never dare saying so, but I say that the Sunnah interprets and demonstrates the Qur’an.10 Al-Imam Malik used to say: “Take into account the continuous and plentiful work, abandoning other than it though containing traditions.” He further said: The dearest traditions to me are those which got unanimous acceptance of people. 11 In Ruh al-bayan, al-Alusi reported that al-Imam al-Shafi`i said: Whatever is judged and decided by the Prophet is verily among that which he conceived from the Qur’an.

He also said: The Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah can in no way contradict the Book of Allah. 12

The traditionist faqih al-Sayyid Rashid Ridha’ (may God’s mercy be upon him) said: The Prophet is a demonstrator of the Qur’an through his utterance and acts. This demonstration implies elaboration, specification and restriction, with the exclusion of annulment of any of its rules or revoking any of its reports.

Hence we have the verified dictum: “The Sunnah can never abrogate the Qur’an.” The main pillar of religion being the Book of Allah, occupying the first rank, after it comes the concurred practical Sunnah with every act being successively reported from the Prophet. In the third degree comes the unsuccessively narrated evidential traditions (ahad). Whoever acting according to the unanimously agreed ones will be verily among those delivered in the Hereafter, and regarded near by Allah, the Exalted, the fact approved by al-Ghazali. 13

Influence of Messenger’s Speech on Worldly Affairs

The above-mentioned were excerptions of the utterances of the eminent religious leaders, in respect of showing the status of the Messenger’s speech regarding the religious affairs. Concerning his words regarding the worldly affairs, it is said about them to be among mere opinions, that were called by the scholars “guidance ordinance.” That means, his ordinance in any of the world affairs is called guidance (irshad) that stands versus the taklif (imposition) ordinance. According to the jurisprudential laws, to apply the guidance ordinance is not considered obligatory or mandub (recommended), since nearness (to Allah) is not intended by it, nor denotation of devotion is implied in it. It is commonly known that only relevant special evidence can prove the case of obligation or recommendation.

Whatever the ulama said in this regard is due to the fact that the apostles being not infallible in other than propagation (tabligh). In Sharh al-Aqidah, 14 al-Safarini is reported to have said:

In Nihayat al-mubtadi’in, Ibn Hamdan said: “They (apostles) being only infallible in respect of Allah’s ordinances they be delegated to convey to mankind, being non-infallible in other than these, including error, oblivion and venial sins. Ibn Aqil in al-Irshad said: They (apostles) – peace be upon them – were not impeccable in respect of the acts, but rather in the fulfilment itself, with being impermissible for them to tell lies while propagating and conveying Allah’s ordinances. The Shi’ah scholars disapprove this belief, unanimously concurring on the prophets being not liable to err, or subject to inadvertence or forgetfulness. They concur that the apostles being infallible against (perpetrating) major and minor sins, even in the worldly affairs.

It is widely known that the Prophet (S) believed some of the falsifications of the hypocrites, as in the case of the Battle of Tabuk, and other battles. Besides, he used to believe some of his wives, with hesitating in respect of falsehood hadith, feeling annoyed of it for a long time till the revelation of the verses of Surat al-Bara’ah (Immunity), which unveiled the
truth for him.

Al-Qadi ‘Iyad 15 said: Concerning his states in regard of the worldly affairs, he might surmise something to be on a certain condition, but would prove to be the opposite. Or might doubt or suspect some things in a way contradicting the Islamic Law. Rafi’ ibn Khudayj 16 is reported to have said: As the Messenger of Allah (S) entered the Medina, he found some people pollinating the date-palms, when he said: What are you doing? They replied: We have been making them. He said: It may have been better not doing so. So they left them (date-palms), after which they faded. Thereat they told him about this matter, when he said: “I am just a human being. When commanding you to (do) something relevant to your religion you take and apply it. But when ordering you to do anything according to my opinion, (know that) I am just a human being.” According to narration of Anas: He [S] said: “You are better aware of your world.”

In another hadith, he (S) said: “I have only surmised something, so excuse me for my surmise.” In the episode of conjecture, 17 Ibn Abbas is reported to have said: The Messenger of Allah then said: “I am no more than a human being. Whatever I tell you of that revealed by God is verily the truth, and that which I tell you out of my own opinion, I am just a human being, that may err and be right.”

These were our reports regarding the Prophet’s own opinions about the world affairs and his surmise concerning its conditions. When he (S) got down the Pond of Badr, al-Habbab ibn al-Mundhir said to him: Is this a place in which you were commanded by Allah to get down, that we have no right to leave and advance forward, or it is your opinion and war and stratagem? He replied: No, it is verily the opinion and war and stratagem.

He said: Then it can never be an abode: Get up, to betake ourselves nearer a pond belonging to some people, where we can settle down, plunging into it, and drinking when others cannot drink. He said: What an excellent idea! Then he applied his advice. In another event, he intended to make compromise with some of his enemies through one third of the Medina dates. When he consulted the Helpers (Ansar), and they told him of their opinion, he retreated his intention.

In this way it was permissible for him what we mentioned before, in respect of the worldly affairs we stated and their likes that have nothing to do with knowledge or religion, or belief or teaching.

He also said: 18Concerning his believing in the mankind affairs and rules run by him, with their issues, and distinguishing between the truthful and falsifier, and recognizing the one seeking reform from that seeking corruption, it was in this way, when he said: “I am just a human being, you may seek my judgement regarding your disputes, and one of you might be more eloquent in presenting his proof than the other litigant, entailing that I give judgement in his favour according to my hearing in the case.

So I ask that in whose favour I gave judgement with something, not to take anything from the second one, as it will be verily like allocating him a piece of fire.” (This hadith was reported from Umm Salamah). Al-Zuhri reported from Urwah, that he (S) said: “Someone among you might be more eloquent than the other (litigant), making me to consider him truthful and consequently giving judgement in his favour.” And he (S) gives his judgements according to superficialities and surmise, with the testimony of the witness and oath of the swearer, besides observing analogy …etc.

He further said: 19 In regard of the Prophets’ capabilities of knowledge related to the world affairs, no infallibility is stipulated to be possessed by the prophets regarding unawareness of some of them or believing in their opposites, the fact entailing no censure on their part.

The Prophet (S) also said: I know nothing except that what my Lord taught me.” The Prophet Moses (A) said to al-Khidr (A): “…May I follow thee on condition that thou shouldst teach me aright of what thou hast been taught.” 20

In al-Rawd al-basim, al-Wazir al-Yamani said: “It is quite evident for those acquainted with the scholars’ rules that the Prophet’s acts can never indicate by themselves any obligation or recommendation, but rather pointing to permissibility. The extent concurred by all being his abstaining from exercising prohibited acts (guilts), and if even one slip done by him it be out
of inattention without persistence. Allah, the Exalted, has shown this fact in His Book.

The investigators say in this respect: When any deed performed by him, we would scrutinize to see whether he did it for seeking Allah’s pleasure or not. If circumstantial evidences indicating the latter, following his example would be not recommendable, and his act would be considered only permissible that every individual be free to do or leave . An example for this act can be found in his confession to Umar ibn al-Khattab of contradicting his opinion regarding the event of the captives of Battle of Badr. 21

Obligation Not Necessitated by Messenger’s Order Merely

Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah (may God’s mercy be upon him), reported from his father Amir al-Muminin (A), saying:

Much clamour was raised about Merry the Coptic (Umm Ibrahim), regarding her Coptic cousin who used to visit and frequent to her. The Prophet then said to me: Take this sword and go forth. If you find him near her kill him. I said: O Messenger of Allah, shall I be at your orders on dispatching me, executing your orders with no objection, or that the attendant sighting what is unseen by the absent? The Prophet (S) said to me: “Rather, the attendant can see what is unseen by the absent.”

Then I went forward girding myself with a sword, when I saw him with her. I unsheathed the sword, and as approaching him, he realized my intention (to kill him). So he fled toward a date-palm and climbed it. Then he threw himself down falling on the back of his neck, with his legs being dispersed, turning to be castrated and his male organ being mutilated, losing whatever men usually have. He said: I then sheathed the sword, returning to the Prophet (S) telling him of all these occurrences. He (S) said: Praise belongs to Allah Who turns evil away from us, Ahl al-Bayt.

In his comment on this report, al-Sharif al-Murtada said: The rules contained in this report being to indicate that any act or practice can never be obligatory merely it was commanded by the Messenger of Allah, since had it been so, there would have been no necessity to revise or inquire about it. Further the rules advantage and occurrence in their due time indicate their not requiring this obligation. 22

In ‘Tabaqat al-Atibba’ wa al-Hukama, Ibn Juljul reported from Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas that he said: I became sick and was visited by the Messenger of Allah (S) who said to me: Call in al-Harith ibn Kildah, as he is the man who can cure you. Then the Messenger of Allah gave his orders to bring the physicians so as to inquire them about the remedies they had. 23

Forbiddance from Writing the Hadith

As previously mentioned, the Messenger of Allah (S) was an expositor and interpreter of the Qur’an, through his acts and sayings, but his utterances in this exposition or other than it, was not preserved through inscription as in the case of the Qur’an. All the reported authentic evidences and correct established acts have altogether indicated that the Messenger’s traditions were never written down during his lifetime, as was done in respect of the Qur’an.

Further there were no scribes registering the traditions directly when hearing them with the Messenger’s own words, as were scribes for the Qur’an inscribing its verses as soon as being revealed. Correct traditions and established reports are there all forbidding the inscription of the Prophet’s traditions, of which I cite the following:

Ahmad, Muslim, al-Darimi, al-Tirmidhi and al-Nasa’i reported on the authority of Abu Sa’id al-Khudri that he said: The Messenger of Allah (S) said: “Write nothing from me except the Qur’an, and whoever has written anything must efface it.” 24 Again al-Darimi has reported from Abu Sa’id al-Khudri that he said: I asked the Prophet (S) to grant me permission to write down from him, but he refused to give me permission.” Another narration is ascribed to al-Tirmidhi who reported from ‘Ata’ ibn Yasar, on the authority of Abu Sa’id too, that he said: “We asked the Prophet (S) to grant us permission to write (hadith), but he never gave us permission.” 25

It is also reported from Marasil ibn Abi Mulaykah, that Abu Bakr gathered people, after the Prophet’s demise, addressing them: You relate from the Messenger of Allah (S), traditions regarding which you disagree, and consequently severer controversy shall occur among people. So relate nothing from the Messenger of Allah and when asked by anyone you can say: The Book of Allah is the arbitrator between us. Deem lawful what it considers lawful, and deem unlawful what is considered unlawful in it. 26

The Moroccan traditionist Ibn Abd al-Barr and al-Bayhaqi in al-Madkhal, reported from Urwah that Umar ibn al-Khattab intended to write down the sunan (traditions), so he sought the legal opinion (fatwa) – or consulted, according to al-Bayhaqi’s narration – the Messenger’s Companions in this regard, and they advised him to write them down. Then Umar started seeking Allah’s guidance, keeping on this for one month, after which one day entering upon the morning with God’s determining the decision for him, he said: I have intended to write down the sunan, and I remember that some people before you had written some books, devoting themselves to them and discarding the Book of Allah. By God, I never mingle anything to the Book of Allah. According to al-Bayhaqi’s narration (he said): “I never obscure the Book of Allah with anything at all.”

Yahya ibn Ju’dah reports that Umar ibn al-Khattab intended to write ahadith and sunan. But having changed his mind he sent a circular to all the cities declaring: “Whoever has with him anything of it should efface it.”27

Ibn Sa’d reported from Abd Allah ibn al-Ala’, saying: I asked al-Qasim ibn Muhammad to dictate for me some traditions, when he said: The traditions have abundantly increased during the days of Umar ibn al-Khattab28, so he asked people to bring them to him. When they brought them, he ordered to set them on fire, declaring: No Mathnat is like that of the People of the Book (meaning he didn’t want any other book to exist by the side of the Book of Allah). Then he (Abd Allah) said29: So al-Qasim ibn Muhammad prevented me that day from writing any hadith.

Zayd ibn Thabit entered upon Mu’awiyah, who inquired him about a hadith, commanding someone to write it down, when Zayd said to him: “The Messenger of Allah (S) ordered us not to write anything of his traditions.” So he effaced it. Abd Allah ibn Yasar is reported to have said: I heard Ali addressing the people saying: I invite whoever having a book (of hadith) to return and efface it. People before you perished due to their following the traditions of their ulama, and discarding the Book of their Lord.

Al-Aswad ibn Hilal is reported to have said: Abd Allah ibn Mas’ud brought a codex on which a hadith was inscribed. He demanded water to be brought and effaced and then washed them out. After that he ordered them to be set on fire, declaring then: I ask whoever aware of it (sheet) being kept by anyone to inform me about him. By God if I know it to be in the house of Hind, I would get to it. Through this the People of the Book before you perished, because of their loathing and ignoring the Book of Allah as if they know not!

Beside many other similar reports, that can be referred to in the books Jami‘ bayan al-’ilm wa fadlih of Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr, and Taqyid al-’ilm of al-Baghdali, and others, Despite presence of some narrations reported about permission to write down the (Prophet’s) traditions, but those prohibiting the writing of hadith being more authentic and stronger, the act that was practised during the era of Sahabah and their followers.

In his book: al-Ta‘adul wa al-tarjih, the faqih traditionist Sayyid Rashid Ridha’ dedicated an important chapter analyzing in it the traditions prohibiting and those permitting the writing of hadith. I quote here a part of it to be the clear-cut evidence in this issue. He (may God’s mercy be upon him) said: 30

It can be said that the most correct traditions prohibiting the writing of hadith being those ones reported by Ahmad in his Musnad, Muslim in his Sahih and Ibn Abd al-Barr in
Jami‘ bayar al-’ilm and others, on the authority of Abu Sa’id al-Khudri: “Write nothing from me except the Qur’an, and whoever has written anything of the kind must efface it.”

And the most authentic traditions permitting the writing of hadith, being the one reported by Abu Hurayrah in the two Sahihs and others that the Messenger (S) said: “Write for Abu Shah”. There is no contradiction between this hadith and that one reported by Abu Sa’id and its likes having the identical denotation emphasizing the rule indicating that his (S) prohibition from writing his traditions being for the only reason that they never be adopted as a general religion like the Qur’an.

That is due to the fact that what he ordered to be written for Abu Shah being a sermon he gave on the day of conquest of Makkah, whose theme being inviolability of Makkah and forbidding of the Sanctuary find. All this comes within his exposition for the Qur’an, which he proclaimed on the day of conquest and during the Farewell Pilgrimage (Hijjat al-Wada‘), commanding to propagate it, which being a special case accepted from the general forbiddance. In his Sahih, bab al-Luqtah (the Find), al-Bukhari is reported to have said that: Abu Shah al-Yamani asked that the above-mentioned sermon be written for him, the request that the Prophet (S) ordered to respond to.

If we assume that there is a conflict between traditions prohibiting the writing of hadith and those permitting it, one may say that one of them abrogates the other by proving that the traditions prohibiting supersede the permitting ones for two reasons: Firstly, the Companions narrated the traditions prohibiting writing even after the Prophet (S). Secondly, the Companions did not write traditions; for had they done so, their compilations would have reached us.

Hence, we can refer to Ali’s request of whoever having a book (of hadith) to efface it, with Abu Sa’id al-Khudri’s saying: “Do you want to make them into books (masahif)?,” 31and Umar’s declaration when thinking about writing the traditions or not doing so: “No book is to exist by the side of the Book of Allah,” in the former narration, beside his saying in the latter narration, after consulting (the Companions) regarding the writing: “By God, I will never cover the Book of Allah with anything.”…beside Ibn Abbas’ saying: “We used to write down knowledge but never approve of writing it”, i.e. we would never permit anyone to write it from us, with his prohibiting writing it according to another report about the writing.

Also a reference can be made to Zayd’s effacing and burning the sahifah brought to him, with calling to remember Allah by whoever having any other book in any other place, even being far away, to let him know about it so as to get to it and set on fire. Moreover we can cite Sa’id ibn Jubayr’s statement about Ibn Umar, that: Had he known that he was writing from him, it would have meant a separation between them, beside Abd Allah ibn Mas’ud’s burning the sahifah brought by Abd al-Rahman ibn al-Aswad and Alqamah, with declaring: “These hearts are receptacles, so fill them with the Qur’an and never occupy them with anything other than it.”

All the above-mentioned narrations cited by Ibn Abd al-Barr, beside similar ones reported by others, like Abu Bakr’s burning of whatever he has written down,32 with non-reaching of any of the Companions’ books (suhuf) to the hands of the Followers (tabi’un), and the fact that the Followers have never written the hadith for propagating it, but only in compliance to commands coming from the rulers, support the fact that they resorted to writing the hadith with the sole purpose of being an aid to memory, destroying it after that.

When adding to all this, the reports showing non-inclination of the great Sahabah toward recording of hadith, or rather their loathing or even forbidding such practice,33 we would be more assured of the fact that their intention was unwanting for the traditions (as a whole) to prevail like a public permanent reference like the Qur’an. And had they got to conceive from the Prophet (S) his desire for this, they would have written down the traditions with commanding others to do the same, with the Rightly-guided Caliphs having gathered what they wrote and recorded that which be approved by them, sending it to their governors so as to propagate and apply it, beside the Qur’an and the followed Sunnah that was commonly acted upon by Ahl al-Sunnah.

This refutes the claim of those holding that: The Companions used to be satisfied with riwayah (narration) for disseminating the hadith. When adding to all this, Umar’s order to the magnates among the Companions to do the contrary of all these traditions, with what the scholars during the 1st and 2nd centuries used to do, such as the case of Abu Hanifah, who would be satisfied with whatever reaching him of any traditions that he approved of though being small in number, without exerting any effort to gather any more ones so as to realize his religion and demonstrate its rules, the former preponderance would become more strengthened.

Further, we may find out that the jurisprudents – after concurring on making the traditions one of the sources of the legal rules, and recording them by memorizers in the divans with distinguishing that which can be used in disputation and that can’t be used – have never unanimously agreed on writing the correct hadith and putting them into practice. Nearly all the jurisprudential books adopted by the followed schools of thought (madhahib), particularly the Hanafi, Maliki and Shafii books, contain hundreds of issues and verdicts contradicting the unanimously accepted veracious traditions, with no one of them being considered incongruous with the principles of religion (usul al-Din).

Concerning the hadith ascribed to Abu Hurayrah that he said, “Abd Allah ibn Umar used to write (hadith) while I was not writing”, can never be regarded as a legal proof, or indicating that writing of Ibn Umar was according to the Prophet’s command or tacit approval. Since, through this, he would be considered contradicting the Prophet’s hadith prohibiting to write nothing from him except the Qur’an – (but in fact what Ibn Umar wrote had been no more than some supplications, as will be referred to in its due time).

Ibn al-Qayyim, in A‘lam al-muqi‘in, has cited evidences about the jurisprudents’ refuting the correct traditions out of applying analogy (qiyas) or some other reasons. The strangest one among these evidences being their taking only a portion of the hadith with discarding the rest of it, the practice for which he cited more than sixty evidences. 34

It is reported that the Prophet (S) has forbidden the writing of hadith for the only reason that to prevent the hadith of being intermingled with the Qur’an…the reason that no intelligent sane man can be convinced of, nor any learned investigator would accept, unless we hold the traditions to be identical to the Qur’an in rhetoric and inimitable style. No one can ever approve of such notion, even those holding such opinion, as it indicates the abolition of the miracle of the Qur’an, and uprooting its foundations.

It is to be known that the reason behind writing of traditions lies in their being uttered by the Prophet (S), and certainly there are many differences between hadith and the Qur’an which being quitely recognized by everyone having perception in rhetoric and adroitness in elocution. And even when the Companions – after the Prophet’s demise – committed these traditions to writing, distributing them among the Islamic townships as in the case of the Qur’an, this act was out of their being ahadith received by Muslims as utterances disclosed by the Prophet (S), that to be preserved and transmitted throughout consecutive generations on this state without being afflicted with any blemish or alteration, or spoiled by mean people.

But this reason, to which they stick, has vanished after the Qur’an was committed to writing during the days of Abu Bakr, according to their reports, and after being recorded on masahif during the caliphate of Uthman, with many copies being distributed among the Islamic cities, the fact making it difficult or even impossible for anyone increasing even one letter to the Qur’an. Hence, they have no reason to invent causes and fabricate pleas while the leading Companions themselves have demonstrated the true reason for not writing the hadith, as was previously revealed.

True be the wisdom behind the Prophet’s forbiddance to write the hadith lies in preventing the multiplication of commands of legislation and expansion of evidences of rules. The occurrence of such things was so avoided by the Prophet (S) that he was even averse to be insistently questioned, or that his hadith being subject of private talks in a specific time that it be impermissible to keep on applying it. 35

Before finishing with this chapter, we have to refer to a hadith related by them (Sunnites) so as to make all the traditions seem as if revealed by Allah, like the holy Qur’an. Following is the meant hadith: 36

“Verily I have been given the Book and it’s alike with it.” In another narration (he said:) “Verily I have received the Quran and it’s alike with it.”

This hadith is actually the strangest one ever produced through course of narration (riwayah)! Since if something “identical to the Book” or “to the Qur’an” was given to the Prophet, it would mean that this thing was complementary to the Qur’an and for explaining his religion and Shari’ah; should it be so, one may inquire: why hasn’t the Prophet (S) cared for writing that mithl (identical thing) during his lifetime, as soon as receiving it from his Lord, as he did for the Qur’an? And why didn’t he appoint scribes for recording it when being sent down, as in the case of the Qur’an? Also why has he restricted his forbiddance from writing other than the Qur’an with neglecting this mithl, when he said: “Write nothing from me except the Qur’an, without adding: and whatever else I was given with it, which is “like it”?

Here a question may arise: Is it possible that the Prophet would leave half of what Allah revealed to him to be circulated among memories without being recorded…with someone taking it, and the other forgetting it, while the third one increasing to it! Besides whatever inflicting every material not inscribed in a preserved book? And would the Messenger, by so doing, have managed in delivering the Message as required and rendered back the trust, complete to its owners?

Further, what is the place of this hadith in respect of the one uttered by the Prophet during his last sickness that entailed his demise, and after the revelation of the verse:

الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الْإِسْلَامَ دِينًا

“This day have I perfected for you, your religion, and have completed My favour on you, and chosen for you Islam to be the Religion” (5:3)

When he said: “By God, never hold me accountable for anything…as I have never considered hadith (lawful) except that which is deemed lawful by the Qur’an, and never considered haram (unlawful) except that which is deemed unlawful by the Qur’an.” 37 And how can this hadith be accepted when hearing the words addressed by Abu Bakr to people: “The Book of Allah is the arbitrator between us and you, so deem lawful what is counted lawful in it, and deem unlawful that which is regarded unlawful in it.”

And also when listening to Umar’s words, when the Prophet (S) intended – on deathbed – to write a book for people after which they would never go astray, exclaiming: “The Book of Allah is sufficient for us”! So why didn’t Umar feel regretful for losing this mithl (equal), while it being as alleged by them half of what Allah revealed to the Prophet, sufficing with mentioning it to Abu Bakr on the latter’s resorting to him to collect and write down the Qur’an after the Battle of Yamamah?

Further if there were an equal (mithl) to the Qur’an, A’ishah was supposed to reply when asked about the Prophet’s morality (khuluq): His morality was the Qur’an and its alike with it! While she sufficed by saying” “His morality was the Qur’an”. And why has the Companions’ care or concern missed or ignored such “mithl”, never committing it to writing as they did in the case of the Qur’an, during the caliphate of Abu Bakr, and when it (Qur’an) was recorded in the form of masahif and its copies were distributed through the Islamic regions? Taking this fact into consideration, it can be said that the Companions, due to ignoring such an extremely serious subject, have in fact abandoned half the revelation without tadwin (inscription), turning thus to be among the sinners.

Companions and Hadith Relating

Though sahih traditions were reported about the Prophet’s forbiddance from writing his hadith, and authentic reports have successively affirmed that this order was heeded by the Companions, who abstained from writing down his (S) hadith after his demise, as observed previously, but these Sahabah were not satisfied with this, but used to shun the narration of hadith, beside forbidding from practising so, with being extremely severe and precautious in accepting the akhbar (reports).

Al-Dhahabi, in Tadhkirat al-huffaz, says:

It is reported on the authority of Marasil ibn Abi Mulaykah,38 that Abu Bakr, after the Prophet’s demise, gathered people and addressed them saying: You relate from the Messenger of Allah (S), traditions regarding which you disagree, and consequently severer controversy shall occur among people. So relate nothing from the Messenger of Allah and when asked by anyone you can say: The Book of Allah is the arbitrator between us. Deem lawful what it considers lawful, and deem unlawful what is considered unlawful in it.

Ibn Asakir has reported from Muhammad ibn Ishaq that he said: Salih ibn Ibrahim ibn Abd al-Rahman ibn Awf informed me, saying:

Before his death, Umar ibn al-Khattab sent invitations and gathered from all over the Islamic cities, the Messenger’s Companions: Abd Allah ibn Hudhayfah, Abu al-Darda’, Abu Dharr and Aqabah ibn ‘Amir, addressing them: What are these traditions you have been reporting from the Messenger of Allah, and disseminating among people everywhere? They said: Do you forbid us? He said: No, stay with me. By God, you shall never leave me as long as I am alive…we are better aware, and we can take from you and reciprocate with you. Thus they kept his company, never parting him till his death.39

In Tadhkirat al-huffaz, al-Dhahabi reported from Shu’bah, from Sa’id ibn Ibrahim from his father, that Umar detained Ibn Mas’ud, Abu al-Darda’ and Abu Mas’ud al-Ansari, saying to them: You have narrated hadith abundantly from the Messenger of Allah.40 It is reported that he had detained them in Medina, but they were set free by Uthman41.

Ibn Asakir has reported on the authority of al-Sa’ib ibn Yazid that he said: I heard Umar ibn al-Khattab addressing Abu Hurayrah thus: You should abandon reporting hadith from the Messenger of Allah, or otherwise I shall deport you to the land of Dous (his homeland). He also said to Ka’b al-Ahbar: You should stop reporting hadith from the first one (Abu Hurayrah), or otherwise I shall exile you to the land of apes. And they were treated in the same way by Uthman ibn Affan42.

Ibn Sa’d and Ibn Asakir reports from Mahmud ibn Labid that he said: I heard Uthman ibn Affan addressing people from over the pulpit: It is unlawful for everyone to narrate any hadith he never heard of during the time of Abu Bakr and that of Umar. Verily that which made me abstain from narrating from the Messenger of Allah was not to be among the most conscious of his Companions, but I heard him declaring: “Whoever ascribing to me something I never said, he shall verily occupy his (destined) abode in Fire.”

In Jami‘ bayan al-’ilm wa fadlihi43, Ibn Abd al-Barr reports from al-Shi’bi, from Qurdah ibn Ka’b that he said: We went out taking the direction of Iraq, when we were accompanied by Umar till the region of Sirar44, who said to us: Do you know the reason for my accompanying you? We said: May it be you intended to dignify and honour us?

He said: “Nevertheless, there was some necessary need I wanted to be met. You are going to a country whose people being known of diligent bee-like sound in reciting the Qur’an, so you are asked not to frustrate their wills through narrating (abundant) traditions from the Messenger of Allah, and I will be your partner in this task. Qurdah said: After that I have never reported any hadith from the Messenger of Allah.

In another narration, he said: You are going to visit people of a village known of diligently reciting the Qur’an, with a sweet bee-like echo, so never repel them (from this) through narrating traditions, so as to divert their attention (from the Qur’an). Recite the Qur’an with intonation, and lessen in narrating hadith from the Messenger of Allah, whence I will do the same. Then when Qurdah reached that region, its people said to him: Relate to us (hadith). He replied: We are forbidden by Umar45 .

In the book al-Umm of al-Shafi’i, al-Rabi’ ibn Sulayman reported: When Qurdah arrived there, they said to him: Relate (hadith) to us. He said: We are forbidden by Umar…and Umar used to say: Decrease number of traditions you report from the Messenger of Allah except those that can be applied in life.46

No wonder to see Umar doing so, since the only sources he used to depend on were the Qur’an and the practical Sunnah (the Prophet’s acts). Al-Bukhari has reported on the authority of Ibn Abbas that he said: When the Messenger of Allah (S) approached his last hour (on death-bed), he was surrounded by many men among whom was Umar ibn al-Khattab; thereat he (S) said: Help me to write for you a book after which you will never go astray. Umar said: “The Prophet is overpowered by sickness, and you have the Qur’an among you, so we are sufficed by the Book of Allah.” In another narration, he said: The Prophet is hallucinating.

In his book al-Tabaqat, Ibn Sa’d reports on the authority of al-Sa’ib ibn Yazid that he once accompanied Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas from Medina toward Mecca, saying: I never heard him relating any hadith from the Prophet till he returned home. And another time he (Sa’d) was inquired about something which he couldn’t conceive, when he said: I am afraid of reporting one hadith to which you may add a hundred! (It is to be known that Sa’d was considered among the leading Companions and the ten men promised with paradise, 47 as claimed by them [Sunnites]).

‘Amr ibn Maymun is reported to have said: “I kept on frequenting to Abd Allah ibn Mas’ud throughout a whole year, in which I never heard him narrating the Prophet’s traditions, or declaring: “The Messenger of Allah said.” But once upon a day he related a hadith with these words being spontaneously uttered by him: “The Messenger of Allah said”! When he felt distressed, that I witnessed drops of sweat gliding down from his forehead! Saying then: God-willing, either superior to that, or near it, or lower than it.

In another narration by Ibn Sa’d, on the authority of Alqamah ibn Qays that he said: Abd Allah ibn Mas’ud used to stand up rising every Thursday night, and not even once I heard him saying: “The Messenger of Allah said,” except only one time. Thereat I looked at him, when he was leaning on a staff, seeing the staff to be vibrating.

Al-Daraqutri reported also on the authority of Abd al-Rahman ibn Ka’b as saying: I said to Abu Qatadah: Relate to me something you heard from the Messenger of Allah. He said: I fear my tongue to make a slip in a word never uttered by the Messenger of Allah.

Al-Bukhari reported on the authority of al-Sa’ib ibn Yazid that he said: I kept company with Talhah ibn Ubayd Allah, Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas, al-Miqdad ibn al-Aswad and Abd al-Rahman ibn Awf (for a long time) without hearing any of them relating any hadith from the Messenger of Allah for fear of addition and omission. 48

Ahmad and Abu Ya’la reported on the authority of Dujayn as saying: I entered the Medina when meeting Aslam, the slave of Umar ibn al-Khattab. I said to him: Narrate to me something from Umar. He said: I cannot do so…I am afraid of increasing or decreasing something. Whenever asking Umar to relate some hadith from the Messenger of Allah, he would say to us: I am afraid of addition or omission…the Messenger of Allah says: Whoever lies against me, will be (thrown) in fire.

Further, Ibn Majah reports on the authority of Abd al-Rahman ibn Abi Layla that he said: I said to Zayd ibn Arqam: Relate to us (some hadith) from the Messenger of Allah. He said: I became old and forgetful, and to relate hadith from the Messenger of Allah is quite a hard task.

In Ta’wil mukhtalif al-hadith, 49 Ibn Qutaybah says: A large number of dignified Companions and favourites of the Messenger of Allah (S), like Abu Bakr, al-Zubayr, Abu Ubaydah and al-Abbas ibn Abd al-Muttalib used to relate very few traditions from him (Prophet). Rather some others would never relate any hadith, among whom we can refer to Sa’id ibn Zayd ibn ‘Amr ibn Nufayl, who was one of the ten promised with paradise, as they (Sunnites) claim.

When going through the two Sahihs of al-Bukhari and Muslim, we will not find in them even one hadith reported by the trust of this Ummah Abu Ubaydah ‘Amir ibn Abd Allah ibn al-Jarrah, or any hadith by Utbah ibn Ghazwan or Kabshah , the slave of the Messenger of Allah, and many others.

The reports in this regard being so many that it is out of scope to cite all of them, but I suffice here to refer to a statement to conclude this chapter with. It is reported that Ibn al-Qayyim said: The Companions were reverentially fearful from standing in awe of narrating the traditions of the Messenger of Allah, with lessening number of narrations, for fear of addition and omission. Besides, they used to relate those traditions which they have recurringly heard from the Prophet, without declaring expressly their hearing, or saying: The Messenger of Allah said. 50

Companions’ Strictness in Admitting the Reports

The Rightly-guided Caliphs and great Companions particularly those giving legal verdicts – as is known before – used to evade and fear narrating hadith from the Prophet. Rather in fact they were turning away from this act, since they were aware of their failure to perform, in its due way, whatever they heard from the Prophet (S), as memory being unable to recollect or record whatever is heard.

Besides, that which is memorized can never remain intact or keep its originality, however hard effort exerted by anyone to attain accuracy. Further, they never trusted those hearing from them not to make changes in the traditions, including addition, omission, forging, altering or corruption, or any other form. And they, while being known of having a command on principles (usul) and branches of religion, completely taken from the Messenger of Allah, would never approve of narrating hadith through meaning, as accepted by some others and those succeeding them, because they were quite aware that changing the wording (of hadith) would entail change in meaning for the most part.

And as is known, there is much difference between the Messenger’s speech and that of others, as behind every word of his utterance being a specific denotation with certain purpose intended by him (S). For this reason, they were so stiff and precautious in accepting the reports from their brethren and comrades, however intimate they be to them, to the extent that Abu Bakr would never admit any hadith from anyone but only when his narration being testified by another one, which being the provision of the correct affirmation (isnad). Al-Dhahabi in his Tarjumah 51 says that he (Abu Bakr) was the first to take precautions in accepting the reports.

Ibn Shahab reports on the authority of Qubaysah that a grandmother came to Abu Bakr asking him about her right in inheritance. He said: I can never find in the Book of Allah anything to be your right, and I have no knowledge that the Messenger of Allah has dedicated any share in inheritance for you. Then he consulted the attendants, when al-Mughirah stood up saying: The Messenger of Allah used to grant her one-sixth. He (Abu Bakr) asked him: Do you have any witness (to confirm your claim)? Thereat Muhammad ibn Maslamah testified his claim, whereat Abu Bakr was satisfied and gave her that share.

Such was the practice of Abu Bakr, whereas Umar was even much severer and more precautious in accepting the hadith.

In Ta’wil mukhtalif al-hadith,52 Ibn Qutaybah is reported to have said: Umar used to be so strict toward whoever was abundantly narrating (the hadith), or that bringing any report related to rules, without introducing a witness confirming his words, beside ordering them to lessen the number of traditions they narrating. His intention behind this was preventing people from going too far in narrating the traditions, and keeping them from any kind of forgery or foisting or fabrication at the hands of the hypocrites, debauchees and bedouins53.

He was so keen and serious in safeguarding the hadith that he once slapped Abu Hurayrah for narrating the hadith, threatening him with exile to his homeland in case of keeping on narrating.

In Tabaqat al-huffaz, al-Dhahabi says: “It was Umar who enacted for the narrators the principle of verifying and investigating the veracity of narrations, with probably refusing to approve of khabar al-wahid (unsuccessive narrated hadith) when suspecting its veracity.”

Al-Bukhari reports on the authority of Abu Sa’id al-Khudri as saying: When I was present in a meeting – with the Helpers – Abu Musa entered upon us with a state of panic, saying: I sought permission to enter upon Umar three times, but my request was rejected, so I returned. Umar said: What is that impeded you? He replied: I asked permission to enter for three times, but I was never permitted, so I returned home…and the Messenger of Allah said: “If anyone of you seeks permission for three times and his request is refused, he should go back.”

Thereat Umar said: You should introduce an evidence for this (hadith), or (added by Muslim) otherwise I shall beat you. In another narration he said: By God I shall verily beat your back and belly, if you fail to produce someone to testify what you said… Is there anyone among you heard it from the Prophet? Ubayy ibn Ka’b said: By God only the youngest of us (least in knowledge) will go with you (as a witness). (Abu Sa’id said :) I was the youngest of the attendants, so I accompanied him and told Umar that verily the Prophet (S) has disclosed this hadith.

The reader can clearly see how Umar strictly tackled a matter in which no rules of lawful and unlawful can be found, and can determine what would be the case when the hadith being related to other aspects of the principles or branches of religion!

On this narration depended those claiming that Umar was never accepting the singly reported hadith (khabar al-wahid), and it was inferred as evidence by those holding that: The report of a single just narrator is not to be approved unless it be confirmed by another narrator, as in the case of giving testimony. Ibn Battal is reported to have said: In regard of khabar al-wahid, it should be verified and investigated as he (narrator) is liable to lapse or forgetfulness or other things.

It is known for all how he (Umar) dealt with Abu Hurayrah and others, in a way that traditions reported by Aby Hurayrah couldn’t increase in number but only after death of Umar, 54 when someone reported a hadith from Abu Salamah, from Abu Hurayrah, to whom I (Ibn Battal) said: Could you narrate this during the days of Umar? He replied: Had I reported in the time of Umar what I am relating to you now, he would have beaten me with his whisk.

To Lie against Messenger of Allah

It is commonly agreed among all that lying is the worst of abominations, and no trait can ever be possessed by man worse than calumny, beside no group malady is there more problematic and incurable than slander. Despite the fact that lying among individuals and groups can be contained and eradicated, but its bad effects would be common and its harm would be tremendous when being against the Messenger of Allah. That is, falsily ascribing something to the Messenger (S) is quite different from lying against other than him, due to his being an apostle delegated with an all-inclusive religion, and owner of a Shari‘ah (Islamic Law) for mankind as a whole, and in general.

Al-Tabarani reported on the authority of Rafi‘ ibn Khudayj as saying: The Messenger of Allah said: “Do not lie against me, since it is verily not the same as lying against any other man.” 55

The Muhammadan message brought to mankind doctrinal principles that no man, whatever his extent of knowledge be, can ever change one of them, and brought rules of rituals (‘ibadat) that no one is permitted to make any addition or omission, or changing any of their forms or (determined) time. This is due to the fact that the religious acts are based on two foundations: The first being that not to worship other than Allah, and the second is that He should be worshipped according to the legal rules He revealed.

Other than this, like population organizing and sociology rules and other similar fields, we find certain general foundations being laid down for them in religion, such as justice, mercy, goodness, convenience, equality, freedom, truthfulness, trusteeship, benevolence and non-transgression, beside other laudable virtues.

Due to the fact that the holy Qur’an was preserved through inscription and memorization while the Messenger’s traditions were not written down, so he (S) feared that some might falsify traditions ascribing them to him, especially after leaving his hadith without committing it to writing. He was so strict in this respect that he decreed death as a worldly punishment for the falsifier, while in the Hereafter it be torment in the Fire (Hell).

Al-Bukhari56 reports on the authority of Rib’i ibn Kharrash as saying: I heard Ali say: The Prophet said: Don’t lie against me, as who does so will verily enter Fire. In his exposition for this hadith, al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar says: This hadith is supported by narration of Muslim on the authority of Ghandar from Shu‘bah by the words: “… he enters into Fire.”

Also al-Bukhari reported the same hadith from Anas and Abu Hurayrah, with the word “deliberately” being added to it, beside some other traditions with this addition reported by other than al-Bukhari. But anyone deliberately meditating, and being in quest of truth into researches, will verily come to know that the correct narrations reported from the leading Companions among whom being three of the Rightly-guided caliphs, indicate the hadith’s being devoid of this word “deliberately.”

Besides, to claim that the Prophet uttered such a word should be regarded as improbable to its incongruity with reason and morality that were fully possessed by the Messenger, as to lie is “to announce of something in a way contrary to its true being, whether deliberately or mistakenly.” This word may have crept into this hadith through the means of idraj (gradual inclusion), that is common among the scholars, as a pretext used by those fabricating hadith against the Messenger of Allah to justify their practice as to be favouritism without intention.

This was followed too by righteous believers who used to justify it by saying: “We lie for him not against him”! Or it was adopted by the narrators in regard of that which they would report from others either out of error, or delusion or misunderstanding, so as to avoid falling in trouble, since that who is mistaken can never be considered sinful. For all this, the narrators laid down their widely-known principle: “That who deliberately lies has to be answerable for his lie.”

Decisive Correct Evidences on Reality of the Hadith Who Lied Against Me

Hereunder we produce some proofs confirming our claim:

Ahmad (ibn Hanbal) reported on the authority of Umar (ibn al-Khattab) as saying: (The Messenger of Allah said :) Whoever lies against me, his fate will verily be in Fire.

Ibn Sa’d in his Tabaqat, and Ibn Asakir from Mahmud ibn Labid, reported on the authority of Ibn Sa’d as saying: I heard Uthman ibn Affan addressing people from the minbar saying: It is imperssible for anyone to report a hadith he never heard of during the reign of Abu Bakr or that of Umar. 57

The only reason that forbade me from narrating the hadith of the Messenger of Allah was fearing from being called the most conscious of his Companions, but I heard him saying: “Whoever ascribes to me that which I never said, verily his last abode shall be Fire.”

Ahmad, al-Darimi and Ibn Majah with others reported on the authority of Abu Qatadah that the Prophet said: “I warn you against narrating from me extensively. Whoever reports from me should never say but the truth, and that who ascribes to me any saying I never uttered, his last abode shall verily be Fire.”

The most decisive evidence in this regard being the hadith reported by al-Bukhari on the authority of ‘Amir ibn Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr, in which he said: I said to al-Zubayr: You are not relating the Messenger’s traditions as done by so and so and so and so! He said: (You know that) I have never parted his (Prophet’s) company, but I verily heard him saying: “Whoever lies against me, shall verily occupy his abode in Fire.” 58

In his comment on this hadith, Ibn Hajar said: This hadith was reported by al-Zubayr ibn Bakkar in his Kitab al-Nasab, in another way, from Hisham ibn Urwah, from his father that Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr said: “I am meant by this,” i.e. faucity of narrations by al-Zubayr. I asked him about that, when he said: O son, you know the consanguinity and blood relation I have with the Prophet (S).

His paternal aunt is my mother, and his wife Khadijah is my paternal aunt, while his mother Aminah bint Wahab and my grandmother Halah bint Wahab are both daughters of Abd Munaf ibn Zuhrah, and your mother is the sister of his wife ‘A’ishah. However, I heard him saying: “Whoever lies against me (falsifies a hadith ascribing it to me), his last abode shall be Fire.”59 The same hadith was reported by al-Darimi from Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr, with the words “Whoever related from me falsely”, without mentioning the word “deliberately.”

It was further reported by Abu Dawud,60 al-Nasa’i, Ibn Majah, al-Darimi and al-Daraqutni,61 that he said: By God he never said the word “deliberately”, while you claim that he said it. Further, Ibn Qutaybah in his book Ta’wil mukhtalif al-hadith,62 is reported to have said: “Whoever tells lies against me his last abode shall be Fire,” adding: I see people adding the word “deliberately”, while I swear by God that I never heard him uttering it63.

In exposition of this hadith, Ibn Hajar says: “In al-Zubayr’s tenacity to this hadith for its indicating his paucity in narrating the hadith, is found the best evidence to show that falsity means to tell of something in a way opposite to its truth, whether deliberately or mistakenly. And though that who errs is not sinful as unanimously agreed by Muslim scholars, but al-Zubayr feared that prolification (in narration) might lead him to commit a mistake unconsciously. Because though he has not sinned through erring, but he may sin by prolification as it entails mistaking, and it will be regarded an error on his part, – without his sensing it to be so – the method adopted to be sure of his reporting, the fact rendering him to be a cause for adopting rules that were never revealed by the Law-Giver.

Thus, whoever fearing from being at fault through extensively narrating, is verily not immune against sinning.” 64 We are requested to reflect attentively on this hadith and its exposition, making it an example for other than it.

In Al-Madkhal al-Hakim is reported to have said: “The last abode of the liar against him (the Prophet) is in Fire, and he insisted upon this declaring that the Fire shall be the last abode of that who lies against him (falsifies his hadith) whether deliberately or not65, by this hadith which is reported by Ibn Umar: “Verily that who ascribes false hadith to me, is building a house for himself in the Fire.” He even intensified the severity through these words that were reported by Uthman ibn Affan: “Whoever ascribes to me anything I never said…” So if he even only conveys his (S) utterance without intending falsity on purpose, shall be liable to this threat from the Prophet (S)66.

This tradition was reported in a different way, thus: “Whoever quotes from me that which I never said, should occupy his abode in Fire.”

It is said: This being the hardest and most difficult word used by him, due to its including every distorter, solecist and misinterpreter. We can refer to al-Imam al-Shafi’i, who was ‘alim (religious scholar) of Quraysh, and who was nearer to the pristine Sunnah fountain than al-Bukhari and Muslim with all owners of sunan, and teacher of al-Imam Ahmad, to review what he narrated in this regard, when we can observe that many traditions with this meaning were narrated by him, all being devoid of the word “deliberately.”

Following are some of his narrations in his famous treatise:67

It is reported from Wathilah ibn al-Asqa‘, that the Prophet said: “The worst calumny is that when one ascribing to me that which I never uttered, and that who portrayed for himself that which his eyes never saw, and who was adopted by other than his father.”

Ibn Umar reported that the Prophet said: “Verily that who ascribes false hadith to me, is building a house for himself in Fire.”

Umm Asid is reported to have said: I said to Abu Qatadah: Why is that you never relate anything from the Messenger of Allah as others are doing? He said: I heard the Messenger of Allah declaring: Whoever falsifies my hadith has to seek for himself an abode (bed) in Fire.”

These were excerptions from the traditions reported by al-Shafi’i in his treatise, in which the word “deliberately” is never seen at all, so let those having reason give ear to this! Further this word can never be found in all traditions we cite whatsoever.

Al-Nawawi, in expounding the hadith: “Whoever relates from me a hadith believing it to be false, shall be regarded among the liars” which was reported by Muslim, said: In prohibiting falsity against him (S) there is no difference between that which is related to rules (ahkam) and that which is devoid of rule like temptation, intimidation and counsels and other than these, which all being unlawful (haram) and among major sins and the most abominable vices as unanimously agreed by the most authentic Muslim scholars ... till he said: Men of resolution and determination have unanimously concurred on prohibiting falsity against common people so how would be the case with that whose saying is legislation, speech is revelation (from God), and falsity against him is falsity against Allah the Most High. 68

Al-Suyuti is reported to have said: For evading this, the Rightly-guided Caliphs and chosen Companions (may God be pleased with them), used to be fearing (God) from extensively narrating hadith from the Messenger of Allah (S), among whom be Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Ali, Talhah, al-Zubayr, Abd al-Rahman ibn Awf, Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas, Abd Allah ibn Mas’ud, al-Miqdad ibn al-Aswad, Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, Thoban, the slave of the Messenger of Allah, and Zayd ibn Arqam and others.

Abu Bakr and Umar used to demand from anyone relating to them a hadith from the Messenger of Allah they never heard from him (S), to establish it by evidence or otherwise he would deserve punishment, when failing to do so. Further Ali ibn Abi Talib used to exact an oath from the narrator, while Abd Allah ibn Mas’ud’s complexion would change when any hadith of the Messenger of Allah would be mentioned before him, with his jugular veins be swelling and his sweat flowing, and his eyes shedding tears, declaring: Or something near to this, or like this, or similar to this.

All this was out of fearing from addition or omission, or inadvertence, or forgetfulness, to take precautions for religion and for preserving the Shari’ah. And to cut apart the greed of any avaricious or deviation of any forger against venturing to relate from the Messenger of Allah anything that he never uttered, or foisting into religion that which is strange to it, the practice entailing that they be examples followed by those addressed by them and taking from them, in a way that their listeners follow their tracks and do the same practice. 69

Malik ibn Ubadah is reported to have said: The Prophet has, during the Hijjat al-Wada‘ (Farewell Pilgrimage), committed to us declaring: Hold on to the Qur’an’, as you will return to people longing for relating my hadith. So whoever comprehends anything, can narrate it, and whoever fabricates a lie against me has to occupy his abode in Hell. 70

There were the evidences I intended to cite for proving that the word “deliberately” never existed in Messenger’s hadith “Whoever fabricates a lie against me…”. It is quite obvious from the traditions cited that the narrations of the leading Companions among whom being three of al-Khulafa al-Rashidun and al-Zubayr ibn al-Awwam, have all affirmed that the word “deliberately” could never be there in the correct narration of the hadith.71

Moreover, sound reason and noble disposition are averse to accept the narration with the word “deliberately”, since falsity is the mother of all abominable vices, whether be deliberate or not.

Fabricating a Lie against the Prophet during His Lifetime

It might be that the Prophet (S) has warned against falsity against him after hearing that some people were fabricating lies against him though he being alive. In his book al-Ihkam fi usul al-ahkam,72 Ibn Hazm al-Zahiri reported from Abd Allah ibn Buraydah, from Ibn al-Khatib al-Aslami, that he said: A suburb of Banu Layth was situated two miles away from al-Madinah, to which some man came putting on a cloak declaring: The Messenger of Allah garbed me this vestment and commanded me to rule over you in regard of your lifeblood and properties according to my own opinion!

It happened that this man asked a girl’s hand from among these people during the pre-Islamic era, but they refused to marry him, so he set forth toward her and fell to her (fornicated with her). Thereat, the people (her family and neighbours) informed the Messenger of Allah about the matter, when he said (angrily): He lied, the enemy of Allah! Then he (S) sent someone after him giving him this order: If you find him alive – which I never believe him to be so – you should behead him, and when finding him dead burn him by fire.

Ibn Sa’d in his Tabaqat and al-Tabarani reported on the authority of al-Muqanna‘ al-Tamimi that he said: I brought the Prophet the sadaqah (alms) out of our camels, when he ordered to receive it and take it to the treasury. I said to him: Two she-camels among them are a present offered to you. So he ordered to set apart the present from the sadaqah.

After elapse of some days, there prevailed a talk among people that the Messenger of Allah made up his mind to delegate Khalid ibn al-Walid to Muzar slaves for collecting alms from them. I said: By God our people has no money! Then I came to the Prophet (S) saying to him: People are plunging into so and so subject (what do you say)? In reply, the Prophet raised his hands till whiteness of his armpit could be seen, declaring: O Allah, I never sanction for them to fabricate a lie against me. Al-Muqanna‘ says: Thereafter I never related from the Prophet any hadith except that which agrees to the Book or be adopted and applied by a (practical) sunnah73. Thus was the case regarding that who would lie against him during his lifetime! So how would it be after his death? Many reports are there to demonstrate this.

Fabricating Lies Against The Prophet After His Death

While lies were fabricated against the Prophet during his lifetime, it is to be observed that lies were multiplied and spread after his demise, with numerous Companions being there, and religion rendered vulnerable, and subject to people’s falsification. This falsity was even more increased after the death of Umar-since he, as is known, used to intimidate people (against relating hadith) – to the extent that the abundance of traditions attributed to the Messenger of Allah appalled the eminent Companions.

Muslim, in the introduction to his book, reported on the authority of Tawus that he said: This man (i.e. Bushayr 74 ibn Ka’b) came near Ibn Abbas and started talking to him. Ibn Abbas said to him: Go back to so and so hadith, when he returned. Then he again said to him: Return to so and so hadith, and so did he, saying: I know not what is the matter? Have you recognized all of my hadith and denied this? Or denied my hadith as a whole but recognized this one? Ibn Abbas said: We used to relate hadith from the Messenger of Allah when no one could dare fabricating lies against him. But when people plunged into narrating extensively (with falsification) from the Messenger of Allah, we gave up relating hadith from him.75

Bushayr ibn Ka’b al-Adwi came to Ibn Abbas starting narrating with reiterating the clause: “Said the Messenger of Allah”, till Ibn Abbas refused to give him permission to narrate beside being at odds with him. So he said: O Ibn Abbas, what is the matter that you disdain from listening to my hadith? Whenever I relate the Prophet’s hadith you turn away?

Ibn Abbas said: For a long period, when hearing someone saying: “Said the Messenger of Allah”, our eyes would forestall him, and our ears would be heeding to him. But when people mounted the obstinate and submissive (i.e. competed in narrating the hadith), we wouldn’t take (accept) from people except that of which we are assured!

Ibn Abi Mulaykah is reported to have said: I sent a letter to Ibn Abbas asking him to write me a book and keep it away from me. He said: What a sincere son; he wants me to choose the affairs for him thoroughly and conceal from him. He says: He asked to bring him the book Qada’ ‘Ali. Then he embarked on writing down some excerpts from it, declaring whenever passing by anything: By God, this issue was not judged by Ali unless that he might have erred!

It is reported that Abu Bakr ibn Ayyash said: I heard al-Mughirah saying: No one was regarding my relating from him (S) as true except some among the companions of Abd Allah ibn Mas’ud.

We be content with these texts indicating fabrication of lies against the Messenger of Allah during his lifetime and after his death. This abominable practice was not only done by the heretics and capricious and enemies of religion, but it was followed too by the upright, as will be manifest in the chapter “The Righteous Fabricators” in this book.

Sentence of That Who Lied Against the Prophet

Al-Sam’ani is reported to have said: Whoever falsifies even one report (khabar), attributing it to the Messenger of Allah (S), all the hadiths narrated by him should be rejected, 76 and disregarded. It is reported that Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Abu Bakr al-Hamidi and Abu Bakr al-Sayrafi have said: The narration of that who falsified the traditions of the Messenger of Allah should be rejected even if he repenting after that77.

Ibn Hajar al-Asqallani is reported to have said: The ulama concur on considering fabrication of a lie against the Messenger of Allah (S) as a rough thick act since it is among major sins. Al-Shaykh Abu Muhammad al-Juwayni has even gone to extremes, and issued a verdict considering as a disbeliever whoever practises such behaviour, the opinion which is shared by al-Qadi Abu Bakr ibn al-Arabi.

Whereas ignorant be those among the Karamites (dignity-seekers) and some of ascetics, who hold that: To fabricate a lie against the Prophet is permissible when it is intended to consolidate the religion and conduct (tariqah) of Ahl al-Sunnah, and temptation and intimidation, making excuses by claiming that menacing was revealed in regard of that against whom a lie was fabricated, not regarding that on whose behalf it was lied. This argument is invalid outright, as threatening with torment concerns that whose hadith was falsified whether on his behalf or against him. And religion, thanks to God, is perfect needing not to be strengthened by falsity78.

To Lie Against the Prophet is a Major Sin

In his Ta’rikh, Ibn Asakir reports on the authority of Wathilah ibn al-Asqa’ as saying: “I heard the Messenger of Allah saying: When someone attributing to me something I never said, is counted among major sins.

Under chapter of “Forbidding Narration of the Composed hadith” in Sharh Muslim, al-Nawawi says: “In prohibiting falsity against him (S) there is no difference between that which is related to rules (ahkam) and that which is devoid of rule like temptation, intimidation, and counsels and other than these, which all being unlawful and among major sins and the most abominable vices as unanimously agreed by the most authentic Muslim scholars”…till he said: Men of resolution and determination have unanimously concurred on prohibiting falsity against common people, so how would be the case with that whose saying is legislation, speech is revelation (from God), and falsity against him is falsity against Allah the Most High.

Degrees of the Companions

The Companions79 were not at one level in fiqh and knowledge, nor of equal degree in recognition and apprehension. But they were in diversified classes and dissimilar ranks, like all ordinary people throughout ages: “Such has been the way of Allah concerning His creation, and never shall thou find in the way of Allah any change.”

In his Muqaddimah, 80 Ibn Khaldun says: “The Companions in toto were not able to issue verdicts, nor religion was taken from them all. But this was specialty of the holders of the Qur’an, aware of its abrogating and abrogated (nasikh wa mansukh), and mutashabah and muhkam, with other indications, according to what they received from the Prophet (S), or from whoever heard it (Qur’an) from them, the magnates among them. That is why they were called al-qurra’ (the reciters), due to their reciting of the Book, as the Arabs were illiterate, the fact entailing that those known of reciting the Book were distinguished with this epithet, due to its (Book’s) being estranged among people and this state kept on to be as the prior matter in religion.”

Muhammad ibn Sahl reports on the authority of Ibn Abi Khaythamah, from his father,81 as saying: Those who were responsible for issuing fatwa (verdict) during the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah, being three from among the Emigrants (Muhajiran): Umar, Uthman and Ali, and three from among the Helpers (Ansar): Ubayy ibn Ka’b, Mu’adh ibn Jabal and Zayd ibn Thabit.

Abd al-Rahman ibn al-Qasim reports from his father as saying: At any time any issue happening to Abu Bakr al-Siddiq needing consultation with sagacious people, he would summon some men from al-Muhajirun: Umar, Uthman and Ali and some from among the Ansar as Abd al-Rahman ibn Awf, Mu’adh ibn Jabal, Ubayy ibn Ka’b and Zayd ibn Thabit. All these men were able to issue verdicts in religious issues during the caliphate of Abu Bakr, who kept on this procedure for a time. And when Umar attained to power, he used to call in these men for consultation.

In Sahih Muslim, Masruq is reported to have said: I followed up the news about the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (S), and discovered that all their knowledge ended with six people: Umar, Ali, Abd Allah, Mu’adh,82 Abu al-Darda’ and Zayd ibn Thabit, and then nosed about the news of these six, finding their knowledge be originated from Ali and Abd Allah.83

In A‘lam al-muqi’in, Ibn al-Qayyim reports on the authority of Masruq that he said: I kept company with the Companions of Muhammad (S), and they proved to be like ikhkhadhah 84 (pool, pond), that quenching the (thirst of) equestrian and the passengers. And the pond at which if all the earth (people) stop, it would satisfy them, and Abd Allah is among that pond.

Al-Bukhari and Muslim reported that the Prophet (S) said: The parable of guidance and knowledge cared by Allah is that of abundant rain falling on a land that may be pure 85 (fertile) receiving the water and growing much pasture and grass. Or it might be barren so as to retain water inside it, with which Allah benefiting people through drinking, watering and cultivating the land. The same rain Allah might send to other folk, who be like a low land that neither retaining water nor growing herbage.

‘Amir is reported to have said: The ‘ulama of this Ummah after its Prophet being six: Umar, Abd Allah and Zayd ibn Thabit, who when Umar uttering something and these two saying something, their words would be conforming and pursuant to his. And (they are) Ali, Ubayy ibn Ka’b and Abu Musa al-Ash’ari, who when Ali disclosing any utterance and they uttering something, their saying would be conforming to his. He said also: The judges of this Ummah are only four: Umar, Ali, Zayd and Abu Musa al-Ash’ari. And the sages of this Ummah are four: ‘Amr ibn al-‘As, Mu’awiyah ibn Abi Sufyan, al-Mughirah ibn Shu’bah and Ziyad.

Divergence among Companions in Narrating Truthfully

Umar (ibn al-Khattab) believed in (truthfulness of) Abd al-Rahman ibn Awf and said to him: You are the righteous and approved man to me. In expounding this report, al-Dhahabi said: Though the Companions of the Messenger of Allah be just, but the degree of this justice differs from one to another. The evidence for this can be clearly observed when Umar affirming his being content with Abd al-Rahman’s reporting, while telling Abu Musa al-Ash’ari when asking permission to enter upon him and narrate (hadith): Bring someone to testify and confirm your narration.86

Companions’ Reporting From Each Other and From the Followers

It is to be noted that not all the traditions reported from the Companions, which they narrated from the Messenger of Allah, and were written down in books, have been heard by them from the Prophet orally, or taken from him through dictation, but they (Companions) were reporting from each other. It was common among them that when anyone having not heard hadith from the Prophet directly, he would take from that who heard it from him (S).

When it comes to conveying it, he would never report it on the authority of that Companion from which he received it, but would attribute it directly to the Prophet without referring to the Companion’s name. This practice was due to the numerousness of the Messenger’s meetings, and their being held in different times and places, making it infeasible for all the Companions to attend each and every meeting by person, but some attending this meeting and some others that one.

In his book al-Ihkam fi usul al-ahkam,87 al-Amudi reports that Ibn Abbas – due to his youth – has never heard from the Messenger of Allah but only four traditions. When reporting from the Messenger of Allah the hadith “Usury only occurs when buying on credit”, and that the Prophet kept on pronouncing talbiyah (during hajj) till pelting the Aqabah stone, he said – when inquired about it – regarding the first part: It is reported to me by Usamah ibn Zayd. And about the second report he said: I have been informed of it by my brother al-Fadl ibn al-Abbas.

Further when Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet (S) said: Whoever entered upon the morning in a state of ritual impurity (junub) during Month of Ramadan, his fasting is invalid”, he was questioned about its source. In reply he said: By the Lord of Ka’bah, it was not me who said it but it is uttered by Muhammad! Then he resumed by saying: It is reported to me by al-Fadl ibn al-Abbas.88

Al-Bara’ ibn ‘Azib is reported to have said: “You have to know that the traditions we are relating to you have not necessarily been heard from the Messenger of Allah (S), but only some of them we have heard, and some others we are relating to our companions.”

In regard of the Tabi’un, they used to transmit the reports89 (khabar mursal), the fact whose evidence can be seen in what is reported from al-A’mash as saying: I said to Ibrahim al-Nakha’i: When relating anything to me you should mention its sanad90 (chain of narrators). He said to him: When informing you: So and so reported to me from Abd Allah, it means he himself related to me. And when saying: I was told by Abd Allah, it indicates that some narrators reported to me from him. Thereafter al-Amudi is reported to have said: This habit remained so common among the Sahabah and Tabi’un with no one negating it, till rendering to unanimity91.

At the time when the Companions were narrating from each other, they were also relating from the Tabi’un, the fact confirmed by hadith scholars in their books, to which whoever desiring can refer.

Under the bab: “Riwayat al-Akabir ‘an al-Asaghir” (Narration of the magnates from the juniors) Ibn al-Salah and others are reported to have said: Ibn Abbas, the three Abds and Abu Hurayrah and others used to report from Ka’b al-Ahbar – the Jew who deceptively embraced Islam – during the caliphate of Umar, counting him among the leading Tabi`un, making him then a master over Muslims. In his Alfiyyah,92 al-Suyuti says:

Seniors have been reporting from juniors,

In age or in knowledge and rank,

From him Companions take from Followers,

A follower receiving from follower of followers,

Like the erudite taking from Ka’b and al-Zuhri,

Reporting from Malik and Yahya al-Ansari

Al-Shaykh Ahmad Muhammad Shakir (may God’s mercy be upon him), in expounding this Alfiyyah, says: Classified under this type is the Companions’ narrating from the Followers, as in the case of reporting of the erudite Abd Allah ibn Abbas and other Abds, Abu Hurayrah, Mu’awiyah and Anas and others from Ka’b al-Ahbar!

But it is worth mentioning that the Companions – as we previously exposed – when reporting from their brethren or followers, were never indicating that their traditions being received through the means of riwayah from others. Rather, they used to cite narrations during the occasions requiring citation of hadith, however lengthy be the time, without any reference to those from whom they heard these traditions, attributing them to the Prophet (S) directly. They kept on this process and practice till the occurrence of the sedition (fitnah), after which they would start to exclaim: Inform us the names of your rijal! (i.e. refer us to chain of narrators).

Ibn Sirin is reported to have said: They were not inquiring about the isnad (chain of transmission), but as the fitnah 93 took place they began to say: Tell us the names of your rijal.

From him Muslim reports: People experienced an age where no one asking about the chain (isnad) of any hadith, but on the occurrence of the sedition, people embarked on inquiring about chain of hadith. From him too, in Sunan al-Tirmidhi it is reported: During the early time people would never inquire about the isnad! But as the fitnah erupted, they started to inquire. He added: A man would relate to me, and I would never suspect or accuse him (of lying), but I would suspect that who being superior to him, and higher in rank.

The Followers used to narrate from the followers of the followers, the example for which can be found in the relation of al-Zuhri and Yahya ibn Sa’id al-Ansari from Malik who was their disciple.

What is uncommon for the intelligent, as al-Suyuti said in his Alfiyyah – to see a Companion reporting a hadith from a follower, from another Companion. The example for this is the narration of al-Sa’ib ibn Yazid the Companion, from Abd al-Rahman ibn Abd al-Qari, the follower (Tabi’i), from Umar ibn al-Khattab, from the Prophet (S) that he said: “That who sleeps with neglecting a section (of the Qur’an) or a part of it, reading it in between dawn and noon prayers, it would be prescribed for him as if he had recited it during night.” This hadith is reported by Muslim in his book (Sahih), to which belongs the hadith “Not equal are those who sit (holding back)”. Al-Hafiz al-Iraqi has collected twenty traditions of the same kind of this.

The Companions Criticizing Each Other

It was not satisfactory for the Companions to be stringent in accepting the reports from their brethren, as previously mentioned, but they exceeded the limits to the extent of criticizing and reviling each other.

It was that Umar, Ali, Uthman, A’ishah and Ibn Abbas with other Companions used to scrutinize their brethren, raising doubt regarding some of the traditions they were reporting from the Messenger, giving back to them their narrations.

Mahmud ibn al-Rabi’ – who was among those realizing the Messenger’s lifetime while being too young – reports that he heard Utban ibn Malik al-Ansari, who was present at the time of Battle of Badr, declaring that the Messenger of Allah said: Allah forbade Fire from afflicting whoever saying, “No god is there but Allah” seeking with it God’s sake only. The Messenger uttered this while being in the house of Utban who related it to some people among whom being Abu Ayyub – the Companion of the Messenger of Allah – but he (Abu Ayyub) denied my utterance, saying: By God I never think the Messenger of Allah to have said what you uttered!

The Murji’ah 94 (Postponers) have used this hadith and its alike as an evidence for their fitnah (school of thought). Further A’ishah refuted the hadith reported by Umar and his son that (the Prophet said): “The dead person is afflicted with torment out of his household’s lamentation over him,” and she said to them: You relate from truthful people, but hearing may err. By God, the Messenger of Allah has never said that Allah inflicts the believer with torment due to his family’s lamentation over him! And she added: The Qur’an is sufficient for you, when saying: “…and no bearer of burden shall bear the burden of another.”

In another narration, when hearing Ibn Umar relating this hadith she said: It is not so! But he (Prophet) said that the dead is tormented because of his guilt and sin, the reason for which his household are weeping over him.” Again in another occasion she said that he has not lied, but he has forgotten or erred, repeating his (Ibn Umar’s) words, that: Once upon a time the Messenger of Allah stood by al-Qulayb, where those killed in the Battle of Badr from among the polytheists were buried, exclaiming: “Verily they can hear what I am saying.” Saying then: It is not so, but what he actually said is that: Only now they realized that what I was telling them was the truth, and she recited the verses.

إِنَّكَ لَا تُسْمِعُ الْمَوْتَىٰ

“Lo! Thou canst not make the dead to hear (27:80)”


وَمَا أَنتَ بِمُسْمِعٍ مَّن فِي الْقُبُورِ

“Thou canst not reach those who are in the graves (35:22)”

when they occupied their abode in Fire. Both the traditions are recorded in Sahih al-Bukhari and Fitnah and other books.

A’ishah has also refuted the hadith in which it was claimed that the Prophet saw his Lord on the Ascension Night, that was reported by the two shaykhs (al-Bukhari and Muslim) from ‘Amir ibn Masruq who said to A’ishah: O mother, has Muhammad actually seen his Lord? She said: I am shocked at these words! Haven’t you heard these three traditions saying that whoever related to you has lied.95 Whoever relating to you that Muhammad has seen his Lord has verily lied, reciting then:

وَمَا تَدْرِي نَفْسٌ مَّاذَا تَكْسِبُ غَدًا

“…and knoweth not any soul what it shall earn tomorrow.”( 31:34)

Then she resumed: And whoever relating to you that he (the Prophet) has concealed anything, has verily lied, reciting then:

يَا أَيُّهَا الرَّسُولُ بَلِّغْ مَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ

“O Messenger! Make known that which hath been revealed unto thee from thy Lord.” (5:67)

In Sahih Muslim, he (Ibn Masruq) said: I was reclining, and sat straightened then, saying (to A’ishah): Hasn’t Allah said?

وَلَقَدْ رَآهُ نَزْلَةً أُخْرَىٰ

“And verily he saw him yet another time”( 53:13)

She said: I was the first one to question the Messenger of Allah about that saying: O Messenger of Allah, have you actually seen your Lord? He said: Never, but I saw Gabriel descending. In another narration, Abu Dharr inquired the Prophet about that (seeing his Lord), when he (S) said: I saw a light (nur)…I believe I saw a light96

She has also disapproved the report of Ibn Umar and Abu Hurayrah that (the Prophet said): Ominousness verily lies in three things, and she said for elucidating this: The Messenger of Allah was in fact97 telling about the conditions of the pre-Islamic (Jahiliyyah) era, due to its (hadith’s) contradiction to the predetermined principle that:

إِنَّ الْأَمْرَ كُلَّهُ لِلَّـهِ

“Verily the authority resteth wholly with God.” (3:154).

When coming to hear the hadith reported by Abu al-Darda’ that he (S) said: “Whoever enters upon the morning, his night prayers (watr) is invalid then,” she commented: Nay, Abu al-Darda’ did lie … the Prophet was performing watr prayers even after entering upon the morning. And when knowing that Ibn Umar said: The Messenger of Allah performed the short pilgrimage (umrah) in the Month of Rajab, she judged that he committed an inadvertence (sahw).

In regard of Anas ibn Malik and Abu Sa’id al-Khudri she said: Anas and Abu Sa’id were not aware of (or able to comprehend) the hadith of the Messenger of Allah since they were two young lads (boys)! She used to reject and refute any hadith incongruous with the Qur’an, with conceiving the narration of any truthful Companion to be mistakenly heard or based on misconception.98 Also she denied the hadith reported by Umran ibn Husayn ibn Samurah, which two pauses (saktah) were there for the Prophet in his recital (of two surahs) during the (daily) prayers.99

There are numerous examples in this respect, and in the book Ta’rikh Abi Hurayrah, I have cited a number of the traditions in which he was criticized, and which were rejected and refuted, to which the dear reader is kindly requested to refer100.

Narration of Hadith after Its Writing Was Forbidden By Prophet

Those having no expertise in knowledge and no awareness of expertise, surmise that the Messenger’s traditions which they read in books or hear from narrators, have all reached us correct in syntax and well-arranged in wording, and that their original words reached to the narrators intact and preserved exactly as were uttered by the Prophet, without any corruption (tahrif) or alteration.

They further think that the Companions and those who succeeded them who kept in memory the Prophet’s traditions till the time of tadwin (writing down of hadith), have conveyed them with their original text and wording exactly as they heard them, and duly related them in the form they received them, keeping them safe against any change and alteration.

And the idea seizing people’s minds was that these narrators constituting altogether a distinguished stratum among people in calligraphy, perfect exactitude, and powerful memory. And that their minds were created in a special shape with no parallel among all people, in a way that whatever they were hearing would be engraved on their (minds) tablets escaping not even one word and sparing not even one letter.

Undoubtedly, this kind of conception had its extreme impact upon the thinking of chiefs of religion, except those whom God kept immune. It made them hold these traditions in the same position of the Qur’anic verses, the fact entailing obligation to abide by them and surrender to their rules, in a way that whoever contradicting them would be considered as sinner, guilty and debauchee, and that denying or suspecting them would be counted an apostate that should repent.

For this reason, I opined to elaborate discussion on this topic, so as to expose to people the true aspect in it, making them recognize that the traditions reported to them from the Messenger of Allah (S) were in fact narrated according to their denotations and meanings, when (the Companions) failing to convey them with their real syntax and wording, either due to forgetting their origin or their being kept in memories for a very long time since they narrated them for the first time. Furthermore, it was that every narrator would report only that portion of the hadith his mind could keep according to the meaning, after his memory failing to recollect its original words.

This was due to the fact that they (companions) have not cared, in the outset, for writing down the hadith, letting it be narrated through denotation, the state attaining agreement of all gnostics and scholars.101 Thereafter disagreement appeared among the ulama regarding this matter, with some forbidding it and some others permitting. The significance of demonstrating this subject prompts us to refer here to some of the evidences of these and those (people), finding no one making a comprehensive investigation on this issue except al-Allamah al-Shaykh Tahir al-Jaza’iri, in his valuable book Tawjih al-nazar. Following are excerptions of his statements.102

Narrating Hadith by Meaning and Disagreement among Scholar

The ulama’ disagreed regarding narration of hadith by meaning, with some holding it to be absolutely impermissible, among whom being Ibn Sirin, Tha’lab and Abu Bakr al-Razi, beside Ibn Umar 103 according to some narrations. But the majority of ulama’ permit it, on condition that the narrator being aware of the minutest words, able to discern the amount of difference between them, experienced in their denotations. That is when exchanging any word of the hadith reported to him with another one identical to it in meaning; this would be permissible for him.104

This issue was tackled by usul scholars, and due to its extreme importance I would like to cite here excerpts of their statements for readers’ satisfaction.

In Al-Luma’, Abu Ishaq al-Shirazi is reported to have said: Ikhtiyar in narration is to narrate the report by its original wording, in accordance with the Prophet’s hadith: “May Allah bless whoever hears my utterance and comprehends it, delivering it as he heard it. Holder of fiqh may convey it to that who being more knowledgeable than him.105 When he citing any riwayah, it should be deliberated! If he being of those unaware of the meaning of the hadith, his narration is impermissible, since he is not immune against changing it; and if he be among those recognizing the meaning of the hadith, it should be deliberated! If it be a probable khabar (report), he is not permitted to narrate by meaning since he may relate it with words not indicating the meaning intended by the Messenger, so he is not permitted to inflect with it. But if it be a conspicuous report, there would be two views regarding it.

Some of our scholars hold that: It is impermissible, as worship may be fulfilled through uttering some words like takbirah of prayers. Some others believe in its permissibility, which is more preponderant as it indicates its denotation, according to a hadith reported from the Prophet (S): No harm will befall you if you hit the mark.

This hadith is reported by Ibn Mindah in Ma’rifat al-Sahabah, and al-Tabarani in al-Mu’jam al-Kabir, on the authority of Abd Allah ibn Sulayman ibn Akimah al-Laythi as saying: I said: O Messenger of Allah, I hear hadith from you but be unable to convey it as I hear it as one letter may be added or one omitted from it (what to do!) He (S) said: “There is no harm in it if you do not legalize any unlawful act or prohibit that which is lawful, and when you hit the mark.” 106

Those forbidding riwayah by meaning argued by emphasizing on the text and rational aspect. In respect of the text, it can be referred to his (S) hadith: “May God bless whoever hears my utterance and comprehends it, delivering it as he heard it. The propagator might be more conscious than the hearer107.

In exposing it they said: Delivering it as he heard it is to deliver the same words heard. And the faqih’s conveying the fiqh to that who is more knowledgeable than him, means – God is aware – that the more sagacious one may comprehend, thanks to his fiqh, some imports from the words to which the narrator couldn’t take notice of, since he (rawi) might be lower than him in degree of fiqh.

In regard of the rational, it has two views:

First: When putting (hadith) to test we found that the latter (hearer) might have inferred some imports from a verse or a report to which some of the earlier ages ulama’ and researchers could not reach. Had we permitted narration by meaning a great difference might have appeared in the hadith, though the narrator be of the opinion that no divergence is there.

Second: Had the narrator been permitted to exchange any of the Messenger’s words with one of his own, it would have been permissible for that reporting from him to change that very word with one of his own. Rather this is more preponderant, as changing the narrator’s words is nearer to be permitted than substituting any word uttered by the legislator (Prophet), though this being in the third and fourth classes (of narrators), as the result of all this shall be verily the devaluation of the original words.

It is quite certain that man, can never secure himself against change and disagreement however sincerely he strived to be trustworthy and honest in making his narration identical to the origin. Consequently, when changes and divergences continue from one to another, the last divergence would be so exorbitant that no connection or relation would be left between the last narration and original hadith.

In Sharh Tanqih al-fusul fi al-usul, al-Qarrafi says: On the contrary of the view of Ibn Sirin and some other traditionsts, Abu al-Husayn, Abu Hanifah and al-Shafi’i hold that it is permissible to report hadith by meaning provided that no addition or omission be there in translation, with its being neither more ambiguous nor more declarative, as the purpose only be to make the meanings got by the hearer, regardless of missing other than them. Whenever any addition or omission be made to the narrator’s statement, that would mean something be added or diminished from the Islamic Law, which is unanimously haram (unlawful). And whenever the expression used in the hadith be manifest but the narrator exchanges it with an obscure one, he would expose it to doubt, entailing thus preference of another one over it due to its obscurity.

This being in accordance with the basis stating that should be contradiction among the traditions regarding one rule (hukm), the more manifest one would have preference over the obscure one. If the origin of the hadith be plain, but be substituted by an obscure one by the narrator, he would invalidate a good merit in it making it insustainable in case of clash of views. Also when the hadith having an obscure expression and he substitutes it with a more manifest one, he would thus obligate for it the position of preference over other traditions, while God’s hukm (judgement) being to prefer other than it in case of clash of views.

As a consequence of this change, God’s judgement has been changed, which is impermissible. This being the basis of these provisions, that when they be fulfilled the controversy would be on permissibility, otherwise it is unanimously impermissible. One of the pleas introduced by those forbidding narration by meaning, being the hadith reported by al-Bara’ ibn `Azib.108

The proof (hujjah) given by those permitting this practice, being that the Companions used to give ears to the traditions without committing them to writing or reiterating them, embarking after elapse of long years on narrating them. In such case, man would decisively determine that it is not possible to convey the very words uttered by the Prophet, but only the meaning, since many traditions were reported with miscellaneous expressions with oneness of denotation and episode.

This being the evidence given for permitting the reporting by meaning, and as the term “Sunnh” cannot be taken as subject of worship like the term Qur’an, so when the meaning attains exactitude, 109 no harm shall be there from missing that which be not intended.

In his book Qawa’id al-tahdith, 110 al-Qasimi says:

To convey and relate hadith by meaning not by the very words (original text), was permitted by some people among them being: Ali, Ibn Abbas, Anas ibn Malik, Abu al-Darda’, Wathilah ibn al-Asqa and Abu Hurayrah, with a large number of the Tabi’un, among whom we can refer to: Imam Hasan al-Basri, al-Shi’bi, ‘Amr ibn Dinar, Ibrahim al-Nakha’i, Mujahid and ‘Ikrimah.

There was much difference in the way and words used by the Sahabah in narrating the hadith from the Messenger of Allah (S). Some of them used to narrate it completely, with some others narrating by meaning, and some citing it abridged, beside some others making difference between every two words with viewing it to be broad, if not being disagreeable with the original meaning.

All of them intend not to lie or falsify, but everyone seeking the truth and to give the denotation of what he has heard, the fact leading to the hadith containing them. They used to say: “Falsity is to be counted against that who exercised it internationally”. Umran ibn Muslim is reported to have said: Some man said to al-Hasan: O Abu Sa’id, when you relate any hadith, you deliver it with better context of sentences, more eloquent expressions, more fluent language than any other one relating it to us! He said: No harm in that if I hit the mark and give the meaning intended.

Al-Nadr ibn Shumayl said: “Hushaym was known of committing grammatical mistakes, so I made his hadith look fine for you – i.e. with the grammatical marks. Al-Nadr ibn Shumayl was a grammarian, and Sufyan used to say: “When finding anyone intensifying in the hadith words in a meeting, it should be realized that he intends to show off himself so as to be distinguished among people. And a man kept on inquiring Yahya ibn Sa’id al-Qattan about the way of pronouncing a letter in the hadith, when Yahya said to him: Nothing is there in the world more dignified than the Book of Allah, the Exalted, the reciting of which was permitted to be on seven readings (ahruf), so never intensify.” 111

Al-Bayhaqi reported on the authority of Makhul as saying: I and Abu al-Azhar entered upon Wathilah ibn al-Asqa’ and said to him: Relate to us a hadith you heard yourself from the Messenger of Allah, on condition that it be devoid of falsity, addition and inadvertence! He said: Did any of you read the Qur’an? We said: Yes, but we are not memorizing or preserving it so accurately (word by word), and add to it or omit the letters “waw” and “alif”. He said: This Qur’an amongst you, though being written, but you fail to keep it safe from alteration, with alleging that you add to and omit from it…so how would be the case with traditions we heard from the Messenger of Allah (S), only once in our life? You can suffice with the hadith we relate to you by meaning.

Ibn Abi Layla used to narrate the hadith with different expressions every time, without any isnad (chain of transmission), but only out of what he memorized of traditions. All this was due to the fact that most of the precedent learned men were never writing any hadith, and if any had written it was only written for them after hearing it. Many of them used to narrate
hadith by meaning, with expressing it through words of his own, that would fall short of giving the full meaning. Most often the least change (in the words) may alter the whole meaning and cause ambiguity in the hadith, and it is known that al-Jumhur (Sunnites) have permitted narration by meaning. 112

In Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Makhul reported from Wathilah ibn al-Asqa’ as saying: When we relate any hadith to you by meaning, it should be sufficient for you. Al-Dhahabi, in Siyar A’lam al-nubala’, is reported to have said: When I relate to you any hadith according to its meaning, it is sufficient for you.113 Wukay’114reports also on the authority of al-Rabi’ ibn Sabih, from al-Hasan, that he said: When you hit the mark and reached the meaning, you must be satisfied with that. And he said: Had the meaning not been so broad, people would have perished, and the learned men used to compete each other by extent of memorization, exactitude and verification during hearing (the hadith), though even eminent leaders of schools could never be immune against error and mistake. Sufyan al-Thawri115 is reported to have said: Even when I myself tell you that I am narrating to you the very ahadith as I heard (from the Prophet), never believe me, as it be no more than the meaning.

When it was said to him: O Abu Abd Allah, relate to us (hadith) exactly as you heard. He would say: By Allah, this by no means is possible; it is only the meaning, no more no less. He also said: Had we intended to relate to you the hadith exactly as we heard it, we would have never been able to relate even one hadith!

The trustworthy ulama’ hold that it is more proper to cite the hadith with its (original) words, without making any change in them. But how far is this when the course of events proved to be to the contrary.

Al-Qadi ‘Iyad says: “The door of narration by meaning should be closed so as to prevent those unskillful (in this respect) but believing in his skill, from imposing their control over hadith, as in the case of many narrators, in the past and in the contemporary time…and Allah helps all to succeed.

Researchers hold that riwayah by meaning should never include act of worship performed by pronouncing certain words, like takbirat al-ihram (saying Allah is the Greater in the outset of prayers), and at (witnesses). But there being various words cited for at, the most widely-known of which are the following.

Forms Of Tashahhud

Ibn Mas’ud’s Tashahhud: In the two Sahihs, Abd Allah ibn Mas’ud is reported to have said: The Messenger of Allah has taught me the witness (tashahhud) from hand to hand as teaching me the Qur’anic verse in this form (which is reported too by the authors of Sunan):

التحيات لله و الصلوات و الطيبات ، السلام عليک آيها النبي و رحمة الله و برکاته، السلام علينا و على عباد الله الصالحين ، اشهد ان لا اله الا الله و ان محمدا عبده و رسوله.

In another narration, he added: “And he dictated it to me word by word.” Again in another one: If you say this thing or perform that, you have in fact performed your prayers. This form was chosen by Abu Hanifah, Ahmad, and most of the traditionists and ulama’.

Ibn Abbas’s : Muslim and authors of Sunan have reported on the authority of Ibn Abbas, beside al-Shafi’i in his book al-Umm, that he (Ibn Abbas) said: The Messenger of Allah used to teach us the following as if teaching us a surah of the Qur’an, saying: Say:

التحيات المبارکات الصلوات الطيبات لله . السلام عليک ايها النبي و رحمة الله و برکاته. السلام علينا و علي عباد الله الصالحين . اشهد ان لا اله الا الله و اشهد ان محمدا رسول الله.

of Umar ibn al-Khattab: In al-Muwatta’, Malik reported from Ibn Shahab, from Urwah ibn al-Zubayr, from Abd al-Rahman ibn Abd al-Qari that he heard Umar ibn al-Khattab declaring from over the pulpit: Say:

التحيات الزاکيات لله. الطيبات الصلوات لله.

Al-Sarakhsi in al-Mabsut reports:

التحيات الصلوات الطيبات. السلام عليک ايها النبي و رحمة الله و برکاته. السلام علينا و على عباد الله الصالحين. اشهد ان لا اله الا الله و اشهد ان محمدا رسول الله.

Malik says: The best is that of Umar ibn al-Khattab, since he uttered it on the minbar (pulpit) in the presence of the Companions, who didn’t disapprove that of him unanimously. This tashahhud is reported also by Abu Dawud and Ibn Mardawayh through a chain of narrators.

Tashahhud of Abu Sa’id al-Khudri:

Abu Sa’id then said: We used not to write but the Qur’an and . 116

Tashahhud of Jabir: In Jabir’s hadith (confirmed by al-Hakim), that is reported by al-Nasa’i, Ibn Majah and al-Tirmidhi in al-‘Ilal, he said: The Messenger of Allah used to teach us tashahhud in the same manner as teaching a surah of the Qur’an:

باسم الله و بالله ، التحيات ... الح .

Tashahhud of A’ishah:

In al-Muwatta’, Malik reports from A’ishah, the Prophet’s wife, that she used to say in tashahhud:

(التحيات الطيبات لله الزاکيات لله)

dropping the word (Allah) after (التحيات و الصلوات) contrary to what is cited in the hadith approved by Umar and Ibn Mas’ud, which is supported by sanad. She even added to hadith of Umar the words (وحده لا شريک له) which she confirmed too in the hadith of Abu Musa that was reported by Muslim.

of Abu Musa al-Ash’ari: Muslim and Abu Dawud reported that Abu Musa was citing in this way: 117

(التحيات الطيبات الصلوات لله وحده لا شريک له).

of Samurah ibn Jundab:

(التحيات الطيبات و الصلوات و الملک لله ... الخ).

of Ibn Umar: In al-Muwatta’, Malik reported on the authority of Nafi’ that Ibn Umar used to say in :

بسم الله التحيات لله الصلوات لله، السلام علي النبي ... الخ) .

(with dropping the letter (kaf) of addressing and the word (ayyuha). Then Nafi’ said: When finishing his tashahhud and intending to say taslim, he would say:

السلام علي النبي و رحمة الله و برکاته، السلام علينا و علي عباد الله الصالحين.

Which has reiteration of, and was reported by al-Bukhari on the authority of Ibn Mas’ud under “bab al-isti’dhan” (asking permission) stating that he said at the end of it: “and I witness that Muhammad is His servant and apostle.” When he (S) was alive, but after his demise we used to say: “peace be upon the Prophet.”

In his comment on this, Ibn Hajar said: Through the chains of transmission of Ibn Mas’ud’s hadith we can observe words indicating a kind of separation between his (S) lifetime, that was expressed by terms of addressing, and the post-obit period when it was referred to him by expressions of third person singular (absent). Under “bab al-isti’dhan” in Sahih al-Bukhari, it is reported on the authority of Abu Mu’ammar, from Ibn Mas’ud who, after citing hadith of tashahhud, said: We used to say this when he (S) was still alive, but after his demise we would say: “peace be upon the Prophet.”

Al-Sabki in Sharh al-Minhaj is reported to have said: If what is reported from the Sahabah be true, it would indicate that to address the word salam (peace) after the word al-Nabi (the Prophet) is not obligatory. So it should be said ‘peace be upon the Prophet’. Al-Hafiz said: This is undoubtedly correct.

Abd al-Raziq said: Ibn Jarih told us saying: ‘Ata’ informed us and said: The Companions used to read, during the lifetime of the Prophet: Peace be upon you O Prophet (al-salam alayka ayyuha al-Nabi). When he passed away they started to say: peace be upon the Prophet, and this being a veracious isnad.

(التحيات لله السلام عليک ايها النبي و رحمة الله. السلام علينا و علي عباد الله الصالحين. اشهد ان لا اله الا الله و اشهد ان محمدا عبده و رسوله ... (او) اشهد ان محمد رسول الله ).

Regarding this diversity, al-Qadi 118 said: This indicates that when one drops a word that is already dropped in some narrated tashahhudat, his would be correct. Based on this, it is permissible to say: The least satisfactory words to be uttered in being:

These were nine forms of 119 reported from the Companions that having differed in the words. Had they been among the verbal traditions reported by meaning, we would have said, maybe! But they are among the mutawatir (successive) acts that were performed several times everyday by all the Companions, who were numbering tens of thousands. The noteworthy point here is that every narrator of each tashahhud claims that the Messenger used to teach him tashahhud as teaching the Qur’an, and that tashahhud of Umar was uttered by him from over the Minbar of the Messenger of Allah, before all the Sahabah without being disapproved by any of them, as reported by Malik in al-Muwatta’.

What is noteworthy too being the fact that these tashahhudat, despite divergence in their words, multiplicity of their forms and abundance of their narrators, were all devoid of sending benediction upon the Prophet. The Companions, as reported by Ibrahim al-Nakha’i, were sufficed with saying tashahhud and: peace be upon you O Prophet and mercy of Allah. There was disagreement among the Sunnah leaders regarding the obligation of sending benediction upon the Prophet in the obligatory (daily) prayers: Abu Hanifah and his followers never consider it obligatory while al-Shafi’i made it a provision (for accepting the prayers)!

In al-Bahr al-zakhir, Ibn Nujaym says: The obligation implied in the holy verse: “Send blessings on him”, being prescribing it only once throughout the whole life whether during the salat or in any other time, as the ordinance never necessitates any repetition. This opinion got the agreement and concurrence of all the ulama’.

It is held by al-Sarakhsi in al-Mabsut, Ibn Hammam in Sharh Fath al-Qadir, al-Qastallani in Irshad al-sari, and al-Qadi ‘Iyad in al-Shifa’. The only exception from this, being al-Shafi’i who reported that the Prophet said: Whoever sends not blessing on me, his salat is verily invalid. But he has neither authority for proving this saying, nor a Sunnah to be followed. And he was reviled by a group of ulama’ among whom being al-Tabari al-Qushayri, with being disapproved by a follower of his same school of thought, called al-Khitabi who said: It is not obligatory, and I have no knowledge of any other example (qudwah) confirming this.

Besides, the tashahhudat reported from the Sahabah were devoid of this saying. And in regard of the hadith: “Invalid is the salat of that who never sends blessing on me”, it was considered weak by the traditionists. Also the hadith narrated by Ibn Mas’ud: “Whoever performs any prayer without sending benediction on me and my household, his salat shall not be accepted.” Al-Daraqutni said: It is an excerpt from a saying of Abu Ja’far Muhammad al-Baqir ibn Ali ibn al-Husayn, the full text of whose statement being thus: If I perform any salat without sending benediction on the Prophet (S) and on his household I am sure it shall never be completed.” 120

Word of Monotheism

The same belief held by these Imams regarding sending of benediction on the Prophet, is also held in respect of word of tawhid (No god is there but Allah). Al-Allamah Sa’id ibn Hajji in his treatise: al-Kalam al-muntaqa fima yata’allaq bi kalimat al-taqwa la ilaha illa Allah” says: Concerning its rule, in “Fakihat al-qulab wa al-afwah” (Fruit of hearts and mouths), he said: “The believer, for his part, should mention it once throughout his whole life with the obligation intention.” I do not intend to elaborate further on this point, so as not to digress to that which is out of our topic of discussion.

The faqih traditionist Rashid Ridha’ (may God’s mercy be upon him), in his discussion on traditions of the “ashrat al-sa’ah” (conditions of the hour), said in his Tafsir:121

“Undoubtedly, most of the traditions were narrated by meaning as is commonly known and agreed by the ulama’. Its evidence can be obviously seen in the difference among narrators of the Sihah regarding the words of the same hadith, even the abridged ones, and the words inserted and foisted into some of these traditions in al-mudrajat, which meaning whatever included in the traditions reported by the narrators. Based on this, each one of them used to narrate according to his comprehension (from the hadith), that which might be mistaken, beside some others interpreting whatever they comprehended with adding some words of his own. Till he said: Is it unusual then to see this amount of confusion and contradiction befalling those traditions reported by meaning according to extent of comprehension of narrators?

When his opinion was sought once about that who said: No more than 12 or 14 traditions were confirmed and proved to be uttered by the Prophet, he replied:122 This claim is incorrect, and no one has uttered such words. But this or lower than in being among the traditions whose words have successively reached us.

There is no harm to state here an article published for me in al-Risalah Journal, issue No. 957, issued on the fifth of November 1951, as a correction for what is published by Professor Abd al-Salam Harun in al-Jahiz’s book al-Bayan wa al-tabyin, as follows:

Listening To Hadith Not to Songs

Throughout reading of newspapers, man may come across criticism-instigating things that need to be corrected. But he foregoes them without any consideration, since if he undertakes criticizing or correcting whatever he discovers of errors, in this case he would never find enough time, nor the tranquillity required for doing this job’. Sometimes he may be energetic, taking the initiative to expose every mistake he may find, especially when coming across a matter regarding which it is improper to keep silent or be inattentive.

As an example for this, when I was reading in the 2nd volume of al-Bayan wa al-tabyin of al-Jahiz that was verified and expounded by Abd al-Salam Harun, I came across in page 322 of it the following:

“Ibn Awn said: I came across three men showing strictness toward hearing and three others showing leniency (in regard of maghani – i.e. songs). Those showing leniency are: al-Hasan, al-Shi’bi and al-Nakha’i whereas those showing strictness being: Muhammad ibn Sirin, al-Qasim ibn Muhammad and Raja’ ibn Hayat. 123

Al-Ustadh Harun has taken hearing in this report to mean hearing of songs. Preferring to use the non-Arab word maghani he found in some copies of usul books, than using it with its neglected pronunciation that was cited in some other copies of usul books. He embarked then on interpreting it according to his surmise in a way unknown to be pleasing or angering the eminent linguists and grammarians.

In explaining the word he said: “Maghani is the plural of maghna – a mimi root of the verb: ghannayughanni. (to sing). In the Taymuriyyah version the word al-ma’ani (the meanings) with the obsolete letter (‘ayn) is a misinterpretation, i.e. this word was stated in the version of Koberly Library (maghani), while it was cited in the Taymuriyyah version with the obsolete (muhmalah), which is a misinterpretation (tahrif).

That which is regarded by this man (Harun) as tahrif is verily the correct word, as veracity of the word al-ma’ani (meanings) with the obsolete ‘ayn is confirmed in these two versions, and hearing here is hearing the Prophetic hadith, not hearing the songs.

This statement is set forth by Ibn Awn, due to the fact that conveying hadith of the Messenger of Allah with its genuine words or meaning was a controversial topic among the Companions, which continued and reached the Tabi’un and those succeeding them. Hence, the Companions were divided into two groups: the first permitting narration of hadith by meaning, among whom being Ali, Ibn Abbas and Anas and their followers.

And the second one who was represented by Ibn Umar, was forbidding this practice. Concerning the Tabi’an, some of them were so strict in regard of narrating the hadith with its original words, such as Muhammad ibn Sirin, al-Qasim ibn Muhammad and Raja’ ibn Hayat. Whereas some others were showing leniency in this respect, like al-Hasan, al-Shi’bi and al-Nakha’i. 124 Hence Ibn Awn uttered the above-mentioned statement, that was reported by al-Jahiz, and misunderstood by al-Ustadh Abd al-Salam Harun.

  • 1. He is Khalid ibn Utbah al-Hudhali, the nephew of Abu Dhu'ayb al-Hudhali.
  • 2. See Vol. IV, p. 3 and afterwards.
  • 3. This hadith was reported by Abu Dawud and al-Tirmidhi and al-Darimi.
  • 4. That is the established (thabit) Sunnah.
  • 5. He means by this: The Qur'an contains in it all the rules and principles of the Shari'ah.
  • 6. Allah the Most High said in Surat al-Nahl:

    وَنَزَّلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ تِبْيَانًا لِّكُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةً وَبُشْرَىٰ لِلْمُسْلِمِينَ

    And We reveal the Scripture unto thee as an exposition of all things, and a guidance and a mercy and good tidings for those who have surrendered (to Allah)." (16:89)

  • 7. That means the affairs of the Din and other than the Din.
  • 8. In vol. I, p. 21.
  • 9. In vol. III, p. 43. I have abundantly quoted from this book since it is, as expressed by al-Imam Muhammad Abduh: "One of the precious books that no parallel to it was ever compiled."
  • 10. Al-Shatibi's al-Muwafiqat, vol. IV, p. 26, and Tafsir al-Qurtubi, vol. I, p. 23.
  • 11. Al-Muwafiqat, vol. III, pp. 66 and 70.
  • 12. In p. 576 of his Risalah, the edition prepred by Ahmad Muhammad Shakir (may God's mercy be upon him).
  • 13. Al-Manar, vol. XII, p. 694, and it was declared also by al-Ghazali in his book al-Qistas al-mustaqim.
  • 14. See Vol. II, p. 291.
  • 15. Al-Shifa', vol. II, pp. 178, 179.
  • 16. These traditions were reported by Muslim in his Sahih with various wordings, the exterior of which being in the decisive precision between what was uttered by the Messenger as an opinion or for preaching, and what he said as legal rules.
  • 17. The story of khars is thus: When they passed by some fruitful trees, intending to conjecture it to put their surmise, to test, the Prophet conjectured it, but it came to be contrary to his conjecture.
  • 18. Al-Shifa', vol. II, p. 180.
  • 19. Ibid., vol. II, p. 107.
  • 20. Ibid., vol. II, p. 109.
  • 21. Ibid., vol. I, p. 142.
  • 22. Al-Murtada's al-Amali, vol. I, pp. 77, 78.
  • 23. This book was published by the French Scientific Institute for Eastern Monuments in Cairo.
  • 24. For this hadith there are several versions (differing in words) agreeing with each other in the meaning. Al-Darimi was the shaykh of al-Bukhari.
  • 25. Sunan al-Tirmidhi, vol. II, p. 91, published in India. The Prophet (S) had dictated some epistles on legal rules and laws, handing them to his emissaries and officers spread all over the countries, some of which were conquered through charities and obligations. And all that which was written from the Messenger during his lifetime would not exceed tenpages, on matters, that should be learnt by heart with their original texts, so as to keep them intact of being inflicted with alteration and distortion.
  • 26. Al-Dhahabi's Tadhkirat al-huffaz, vol. I, p. 3.
  • 27. Jami' bayan al-'ilm wa fadlih, vol. I, pp. 64, 65; Tabaqat Ibn Sa'd, Laidan, Edition, vol. I, p. 206. What Umar was afraid of has actually occurred.
  • 28. Narration of the hadith circulated abundantly during the caliphte of Umar, so how it would be the case after his death?
  • 29. Tabaqat Ibn Sa'd, vol. V, p. 140; al-Baghdadi's Taqyid al-'ilm, p. 52. Umar might intend to resemble this practice with what the Jews did when they disregarded the Torah and acted according to a number of Jewish traditions which they called Mathnat. In Mukhtar al-Sihah it is reported from Abu Ubaydah that the rabbis and monks have composed, after demise of Moses (A), a book among themselves, filling it with rules meeting their desires, other than the Book of Allah, and that was al-Mathnat, with some narrating it with the unobserved (muhmal) sin. In the book Maqalah fi al-Islam, it is reported with shin.
  • 30. Al-Manar, vol. X, p. 766 and after it, and vol. XIX, p. 511 and after it.
  • 31. Abu Nadrah said: I siad to Abu Sa'id al-Khudri: Won't we write down whatever we hear from you? He said: Do you want to make it in masahif? Your Prophet used to relate hadith to us and we would memorize his hadith. (al-Khatib al-Baghdadi, Taqyid al-'ilm, p. 27).
  • 32. Al-Sayyid Rashid is referring by this to the khabar reported by al-Hakim from A'ishah, and cited by al-Dhahabi in Tadhkirat al-huffaz, vol. I, p. 5, in which she said: My father had collected the traditions of the Messenger of Allah, which they numbered five hundred, and he remained upset all the night. When he entered upon the morning, he came to me and said:

    'O daughter, bring the ahadith that are with you.' I brought them to him. He burnt them and said: "I am afraid lest I should die leaving these with you, and among them there might be ahadith which I took from a man I had faith in and trusted, but the truth proved to be not as he related, the fact showing me to be responsible for them!"

  • 33. When al-Sayyid Rashid refers to such a khabar in this regard, or inferring any hadith, we should be assured that it be undoubtedly sahih, since he is one of magnates of hadith.
    All this will be elaborated later on.
  • 34. See later on the standpoint of jurisprudents toward hadith books. In p. 288 of vol. VI of his Tafsir, he said: "We can determine that we have forgotten and lost a large number of our Prophet's traditions, because the Sahabah had not written whatever they heard (from the Prophet), but this didn't include the ahadith manifesting and explaining the Qur'an or religious affairs.
  • 35. I give an example for this. It is said that one of the Sahabah invited the Prophet and some of the Companions to a banquet, in which he introduced meat of jazur. When they finished eating, one of them broke wind, the stink of which was smelled by those invited to the banquet. Soon an idea stroke the mind of the Prophet - to evade any disgrace on the part of that who made that hadath - to say to them all: "Whoever ate of the meat of the jazur, should perform the rite of ablution." The strange point here being that many of the fuqaha' have adopted this rule and made it a general basis, starting to command everyone eating the camel meat to perform ablution, neglecting the fact that ablution should be performed only for a thing (fart) that is emitted out of the abdomen not for what enters the belly.
  • 36. It was reported by Abu Dawud, al-Darimi and Ibn Majah, but not al-Bukhari and Muslim. It is - as alleged by them (Sunnis) - equal to the Qur'an or part of it, as narrated by them.
  • 37. Sirat Ibn Hisham, vol. IV, p. 332.
  • 38. Tadhkirat al-huffaz, vol. I, p. 3. The full name of Ibn Abi Mulaykah is: Abd Allah ibn Ubayd Allah ibn Abi Mulaykah al-Qurashi al-Tamimi al-Malaki. He was the judge of Makkah during the time of Ibn al-Zubayr. He was an eloquent faqih, whose authentication got unanimity. Among those who reported from him, I can refer to al-Layth ibn Sa'id. He died in 117 H. See also the book al-Tashri' al-Islami of al-Shaykh Muhammad al-Khidri.
  • 39. It is reported by Ibn Asakir and Muhammad ibn Ishaq.
  • 40. Op. Cit., vol. I, p. 7; Tamhid li ta'rikh al-falsafah al-Islamiyyah, of al-Shaykh Mustafa Abd al-Razzaq, p. 161.
  • 41. In al-Awasim min al-qawasim (pp. 75, 76), Abu Bakr ibn al-Arabi, defending Uthman (ibn Affan) against the wrongs and indecent things ascribed to him, said: What is rousing our wonder being the fact that he is to blame for something done by Umar! It is reported that Umar ibn al-Khattab has imprisoned Ibn Mas'ud with some other Companions, in al-Madinah for one year, till he passed away, and his inmates were freed by Uthman. The guilt for which they were imprisoned was that they used to relate abundant traditions from the Messenger of Allah (S).
  • 42. Refer to my book Shaykh al-Mudirah, 3rd edition.
  • 43. Jami' bayan al-'ilm, Vol. II, p. 120.
  • 44. Sirar is a region ear al-Madinah. In another narration: We went out and accompanied….
  • 45. This addition is taken from Tadhkirat al-Huffaz of Dhahabi. It is confirmed by al-Hakim in his Al-Mustadrak, Vol. I, p. 102.
  • 46. That is the practical Sunnah (Prophet's acts). See al-Bidayah wa al-nihayah, vol. VIII, p. 107.
  • 47. Tabaqat Ibn Sa'id, vol. II, p. 102.
  • 48. Fath al-Bari, vol. VI, p. 28.
  • 49. See p. 49 of the book. Ibn Taymiyyah said about Ibn Qutaybah: His position to Ahl al-Sunnah was like the position of al-Jahiz to the Mu'tazilah, since he was the orator for the Sunnah as al-Jahiz was for the Mu'tazilah. This statement can be found in p. 121 of the interpretation of Surat al-Tawhid.
  • 50. A'lam al-muqi'in, vol. IV, p. 128.
  • 51. Tadhkirat al-huffaz, vol. I, p. 3.
  • 52. See p. 48.
    70 That which Umar was fearing has taken place, after people engaged themselves abundantly in riwayah, as a result of which it was inflicted with distortion, falsification and perversion. Neither might nor power is there but with Allah.
  • 53. That which Umar was fearing has taken place, after people engaged themselves abundantly in riwayah, as a result of which it was inflicted with distortion, falsification and perversion. Never minght nor power is there but with Allah.
  • 54. In the biography of Abu Hurayrah Shaykh al-mudirah more elaboration about this subject can be found, so the reader can refer to it, in the 3rd edition.
  • 55. Tahdhir al-Khawass, pp. 10, 11.
  • 56. This hadith was reported also by Muslim, al-Tirmidhi, al-Nasa'i, Ibn Majah, al-Daraqutni, and al-Hakim in al-Madkhal.
  • 57. Tabaqat Ibn Sa'id, vol. II, p. 100.
  • 58. The divergence of the forms of this hadith is resulted from the fact that they used to narrate the traditions of the Messenger of Allah on the basis of meaning, as will be stated later on in this book, God-willing.
  • 59. Fath al-Bari, vol. I, p. 162.
  • 60. In Mukhtasar Sunan Abi Dawud of al-Mundhiri, and Ma'alim al-Sunan of Abu Sulayman al-Khitabi, and Tahdhib of al-Imam Ibn al-Qayyim (vol. V, p. 148), who, after citing this hadith, said: "It is reported by al-Bukhari, al-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah, but the word 'deliberately' could not be found in the narrations of al-Bukhari and al-Nasa'i, nor in the hadith reported by al-Zubayr, who said: By God the Prophet had never said "deliberately" while you claim he said it. This book was verified and edited by al-Shaykh Ahmad Shakir.
  • 61. Al-Daraqutni is the great leader of hadith, about whom Ibn Hajar said: "He was the hafiz of his time, and the most famous among the critics of the two Sahihs, and deepest in investigation and scrutiny." He died in 385 H.
  • 62. Ta'wil mukhtalif al-hadith, p. 49.
  • 63. Through the narration wth the word “muta’mmidan” (deliberately) was weak and not confirmed by eminent Sahabah, with being refused by reason, and disapproved by the Prophet’s morals, we see some of Sunna claimants and adorers of asanid in this age obstinately insisting on its presence, as if they are ore knowledgeable than Al-Bukhari, or al-Nasa’I, or al-Daraqutni or others. The exaggerate in obstinacy, when some of them claim that al-Zubayr ibn al-‘Awwam had never said: “By God, he (the Prophet) has not said ‘deliberately’ while you say ‘deliberately’, ascribing this statement to one of those who reported from him, whereas the narration being correct and established by notable leaders of hadith, who no one among them claimed it to be said by anyone thans Ibn al-Zubayr!
  • 64. Sharh al-Bukhari of Ibn Hajar, vol. I, p. 162.
  • 65. This may be a sign of disgrace on the part of claimants of knowledgeability who propagate among people that undeliberate falsity can never be equal to the deliberate one.
  • 66. Al-Suyuti, Tahdhir al-khawass, p. 26.
  • 67. Ibid, p. 395 and upwards.
  • 68. Ibid., p. 23.
  • 69. Ibid., pp. 28, 29.
  • 70. Al-Tahawi, Mushkil al-athar, vol. I, p. 171.
  • 71. Ibn Hajar said: The sublime characteristics of the narrators can take the place of the number or exceed it, (Fath al-Bari, vol. I, p. 164).
  • 72. In vol. II, p. 582.
  • 73. This is a practical sunnah, as he Sunnah was not known then but only by this,and many advantages are therein this saying that can only be realized by men of reason.
  • 74. Bushayr is the diminutive of the name Bishr. He was reporting from Abu Dharr and Abu al-Darda'' and authenticated by Ibn Sa'd' and al-Nasa'i. Refer to the chapter "Fabrication in Hadith and Its Causes" which will come later on.
  • 75. If people rode out dangers and experienced difficulties during the era of Ibn Abbas, so how would be the case with those who succeeded him? And they, as I quoted before the utterance of Abu Bakr, used to relate from the Messenger of Allah traditions regarding which there was disagreement among them!
  • 76. Al-Nawawi, al-Taqrib, p. 14.
  • 77. Ikhtisar ulum al-hadith, p. 111.
  • 78. Fath al-Bari, vol. VI, p. 389.
  • 79. I have dedicated a separate chapter for reliability of the Sahabah.
  • 80. Beirut Edition, p. 446.
  • 81. Tabaqat Ibn Sa'd, vol. IV, p. 168.
  • 82. According to a narration of Ibn al-Qayyim in his book A'lam al-muqi'in, Ubayy ibn Ka'b instead of Mu'adh.
  • 83. He is Abd Allah ibn Mas'ud.
  • 84. Ikhadhah is the pond
  • 85. In another narration: a good section. All these reports can be found in Tabaqat Ibn Sa'd vol. II, pp. 109, 110.
  • 86. Siyar a'lam al-nubala' of al-Dhahabi, vol. I, p. 48. Refer to p. 58.
  • 87. In vol. II, pp. 178-180. In al-Wabil al-sayyib, Ibn al-Qayyim says: The traditions collected by Ibn Abbas, to be uttered by the Prophet (S) have not reached twenty in number. Ibn Mu'in, al-Qattan, and Abu Dawud in his Sunan say that he has reported only nine traditions, due to his youth … but despite this fact, Ahmad has ascribed to him 1696 traditions in his Musnad.
  • 88. There is an interesting story for this hadith, which can be seen in the biography of Abu Hurayrah which I published twice under the title Shaykh al-mudirah.
  • 89. The mursal reporting of the hadith, is the riwayah in which no reference is made to the name of the narrator who reported it from the Prophet (S).
  • 90. The musnad tradition is that one whose sanad (chain of transmitters) continues successively till its last narrator. The Followers used to adopt in this regard the method followed by the Companions in reporting traditions which they didn't hear from the Prophet directly, but took them from other Sahabah, whose names were not mentioned by those who took the ahadith from them.
  • 91. In vol. II, pp. 178-180.
  • 92. In p. 237.
  • 93. The fitnah (sedition) exacerbated after elapse of several years of the caliphate of Uthman. In respect of the fitnah, I cite this report from al-Zuhri, who said: When Uthman assumed caliphate, he remained for twelve years as a ruler, during six of which no one could harbour malice against him, beside his being dearer to Quraysh than Umar ibn al-Khattab! Because Umar was so stern in treating people, but when Uthman came to power he showed leniency to people and granted them donations, disregarding them after that, preferring his relatives and household during the second six years.

    He gave his orders to give Marwan the land-tax of Egypt, donating as much money as he liked to his kins, interpreting in this regard of his own, borrowing from the treasury a lot of funds saying: Abu Bakr and Umar did not take their share of these estates, but I took and distributed them among my relatives! So people disapproved this of him (Tabaqat Ibn Sa'id, vol. II, p. 34). Refer also to my book Shaykh al-mudirah, the chapter: "How was the Umayyad State Founded."

  • 94. The Murji'ah was one of great Islamic parties, which held that: Guilt can never do harm beside faith, nor obedience can be of benefit when accompanying disbelief.
  • 95. In Sahih Muslim, the narration is thus: "… he has in fact done a great slander against God. The ahadith on sighting God amounted to thirty in number as stated by Ibn al-Qayyim in Hadi al-arwah, among them more than twenty ones were marfu', not to refer to the mawquf ones and the athar.
  • 96. In Fath al-Bari, Ibn Hajar says: Al-Qurtubi, in al-Mufhim, preponderated the idea of waqf in this issue attributing this to a group of researchers. This notion was supported by the fact that there was no clear-cut proof in this regard, and what he inferred for both the sects were only contradictory external aspects liable to interpretation. That is, the issue was not of the practical matters, when conjectual evidences be sufficient to prove it, but it being one of doctrines (mu'taqadat) the proving of which only definite proof is sufficient.
  • 97. Refer to my book Shaykh al-mudirah, in which all these akhbar and others are stated elaborately.
  • 98. Al-Imam al-Zarkashi has compiled a valuable book in which he cited the restrictions (istidrakat) made by 'A'ishah against the Sahabah, calling it al-Ijabah li-irad ma istadrakathu A'ishah 'ala al-Sahabah. He died in 794 H.
  • 99. Al-Isti'ab, vol. II, p. 154.
  • 100. See Shaykh al-mudirah, the 3rd edition.
  • 101. Ibn al-Salah, in his Muqaddimah, says: The narrators were most often reporting the same meaning of one subject through different words, and the only reason for this was their depending on the meaning not the words (p. 90).
  • 102. In p. 298 and the following pages in brief.
  • 103. Among the Sahabah there were some permitting narration of hadith on basis of meaning, like: Ibn Abbas and Anas. While among the Tabi'un there were some who showed stiffness in regard of narration of hadith with its very words, like Muhammad ibn Sirin, al-Qasim ibn Muhammad and Raja' ibn Hayat. But some others showed leniency in this regard, such as al-Hasan, al-Shi'bi and al-Nakha'i.
  • 104. Knowing the minuteness of words and recognizing the degree of difference among them, cannot be attained but only through being aware and sure of the original words so as to be able to change them with others. But the real reason behind narration of hadith on basis of meaning, is forgetting some of the original words, the fact leading to changing them. Since if the original words being preserved in their places, changing them will be unjustifiable, as priority should be given to narrating them, not other words.
  • 105. What is strange here being that this hadith was reported in many differing ways in wording and meaning, the citing of which I avoided for sake of brevity, and the reader can see them in their due places. After citing the Messenger's saying: "May God bless that who heard my utterance and reported it as he heard it," Ibn al-Jawzi said: Reporting the hadith in the way it was heard, can never be done but through writing it, as committing to memory is mistrustful. Whenever Ahmad ibn Hanbal was relating any hadith, it was said to him: Dictate it to us. He would say: Never I do not dictate from other than the Book. Ali ibn al-Midyani says: I was ordered by Ahmad ibn Hanbal not to relate anything but from the Book (Talbis Iblis, p. 221).
  • 106. Al-Iraqi, Fath al-maghib bi sharh Alfiyyat al-hadith, vol. III, p. 50, and this hadith undoubtedly contradicts the hadith: "May God have mercy upon that who heard my saying …", but every group should support its opinion by a certain hadith.
  • 107. This is an excerpt from the Prophet's testament during Hijjat al-Wada': "The attendant should inform the absent one, and the shahid may inform that who is more conscious than him." In another narration: "There may be an informed person who being more conscious than a hearer". These ahadith were reported by al-Bukhari and others. On the meaning of this hadith, I can refer to what al-Tirmidhi and al-Diya' narrated of Zayd ibn Thabit's hadith, with a chain of transmitters (marfu'): "May God bless that who on hearing any hadith from us, would commit it to memory till informing it to another man. There may be a bearer of fiqh to that who is more knowledgeable than him, and there may be a bearer of fiqh, but not being a faqih. Also with the same meaning the hadith: "May God bless a man who heard something from us and reported it as he heard it … and there may be an informd man, who be more conscious than a hearer". This hadith was reported by Ahmad and al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Hibban.
  • 108. The hadith of al-Bara' ibn 'Azib was recorded by al-Bukhari in his Sahih, beside Muslim, al-Nasa'i and al-Tirmidhi.
  • 109. If the meaning can be exact, but it is far-reaching.
  • 110. Qawa'id al-tahdith, p. 207. I suffice with this number of evidences. Anyone desiring to have more evidences can refer to al-Jaza'iri's book.
  • 111. It was a common practice among the Arabs to substitute some word with another. It was reported that Dhu al-Rimmah said to Qays ibn Umar: Write down my poetry, as I prefer committing to writing over memorization … as an Arab man may forget a word which he spent a full night on seeking it. then he replaces it with another word having its meaning, transmitting it to people (Naqd al-shi'r al-Jahili, pp. 180, 181, of al-Shaykh al-Khidr Husayn).
  • 112. Tawjih al-nazar, p. 76
  • 113. In vol. III, p. 259.
  • 114. Wukay' ibn al-Jarrah, is an eminent leader and muhaddith of Iraq, in regard of whom Ahmad ibn Hanbal said: I have never seen better comprehender of knowledge, nor better memorizer than Wukay'. He was a thiqah, precise and godly. He died in 197 H.
  • 115. Sufyan al-Thawri was the master of huffaz. He was faqih of Kufah. In his regard al-Qattan said: I have never met anyone better memorizing (of hadith) than Wukay', and he was superior to Malik in everything. He died in Basrah, in 161 H.
  • 116. . Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi, Taqyid al-'ilm, p. 93.
  • 117. Hattan ibn Abd Allah al-Raqqashi is reported to have said: I have performed prayers with (behind) Abu Musa al-Ash'ari. After completing the salat he said: Don't you know what to say in your salat? The Messenger of Allah has addressed us once, explaining for us our Sunnah, and teaching us how to pray, stating the tashahhud thus: The good greetings and benedictions be to Allah, and peace be upon you … etc (al-tahiyyat al-tayyibat, al-salawat li Allah, al-salam alayk … etc.), Sahih Muslim, vol. II, p. 13.
  • 118. Al-Mughni, vol. I, p. 575, and al-Sharh al-kabir
  • 119. These were the tashahhuds I could enumerate. And the leaders of fiqh have not concurred on one of them, but disagreed regarding them, with Abu Hanifah and Ahmad choosing tashahhud of Ibn Mas'ud, while Malik selecting tashahhud of Umar ibn al-Khattab, and al-Shafi'i preponderating that of Ibn Abbas.
  • 120. Al-Shifa', vol. II, p. 55.
  • 121. In vol. IX, p. 506.
  • 122. Al-Manar journal, vol. XXXIV, p. 260.
  • 123. See p. 77 of this book (Arabic version).
  • 124. Jami' bayan al-'ilm wa fadlih, of Ibn Abd al-Barr, vol. I, p. 80; Tawjih al-nazar, p. 308. Ibn Sirin was told that al-Hasan and al-Shi'bi and al-Nakha'I used to narrate by meaning, when he said: If they narrate in the way they heard (hadith) it would be much better; al-Kifayah of al-Khatib, p. 206.