Table of Contents

The Prophetic Tradion (Hadith)

The Prophetic Tradion (Hadith) الحَديث

The Tradition

الحَديثِ

1ـ رسولُ اللهِ‏ِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ) : مَن أدّى إلى اُمَّتي حَديثا يُقامُ بِه سُنّةٌ أو يُثْلَمُ بهِ بِدْعَةٌ فَلهُ الجَنّةُ.

1– The Prophet (S) said, ‘Whoever transmits to my people one tradition by which a practice is established or a heresy is blocked, will enter Paradise.’[Bihar al-Anwar, v. 2, p. 152, no. 43]

2ـ الإمامُ الباقرُ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ) : إنَّ حَديثَنا يُحْيي القُلوبَ.

2– Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) said, ‘Truly our tradition enlivens the hearts.’[Bihar al-Anwar, p. 144, no. 5]

3ـ الإمامُ الباقرُ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ) : لَحَديثٌ واحِدٌ تأخُذُهُ عن صادِقٍ‏خَيرٌ لَكَ من الدُّنيا وما فِيها.

3- Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) said, ‘Indeed one true tradition that you receive from a truthful person is better for you than the whole world and all that it contains.’[Amali al-Mufid, p. 42, no. 10]

4ـ الإمامُ الصّادقُ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ) : اعرِفُوا مَنازِلَ النّاسِ‏مِنّا على قَدْرِ رِواياتِهم عَنّا .

4- Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) said, ‘Know the people’s positions with respect to us through the amount of their narration of our traditions.’[Bihar al-Anwar, v. 2, p. 150, no. 24]

The Traditionist

المُحَدِّثِ

5ـ قال رسول اللّه‏ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ) : اللّهُمَّ ارْحَمْ خُلَفائي ـ ثلاثاً ـ قيلَ : يا رسولَ اللّه‏ِ، ومَن خُلَفاؤكَ ؟ قالَ : الّذينَ يَبلّغونَ حَديثي وسُنَّتي ، ثُمَّ يُعَلّمونَها اُمَّتي.

5- The Prophet (S) said, ‘O Allah! Have mercy on my ambassadors’—thrice. He was asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah! Who are your ambassadors?’ He said, ‘Those who learn my traditions and practices, and then teach them to my community.’[Amali al-Saduq, p. 152, no. 4]

6ـ الإمامُ الصّادقُ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ) : الرّاويةُ للحَديثِ المُتفقِّهُ في الدِّينِ أفْضَلُ مِن ألفِ عابِدٍ لا فِقْهَ لَهُ ولا رِوايةَ .

6– Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) said, ‘The narrator of traditions who understands religion is better than a thousand worshippers who have neither understanding of religion nor knowledge of traditions.’[Bihar al-Anwar, v. 2, p. 150, no. 24]

The Reward of Those Who Memorize Forty Traditions

ثَوابُ مَن حَفِظَ أربَعينَ حَديثا

7ـ رسولُ اللهِ‏ِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ) : مَن حَفِظَ على اُمّتي أرْبَعينَ‏ حَديثاً يَنْتَفعونَ بِها في أمْرِ دينِهِم، بَعثَهُ اللّه‏ُ يَومَ القِيامَةِ فَقيهاً عالِماً.

7- The Prophet (S) said, ‘Whoever memorizes forty traditions from which my community benefits in their religious affairs, Allah will raise him on the Day of Resurrection as a learned jurist and a scholar.’[Bihar al-Anwar, p. 156, no. 10]

Understanding the Tradition

دِرايَةُ الحَديثِ

8ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ) : علَيكُم بالدِّراياتِ‏ لا بالرِّواياتِ.

8- Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘Your aim must be to understand [the traditions] rather than just narrating [them].’[Kanz al-Fawa’id, v. 2, p. 31]

9ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ) : هِمَّةُ السُّفَهاء الرِّوايَةُ ، وهِمَّةُ العُلَماءِ الدِّرايَةُ.

9– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘The ambition of the foolish is to report [traditions] whereas the ambition of the scholars is to understand the traditions.’[Bihar al-Anwar, v. 2, p. 160, no. 13]

10ـ الإمامُ الصّادقُ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ) : حَديثٌ تَدْرِيهِ خَيرٌ مِن ألفِ حَديثٍ تَرْوِيهِ.

10- Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) said, ‘One tradition that you understand is better than a thousand traditions that you merely narrate.’[Ma’ani al-Akhbar, p. 2, no. 3]

Caution against Ascribing Lies to the Prophet (S)

التَّحذيرُ مِنَ الكِذبِ عَلَى الرَّسولِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ)

11ـ رسولُ اللهِ‏ِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ) : مَن كَذبَ علَيّ مُتَعمِّداً فلْيَتَبوّأ مَقعدَهُ مِن النّارِ .

11– The Prophet (S) said, ‘Whoever deliberately ascribes lies to me, let him take his seat in the Fire.’[Amali al-Tusi, p. 227, no. 398]

12ـ رسولُ اللهِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ) : إنّ مِن أكْبرِ الكَبائرِ أنْ يَقولَ الرّجُلُ علَيَّ ما لَم أقُلْ .

12– The Prophet (S) said, ‘One of the gravest of the grave sins is to attribute to me something that I have not said.’[Kanz al-’Ummal, no. 29255]

Prohibition of Falsifying That Tradition Whose Falsehood is not Known

النَّهيُ عَن تَكذيبِ ما لا يُعلَمُ كِذبُهُ

13ـ رسولُ اللهِ‏ِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ) : مَن رَدَّ حَديثاً بَلغَهُ عنّي فأنا مُخاصِمُهُ يَومَ القِيامَةِ ، فإذا بَلَغكُم عنّي حَديثٌ لم تَعْرِفوا فقولوا : اللّه‏ُ أعْلَمُ.

13- The Prophet (S) said, ‘Whoever rejects a tradition that is transmitted to him on my authority will have me to contend with on the Day of Resurrection. So when you hear a tradition from me that you do not know, say: “Allah knows better.”’[Bihar al-Anwar, v. 2, p. 212, no. 114]

The Soundness of the Tradition and Its Agreement with the Qur’an

صِحَّةُ الحَديثِ و مُوافَقَةُ القُرآنِ

14ـ رسولُ اللهِ‏ِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ) : اعرِضوا حَديثي على كِتابِ اللّه‏ِ ، فإنْ وافَقَهُ فهُو مِنّي وأنا قُلتُهُ.

14– The Prophet (S) said, ‘Compare my tradition with the Book of Allah. If it corresponds with it, then it is from me and I have indeed said it.’[Kanz al-’Ummal, no. 907]

15ـ الإمامُ الصّادقُ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ) : ما لَم يُوافِقْ مِن الحَديثِ القُرآنَ فهُو زُخْرُفٌ.

15- Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) said, ‘The traditions that do not correspond with the Qur’an are false.’[al-Kafi, v. 1, p. 69, no. 4]

The Soundness of a Tradition and Its Agreement with Man’s Nature

صِحَّةُ الحَديثِ و مُوافَقَةُ الفِطرَةِ

16ـ الإمامُ الباقرُ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ) : ما وَردَ علَيكُم مِن حَديثِ آلِ محمّدٍ صلواتُ اللّه‏ِ علَيهِم فلانَتْ لَهُ قُلوبُكُم وعَرَفْتُموهُ فاقْبَلوهُ ، وما اشْمَأزَّتْ مِنهُ قُلوبُكُم وأنْكَرْتُموهُ فَرُدّوهُ إلى اللّه‏ِ وإلى الرّسولِ وإلى العالِمِ مِن آلِ محمّدٍ ^.

16- Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) said, ‘Whenever a tradition from the household of Muhammad - peace be upon them all – is transmitted to you, towards which your hearts lean and it seems familiar to you, accept it. And whatever your hearts resent and you reject, then refer it back to Allah and the Prophet and the scholar from the household of Muhammad (S).’[Bihar al-Anwar, v. 2, p. 189, no. 21]

The Soundness of a Tradition and Its Agreement with the Truth

صِحّةُ الحَديثِ و مُوَافَقَةُ الحَقِّ

17ـ رسولُ اللهِ‏ِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ) : ما جاءكُم عنّي مِن حَديثٍ مَوافِقٍ للحقِّ فأنا قُلْتُهُ ، وما أتَاكُم عنّي مِن حَديثٍ لا يُوافِقُ الحَقَّ فلَم أقُلْهُ، ولَن أقولَ إلّا الحَقَّ.

17– The Prophet (S) said, ‘Whenever a tradition is transmitted to you from me that agrees with the truth, then I have truly said it, and whatever tradition is transmitted to you from me which does not agree with the truth, then I have not said it, for I speak nothing but the truth.’[Ma’ani al-Akhbar, p. 390, no. 30]

The Permissibility of Transmitting the Meaning of the Tradition

جَوازُ نَقلِ الحَديثِ بِالمَعنى

18ـ رسولُ اللهِ‏ِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ) : لا بأسَ في الحَديثِ قَدّمْتَ‏ فيهِ أو أخَّرْتَ ، إذا أصَبْتَ مَعناهُ .

18– The Prophet (S) said, ‘It does not matter if you change the order of the words of a tradition, as long as you render its meaning [exactly].’[Kanz al-’Ummal, no. 29179]

19ـ عن محمّدِ بنِ مُسلمٍ : قلتُ لأبي عبدِاللّه‏ِ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ) : أسْمَعُ الحَديثَ منكَ فأزيدُ وأنْقُصُ . قالَ : إن كنتَ تُريدُ مَعانِيَهُ فلا بأسَ .

19– Muhammad b. Muslim narrated, ‘I asked Abu ‘Abdillah [al-Sadiq] (a.s.): “I hear a tradition from you and then I add to it or subtract from it.” He said, ‘If you [do this] intending its meanings, then it does not matter.’[Bihar al-Anwar, v. 2, p. 164, no. 21]

What Must Be Observed when Transmitting Traditions

ما يَنبَغي مُراعاتُهُ فِي التَّحديثِ

20ـ رسولُ اللهِ‏ِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ) : لا تُحَدِّثوا اُمَّتي مِن‏أحاديثي إلّا بما تَحْمِلُهُ عُقولُهُم.

20– The Prophet (S) said, ‘Do not narrate to my people from my traditions except those which are perceptible to their intellects.’[Kanz al-’Ummal, no. 29284]

21- الإمامُ عليٌّ عليه‏السلام : أتُحِبّونَ أنْ يُكذَّبَ اللّه‏ُ ورسولُهُ ؟! حَدِّثوا النّاسَ بما يَعْرِفونَ ، وأمْسِكوا عَمّا يُنْكِرونَ .

21– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘Do you like it for Allah and His Messenger to be called liars?! Then transmit to the people only that which they understand and withhold that which they [i.e. their intellects] reject.’[Bihar al-Anwar, v. 2, p. 77, no. 60]

The Difficulty of Bearing Some of the Traditions

صعوبةُ تَحمُّلِ بعضِ الأحاديثِ

22- الإمامُ الصّادقُ عليه‏السلام : إنَّ حَديثَنا صَعْبٌ مُسْتَصْعَبٌ ، لا يَحْتَمِلُهُ إلاّ مَلَكٌ مُقَرَّبٌ ، أو نَبيٌّ مُرْسَلٌ ، أو عبدٌ امْتَحنَ اللّه‏ُ قَلبَهُ للإيمانِ ، أو مَدينَةٌ حَصينَةٌ .

قالَ عَمرو : فقلتُ لشُعيبٍ راوي الحديثِ : يا أبا الحسنِ ، وأيُّ شيءٍ المَدينَةُ الحَصينَةُ ؟ قالَ : فقالَ : سألتُ أبا عبدِ اللّه عليه‏السلام عنها فقالَ لي : القَلبُ الُمجْتَمِعُ .

22- Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) said, ‘Truly our traditions are hard and difficult, unbearable except by a near-stationed angel, a sent prophet, or a servant whose heart has been tested by Allah for faith, or a strongly guarded city.’ ‘Amr narrated, ‘I then asked Shu’ayb, who had transmitted this tradition to me: ‘O Abu al-?asan! What is the strongly guarded city?’ He replied, ‘I asked Abu ‘Abdillah (a.s.) about it, and he said to me, ‘It is an all-comprehending heart.’[Ma’ani al-Akhbar, p. 189, no. 1]

The All-Inclusiveness of the Book and the Prophetic Practice

شُموليّةُ الكتاب والسُّنّةِ

23ـ عن أبي اُسامةَ: كنتُ عِندَ أبي عبدِ اللّه‏ِ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ) وعِندَهُ رجُلٌ من المُغيريَّةِ ، فسَألَهُ عَن شيءٍ مِن السُّنَنِ ، فقالَ : ما مِن شيءٍ يَحتاجُ إلَيهِ وُلدُ آدمَ إلّا وقد خَرَجَتْ فيهِ السُّنَّةُ مِن اللّه‏ِ ومِن رسولِهِ، ولولا ذلكَ ما احْتَجَّ علَينا بما احْتَجَّ، فقالَ المُغِيريُّ: وبِما احْتَجَّ؟ فقالَ أبو عبدِ اللّه‏ِ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ) : قولُهُ : «اليَومَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وأتْمَمْتُ عَلَيكُمْ نِعْمَتِي»

23- Abu Usama narrated, ‘I was with Abu ‘Abdillah [al-Sadiq] (a.s.), and there was with him a man from al-Mughiriyyah. The man asked him about some practices. He said, ‘There is nothing which the offspring of Adam needs except that it has been expounded in the practices set by Allah and His Messenger. Otherwise He would not have the argument over us that He holds.’ The man from al-Mughiriyyah then asked, ‘And what is His argument?’ Abu ‘Abdillah (a.s.) said, ‘[It is] His verse: “Today I have perfected your religion for you, and I have completed My blessing upon you” [Qur’an 5:3].’[Bihar al-Anwar, v. 2, p. 169, no. 3]

The Ambiguous Traditions

مُتَشابِهاتُ الأحاديثِ

24ـ الإمامُ الرِّضا (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ) : إنَّ في أخْبارِنا مُتَشابِهاً كمُتَشابِهِ القُرآنِ ، ومُحْكَماً كمُحْكَمِ القُرآنِ ، فَرُدّوا مُتَشابِهَها إلى مُحْكَمِها ، ولا تَتَّبِعوا مُتَشابِهها دُونَ مُحْكَمِها فتَضِلّوا .

24- Imam Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, ‘Some of our traditions are ambiguous like the ambiguous verses of the Qur’an, and some are clear like the clear verses of the Qur’an. Then refer its ambiguous ones to its clear ones, and do not follow its ambiguous ones [blindly] without referring to its clear ones lest you go astray.’[‘Uyun Akhbar ar-Ridha, v. 1, p. 290, no. 39]