The Effects Of The Prohibition Of Recording The Hadith

In the previous pages of this book, the six justifications for the prohibition of reporting and recording the Hadith have been proven untrue, the seventh justification has been proven imperfect, and finally the actual reason has been demonstrated.

After all this, we can conclude that a number of important effects were ensued from that decision, which badly influenced the Islamic legislation. The most important of these effects will be hereinafter listed:

FIRST: The Muslims separated into two ideological trends that, later on, resulted in the appearance of two independent schools each of which had its own beliefs, principles, and attitudes.

SECOND: The concepts of those who supported the prohibition of recording the Hadith found themselves a spacious area in the Islamic culture. In addition, various justifications and a range of excuses have been invented for validating that prohibition.

THIRD: The slogans of “The Book of Allah is sufficient for us” and “The Book of Allah is the arbitrator between us” were raised as a first step in the way of covering the caliphs’ jurisprudential insufficiency of comprehending the traditions of the Holy Prophet. As a second step, they began to neglect their slogans and violate the Book of Allah. As an example, Abu-Bakr disputed with Lady Fatimah al-Zahra' and disregarded her proof that she had picked from the Holy Qur'an. Similarly, `Umar ibn al-Khattab violated the Holy Qur'an in the questions of the three-time divorce, the al-Mu’allafah Qulubuhum, ... etc. Finally, some biased people made use of this slogan in order to deny any issue that cannot be openly found in the Holy Qur'an.

FOURTH: In order to meet the gap created by the decision of the prohibition of recording the Hadith, the so-called Ijtihad was allowed to be extremely practiced, yet through a number of stages as follows:

1) Those who actually held the position of the leadership after the Holy Prophet had many times violated the Holy Prophet’s instructions, during his lifetime and in his presence, and followed their own opinions, which were the opposite of his instruction.

2) Abu-Bakr, the first caliph, practically put into effect the idea of Ijtihad.

3) `Umar ibn al-Khattab, the second caliph, opened extremely wide the doors for giving practical effect to his personal views and opinions, as is clearly shown in the issues of the three-time divorce, the al-Mu’allafah Qulubuhum, the temporary marriage... etc.

FIFTH: In an early period of the age of the official application of the prohibition of recording the Hadith, the concepts of “This is my own opinion” and “As he tried to infer the ruling, he missed the right” came into view and caused the invention of new principles that have been, afterward, widely used in the Sunnite jurisprudence, such as analogy (Qiyas), Equitable Preference (Istihsan), and the like.

SIXTH: The decision of the prohibition and the allowance of personal views (i.e. Ijtihad) gave rise to the occurrence of serious contradictions and disputes among the verdicts and opinions of the Sahabah or even in the verdicts of a certain Sahabiy. This phenomenon resulted in the following:

1) The claim of the legality of disputes among the Muslims, the legality of Opinionism and multi-opinionism and thus the acceptability of the divergent opinions of all the Sahabah, and the conception of the ultimate decency of the Sahabah—all these concepts were the first outcomes of the contradictions and disputes among the Sahabah.

2) Scholars belonging to the School of Ijtihad and Opinionism have argued that Almighty Allah has referred the rulings in the questions about which no sacred text (from the Holy Qur'an and Sunnah) can be found to the mujtahids and thus whatever is decided by these mujtahids should be decided as the law of Almighty Allah. This conception is called Taswib.

3) In order to find excuses for the flaws of Abu-Bakr and `Umar, it was claimed that the Holy Prophet himself practiced Ijtihad and that he was no more than an ordinary mortal who may be right or wrong and that his sayings were influenced by his manners; that is when he is enraged, he may say things that he does not say when he is pleased!

4) The verbal traditions of the Holy Prophet were interpreted according to personal tastes and interests. The best example is the false interpretations of the famous Hadith that reads, “The ‘Ikhtilaf’ of my ummah is mercy.”1

SEVENTH: `Umar ibn al-Khattab presented the idea of his being the most knowledgeable in the religious laws at least. Before that, he used to confess of the existence of personalities that were more knowledgeable than he was.

This idea evolved to the belief of the most knowledgeability of the caliphs as regards the religious laws and their being the worthiest of issuing verdicts. In view of that, it became acceptable for the caliphs to do the following:

1) The caliph whipped anyone who declared opinions opposite to his or anyone who asked him about matters he did not like.

2) He detained the grand Sahabah because they had reported too many Hadiths.

3) He decided that the Sahabah must wait for his permission before they would issue any verdict as regards the religious laws.

EIGHTH: Innovative ideas emerged in the life of the Muslims; such as the obligation of complying with the ruler (They say, “The men in authority have said their opinion about this issue,” “Discrepancy is evil,” and “Follow the ruler even if he whips your back!”), and not specifying decency as stipulation in many issues, such as the office of judicature, and even acts of worship, and thus they have deemed lawful to follow in congregational prayers any imam, whether pious or sinful!

NINTH: The personal views of the Sahabah, or the conducts of the two Shaykhs; Abu-Bakr and `Umar, were considered a third principle and as important as the Holy Qur'an and Sunnah in the religious legislation. The most obvious application of this principle was practiced in the meeting of the so-called Shura Committee.

TENTH: The attempt to restrict Ijtihad to the views of Abu-Bakr and `Umar and to dedicate the religious practices to their opinions failed, by reason of the availability of the objective circumstances and conditions of the comprehensiveness and generality of Ijtihad for the other caliphs.

As a consequence, `Uthman ibn `Affan and Mu`awiyah ibn Abi-Sufyan expanded the practice of Ijtihad to such a notorious extents that made the Muslims became unable to stand the innovatives of `Uthman.

However, when he realized that a revolution was led against him, he subjugated Sa`id ibn Zayd ibn Nufayl2 to invent the false Hadith of “The Ten Individuals of Paradise” so as to evade, yet uselessly, the Muslims’ objections against him. In no time was that fabricated Hadith exploited so wickedly that it influenced the beliefs and jurisprudence of the Muslims.

ELEVENTH: The records of Hadith that were lately compiled generally comprised a great sum of the opinions of the adopters of Ijtihad and concentrated on recording the conducts of Abu-Bakr and `Umar exclusively.

Therefore, the recorded opinions of these two were distinguished and preferred to the other opinions. This of course means that the attempt to restrict the Ijtihad to the two Shaykhs, though generally failed, succeeded in reflecting a halo of sanctity and priority on their conducts rather than the others.

TWELFTH: Lights were focused on the jurisprudential trend of those who stood against the recordation of the Hadith and the Thorough Compliance with the Sacred Texts. Even the jurisprudential trend of the adopters of the other school was rejected. The standing of the Qurayshite individuals was strengthened, and the most important roles, politically and legislatively, were given to the minor Sahabah.

THIRTEENTH: Attempts to create and enlarge a gap between the publics and the recordations of the Hadith and those who recorded it, especially the Ahl al-Bayt and their records, were continuously made. In this connection, many steps were taken:

1) The idea that prophethood and leadership must not be joined to the Hashimites was officially adopted.

2) False Hadiths about the merits of those who prohibited the recordation of the Hadith were largely fabricated. In the same time, fictitious flaws were invented against the adopters and practicers of the recordation and, as a second step, calls were made to follow the jurisprudential trend of those who prohibited the recordation.

3) The idea that Abu-Bakr and `Umar was preferred to all human beings was fabricated. Later on, `Uthman was added to the list while `Ali ibn Abi-Talib was kept in a position not different from the ordinary people’s.

4) The majority of the jurisprudential opinions that had been resulted from the prohibition of recording the Hadith were falsely ascribed to those who practiced and adopted the recordation whom were actually reported to have adopted other authentic opinions inferred from the trend of the recordation of the Hadith.

FOURTEENTH: As a result of the prohibition of reporting and recording the Hadith for about a whole century, a big number of religious laws disappeared and another part of them was lost until the traditions of the Holy Prophet became out of mind or semi-forgotten. The prohibition took such a long period that when it was permitted, it was official, governmental, imperfect, confused with other material, and full of personal views and opinions.

FIFTEENTH: Justifications were sought for the late generations to add to the religious laws any article that they liked and to cancel any article that they would not like and then to issue it in an official form and impose it on the publics. This demeanor made it easy for the opportunists to adopt ways of cunning and false induction through which they would issue for the sake of the rulers any verdict they required. The results of such can be hereinafter listed:

1) Ijtihad was unrestrainedly allowed in matters about which there is no sacred text as well as matters about which there is a sacred text.

2) The alleged, not actual, advantage was practiced to block the sacred texts.

3) It became unnecessary to compare the personal opinions of the Sahabah to the Holy Qur'an, in order to investigate their validity; rather some scholars have argued that the Sahabah’s opinions should be decided as absolute proofs and that their deeds should restrict the Holy Qur'an!

SIXTEENTH: Owing to the divergent trends and opinions originated from the decision, the prohibition from recording the Hadith created discrepancy about the reporting from the Holy Prophet.

SEVENTEENTH: Because the Ahl al-Bayt were purposely taken away from the Muslim community, especially in the jurisprudential and political fields, the Holy Imams insisted relentlessly on recording the Hadith and safeguarding the scientific heritage received from their fathers since they feared lest that heritage would be wasted.

For this reason, the Shi`ite heritage of the Hadith is vastly wider than the Sunnite. It is well-known that al-Nassa'iy’s reference book of Hadith (entitled al-Sunan) excels the other Sunnite reference books of Hadith in the manner that it comprises Hadiths concerning the religious laws. In his message to the people of Makkah, the compiler of the book says,

“These Hadiths (comprised by the book) are totally about the religious laws. As for the other Hadiths on asceticism, merits, and other topics, I have not recorded them although they are big in number.”

Nevertheless, this collection has comprised 5274 Hadiths. The proportion will be nil if this number is compared to the Hadiths of the religious laws written in the book of Wasa'il al-Shi`ah that amount to 35850, and the Hadiths mentioned in the book of Mustadrak al-Wasa’il wa-Mustanbat al-Masa’il that amount to 23000. Experts have confirmed that the Hadiths reported by the Shi`ite narrators are two fold more than the Hadiths written in the Sunnite reference books of Hadith.

EIGHTEENTH: The sanctity of the Holy Prophet was nonexistent in the mentalities of the Caliphs, yet to various extents. It began when they called out to him from behind the private chambers and then pulled him from his dress. They then said that he was hallucinating. They then said,

“Two issues were allowed during the age of Allah’s Messenger, but now I deem them forbidden and will punish anyone who will violate this prohibition. These are the temporary marriage and the allowable period during the Hajj.”3

When he was reminded that the Holy Prophet warned against usury, Mu`awiyah said, “But I do not see any harm in it!” Finally, Yazid ibn Mu`awiyah quoted the poetic verses of Ibn al-Zuba`riy4 and al-Walid ibn Yazid tore into pieces a copy of the Holy Qur'an.

NINETEENTH: Owing to the previous, disorder in the jurisprudential and doctrinal results has been undeniably obvious in the history of the Islamic legislation. The late recordation of the Hadith could not meet this gap; rather it made it more complicated and perplexed when the various opinions and personal views were confused with the authentically reported traditions of the Holy Prophet. For that reason, it is difficult to bring the Sunnite jurisprudential schools into agreement with each other as regards the majority of the religious laws.

TWENTIETH: The prohibition of recording the Hadith was falsely ascribed to the Holy Prophet in order to release the actual issuers of this decision from responsibility, to cast the blame on the Messenger of Allah, and to make comparison between the narrations of the prohibition and these of the recordation of the Hadith, although all the narrations that support the prohibition are doubtful and unconvinced, because they were fabricated later on in order to justify the decision issued by Abu-Bakr and `Umar as well as the deeds of those who followed them as regards the reporting and recordation of the Hadith.

TWENTY-FIRST: The prohibition of recording the Hadith has become the best means utilized by the Orientalists in order to prejudice Islam and criticize the Islamic ideology and genuine culture under the claim of the religion’s being the origin of retardation and the barrier against cultural progress.

TWENTY-SECOND: The authors and writers who supported the School of Ijtihad and Opinionism seized the opportunity to fabricate lies as they liked and to invent various justifications aimed at releasing the rulers from the consequences of the decision of the prohibition. Besides, these men of letters were not brave enough to demonstrate the rulers’ flaws and to present the facts in this regard.

  • 1. To explain it, the Arabic word ‘Ikhtilaf’ carries at least two meanings the most famous of which is ‘difference’ while the other meanings are ‘frequenting to a certain place’ and ‘separation in countries’... etc. The word ‘Ikhtilaf’ thus may carry any of these meanings. (Translator)
  • 2. Al-Bukhariy, in his book of ‘al-Sahih’ 7:118 Kitab al-Dhaba’ih (Section of Slaughtered Animals), has recorded on the authority of Salim that `Abdullah reported that the Holy Prophet, before the beginning of his divine mission, met Zayd ibn `Umar ibn Nufayl in Baldah (a place near Makkah) and served him a meal of meat. He refused to eat, saying, “I do not eat the meat of the animals that you immolate unto idols and also I do not eat the meat of animals that you do not mention the name of Allah on it!” This narration requires deep investigation!
  • 3. It was `Umar ibn al-Khattab who declared this decision. See al-Dhahbiy: Tadhkirat al-Huffadh 1:366.
  • 4. After the martyrdom of Imam al-Husayn, his head was cut and brought before Yazid ibn Mu`awiyah. As his sight fell on that sacred head, he recollected these bitter days of his father and grandfather who had led campaigns against al-Husayn’s grandfather, namely the Holy Prophet, and recollected the failure that chased them even in their own homes until they were humiliated and regarded as manumitted slaves. Yazid showed his great rejoicing at the current situation as the family of the Holy Prophet were captives between his hands and the heads of the Holy Prophet’s grandsons were thrown before him. He then quoted poetic verses said during the Battle of Uhud by al-Zuba`riy, with suitable changes, saying:
    I wish my forefathers at Badr had witnessed
    How the Khazraj are by the thorns annoyed,
    They would have been very much delighted,
    Then they’d have said, “May your hands, O Yazid, never be paralyzed
    We have killed the masters of their chiefs
    And equated it with Badr, and it has been so, indeed
    The Hashemites played with the dominion so indeed,
    While no news from the Heaven had come, nor was there anything revealed
    I will disavow the Khandaf if I will not seek revenge
    From Ahmed’s children for what he did to us!