Reasons For The Prohibition

The issues of Abu-Bakr’s prohibition of recording the Hadith and `Umar’s decision of the reduction of reporting the Holy Prophet’s heritage1 are worth studying and investigation, because it is associated with the history of the second source of authority in Islam. Although this study is purely academic, it gives to the gentle readers a clear picture about the most important issue in the history of legislation, and the exposition of this issue can find solutions to a big number of the issues related to the controversial questions and help understand the reality and roots of the problem.

The most important reasons for the issuance of the decision can be shown in the following points:

First Reason: Justifications of Abu-Bakr

Second Reason: Justifications of `Umar ibn al-Khattab

Third Reason: Justifications of Ibn Qutaybah and Ibn Hajar

Fourth Reason: Justifications of Abu-Zahw and Shaykh `Abd al-Khaliq `Abd al-Ghaniy

Fifth Reason: Justifications of al-Khatib al-Baghdadiy and Ibn `Abd al-Barr

Sixth Reason: Justifications of some Orientalists

Seventh Reason: Justifications of the majority of Shi`ite writers

Last Reason: Our conclusions

Our discussions of the aforementioned reasons will be based on our understanding of the actuality of the Islamic legislation and its surrounding conditions; therefore, they are not aimed at attacking anyone’s standing since the whole matter is revolving upon the field of study and arguments in an age prevailed by logic and proof.

The presentation of someone’s opinion does not mean encroaching upon or doing harm to his/her personality and dignity; rather all the statements mentioned in the book, including my own conclusions, are subject to study and discussion because the top goal of any individual who cares for the right knowledge as well as the best readiness to the inescapable meeting with Almighty Allah is to reach at the truths in general and the religious truths in particular.

The presence before Almighty Allah on the Judgment Day is based upon right and honesty. It is thus binding for any mortal who seriously ponders on that horrifying and great situation on that Day to spare no efforts to find himself an exit from the criteria of the transient and illusive world towards the criteria of the right and virtuous abide. Finally, help is sought only from Almighty Allah Who is the Guide to the right path.

  • 1. According to the report of Qaradah ibn Ka`b al-Ansariy, `Umar ibn al-Khattab issued a decision ordering people to reduce reporting the Holy Prophet’s traditions. (See Ibn Sa`d: al-Tabaqat al-Kubra 6:7, Ibn `Abd al-Rabb al-Qurtubiy: Jami`u Bayan al-`Ilm wa-Fadlih(i) 2:120, al-Dhahbiy: Tadhkirat al-Huffadh 1:7, al-Muttaqiy al-Hindiy: Kanz al-’Ummal 2:284:4017 and Sunan al-Darimiy 1:85)