The following are some examples of the defects of not narrating the actual words of the Prophet (S).
Bukhari in his Sahih narrated from Ibn Omar saying: "The Messenger of Allah (S) said on the Day of Ahzab: None shall offer their Asr prayers but at Bani-Qorayzah."
Muslim in his Sahih narrating from the same narrator said: "The Messenger of Allah (S) said on the Day of Ahzab: None shall offer their Zohr prayers but at Bani-Qorayzah."
Ibn Hajar; the best interpreter of Sahih Bukhari (died in 852 A.H) under the interpretation of the above Hadith said: "In all versions of Bukhari 'Asr prayers' is written, whereas in all versions of Muslim 'Zohr prayers' is written. This is despite the fact that both of them narrated from the same source and through the same chain of narrators!" He then in justification of the difference asserted: "Bukhari used to write down the Ahadith from his memory and was not committed to a verbal narration."
Sadly, the Sunni scholars today are left with nine different versions of the formula for Tashahud (testimony) in their daily prayers. They narrate different formulas from different companions. For instance, the narration of Ibn Mas'oud is different from the narration of Ibn Abbas and they are different from the narration of Omar Ibn Khattab.
All three are different from the narration of Abu-Sa'ed Al-Khodri all of which are different from the narration of Ayesha, etc. Today the Tashahud of the Hanafi and Hanbali based on a narration from Ibn Mas'oud is as follows:
التحيات لله و الصلوات و الطيبات . السلام عليك ايها النبي و رحمة الله و برکاته. السلام علينا و علي عباد الله الصالحين. اشهد ان لا اله الا الله و اشهد ان محمدا عبده و رسوله.
The Malikis Tashahud however, following a narration from Omar Ibn Khattab is as follows:
التحيات الزاکيات لله الطيبات الصلوات لله.
Imam Malik preferred this narration, for Omar had recited it publically on the pulpit and no one objected! The Shafe'is on the other hand, relying on a narration from Ibn Abbas say in their Tashahud:
التحيات المبارکات الصلوات الطيبات لله. السلام عليک ايها النبي و رحمة الله و برکاته. السلام علينا و علي عباد الله الصالحين. اشهد ان محمدا رسول الله.
The most important problem of narration is that very often it may lead to a different meaning and results in distortion of the religion. Sometimes, the narrators cannot remember the context of the Hadith or cannot remember the actual wordings etc. Thus, they fail to narrate the concept of the Hadith accurately. Consider the following examples:
a. Abu-Horayrah narrated from the Prophet (S): "If there is any evil it is in three things: the house, the woman and the horse!"
The problem of this narration is that firstly it contradicts the numerous prophetic narrations in which the Messenger of Allah (S) prohibited pessimism. Secondly, when Ayesha was informed about this narration she commented: what the Prophet had said was: "The People of Jahilliyah used to say if there is any evil it is in three things" But Abu-Horayrah was not there to hear the first part of the Hadith.
b. Bukhari in his Isnad narrated from Ayesha who asked the Prophet (S) concerning the plague: He said, "That was a means of torture which God used to send upon whom-so-ever he wished, but he made it a source of mercy for the believers, for anyone who is residing in a town in which this disease is present, and remains there and does not leave that town, but has patience and hopes for God's reward, and knows that nothing will befall him except what God has written for him, then he will get such reward as that of a martyr." 1
The determinists Ash'aries have referred to this narration to prove their dogma of determinism. With the spread of such narrations the followers of Ahlul-Bayt (a.s.) refer to their Imams (a.s.) to clarify their accuracy. Al-Kolayni in an authentic Hadith from Al-Halabi narrated: He asked Imam Sadiq (a.s.) if it was permissible for the people of a town afflicted by plague to travel from one suburb to another or from that town to another? The Imam (a.s.) replied: "It doesn't matter! Verily, the Messenger of Allah (S) prohibited that for his advanced guards who were in war with the enemies and were afflicted by the plague. They fled from the plague. Then the Messenger of Allah (S) said: Whoever flees from it (plague) is like the one fleeing from war. He said so (only) to discourage his army from vacating their bases."2
It is narrated from the Prophet (S): "Whoever misquotes me deliberately his seat shall be placed in Fire."
Many Shia and Sunni narrators have narrated the above Hadith. Ibn Jouzi claims that the Hadith is narrated through more than one hundred companions of the Prophet (S). Some scholars such as Bukhari and Nasaei have even narrated it without the term 'deliberate'. According to them whoever misquotes the Prophet (S) whether deliberately or not will be placed in Paradise.3
The late Allama Amini mentioned the names of forty-three narrators who had fabricated 408686 Hadith some of whom had fabricated up to one hundred thousand Hadith. His eminence further says: "The fact the Abu Dawood narrated only 4800 Hadith from five hundred thousand Hadith available to him, Bukhari narrated only 2761 Hadith from among six hundred thousand Hadith, Muslim narrated only 4000 Hadith from among three hundred thousand Hadith, Ahmad Ibn Hanbal narrated 30,000 Hadith from seven hundred and fifty thousand Hadith and Ahmad Ibn Forat narrated only 300,000 from among one million and five hundred thousand Hadith one can tell how actively the fabricators were working in that time."4
Allama Askari in his book "one hundred and fifty forged companions" proved hundreds of names, places, wars, poems and narrations that Sayf Ibn Omar had fabricated which they have no real existence at all!
Ibn Abil-Hadid quoting from Abu Abdillah Ibrahim Ibn Muhammad known as Naftoya; the historian of the fourth century said: "Most of the fabricated narrations in virtues of the companions were forged during the reign of Mo'awiyah."5 The following are some examples of those fabrications:
a. In a very famous Hadith it is narrated from the Prophet (S): "I am the city of knowledge and Ali is the gate of it. Whoever intends to access the city shall enter through the gate."6
The agents of Mo'awiyah manipulated the above Hadith in the following forms: "I am the city of knowledge and Abu Bakr is its base, and Omar is its walls, and Othman is its ceiling and Ali is its gate."7 The fabrication of this narration is so obvious. May be the cities of Mo'awiyah had ceilings!
b. It is also narrated from the Prophet (S): "Hasan and Husain are the masters of the youth of Paradise."
In order to dismantle the heavenly status of Hasanayn (a.s.), the agents of Mo'awiyah fabricated the following Hadith claiming that Imam Ali (a.s.) has narrated it from the Prophet (S): "Abu Bakr and Omar are the masters of the aged people of Paradise from the beginning to the end save the Prophets and the Messengers." 8 It is so obvious that the people of Paradise are all young. There is no room for the masters, for the aged, for there is no aged person in Paradise.
c. Mo'awiyah offered one hundred thousand Dirhams to Samorah Ibn Jondab to claim the Ayah "of the people" (2:204) is revealed concerning Ali Ibn Abi Talib! Samorah refused until Mo'awiyah increased the amount to four hundred thousand Dirhams and Samorah accepted the deal! 9
To demonstrate the amount of the fabricated Hadith produced by him it is sufficient to have a comparison between the numbers of the Ahadith found in the Sunni books of Hadith from Imam Ali (a.s.) and that of Abu Horayrah.
Imam Ali (a.s.) was brought up in the house of the Prophet (S) from the age of two, and he was the first person who declared his testimony after its advent. All Muslims are unanimous that none of the companions of the Prophet (S) were so virtuous as that of Imam Ali (a.s.).
Nonetheless, according to Soyouti only 58 Ahadith are narrated from Imam Ali (as.) and that is mainly on trivial issues. Ibn Jazm further confirmed that only 50 Ahadith of what is narrated from Imam Ali (a.s.) is authentic (to their standard). Bukhari and Muslim together have only narrated about 20 Ahadith from Imam Ali (a.s.). Interestingly, very often the Sunni narrators fabricated a Hadith against the teachings of Ahlul-Bayt (a.s.) relating it to Imam Ali (a.s.) to use it against their followers. Examples of these Ahadith are what they have misquoted from the Imam concerning the permissibility of wiping on the shoes (for Wudu) 10 or prohibition of temporary Marriage.
On the other hand, from Abu Horayrah who had only met the Prophet (S) for less than two years, they have narrated 5374 Hadith! Thus, Abu Horayrah in the Sunni books of Hadith is the most narrating narrator.
When Mo'awiyah rebelled against the legal government of Imam Ali (a.s.), Abu Horayrah; who could not satisfy his stomach under the just leadership of the Imam, joined the camp of Mo'awiyah. Mo'awiyah provided him with a palace made of agate stones in addition to a piece of land. He also married him to Bosrah; the daughter of Ghazwan. In return he asked Abu Horayrah to fight Ali (a.s.) with his tongue (not his sword). Mo'awiyah asked Abu Horayrah to fabricate Ahadith in virtues of Mo'awiyah and the first caliphs. The following are some examples of those fabrications:
a. Ibn Asakir and Al-Khatib narrated from Abu Horayrah: "I heard the Messenger of Allah (S) saying: Verily, Allah trusted three people for His revelation; myself (the Prophet), Gabriel and Mo'awiyah!" 11
b. Bazzaz narrated from Abu Horayrah from the Messenger of Allah: "Verily the sun and the moon are two bulls in Fire on the Day of Judgment." Hasan said to Abu Horayrah: What is the sin of those two (to suffer in Hell)? Abu Horayrah said: I narrate from the Prophet (S) and yet you ask me why?! 12
c. The following is the strangest narration one could ever imagine. Bukhari narrated a Hadith from Abu Horayrah. After he narrated the Hadith to people, they asked him: O Abu Horayrah did you hear this from the Prophet (S)? Abu Horayrah who was confident about the naivety of his audience said: No, this is from the pocket of Abu Horayrah! 13
For further information about Abu Horayrah and his mischief in Islam please study the two following scholarly works:
1. Abu Horayrah written by the late Allama Sharafu-Ddin Al-Ameli
2. Sheikh Al-Modhayrah written by the late Abu Rayyah
During the reign of Mo'awiyah some Jewish rabbis and Christian monks who had converted for their hidden agenda were employed by Mo'awiyah. Ka'Bul-Ahbar, Tamim Al-Dari, Wahab Ibn Monabbah, Abdullah Ibn Salam and Sayf Ibn Omar were the main figures in this category. They imported numerous distorted biblical myths into the Islamic traditions thus causing distortion in many stories of the Quran. The scholars of Hadith refer to these narrations as 'Israelites'. Very often these narrations are expressed to the public by Abu Horayrah who studied under Ka'bul-Ahbar.
The fourth group of people who deliberately and with evil intention fabricated Hadith were the atheists such as Ibn Abil-Ouja. Ibn Athir in his book of history under the events of the year 155 A.H. narrated: When Ibn Abil-Ouja was taken to the cross for execution he said: you are killing me whilst I have entered 4000 Hadith in your books by which I have shown many Halal things as Haraam and many Haraam things as Halal. I have shown the days that you are supposed to fast as feasting days and the feasting days as fasting days!" 14
For instance, the followers of Imam Shafe'i fabricated a Hadith relating it to Abu Horayrah claiming that the Prophet (S) said:
يکون في امتي رجل يقال له محمد بن ادريس اضر من ابليس و يکون في امتي رجل يقال له ابوحنيفه هو سراج امتي.
"There shall be a man in my Ummah who will be called Muhammad Ibn Idris, he is worse than Iblis. And there shall be a man in my Ummah who will be called Abu-Hanifa, he is the lantern of my Ummah!" 15
For instance Abu-Horayrah fabricated the following narration:
ان الله ائتمن علي وحيه ثلاثة: انا و علي و معاوية.
"Allah concerning His revelation trusted three: I (the Prophet (S)), Gabriel and Mo'awiyah!" 16
For instance, the Christians fabricated a Hadith in which Jesus is shown as the only infallible person who is free from the original sin! Bukhari narrated from Abu Horayrah:
کل ابن آدم يطعن الشيطان في جنبه حين يولد غير عيسي بن مريم ذهب يطعن فطعن في الحجاب
"Satan hits the side of all the children of Adam at birth save Jesus son of Mary. He went to hit him too but he hit a veil."
- 1. Al-Bukhari, al-Sahih
- 2. Al-Kolayni, al-Kaafi 8:108
- 3. Note that the different wordings in this Hadith are another example of narration not quotation.
- 4. Al-Ghadir 5:291
- 5. Sharhe Nahjul-Balagha 3:15
- 6. For the references of this Hadith please see:
- 7. Al-Sawaequl-Mohreqah, p.34
- 8. Ibn Majah 1:36 Hadith No. 95
- 9. Ibn Abil-Hadid, Sharhe Nahjul Balagha 1:358
- 10. Muslim 1:232
- 11. Ibn Kathir, Al-Bedayah and Al-Nihaya 8:120
- 12. Abu Rayyah; Adhwaun Ala-Sunnatil-Muhammadiyah, p.207
- 13. Bukhari, Sahih 6:190, the Book of Nafaqat, ch. 1
- 14. Al-Kaamil 6:7
- 15. Adhwa' al-Sunnatil-Muhammadiyah, p.121
- 16. Ibid p.125