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The Hadith Literature

How many works of Hadith in total exist? If someone wants to develop an opinion about a certain area of life based on hadith how can he/she be sure that he/she has honestly considered all the points of view which are ascribed to Prophet (sws). I mean there are many matters in which the ahadith conflict. How can someone make sure that he or she has seen all possible available ahadith on a certain topic?

Answer:

Thank you for writing to us. When a Muslim scholar intends to study the religious point of view on an issue he looks into the Qur'an for guidance first of all. Then there is the Sunnah of the Prophet (sws). By Sunnah I mean the practices the Prophet (sws) instituted as part of the religion and taught to the entire generation of his addressees who then passed it on to the next generation with clear…

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Hadith-e Qudsi

1. What is a hadith-e-qudsi?

2. What is its status in the Qur’an and the Sunnah?

3. Sometimes we describe the meanings and crux of what Allah said in the
Qur’an instead of providing with complete verse. For this we use "Allah says this" or similar expressions. Maybe prophet (sws) did the same in ahadith and people mistakenly considered it as revelation of Allah which is not in the Qur’an and called it hadith-e-qudsi?

Answer:

Thank you for writing to us. Hadith-e Qudsi is something that the Prophet (sws) attributed to Almighty Allah yet it does not form the part of the Qur’an. He usually explicitly starts with the words: God says this and this. The source of the Prophet's knowledge can be the Qur'an but often it is not. There are ahadith-e qudsi which cannot even remotely be attached to the Qur'an.

Like all ahadith, qudsi ahadith have also…

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Concocted Stories For Inculcating Piety

Some preachers use some baseless stories in the mosques and elsewhere specially to motivate Muslims to perform the religious duties of Islam. People are usually easily motivated by such stories. There are unbelievable stories about Pirs (religious leaders) who are thought to have done miracles during their life time and also after their demise. What should a sincere Islamic preacher do in such a situation especially when, if we directly oppose those fairy tales like stories, then our integrity as sincere believers will be questioned. We can be regarded as persons creating dissension in the Ummah.

Answer:

This is indeed very unfortunate that some people try to persuade others to do good acts and avoid evil through narrating such concocted stories. The listeners also do not bother to think that they are being fooled by accepting things which they wouldn’t believe in if only they were to deliberate.

The best approach to preaching is found in the example of the Prophet (sws) who used to recite the Qur’an before his addressees.…

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The Living Sunnah

My question pertains to the process of "Living Sunnah" which was abolished after Imam Shafi closed the gates of Ijtihad. Living sunnah in my understanding is the process of Ijtihad and Ijma‘ for law formulation and other decision making activities of a Muslim society. I am still a student in understanding aspects related to the process of the "Living Sunnah". I would really like for you to tell me if your institution knows what I am talking about because I feel that is what your institution's purpose entails. If you do know what I am talking about could you impart more knowledge on this process so I can be ascertained that this was the way for the propagation of our society towards positive intellectual development.

Answer:

Thank you for writing to us. As to the question of closing the gate of ijtihad I will restrict my response to the statement that the gate of ijtihad was not closed by Shafi'i. Imam Shafi'i himself explained that ijtihad means ascertaining the legal rulings and fulfilling the religious obligations mentioned in the religious sources in the light of express and implied religious injunctions. The door of ijtihad is considered to have been closed by…

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Assassination Of Ka’ab Ibn Ashraf

Can you please explain the details surrounding the killing of Ka‘ab Ibn Ashraf? Is it true that he was assassinated by the Muslims?

Answer:

I am sorry it would not be possible for me to give a detailed account of the circumstances in which Ka‘ab Ibn Ashraf was killed. Books on early history of Islam and the Hadith works are a ready source of reference. However, I would like to allude to an important premise which has to be kept in mind while dealing with incidents which depict animosity with the rejecters of the faith of the time of…

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The Prophet’s (sws) Race With Aishah (rta)

I would like to ask you about the Hadith in which the Holy Prophet (sws) is reported to have raced with his wife A’ishah (rta). Please clarify the context and the meaning of this narrative. I have read it a couple of times in some articles on women sports and other issues.

Answer:

The text of the referred Hadith in Ibn Majah is as follows:

A’ishah (rta) said: ‘The Prophet (sws) raced with me and I won the race.’

The text of the Hadith in Musnad Ahmad is as follows:

Hasham reported on the authority of his father that A’ishah (rta) said: ‘The Prophet (sws) raced with me and I won the race. We remained in this position until I put on some flesh and then…

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Using Islamic Medicines

A Muslim had a very critical health problem and lost hope in all kinds of conventional medicine. He decided on using Islamic medicine. I mean he recites parts of the Holy Qur’an and blows on a glass of water and then drinks it. He also uses medicine which the Holy Prophet (sws) is reported to have used or recommended like black seeds. He started to improve but was not fully cured. Later on he discovered that he might be cured if he avoided certain diet and did certain exercises. As he has adopted the Islamic treatment and has strong faith in God and sticks to it with all conviction and true intent, is he now allowed to resort again to the conventional medicine, and, at the same time, continue with the Islamic medicines? Please provide reference from the basic sources of the religion to substantiate you reply.

Answer:

We understand that the Messengers of God and the Books revealed to them are not sent in order to divulge medical knowledge to people; rather they were all sent to guide humans in religious matters. We therefore believe that the Book of God never touches upon any issue other than religion. We are supposed to apply all available knowledge, cures and remedies made available by medical science. Therefore, validity of the claim that the medicine…

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Shia Scholars And Science Of Hadith

1. What is the status of Imam Jafar Sadiq and Imam Musa Kazim as a Muhaddis / Narrator?

2. What is the status of Ahadith that are ascribed by Imam Jafar Sadiq and Imam Musa Kazim to the Prophet PBUH and to the Syedna Ali RA?

3. Did they proclaim themselves as Shia or they were wrongly associated with Shiaism by the followers?

Answer:

1. What is the status of Imam Jafar Sadiq and Imam Musa Kazim as a Muhaddis / Narrator?

The dominating view of the scholars of Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama'ah is that they are both very reliable and in particular Imam Sadiq is counted among the best. Ibn Tayiya writes in Minhaj al-Sunnah about Imam Sadiq:

فإنّ جعفر بن محمد من أئمة الدین باتفاق أهل السنة

(Jafar ibn Muhammad is from among the leading…

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Difference Between Tawatur And Khabr-e Wahid

One of my friends claims that the distinction between mutawatir and ahad (individual-to-individual, isolated) hadith and historical reports was introduced by a certain "Bish bin Ghiyath". He was one of the experts of kalaam (scholastic theology). He was even considered as kafir. In other words, the source of the mutawaatir vs. ahaad distinction was people of bid’ah (innovation). It has been claimed that Imam Thahabi held this in Siyar A’lam Al-Nubala’. Please comment.

Answer:

This view attacks a fact on the basis that it was first discovered and introduced by an innovator. Even if we take this claim to be true that the distinction was first highlighted was by a certain innovator we have to see the claim in its own right. Those who consider that tawatur is established and absolutely authentic source of historical transfer of knowledge do not base their view on that this or that innovator…

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A Negative View Of The Work And Contributions Of Imam Abu Hanifa

I recently came to know from some of my friends that imam Auu Hanifa was a deviant. He referred to the views of the great scholars of the past about the work and person of Imam Abu Hanifah. He told me that Imam Fakhr Al-Din Razi, wrote: "Imam Ahmad b. Hanbal was asked about Imam Malik. The reply was: “His Hadiths are correct but the narrators are weak.” Someone asked him about Imam Shafi'i. The reply was: “His Hadiths and opinion is correct.” Then someone asked him about Imam Abu Hanifa. He said "Nu’man's opinion and his hadiths bear no value'."

Similar or severer comments have been attributed to Imam Shafi’i and Imam Malik. Some report that they even called him a liar. Please comment.

Answer:

There are two questions regarding these findings. First, how do we know for sure that these are not fabrications? I do not think such great scholars would condemn someone merely on the basis of difference of opinion. We know that a hadith is weak according to Imam Muslim and sound according to Imam Bukhari. A narrative is acceptable to Imam Shafi'i and rejected by Malik. Does that entail that we should side with one and…

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Khatam

This is in reference to your answer to the question about Khatam. I agree with you that this is something new but I am unable to understand that why all the new things are not allowed. The word of the Holy Prophet (sws) about every addition clearly shows that if someone says that this is a must in Islam only then it could be considered some addition.


Agreeing to your point would definitely lead me to conclude that division of the Quranic text in thirty parts, the Friday and Eid congregations when no political authorities are leading as Imam, fixed number of the optional Raka‘at of the prayers and congregational supplication after the Prayer are clear innovations. Those who invented them as well as those who perform them will go to hell.

Secondly, I think it is very important to clarify what Khatam is. It is but to recite few chapters of the Holy Qur’an before eating something and asking Allah’s help and forgiveness. I do not see anything contradicting Islamic Shariah in this.

Answer:

We need to define what an innovation in the religious really means. We introduce a religious innovation when we follow a certain practice which cannot be traced back to the Prophet (sws) through a reliable source. This has to be an independent practice having concrete form. We claim that it is a religious and rewarding act originating from the Holy Prophet (sws). The examples you have presented cannot all be considered an addition to the…

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Authenticity Of The Hadith Works

Are all the Hadith works other than the Siha-i Sitta (the so-called six canonical collections) inauthentic regardless of the chain of narrators?

Answer:

It is not correct to say that only the so-called canonical collections are authentic and the rest of the words are inauthentic. There could be authentic narratives in other books as well. Similarly not all the narratives in the so called six canonical collections or even Bukhari and Muslim are authentic. Every narrative transmitted as khabr-I wahid (individual to individual narrative) is subject to analysis and rejection if it goes against the Qur'an, the absolutely…

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Must All Ahadith Be Reconciled With The Qur’an And The Sunnah?

My understanding of Hadith is that it is not a separate source of Islam. Subject matter of every Hadith must originate in the Holy Qur’an or the Sunnah. I say this because our Prophet (sws) could never do or say anything regarding Islam that was not part of the two basic sources (the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah). Therefore, a Hadith which cannot be reconciled with any of these two sources should be rejected. Is this approach correct?

Answer:

Hadith is the record of the life history, sayings and deeds of the Prophet (sws). Only those of its contents, which are religious in nature or have to do with morality, should be gauged on the yardstick of the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah. It is right to say that the Prophet (sws) could not do anything contrary to the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah but one cannot claim that all that is recorded as…

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A Prophetic Hadith Contradicting Scientific Facts!

I came across this Hadith in Bukhari. The Prophet (sws) explains to Abu Dharr:

Do you know where the sun sets...? Indeed it travels till it prostates itself underneath the throne. (No: 4428)
This Hadith clearly seems to contradict the fact that sunset is brought about by the rotation of the earth. How should this Hadith be interpreted, and how do we counter criticisms by non-Muslims who might make use of this Hadith to assert that some of the Prophetic sayings contradict scientific facts?

Answer:

The apparent meaning of the Hadith seems to go against what today is an established scientific fact. However, a careful analysis of this Hadith would show that this is not true: This subject has been discussed in the Qur’an also. Consider the following verse:

أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَسْجُدُ لَهُ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَن فِي الْأَرْضِ وَالشَّمْسُ وَالْقَمَرُ وَالنُّجُومُ وَالْجِبَالُ وَالشَّجَرُ وَالدَّوَابُّ وَكَثِيرٌ مِّنَ النَّاسِ
Do you not see that all…

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Why Was The Sunnah Not Protected?

assalaam-oalaykum

We learn that the Qur’ān and the Sunnah form part of the religion. We are told that God has promised to protect the “dhikr” (which I suppose includes both). Then why Allah did not protect the complete Sunnah. Hope you will help in this regards.

Thank you

Answer:

assalām-o-alaykum

By Sunnah we mean the religious practices which the Holy Prophet (sws) instituted as part of the religion under the direct command of the Almighty. The Prophet (sws) made sure that these practices are made a part of the life of the generation of the Companions (sws) who with their consensus transferred them to the next generation which conveyed them to the next and so on. This process of perpetual adherence of the ummah

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Role, Importance And Authenticity Of The Hadith

assalam-o-alaykum

Could you please tell me your views about the authority and status of the Ḥadīth of the Prophet (sws)? I also wanted to learn how can a person reject a Ḥadīth which has earlier been accepted by the Muslim scholars? Can a scholar introduce new explanations and new versions of Islamic interpretations?
Looking forward to your response.
Regards Faisal Hassan

Answer:

wa alaykum assalam

Muslims believe that the Prophet (sws) communicated the religion to the world in two forms, the Holy Qur'an and the Sunnah. The contents of the religion are therefore contained in these two sources. The Holy Qur'an is the Book of God which the Prophet (sws) taught to the entire generation of the Companions (rta) who communicated it to the next generation with their consensus and it has reached us passing from generality to…

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