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What is hadith?

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)

 

One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

Dear Burhan Bhai,

Aslaam O" Alaikum Wr, Br

I read your advise and come to know that your response is based on Quran and Muhmmad's(pbuh) traditions.With mercy and kindness of Allah Subhanna your brother tried to understand Quran from its words without the Help on any book or anybody else but with the help & guidence of Allah who is the only source of help & knowledge.

 

You did not answer mu question and instead you sent me your invitation to subscribe.I understand that you answer only to those who are your subscribers, please i am your year old subscriber and reading your messages regularly please send me your reply to this address where you are sending other messages, hope now you will answer my questions given bellow.

Your Brother in Islam


Dear Brother in Islam A.O.A

Will you please tell me.

1- Hadith is a word of man or Allah subhanna?

 

2- If hadith is word of man attributed to Muhammad (pbuh) than is their any Hadith written by or told by Rasool Allah.

 

3-If not said or written by Rasool Allah than please give why not such necessory document written or perserved by Rasool Allah as He(pbuh) get the Quran written and perserved and Guranteed by Allah Subhanna.

 

4- If not all above and its word of man than what is the gurantee that the writers of Hadith not falsify the word of man and attributed them to Sahaba and relatives of Rasool Allah.

 

5-What is Hadith -e- Qudsi.Is it a word of Allah. Is it a seprate book of Allah other than Quran?

 

Please reply at your earliest.It is of great importance to me. please send a copy of your reply at

Regards-

 

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Answer:

 

What is hadith?

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad(saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.

 

Q-1: Hadith is a word of man or Allah subhanna?

In Shariah terms, Hadiths are the words of the Prophet (saws), the deeds, and anything that happened in the presence of the Messenger of Allah (saws) and he did or did not discourage it.

 

These hadiths or traditions are related by the noble companions of the Messenger of Allah (saws) who heard and saw him in person; thus in essence the hadiths are the words of man and not Allah Subhanah.

 

Q-2: If hadith is word of man attributed to Muhammad (pbuh) than is their any Hadith written by or told by Rasool Allah.

The responsibility of the Prophet (saws) was to deliver the Message of Allah Subhanah he received through inspiration to mankind, and to live his life according to the commands of the Message he received as an example to all generations of mankind until the end of time.

 

Holy Quran Chapter 33 Surah Ahzab verse 21:

There is indeed the best example for you to follow, in the Messenger of Allah, for every such person looks forward to Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much.

 

Sunan of Abu-Dawood Hadith 3640 Narrated by Zayd ibn Thabit

Zayd said: The Messenger of Allah (saws) ordered us not to write any of his traditions (in his lifetime).

 

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 4.404 Narrated by Ali

We did not write anything from the Prophet except the Qur'an.

 

Sahih Muslim Hadith 7147 Narrated by Abu Sa'id al-Khudri

Allah's Messenger (saws) said: Do not take down (or write) anything from me, and he who took down (wrote) anything from me except the Qur'an, he should efface that and narrate from me, for there is no harm in it; and he who deliberately attributed any falsehood to me, he should in fact find his abode in the Hell-Fire.

 

The Messenger of Allah (saws) did not write anything because he did not know how to write. He specifically forbade the believers to write any of his traditions during his lifetime while the Quran was being revealed, so that there was absolutely no doubt that what was being documented were the very words of the Quran and nothing else.

 

An example of the combination of the Revealed Scripture and the traditions of the Prophet of Allah can be best seen in the various collections and editions of the Bible.




If one studies the Bible it indeed becomes difficult to determine which amongst it are the verses of Revelations, which are the words of Prophet Jesus (a.s.), and which are the words that were subsequently added or altered by the documenters of the Bible!

 

All Praise is due to Allah Subhanah Alone, that He has preserved the Quran verbatim as it was revealed to the Messenger of Allah (saws).

 

Q-3: If not said or written by Rasool Allah than please give why not such necessory document written or perserved by Rasool Allah as He(pbuh) get the Quran written and perserved and Guranteed by Allah Subhanna.

The duty and the prime responsibility of the Messenger of Allah (saws) was to relay and deliver verbatim the Message of the Glorious Quran he would receive from the Lord All-Mighty, and to live his life according the commands of Allah Subhanah as a practical example for all mankind until the end of time. He was chosen as the Messenger of Allah (saws) by the Lord to declare the Message and live his life as an example to all mankind; and not as a postman who simply comes and delivers the post. He was commanded and guided by Allah Subhanah to live his life according to the Quran, teach and explain the laws therein, and create a society as an example to all mankind.

 

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 53 Surah Najm verses 2-4:

2 Your companion (Prophet Mohamed (saws)) is neither astray nor being misled

3 Nor does he say (aught) of (his own) desire.

4 It is no less than inspiration sent down to him:

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 7 Surah Aaraat verse 157:

(So, now mercy has been assigned to those) who follow this Messenger, the Gentile Prophet, whose mention they shall find in the Torah and the Gospel with them. He enjoins them to do good and forbids them from evil; he makes pure things lawful for them and impure things unlawful; he relieves them of their burdens and frees them from the shackles (of rites and rituals) that bound them. For this reason, those alone who believe in him, support him, succour him, and follow the Light that has been sent down with him shall attain true success.

 

Q-4: If not all above and its word of man than what is the gurantee that the writers of Hadith not falsify the word of man and attributed them to Sahaba and relatives of Rasool Allah.

Hadiths are indeed the words of man attributed to the Messenger of Allah (saws), and it is true that the hadiths cannot be guaranteed as absolutely and totally guaranteed the way the words of the Quran can be guaranteed.

 

It is not as if every hadith attributed to the Messenger of Allah (saws) is considered authentic, nor can every hadith attributed to him (saws) can be considered falsehood! But rather, the collection of the hadiths is a science, whereby the scholars of hadith whetted every evidence and terms of the hadith and only which they considered absolutely authentic were regarded as sahih or authentic.

 

It is indeed unfortunate that some people have gone to the two extremes when dealing with the ahaadiths of the Messenger of Allah (saws). One extreme declares belief in each and every hadith of the Prophet (saws), without confirming whether the hadith is authentic or not! The other extreme declares their complete opposition and rejection of any and all ahaadiths, regardless of whether they are fabricated or not!

 

The true muslims must take a balanced view or the middle way when dealing with anything. Just because someone calls a statement or a deed a hadith, we are not to completely submit to it, nor completely reject it; but the right and correct mode of conduct would be to do a thorough investigation to determine whether the Messenger of Allah (saws) indeed did do or say the thing claimed by the raavi or narrator.

 

The great and eminent scholars like Bukhari and Muslim have done an exhaustive research and investigation in each of the hadiths to determine their authenticity, and only when they were completely satisfied, they recorded these hadiths in their Sahih or Book of Authentic Hadiths. They investigated each aspect of the saying or deed whether it was in conformity with the Quran or not, for it is inconceivable for a believer to assume that the Messenger of Allah (saws) would have done or said anything against the dictates of the Quran. Then they thoroughly checked and investigated the chain of narrators to see whether they were truthful people or not, or whether one who claimed to have heard it from the other was alive at the same time or not, and if alive, did they ever meet each other or not! If there was even a slight doubt in any event or chain of events, these eminent scholars refused to accept the hadith as authentic.

 

Even after all their exhaustive efforts and thorough investigations, it is impossible to claim, nor does anyone ever claim, that each and every hadith in their collection of sahih is absolutely authentic; for after all, this is a work of man, and man is prone to shortcomings and error. For the believers, the only guaranteed authentic Book of Guidance has to be the Glorious Quran, whose authenticity is guaranteed until the end of time by none other than Allah Subhanah. For every aspect of guidance, emaan, belief, faith, aqeedah, tawheed, shirk, etc., one need not look beyond the Quran. The hadiths, once they have been declared authentic by the scholars, will only be used when one finds the Quran silent on a particular subject.

 

Whatever the Prophet (saws) said, and whatever he did are known as his Sunnah, which means The Prophets (saws) way. Hadith is the name given to the record of writing down the Prophets (saws) Sunnah by somebody.

 

What concerns us first and foremost is the guidance and the teachings in the Holy Quran. There is absolutely no doubt in the mind of any believer that these are the very words of Allah Subhanah. The Sunnah of the Prophet (saws) is the way he followed the commandments of the Holy Quran in a practical way and showed his companions and believers to act accordingly. To follow the way and example of the Prophet (saws) is a commandment of the Holy Quran Chapter 33 Surah Al Ahzaab verse 21:

There is indeed the best example or model for you (to follow) in the Messenger of Allah, for every such person who looks forward to Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much.

 

For example: The Quran says establish Prayer, but does not give other details of the number of rakah, etc. This the Prophet (saws) showed us practically by praying five times a day for a number of years in front of thousands of believers. He prayed two rakahs for fajr, three for magrib, and four for zuhr, asr and isha. This is how the Prophet (saws) established the Prayer commandment of the Holy Quran practically. And that is known as His Sunnah. Another example is that the Prophet (saws) kept a beard, and instructed the believers to grow a beard. Thus keeping a beard is regarded as Prophet Mohamed (saws) Sunnah. In other words, Sunnah is the way of the Prophet Mohamed (saws).

 

The Sunnah is something that the believers followed immediately after the Prophet (saws) did or said something himself. They did not wait for 120 years for the hadith to be recorded and then started doing it, but rather as soon the Prophet (saws) did it, they started following it as his way or Sunnah. The Sunnah of the Prophet (saws) was followed by the believers from the first day of the Prophets mission.

 

The Hadith is only a record of the acts or words of the Prophet (saws), written down by some muslims 120 years after the Prophets (saws) death, for reference to future generations. The reason we pray the five prayers or the 3 rakahs of magrib prayers today, is not because they are recorded in the hadiths of Bukhari or Muslim, but because hundreds of thousands of the believers saw the way or Sunnah of the Prophet (saws) and followed it. And this Sunnah or way of the Prophet (saws) was being followed by all the believers, who narrated to their next generation, and they to the next. The Sunnah was followed when the Prophet (saws) was alive, and will be followed, Insha Allah, until the end of time.

 

The original laws and commandments are all in the Holy Quran for the guidance of mankind. The Sunnah or way of the Prophet (saws) is exactly according to the teachings of the Holy Quran. And the Hadiths are just a record of these ways written by man some 120 years after the death of the Prophet (saws) as reference for future generations.

 

Because the hadiths were recorded by man, they are prone to error. Not every hadith recorded is genuine. In fact a lot of them are fabrications and may have been recorded by people with political or material bias.

 

Some might say the Prophet (saws) said or did this act, which, he (saws) might never have done or said! But a lot of the hadiths are genuine, and the Prophet (saws) did say and do these things, and these are the ones we have to follow. It is said that Bukhari collected in excess of 300,000 hadiths, but only 7500 were considered authentic by him and recorded in his volumes of Sahih Bukhari. So, how can we gauge which hadiths are genuine and which ones are fabrications?

 

There are a few rules, if followed, one can easily realize if the hadith is genuine or not.

1.      If any hadith is directly against any commandment or statement of the Holy Quran, it will be immediately rejected. Simply because, it is inconceivable that the Prophet (saws) did or said anything against the Holy Quran. His whole life was a practical example of following the Quran, and Allah Himself certifies in the Holy Quran that the Prophet (saws) is a good example to follow for anyone who believes in Allah and the Last Day.

2.      If any hadith is directly against any established Sunnah of the Prophet (saws), it will be rejected. For example, if one hadith says the Prophet (saws) prayed four rakahs for magrib prayers, it will not be accepted.

3.      If any hadith goes against the foundation of Islam, it will not be accepted. For example, if one hadith says that the Prophet (saws) went to an idol or grave and invoked it, it is against the basic foundation of Tauheed or worship and invocation of one-God, and will thus be rejected. It would just be inconceivable for the Prophet (saws) to do such an act!

4.      If any hadith is against basic common-sense, it will not be accepted. For example if one hadith says that a man talked to a tree and the tree started walking! This sort of things are absolutely against basic common sense, and will be rejected.

 

A lot of unscrupulous people wrote a lot of slander and false statements and said the Prophet (saws) said or did this. These people might have had any number of agendas, be it political, or material, or otherwise. If one wrote that the Prophet (saws) said this or that, it does not mean by any means that the Prophet (saws) actually said or did those things. If the saying or act goes against any of the four principles or laws laid above, chances are that the hadith is a fabrication and should be rejected.

 

Thus in conclusion, the genuine hadiths are a record of the Sunnah of the Prophet (saws), and the false hadiths are the work and a heinous crime of unscrupulous people in pursuit of their own agendas.

Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 232 Narrated by Abdullah ibn Abbas

Allah's Messenger (saws) said: Be mindful when transmitting a Hadith from me. (Transmit) only that which you know (very well), for he who intentionally lies about me will find his abode in Hell-Fire.

 

Q-5: What is Hadith -e- Qudsi.Is it a word of Allah. Is it a seprate book of Allah other than Quran?

Hadith-e-Qudsi is a term used which signifies that the meaning of the hadith is from Allah Subhanah, and the words are of the Messenger of Allah (saws), unlike the Quran where the meaning and the words are both from Allah Subhanah.

 

Hadith-e-Qudsi is not a separate book or Revelation of Allah Subhanah like the Quran, and the exact same science and investigation that is needed to determine the authenticity of any hadith will be used to determine if the narrated Hadith-e-Qudsi is indeed authentic or not.

 

An example of a Hadith-e-Qudsi would be the following:

Hadith Qudsi 34

The Messenger of Allah (saws) said that Allah Subhanah, High and Exalted He is, said: O son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me and ask of Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind. O son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I would forgive you. O son of Adam, were you to come to Me with sins nearly as great as the earth and were you then to face Me, ascribing no partner to Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great at it.

 

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

 

Your Brother in Islam,

 

 

Burhan

 


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