Although I am born in a sunni family but like you I consider myself just as a muslim. I do believe in the Sunnah of the Prophet (SAW).
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:
I am born in a sunni family but like you I consider myself just as a muslim. I
do believe in the Sunnah of the Prophet (SAW). I would like to know if all the
Your brother in Islam
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Authenticity of Hadeeths
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.
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.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 4 Surah Nisa verse 79-80:
We have sent you (O Mohamed) as a Messenger to mankind, and Allahs witness suffices for this. Whoever obeys the Messenger, in fact obeys Allah, and whoever turns away from him, he will be accountable for his deeds. Anyhow, we have not sent you (O Mohamed) to be a guardian over them.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 3 Surah Ale Imran verse 31-32:
O Prophet, tell the people, If you sincerely love Allah, follow me. Then Allah will love you and forgive you your sins, for He is All Forgiving, All Merciful. Also say to them, Obey Allah and His Messenger. And if, in spite of this, they do not accept your invitation, warn them that Allah does not love those, who refuse to obey Him and His Messenger.
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
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
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 of unscrupulous people in pursuit of their own agendas.
Now to answer your particular questions:
Q-1: e.g. if today I wish to find out who my family members were 200 years ago I surely wont be successfull in finding it out. Narrations are much more difficult than than.
Beloved brother, what you have related is indeed true that it would be almost impossible for one to, suddenly after 200 years find out ones family members, leave alone what they said and did.
But if one amongst your family members 200 years ago was a person who was revered by almost a 100,000 people before his death, each of whom had made it their mission in life to copy and imitate each and every single aspect of his life into their lives, and each and every one believed that eternal salvation depended entirely upon his teachings, etc..then it would not be as difficult as one might assume it to be to find out what exactly happened during that period.
The Sunnah of the Prophet (saws) is something that the believers followed immediately after the Prophet (saws) did or said something himself. They did not wait for a 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, and subsequently engrained and taught to the next generation who taught the same to the next generation. At various points in the history of muslims, some amongst the scholars decided to pen the narrations they considered authentic for the use of future generations, and amongst these eminent scholars the most respected and accepted works are those of Imam Bukhari, Imam Muslim, followed by Tirmidhi, Ibn Maajah, Abu Dawood, etc.
Your Question: Why was the hadiths not written during the time of the Prophet(SAW).
Sunan of Abu-Dawood Hadith 3640 Narrated by
The Messenger of Allah (saws) ordered us not to write any of his traditions.
Because the Quran was being revealed and immediately documented during the lifetime of the Prophet (saws), he (saws) forbade the believers to document any of his traditions so as to prevent any misunderstanding or confusion between what was being revealed by The Lord Most High in His Glorious Quran and what was related by the Messenger of Allah (saws).
It is only after the Glorious Quran was fully documented and memorized thoroughly by a large number of believers, and there was absolutely no fear of any of the Prophets sayings being added to the text of the Quran that some believers and scholars starting documenting the traditions they had access to of the Noble Prophet (saws).
Question: As per my knowledge Scholar Bukhari was from
To the best of our knowledge Imam
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your brother and well wisher in Islam,