*HUUUUUUUG* *TWIRL* *BIIIIG BOSHI*
You curious little babby! Alhumdulillahi rabbil alameen for my eyebrow raising, mouth-oh-ing, wide eyed babby. <3
*HUUUUUUUG* *TWIRL* *BIIIIG BOSHI*
You curious little babby! Alhumdulillahi rabbil alameen for my eyebrow raising, mouth-oh-ing, wide eyed babby. <3
The science of classifying and grading a hadith based on its authenticity evolved over a period of time corresponding to the various other developments taking place in hadith literature. It also grew out of a need to combat external damaging influences from affecting the truth as it reaches us. Though today, the categories of saheeh, hasan and daeef hadith have taken on well-defined meanings and they seem to render almost a universal understanding amongst scholars all over the globe, a few centuries ago, different scholars had different means of implying what they thought was most authentic and so on. It is this ambiguity in the jargon of the different hadith scholars that has led to a difference in the opinions of contemporary scholars on what they implied by certain terms. In the following pages, we shall discuss in some detail the meaning of a weak hadith and the issue of the permissibility of quoting weak hadith.
A rejected hadith is one which does not meet the conditions for being sahih or hasan, i.e., the hadith is lacking in any of the following conditions for it to be accepted on its own merit.
(i) It’s isnad must be complete,
(ii) The narrators in the various levels of the chain must be known for their integrity and piety,
(iii) The narrators must be known for their proficiency,
(iv) The narration must not contradict another stronger, more established narration, and
(v) There must be no hidden faults within the narration.
A rejected hadith can further be divided into three categories: a weak hadith, a very weak hadith or a fabricated hadith.
A weak hadith can be rendered its weakness due to a number of reasons including a break in any level of the chain, a known weakness in the memory if the narrator, ambiguity surrounding a narrator and so on. The degree of seriousness of each defect and the number of defects will lead a hadith to being closer to an authentic hadith or a fabricated hadith.
While it is unanimously agreed upon that a fabricated hadith is to be rejected outright, there is a difference of opinion amongst scholars regarding the permissibility of stating and acting upon a hadith which has been rendered weak due to a minor defect like one of the narrators having a weak memory.
(1) The first opinion which has been attributed to Ahmad, Abu Dawood, Shafi’ee and others is that a weak hadith can be used without any restrictions. This is due to their well known practice of preferring weak hadith over personal opinion. Also it has been recorded of Abu Dawood that he would resort to using weak hadith if he could not find a sahih hadith on the particular issue.
However, several scholars have postulated theories to explain this. Some scholars say that Ahmad would prefer a weak hadith over a wrong analogy that is based on principles opposed to the Qur’an or Sunnah or an analogy that is made where no true common characteristics are shared between the two cases. In this case, Ahmad would use a weak hadith and reject the analogy.
Another theory that was brought forward by Ibn Taymiyyah and others was that this was before the time of Tirmidhi who first defined the term ‘hasan’ and what Imam Ahmad actually meant by weak hadith did not correspond to the current definition of a weak hadith. Hence he was actually referring to a hasan hadith and that was acceptable to use by many early scholars.
Abu Dawood on the other hand, mentioned in his work that any hadith regarding whose authenticity he does not make a comment on is regarded by him to be acceptable (saalih). Ibn Hajar has explained through examples that the hadith which Abu Dawood used were to be used for supporting evidence itself or could be supported by other evidence which shows that he did not use very weak hadith. Hence, though it is known of these scholars to resort to ‘weak’ hadith, what they meant by weak hadith is most probably just a lower form of hasan hadith.
(2) The opinion followed by a majority of scholars is that weak hadith can be related and acted upon provided they meet with certain conditions. It is to be noted here that the weak hadith related to the Islamic creed, those which elaborate upon the Names and attributes of Allah (subhanu wa ta’aala), those which relate what is forbidden and permissible are not to be used as legal proofs nor acted upon. The weak hadith that are talked about here are those exhorting people to do good and forbidding them from evil. Ibn Hajar summarized the different conditions as follows:
While this opinion seems to be the preponderant view amongst scholars, it would be wrong to claim that there is an actual consensus amongst the scholars regarding this issue.
Amongst the criticism raised against the second opinion is that accepting weak hadith when it comes to the recommendation of some deeds inevitably leads to that act being given precedence over other deeds whose importance and rewards are more strongly established in the Qur’an and Sunnah.
Also, the conditions to be applied for the second opinion have become more or less obsolete as scholars who specialize in differentiating between weak and very weak hadith have dwindled. More often than not, fabricated and very weak hadith are spread amongst the masses under the guise that it is a weak hadith and is hence acceptable. In this manner, people have become negligent in what they narrate about the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wasallam).
For those who insist on following this opinion, they must ensure that all the conditions mentioned are fulfilled. Also, it is the responsibility of the one narrating the weak hadith to explicitly mention to his audience that it is a weak hadith that he is relating since if he relates it without mentioning the weakness it may lead people to assume it is authentic, it is like attributing to the Prophet something which is not confirmed to come from him. The gravity and consequences of such an act shall be discussed below.
(3) The third view which is the most popular view amongst those scholars who have studied this matter and the view of Bukhari, Muslim, al Khattabi and others is that weak hadith must not be resorted to in any situation. They argue that the authentic narrations are sufficient for one and one may not needlessly rely upon weak hadith and expose oneself to the punishment of Allah which has been clearly warned against in the following narrations.
Salamah ibn al-Akwa` (radiyallaahu anhu) and others narrated that Allaah’s Messenger said:
“Whoever ascribes to me what I have not said, let him occupy his seat in the fire of hell!”
Aboo Qataadah al-Ansaaree (radiyallaahu anhu) said: “I heard the Messenger of Allaah saying upon this pulpit:
“O people! Beware of relating a lot of hadeeths about me! Whoever says anything about me must not say except the truth, for whoever ascribes to me what I have not said, let him occupy his seat in the fire of hell!””
Ibn Maajah (35) and graded authentic by al-Haakim (1/111)
Also, Samurah ibn Jundub and al-Mugheerah ibn Shu’bah (radiyallaahu anhumaa) narrated that Allaah’s Messenger said:
“Whoever relates from me a hadeeth which is thought to be a lie (or which he thinks is a lie), then he is (also) one of the liars.”
Waathilah ibn Al-Asqa`(radiyallaahu anhu) narrated that the Allaah’s Messenger said:
“Verily, one of the worst lies is to ascribe to me what I have not said!”
al-Bazzaar (C.f. Al-Majma`, 1/144; As-Saheehah, 7/173-174)
Hence, it becomes clear that the punishment for attributing something to the Prophet something he did not say is very harsh and when a scholar says a hadith is weak he implies that it is not confirmed that the Prophet did, indeed, state such words.
The argument for following this third opinion can be eloquently summarized in the words of Albani in his Sifat Salat an Nabi:
I believe that what we have in the way of confirmed hadith is sufficient and we do not have to resort to weak hadith. [Weak hadith] do not aid us – and there is no difference in this point- except through conjecture. And conjecture is nothing but weakness as Allah says, “And they have no knowledge thereof. They follow but a guess and lo! A guess can never take the place of truth.” (An Najm: 27) And the Prophet said, “Avoid conjecture as conjecture is the most deceitful speech (Recorded by Bukhari and Muslim). And we cannot worship Allah by acting according to conjecture. In fact, the Prophet has prohibited us from it as he said, “Beware of the hadith related on my authority, except for what you are knowledgeable of.” (Sahih, recorded by al-Tirmidhi, Ahmad and ibn Abu Shaiba.) In that statement, he disallowed us to relate weak reports. It must be even more so the case that it is prohibited to act in accordance with such reports.”
Thus it becomes clear that the best opinion to follow amongst the three is to avoid stating and acting upon weak hadeeth. The first opinion does not seem to be the actual opinion of those it is attributed to. The second opinion, though popular, is beset with a lack of sound evidence for it and is impractical as there are very few people who are qualified to make sure that the conditions are fulfilled. The safest and most sound view is then, to avoid weak hadith and to rely upon authentic narrations only.
 It must be noted that depending on the level of proficiency and integrity of the narrators, a narration which fulfills all these conditions is will either be sahih or hasan on its own merit. (sahih lithaatihi and hasan lithaatihi). However, a weak hadith can be raised to the level of hasan if there is strong supporting evidence to allow for such and such a hadith is said to be on the level of hasan lighairihi.
 Ibn Hajar, al Nukat, vol 1, p 436 as cited in Zarabozo, Commentary on the Forty Hadeeth, vol 1, p 82
 Ibn Taymiyah, Sharh Hadith, Maktaba as Salaam al Alamiyyah, 1981, p 11 as cited in Zarabozo, Commentary on the Forty Hadeeth, vol 1, p 84
 Ibn Hajar, Tabyeen al-Ajab, Beirut, Dar ul Ilm al Malayeenm 1981, p 212 as cited in Zarabozo, Commentary on the Forty Hadeeth, vol 1, p 87
Sometimes, it feels like it would do really well for you to dream up a brown seater train carriage back into your schooldays so you can hop onto it when needed to feel that cocooned life again where you could lose yourself so easily in a book as you sat on a library bench. Or, alternatively, in the inordinate amounts of homework we were assigned, the back to back tuition and tests and exams and more exams or in the frustrated, intense longing for the hazy future that was beyond school.
And though it’s such a delicious thought, it is rather cowardly to run away from having to deal with people’s issues and having people have to deal with yours. Also, I don’t really think there are any brown seater train carriages going to the glorious past. And what if you get stuck there like some distasteful 90′s thriller novel theme: 20 year old girl stuck in 15 year old self. Sure that isn’t much of a difference in numbers but a 15 year old body can’t handle all this recently acquired wisdom and whatnots! I’d better stop this now before this post treads into the dangerous waters of UtterNonsense.
Anyway, alhumdulillah it’s a new today and it’s beawuetiful and there are things to be done and then some more. =)
Until next time,
fare thee well!
Today seems a lot of one of those days when people seem too human for your unsettling mood to bear and you just want to drive off (into the sunrise) and sit on the swing on Khobar Corniche with a Baskin Robbins’ World Class Chocolate milkshake (heh!), a breeze and some quiet. I’m being a brat today so I’ll just sit quiet and tell myself to suck it up because if I really think about it, people are being just fine and I’m just missing the corniche atmosphere and some quiet. Alhumdulillahi ala kulli haal. In happier news, I am an aunt again and I’m in love already with Z even though I haven’t seen her yet and I keep annoying the mister with random (and incessant) announcements on how much I want to see her or how we should go visit. So many babies! How will I ever get enough skittles!
Anyway, this morning saw me narrowly missing brushing my teeth with shaving foam. Why do they package it into toothpaste tubes anyway? Also, S ji is coming back today from Dubai which is good considering how many places he has to drive me to (heh!). We must get to work at once! Also it’s rather (really) boring with no one to listen to my List ten!’s.
Now I’d better trudge along through some lectureland before things start getting out of hand.
AAAaaaaahhhhhhhHHHHH! Saaaavveee yourselllvveess!
Remember in du’aas, inshaaAllah!
These past few days, I’ve been thinking that Ramadan will be starting a day later than it is actually expected to and I had a bit of a blinking moment today when my brother mentioned that the first night of Ramadan might be tonight. Talk about being out. Well, my knowledge of when Ramadan begins has always been, after all, acquired after obnoxious inquiries to my ammi on whether by ‘we’ll be fasting tomorrow’, she means tonight, before Fajr or tomorrow before Fajr. Which reminds me that this will, inshaa Allah, be my first Ramadan away from the familia in Saudi.
I smell adventure! (And lots of nostalgia but I insist to my nose that adventure smells stronger.) And I tell myself it’s Ramadan! And no matter where you are, and how far or different it is here from what you knew as home for so long, you’ll always be in Allah’s dominion. He was the one for whom you fasted there and He is the one for whom you’ll be fasting here. He is the one to whom you make sujood and du’aa and He will take care of you.
And so, Ramadan Kareem! To those who’ve already begun fasting in Saudi and elsewhere and to those who’ll start tonight inshaaAllah like here in Oman. =)
I ask Allah that He makes this Ramadan full with barakah and to forgive us and grant us the tawfeeq to make use of every moment of it.
Back to Oman. (This is stale news already, actually.)
Started reading biography of Uthman (radi Allahu anhu).
Started reading Moby Dick. It doesn’t start all that bad for a book I used to insist on not reading for years; on account of it being about whaling.
Miss Khobar Corniche and sea breezes.
Ramadan is coming!
The new shoes are perfect, masha Allah.
My eldest brother got me a book titled, “14, 000 things to be happy about”. My first reaction was to ask family in the vicinity whether I look Johnny Depp-ressed. *Show right profile, show left profile, face-front, grin* Anyway, the book serves as a mini-distraction and I often flip open to a random page and nod at the things that make me happy too and grimace at some things that definitely don’t. I was doing that today, when I realized I should jot down some of my own and happily scribbled away in no particular order on the first page. Here’s a typed representation, with me adding a few as they occur. =) Z should do it too. And S (the sister, not the mister because I already asked him) and you, if you happen to read this and are feeling stuck on the blue region of the spectrum. Here goes…
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Alhumdulillah, my exams are done! So now I plan to focus on soaking up as much of ‘Saudi home’ as I can, for the remainder of my stay here. Plus, sticking to a very plausible hassle-free study routine which looks extremely charming in my head and probably will look twice as much on paper with dates and the hours all jotted down. If only it wasn’t half as evasive and shy of me when I have to coax it out of paper and into my everydays. Well, I exaggerate and I’m determined and the ‘I-don’t-feel-like-doing-this-now’ nonsense better steer clear.