Daily Update Hadees on Forum
VARIETIES OF HADITHS
Hadees (hadiths), thus, is a comprehensive word. It stands for
the creative teaching and the revolutionary activities of Prophet
Muhammad (peace be upon him). The major varieties of Hadees
are as follows: -
(1) The narration of all those affectionate words that the Holy
Prophet (peace be upon him) uttered from time to time;
(2) The collection of specific instructions and advises which
he offered for the guidance of mankind;
(3) The statements of all those noble deeds that he performed
in the presence of his companions and followers;
(4) Other details of his personal life as witnessed and reported
by the members of his noble family, etc.,
FOUNDATION OF WISDOM AND GUIDANCE
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was born in 571 AD in Mecca,
the renowned city of Saudi Arabia. He died in 632 AD in Medina,
another famed town of the same country. Allah Almighty conferred
Prophethood on him 13 years before the commencement of the Islamic
calendar (A.H.) He was forty then. The period of Prophethood
lasted 23 years. It started on 13 before A.H. and ended in 11.
AH, the year of his death.
last 23 years of his life, i.e. from 13 before A.H. to 11 A.H.,
are counted as a glorious era in the history of mankind. During
these memorable years Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) continued
spreading Islam, the religion of peace and progress. He uttered
a large number of moving words for the guidance of humanity.
He also performed a variety of pious deeds. Those words of advice
and those deeds of righteousness stand out as a sweet foundation
of practical wisdom and constructive guidance for all mankind.
Hadees, the recorded version of his wise words and noble deeds,
is a stimulating study for all mankind. A child, eager to forge
ahead in life, must familiarize himself with the essence and
purpose of Hadees.
MUHAMMAD (PEACE BE UPON HIM) INSPIRES ENTIRE MANKIND
Whenever Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) uttered a word
of guidance his companions hastened to commit the same to memory.
Those who knew the art of writing used to put the same in black
and white. Then wherever these good-natured people went they
talked about those wise sayings for the benefit of others. The
Prophet's (peace be upon him) wisdom thus kept on spreading
far and wide. It went on reforming humanity's thought and behavior.
After the death of the Prophet (peace be upon him) his companions
and followers continued the sacred mission of people's education
and guidance. They carried the torch of wisdom and righteousness
to the adjoining lands. Wherever they went they enlightened
people on the Islamic way of life. This new way of life has
been outlined in the Holy Quran. It was actually practiced by
the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him).
The most remarkable point was reached when the Muslims entered
Spain. There they established schools, colleges, universities
and libraries. Their cultural pursuits and social activities
provided nourishing food for thought to entire Europe. The Islamic
way of life began to be understood in the West as well. More
and more people started to appreciate the meaning and purpose
of Prophetâ€s (peace be upon him) revolutionary
message. It began to bring about a constructive changing all
sectors off their life. A time soon came when the Islamic way
of life became popular with the people of the East as well as
the West. The present day world owes much of its beauty and
betterment to the teachings of Muhammad (peace be upon him)
and the humanitarian services of his followers.
work of collecting Prophet's sayings and recording the same
systematically had started while the Prophet was alive. Some
of his companions had prepared Hadees collections of varying
sizes. Of these early collections the one prepared by Hazrat
Abdullah bin Amr bin Al-Aas (may Allah be pleased with him)
is very famous. This collection is known as Sadiqah. It contains
one thousand sayings of the Prophet (peace be upon him)
are other collections besides the one mentioned above which
were also prepared during the Prophet's (peace be upon him)
lifetime. They were complied by his illustrious companions like
Hazrat Ali, Hazrat Anas, Hazrat Abdullah bin Masud, Hazrat Abu
Hurairah and Hazrat Saad bin Abbad (may Allah be pleased with
DURING EARLY CALIPHATE
After the death of Prophet (peace be upon him) Muhammad the
great caliphs kept on popularizing his teachings among the people.
The four early caliphs, who are specially known for this valuable
service to humanity are: (1) Hazrat Abu Bakar Al-Siddique, (2)
Hazrat Umar Al-Farooq, (3) Hazrat Uthman Al-Ghani and (4) Hazrat
Ali Al-Murtuza (may Allah be pleased with them). These eminent
statesmen are also known as the Rightly Guided Caliphs. Their
period is referred to as the age of Early Caliphate.
number of Hadees collections were prepared during the days of
the early Caliphs. Of these the one complied by Hazrat Abu Bakar
Al-Siddique is very well known. It contains 500 Traditions.
Besides, Hazrat Imam Hassan, Hazrat Abu Musa Ashaari and Hazrat
Abdullah bin Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them) also complied
different Hadees collections at different times.
HISTORIC SERVICE TO HUMANITY
With the end of the Early Caliphate, started the era of the
Ummayyads. Umar bin Abdul Aziz (may Allah be pleased with him)
was the eighth Umayyad caliph. It was during his rule that the
task of collecting all the Traditions in one place and publishing
them in the shape of a comprehensive book started on a big scale.
His rule began in 99 A.H. and ended in 101 A.H. During this
period the Muslim empire expanded enormously. It included countries
like Spain, Algeria, Morocco, Tunis, Egypt, Syria, Palestine,
Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Kuwait, Bahrain, Jordan, Asia Minor,
Iran, Afghanistan and even northwestern parts of India. Hadees
literature was in great demand in all these area. Caliph Umar
bin Abdul Aziz felt that there was a danger of the loss of a
number of Traditions in case those were not recorded in writing.
He, therefore, issued immediate instructions to all of his governors
and scholar that all available Traditions be recorded carefully.
They were also ordered to send the same to C, which was the
federal capital of the Umayyad Empire at that time.
enthusiasm, precaution and orderliness, which the Caliph displayed
in undertaking this important task, are unparalleled. In one
of his royal decrees he ordered: "Whatever Tradition of
the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) you may come across must
be recorded after proper scrutiny, as I fear the loss of knowledge
and the death of the scholars. But beware! Never accept any
saying other than that of the Holy Prophet nor record the same.''
was soon flooded with large collections of Prophet's (peace
be upon him) Traditions. The Caliph put them all in writing
after further scrutiny .In this manner the different Hadees
collection were brought together in one place for the first
time in Islamic history. This all-inclusive collection then
because a standard source of guidance and reference. The Caliph
got several copies of the same prepared under his personal supervision.
One copy was placed in the central mosque of each main city
of the vast empire. Consequently the recorder accounts of the
saying and the deeds of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)
came within easy masses.
MALIK'S DECORATED FLOWER VASE
The person next after Caliph Umar bin Abdul Aziz, who enjoys
the reputation of systematic collection of Prophet's (peace
be upon him) Traditions and their mass circulation, is Abu Abdullah
Malik bin Anas (may Allah be pleased with them). His brief name
is Imam Malik. He was a great scholar. Born in Medina in 93
A.H., he died in 179 A.H. at the age of 86.
Malik lectured on Hadees for 62 years. His famous book on the
subject is known as Muatta, which means the decorated. This
great book presents Prophet's Traditions in a tastefully decorated
and carefully arranged manner. Indeed, the style and the presentation
are so charming that the book really like a decorated flower
vase. The Imam completed it in 140 A.H. Muatta includes 1,720
Traditions. It is the first highly organized collection of Traditions.
The book is widely valued all over the world.
MUSNAD OF IMAM HAMBAL
After Muatta, eminent scholars produced several other collections.
Among these later publications Musnad enjoys the largest reputation.
It was prepared by Imam Ahmad bin Hambal (may Allah be pleased
with him). He is known as Imam Hambal. The book contains 30,000
Imam Hambal was born in 164 A.H. in Baghdad, the famed capital
town of Iraq. He died in the same town in 241 A.H. Imam Hambal
was unusually intelligent thoroughly pious and a reputed scholar.
SIX SOUND BOOKS
After the publication of Muatta and Musnad a number of other
Hadees collections also appeared at different times. The six
such collections, which gained unusual fame, are known as Sahih
Sitta, which means 'the six sound books.' These collections
(1) Sahih Bukhari,
(2) Sahih Muslim,
(3) Jame Tirmizi,
(4) Sunan-e-Abu Daud,
(5) Sunan-e-Nasaaee, and
1. Sahih Bukhari: The compiler of this famous collection
is the eminent scholar, Imam Muhammad bin Ismaeel bin Ibrahim
bin Muizz. He is popularly known as Imam Bukhari. He was born
in 194 A.H. in Bukhari, the famed city of Iran. He died in 256
A.H. at the age of 62.
Sahih Bukhari is also known as Bukhari. Imam Bukhari worked
over the book for 16 years continuously. He finally selected
7,275 Traditions for inclusion in is collection. Sahih Bukhari
has always been considered as the trust-worthiest book on Hadees.
(2) Sahih Muslim: Next to Sahih Bukhari the authoritative
book on Hadees is Sahih Muslim. Its short title is Muslim. Its
compiler is Imam Muslim bin Hajjal Al-Qushairi Al-Neishapuri.
He is also known as Imam Muslim. He was born round about 204
A.H. in Neishapuri, a famous town in Iran. He died in 261 A.H.
His collection was finalized after a prolonged research of 15
years. It includes 12,000 Traditions.
Bukhari and Muslim, combined together, are referred to as 'Sahihain',
which means 'two reliable books'. Similarly, Imam Bukhari and
Imam Muslim are referred together as 'Shaikhain', meaning two
great religious scholars. A Tradition, which is common in Bukhari
and Muslim, is termed as 'Muttafaqun Alaih'. It means a Hadees
which is agreed upon' by Imam Bukhari as well as Imam Muslim.
Such as agreed upon Tradition is considered to be most trustworthy.
(3) Jame Tirmizi: The third famed Hadees book in the
Sahih Sitta series is the Jame Tirmizi. Its compiler is Imam
Abu Isa Muhammad bin Isa, also known as Imam Tirmizi. He was
well- known disciple of Imam Bukhari. He was born in 209 A.H
in Tirmizi, a famous town in Iran. He died in the same town
in 279 A.H Jame Tirmizi contains 2,028 Traditions. Muslim scholars
have great regard for this valuable source of a great a great
(4) Sunan-e- Abu Daud: The fourth book in this famous
series is known as Sunan-e-Daud. The name of the compiler is
Abu Daud Sulaiman bin Abbas. He is also known as Imam Abu Daud.
He was born in 202 A.H. in Sajistan, a place near Qandhar in
Afghanistan. He died in 275 A.H. at the age of 73. Sunan Abu
Daud consists of 4,800 Traditions.
(5) Sunan-e-Nasaaee: This is the fifth famous collection
in the same series. Imam Abu Abdur Rahman Ahmad bin Shuaib Nasaaee
is its compiler. His short name is Imam Nasaaee. He was born
in 215 A.H. in Niasaaee, a famed town of Iran. He died in 303
A.H. His book contains 5,71 Traditions.
(6) Sunan-e-Ibn Majah: The last among the six sound books
is the Sunan-e-Ibn Majah. Imam Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Yazeed
Ibn-e-Majah compiled it. He is also known as Imam Ibn Majah.
He was born in 209 A.H. in Qazveen, a town in Iran. He died
in 273 A.H., after attaining the age of 64. His compilation
comprises 4,000 Traditions.
OTHER FAMOUS HADEES COMPILATIONS
In addition to these famed Hadees collections a large number
of other compilations have also been published from time to
time. Of these the three widely known ones, several Traditions
out of which have been cited in the present book, are as follows:
Sunan-e-Darimi: Its compiler is Imam Abu Muhammad Abdullah bin
Abdur Rehman Al-Darimi. He is also known as Imam Darimi. He
was born in 181 A.H. in Samarqand, the famed town of Russia.
He died in 225 A.H. He enjoys great reputation for his sound
character and vast knowledge. His collection contains 3,550
(2) Sunan-e-Baihaqi: This collection was compiled by Imam Abu
Bakr Ahmad bin Al-Hussain Al-Baihaqi. He was born in 384 A.H.
in Baihaq, a village near Neishapuri in Iran. He died in 458
A.H. Imam Baihaqi was too fond of producing sound religious
literature. He is author of about one thousand standard books
and scholarly papers.
(3) Mishkat-ul-Masabih: Its compiler is Imam Walli-ud-Din Abu
Abdullah bin Abdullah Al-Khateeb At-Tabrizi, also known as Imam
Tirmizi. He ranks as one of the most eminent Hadees scholars
of the eighth century A.H. Khateeb Tirmizi was born in 421 A.H.
in Tabriz, the well-known town of Iran. The date of his death
is 502 A.H.
Mishkat-ul-Masabih contains 5,945 Traditions. The collection
is very comprehensive and reliable. At the moment it ranks as
the most popular book on Hadees. Of all the works on Hadees
this collection has been consulted most frequently in the preparation
of the present book.
Short Biography of Imam al- Bukhari(rah)
IMAM Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Ismaeel bin al-Mughirah al-Bukhari
was born on 13th of Shawwal 194 AH in Bukhara. a town in the
eastern part of Turkestan.
His father died while he was still in his infancy and his upbringing
was left entirely to his mother, who looked after his health
and education very carefully and spared nothing in order to
provide him with the best education.
Quite early in life, Imam Bukhari's intellectual qualities became
noticeable. He had great piety and an extremely good memory
and devotion to learning. It is said that while he was still
in his teens he knew by heart seventy thousand Sayings of the
Holy Prophet Muhammad.
At the age of 16, he went to Macca with his mother and enjoyed
his stay in the Holy City so much that he decided to prolong
his visit in order to benefit from the company of the great
Muslim scholars who were always to be found there. At the age
of eighteen, he wrote his first book on the subject of the Prophet's
Companions and their immediate successors, and later a book
on history called "Al-Tarikh-al-Kabir".
Imam Bukhari was very interested in history and the Ahadith
(sayings of the Prophet). He sought the company of great scholars
in order to learn and discuss the Ahadith of the Holy Prophet.
He visited various countries, travelling to Damascus, Cairo,
Baghdad, Basra. Mecca, Medina etc. During his stay in Baghdad,
he frequently held discussions with the Imam Ahmed Hanbal, the
founder of the Hanbali school of law.
During all these travels, Imam Bukhari had one aim: to gather
as much knowledge as possible and to make the greatest possible
collection of the Traditions of the Holy Prophet. He wrote profusely
all the time. He once said that, "l have written about
1800 persons, each of whom had a Saying of the Prophet, and
I have written only about those who have passed my test of truthfulness."
The Imam possessed one of the most amazing memories, and his
contribution to the science of the Ahadith remains unequalled.
He wrote several books on Ahadith but in his book: "Al-Jami-al-Sahih':
the Imam had recorded all the Sayings of the Prophet which he
found to be genuine after thorough examination and scrutiny.
He spent sixteen years in research and examined more than sixty
thousand Sayings from which he selected some 7,275 Sayings whose
genuineness and accuracy he established beyond the slightest
doubt. Deducting duplicates, the Imam's collection contain about
four thousand distinct Sayings.
Imam Bukhari was extremely charitable in his remarks and opinions
about men and scholars. Seldom did he brand the reporter of
a false or inaccurate Hadith as a liar or forger, but simply
called him "untrustworthy".
His popularity inspired jealousy in the hearts of reactionary
Ulema of his time and he was banished from the land of his birth
by the Governor of Bukhara as a result of intrigues against
Writings and Other Compilations
Imam Bukhari wrote many kitaabs besides Bukhari Shareef (Al
Jamius Sahih). Hereunder are some books written by Imam Bukhari
1. Al Aadaabul Mufrad
2. Juz - Raf-e-Yadain
3. Juz - Qiraat-Kalful-Imam
4. At-Taareekh-Al Kabeer - Al Awsat-As Sageer
5. Kitabul Ashribah
6. Kitabul Hibah
8. Kitabul Ilal
9. Kitabul Wuhdaan
10. Af'aalul Ibaad
Imam Bukhari died on 1 Shawwal 256 AH. at the age of 62 years
in a small town near Samarkand, Tadzhikistan
May Allah Have Mercy on his Soul
factors of compiling Sahih Bukhari
There were many books written on hadith but there were mixtures
of Sahih and Daeef ahadith. Imam Bukhari felt that there should
be a compilation of only Sahih ahadith. Once while sitting in
the gathering of Ishaaq ibn Raahwai he (Ishaq) expressed his
wish that a book of Sahih ahadith be compiled, when he heard
this, his feeling of compiling such a book was strengthened
and this was later consolidated with a dream wherein he (Imam
Bukhari) saw a dream that he was waving away flies from Rasulullah
(sallallahu alaihi wasallam) with a fan. The dream was interpretated
as Imam Bukhari will sift out the fabricated Ahadith form the
The dominant purpose of compiling Bukhari Shareef from the motivating
factors was to compile and gather only Sahih ahadith. Apart
from that, Imam Bukhari designed and brightened his book with
other aspects as well, for eg., he would deduce fiqhi aspects
from the hadith, he would express the authenticity of the hadith
by presenting another sanad (chain of narrators). He also explains
the meaning of many ahadith etc. It is due to the above factors
that the hadith in Bukhari Shareef are not in a subject or topic
sequence. However, Imam Muslim has arranged and compiled his
book according to a topic sequence.
2. Specialities of Bukhari Shareef
1. It is the first book compiled only on sahih ahadith.
2. It took the author 16 years to compile his book. The tarajims
(topics) were prepared at the rowda mubarak.
3. Abu Zaid Mirwazi Shafi, who was a very fond shafi was sleeping
in the mataaf area when he made ziyarat of Rasulullah (sallallahu
alaihi waallam) who asked him, why do you not make research
and read my book. Abu Zaid asked: "Oh prophet of Allah
which is your book?" Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)
replied the book of Muhammad ibn Ismail ie. Bukhari Shareef.
4. When read at the time of difficulties and hardships, matters
are made easy.
When read in a boat it does not sink.
5. There are 22 Sulusiyyaats in Bukhari Shareef. However Darami
has more sulusiyyaats than Bukhari Shareef.
3. Conditions of Choosing a Hadith
Muhammad Maqdasi says that the conditions of choosing a hadith
in Bukhari Shareef are not mentioned by the author himself.
The muhadditheen have pondered and studied the book and deduced
these conditions, presuming they were the criteria set out by
the author. Tahir Maqdasi says that the conditions of choosing
a hadith in Bukhari Shareef are:
1. The narrator is unanimously realiable. Here a question may
arise as to why is there discussions on the reliability and
authenticity of many narrators in Bukhari Shareef. Ibn Humam
has answered this that certifying a narrator as reliable or
unreliable is not absolute (qat'ie). A muhaddith certifies according
to his understanding and research.
2. The chain of narrators must be an unbroken one (itti'saal
- see page five).
3. If two narrators narrate from every narrator it is better
but not a condition.
4. Haakim, author of Mustadrak says it is a condition of Bukhari
Shareef that there always be two narrators from a narrator.
This is not correct. The first and last hadith indicates that
even narrations with one narrator is accepted. In fact, there
are about 200 such ahadith in Bukhari Shareef. Ziya Maqdasi
has prepared a book Galaaibus Sahihain on this matter.
Hereunder is a more clear explanation as to what type of narrators
are chosen by Imam Bukhari.
Imam Zuhri has five categories of students:
1. Very realiable in memory and authenticity and always or for
a very long time stayed in the company of Imam Zuhri.
2. Also very realiable but stayed lesser than the first group.
3. Stayed with Zuhri but were criticized by some.
4. Did not stay with Zuhri and were criticized by some.
5. Weak and unknown narrators.
Imam Bukhari took narrators of the first category, seldom would
he take from the second category. Imam Muslim would take from
the third cateory as well.
Abu Dawood and Nasai would take from the third category.
Tirmizi from the fourth category, Tirmizi is more superior to
Abu Dawood because he discusses the reason a hadith is weak,
Imam Abu Dawood uses the fifth category to support and consolidate.
(Read after the section on itti'saal.)
A question arises that if according to Imam Bukhari, the chain
of narrators must be an unbroken one, why are there ahadith-e-muanan
(hadith with an-an).
According to Imam Bukhari for a hadith muanan to be under the
category of unbroken chain of narrators, the narrator and from
whom he is narrating must be contemporaries and must meet at
In order to clearly understand the above, the following must
The narrator and from whom he is narrating, if they are not
contemporaries, such a narration is named as Irsaale Jali.
If they are contemporaries but they did not meet, this is called
If they are contemporaries, met but narrates something he did
not hear, this is Tadlees.
According to Imam Bukhari, the two must meet at least once.
According to Muslim, merely being contemporaries is sufficient.
Imam Bukhari views this as a possibility of being Irsaal, hence
the narration will not be of an unbroken chain (muttasal).
One may raise an objection that according to Imam Bukhari, meeting
once is sufficient, but still there is a possibility of non-narration.
The answer is that we are discussing about a narrator who does
not practice Tadlees. A mudallis's narration is not muttasil,
hence disqualifies from being accepted.
In the light of the above discussion, it is clear that Bukhari
shareef is more superior to Muslim or any other book on hadith.
Dare Qutni says:
The statement of Abu Ali Nishapuri: "There is no other
kitaab on the surface of this earth more sahih than Muslim Shareef,"
is opposed by Nishapuri's Ustaad, Imam Nasai, who said there
is no better book than Bukhari Shareef.
However, it must be noted that the superiority of Bukhari Shareef
over Muslim Shareef and other books of ahadith is on a general
basis, not that every hadith of Bukhari Shareef is more superior
to any hadith in any other book of hadith.
4. The Topics (Taraajim) of Bukhari Shareef
1. Sometimes the purpose of Imam Bukhari is not literal. He
says something and means isharatun-nas or dalatun-nas.
2. Imam Bukhari does not repeat a topic, if so the purpose is
3. Generally the topic is like a claim and the ahadith follow
it as proof, but in many instances, he means to explain the
meaning of the following hadith.
4. A tarjuma sometimes has two meanings, clear and unclear.
People think and assume the clear meaning, hence they experience
difficulty in reconciling the topic with the hadith, whereas
the unclear meaning is the purpose of Imam Bukhari.
5. Sometimes there is no link between the topic and hadith quoted
under it, but the hadith with that link is nearby, if not further
in the kitaab, or maybe it is not in Bukhari Shareef, because
it does not conform with the conditions of Bukhari Shareef.
6. Sometimes with the topic, Imam Bukhari quotes sayings of
sahaba and tabi'een (radhiallahu anhum), but those sayings have
no direct relevance.
7. Sometimes there is a baab but no hadith under the baab. The
reason for this is that the hadith is somewhat related to the
previous baab, just like the fasal of the fuqaha. Imam Bukhari's
purpose is also probably to sharpen the brain, that one ponders
in the hadith and deduce some valid point.
8. Sometimes there is a tarjama but no hadith under it. This
is of different types:
Either there are verses of quran after the topic, or the verses
are part of the topic. In the above two the verses are sufficient
if there is a topic and no verse or hadith, the reason is either
that the hadith is not in conformity with the conditions set
out by Imam Bukhari or the hadith is mentioned elsewhere and
to avoid exact repetition, he did not mention it or for sharpening
the brains, that one ponders over a hadith to substantiate.
9. Sometimes a topic is mentioned twice, the purpose of the
second is to elaborate on the first one.
10. Sometimes such a topic is mentioned that does not need any
explanation but he brings it to refute an opinion of some muhaddith.
This is common in Bukhari Shareef against Musannaf Abdur Razzaak
and Ibn Abi Shaiba.
5. Repetitions in Bukhari Shareef
Generally Imam Bukhari repeats a hadith but with a different
chain of narrators or different words. However there are about
21 or 22 places in Bukhari Shareef wherein there are exact (sanad
or words) repeated. This is indeed a very negligent number in
comparison to the vast number of ahadith in Bukhari Shareef.
However, where a hadith is repeated but with a different chain
of narrators or different words, the benefits of reporting them
1. When one sahabi narrates a hadith, that same hadith is narrated
by another sahabi, the purpose of quoting the other sahabi's
narration is to remove the misconception of non-familiarity
2. One narrator quotes the hadith short, the other complete,
Imam Bukhari quotes both as narrated by the narrators.
3. A hadith is narrated with different words, for every change
of word he brings a different topic and repeats it.
4. If there are two posibilities in one narration, of broken
and unbroken chain of narrators (muttasil and ghair muttasil)
Imam Bukhari quotes the both possibilities to indicate that
the irsaal does not prevent the itti'saal's acceptance.
5. Similarly if there are two possibilities, of dependant (mawkuuf)
and complete (marfu) narrations.
6. In some chain of narrators, if there is an addition, Imam
Bukhari brings both versions to show that both are correct.
7. One narration is muanan, the other chain expresses meeting,
Imam Bukhari brings both to remove doubt.
6. Important Books related to Bukhari Shareef
1. Aini (762-855 A.H.) - He wrote his sharah (commentary) over
a period of 27 years. This sharah consists of 25 volumes. In
this meanings of the words in the hadith are given and the link
between the topic (baab) and hadith and many other aspects.
2. Fathul Baari (Ibn Hajar Asqalani 773 - 852 A.H.) - This sharah
was written over a period of 25 years. It consists of 13 volumes.
Before this sharah, Ibn Hajar wrote (Alhadyus Saari) an introduction
to Bukhari Shareef and Taghleequt-Taaleeq. After Aini wrote
his sharah, Ibn Hajar wrote Intiqaasul I'tiraaz to answer Ainis
objections. In Aini and Fathul Baari, there are answers of the
same objections by one another. This was also due to some students
eg. Burhaan ibn Khizar attending both discourses and informing
both of them accordingly. However both the sharah have their
own beauties and positive features, but Aini is easier to refer
to and understood quickly, due to its concise and orderly fashion.
3. Irshaadus Saari (851- 923 A.H. Qastalani) - This sharah is
also known as Sharah Qastalani. This sharah is a synopsis of
the above two sharahs.
4. Alkawaakibud-daraari (Allama Kirmaani 717-786 A.H.) - The
author was sleeping by the kaba and there he was inspired to
keep this name for his sharah.
5. Faizul Baari (Allama Badre Aalam) - Has written the main
points from Allama Anwar Shah Kashmiris lessons in Bukhari Shareef.
6. Alabwaab Wat-taraajim (Hazrath Sheikh Zakariyya) - This is
a must reference for Abwaab as well as other important discussions.
7. Laamiud Daraari - (Moulana Yahya Saheb) noted the points
from Hazrath Moulana Rashid Ahmed Gangohi's discourses of Bukhari
AND ALLAH KNOWS BEST
Muqaam-e-Hadith (The Actual Status of Hadith)
The human mind has proved itself effete and tardy. Very careful
scrutiny and ransacking of the mind is required to reach the
heart of any matter, but it eschews and cuts corners at every
possible opportunity. As the world turns, new discoveries and
laws are made in social circles and all the more so in the realm
of religion, where some incidences have become standard clichés
or myths of wisdom over the passage of years. No one deems it
necessary to think twice as to how most of these parables or
folklore became the criteria of wisdom and faith although, these
doctrines of wisdom might have been twisted through the generations.
The insurmountable impediment while examining, scrutinizing
or giving our serious thought on any religious myth or cliché
is the righteous halo we have woven around it. We consider ourselves
of a blasphemy, a sin of the highest intensity or committing
a blunder of the superlative degree, to question the origins
of any religious myth or cliché. No matter how much we
make the person realize the importance of cogent rationale on
these standard religious clichés, nonetheless, his level
of thought hesitates to enter into broader horizons. It is commonly
observed that a person is more inclined towards finding a justification
of the religious cliché one adheres to, rather than having
an open and an unbiased mind. More formidable than the inner
turmoil are the fears of wrath from ones religious connoisseurs.
The derogatory opinion and threats of being outcaste by these
demigods, do not allow an individual to muster courage enough
to give ones serious thoughts on these myths or stories attributed
towards the bulwarks with unshakable faith.
The Need for Research
On the other hand, if we agree and are of the opinion, that
only 'reality' must have value, that has been through the process
of our rational sifting and only that 'faith' carries weight
which has been acquired after our thorough speculation and cognitive
experiences, then it becomes incumbent upon us to weigh the
pros and cons of any religious issue. No matter how many treacherous
peaks we may have to climb. At this point, it is advised to
refrain from our personal conflicting religious experiences
and do away with all external fears. In this connection we shall
endeavour to consider a common religious doctrine, that in our
subconscious, appears as part and parcel of the core of our
religious set of beliefs.
You question any Muslim today as to how would he define the
system or 'DEEN' of Islam. Without any hesitation we are replied
that, 'Islam is a compound of the Holy Quran and Hadith.' The
indoctrination of this reply is so deep down in our hearts,
we do not have the faintest notion of doubt about it when answering,
no matter how glaringly self-contradictory the myth may appear
to us. The important question is, the myth or story we take
so much for granted, the sentence we speak everyday with so
much confidence and strong conviction; has it ever been brought
to our personal scrutiny and examined by rationale, before being
accepted by us? Or do we accept, merely because it has traveled
down to us through many, many generations. If that does not
happen to be the case, then let us have the courage to face
the culmination of the ancestral paths we have chosen.
By rationalizing our belief we are obtaining dual advantage.
If the myth or cliché stands the scrutiny of our cognizance,
then it shall become more profound and ingrained in our minds
and close to our heart beats, otherwise we will know, we relinquished
a myth that was nothing else but a rigmarole of someone's fantasy.
Even more so, it will open our eyes to the fact that our belief
was based on sheer custom. The process of cogent reasoning when
accepting any statement is also reaffirmed by the Holy Quran
that characterizes momins as:
those who do not fall (forsaketh reason) for these ayats (Allah's
words) like the dumb and deaf. 25:73
Reasoning also coincides with one of the postulates of the Holy
Quran, wherein is said:
not follow that of which you knoweth not; remember, your sense
of sight, hearing and cognitive capabilities will be questioned.
It is hoped we are of no two opinions over the fact, that Deen
in reality is one that is invincible, in other words which is
not based on fantasy or illusion. So it is said in Quran:
Most of these (people) are prone to fantasy and hearsay. In
actuality 'illusion' will have no benefit in comparison with
'reality.' And Allah knoweth everyone as to what they do. 10:36
It becomes mandatory for us, when it is said, 'Islam is a composition
of the Holy Quran and Hadith,' to determine whether in actuality
it happens to be the case or not. Is it in reality true that
both of the above mentioned books have been revealed as Deen
in Islam through MuhammadPBUH? The Holy Book reiterates numerous
times, that this Book is nothing else but the 'Truth.'
"What we have revealed unto you is truth............"
The opening words of this book of wisdom are... . There is absolutely
no doubt about this book. In other words, it is factual and
not based on fantasy or illusion. This is as far as the spirit
of the Book is concerned. Now how was it revealed and compiled
and in what capacity is it going to exist, Quran further says:
Verily, unto us is the compilation and transmission of its knowledge.
It goes beyond compilation and explicitly asserts that we hold
its responsibility as far as its preservation is concerned.
Till the Day of Judgment not a single letter will be changed.
Verily! We have revealed, unto us lies its preservation. 15:9
To give this notion of preservation a practical shape, it further
O Muhammad! Deliver it to the people, what is being revealed
unto you. 5:67
What did the Messenger MuhammadPBUH do to implement this command
of Almighty, we nearly all of us are aware of it. Whatever was
revealed unto the Messenger, he had each and every letter of
the revelation dictated to his disciples or followers. Thousands
were made to memorize the revelations on MuhammadPBUH by heart.
Not only that, MuhammadPBUH himself listened to those verses
who had learnt them by heart and then cast his seal of approval
Messenger MuhammadPBUH before taking his last breadth, ascertained
and made sure that whatever had been revealed unto him, had
been delivered to the humankind in its complete form. In his
famous sermon of last Friday of the last Ramadan, before his
soul departed from this world he bore Allah as his witness and
confirmed from his audience, that he had delivered all revelations
to them in its complete form. In the caliphate period, after
the unbearable demise of MuhammadPBUH, the four caliphs made
it obligatory upon themselves, the sacred duty of preserving
the Holy Quran. Henceforth, these holy scriptures, which are
in the hearts of myriad of Muslims and also on paper, are coming
down through the years in its original and true shape. Even
foreign religious scholars do not question its verity.
However moved we may be, by the uniformity of our religious
liturgy, the case with our Hadith somehow, does not seem to
hold water. We must not omit the fact that nowhere has Allah
held the responsibility of hadith, as it has done in the case
of the Holy Quran. That is of utmost significance, since the
hadith consists of parables and sayings of Messenger MuhammadPBUH
and nothing else, we must consider Muhammad's attitude towards
hadith. If Hadith is part of Deen, then the procedures Messenger
adopted for Quran are not implemented in the case of hadith.
Like having it memorized, then listening to his followers for
any errors or that he satisfactorily approved what had been
dictated and written, that over and above all, it was in its
pure and authentic form. Though the mind questions, if hadith
is all that significant, why the Messenger did not take the
same measures as he did in the case of Holy Quran? On the contrary,
we find in that very hadith, Muhammad PBUH clearly says:
not have anything else dictated from me, save the Quran. If
anyone of you has written any word other than the Quran, erase
We are also told that this was a temporary mandate from the
Messenger. That at another time, it is observed, upon the request
of Hazrat Abdullah bin OmarR, the Messenger permitted them to
write down his sayings. As is noticed, the Messenger only permitted
his followers, he did not make it mandatory for them to write,
as we find he did, in the compilation of the Holy Quran. Moreover,
he did not at anytime, ask as to what they had written or heard
or question the verity of their writings. Neither we find MuhammadPBUH
adopting measures to safeguard or preserve those hadiths as
he had done with Quran. It is usually said and believed that
in those days the Arabs had stupendous memory and also those
sayings were very dear to the hearts of the disciples. Now the
mind again questions, if memory was enough of a viable resource
to be depended upon, why then was the need felt to have the
Holy Quran dictated and written on paper, then recited again
to remove any possibility of errors or mistakes during the process
of its dictation. If any disciple of the Messenger had learnt
those hadiths or sayings of the Messenger by heart, we still
are not in a position to vouch for it. Until and unless those
sayings were not verified, and the seal of approval cast on
them by the Messenger Muhammad PBUH himself, we cannot depend
on them. We also have no knowledge of the Messenger ever giving
to the Muslims the Hadith in the form of a book and coming down
to us through the generations. We observe the Messenger MuhammadPBUH
did not take any of the precautions in the case of hadith, as
he did for the Holy Quran.
What we have gathered from the historical resources, is that
we do find documents other than the Quran, that were written
under the orders of MuhammadPBUH. For example, contracts, treatises
and letters that he sent to other tribes. What in this matter,
has come to our knowledge and what we have been able to gather,
at the time of Messenger's demise, are the following:
· A register containing the list of names of 1500 holy
disciples or followers of Muhammad PBUH.
· The letters MuhammadPBUH wrote to various kings and
rulers of that age or time.
· Documents of treatise and other obligatory rules.
· Hadiths from Hazrat Abdullah bin Omar, Hazrat Ali and
Hazrat Uuns who wrote them on their own.
No one knows if these sayings written down were ever verified
by the Messenger himself or not and whether they have come down
to us in its original version. We have no knowledge of any collected
works or hadith that Messenger himself gave to the Muslims before
his departure from this world. We do in fact find in the Hadith
of Bukhari, that someone asked Hazrat Ibn e AbbassR as to what
MuhammadPBUH had left behind for the Muslims. He said, 'The
Messenger left behind nothing, save the Quran.' (Bukhari, Vol.
III, Fuzail ul Quran.) (Sahih Bukhari: Virtues of the Quran)
The Deeds of Disciples
As we glance through the names of Islam's historic personalities,
we notice that after Muhammad's lifetime, the caliphate period
is also worthy of being looked into. In the Musnad of Imam Ahmad
we find the disciples saying,
"Whatever utterances we heard from MuhammadPBUH we noted
them down in writing. One day it so happened the Messenger appeared
and asked us about the subject of our writings. We replied that
whatsoever we hear from his Majesty's lips we transform it into
writing. To which he said,
"What! Are you compiling another book along with the book
Meaning in other words that this cannot be made possible. He
then insisted and commanded us that we ought to keep Allah's
words pure and that we must not amalgamate them with any kind
of ambiguities. So we made a bonfire of our notes and parables
in an open field." (Quoted from Tudween e Hadith, page
At another instance we find Imam Zuhbi mentioning Hazrat Abu
Bakr who gathering the disciples of the Messenger, after his
passing away said,
'You people have so much self-contradictory gossip about MuhammadPBUH
that you squabble among yourselves. The future generations will
become more rigid than you all and quarrel more. You must not
feign sayings of Holy Messenger that are fallacious. If anyone
inquires you can always say that we have the Holy Quran between
us. Whatsoever has been granted must be made permissible and
whatsoever has been prohibited must be relinquished.' (Quoted
in Tazkara tul Hifaaz e Zuhby, page 321)
Then Imam Zuhbi quotes another parable of the Messenger's wife
Hazrat Aisha and writes:
"The wife of the Messenger mentions that her father (Hazrat
Abu Bakr) had collected the Hadiths of the Messenger which were
five hundred in number. She says,
'One night I noticed that my father was restless in his bed
and was very perturbed. I asked him if he was in some bodily
pain or was this condition due to any bad news that he might
have heard? He did not answer my question. In the morning he
asked me to bring him the collection of Hadiths and then he
made a bonfire of them all." (Quoted in Tudween e Hadith,
As far as Hazrat Omar's caliphate is concerned, Allama Ibne
Abdulbur has mentioned him in his famous book Jama e Biyaan
ul ilm, wherein he says:
"OmarR wanted to compile the sayings and parables of the
Messenger. He asked from the companions of Messenger MuhammadPBUH
to grant him a decree, to which they faithfully conceded.
Inspite of the companions consent Hazrat OmarR was not convinced.
For complete one month Hazrat OmarR performed Istekhara. Then
one morning when Allah calmed his body and mind and he was able
to concentrate on the issue at hand in serenity, he talked to
his people about his decision to compile the hadiths. But then
he said I thought about the generations that have passed before
us, who wrote books and adhered to those books so strongly that
they forgot the Book of Allah. I swear upon Allah, I will not
let the word of Allah be amalgamated with other words."
(Quoted in Tadween e Hadith, page 394)
This was decided because the Messenger had ordered every companion
not to ask him to dictate anything else besides the Quran. Whosoever
has written anything else besides Quran must erase it. Omar
did not finish the matter here. He not only prohibited and banned
the collection of ahadith, he went a step ahead and as is written
in Tubqaat ibn Sa'ad:
"During Hazrat Omar's caliphate the ahadith were in abundance.
He made sure by putting the people under oath that whatever
hadith the people had in their possession ought to be brought
before him. As ordered, the public submitted whatever they possessed.
He then ordered to make a public bonfire of those hadiths."
(vol.5, page 141)
This was the third incident of igniting the hadith collection.
The first ignition took place when the Messenger commanded.
The second instance was when Hazrat Abu BakrR did the same with
his own collection and the third time Hazrat OmarR took all
the collections from the people under oath and publicly ignited
them. All this took place in the capital city. As to what happened
afterwards we get a glimpse of it in Hafiz Ibne Abdulbur's Jama
e Biyaan wherein he states:
"Hazrat Omar ibn KhattaabR first expressed his desire to
compile the ahadith, it dawned upon him later that it will not
be appropriate. So he sent a circular in the districts and cantonments
to destroy whichever hadith anybody was in possession of."
(Tadween e Hadith,Vol.1, page 400)
He writes further and gives us a detailed account, of how elaborate
and precautionary measures were taken for the compilation of
the Holy Quran. If the government wanted, what possibly could
have come in the way of adopting the same policy towards the
compilation of the Hadith. He states that the government of
that time did not adopt the same policy towards the Hadith with
a specific purpose. This was the situation at the time of the
Messenger and his companions, of hadith.
1. The Messenger ordered his companions not to ask him to dictate
anything else besides the Quran.
2. Whatever Hadith collection was present among the companions,
it was ordered to be ignited.
3. Hazrat Abu Bakr made a bonfire of his own collection and
banned others from quoting any hadith.
4. Hazrat Omar after giving his best thought for one month,
reached the conclusion to ban the compilation and collection
5. Hazrat Omar also asked to submit all ahadith in possession
of the public who were under oath and then ignited them all.
6. He also sent a circular in all cities to destroy any evidence
This did not happen by chance, according to Maulana Munazar
Ahsin Gilani this policy was adopted with a definite purpose
More Strict Measures:
Day after day Hazrat OmarR became more strict on this issue
of transmission of hadith. According to Qaza bin Qa'ab, "
When Caliph Omar sent us to Iraq he emphatically drummed it
into our heads, that Iraq was a place where sounds of Quran
echo like wild bees and we must exercise extreme precaution
as not to distract their minds with all kinds of ahadith."
It was asked from Abu HurairaR if during Hazrat Omar's caliphate
he ever remembered stating the hadith in the same way as he
was doing now. To that he replied, if he had done so Hazrat
OmarR would have physically scolded him. It has also come down
to us that Hazrat OmarR had imprisoned Hazrat Abdullah bin Ma'soodR,
Abu DurdaR and Abu Ma'sood AnsariR for illegally in possession
It is quite possible these ahadith may have been weeded out
because of ambiguity, although according to the author of this
book they are closer to being true, as they were according to
the principles of Quran and also parallel to the desire of MuhammadPBUH.
We however, are not interested in debating on this point. Even
if we do not have the above quoted hadiths, we still are in
possession of another historical fact that cannot be denied.
We observe that by the end of the caliphate period, there isn't
a single copy of Hadith that was compiled and completed under
the supervision of any Caliph of that period. From these historical
facts it can easily be determined, if those Caliphs or the Holy
Messenger had ever considered the hadith to be a part of the
Deen of Islam, they would have adopted the same measures as
were taken towards the Holy Quran. Hence after the demise of
the Messenger no steps were taken towards collection of Hadith.
Hamam Ibn Mamba's Manuscript
What the religious scholars of hadith, after much struggle,
have succeeded in discovering, has come down to us under the
title of Hamam ibne Mamba's manuscript. This was published by
Dr. Hameed ullah several years ago from Hyderabad (India). It
is believed that Hamam ibne Mamba was the student of Abu HurairaR
who died in hijra 131. In this manuscript there are 138 ahadith
in total, which its author states were compiled before his teacher
Abu Huraira. His teacher is believed to have departed from us
in hijra 58. By other means we can say that this manuscript
was compiled before hijra 58. We also notice that Imam Mamba
writes these hadiths before hijra 58 in Medina and is able to
obtain only 138 ahadith. Whereas in hijra 300 when Imam Bokhari
decides to collect ahadith he gathers six hundred thousand.
(Imam Humbal found 1,000,000 ahadith and Imam Yahya bin Moeen
found 1,200,000 hadiths) Another fact we observe that those
ahadith that have been confered upon Abu HurairaR amount to
thousands, though his student was able to write only 138 ahadith.
However, in the first century of the Islamic calendar, the sum
total of all individual collection is Imam Mamba's 138 ahadith.
There are no other written records of Holy Messenger's gospel
belonging to that period of Islamic history.
At the close of hijra100 we notice that Caliph Omar bin Abdul
AzizR on his own, had some work done on Hadith. After him was
Imam Ibne Shahab ZuhryR who at the order of Caliph Bannu Umayya
compiled a concise edition of Hadith and that also according
to its author was against his desire. At present we neither
have any copy or manuscript of hadith of Hazrat Omar bin Abdul
AzizR nor the concise edition of Shahab Zuhry. Although ahadith
confered in their names are mentioned at a later period, when
the need was felt to bring into record the historical events
of Holy Messenger's life. The material for the historical records
was a conglomerate of all that had been coming down to them
through the generations. Some writers narrowed their research
to only those records that refer to the parables, gospels or
sayings of the Messenger MuhammadR. This collection is titled
Hadith (the very word hadith means conversations).
The first compilation of Hadith that is present today belongs
to Imam Malik (died hijra179) and is called Muta. In it we find
three to five hundred various ahadith, it further informs us
about the activities of Messenger's companions in Medina. After
Imam Malik we find various other scholars venturing on this
subject and compiling several different editions of Hadith.
During the Abbasids period we observe spectacular progress in
the field of Islamic arts and sciences and along with that the
number of hadith compilations also increased. The most famous
of all compilations that has come down to us is known as the
'Sahiheen,' these books are authored by Imam BokhariR and Imam
MuslimR. Imam BukhariR who died in hijra 256 had made a collection
of 600,000 ahadith. After sifting through various ahadith he
finally decided to retain 2,630 and produced them in book form
under the title of 'Us'hal Kitab baaduz Kitab e Allah' (The
most pure book after the book of Allah).
This Hadith is now being pronounced as inseparable part of the
Deen of Islam. Six different editions of Hadith are considered
to be the most authentic by the Sunniites and are called 'Sahaa
Sitaa.' The Shiites have their own collections that are different
from Sunniites. Those six editions come under the following
Sahih Bukhari / Sahih Muslim / Trimzi / Abu Dawood / Ibne Maja
The introduction to the authors of the above listed collections
is as follows:
· IMAM BUKHARI: He was born in Bukhari in hijra 256 and
some believe the date to be hijra 260 but we all know that he
died in Samarkand. It is said that after wandering through different
cities and villages he collected close to six hundred thousand
hadiths and after sifting through he found 7,300 ahadith that
he considered close to being authentic. Some have been repeated
in various chapters. If we do not count the repetitions, the
total figures we get are 2,630 or 2,762.
· IMAM MUSLIM: Muslim bin Hajaj belonged to a city in
Iran called Nishapur. He was born in hijra 204 and died in hijra
· TRIMZI: Imam Abu Isa Muhammad Trimzi was from the city
called Trimz in Iran. He was born in hijra 209 and died in hijra
· ABU DAWOOD: He comes from Seestan in Iran. He was born
in hijra 202 and died in hijra 275.
· IBNE MAJA: Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Zaid ibne Maja
came from northern Iran, a city that goes by the name of Kazdin.
His year of birth is hijra 209 and he died in hijra 273.
· IMAM NISAAYEE: Imam Abdur Rahman Nisaayee came from
a city called Nisa in Iran's eastern province of Khorasan. He
died in hijra 303.
After a brief introduction of these religious scholars one can
easily infer that (a) they all came from Iran. (b) None of these
scholars was from Arab descent. We also notice that none of
the Arabs were prepared to do what these scholars have done.
(c) All of them were born in the third century. (d) Whatever
ahadith were collected, were all hearsay, (e) there were no
written records of hadith before their collections.
From these thousands of ahadith that were gathered, they chose
some and discarded others. The criterion of selection was their
personal judgment. For these gospels, their authors had no decree
of any kind from God (revealing to them as to which hadith to
choose and which ones to discard). Nor we find they had the
consent or approval of the Holy Messenger (proving that the
selected ahadith were the true parables or sayings of the Messenger).
Again, there were no previous records that they could have borrowed
the material for their collections. All the sayings were just
word of the mouth they gathered from various cities and villages.
After giving their own judgment or approval these religious
scholars selected some and discredited others on their own.
Hence the denounement of Hadith.
(After having assessed the long chase of the departed Messenger
MuhammadPBUH, it appears as though Allah was no more an important
Being in the life of Muslims. Which was quite contrary to what
Muhammad was trying to teach.)
How can anyone vouch for these kinds of ahadith based on hearsay
or prove, that in actuality these were the original words of
the Messenger? Keeping in mind that, after two or two and a
half centuries, not a single word could be guaranteed that it
belonged to the Messenger, or has been conveyed from father
to son or teacher to student by memorizing. These were garbled
words of previous centuries.
(In as much as I would want to hear the exact words of the last
of the Great Messengers; at the same time to accept a version
that is not first hand, second hand or even third, forth or
fifth hand, does not make any sense at all. On the contrary,
we are defeating our very purpose for which the Ahadith were
written i.e., to seek the Truth. And by accepting a clone, we
are corroding our own system of thought.)
It would not be futile to know the number of ahadith that have
Ahadith Compiler Found Ahadith Selected Ahadith for the book
Imam Bukhari 600,000 2,762 (after repetitions)
Imam Muslim 300,000 4,348
Imam Trimzi 300,000 3,115
Imam Abu Dawood 500,000 4,800
Imam Ibn Maja 400,000 4,000
Imam Nisai 200,000 4,321
What comes to mind again, after the sifting was done by the
authors of hadith, who can say for sure the authors did not
relegate the actual sayings or parables of the Messenger. Many
of those ahadith that these authors have included in their collection,
also go against the Messenger. This discussion will be taken
later on in this book.
From the above research, it is determined, the collection of
parables and teachings of the Messenger was an individual effort
without any warranty from Allah or any kind of consent from
the Messenger. These findings also invite one to ponder as to
what would have been the condition of the DEEN (Quran), if it
was thrown at the mercy of humankind.
It is widely discussed, we were fortunate that Imam BukhariR
and various other religious scholars were able to make a collection,
otherwise we would have been (God forbid) robbed of our Islamic
treasure. Some scholars go so far as to exclaim that only one
tenth of the knowledge is in the Quran and the rest of nine
tenths of the treasure is in the Hadiths. (No wonder nine tenths
of the time the world is at war with each other). Please give
your serious attention to this. A God who explicitly proclaims
in the Quran that 'the system of DEEN is now complete,' and
after hearing that can we even for a moment imagine, that the
last of the Messengers will leave so gargantuan amount of other
knowledge about it at the mercy of fate? I have grave doubts
if that will make any sense!
It could have been possible, as we had seen with the preserving
of the Holy Quran, that the words of the Messenger be made to
travel from heart to heart until they were compiled in the form
of a book. Their authenticity could have been, to quite an extent
vouched for. As we all know now, even this was not the story.
The Hadith books that are present today, do not contain the
original sayings of the MuhammadPBUH. These are interpretations
of his gospel or sayings. As in common conversation and literature
we find sentences with 'in other words..........' For example
the Messenger's companion heard him say or utter something and
reached his own conclusion and delivered it to another companion
in a different tone, then the second one tried to understand
and conveyed it to another companion. Now imagine this going
on, not for one day or two days, one or two months, not even
one year or two years, this went on for a crucial period of
two or two and a half centuries. And these centuries, mind you,
were full of conspiracies and intrigues against the Islamic
ideology. How much truth is left, when sentences have been moving
from one mind to another for this prolonged period of time,
I shall leave it for you to imagine?
BENEFIT OF DOUBT
It would be worthwhile to mention Maulana Abul A. Maudoodi's
criticism here. In order to thoroughly understand the genius
of the Messenger, (what to talk about the late comers in Hadith
writing) he gives his critique on the pioneer Abu Huraira as
"Apparently, it seems that either Abu HurairaR was unable
to comprehend Muhammad's statement or he did not hear him completely...........These
kinds of misinterpretations are not uncommon in our Hadith literature,
sometimes a saying has been clarified by another saying while
there are others that are still more ambiguous." (Quoted
from Tasneem, Ahadith number, Oct. 14, 1959)
This was his viewpoint on the interpretation of the first compiler
on Hadith. As far as transfering these interpretations to others
is concerned, the same author narrates in his book (Tafheemaat,
volume, 1) as follows:
"Let us say for example, I am giving a speech today and
many thousands are listening to me. Few hours later, after I
have finished my speech (not months or years, but only a few
hours later), just ask the people as to what I was saying. It
will be observed that all translations will be different from
each other. Everyone will emphasize a different portion of the
speech. Somebody will take down word for word whereas another
will interpret that sentence according to his own understanding.
One person will have a better mind and will give the correct
meaning of it, whereas another with limited intellectual capacity,
may garble the true meanings. One person maybe having a good
memory and may give you a word for word translation, whereas
another with a weak memory will make mistakes conveying the
meaning to others."
SAYINGS ATTRIBUTED TO THE MESSENGER
This was in fact the way in which the statements and parables
of the Messenger traveled through two or two and a half centuries.
That is absolutely the reason when one reads the Quran we say
it in all belief, (qalallahwatallah ) "which Allah promulgates."
When we begin to narrate any statement of Hadith we say 'The
Messenger of Allah said...' And at the end we say (oqamaqala'rasoolallah
) meaning 'otherwise or as the Messenger might have said.' That
is also why the statements in Hadith are not considered the
original words of the Messenger. The statements in hadith are
believed to be those that are referenced to Messenger's statements.
And are not his exact words.
Narrators of Ahadith
It is obvious, in the conventional parables, we come across
numerous names of writers, on a single statement of the Messenger.
After the compilation of Hadith, question arose as to the moral
health and conduct of those who have refered these statements.
For that we must take each and every hadith and check for the
morals and character of its author. This is one of those arts,
of which we can proudly boast and which is little known anywhere
else. We do not have the faintest bit of doubt on the intention
of narrators. Again the important question is, can we by this
approach arrive at Truth? You can vouch for the individual's
character who is saying the hadith to you, how can you say with
authority that all the people who carried the words of Messenger
were sincere at heart or could be depended on. It is not the
question of having confidence in those writers, the most important
aspect is, were they capable of thoroughly understanding a statement
and giving the correct interpretation of it. If we can prove,
that in two or two and a half centuries the words are capable
of remaining in their original form, then I think we have solved
the greatest mystery of our times........... It is impossible!