Originally Posted by chalks75
No you are not wrong is saying that. Since hadiths are written by men, yes they can be fallible and should be looked at with skepticism. Let me explain briefly what Hadith is and then you may be able to understand better.
The hadiths are very important inIslam because they fill in the details on Islamic life. Where the Quran gives Muslims a broad framework for how we should live, the Hadiths give us specificinformation. Here are some examples of how the hadiths give us specifics ongeneral commandments from the Quran.
·The Qurancommands Muslims to pray. –
However, Prophet Muhammad has informed us how and when to perform Islamicprayers in several hadiths.
·The Qurancommands Muslims to make Hajj. –
However, narrations describing the Hajj and Umrah of Prophet Muhammad (peace beupon him) tell us how to make Hajj.
·The Qurancommands Muslims to give Zakah. –
However, it is hadith quoting narrations from Prophet Muhammad (peace be uponhim) that tell us who must pay Zakah, and how much to give.
To put it simple, the hadith explainthe Sunnah (practice or tradition) of Prophet Muhammad PBUH.
Each hadith consists of two parts: the report and chain ofnarration. The report represents what was said or done by the Prophet Muhammad PBUH,as witnessed by his companions, and the chain is the sequence of people whohave passed the report down to us. Knowing the chain that is associated withthe report is crucial because without it anyone can make any claim they likeabout the Prophet Muhammad PBUH and we would have no way of verifying whetherit was an authentic report. Chains allow the scholars of Islam to distinguishauthentic hadiths from weak and fabricated ones by scrutinizing the individualnarrators within the chains. This methodology was pioneered by the early Muslimscholars and is known as the science of hadith.
There are many hadiths which are weak and only few andauthentic. For example, Sahih Bukhari which was compiled by Imam Muhammad Ibn IsmailAl-Bukhari. It is said Imam Bukhari collected over 300,000 hadiths but onlyconsidered 2600 authentic enough to go into this collection.
It is important for Muslims to follow only authentic hadithsif they don’t contradict Quran. Quran is always a primary source of guidance. Authentichadiths are secondary source and week hadith are there for reference, if theycontradict Sahih hadith and Quran then we don’t follow them.
Here is an example of an authentic hadith about fasting:
Abu Huraira reported the Prophetsaying: [God the Exalted and Majestic said] Every act of the son of Adam is forhim; every good deed will receive tenfold except fasting. It is [exclusively]meant for me, and I [alone] will reward it. He abandons his food for My sakeand abandons drinking for My sake and abandons his pleasure for My sake. Whenany one of you is fasting he should neither indulge in sex nor use obscenelanguage. If anyone reviles him he should say, "I am fasting." Theone who fasts has two [occasions] of joy: one when he breaks the fast and oneon the day when he will meet his Lord. And the breath [of a fasting person] issweeter to God than the fragrance of musk. [SahihBukhari, Hadith #1761]
Notice that the report starts with the statement “AbuHuraira reported”. Abu Huraira is a famous companion of the Prophet Muhammad PBUHand he is telling us he heard this statement directly from the mouth of theProphet. This report reaches us through multiple chains, as Abu Hurairamemorized the words of the Prophet and passed them onto the following people(the chart below should be read from right to left):
If we focus on the third generation of narrators from AbuHuraira, then there are over twenty narrators from different regions, such asMedina, Basra, Kufa, Mecca, Wasit, Hijaz and Khurasan.
But Abu Huraira wasn’tthe only companion who heard the Prophet utter the words about fasting. Other companions,such as Ibn Masud, Uthman and Ali, also reported the same hadith:
So, we can see that this hadith has a large amount ofattestation. It would be virtually impossible to fabricate such a report giventhat there are multiple independent chains, consisting of people from differenttimes and places, and yet they all report the same hadith.