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View Full Version : Process of collecting ahadith

07-21-2006, 08:05 AM

Here are some articiles i found about the process of collecting and narrating ahadith. If anyone knows of any better or more details areticles, please feel free to post them!:) Also if there is already a thread on the this topic, mods please merge it, but i couldnt find a similar thread using the search function.

Conditions of authenticity

The conditions of authenticity that both al-Bukhârî and Muslim relied upon in their Sahîh compilations can be briefly summarized as follows:

1. All of the narrators in the chain of transmission must be reliable.

2. The chain of transmission must be unbroken.

3. The hadîth had to be free from hidden defects and had to not conflict with other stronger or more numerous narrations.

The main difference between al-Bukhârî and Muslim is with respect to a type of hadîth known as mu`an`an. This is a hadîth whose chain of transmission contains the Arabic word “`an”. This word can be translated in this context as “on the authority of”.

The problem with it is that it does not imply that you actually heard the statement directly from the person. If you say “`an Ahmad”, this means that you are attributing some statement to Ahmad, but it does not mean that you necessarily heard the statement directly from him. This means that when the word “`an” appears in the chain of transmission, there is a chance that there is a gap in the chain.

According to al-Bukhârî, a hadîth that is mu`an`an could not be considered to have an unbroken chain of transmission unless there is proof that both the narrator and the person from whom he is narrating actually met at least once.

According to Muslim, it is enough that he two narrators in question lived at the same time and could have met.


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07-21-2006, 08:08 AM
Difference between mutawâtir and ahad ahadith.

A mutawâtir hadîth is a hadîth that was independently related by such a large number of people that is practically impossible for them to have been able to conspire on a lie or collectively be mistaken. This large number of narrators must exist at every point in the chain of transmission until it reaches its final source.

This type of hadîth is guaranteed to be authentic, since it is impossible for it to be a fabrication or for it to contain within it a mistake. The number of narrators required for a hadîth to be mutawâtir varies depending on the circumstances. The important thing is that it would have been impossible for such a large number of people, given their circumstances, to have conspired in fabricating the report.

Any hadîth that is not mutawâtir is called a single narrator hadîth (khabar âhâd). This does not mean that there is only one narrator. It only means that the number of narrators who independently related the hadîth is less than the number required for the hadîth to be classified as mutawâtir.

This type of hadîth is not guaranteed to be authentic. In order to determine the authenticity of the hadîth, its chain of transmission must be heavily scrutinized. The hadîth can then be graded as authentic (sahîh), good (hasan), weak (da`îf), rejected (munkar), or fabricated (mawdû`).


07-21-2006, 08:09 AM
Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim

Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim are the two most authentic books after the Qur’ân. There are no fabricated hadîth in these two books. We know this for the following reasons:

1. Al-Bukhârî and Muslim made it a condition not to record in their books any hadîth that were not authentic. Al-Bukhârî said: “I did not place in my book anything that is not authentic. I left out a number of authentic hadîth so the book would not be overly long.” He also said: “I did not place in my book anything that is not authentic. I left out more authentic hadîth than I recorded.”

Muslim said: “I did not place anything in this book of mine without proof for doing so. I did not leave anything out without proof for doing so.” He also said: “I did not place therein every authentic hadîth that I know. I only placed therein that which is unanimously agreed upon.”

2. There is juristic consensus among the scholars (ijmâ`) that all the hadîth in these two works are to be accepted. Al-Nawawî says: “The scholars are in agreement that the Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim are the most authentic books after the Qur’ân. The Muslim Ummah has accepted them.”

Imâm al-Haramayn said: “If a man swears that his wife is divorced from him if the contents of Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim contain anything deemed unauthentic in its attribution to the Prophet (peace be upon him), he would not be divorced nor would he have to expiate for his oath, because there is consensus of the Muslims that they are both authentic.”

3. If we look at the methodology employed by those two scholars in compiling their books and the time that they took in verifying and editing them, and if we consider the number of hadîth from which they drew, we would be convinced of the reliability of their books. Al-Bukhârî drew from 600,000 hadîth and Muslim drew from 300,000 hadîth.

We must also recognize that these two scholars were the foremost authorities in the field of hadîth criticism. This is why their books are so important.

4. Al-Bukhârî took 16 years to complete his book. He did not record a single hadîth in it without first taking a full bath and praying two units of prayer seeking Allah’s guidance in the matter. When he completed his work, he subjected it to peer review, showing it to such eminent scholars if hadîth as Ahmad b. Hanbal, Yahyâ b. Ma`în, and `Alî b. al-Madînî. They all praised the work and verified its authenticity.

For further reading, please refer to the book Makânah al-Sahîhayn by Dr. Khalîl Mullâ Khâtir.


07-21-2006, 08:15 AM
wow jazakilah khayr really informative, al-Bukhari went through alottt man.. so did the others, but bukhari was an exceptional may allah reward them..

there's this software called 'al-kutub at-tis'3ah' and it has all 9 books of hadith, it's got this really really really really reallllllllly detailed preface on the sceince of hadith... and for every hadith its even got a diagram with chain of narrators and profile of every narrator...

also ad-dahabi has a book called 'al-meezan' (or something like that) and its a profile of all the narrators he knew, there's many other books written that profiled all the narrators of hadith, their reputation, wat they wehre like, strengths weaknesses etc..


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07-21-2006, 08:18 AM
Jazakallah Khair, a good post for those people that call themselves 'Quraanis' and do not believe in the sound narration of the hadiths.

07-21-2006, 08:19 AM

Is 'al-kutub at-tis'3ah' downloadable? If so do you have a link to it?

07-21-2006, 08:20 AM
format_quote Originally Posted by Aalimah
Jazakallah Khair, a good post for those people that call themselves 'Quraanis' and do not believe in the sound narration of the hadiths.

wa iyyakum :)

If they reject mutawâtir ahadith as well then it really shows how ignorant those people are, since those ahadith were collect in almost the exact way the quran was collected!

07-21-2006, 08:24 AM
What is al-jarh wa al-ta`dîl and how is it carried out?

Eminent scholars developed this discipline in order to protect the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) from corruption. They used these expressions as tools for evaluating the chains of transmission for various hadîth.

The phrase al-jarh wa al-ta`dîl refers to a systematic approach to critiquing a narrator’s position as a narrator.

Al-Jarh literally means “to injure”. It refers to a series of expressions that are used to express some deficiency in the narrations of a narrator. Sometimes the narrator may be criticized for being a liar, a fabricator of hadîth, having a poor memory, or being unknown.

Al-Ta`dîl is the opposite. It is a description of the narrator as being acceptable. It includes descriptions such as: skilled and trustworthy, emphatically trustworthy, trustworthy, just, truthful, and acceptable.

There are two broad conditions that must be fulfilled by a narrator in order for him to be acceptable. He must be trustworthy and accurate. For a narrator to be found wanting in either of these two conditions is a serious deficiency.

The meaning of trustworthiness is that the narrator fears Allah and is of good character.

Fearing Allah means that he avoids polytheism, innovation, and sin.

Goodness of character means that he is of good behavior and conducts himself in a decent and proper manner according to the customs of people. The specific details of this assessment will vary from time to time and from country to country.

There are two kinds of accuracy: accuracy in memory and accuracy in writing. Accuracy in memory means the narrator has an accurate recall and can memorize and later confirm what he hears from his personal knowledge. The narrator, moreover, should know the subtleties of meaning if he narrates hadîth by their meanings and not by their literal wording.

Accuracy in writing means the narrator records and preserves the hadîth in writing until he narrates them perfectly to others.

The proof for the permissibility of engaging in al-jarh wa al-ta`dîl is Allah’s saying: “O ye who believe! If a sinner comes to you with any news, ascertain the truth, lest ye harm people unwittingly.” [Sûrah al-Hujurât: 6]

The verse commands us to verify the news brought to us by a sinner. This requires from us to assess the character of those from whom we take information, especially when that information refers to a matter as weighty as our religion.

Proof that we have to ascertaining the narrator’s accuracy is found in the statement of the Prophet (peace be upon him): “May Allah honor a person who hears my speech, understands it, commits it to memory it then he reports it to others as it is. For it may happen that a person who possesses knowledge will convey it to someone who will have a greater understanding of it than he has.” [Sunan al-Tirmidhî]

The Prophet’s saying: ‘…commits it to memory…’ shows the importance of memorizing the hadîth or preserving it in writing.

His saying ‘…reports it to others as it is…’ refers to the need for accuracy and proper understanding in conveying that information to others.

Criticizing a narrator is not an act of backbiting. It was related that a man came seeking an audience with the Prophet (peace be upon him). When the Prophet (peace be upon him) saw him he said: “Let him come in; he is a bad member of the clan.”

When the man sat, the Prophet (peace be upon him) received him with a smile and spoke to him nicely. When the man left, `Âishah said: “O Messenger of Allah when you saw the man you said something, then you smiled to him and talked nicely to him.”

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Have you known me to be discourteous? The evilest grade of a man on the day of Judgment is the one who is abandoned by people to avoid his evil.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî]

In this hadîth the Prophet (peace be upon him) only spoke ill of this man for a legitimate reason. He wanted to warn others of that man’s wicked behavior. He received him pleasantly as a matter of courtesy.

The trustworthiness of a narrator is known by his good reputation among people for being truthful, honest and good and for being a person of knowledge. This applies to people like Ahmad, Mâlik, al-Shâfi`î, and others.

The other way of knowing who is trustworthy is by way of recommendation from one of the prominent scholars in the field. These scholars know the trustworthiness of a narrator by knowing something about his biography. Often they would also conduct a deep and comparative study of the corpus of that narrator’s hadîth.

The accuracy of the narrator is known by comparing his narrations with others who narrated from the same teacher. The narrator will be deemed accurate if his narrations comply with those of others.

There are many scholars who were specialized in the discipline of al-jarh wal ta`dîl; among the most famous of these were: Ahmad b. Hanbal, Yahyâ b. Ma`în, `Alî b. al-Madînî, and al-Bukhârî.


07-21-2006, 08:36 AM

I just realised this thread is on the same topic.

07-21-2006, 08:38 AM
Yh but its not the same thing tho so its ok :D

07-21-2006, 09:05 AM

You can also listen to a lecture about the sciences of hadith here by Yasir Qadhi.

Its so funny, half the time hes talking about how his whiteboard marker isnt working.:giggling:

07-21-2006, 09:11 AM
lol :p

07-23-2006, 09:50 AM
Components of Hadith
A hadith is composed of three parts (see the figure [below]):

Matn (text), isnad (chain of reporters), and taraf (the part, or the beginning sentence, of the text which refers to the sayings, actions or characteristics of the Prophet (PBUH), or his concurrence with others action). The authenticity of the hadith depends on the reliability of its reporters, and the linkage among them.

Classifications of Hadith
A number of classifications of hadith have been made. Five of these classifications are shown in the figure [below], and are briefly described subsequently.

According to the reference to a particular authority
Four types of hadith can be identified.
Qudsi - Divine; a revelation from Allah (SWT); relayed with the words of the Prophet (PBUH).
Marfu - elevated; a narration from the Prophet (PBUH), e.g. I heard the Prophet (PBUH) saying ...
Mauquf- stopped: a narration from a companion only, e.g., we were commanded to ...
Maqtu' - severed: a narration from a successor.

According to the links of Isnad - interrupted or uninterrupted
Six categories can be identified.
Musnad - supported: a hadith which is reported by a traditionalist, based on what he learned from his teacher at a time of life suitable for learning; similarly - in turn - for each teacher until the isnad reaches a well known companion, who in turn, reports from the Prophet (PBUH).
Mutassil - continuous: a hadith with an uninterrupted isnad which goes back only to a companion or successor.
Mursal - hurried: if the link between the successor and the Prophet (PBUH) is missing, e.g. when a successor says "The Prophet said...".
Munqati - broken: is a hadith whose link anywhere before the successor (i.e., closer to the traditionalist recording the hadith) is missing.
Mu'adal - perplexing: is a hadith whose reporter omits two or more consecutive reporters in the isnad.
Mu'allaq - hanging: is a hadith whose reporter omits the whole isnad and quotes the Prophet (PBUH) directly (i.e., the link is missing at the beginning).

According to the number of reporters involved in each stage of Isnad
Five categories of hadith can be identified:
Mutawatir - Consecutive: is a hadith which is reported by such a large number of people that they cannot be expected to agree upon a lie, all of them together.
Ahad - isolated: is a hadith which is narrated by people whose number does not reach that of the mutawatir.
It is further classified into:
Mash'hur - famous: hadith reported by more than two reporters.
Aziz - rare, strong: at any stage in the isnad, only two reporters are found to narrate the hadith.
Gharib - strange: At some stage of the Isnad, only one reporter is found relating it.

According to the nature of the text and isnad
Munkar - denounced: is a hadith which is reported by a weak narrator, and whose narration goes against another authentic hadith.
Mudraj - interpolated: an addition by a reporter to the text of the hadith being narrated.

According to the reliability and memory of the reporters
This provides the final verdict on a hadith - four categories can be identified:
Sahih - sound. Imam Al-shafi'i states the following requiremetts for a hadith, which is not mutawatir, to be acceptable "each reporter should be trustworthy in his religion; he should be known to be truthtul in his narrating, to understand what he narrates, to know how a different expression can alter the meaning, and to report the wording of the hadith verbatim, not only its meaning".
Hasan - good: is the one where its source is known and its reporters are unambiguous.
Da'if - weak: a hadith which fails to reach the status of hasan. Usually, the weakness is: a) one of discontinuity in the isnad, in which case the hadith could be - according to the nature of the discontinuity - munqati (broken), mu'allaq (hanging), mu'dal (perplexing), or mursal (hurried), or b) one of the reporters having a disparaged character, such as due to his telling lies, excessive mistakes, opposition to the narration of more reliable sources, involvement in innovation, or ambiguity surrounding his person.
Maudu' - fabricated or forged: is a hadith whose text goes against the established norms of the Prophet's sayings, or its reporters include a liar. Fabricated hadith are also recognized by external evidence related to a discrepancy found in the dates or times of a particular incident.


- Qatada -
07-23-2006, 09:58 AM

This is a useful link too insha'Allaah:



07-23-2006, 11:31 AM

^Jazakaallah khayr, but i noticed the content was exaclty the same as my last post.

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