Those that say that hadiths were not preserved do not know a single thing about Hadith. The sciences of Hadith are extensive. Not only is the person who narrated hadiths known, his life, his children, what other scholors said about him is known. That is a science in and of it self, called the Ilm ur-Rijal. The Science of Men.
That was the way of knowing who is a scholor back then. A person would be considered a scholor by what other scholors said of him. Now, its every Tom and Harry that is considered a scholor.
Back to Hadith preservation. The books of Bukhari and Muslim are indeed the most authentic books after the Quran. Every hadeeth in there is Sahih or Mutawatir (reported by so many companions that its authencity is undoubtable).
·The status of the Sunnah
oThere are 3 opinions on the status of the Sunnah as described below
§The sunnah is second to the Qur’an.
§The sunnah is equal to the Qur’an (in terms of legal application, not in terms of blessedness/holiness; the majority of the scholars are of this opinion).
§The Qur’an is more in need of the Sunnah than the Sunnah is in need of the Qur’an so the Sunnah is of a higher status than the Qur’an (no scholar has explicitly stated this as being his/her opinion).
oThe correct opinion is the 2nd opinion, in sha Allah.
·The proof for this status
oThe infallibility of the prophets
§In spreading the revelation (Nisaa:113, Maa’idah:67, Haaqah:38-47)
§No Prophets committed major sins.
§No Prophets committed minor sins continuosly.
·Like Adam (as): He sinned once and then repented and was forgiven.
oRole of all Prophets was to be obeyed (Nisaa:64; Shu’araa:108, 110, 127, 131, 144, 150, 163, 179; Nuh:3)
§The very fact that Allah sent men as Prophets to teach the message to the people. Had Allah willed, He could have relayed the message to us in some other form. The fact that he sent Prophets shows us that they are there for a reason: To be obeyed and followed by their people.
oAllah’s approval of the Companions’ following of the Sunnah
§When the Sahabah disobeyed the Prophet (saaws), verses were revealed admonishing them (e.g., with regards to battle of Uhud).
§Allah praised them or didn’t admonish the Sahabah for following the Sunnah.
§Examples of the Sahabah following the Sunnah and their eagerness to do so:
·When the Prophet (saaws) started wearing a silver ring, the Sahaba also started wearing silver rings. And when he (saaws) did away with his ring, the Sahabah too did away with their rings.
·When the Prophet (saaws) was praying and removed his shoes during the prayer, the Sahabah following him in prayer also took off their shoes in prayer.oVerses in the Qur’an establishing the legality of the Sunnah
§Belief in the Prophet (saaws) – Nisaa:136, Taghaabun:8, A’raaf:158
§Describing the role of the Prophet (saaws) as the explainer of the Qur’an – Nahl:44, 64; Baqarah:151
§The revelation of the “wisdom” along with the Qur’an (the wisdom referring to the Sunnah) – Baqarah:151, 231; Jumuah:2; Ahzaab:34; Ale-Imran:164
§Explicit verses commanding obedience – Nisaa:65, 80; Anfaal:20; Taghaabun:12; Ma’idah:92
§Obedience to Prophet (saaws) is part of loving Allah – Ale-Imran:31; Ahzaab:21, 36
§The Status of the Prophet (saaws) and the etiquette that he must be shown – al-Hujuraat:1
§Misc. Verses – Ahzaab:1, Muminoon:73, etc.oThe Prophet’s (saaws) statements proving the legal status of the Sunnah
§The Prophet’s (saaws) statement that he has been given the Qur’an and something like it.
§The Prophet (saaws) described that it is not enough to only take from the Qur’an. He said that what he makes halal, it is as if Allah made it halal, and vice versa.
§He (saaws) told the Sahabah to preserve his hadeeth and not to lie about him. The hadeeth with the most number of chains by which it is narrated (around 70 or 80 different chains of narration) is the hadeeth which tells us not to lie about the Prophet (saaws).oCommon Sense. From a practical viewpoint, it is impossible to follow the Qur’an without the Sunnah.
§How do we pray Salaat? It is not described in the Qur’an what to recite and how to physically perform it.
§Zakat: It doesn’t say in the Qur’an to pay 2.5% of our wealth. It only tells us to pay but not the amount.
§Hajj: The Qur’an doesn’t tell us how to go about performing Hajj.oUnanimous consensus – no known difference of opinion amongst the scholars.
·Arguments of those who reject the sunnah
oThe Qur’an is complete in and of itself
§Refutation: This is true – the Qur’an in its completeness commands us to follow the Sunnah so to follow the complete guidance of the Qur’an, you must follow the Sunnah.
oThe Sunnah has not been preserved
·Detailed proofs – requires knowledge of preservation of the sunnah and its history in order to use detailed proofs for refutation.
Simple proof – If Islam is in need of the Sunnah, it must be preserved. The fact that we have been ordered to follow the Sunnah in the Qur’an necessitates that the Sunnah has been preserved because Allah does not burden His slave with more than it can bear (He will never order us to sprout wings and fly because it is not in our ability to do so) (23:62). Hadeeth were written down in the Prophet’s (saaws) lifetime by the Sahaba like Abdullah ibn ‘Amr
oThere were around 60 scribes from among the Sahabah.
oThe Prophet (saaws) commanded his Sahabah to write down what he said.
oAli’ (radi Allahu anhu) was known to keep a codex of hadeeth in his scabbard.
oArcheological evidence supports the claim that hadeeth were written down during the life of the Prophet (saaws).
·Companions understood their responsibility in preserving/narrating the Sunnah.
oJabir ibn Abdillah, Abdullah ibn Abbaas, Aishah, Anas, Ibn Umar, and Abu Hurayra all narrated over 1000 hadith each.
oThe major Sahabah became centers of learning and had many core students amongst the Tabi’een.
·The sciences of hadeeth developed during the time of the Tabi’een and Tabi-Tabi’een.
oTraveling for months in order to confirm the authenticity of hadeeth or to seek Islamic knowledge was normal.
·120 years after the death of the Prophet (saaws), the first book of hadeeth meant for circulation was written: Muwatta of Imam Malik (d. 179 AH). Thousands of works were written in the first two centuries, which were absorbed into later works.
oThe Saheefah was a book written by Hammaam ibn Munabi (a student of Abu Hurairah). His manuscript still exists. 110 hadeeth from Abu Hurairah are in it which are all also found in Bukhari and Muslim.
·Types of Hadeeth books and examples
oMusnad – hadeeth are categorized by narrators.
§Musnad of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (d. 204)
§Musnad of Baqi’ ibn Makhlad (d. 276)
oSaheeh – only contains Saheeh (authentic) hadeeth
§Saheeh al-Bukhari (d. 256)
§Saheeh Muslim (d. 261)
§Saheeh of Ibn Khuzayma (d. 311)
§Saheeh of Ibn Hibban (d. 354)
oSunan works – hadeeth books designed to teach fiqh
§Sunan of Abu Dawood (d. 275)
§Sunan of Ibn Majah (d. 279)
§Sunan of Bayhaqi (d. 458)
§Sunan of an-Nasaa’i (d. 303)
oMu’jam – hadeeth categorized by the sheikh the hadeeth was heard from
§Mu’jam works of at-Tabarani (d. 360)
·The most famous 6 books of hadeeth
These are notes written by somebody about the lecture by Yasir Qadhi called Legal Status of the Sunnah which is downloadable here: