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Authentication of Hadith REDEFINING THE CRITERIA

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!T Series-Books-In-Brief

The IIT series is a valuable collection of the Institute's key publications written in condensed form, designed to give readers a basic understanding of the main contents of the original.

Written in a short, easy-to-read, time-saving format, these compendiums offer a faithful and carefully written overview of the larger publication and will hopefully stimulate readers to delve further into the original.

Dr. Israr Ahmad Khan's text Authentication of Hadith

Redefining The Criteria was published in complete form in 2010.

In the work he addresses the delicate topic of Hadith authentication, focusing on the criteria adopted by the compilers of the main collections to argue that relying on the continuity and precision of the chain of narrators, rather than on the textual content of the Hadith, led to some hadith ( ahadith) to directly contradict other hadiths, to project the Prophet in an unusual light, to fail to reflect and/or contradict the teachings of the Quran. Furthermore, he argues, since the great body of traditions spread soon after the Prophet has disappeared, it would be unwise to ignore the fact that many contained targeted falsifications. These not only aimed to corrupt the essential message of the faith, but also to corroborate political, sectarian, economic and even theological support. Political and religious differences, motivated largely by rivalry towards the nascent Creed, led to a sustained and well-known disinformation campaign that used Hadith as a vehicle.

While the misuse and abuse of Hadith is nothing new, in today's complex and unstable world the consequences of relying on fraudulent and false Hadith to legitimize extremist behavior, justify blatant abuse, particularly towards women, and issuing disturbing fatwas that call for violent acts is not only too easy, but actually very dangerous. Furthermore, given the widespread

anti-Islamic sentiment currently dominant in mainstream discourse, it is imperative that the issue of falsified hadiths, widely publicized and ruthlessly exploited to support the thesis of Islamic violence and backwardness, be addressed. It is the responsibility of the Muslim scholars who are most expert in the Islamic sciences, to sadly and courageously eliminate those hadiths which have been clearly falsified and which not only invite a false interpretation, but also perpetuate ignorance and betray both the Koran and the Prophet.


The Quran and Hadith govern all aspects of the belief system of Islam and its manifestations in human life. The Quran represents the explicitly revealed words of Allah (SWT)* and the Hadith constitute the practical aspects and methodologies of the Qur'anic orders and instructions. Allah ordered Prophet Muhammad (SAAS)** to do the following: repeat the messages of the Quran to the people; explain the truth revealed in the Quran and teach its followers.

The bavan of the Quran is known as Hadith and Sunnah. To this end, the following aspects are true and stated in the Quran: Allah's blessings will protect those who obey Him and His prophet;' obedience is required2 while deliberate indifference is a grave offense;3 the Prophet is the judge in all disputes of life;* escaping and ignoring the instructions of Allah and the Prophet ultimately leads to failure in life and causes the actions of man lose all meaning.6

In the contemporary era, Muslims include four categories in their approach to Hadith: those who totally reject their importance in Muslim life; those who blindly accept all abadith regardless of their authenticity; those who choose Hadith indiscriminately for practical purposes; those who believe in the sacredness of the Prophetic traditions, but who approach them considering their logical and practical relevance to Islamic life and civilization. Today, Muslims suffer less from rigid adherence to the Prophet's old traditions than from having departed from the Qur'an and the Sunnah in thought and practice. For example, semi-illiterate Muslims. who have unconditional love for Hadith and Sunnah, may be misled by their

sienified and then mislead others, blindly adhering to anything

ratcheted as prophetic tradition, regardless of its authenticity.

This situation is one of the main factors of Muslim backwardness. mana and decline in virtually every area of ​​life, including religious and spiritual ones.

In the Muslim world today we witness a tendency to select only those Qur'anic ayat and prophetic traditions that benefit vested interests and secret agendas. On the other hand, a balanced approach to the Sunnah and Hadith indicates a belief in and practice of only those profoundly authentic prophetic traditions.

Hadith compilations are commonly classified into four categories based on the degree of their authenticity: the most authentic works, such as those of al-Bukhäri and Muslim; collections with only a few dubious accounts such as al-Tirmidhi, al-Nasai, and Abu Dawud; collected with many problematic traditions such as those of Ibn Majah and Ahmad; and collected with many weak and falsified traditions such as those of al-Tabarani.

The authentication of the Hadith as claimed by the Hadith authorities is completely dependent on the authenticity of the chain of narrators reporting the Hadith. Rarely is serious attention paid to the authenticity of the Hadith through the authentication of the Hadith text. Muslim scholars and scholars believe that if the chain of narrators of a hadith meets five criteria, the hadith must be accepted as authentic: continuity in the chain of narrators; the integrity of the character [of the narrator); foolproof memorization; autonomy from any hidden defect and certainty of the absence of any aberrant action. Although the last two criteria also apply to the examination of the text of a hadith, scholars and Hadith scholars have rarely considered them in their examination of the text of the Hadith.

However, many reasons justify further examination of Hadith from a textual angle which includes controversies over the position of a particular narrator and the inability of some narrators to maintain the accuracy of the account, when most Hadith scholars and scholars believe that the prophetic traditions were not narrated with the words of the Prophet, but [were] with the meaning of the message, this can cause confusion.

Furthermore, textual conflicts between accounts occur when certain accounts relating to the same issue vary in wording and meaning. Scholars generally suggest that such differences in the narrative arise not from errors in the narrative but because the

Prophet had made the statements differently on different occasions. Another reason is the objection of 'deception' of reliable narrators: sometimes the chain of narrators is perfectly authentic, but there is an obvious problem in the text of the narration. Rather than examine the text as a possible source of anomaly, Hadith commentators blame a narrator. Instead, there should be some criteria to identify the anomaly in the text.

The process of practical correction of narratives also justifies the examination of Hadith. Even during the time of the Companions, particular attention was paid to the transmission of prophetic traditions, particularly regarding their accuracy. Some of the Prophet's statements that were reported incorrectly and were later corrected by experts have at times led to confusion.

The examination of the Hadith is fundamental to identify the contemporary relevance of the Hadith: the Quran and the Hadith collect the teachings of the Prophet and are intended for practical application in our daily lives. Therefore, the interpretations of the Quran and the

Hadith should be carefully examined and the text reinterpreted.

Another reason to examine is to understand the methodological dimension of the Hadith: Prophetic traditions can be classified into legislative and non-legislative categories, some are binding and some are not. Binding traditions are evaluated in relation to the Qur'an, human reason and the Sunnah with historical continuity (mutawatir).

When the Hadith and the Quran are opposed to each other, the scholars should favor a compromise between the two. If this is not possible, traditions lose their eminent status of authenticity.

Only the authentic text of a tradition can be used as a source of guidance, both methodological and practical.

As for the probability of falsification in some Hadith texts, their actual number is counted in thousands. The scholars and scholars of Hadith have undoubtedly done their best to identify the true and separate it from the false, but despite the great care and effort they have not been able to guarantee accuracy to the

hundred percent. Therefore it is likely that some counterfeit traditions

are still considered genuine because of the authentic chain of narrators that support them. We have no other way to check for falsified traditions in popular sources other than by examining the text of specific traditions. There are many controversies among Muslim jurists about certain issues related to Muslim life, where some texts from a particular tradition are preferred over others. Finally, the responsibility and task of the Scholars are not yet concluded regarding the examination of the Hadith. Hadith have a very sacred position in Islamic life, but this sacredness is exclusively for the true traditions of the Prophet and must not be granted to the inauthentic ones.

The idea of ​​an obvious conflict between different texts of the recorded prophetic traditions is disconcerting to any interested Muslim. In reading and analyzing the traditions recorded in al-Bukhari and Muslim, it is clear that the Hadith commentators had not applied any universal and well-defined principles to the Hadith commentaries and were not properly balanced in their approach to the Hadith, placing their main focus on the chain of narrators and not on the text of the traditions.

First chapter

Falsifications in the Prophetic Traditions:

Causal factors and corrective measures

In the approach that has been established for Hadith, if the chain of narrators (sanad) is authentic, the hadith is considered authentic, regardless of the issues the text may contain. Any apparent discrepancy in the texts of the traditions can be interpreted, but to declare any account from these two sources to be unreliable is considered an almost unacceptable position and a potential violation.

Literal and technical falsification in the prophetic traditions means a false attribution to the Prophet of a statement or practice, with or without intention. This chapter focuses on falsification in the Prophetic traditions from a historical perspective, tracing the elements that led to this and the corrective measures taken by illustrious…


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