Validity Of Weak Hadith 
by GF Haddad and Muhammad Sarkisian ©

Four Chapters:

[1] hadith masters - for hadeeth da`eef
[2] use of lesser-grade hadith for good virues - Ibn Taymiyya
[3] Use of Weak H.adîths in Morals
[4] Upgrading very weak hadiths & other questions
a) From the Epilogue of hafiz al-Sakhawi's
"al-Qawl al-badi` fi al-salat `ala al-habib al-shafi`"
[The Admirable Doctrine Concerning the Invocation upon the Beloved Intercessor]

Shaykh al-Islam Abu Zakariyya al-Nawawi (rad.ia-LLahu `anhu) said in the 'Adhkar':
"The ulama among the experts in hadith and the experts in law and others have said: it is permissible and (also) recommended that the religious practice (al-`amal) concerning good deeds and good character (al-fadâ'il), encouragement to good and discouragement from evil (al-targhib wa al-tarhib) be based (even) on weak hadith (bi al-hadith al- da`îf) as long as it is not forged (mawdu`).
As for legal rulings (ahkâm) such as what is permitted and what is forbidden, or the modalities of trade, marriage, divorce and other than that: one's practice is not based upon anything other than sound (sahih) or fair (hasan) hadith, except as a precaution in some matter related to one of the above, for example, if a weak hadith was cited about the reprehensibility (karahat) of certain kinds of sales or marriages. In such cases what is recommended (al-mustahabb) is to avoid such sales and marriages, but it is not obligatory (la yajib)."

Disagreeing with this Abu al-`Arabi al-Maliki said:
"Absolutely no practice is based on weak hadith." [Also, Ibn Taymiyya was of the opinion that no ruling of mustahabb can ever be based on a weak hadith.]

I have heard my Shaykh (Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani) insist on the following, and he put it to me in writing himself:

"The conditions for religious practice
based on weak hadith are three:

This is unanimously agreed upon (muttafaqun `alayh):
1 - That the weakness must not be very strong (ghayr shadid). This excludes those ahadith singly recorded by liars or those accused of lying, and those who make gross mistakes.
2 - That there be a general legal basis for it. This excludes what is invented and has no legal basis to start with.
3 - That one not think, while practicing on the basis of it, that it has been established as true (an la ya`taqida thubutahu). This is in order that no words which the Prophet did not (verifiably) say be attributed to him."

He continued:
"The last two conditions are from Ibn `Abd al- Salam and his companion Ibn Daqiq al-`Id; Abu Sa`eed al-`Ala'i (specialist in forgeries) reported unanimity over the first one."

I say: It has been reported from Imam Ahmad that one may practice on the basis of the weak hadith if there is no other hadith to that effect and also if there is no hadith that contradicts it. In one narration he is reported to say: "I like weak hadith better than men's opinions."
Ibn Hazm has similarly mentioned that all Hanafi scholars unanimously agree that the school of Abu Hanifah (rad.ia-LLahu `anhu) holds that weak hadith is preferable to opinion (ra'y) and analogy (qiyâs). Ahmad was asked about someone finding himself in a country with, on the one hand, a memorizer of hadith (sâhib hadîth) who does not know the sound from the unsound, and, on the other, an authority in opinion (sâhib ra'y): who should he consult? He replied: "Let him consult the memorizer of hadith sâhib hadîth and not the authority in opinion (sâhib ra'y)."

[Note: Some question the authenticity of the above opinion of Imam Ahmad in the light of Ibn Taymiyya's assertion:
"The one who relates from Ahmad that he used to rely [in shari`a] upon the weak hadith, which is not sahih or hasan, has erred." Qa`ida jalila p. 82. But this does not contradict the opinions of Imam Ahmad quoted by Sakhawi above. Even so, and even in case the above opinions were not recognized by Ibn Taymiyya as genuinely representative of Imam Ahmad's position, it is clear that Sakhawi did not question their authenticity. The truth of the matter is that Ibn Taymiyya in the "Qa`ida" gives two mutually contradictory views concerning Imam Ahmad's position:
see [2] ]

Abu `Abd Allah Ibn Mandah reported from Abu Dawud, the author of the 'Sunan' and a student of Imam Ahmad, that Abu Dawud used to cite the chain of transmission of a weak hadith if he did not find other than it under that particular heading (bâb), and that he considered it stronger evidence than authorized opinion (ra'y al-rijâl).

What emerges from this is that there are three diverging views:
- No practice is based on weak hadith whatsoever (mutlaqan);
- Practice is categorically (mutlaqan) based upon it if no other evidence is found under the same heading;
- The majority of the scholars (al-jumhur) hold that it can be used as basis for practicing good deeds and achieving good character (yu`malu bihi fi al-fadâ'il) but not for legal rulings (dûna al-ahkâm). And God is the Granter of success.

b) Translated from Muhammad Zaki Ibrahim in "Usul al-wusul"
(Cairo: Azhar, 1984):

If not proven to be forged, in which case there is absolutely no truth in it, the hadith da`îf (weak), although the pillars of veracity in it are not complete, nevertheless retains a part of truth.

Imam Nawawi said:
"The ulama among the muhaddithun..." [as quoted by Sakhawi above].

I say: This is the principle adopted by the hadith master (hafiz) Ibn al-Salah, as well as what we know of the imams of hadith science among the early generations (salaf) such as Sufyan al-Thawri, Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Ibn `Uyaynah, Ibn al- Mubarak, Ibn Mahdi, and Ibn Ma`în... Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi devoted a chapter to that topic in his 'Kifayah'.

End of translated excerpts.

Note:
There is also a detailed discussion on the topic in Nuh Keller's translation 'Reliance of the Traveller' p. 954-957.

I recapitulate the list of hadith masters who accept the use of hadeeth da`îf at the very least for religious practice related to ethics (fada'il al-a`mal) and in some cases even for legal rulings (Ahmad, Abu Dawud, and the entire Hanafi school), according to the above three sources (Sakhawi, Ibrahim, Keller):

1- Nawawi
2- Ibn al-Salah
3- Sufyan al-Thawri
4- Ahmad Ibn Hanbal
5- Ibn `Uyaynah
6- Ibn al-Mubarak
7- Ibn Mahdi
8- Ibn Ma`een (forgery specialist)
9- al-Khatib al-Baghdadi in 'al-Kifayah', chapter entitled:
"strictness with regard to ahadith pertaining to rulings
 and leniency with regard to those pertaining to virtuous actions"
10- Bukhari as proven by his use of them in 'al-Adab al- mufrad'
11- Ali al-Qari (forgery specialist)
12- Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani.
13- Ibn Abd al-Barr in 'al-Isaba'.
14- Ibn al-Qayyim in 'I`lam al-muwaqqi`een'.
15- Sakhawi
16- Abu Sa`eed al-`Ala'i (forgery specialist).
17- Abu Dawud.
18- Hanafi school.

GF Haddad ©
[10 Apr 1996]


FROM IBN TAYMIYYA on the

[2] USE OF LESSER GRADES OF HADITH FOR ENCOURAGING GOOD VIRTUES

by M. Sarkissian - with permission

Ibn Taymiyya said in his book "al-qaida al-jaleela fit- tawwasuli wal-waseela", with commentary of Dr. Rabi'a bin Hadi 'Umayr al-Mudkhali, professor in the Islamic University of Madinah al-Munawwara, Page 162, para 478:

"But Ahmad ibn Hanbal and other scholars permitted the narration [of hadith] regarding the virtues of good what is not established [as authentic] as long as it is not known that it is a lie." (laakinna Ahmad ibn Hanbal wa ghayruh min al-'ulama jawwazu an yurwa fee fada'il al-'aamal maa lam yu'lam annahu thaabit idha lam yu'lam annahu kadhib.)

And Ibn Taymiyya goes into a full chapter of discussion of this subject from here, Chapter 8 of "al-qaida al-jaleela fit-tawwasuli wal-waseela", where he presents the views of the majority of the 'ulama of Islam and he presents his own views of the subject. And here we will examine this in detail.

To continue, Ibn Taymiyya says, in para 478:
"and that is the action which is known to be lawful with a shari'ah evidence, and there has been narrated in its virtue a hadith that is not known to be a lie, it is possible that the reward will be true, although none of the Imams have said that it is permissible to consider something required (wâjib) or recommended (mustahabb) by way of a weak hadith, and whoever said so differed from the consensus (ijmâ')."

So here we see that Ibn Taymiyya is explaining that if there is a hadith, even though it has not been judged to be authentic, if it encourages what is known as a good deed in Islamic shari'ah, something of virtue, a praiseworthy action, or idea, then it is fully acceptable to refer to such a hadith as an encouragement for that deed.

And here also, Ibn Taymiyya refers to the ijma', the consensus, which is a clear reference to the concept of ijma' of scholars of Islam as being a fully accepted concept and one which *he* accepts. And this is a clear proof that Ibn Taymiyya, though he considered himself a mujtahid mutlaq, capable of independent reasoning, nevertheless depended on the consensus (ijmâ') of scholars as a proof for the opinions he considered acceptable. And this is the position of Ahl as-Sunnah wal-Jama'at.

Then Ibn Taymiyya continues in para 479:
"And just like it is not permissible to forbid something without a shari'ah evidence, (dalîl shar'î) but if it something is known to be forbidden and a hadith has been narrated in warning the one who commits such an action, and it is not known that it is a lie, it is permissible to narrate it. And it is permissible to narrate it in the manner of encouraging and discouraging (at- tarhîb wat-targhîb) what is not known that it is a lie. but in what is known that Allah has encouraged or discouraged with another evidence besides this [weak] hadith whose authenticity is unknown (majhûl hâluh)."

So from this we see that Ibn Taymiyya is using the weak hadith (ahadîth da'îf), to discourage people from doing an evil deed, as long as this deed is known to be forbidden in the shari'ah. If the deed is forbidden in the shari'ah, it is acceptable to use a hadith whose authenticity is unknown, as long as the hadith is known not to have been an actual lie. This principle is acceptable, in anything that it is known that Allah expressed its forbiddance. Ibn Taymiyya continues to explain this concept in para 480:

"This is like the [situation] of the Isra'iliyyât [stories related by the Jews]. It is permissible to be narrated as long as we know that it is not a lie, for encouraging or discouraging in what we know that Allah has ordered in our law (shar') or forbade in our law (shar')."

Here we see that Ibn Taymiyya is not only accepting that the weak are acceptable in the case of encouraging good deeds and disouraging evil ones, but he is showing clearly that he accepted the use of Isra'iliyyât, stories related from the Jews, which many Salafis reject today as unacceptable. And this is verified in the hadith of the Prophet MHMD, "narrate from the hadith of Bani Isra'il and there is no harm in doing it."

Ibn Taymiyya continues in para 481:
"As for what has been authenticated as lawful to us, by way of the Isa'iliyyât that has not been proven and no scholar believes in that. And Ahmad ibn Hanbal and the like of the Imams never depend on hadith like this in shari'ah.

para 482:
"So he who transmitted from Ahmad that he used to use weak hadith to support his opinion, that is: neither authentic in grade nor good, he made a mistake about Ahmad." (wa man naqala 'an Ahmad annahu kâna yahtaju bil-hadith ad-da'eef alladhee laysa bi sahih wa lâ hasan faqad ghalata 'alayh).

para 486:
"And this hadith and the like Ahmad calls it weak, and he acceped it as a support of his view." (fa hadha al-hadith wa amthâlah yusammîhi Ahmad da'îfan wa YAHTAJU BIHI).

So we see here that Ibn Taymiyya on one hand is saying, that Ahmad did NOT use WEAK HADITH for establishing what is ordered by a shari'ah ruling AND that whoever said he did was wrong; whereas four paragraphs later he completely reverses himself and says that Ahmad called a hadith WEAK *and* he ACCEPTED IT to encourage someone to keep what is ordered by a shari'ah ruling! This is a disturbing method which we will see Ibn Taymiyya employ in numerous other places. We question here: was it intentional or was he just confused?

Here we quote from the muhaqqiq of Ibn Taymiyya's book, Dr. Rabi'a bin Hadi 'Umayr al-Mudkhali, professor in the Islamic University of Madinah al-Munawwara, in his footnote on paragraph 423, where he says, "I didn't find this hadith and I am afraid that Shaykh ul-Islam's mind has gone to the other hadith of Abu Hurayra (rad.ia-LLahu `anhu), that says "Allah has angels wandering on earth, in addition to what is in the record of deeds of the people; and when they find a group remembering Allah, they call each other 'come unto what you desired' and they come. And they surround them until the lowest sky. Allah says 'what were My servants doing when you left them?' They say, 'we left them thanking You, praising You and remembering You.'..." Imam Ahmad, 2/251, Tirmidhi 5/579, 130 Chapter of what has been narrated regarding what Allah has wandering angels on earth. Tirmidhi said the hadith is hasan sahih, #3600, and Ad-Darimi 2/225, hadith #2777" ...


Muhammad Sarkisian

[3] The Use of Weak H.adîths
in Issues of Morals

by GF Haddad

It is the Consensus of the Ulema that weak hadiths can be narrated and put into practice in Islam according to according to al-Bayhaqî, Ibn `Abd al-Barr, al-Nawawî, Ibn Taymiyya, al-Qârî, and `Alawî ibn `Abbâs al-Mâlikî in his manual al-Manhal al-Lat.îf fî Ma`rifat al-H.adîth, provided certain conditions are met.[4] Ibn al-Sālah, al-Nawawî and al-`Irāqī's sole conditions werre that

(1) the hadith be related to good deeds (fad.â'il al-a`mâl)
without bearing on legal rulings and doctrine and

(2) the hadith not be forged.

After them, Ibn Daqîq al-`îd, al-Zarkashî, and Ibn H.ajar added three furhter conditions: that the h.adîth not be very weak;[5] that it be subsumed under a principle already established in the Law; and that one not positively believe that the Prophet said or did it.[6]
       Ibn al-Mubârak said: "One may narrate from [a weak narrator] to a certain extent or those h.adîths pertaining to good conduct (adab), admonition (maw`iz.a), and simple living (zuhd)."[1]
       This conditional rule for narrating - and practicing - weak h.adîths is in conformity with the unanimous view of the Salaf who permitted their use in fad.â'il al-a`mâl as opposed to `aqîda or the rulings pertaining to h.alâl and h.arâm. This is stated or practiced by Sufyân al-Thawrî, Ibn `Uyayna, `Alî ibn al-Madînî, Yah.yâ ibn Ma`în, Ah.mad, `Abd al-Rah.mân ibn Mahdî, Ibn Abî H.âtim, al-Bukhârî in al-Adab al-Mufrad, al-Tirmidhî, and many others.[2]

    Ibn al-Sālah said in his `Ulûm al-Hadîth:

"Know that the forgery is the very worst of the weak hadiths and that it is not licit for anyone who knows a hadith is forged to narrate it in any sense whatsoever except by showing, at the time, that it is forged, contrary to other types of weak hadiths, which are possibly true in an unapparent way. It is permitted to narrate the latter in [matters of] encouragement [to good deeds] and deterrence [from evil ones.] ....
       Among the experts of hadith and others than them, it is allowed to lower the standards in the transmission chains and to narrate all kinds of weak hadith other than the forgeries without attention to showing that they are weak except with regard to the Divine Attributes and the rulings of the Law in the licit and the illicit and other [rulings] besides these two. This is the case, for example, in exhortations and [didactic] storytelling, meritorious deeds, all the varieties of encouragement and deterrence, and all that is unconnected with legal rulings and doctrinal beliefs. Among those from whom we narrate such a stipulation are `Abd al-Rahmân ibn Mahdî and Ahmad ibn Hanbal - Allah be well-pleased with both of them!"

       This [above-cited] rule was mentioned by Ibn al-S.alâh. and others in Ma`rifat `Ulûm al-H.adîth and its commentaries.[3]

..........

       The dissents reported from Imâm Muslim, Ibn H.azm, and Ibn al-`Arabî are inaccurate. The correct position of Imâm Muslim in the introduction to his S.ah.îh. is that he forbade the use of forgers and other abandoned narrators, not of truthful weak ones, in conformity with the position of Ah.mad and the rest of the Salaf.[7]
       Muslim also says: "The sound reports from the trustworthy (thiqât) narrators and those whose reliability is convincing are more than that we should be forced to transmit reports from those who are not trustworthy and whose reliability is not convincing." The difference is clear between saying we are not forced to use weak narrators and saying that one absolutely cannot transmit from them.
       A proof of this is his use of the weak narration from `Â'isha: "Treat people according to their ranks" and the fact that his strictness in narrators drops a notch or two in the h.adîths of raqâ'iq or fad.â'il al-a`mâl in the S.ah.îh., as in the case of Shaddâd ibn Sa`îd Abû T.alhâ al-Râsibî or al-Walîd ibn Abî Walîd.[8]

       The correct position of Ibn al-`Arabî is as he states himself regarding a certain weak h.adîth: "Its chain is unknown, but it is preferable to put it into practice..."[9] As for Ibn H.azm's statement against the use of weak narrations in absolute terms:[10] he elsewhere states preferring the use of weak h.adîth over the use of juridical opinion (ra'î), as does Ibn al-`Arabî himself.[11]

Notes

[1] Narrated by Ibn Abî H.âtim in Muqaddimat al-Jarh. wal-Ta`dîl (2:30) and cited by Ibn Rajab in Sharh. `Ilal al-Tirmidhî (1:73).

[2] Cf. al-Khat.îb, al-Kifâya (p. 162-163=133-134), Ibn Abî H.âtim, Muqaddimat al-Jarh. wal-Ta`dîl (2:30-38), Ibn Rajab, Sharh. `Ilal al-Tirmidhî (1:73), Ibn H.ajar, end of al-Nukat `alâ Ibn al-S.alâh. (2:887-888), al-Suyût.î, Tadrîb al-Râwî, al-Lacknawî, al-Ajwiba al-Fâd.ila, etc.

[3] Ibn al-S.alâh., `Ulûm al-H.adîth (p. 93=1984 ed. p. 103).

[4] Al-Bayhaqî, Dalâ'il al-Nubuwwa (1:33-34); Ibn `Abd al-Barr, al-Tamhîd (1:127); al-Nawawî, al-Majmû` (5:63), Irshâd T.ullâb al-H.aqâ'iq (p. 107-108), Sharh. S.ah.îh. Muslim (introduction), and al-Adhkâr (introduction p. 5) cf. Ibn `Allân, al-Futûh.ât al-Rabbâniyya (1:84); Ibn Taymiyya, Sharh. al-`Umda (1:171), Majmû` al-Fatâwâ (18:26, 18:65-66), and Miswaddat âl Taymiyya (p. 233, 246, 461); al-Qârî, Sharh. al-Shifâ' (2:91) and Mirqât al-Mafâtîh. (2:381); `Itr, Manhaj al-Naqd (p. 291-296) and Us.ûl al-Jarh. wal-Ta`dîl (p. 140-143).

[5] Even so, al-Sakhâwî said in al-Qawl al-Badî` (p. 432) of a certain h.adîth: "In sum, it is a very weak h.adîth (d.a`îf jiddan) that is written in meritorious deeds (yuktabu fî fad.â'il al-a`mâl), but as for its being forged, no, it is not [forged] ."

[6] Cf. l-Sakhâwî, al-Qawl al-Badî` and al-Suyût.î, Tadrîb (p. 196).

[7] Cf. al-Nawawî, Sharh. S.ah.îh. Muslim (introduction), Ibn al-Qayyim, I`lâm al-Muwaqqi`în (1:31), al-Sakhâwî, al-Qawl al-Badî` (p. 474), and `Itr, notes on Ibn Rajab's Sharh. `Ilal al-Tirmidhî (1:75-76).

[8] The claim of a handful of authors such as al-Qâsimî in Qawâ`id al-Tah.dîth (p. 94) or `Ajâj al-Khat.îb in Us.ûl al-H.adîth (p. 231) that Ibn al-`Arabî and Ibn Ma`în were opposed to the use of weak h.adîths in absolute terms, stems from good faith in Ibn Sayyid al-Nâs, al-`Irâqî, al-Sakhâwî, and al-Suyût.î's claims to that effect.

[9] Ibn al-`Arabî, `Ârid.at al-Ah.wadhî (10:205) cf. Fath. al-Bârî (10:606) as cited by Muh.ammad `Awwâma in his marginalia on al-Qawl al-Badî` (p. 472).

[10] Ibn H.azm, al-Fis.al fîl-Milal wal-Nih.al (2:83=2:69).

[11] Cf. Ibn H.azm, al-Ih.kâm (6:225-226) and Ibn al-`Arabî, al-Mah.s.ûl (p. 98) and Marâqî al-Zulaf as cited in Ibn `Arrâq, Tanzîh al-Sharî`a (2:209-210).

 

[4] Upgrading very weak hadiths
& other questions

How would we respond to what a Salafi said below, concerning Imam al-Suyuti?

QUOTE: Suyuti has a principle in which he differs with just about every other muhaddith. He believes that an isnaad containing a very weak narrator or narrator accused of fabrication can be strengthened by other asaaneed containing similar narrators to the level of hasan li ghayrihi. The other muhadditheen, of course, just throw such asaaneed in the bin. It is for this reason that you will see, quite often, al-Suyuti declaring a hadeeth hasan, or even saheeh, which others have declared da'eef jiddan or mawdu'. We can see this happening on numerous occasions if we compare Da'eef al-Jaami' with the 'asl, al-Jaami' al-Sagheer. Suyuti says in his alfiyya:

fa in ataa min turuqin ukhraa yanmee
ilaa al-saheeh ay: lighayrihi kamaa
yarqaa ilaa al-husni alladhi qad wusimaa
du'fan li soo' al-hifdhi aw irsaalin aw
tadleesin aw jahaalatin idhaa ra'aw
majee'ahu min jihatin ukhraa wa maa


[and now the point :)]
kaana li fisqin aw yuraa muttahamaa [ay: bil kadhib]
yarqaa 'an al-inkaari bi al-ta'addudi
bal rubbamaa yaseeru kalladhee budee [ay: al-hasan
(li ghayrihi)]


Ahmad Shaakir in his notes makes the point: that
this is incorrect and that an isnaad containing such narrators cannot be used to strengthen other asaaneed containing similar narrators. Then he says, from this we can understand how al-Suyuti, in many of his works, has made the error of giving the ruling of hasan to numerous very weak ahaadeeth. E/O QUOTE

Allaah knows best


Wa alaykum as-Salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh:

We would respond to that claim:

Read the passage of the Alfiyya again. The Seal of the Hadith Masters, Imam al-Suyuti nowhere says that a very weak isnaad can "strengthen" another very weak isnaad. He himself explicitly stated in Tadrib al-Rawi that a very weak isnaad cannot be strengthened by another like it. The point here is not "strengthening" of an isnad by another but the upgrading (yarqa) of the hadith based on the collective weight of a multitude (ta`addud), which al-Suyuti is neither the first nor the last muhaddith to mention. Contrary to assumption born from a hasty misreading, this upgrading is not incompatible with the non-fortifiability of the very weak isnad.

This ruling is originally an elaboration on Ibn al-Salah's statement in his `Ulum al-Hadith that the da`if is two types, one type that can be strengthened and another type that cannot be strengthened such as the report of a narrator who is accused of lying.

Al-Suyuti's point is that the weak or very weak hadith due to bad memory or broken chain or camouflage or unidentifiable narrators can upgrade (yarqa) with a single other confirmatory chain, while the very weak hadith which contains a fasiq or someone accused of lying can upgrade from the rank of munkar, not with a single other chain but a multitude of like chains.

Al-Suyuti states the same in the chapter on the hasan in his Tadrib al-Rawi where he quotes Shaykh al-Islam (=Ibn Hajar) as stating explicitly that if the paths are many then the level of the hadith improves from munkar and might even reach the rank of hasan li-ghayrihi. Al-Sakhawi also states the same in Fath al-Mughith in the chapter on the hasan: "bi-kathrati turuqihi al-qasirati `an darajat al-i`tibar bi-haythu la yujbaru ba`duha bi-ba`d, yartaqi `an martabat al-mardud al-munkar." Note the compatibility of LA YUJBARU [the chains cannot strengthen one another] with YARTAQI [the hadith can be upgraded], which Shakir and his reader missed completely.

Al-Sakhawi then cites the hadith "Whoever preserves 40 hadiths for my Umma..." as an example of a hadith whose collected very weak paths dictate that it upgrades from the rank of munkar and becomes slightly weak instead, and such might even become hasan li-ghayrihi. Al-Ibyari said the same in his hashiya on al-Qastallani's Muqaddima of his Sharh al-Bukhari. Al-Munawi states the same also in his Sharh al-Shama'il concerning the many hadiths on the merits of wearing a turban. Another example of a very weak munkar hadith that became hasan if not sahih or even mutawatir because of the sheer number of its paths is "The pursuit of knowledge is an obligation upon every Muslim" as per Hafiz al-Mizzi who said he found 50 different chains for it, disagreeing with his teacher al-Nawawi who had agreed with Ibn al-Salah that such was "a famous inauthentic hadith."

All the above shows the strangeness of the claim that "Suyuti has a principle in which he differs with just about every other muhaddith" when in fact it is explicitly mentioned from the time of Ibn Hajar down to ours.

Also extremely strange is the claim that "isnaad[s] containing a very weak narrator.... [are thrown] in the bin." No, they are not. Many of the hadiths in the Nine Books, other collections, and the Fiqh books of all the Schools without exception have just such types of isnad, not to mention the books of targhib and tarhib such as al-Zuhd by Ibn al-Mubarak and Imam Ahmad, al-Targhib wal-Tarhib of al-Mundhiri and others, Fada'il al-A`mal of Hafiz al-Maqdisi and others, and countless monographs including Arba`in books by the early and late scholars!

•  The misunderstanding of Shaykh Ahmad Shakir and al-Albani on this issue stems from their confusing the fasiq, the liar in other than hadith, and/or the one accused of lying with the forger and the one who lies against the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace. This basic error in turn leads them to blur the difference between the "very weak" and the "forged" hadith. All the above are inveterate aberrations of salafis without exception to my knowledge, as brilliantly illustrated by the above "Salafi": "muttaham [ay: bil kadhib] = a narrator accused of fabrication" - while most of them also blur the line between "weak" and "forged" at the drop of a hat.

It is the FORGED hadith only that is "thrown in the bin," NOT the very weak one; if we were to throw the very weak one in the bin then we would be calling it forged, not very weak; and we would not need to make any difference either between da`if jiddan, munkar, mardud, matruk, and shadhdh on the one hand and, on the other, the forged such as mawdu`, batil, la asla lahu, kadhib mukhtalaq and so forth.

So it is the forged which never improves whether it is related through 1 or 10 or 100 different paths, each of them containing a forger. You are obligated to make a difference when the case is otherwise and this conditional improvability is what al-Suyuti and others are correctly referring to.

It is also ironic that Shaykh Ahmad Shakir faults the principle cited by al-Suyuti as being the cause, "in many of his works, [for] the error of giving the ruling of hasan to numerous very weak ahaadeeth" when it is Shakir himself who radically departed from the established principles of authentication in his edition of Imam Ahmad's Musnad and went and graded the hasan as sahih and the da`if as hasan ! I have heard our teacher Nur al-Din `Itr state this many times and all you need to do is compare the Shakir edition to the Arna'ut edition to realize it. Albani has committed the same mistake on an even larger scale as shown by the works of the scholars of hadith critiquing him for that very point.

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Another Salafi also said: He then mentions that Suyuti also considered this chain weak but another chain has Salih al-Murri. Albani responds, "Salih is ibn Bashir al-Zahid and was munkar al-hadith by Bukhari and Fallaas." was Salih or ibn Bashir al-Zahid considered munkar by al-Bukhari or was he considered reliable by other Imams, or is al-Albani mistaken by the whole matter.

Reply: Munkar but from the viewpoint of memory; he was an upright qadi.

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[1]Which collection is the Hadith al-Sharif about attributing to the Prophet sallallahualayhiwasalam falsely, taken from and what have the 'Ulama said about it? [2]also is it mutawattir?

This hadith is mutawatir and is related in the Nine Books and elsewhere.

[3a]is the Hadith about sura al-Ikhlas al-Sharif being a third of the Qur'an mutawattir, and which collection is it from? [b]and what have the Ulama said about it?

Narrated from Abu Sa`id, Abu al-Darda', and Abu Hurayra by al-Bukhari, Muslim, Malik in the Muwatta', Abu Dawud, and al-Nasa'i.

[4]Can i act on a Hadith related by Ibn al-Sunni, whose authenticity i am unaware of? ( i think, i have come across Imam al-Nawawi (r.a.) using him as a reference in Kitab al-Adhkar)

Kitab al-Adhkar is entirely reliable in good deeds.

[A]the Hadith in question mentions that recitation of Sura al-Ikhlas al-Sharif 200 times will remove 50 years of the individuals sins.

This is in al-Darimi's Sunan while al-Tirmidhi narrates it with the addition *except a debt* and it is eminently reliable.

[B]Another Hadith from Ibn al-Sunni mentions 100 times recitation of Sura al-Ikhlas al-Sharif after Fajer before talking to anybody for the forgiveness of sins.

This is in al-Daylami with a terminally flimsy chain.

[5a]Sidi could you check how authentic are the Ahadith in [A] and [B]?what have the Ulama said about them? [b]and could they be acted upon if they are weak without the permission of a shaykh (what if one does not have a shaykh in this case?) and be recited 300 times (by joining the 2 narrations) in the day and the same in the evening?

Permission is not sought for something we are required to do, namely recite the Qur'an. The second hadith is inauthentic and neither hadith is in al-Nawawi's Adhkar and Allah knows best.

[6]Also could you confirm the authenticity of a Hadith(or if it is made up?)a layman related, that a person who prays or listens into someones conversations (such as a neighbours for example) is considered an illegitimate person by this is meant apparently that the concerned persons father earned his income through a haram means,(is this true?) which collection is this from and what have the Ulama said about it?

I don‘t know of any such ruling nor hadith, wAllahu a`lam.

GF Haddad






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2002-02-14

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