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Hadith and its sciences / Issues in the science of the defects of hadith

Issues in the science of the defects of hadith

date de publication : 2014-09-20 | Vues : 2663
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Dear respected Shaykh, assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh. If a scholar who is an expert in hadith criticism like Abu Zur’ah or Abu Hatim grades a hadith to be weak without mentioning the reason, and the chain of narrators of the hadith is apparently authentic and sound, should the hadith be considered authentic if the reason for its weakness is vague? Should we regard the hadith as weak or should we desist from giving a ruling on it? مسائل في علم العلل

Praise be to Allah, and may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah, his family and his companions. Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh. As to what follows: In response to your question, we say:   The science of the defects of hadiths is a vague and subtle science. It is a science not known to many scholars of hadith let alone scholars of other sciences. Some scholars like ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Mahdi said, “Our knowledge of this science seems like divination to the ignorant people.” The reason is that this science mostly applies to the hadiths that were transmitted by authentic narrators, that is hadiths which are apparently sound and authentic. In his book Ma’rifat ‘Uloom al-Hadeeth (p 112), Abu ‘Abdillah al-Hakim said, “Indeed the science of the defects of hadiths has no room for criticizing narrators because the hadith of a criticized narrator is invalid and weak. Defects in hadiths frequently occur in the hadiths of the authentic narrators and they are hidden from them. Authority in ruling in these hadiths belongs to us because we have the knowledge, understanding ad information”.  As for the issue that you asked about which is considering the hadiths which the experts of hadith criticism graded as weak because of an indiscernible reason; that is a wrong methodology . In an-Nukat (2/711), Al-Hafiz ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) said, “This science is one of most vague and precise sciences of hadith. No one can engage in it except a person whom Allah has favored with deep understanding, a well-read person who understands the grades of the narrators, and a person of expert knowledge. This is why only a few expert scholars discussed this science, and they are the reference in this science because of the knowledge and information about the subtleties of this science which Allah gave them and which others who are not well-versed in this science do not possesses. At times these expert scholars do not mention the reason for grading hadiths as weak, and they do not mention that they gave preponderance to one narration over another…..whenever we find a hadith which a reliable scholar graded as weak, it is better to follow this ruling just like we follow the ruling if it concerns regarding a hadith as authentic.” “This applies if there is no scholar who is contradicting the opinion of a scholar who graded a hadith as weak, and also if the scholar explicitly mentions the reason for grading the hadith as weak. However, if another scholar grades the same hadith to be authentic the preponderant hadith carries more weight and should be followed”.

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