Sunday, December 4, 2011

-10-Mostalah (Hadith) Class by Abu Abdullah

Mostalah (Hadeeth) Class by Abu Abdullah
22nd November, 2011



-the topic of hadeeth is studying the hadith of rasul (saw)
-initially we divided it into 2 main domains:

1. Ilm al Ruwayah
-that is whether the prophet actually said the hadith
-and whether it is authentic and hujjah
-it’s the science of narration itself

-its application of the hadith
-e.g. you go to a doctor and he tells you, you are well no problem
-but you need this medicine, so he gives you the medicine
-but he does not care how it was composed
-so when you go to an alim and ask him you want the verdict on the iftaar of ramadan
-he gives you a hadith on that, the medicine
-this alim has fiqh (jurisprudence), understanding, he is a faqii
-he knows all the hadith and picks the right ones for your case and dispenses
-but without checking the composition or production of it

There is another alim who is more concerned with how the hadith came about (riwaayah)
-how we know it is authentic is what he is most concerned with
-e.g. imam Bukhari is imam of hadith
-he cared so much about it
-he gives you the hadith and the sanad
-he is the expert in this, Ameerul Mu’mineen

If you look for knowledge of tafseer from Bukhari, you will not find it
-there is no Sharh of Bukhari done by Imam Bukhari
-or the interpretation of the hadith mentioned in his book
-he only cared about the ruwayah
-he checks the authenticity of each hadith then catalogues them
-Imam Muslim too had the same characteristics
-Abu Dawood and Imam Tirmidhi also
-they were all working on the field of riwaayah

You may find someone more concerned about diraayah
-like ibn Hajar al Askalani, Imam Nawawi and imam Al Mubarak Foori
-there job is jurisprudence, to explain to you what the hadith is

You have other people who take the hadith a step further
-ibn Hajar's job was not only to tell you the meaning
-he knows where the hadith is also present in other books apart from in Bukhari (both riwaayah and diraayah)
-he is a muhadith and comments on hadith
-but there is no book called sahih Ibn Hajar
-imam Abu Hanifa, imam Shafi’i are Faqii and cared about the jurisprudence
-imam Bukhari wrote other books too
-but however he gave this marvellous piece called sahih Bukhari
-and you will not find a book called tafseer of Bukhari
-he wrote books like Al Adabul Mufraad, At- Tariqil kabeer and At- Tariqil Sagheer
-he wrote books where he mentioned hadith and people and gives his opinion of them

But you have to look at some other genius of this ummah like imam Ahmad
-he is top in hadith and fiqh
-but there is no tafseer Ahmad
-he did not take this route
-there are people who also care about the narrators of the hadith
-whether he was a good or bad man
-imam Bukhari used to do this
-and before putting any hadith he will look into the ilm al Rijaal
-the science of men
-imam Ahmad was perfect in this field


-when we say men we don’t mean gender per say, we just using the general term
-we mean the names of the people mentioned in the books of hadith
-like rijaal imam Ahmad, we are talking about the men mentioned in the musnad of imam Ahmad
-there is also a famous book called rijaal At- Tabari
-it is a book in which the alim (shaikh Ahmad Shaakir), brought the names of the shaikhs of Tabari
-the people Tabari listened to and then put a verdict on them

There are women in the narrators of Bukhari
-like Asma bint Abu Bakr, Aisha, etc.
-so ilm al rijaal does not only involve men, there are women too
-the ulama that had been given this job had talent from Allah SWT
-by which they could judge who is good as a narrator and who is a liar
-and who is good at memorizing or not

Please draw a line in front of you and draw a circle in the center of it
-in the center are men who are very fair
-if somebody is a liar they call him not accepted or feehi nadhar
-in the center of the line we put imam Ahmad ibn Hambal
-if you find him saying somebody is good, then he is good
-but if he says the person is bad, don’t fool yourself, he is bad

There are people who were very aggressive, like YAHYA IBN MAEEN
-He does not mind murdering a narrator, he goes very strong in his verdict
-he says the person is a liar straight forward

There is also an Imam called Al Jawzajaani, from North Afghanistan
-he was very hard on the Shia and I go along with him
-but some ulama say maybe Shia can be accepted especially if they are not Rafidite

Imam Ali ibn Al Madiini
-he was also a very hard core person
-but Imam IBN HIBBAAN was lax
-he used to say if somebody has narrated from 2 shaikhs and 2 shaikhs heard from that person
-and i don’t have anything to prove he is bad
-then he said the person is good and he will accept from him
-this is extremely lax
-imam Ahmad called many people not accepted but ibn Hibbaan call them accepted
-So in that case we take what Imam Ahmad said, he is the center

-I was reading from a website and it was talking about a hadith called hadith al safeena
-they claim the rasul (saw) called ahlul bayt as nur of the ark of Nuh
-that whoever sticks to them he will prosper and whoever does not will perish
-one man who collected this hadith is not authentic, he is daeef
-the Shia man on one of the websites wanted to say the hadith is authentic
-the people told him it is not because imam Ahmad said so
-the Shia said who appointed imam Ahmad as the judge of this hadith
-actually this is a very good question
-and to answer it, you have to go back into history and see who took up the business of judging men
-the era that this ilm was developed, who were the people working on it?

You will find out imam Ahmad and Ar- Raziyaan started this business
-the critical study of men
-and how to criticize the people
-this was happening for quite a time
-and the people were noting the opinions during this period in the year 250 to 300AH
-e.g. imam Ahmad in year 250AH wanted the opinion on a Tabiee called Al Kalbi
-who came way before imam Ahmad
-so he had to go meet people who saw the Tabiee to judge and make an opinion on him
-Imam Ahmad met people who knew the Tabieen, so he has the ability to judge

Yahya Ibn Saeed, imam Muslim, Darul Qatnee all met people who can give this verdict
-not many people had this opportunity initially
-there are people that we will not be able to bring a replacement for
-e.g. during this century, ibn Abi Ar- Zora’a wrote about how he started this journey into many places
-including mecca, Damascus, Jordan, Jerusalem etc.
-he visited many countries in the Arab world
-he was able to gather a lot of information from their sources

So who appointed Imam Ahmad and the others?
-They were appointed by their efforts, and they deserve the fruit
-and they put these opinions in books
-do i find everyman in the hadith in the books of Ahmad?
-No, there are only some men that were mentioned
-Abdullah ibn Ahmad wrote a book with the names and what his father said

A book called Al-Jarh Wa Ta’deel
-it means wounding but in reality he is referring to ibn Abi Haatim
-then we have Abdullah ibn Ahmad
-these are sons of 2 great ulama
-they have collected the names of men and put them in huge books
-then they will ask their fathers what they thought of those people
-and they wrote in those books I asked my father what he thinks of so and so
-and my father said this person is good or this person is bad
-that’s all you see in those books, hujjah on people

But if we get these books, do they have the names of all the people? No.
-we said that we have 6 people in the chain
A- B –C- D- E- F
-A, E and F are out of question
-A is the book writer, F is the rasul and E is a sahabi and Allah told us E is good
-but B, C and D are to be checked, how?
-we agreed that the verdict will be scattered
-B can be any name, where do we find this person?
-may be he was after Ahmad or the same time as him
-we want to find the books with this kind of information

This concept came about in the 6th century
-a man called Al Hafidh al Maqdisi from Quraish but born in Palestine
-then he went to live in Iraq, Syria and Iran where he died
-he had this big question
-we have 1000s of men and they are scattered all over the place
-some mentioned by ibn Sa’ad, Ahmad, and Shafi’i
-we don’t have a reference in which we can go and find the names
-and know whether the person is good or bad
-he said we want a book in which we have the names of all the people mentioned in hadith

So he made a book called Al Kamaal fi Ma’rifat ar Rijaal
-Al Kamaal is nearly close to perfection
-it means perfection in knowing men
-he went about collecting all the names of the men from the books he knew
-and made them in a dictionary form
-he wrote the name of the person and next to it he wrote something

During this century it was very difficult because they were in many books
-he brings hadith and all those that narrated it and he will say imam Ahmad said so and so etc.
-this book was refined a little bit by a man, Al Hafidh Al Maqdisi
-I want you all to make dua for this person
-without him we would have found it unthinkable to get to hadith and this information
-he brought hadith from many books and made them into a big book

To find a man in Al Ma’rifat ar Rijaal is very difficult because it is huge
-maybe you can put the names in an index in alphabetical order
-so you can be able to know which volume of the book has a name
-let’s say you can find an index to show you the page about Ahmad
-but when you find it maybe you will find 3-4 pages of opinion
-sometimes it is a huge problem
-you will find the man's name and the opinion of Imam Ahmad
-and then his son wrote the man is good according to Ahmad
-but Ibn Maeen will say the man is not good
-and sometimes ibn Maeen will say the man is good but later say he is not good
-so why is he good and not good?

And what could kill you is the person will say his Shia
-like Abu Haatim ar Raazi
-he will tell you the man is Shia, so does that make him good?
-so sometimes you have to know what the alim said and what he wanted to say

Then came an alim called Imam Mezzi from Damascus in the year 650 AH
-this imam took the book and wrote a book called Tah'theeb AL Kamal
-Tahdheed is like if you have a tree in your home and you want to cut the weed
-or a bushy moustache and you cut the extra bits
-he took the book Kamaal fi Ma’rifat ar Rijaal and removed the extra hairs
-he made a huge effort on this book
-because it was full of repetitions especially of hadith
-e.g. the hadith of Aisha and all those narrated by Asma from Aisha
-then he brings all the hadith of Asma or Asma said Aisha said
-and then he repeats Aisha said the prophet said
-so to be perfect he repeated many hadith
-so imam Mezzi removed these extras from the book and made his own

Then came imam ibn Hajar in the year 770AH
-he came in this year and lived through a century afterwards
-imam ibn Hajar did the book Tah'theeb Al Thahtheeb
-he took it a further step
-but in this effort, he was in a better position why?
-you have imam Ahmad saying he is good
-and ibn Maeen saying he is not good
-so you get stuck
-imam ibn Hajar took the names of all the people in front of that person to finalize that
- the person is good or not
-he minimized the space and finalized a verdict

Imam Dhahabi worked on this book too and did the book called Thath'heeb Al Tahtheeb
-it means making gold
-he made gold out of the Tah’theeb
-they wanted to minimize the effort
-so if you want to know a person is good, ibn Hajar will tell you he is, full stop.
-you don’t have to spend 2 or 3 hours reading names and wasting your time
-we are talking about the period 770 to 850

During this period it became important to find the verdict on people straightaway
-but when you read the book of ibn Hajar, you will find out it is good
-because he will tell you he is good and the reason why he said so
-we have a narrator called EKREMA, servant of ibn Abbaas
-remember we said the Khawarij don’t lie and are more truthful than the Shia
-because it is a major sin for them
-so they don’t have a reason to lie and this was mentioned by Abu Dawud

Ekrema was a student of ibn Abbaas
-and he narrated so many hadith he heard from ibn Abbaas
-he is one of the men of imam Bukhari
-he is very good and i like his style
-and i am convinced he is a very genuine person
-he does not like people worshipping men and he does not like the Shia
-ibn Abbaas refused to sell him and said this is the inheritor of my ilm
-he took so many hadith from ibn Abbaas
-and he was really pleased with him

But people called him Khawarij and criticize him in the books
-people asked me whether i liked Ekrema and whether he is good and trustworthy?
-I didn’t say he is not good but I say he is from the men of Bukhari
-Bukhari narrated hadith with his name in it
-anybody Bukhari mentioned has passed the bridge (Bukhari)
-therefore he is good
-when ibn Hajar told us about Ekrema he told us people accused him of being Khawarij
-but he said to us no he was not and because of so and so
-so ibn Hajar gave us the reason behind mentioning the names of the people in sahih Bukhari

You may also find many sahabah that are not liked by the Shia so they call them Khawarij
-although there was no Khawarij among the sahabah
-so ibn Hajar did an excellent job in giving you the reason behind mentioning the man in Bukhari
-there are many men who are in Bukhari who are not authentic
-we say he has passed the bridge, OK
-but this bridge has a narrow handle
-when he brought the hadith did he bring it from this source only?

For example if AT21 tells me shaikh Faisal said so and so i will accept, it is enough
-but if sa’ad ibn Ubada tells me shaikh said so and so i would need someone to verify
-so if imam Bukhari took the hadith from a single source, then he truly passed the bridge
-but if he took it from another source, then the person has not passed the bridge
-or he passed but still not good, maybe I will accept or not

A man called Hisham Ibn Hijr has not passed the bridge
-even though he is in Bukhari
-because the hadith mentioned came from another source not just from him

We are now in the 15th century about 700 years after those men died
-how do we find the men?
-we go to the book of ibn Hajar
-I know I wasted an hour of your time explaining how it came about
-but this is to help you know the source for yourself

There is another book called Al Kashif by imam Dhahabi
-these 2 books are enough, if you can’t find from one go to the other
-sometimes ibn Hajar will not give the verdict but Imam Dhahabi will
-maybe there are mistakes in these books
-but it is the scholars that can tell us, not the lay man to decide
-no book is perfect but the Qur'an
-but if you want to know the source you can go and search because you have the resources now

These books mentioned above have been dedicated to the men of the 9 books
-Bukhari, Muslim
-musnad of imam Ahmad
-muwa’ta of imam Malik
-sunan of Tirmidhi, Nassai, Abu Dawood, Ibn Majah and Darramii
-If you want to find the shaikh of Tabari maybe you will find it in Tah'theeb Al Thahtheeb
-these 9 books are the skeleton of sunnah

If you are looking for a man not in these 9 books then don’t check in Tah’theeb
-because our 9 books ended nearly in the year 300AH
-sunan Bayhaqi came after 300H
-Imam Al Haakim also was after that
-maybe there were men not collected by Al Maqdisi and he did not mention them
-he concentrated on the men before 300, so it is quite difficult to find a man in that period

Maybe the shuyukh are not mentioned in the 9 books but are in other books
-like tafseer Tabari has shuyukh that are very early
-but they are not in those 9 books, you can find them in the book rijaal at Tabari
-by Ahmed Shaakir
-maybe you will find it but for our lesson today we concentrate on Tah’theeb

-because you may be led by one of the new people like Al Baani
-he did a huge effort but he is not perfect
-so when you read his verdicts be very careful
-when you read his verdict, you can go and read about the men and also his analysis
-maybe you agree with him or not
-but you have the tools to judge for yourself now

There are ulama who currently don’t agree with everything that is mentioned
-and they make use of Al Baani's work without analysing
-you should read the verdict for yourself
You may find that even the old ulama differed and that we talked about in ilal