Saturday, September 8, 2012

What are Hadiths?

1. Definition of Hadith

Hadith حديث

Literal Meaning : The Arabic word Hadith literally means ‘statement’ or 'talk'.

الحديث الكلام قليله و كثيره

“Hadith is a talk which may be brief or detailed.’

Ahaadith (أحاديث): Ahaadith is plural of Hadith.

Haadith and Qadeem (حادث اور قديم)

Haadith in Arabic is used as opposite to Qadeem. Qadeem means something without a beginning which obviously is none but Allah Ta'ala. The opposite of Qadeem is Haadith which means something with beginning. In other words it means ‘Created (Makhlooq). As per this meaning, the Qur’an is the word of Allah hence is Qadeem, whereas Hadith means that word which is created and since Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) himself is among Makhlooq, so his statements are called Hadith.

Technical meaning of Hadith used in Shari’ah

In technical terms Hadith stands for the report of words and deeds, approval or disapproval of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). Whatever Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said or did constitute the Hadith. If someone said or did something in presence of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and he approved or disapproved those words or deeds is also included in the definition of Hadith. The word Sunnah is used synonymously with Hadith but usually Sunnah word is used while reporting the deeds of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) whereas the word Hadith is used while reporting the Statements of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).

As companions of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) used to say: “Such and such thing was made guide to us by Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) (Here word Sunnah was used) and they used to say:

سنن رسول الله لنا كذا و كذا

“Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) stated such and such things for us (Here word Hadith is used)".

Word Hadith as used in Qur’an

وَأَمَّا بِنِعْمَةِ رَبِّكَ فَحَدِّثْ

“But the Bounty of thy Lord rehearse and proclaim.”(93:11)

In this Surah Allah Ta’ala reminds Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) of His bounties which He bestowed upon him. Allah Ta’ala tells him that He found him in search of guidance and He guided him, and He found him in need and made him independent. After reminding him of these bounties Allah Ta’ala directs Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) to proclaim and share these bounties with people.

Allamah Shabir Uthmani says: “Probably it is because of this verse (in which Allah Ta’ala uses word Hadith while directing Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) to proclaim His Divine bounties) that the statements of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) are called Hadith."

Another thing which can be inferred from this verse is that whatever Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) did or said, was all under the Divine Guidance and Control. In other words we can say that Hadith is a Divine Word but indirectly as compared to the Qur’an which is directly a Divine word.

The Qur’an also uses word Hadith in the meaning of story or incident:

هَلْ أَتَاكَ حَدِيثُ ضَيْفِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ الْمُكْرَمِينَ

“Has the story reached thee of the honoured guests of Ibrahim.”(51:24)

هَلْ أَتَاكَ حَدِيثُ مُوسَى

“Has the story of Moses reached thee.” ( 79:15)

Word Hadith used by Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam)

Tirmidhi has reported a Hadith on the authority of Zayd bin Thabit (RA):

نضر الله أمرا سمع منا حديثا حفظه حتى يبلغه غيره

"May Allah bestow freshness upon one who listens Hadith from me and conveys it to others.”

In this tradition Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) himself uses the word Hadith for his statement. The message conveyed in this Hadith by Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was very well taken by the distinguished men of this Ummah, who, in every generation dedicated their lives for this purpose. The sole aim in their life was to collect Hadith, preserve it in pristine purity and convey it to the future generations.

Word Hadith used by Sahaabah (RA)

Sahih Bukhari reports that once Abu Hurairah (RA) asked Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam):

إني أسمع منك حديثا كثيرا النساه

“I listen many Hadith from you (but) I forget"

Some common terminology used in Ilm-Hadith

Athar (اثر)

Literal meaning: Left over part of something, sign.

Technical meaning: It is used in three ways viz.,

1. Synonymous with Hadith.

2. That statement or act which is attributed to Sahaabah, Taabaeen.

3. That thing which is attributed to Sahaabah.

Sunnah (السنّة)

Literal meaning: Practice, habit.

Technical meaning:

1. Same as Hadith.

2. Practices of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam)

3. That commandment which is proved by Qur’an and sunnah.

4. Antonym of Bid'at (innovation).

5. Demanded by Shari’ah in addition to Fardh and Wajib; on performance of which is reward and on avoidance of which there is punishment.

Sanad (سند)

Literal meaning: Support.

Technical meaning: Chain of transmission (The sequential list of names of a group of narrators who narrate a particular Hadith).

Matan (متن)

Literal meaning: The elevated hard part of earth.

Technical meaning: It is the text of the Hadith (that part of Hadith which is actually meant to be stated). It comes after Sanad i.e., chain of transmission.

Raawy (راوي)

Literal meaning: Narrator, one who narrates.

Technical meaning: Narrator of Hadith, everyone whose name comes in Sanad.

Marwy (مروي)

Literal meaning: That thing which has been narrated.

Technical meaning : Same as matan which comes after Sanad.

Muhaddith (محدّث)

That scholar who has enough knowledge of both wordings as well as the meanings of Hadith and is also well versed with the knowledge of narrations and narrators of Hadith.

Muhadditheen (محدّثين)

Plural of Muhaddith.

Haafiz-e-Hadith (حافظِ حديث)

It is defined in three ways:

1. One who has full knowledge of at least one lakh Hadith. (Uloom-ul-Hadith,Tadreeb)

2. Synonymous with Muhaddith.

3. Muhaddith who has enough knowledge about all the generations or Tabqat of narrators of Hadith.

Hujjat-e-Hadith (حجتِ حديث)

The Muhaddith who has complete knowledge of about three lakh Hadith. (Uloom-ul-Hadith)

Hakim (حاكم)

That Muhaddith who has such a strong hold on the knowledge of Hadith that hardly any part of it is left out of his knowledge. (Sharah-ul-Qari)

Ameer-ul-Mu’mineen fil Hadith (أمير المؤمنين في الحديث)

That Muhaddith who is superior to all the above mentioned Muhadditheen in all respects and whose opinion and research is seen with honour by all other contemporary Muhadditheen.

Some of the famous Muhadditheen who have been given this title are Sufiyan Thouri, Abdullah bin Mubarak, Ahmad bin Hambal, Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim. (Uloom-ul-Hadith)

Riwayat fil Hadith (رواية في الحديث)

It means to memorize or to write a Hadith first (Sanad and Matan), and then quote and pass on the same wordings to others.

Dirayat fil Hadith (دراية في الحديث)

It includes analysis of Hadith with its all related aspects. Only after such in depth analysis decision is taken whether one has to act as per this Hadith or not.

2. Types of Hadith And Examples (Includes your 3rd question)

Classification of Hadith
Hadith-e-Qudsi (حديث قدسي)

It is that Hadith which Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) quotes from Allah Ta'ala. In other words it is a statement of Allah Ta'ala quoted by Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and which is not in the Qur’an.

Difference between Hadith-e-Qudsi & the Qur’an

In Qur’an both the words as well as meaning is revealed by Allah Ta'ala.

In Hadith-e-Qudsi only meaning is revealed by Allah Ta'ala which is put into words by Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). So Hadith-e-Qudsi is not of the same status as Qur’an. We cannot touch Qur’an without Wadhu, such is not the case with Hadith-e-Qudsi. The whole Qur’an was revealed to Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) through Angel Jibraeel (AS) whereas Ahaadith-e-Qudsiyah were revealed through other agencies like dream and Ilham (intuition) in addition to Angel Jibraeel (AS).

Example: Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) quotes Allah Ta'ala as saying:

الصوم لي و أنا أجزا به

"Fasting is Mine and it is I Who gives reward for it"

Marfu’ (مرفوع)

Literal meaning: Elevated.

Technical meaning: Traced directly.

A Hadith which is traced back directly to Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is called Marfu’. In this type the Sanad (chain of transmission) reaches right upto Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). It has two types: viz:

I. Marfu’ Haqiqi (مرفوع حقيقي)

II. Marfu’ Hukmi (مرفوع حكمي)

I. Marfu’ Haqiqi (مرفوع حقيقي)

It is that Hadith which is attributed to Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) in clear terms. It is of four types viz;

a) Marfu’ Qawli (مرفوع قولي)

It is that Hadith which contains some statement of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).

b) Marfu’ Fe’li (مرفوع فعلي)

It is that Hadith which describes some act or deed of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) e.g., Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) performed such and such act in such and such way.

c) Marfu’ Taqriri (مرفوع تقريري)

It is that Hadith which includes some statements or acts of some of the companions of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) which were said or done in his presence and he did not object to them.

d) Marfu’ Wasfi (مرفوع وصفي)

It is that Hadith which describes something about physical, spiritual or moral attributes or states of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).

II. Marfu’ Hukmi (مرفوع حكمي)

It is that Hadith which is not attributed to Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) directly but due to some other reason. For example,

* Sahaabah used to do such and such thing. It indirectly means that they were doing it under the instructions of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).

* When a Sahaabi says that they had been ordered in such and such way. This also becomes a Murfu’ Hukmi Hadith.

Mauqoof (موقوف)

Literal meaning: Stopped.

Technical meaning: That Hadith in which chain of transmission stops at Sahaabah and does not reach Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). It has three types viz.,

a) Mauqoof Qowli (موقوف قولي)

That Hadith in which a particular statement of some Sahaabi is stated.

b) Mauqoof Fe’li (موقوف فعلي)

That Hadith in which a particular act of some Sahaabi is described.

c) Maqoof Taqriri (موقوف تقريري)

That Hadith in which some Taabaee said or did something in presence of a Sahaabi and the latter did not object to that.

Maqtoo (ةقطوع)

Literal meaning: Cut.

Technical meaning: That statement or deed which is attributed to some Tabaee. In this Hadith chain of transmission stops at two steps-down i.e., at the level of Taabaee.

Muttasil (متصل)

Literal meaning: Joined.

Technical meaning: That Hadith which has got successive narrators continuously without any gap or omission in between. Its chain or Sanad is uninterrupted from beginning to the end. For example:

Imam Maalik (RA) says that he heard from Nafea, who heard from Ibne Umar, who in turn heard from Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) such and such thing.

Musnad (مسند)

Literal Meaning: Having been related or attributed to.

Technical Meaning: That Marfu Hadith whose Sanad or chain is Muttasil (joined) is called Musnad Hadith.

Classification of Hadith as per type of chain of transmission

Tabaqat (generations) of narrators of Hadith as per Ibn Hajar Asqalani (RA)

Before understanding this classification of Hadith, one must understand what is meant by Tabaqat or generations of narrators.

Tabaqat from Sahaabah

Sahaabah-al-Kiram constitute the first three generation of narrators, who directly learned Islam from Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). This group is divided into three groups. Viz;

i) Tabaqah Al-Kubar Sahaabah (Upper level).

ii) Tabaqah Al-Wusta Sahaabah (Medium level)

iii) Tabaqah Al-Sugra Sahaabah (Low level).

Tabaqat from Taabaeen

This constitutes the second group of generations of narrators in chain of transmission. Those Muslims who saw/witnessed the era of Sahaabah and learned Islam from them are called Tabaeeh.

This group has been divided into three sub-groups. viz:

i) Tabaqah al-Kubar Taabaeen like Syed Ibn-al-Musaib

ii) Tabaqah al-Wusta Taabaeen like Hasan Bisri, Muhammad bin Seereaan.

iii) Tabaqah al-Sugra like Imam Zuhri, Qatada.

Tabaqat from Taba-Taabaeen

Taba-Taabeen constitute the third group. Those Muslims who saw/witnessed the era of Taabaeen and learned Islam from them are called Taba-Tabaeeh. This group has further been sub-divided into three sub-groups:

i) Tabaqah Kubar Taba-Taabaeen like Imam Maalik, Sufiyan Thouri.

ii) Tabaqah al-Wusta Taba-Taabaeen like Sufiyan bin Uyainiya

iii) Tabaqah al-Sugra Taba-Taabaeen like Imam Shaafaee, Abdul Razaq

Classification Based upon Number of Narrators

Mutawatir (متواتر)

Literal meaning: Continuousز

Technical meaning: It is a Hadith that is narrated in each era, from the days of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is upto this day by such a large number of narrators that it is impossible to reasonably accept that all of them have colluded to tell a lie. In other words it means that since so many people are narrating this Hadith in each generation so there is not even least doubt about its truthfulness, so Hadith-e-Mutawatir is taken as an absolute truth and one who rejects it is considered Kaafir. Mutawatir has following types:

i) Mutawatir Lafdhi (متواتر لفظي)

It is a Hadith whose words are narrated by such a large number as is required for a Mutawatir, in a manner that all the narrators are unanimous in reporting it with the same words without any substantial discrepancy. Example:

من كذّب علي متعمد فليتبوأ مقعده في النار

One who attributes a lie to me deliberately should find his abode in Hell. (Bukhari)

This Hadith has been narrated by more than seventy Sahaabah with the same wording.

ii) M****utawatir Manvi (متواتر معنوي)

It is a Mutawatir Hadith which is not reported by the narrators in the same words. The words of the narrators are different. Sometimes even the reported events are not the same. But all the narrators are unanimous in reporting a basic concept which is common in all the reports . This common concept is also ranked as a Mutawatir concept. For example: Raising of hands while making dua.

Khabre-Wahid (خبر واحد)

Literal meaning: Khabre means statement and Wahid means one .

Technical meaning: That Hadith which does not reach to the status of Mutawatir.

Classification of Khabre Wahib

It has been divided into three kinds as per number of narrators. Viz;

i) Mash-hoor (مشهور)

ii) Aziz (عزيز)

iii) Gareeb (غريب)

II) Khabre Wahid has also been divided into two groups as per acceptability. Viz;

a) Maqbool (مقبول): Accepted.

b) Mardood (مردود): Rejected or Dhaeef (weak) (Sometimes these two are thought to be synonymous)].

a) Maqbool is further divided into five kinds. Viz;

i) Sahih Lizatihi (صحيح لذاته)

ii) Sahih Ligairihi (صحيح لغيره)

iii) Hasan Lizatihi (حسن لذاته)

iv) Hasan Ligairihi (حسن لغيره)

v) Naasikh & Mansokh (ناسخ و منشوخ)

b) Mardood (Dhaeef) as per the type of discontinuity in Sanad or Chain is divided into five types, viz;

i) Muallaq (معلق)

ii) Mursal (مرسل)

iii) Munqata (منقطع)

iv) Mudallas (مدلس)

v) Muazzal (معزل)

Also, Mardood or Dhaeef based upon the type of defect in Rawi or narration is divided into eight parts, viz.,

i) Maudhoo (موضوع)

ii) Matruk (متروك)

iii) Munkar (منكر)

iv) Shaz (شاذ)

v) Muallal ((معلٰى

vi) Mudarraj (مدرج)

vii) Maqloob (مقلوب)

viii) Muztarib (مضطرب)

Mash hoor (مشهور)

Literal meaning: Famous Hadith.

Technical meaning: That Hadith which is handed down by at least three or more than three narrators and it does not reach to the status of Mutwatir. Example:

من جآء منكم الجمعة فليغسل

"One who finds Friday should take Ghusl (bath)"

Aziz (عزيز)

Literal meaning: Rare.

Technical meaning: That Hadith which is transmitted or handed down by at least two narrators at each step in the chain of transmission. If there are two narrators only in one step, still it is Aziz; and even if there are more narrators in other steps in Tabqaat. Example:

لا يؤمن حتى أكون أحب إليه من والده و ولده و الناس أجمعين

"No one amongst you can be a Mu’min until and unless I am dearer to him than his father, children and everybody."

Gareeb (غريب)

Literal Meaning: Stranger, alone.

Technical Meaning: That Hadith in which link of transmission is joined to another at certain point by one transmitter only. Example:

إنما الأعمال بالنيات

"Indeed deeds are as per intention."

From the generation of Sahaabah only Hadhrat Umar (RA) has narrated this Hadith.

Another meaning of Gareeb: Gareeb means stranger, so if there is any difficult word in the text (Matan) of the Hadith whose meaning is not clear, then that type of Hadith is also called Gareeb. Example:

Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said:

"Offer Salaah while standing if you cannot do that, offer while sitting and if you cannot do that offer while lying down.

In this Hadith it was not clear how to offer Salaah in lay down position. Hadhrat Ali (RA) made its meaning clear by saying it is lateral position facing Qiblah.

Sahid Lizatihi (صحيح لذاته)

Literal Meaning: Sound, Faultless.

Technical Meaning: That Hadith which is transmitted by successive narrators upto the end without any missing link between them in the chain of transmission. In this all the narrators are highly pious, authentic and reliable and there is no weakness in this Hadith either as regards to chain of transmission or as regards to the text (Matan) of the Hadith. Example:

"Bukhari has narrated that Abdullah bin Yousuf said that he heard Malik who quoted from Muhammad bin Jubair bin Matam, who quoted his father as saying that he heard Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) reciting Surah 'Tur" in Magrib Salaah".

This Hadith is Sahih as its Sanad is Muttasil (joined), all of its narrators are authentic and it is also free from all other defects.

Sahih Ligairihi (صحيح لغيره)

Literal meaning: Sahih—Sound, Ligairihi—Due to others.

Technical meaning: It is a Hasan Lizatihi Hadith, which gets strengthened and becomes Sahih Hadith because of the support from other narrations. Since this Hadith in itself was Hasan and got elevated to the status of Sahih due to support from other hadith, it is called Sahihi-Ligairihi.

Status: Like Sahih it is also Hujjat in Shari'ah and is dependable to be acted upon.

Conditions for being Sahih

1. Continuity of chain or Sanad: Every transmitter should be joined to the next successive transmitter directly without any missing link between them throughout the whole chain of transmission. in other words it should be Marfu Mutasil, what is also called Musnad.

2. Piousness and Taqwa of transmitters: Every transmitter (Raawy) should be extremely pious, mature with sound mind and an honoured person.

3. Memory power or written documentation: Every narrator should have extraordinary memory power so that it can be assumed that whichever Hadith he has learned , he remembers it well or he should have got properly written Hadith from reliable sources.

4. Lack of opposition to know authorities of Hadith: No Raawy or transmitter should have opposed any known authority of Hadith or a Muhaddith superior to him.

5. Lack of reasons which could raise any doubt: Raawy should not have any such apparent or hidden ailment which can tell upon his health.

Well known compilations of Ahaadith-e-Sahihah are as under:

i) Mota Imam Maalik.

ii) Sahih Bukhari.

iii) Sahih Muslim.

The best book of hadith

The whole Muslim Ummah is in agreement that the best book on earth after Qur'an Shareef is Sahih Bukhari. After Sahih Bukhari, it is Sahih Muslim.

The total number of Ahaadith in Sahih Bukhari is 7397. These include repeated Ahaadith as well. If repetitions are deleted, then total number of non repeated Ahaadith remains 2602.

The total number of Ahaadith in Sahih Muslim is 7151 and the number of repeated Ahaadith is 4000.

It is well accepted fact that Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim contain all Sahih Ahaadith but it does not mean that any Hadith which is not included in these two books is not Sahih. Imam Bukhari says that he selected Sahih Bukhari out of one Lakh Sahih Ahaadith which he knew and left more Sahih Hadith than he included in his book, fearing that the book would become too lengthy.

Similarly Imam Muslim says that it is not like this that he has mentioned every Sahih Hadith in his book, but he included those Ahaadith only which were considered sound as per the agreement of Muhadditheen.

Muttafaq Alaihi (متفق عليه)or Agreed Upon Hadith

A Hadith which is found both in Sahih Bukhari as well as in Sahih Muslim is called Muttafaq Alaihi or Agreed Upon Hadith.

Sihah Sittah (The best six books of Sahih Hadith)

1. Sahih Bukhari.

2. Sahih Muslim.

3. Sunan Abu Dawood.

4. Sunan Nasai.

5. Sunan Tirmidhi.

6. Sunan Ibn Majah.

Some people consider Mota Imam Maalik instead of Ibn Majah.

Categorisation of Hadith books by Shah Wali Ullah Muhaddith Delhvi (RA) as per the status and strength of Hadith

First degree group:

1. Sahih Bukhari,

2. Sahih Muslim.

3. Mota Imam Maalik.

Second degree group:

1. Abu Dawood.

2. Nasai.

3. Tirmidhi.

Third degree group:

1. Musnaf Ibne Abi Shaiba.

2. Musnad Abu Ya'la.

3. Baihaqi.

4. Tahawi. etc.

Grades of Sahih Hadith

Grade 1: That Hadith which is present both in Bukhari and Muslim.

Grade 2: Which is present in Bukhari only.

Grade 3: Which is present in Muslim only.

Grade 4: Which fulfils the criteria of Bukhari and Muslim.

Grade 5: Which fulfills the criteria of Imam Bukhari.

Grade 6: Which fulfills the criteria of Imam Muslim.

Grade 7:That Hadith which is labelled Sahih by other Muhaditheen.

A clarification about work “Sahih Hadith”

When we talk about the grades of Sahih Hadith and weak Hadith, this difference is all because of chain of transmission and the condition of narrators. As regards to the text (Matan) of the Hadith, nobody can say that this Hadith is more Sahih than the other.

Other authentic books of Sahih Hadith

1. Sahih Ibne Khuzaimah.

2. Sahih Ibne Haban.

3. Mustadrak Hakim.

4. Mota Imam Malik.

5. Sunan Arba (Abu Dawood, Nasai, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah.

6. Dar-Qutni.

7. Sunan Baiqhi.

8. Musnad Imam Ahmad.

9. Musnad Imam Shafi.

10. Musnad Imam Abu Hanifah.

11. Sahih Abi Awanah.

12. Sahih Ibne Sakan.

Hasan Lizatihi (حسن لذاته)

Literal Meaning: Hasan—Nice, good, Lizatih— means 'in itself '

Technical Meaning: A Hadith which is like Sahih Hadith in all respects except that some of its narrators are found to have little defective memory. It is next to Sahih Hadith in Status. Example:

Qutaiba narrates on the authority of Jafar bin Suleman Az-Zabal, he on the authority of Abi Bakar bin Abi Musa his father Al-Asha'ri who says that he heard Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) saying:

"Jannat is under the shadow of swords".

In this Hadith all narrators are excellent except Jafar bin Suleman Az-Zabal who is thought to have defective memory, so this Hadith slipped down to the status of Hasan, otherwise it would have been rated as Sahih.

Famous compilations of Hasan Ahaadith

1. Jamia Tirmidhi.

2. Sunan Abu Dawood

3. Sunan Dare-Qutni.

Hasan Ligairihi (حسن لغيره)

That Dhaeef Hadith which when transmitted through many channels elevates to the status of Hasan and then becomes Maqbool (acceptable).

Status: Next to Sahih, and is dependable to be acted upon. It is also Hujjat in Shari'ah like Sahih.

Imam Tirmidhi in his book Jamia Tirmidhi labels a Hadith as Sahih, Hasan or Dhaeef after quoting them.

Naasikh & Mansookh

We have seen that Mutwatir Hadith provides information of Yaqeeni (sure) grade and compels man to believe and accept it without any hesitation.

Rest of the Ahaadith come under the title "Khabr-e-Wahid". In Khabr-e-Wahid we have seen two groups viz, Maqbool (acceptable) and Mardood (rejected). Amongst these two groups Maqbool group is taken as argument or Hujjat in Shari'ah and is to be acted upon, but sometimes a problem arises when there are two Ahaadith which are apparently contradictory to each other in text, even when both are Sahih or Hasan. This problem can only be solved by knowing about Naasikh (abrogating Hadith) and Mansokh (abrogated Hadith). This is another important but difficult science about the knowledge of Hadith and is not a job of everyone. Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal says: "We were not able to comprehend Naasikh and Masnsokh Hadith until we sat in the company of Imam Shafaee (i.e., he made us understand this)".

In case of these Ahaadith which differ from one another, a few situations are possible viz;

1. It is possible to have such interpretation of these Hadith so that both can be acted upon and there is no need to leave any Hadith out of them.

2. It is possible that two Hadiths are having such contradictory texts such that it is not possible to combine them and one can act upon only one of them. In such situations one has to know about Naasikh and Mansokh.

Naasikh and Mansookh (ناسخ و منسوخ)

That Hadith which abrogates any early Hadith is called Naasikh Hadith and the Hadith which has been abrogated is called Mansookh. One has to act upon Naasikh and not on Mansookh, after he learns which one is Naasikh and which one is Mansokh.

If Naasikh and Mansookh is not known

In this situation, it will be seen that out of these differing Ahaadith which one is preferable (Raajeh). To label one preferable (Raajeh) is again not an easy job and everybody cannot do it, only a great scholar of Hadith who has extraordinary hold on all different sciences of Hadith can accomplish this job. This is the reason that you will see that common people get confused after seeing two different Hadiths about the same thing and those who rely on just common translations of Hadith start fighting with others and draw erroneous conclusions. These people least understand that it is not proper to draw some conclusion after just reading translation of few Hadith only. As already stated that in drawing conclusions as to which Hadith is to be acted upon and which Hadith is preferable and which is abrogated, one needs tremendous all round knowledge of all aspects of Hadith.

Hadhrat Ali (RA) and importance of Naasikh and Mansookh

Once a man came to Masjid-e-Nabwi and started delivering lessons on Qur'an. Hadhrat Ali (RA) called him and asked him if he knew Naasikh and Mansokh, that person replied in negative, Hadhrat Ali (RA) asked him to get out of the Masjid-e-Nabwi. It means that Hadhrat Ali (RA) was of the opinion that one who did not know Naasikh and Mansokh has no business to teach the Qur'an. Similarly in Ilm-e-Hadith, the knowledge of Naasikh and Mansokh is of great significance.

Causes of referability (Tarjeeh) of a Hadith

A) As per Matan:

1. If one Hadith forbids a thing and other shows permissibility, the former will be Rajeh or preferable i.e., Hurmat is preferable over Ibahat.

2. If one Hadith contains a statement of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and other mentions any deed, then former is preferable over the later i.e. Qowly Hadith is preferable to Feli.

3. Technical meaning as per Shari'ah is preferable over literal meaning.

4. Strong argument is preferable over weaker argument.

5. Rasulullah's (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) interpretation is preferred over anybody else's interpretation.

6. That commandment where cause is also given is preferable over that commandment where cause is not given.

B) As per Sanad:

1. Strong Sanad is preferable over weak Sanad.

2. That Sanad which has less number of narrators is preferable over that which has more number of narrators.

3. The narrator who is excellent in Fiqh is preferred over the others.

4. If a Hadith is transmitted through many channels, that makes it preferable.

5. That Sanad which is agreed upon is preferred over the Sanad which is disputed.

Mardood Hadith

Kinds of Mardood Hadith

Mursal (مرسل)

Literal Meaning: Left out, forwarded.

Technical Meaning: It is that Hadith which a Taaba'ee quotes directly from Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) without mentioning the name of Sahaabi. For example:

حدثنا رسول الله كذا و كذا

"Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said so and so."

Status: This type of Hadith is usually considered Mardood (rejected) or Dha'eef (weak) as the state of left out narrator is not known who can be a non-Sahaabi as well. But some scholars like, Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Maalik, Imam Ahmed and Imam Shafaee, say that Mursal Hadith can be depended upon and should be considered if the Taaba'ee is authentic and realiable.

Muallaq (معلق)

Literal meaning: Suspended.

Techinical meaning: It is that Hadith in which one or more than one narrators are unknown at the beginning of the chain or Sanad. This quality is also called Ta'leeq. In this type only the name of Sahaabi or that of Sahaabi and Taabaee may be mentioned and rest all are missing. Bukhari and Muslim also quote such types of Ahaadith.

Status: For making a Hadith acceptable the continuity of chain is essential, since here the chain is not continuous, so such Hadith is Mardood or rejected.

Muallaq also becomes acceptable or Maqbool if there are other evidences in support of it. Muallaq Ahaadith of Bukhari and Muslim are considered Maqbool.

So, Muallaq can be both acceptable as well as rejected.

Munqata (منقطع)

Literal meaning: Broken or cut off.

Technical meaning: That Hadith in which one or more narrators are unknown at different places of the chain but not first and last.

Status: It is considered Dhaeef or Mardood.

Muazzal (معضل)

Literal meaning: Difficult, problematic.

Technical meaning: That Hadith in which two or more than two narrators are missing successively in the Sanad.

Status: It is considered Dhaeef and of lower grade than Mursal and Munqata.

Mudallas (مدلس)

Literal Meaning: Deceptive, where a defect is concealed.

Technical Meaning: It is that Hadith in which an attempt is made to conceal the defects of the Sanad or chain of transmission.

Maudhu (موضوع)

Literal Meaning: Forged Hadith.

Technical Meaning: It is that Hadith which a liar fabricates and then attributes it to Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).

Status: This is the worst type of weak Hadith. Some scholars do not include it even in weak Hadith if one knows that it is a Maudhu Hadith.

Types of Maudhu Hadith

i) A liar fabricates some statement of his own and then attributes it to Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).

ii) Statements of earlier scholars or pious people are taken and then fabricated chain of transmission from Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is attached to it.

iii) Chain of Sahih Hadith is attached to a weak Hadith.

Munkar (منكر)

Literal Meaning: Disapproved.

Technical Meaning: Munkar Hadith is that Hadith wherein a weak narrator of Hadith opposes one who is quite authentic and reliable than him.

Shaz (شاذ)

Literal Meaning: Isolated.

Technical Meaning: Shaz Hadith is that Hadith wherein a comparatively less authentic narrator of Hadith opposes a more authentic narrator. This opposition may be either in Sanad (chain of transmission) or in Matan (text).

Status: This Hadith is rejected and not accepted.

Difference between Shaz and Munkar

The narrator of Shaz is authentic who narrates against a more authentic narrator whereas the narrator of Munkar is weak or less authentic.

Matruk (متروك)

Literal meaning: Abandoned.

Technical meaning: That Hadith in which there is such a narrator who has been blamed for lying or falsehood in matters other than narrating Hadith.

Status: Such a Hadith is considered rejected.

Muallal (معلل)

Literal meaning: having some cause (of defect).

Technical meaning: That Hadith which apparently is faultless but has some hidden defect which only scholars of Hadith can know.

Mudharraj (مدرج)

Literal meaning: Included.

Technical meaning: That Hadith in which something more than the text or chain of Hadith has been included. Example:

ِA Sahaabi narrates a Hadith and then adds some of his own words to explain it, such Hadith is called Mudarraj.

Status: This type of inclusion of some explanatory words is permissible only for Sahaabah and no one else.

Maqloob (مقلوب)

Literal Meaning: Turned.

Technical meaning: That Hadith in which the order of the wording of the Hadith has been altered.

Status: If it is done to change the meaning of the Hadith, then it is considered Maudhu (fabricated) Hadith and if it is done just for examination purposes, then it is permissible.

Muztarib (مضطرب)

Literal meaning: Perplexed like oceanic waves.

Technical meaning: That Hadith which is narrated through different channels of varying grades.

Status: Mardood or Dhaeef

Dhaeef (ضعيف)

Literal Meaning: Weak.

Technical Meaning: That Hadith which does not fulfill the criteria of Hasan. In this Hadith there is some defect either in the chain of transmission or in proper understanding of the transmitter, or its contents are not in perfect agreement with Islamic beliefs and practices.

It must be in mind that while quoting Dhaeef Hadith one must not say, "Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said "but one must take precautions and may say that it is quoted from him etc".

Status: Whether to act upon Dhaeef Hadith or not, it is controversial. There is usually consensus that Dhaeef Hadith cannot be used in Masail but can be used in Fadhail, Mustahab or Makrooh only when it fulfills three preconditions.

1. Its defect (of being Dhaaef) is not of extreme grade.

2. The Hadith comes under some well known principle of Shari'ah.

3. Acting upon it should not be thought obligatory.

As per Hanafi school of thought, Dhaeef Hadith is preferred over Qiyas (analogical deduction).

As already stated that if Dhaeef Hadith gets support from other sources, then it gets elevated to the status of Hasan Ligairihi.

When to quote Dhaeef Hadith

It is permissible to quote Dha'eef Hadith if:

1. It is not related to Islamic beliefs.

2. It is not related to Halal and Haram.

3. It is related to things like motivation or admonition.(Targeeb or Tarheeb)

Source : A Darul Uloom via SF