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Asalaam o alaikum Readers,
I am not a Faqih nor pretend to be one, but there are so many disrespectful comments flying around about Daif hadith that I decided to research it. Here is what I found, I am posting the most succinct ones.
For those who like cliff notes here it is:
Daif Hadith is not fabricated hadith
Daif hadith can be used as examples to follow but rulings of halal and haram cannot be derived from it.
The must dos and Dont dos cannot be derived from Weak hadith.(for left brain people:)
Weak hadith are good notations about various aspects of life and can be used to inspire oneself. (for right brain people:)
Allah knows best!
WHAT IS A WEAK HADITH?
A hadith which fails to reach the status of Hasan is Da`if. Usually, the weakness is one of discontinuity in the isnad, in which case the hadith could be Mursal, Mu`allaq, Mudallas, Munqati` or Mu`dal, according to the precise nature of the discontinuity, or one of a reporter having a disparaged character, such as due to his telling lies, excessive mistakes, opposition to the narration of more reliable sources, involvement in innovation, or ambiguity surrounding his person.
The smaller the number and importance of defects, the less severe the weakness. The more the defects in number and severity, the closer the hadith will be to being Maudu` (fabricated).76
Some ahadith, according to the variation in the nature of the weakness associated with its reporters, rank at the bottom of the Hasan grade or at the top of the Da`if grade. Reporters such as `Abdullah b. Lahi’ah (a famous judge from Egypt), `Abd al-Rahman b. Zaid b. Aslam, Abu Bakr b. Abi Maryam al-Himsi, Faraj b. Fadalah, and Rishdin b. Sa’d attract such types of varying ranks as they are neither extremely good preservers nor totally abandoned by the traditionists.77
A WEAK HADITH IS NOT FABRICATED.
Definition of Weak Hadith:
A weak hadith is a hadith that fails to meet all of the conditions for an acceptable hadith. (the five conditions for a hadith to be acceptable). If it does not meet all of the conditions then it is a rejected hadith. If it fails to meet even one of the conditions of the acceptable hadith then it is a weak hadith.
Conditions for authenticity of hadith
- Chain is unbroken
- Every narrator is adl (person of integrity)
- Every narrator is dhabit (academic soundness, proficient/accurate) ***
- No shudhoodh (cannot contradict stronger sources for both the chain and the text)
- No 3illah (Cannot contain any hidden damaging defects; refers to both the chain and the text)
Daeef (Weak) is a type of Hadith that has a narrator who either doesn’t have a strong memory or isn’t virtuous.
Weak (Daeef) Hadith is only reliable in excellence, not in rulings (permissibility or prohibition will not be proven for it. Yes, good deeds or the prominence of an individual can be).
The result of this is that a weak Hadith is not a lie, false or fabricated (contrary to the propaganda of Ghair-Muqallids). The Muhadditheen have kept its rank less than Sahih and Hasan merely for caution.
If a weak Hadith becomes a Hasan Hadith for some reason, it also becomes completely credible, with both excellence and rulings able to be proven from it.
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.
- Its defect (of being Dhaaef) is not of extreme grade.
- The Hadith comes under some well known principle of Shari’ah.
- 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:
- It is not related to Islamic beliefs.
- It is not related to Halal and Haram.
- It is related to things like motivation or admonition.(Targeeb or Tarheeb)
by Dr. Kaukab Siddique [Pennsylvania]
Is It True That Hadith Were Not Written in the time of the Prophet, pbuh?
Were Qur’an and Hadith transmitted by same people or different ones?
Question from Sis. N. in Detroit
I am originally from Iran, moving to real Islam, Qur’an and Hadith. I read a good book by Fazlur Rahman (Chicago University) but it confused me on some points. He writes, Hadith was written in third century after the Prophet. New Trend’s web site says follow Qur’an and Hadith. I am confused please explain why Hadith was not written in time of the Prophet ?
ANSWER by Kaukab Siddique:
Unfortunately it seems from his writings that Dr. Fazlur Rahman was significantly influenced by Christian missionaries and Jewish orientalists.
His writings were such that they confused the Muslims of Pakistan. However he had the support of the military government, but eventually was defeated and fled to America where he was immediately given a senior position at Chicago University to teach Islam.
Both the Qur’an and the Hadith were written down in the time of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). The Qur’an is the word of Allah revealed to Muhammad (peace be on him). The Hadith is the commentary, explanation, implementation of the Qur’an by Muhammad (pbuh). Both are interlinked and essential to each other. No authentic Islamic scholar has ever tried to say that Hadith is not necessary or was written later.
The people who wrote down the Qur’an, on bits and pieces of materials, were the SAHABA or companions of the Prophet (pbuh). Paper and printing were not available at that time. So, people could not go around with printed and bound copies of the Qur’an. Even the collation and putting together of the Qur’an was done by the SAHABA so that the Qur’an became a BOOK between two covers after the Prophet (pbuh) passed away. This great work was done under the supervision of Abu Bakr, Umar, Osman and Ali (may Allah be pleased with them all) who were the first four rightly guided Caliphs of Islam.
The same SAHABA also wrote and transmitted the Hadith and made sure that nothing was falsely attributed to the Prophet (pbuh).
The QUR’AN was also MEMORIZED by the Sahaba. In fact few of them had it in writing but many of them knew it from memory. The cross checking of memory with writing was carried out to make sure that the Qur’an as revealed to the Prophet, pbuh, was transmitted to future generations.
The HADITH was also memorized by the SAHABA and transmitted to future generations. Any scholar of Hadith had to MEMORIZE the HADITH from the written collections of the Sahaba and then RECITE IT FROM MEMORY to his/her teacher. Thus an accurate record of the Prophet’s, pbuh, life and teachings was enshrined in the scholarship of the Muslim world.
In the era after the SAHABA various kinds of sects arose which tried to disseminate their own versions of the Qur’an. Some of them claimed that Hazrat Ali (r.a.) had received suras of the Qur’an from the Prophet, pbuh, which no one else had. The scholars of the line of Ali (r.a.) and Fatima (r.a.), such as Imam Jafar and Imam Baqir, were able to repudiate these claims because they had the Qur’an both by memory and in writing.
Similarly attempts were made to invent “Hadith.”
This was a very serious effort by Kings and emperors who wanted religion to justify their tyranny and to creatre a “tame Islam.” The problem was aggravated by the fact that various SAHABA had migrated to various cities, and after they passed away, various people could claim that they had heard Hadith from them.
It was in that context that great scholars like Imam Bukhari stepped forward to ENSURE that fabrications did not enter the corpus of Hadith. I think that these scholars were a bit too strict and as a result they sometimes designated as “weak” even those Hadith which were authentic but which would not pass the test of extremely severe scrutiny.
Imam Bukhari and other imams are the ones Dr. Fazlur Rahman was abusing when he claimed that Hadith was written in the third century after the Prophet. Fazlur Rahman really was quite ignorant of Hadith and hence recklessly fell into the trap set for him by Christian missionaries and Jewish orientalists.
WAS HADITH WRITTEN in the TIME OF THE PROPHET (pbuh)?
Yes! the evidence is overwhelming.
Here is one sample from a prominent companion of the Prophet, pbuh, Abdullah ibn Umru ibn al-Aas. It is authenticated by two distinct and separate compilers of Hadith, Abu Dawud in his Sunan (chapter kitabut al-ilm) and Darimi in his Musnad (chapter on Rukhs fi kitabut al-ilm):
“Whatever I heard from the messenger of Allah, peace be on him, I would write it down so as to be able to memorize it. Then some in the Quraish (tribe) said to me: You write down whatever you hear though the messenger of Allah is a human being and speaks both in anger and in joy. On hearing that I stopped writing and then I mentioned this to the messenger of Allah. He pointed with his finger to his mouth and said: Write on! By Him in whose Hand is my being, no word comes out of this mouth but the Truth.”
Abdullah ibn Umru (r.a.) collected the Hadith he had written in the presence of the Prophet (pbuh) in a book titled Al-Sadiqa. Abdullah said: “There are two things I love in life: Al-Sadiqa and al-Wahat.” He explained: “Al-Sadiqa is that manuscript which I heard and wrote from the messenger of Allah and Wahat is that land which (my father) Umru ibn al-Aas donated to the cause of Allah and which I take care of.” [Darimi’s Sunan.]
The compendium Tahzeeb al-Tahzeeb tells us that on the death of Abdullah, r.a, the manuscript of Al-Sadiqa was secured by his grandson Shuaib bin Muhammad and then transmitted to the next generation by his son also named Umru. THE HADITH WRITTEN BY Abdullah, r.a., DIRECTLY FROM THE PROPHET, pbuh, AND AT HIS COMMAND, are to be found in the collections of Hadith which we have under this chain of narration:
“From Umru son of Shuaib from his father from his grandfather.” As Hadith is a very strict discipline, some classical scholars wanted to classify the collection as Mursal because they thought the grandson should have SAT DOWN IN FRONT OF THE GRANDFATHER AND RECITED THE WHOLE COLLECTION TO HIM FROM MEMORY! However, some of the greatest scholars of Hadith, like Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, accept the authenticity of Al-Sadiqa.
What makes Al-Sadiqa’s authenticity irrefutable is that it was also transmitted by OTHER STUDENTS of Abdullah (r.a.) who had nothing to do with his grandson.
So, don’t let anyone tell you that Hadith was not written in the time of the Prophet, pbuh.
FINALLY, spend a couple of months in trying to understand this verse of the Qur’an. It will help you to understand why the Hadith is essential and ALWAYS goes with the Qur’an:
“The Prophet is closer to the believers than their own selves, and his wives are their mothers. [33:6 ]
Women’s Equality in the Mosque: [Answering the latest fatwa from England. Br. Shoaib knew this thinking way back.]
How to explain Hadith which seem to discourage Women’s Participation in the Masjid?
by Kaukab Siddique
Br. Shoaib, a well-read, thoughtful and thought provoking Muslim, active in the Muslim community in the London, England area has asked how one can explain hadith which seem to create an impression that it is better for women to pray at home and not go to the mosque. Here is my response:
The Qur’an gives the broad principle about the kind of people who should be in charge of mosques:
“The mosques of Allah shall be visited and maintained by such as believe in Allah and the Last Day, establish regular prayers, and pay the zakat, and fear none (at all) except Allah. It is they who are expected to be on true guidance.” [9:18]
Obviously 9:18 includes all believers, men and women, who have the given qualities, as those who are entitled to visit and maintain mosques. As Yusuf Ali’s commentary points out (p.502), “ya’amuru” (roughly translated as ‘visited and maintained’) includes all mosque activities, four of which he lists:
1. To build or repair.
2. to maintain in fitting dignity
3. to visit for purposes of devotion.
4. fill with light and life and activity.
The concept of “masjid” or mosque as taught by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is so broad and comprehensive that there is no question of keeping anyone out of it who means well:
“Abu Huraira (r.a.) narrates that the messenger of Allah, pbuh, said: The ENTIRE earth has been made for me pure and a masjid.” [Literally: place of prostration in worship.] Hadith, Sahih Muslim, kitabus salat, Tirmizey Sunan, kitabus siir, Ibn Maja’s Sunan, kitabut taharah.
In the pre-Islamic ethos, women were given a secondary position in places of worship. In pagan temples, as in the Hindu religion, they were sent into places of worship to be made into servants of men and sources of entertainment. Pagan men often thought that women should bring enjoyment for men in places of worship. Islam rejected pagan use of women for entertainment. Hence the new entrants into Islam were very sensitive to the idea of women visiting places of worship. They did not want mosques to go the way of pagan temples. [This fear was similar to the one related to rituals of Hajj which the pagans had corrupted. The Qur’an, for instance, taught Muslims that they should run up and down the hills of Safa and Marwa and not stay away just because they had seen the pagans going there. Islam was reclaiming the original worship for those who had cast paganism aside.]
Hence the Prophet (pbuh) commanded:
[From Nafi’, who narrates from Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (r.a.): The Prophet, pbuh, said]: Do not stop the maid servants of Allah from the mosques of Allah. (Hadith, Muwatta of Imam Malik, compiled late in the first century of Islam, published in the second.)
Then there was the element of lawlessness because Madina was under attack and the streets of the city were not lighted. In spite of the element of danger, the Prophet, pbuh, insisted:
[From ‘Amash, from Mujahid from Ibn ‘Umar] The messenger of Allah, pbuh, said: “Do not stop women from going to the mosque at NIGHT.” [Hadith, Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, Tirmizy, kitabus salat.]
Imam Abu Hanifa, who began his hadith studies in the first century of Islam, and completed his work in the first half of the second century compiled this specific hadith about women’s participation in the mosque prayers at the difficult times of morning, before sun rise, and at night:
“Abu Hanifa narrates from Hammad from Ibrahim from Sha’abi from Ibn ‘Umar (r.a.): The Prophet, pbuh, permitted women to go forth and participate in fajr and ‘Isha. (Musnad of Imam Abu Hanifa, under the heading: The benefit of participation in Fajr and Isha prayers.]
Hazrat ‘Ayesha narrates the ongoing process of women coming for collective [jamaat] prayers in the mosque so early that it was pitch dark and the women could not be recognized:
“From the Mother of the believers, ‘Ayesha (r.a.): After the messenger of Allah completed the fajr prayer, the women, wrapped in their outer garments, returned home. It used to be so dark that they could not be recognized.” [Hadith, Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, Nasai, kitabus salat.]
IT APPEARS THAT NOT ONLY WOMEN PARTICIPATED WITH THE PROPHET (pbuh) in the PRAYERS, with male sahaba, companions of the Prophet, the women also HELD THEIR OWN COLLECTIVE PRAYERS IN THE MASJID:
Tamima, the daughter of Salama, narrates that the Mother of the Believers, ‘Ayesha (r.a.) led the women as their imam in Maghrib prayers. She stood in the center (of the first line) and recited loudly. [Darqutni, with reference to the musannaf of Abdur Razzaq, 3:141]
Hujaira, the daughter of Husaain, narrates: Umm Salama, mother of the believers, led us in Asr prayer and stood in the middle (of the first row). [Compiled by Ibn Saad in his Tabaqat, vol.8, p.356. Darqutni has collected this narration from Ibn Abi Shaiba, Abdur Razzaq and Imam Shafi’i.]
Taus narrates that the mother of the believers, ‘Ayesha Siddiqa, (r.a.) used to call the adhan and the iqama (before leading prayers). (The musannaf of Ibn Abi Shaiba, 1:223)
Nearly 99.9% of hadith collected by the scholars of Islam are authentic. There are a very few, however, which are defective or out of context. There are even a couple of fabrications which managed to survive the intense scrutiny of scholars; hence the hadith is put second to the Qur’an, and not equal to it, as the source of Islamic knowledge.
Related to the issue of women’s equal participation in mosques, here is a discouraging hadith which opponents of women’s rights in the mosque, use:
“From Ibn ‘Umar (r.a.): The Prophet (pbuh) said: Do not stop your women from going to the mosque and their homes are better for them.” [Hakim in his Mustadrak vol.1, p.209.]
It is also related in Abu Daw’ud’s Sunan under the heading: “Collective prayer and its blessings.”
As we noticed above, there are hadith with excellent chains of narration from Ibn ‘Umar (r.a.) accepted by the imams of Hadith, Bukhari and Muslim, in which the Prophet (pbuh) commands: Do not stop women from going to the mosque. So why the contradiction in this hadith attributed to Ibn ‘Umar (r.a.) himself?
My understanding is that this hadith is narrating two pieces of narration and has left out what went on between them. It is narrated that when ‘Ibn ‘Umar (r.a.) narrated the Prophet’s (pbuh) command not to stop women, Ibn ‘Umar’s son objected and said their homes are better for them and that people will use the hadith permitting women to go “to weave the webs of deception.” His son insisted that he would stop his wife. At this ‘Ibn ‘Umar was extremely upset. He said to his son: “I am telling you what the Prophet said and you are saying you will stop your wife!” (Musnad of Abu Hanifa) Other narratives say that ‘Ibn ‘Umar cursed his son for opposing the Prophet’s command. Some even say that he thereafter refused to talk to his son.(Musnad of Ahmed)
My understanding is that the words “their homes are better for them” are a fragment from the bitter words between father and son and have been inserted along with the Prophet’s command into the collections of Hakim and Abu Dawud. [Note that Ibn ‘Umar’s son was not a sahabi and his opinion does not count as a religious text.]
Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim left the fragment “their homes are better for them” out of their collections which are universally accepted as the most authentic of Hadith collections.
Opponents of women in the mosques also bring a narration which says:
“Abdul Hamid bin al-Mundhir Ansari narrated from his grandmother or his mother’s aunt, not clear which, Umm Humaid, as follows: The Prophet, pbuh, said, your prayer in your home, is better than the one you pray with me” (in masjid nabawi): (Ahmed in his Musnad, vol.6, p.371)
This has a number of variations, one of which appears in Ibn Khuzaima’s collection to the effect that “it is better for a woman to pray in the inner little room of her house than to pray in the main room of the house, better to pray in the local mosque than in the main mosque …” (Attributed to hazrat ‘Ayesha in Baihaqi’s Sunan.)
Abdul Hamid al-Mundhir’s narration is not acceptable because the scholars of Hadith say that he is MAJHUL. No one knows who he was. The narrations which support women’s rights have well known, in fact famous, narrators at every level of narration.
The narration attributed to hazrat ‘Ayesha (r.a.), if taken at face value, contradicts the numerous narrations which assert that women used to pray in the mosque in the time of the Prophet (pbuh) and in the caliphate of Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, Usman and Ali (Allah be pleased with them). In fact ‘Umar and Ali (Allah be pleased with them), leaders, along with ‘Ayesha (r.a) of Islamic thought, took extra efforts to appoint imams to lead women in prayers in the main masjid, especially when the crowds were big in Ramadan and the main imam could not be heard by the women.
‘Ayesha the exalted (r.a.) not only prayed in the masjid BUT LED PRAYERS in masjide nabawi.
I have been trying to trace the cause behind this narration from ‘Ayesha (r.a.) given by Baihaqi. It appears that there was a woman who was so poverty stricken that she did not have enough clothes to cover herself to travel from her home on the outskirts of Madina to the mosque of the Prophet (pbuh). At the same time she was too self-respecting to accept charity. The Prophet (pbuh) understood her dilemma and her modesty. He gave her a blessing that if she prayed in the innermost closet room of her home, she would get the same rewards as if she was praying in the mosque of the Prophet (pbuh). [Allahu Akbar wa lillahil hamd.] This it was not an effort by the Prophet (pbuh) to curtail the participation of women in the mosques, which would have contradicted his entire mission, but to give special blessings to a woman’s vibrant faith and sincerity.
It would be extremely CONTRADICTORY for all those women to be going to the masjid at FAJR and ‘ISHA (as quoted in sahih hadith above) if they could have just stayed at home and gotten more rewards for praying at home. I don’t think the opponents of women’s rights have a case here.
Finally there are some narrations which claim that ‘Umar (r.a.) did not like his wife to go to the masjid. [Perhaps he remembered how women were used as sources of corruption in the pagan forms of worship even in the most sacred of places, the Ka’aba.] However, remembering the command of the Prophet (pbuh) he never actually stopped his wife. In fact the relevant narration is very instructive about the tension created by the emergence of the new revolutionary Islamic community coming out of a background of jahiliyya and exploitation of women:
“Mu’ammar narrates from Zuhri that ‘Atika, the daughter of Zaid ibn’Umru bin Nufail, was marrried to ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (r.a.). She used to pray regularly in the masjid. ‘Umar used to say to her: By Allah! You know that I don’t like this. She would reply: I will not stop until you actually forbid me. ‘Umar would say:, No, I will not forbid you. The day ‘Umar (r.a.) was assassinated, ‘Atika was in the mosque.” (Abdur Razzaq’s collection, vol.3:148)
Ibn Hazm has a superb comment on this situation. He says, ‘Umar (r.a.) could have said that ‘Atika you are doing something inferior (praying in the masjid) as opposed to praying at home which according to the narration we discussed above is superior. Also, I, as husband, disapprove of it. How could a sahabia (‘Atika, r.a.) continue to act in a way which was inferior in worship and aroused the displeasure of her husband, and a husband who was a great Muslim, a great teacher of Islam and the greatest Khalifa the Muslims have ever had. Obviously both ‘Umar (r.a.) and ‘Atika (r.a.) knew that ‘Umar was simply expressing his gut feeling and not an Islamic edict. She was torn by the assassination of ‘Umar (r.a.); she loved him beyond herself. All the women of Madina respected him as their older brother. Their mourning knew no bounds when he was assassinated. He is the one who got down from the mimbar in humility when a woman of Madina objected to a point he had made in his khutba in MASJIDE NABAWI. [I have referenced this incident elsewhere in my writings.]
In ‘Umar’s armies there were thousands of Islamic women, both married and unmarried, who went forth to topple the empires of Rome and Persia. I have documented this fact in a critique I wrote of Fatima Mernissi who was ignorant of basic facts about ‘Umar (r.a.) and made some false statements about this great servant of Allah, great leader and mujtahid.
Amazing Message for Women from Prophet Muhammad, pbuh.
by Kaukab Siddique
One of the greatest female companions of the Prophet, pbuh, was Umm Hurum bint Milhan.
She was his foster aunt and was always in the forefront of the Islamic struggle. Often he would go and rest in her home after a long day of preaching and teaching.
Once when he was asleep in her home, he awoke laughing happily and said that he had seen the Muslims advancing forth on the ocean. She appealed to him to pray to Allah that she be one of them. He went back to sleep and again awoke and laughed happily and talked about the Muslims going forth on the oceans. Umm Hurum again asked him to pray that she be one of them. He prophesied to her:
“You will be among the first of them, not the last of them.” Then he blessed the mujahideen who would go forth on the oceans:
“The first force which will go forth to fight on the oceans is promised paradise. Again Umm Hurum asked: O messenger of Allah, will I be one of them. He said: Yes, you will be among them.” [Sahih Bukhari kitab al-Jihad].
The prophesy was fulfilled years later during the caliphate of Usman, r.a., the third rightly guided Caliph of Islam. When the united naval fleets of Europe approached Muslim lands, Usman, r.a., sent forth an Islamic naval fleet to stop the European forces. In the battle which followed, the ENTIRE European armada was destroyed in one day.
The illustrious commander of the fleet appointed by Usman, r.a., was Muawiyya, r.a. Umm Hurum, r.a., and Muawiyya’s wife Fakhta were part of the naval warriors.
Later the Muslims pursued the Europeans to the island of Cyprus where in an accident Umm Hurum died. Her grave in Cyprus is visited by both Christians and Muslims. The Christians call it “the grave of the Good Woman” and some even seek blessings by visiting there.
[We do not know if the grave has survived into our times.]