WHAT IS WEAK (DAI’F) HADITH?
GUEST ARTICLE: from asqfish.wordpress.com
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)