In the Name of Allāh
There are 2 things:
1) the authenticity of Hadith; in which the status of the Hadiths’ text and chain is concerned, and
2) the authority of Hadith; in which the authority that Hadith holds in Islamic rulings is concerned.
The following is an excerpt from Muftī ‘Abd al-Mālik’s book “al-Madkhal ilā ‘Ulūm al-Hadīth al-Sharīf” on the use of computer programs to locate and grade hadīths. In this excerpt, Muftī ‘Abd al-Malik, seeing the abuse of these programs, sets out to clarify several misconceptions regarding them. Although the author’s contention lies mainly in the usage of computer programs to locate and grade Hadith, his insights are equally applicable to internet searches, printed books, and computer searches in other sciences as well. No doubt computer programs have immense benefit and can open many avenues when searching for hadīth, but everything needs to be put into perspective, and that is what this article hopes to achieve. An idiomatic translation was adopted to make the article more reader-friendly. – Muntasir Zaman
Two of the primary terminologies of Hadith are Ṣaḥīḥ and Ḥasan. Although the absence/weakness of only 1 of the 5 conditions of Ṣaḥīḥ (ḍabṭ) make the Hadith Ḥasan, they are not on the same level, rather, they’re almost opposites. For this reason, using ‘Ṣaḥīḥ’ and ‘Ḥasan’ synonymously or together doesn’t seem accurate, as they both have qualities that oppose each other, main quality being that; the memory of a Ṣaḥīḥ Hadith’s narrator is complete whilst the memory of a Ḥasan Hadith’s narrator is defective. So what does it mean when the likes of Imām Tirmizī (رحمه الله) label one Hadith with both terms?
Second only to the Arabs, the Bengali-speaking Muslims make one of the largest linguistic groups in the Muslim world.() A significant number of the British Muslims are also of Bangladeshi origin.() It is a shame, therefore, that the majority of those who grew up in Europe, America and Canada know very little of their family history, culture and heritage. This includes the profound legacy of ḥadīth.
I have read one of your recent articles and I wanted to know, what is the legal requirement for someone to be considered a knowledgeable scholar whom we can take knowledge from? Is Isnad (chain of transmission) one of the requirements and is there any evidence for this deduced from the sources?
Also, I have noticed that Isnad is not usually mentioned by the scholars as a prerequisite for someone to be considered a Mujtahid. Can one therefore be self taught?
This write-up is based on the treatise of Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajar rahimahullah.
Mishkāt al-Maṣābīh (lit. the niche of lanterns) is a hadith collection originally compiled as Maṣābīḥ as-Sunnah (lit. the lamps of Sunnah) by Imām Muḥy as-Sunnah Abū Muḥammad Ḥusayn ibn Masʿūd al-Farrāḥ al-Baghawī (d.1122) rahimahullah, a famous Tatar muḥaddith and mufassir from the senior Shawāfiʿ scholars. It was later refined and expanded by Imām Walī ad-Dīn Abū ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd Allāh al-Khaṭīb at-Tibrīzī (d.1248) rahimahullah, who named the revised compilation Mishkāt al-Maṣābīḥ, as we know it today.