Question: Assalamu alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh,
It was mentioned in the book “The Islamic Personality: Part III” on the second category of the Hasan Hadith, after dividing it into two types, the following:
“The narrator must be renowned for his sincerity and honesty even though he has not achieved the standard of the Sahih narrators in terms of memorisation and accuracy. The Hasan Hadith is used as proof exactly as the Sahih Hadith. What is listed of Ahadith in the books of the Imams, their students and other ‘Ulema and Fuqahaa is considered part of the Hasan Hadith and is advanced as proof because they used it as evidence on Shari’ah rule (Hukm) or extracted a rule from it. It is a Hasan Hadith, whether it is contained in the books of Fiqh or Usul Al-Fiqh, on the condition that the books are approved books such as: al-Mabsut, al-Omm, and al-Mudawwana al-Kubra and the like, and not like the books of al-Bajuri and al-Shanshori and their example. However, the reported Ahadith in the books of Tafseer (interpretation) they are not considered and are not advanced as proof even if the interpreter is a Mujtahid Imam, because it was mentioned in the interpretation of a verse and not to extract a rule, and there is a difference between them, and because the commentators usually do not care about checking the Ahadith they cite, because of this these Ahadith are not considered merely for their appearance in the interpretation as is the case in the books of Fiqh of the Imams and scholars, but it is necessary to search for a Hadith even through Taqleed, by asking the people of Hadith or referring to a book of the considered the books of Hadith”.
Question: How do we determine that what was quoted by the Fuqahaa and Usuliyyoon (scholars of Usul) in the pioneered Fiqh or Usul books as Hasan? Is our trust in their knowledge and their status sufficient for what they use as proof to be correctly attributed to the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم knowing that the great Imams differed in the Science of Hadith?
And how we direct the saying of Imam Al-Shafi’i and other Imams: “If the Hadith is true, strike my saying by the wall?” As if it gives an indication to investigate what he says, question it and audit it? Is it sufficient for a Hadith to be mentioned in one of the approved pioneered Fiqh or Usul books or is it required to be mentioned in a number of them? And if it is required to be in a number of them shall not there be present other controls for example, that the mentioning of the Hadith must not be in a number of books of one Madh’hab, but it should be mentioned in the approved books of more than one Madh’hab?
May Allah help you Abu Hanifa.
From: Aladdin Abdullah
Answer: Wa Alaikum Assalam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh,
If a recognized Scholar or Mujtahid quoted a Hadith then that Hadith must be a valid inference to him as attributed to the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم because he used it to extract Shari’ah rule from it and we cannot imagine that he would use it as proof while it has a shortfall of the degree of using it as proof. Thus the inference of Imams by a Hadith, especially the forerunners of them, and the inference of most scholars by a Hadith reassures us to use it as proof as they used it, and to put it in the status of the Hasan Hadith, for the trustworthiness of their knowledge and piety. This does not mean accepting all the Ahadith mentioned in the Fiqh or Usul books, as we may judge a Hadith cited in the books of Imams and realize its weakness according to our Usul so we do not take it. Or we may judge a Hadith listed in the acceptable books of Hadith and realize that it is weak so we do not use it as proof.
But the acceptance and rejection of a Hadith has its knowledge and Usul. It is mentioned in The Islamic Personality – Volume 1 under the heading “The accepted (Maqbul) Hadith and the Rejected (Mardud) One”, that: “It becomes clear from dividing the Hadith into Sahih, Hasan and Da’eef, that the Hasan and Sahih Hadiths are both advanced as proof and the Da’eef Hadith is not. What makes the Hadith acceptable or rejected is the examination of the Sanad (chain), transmitter and Matn (constancy/stability). If a narrator is not omitted from the Sanad and whose omission would not lead to the inability of attesting to the reliability of the omitted narrator; and the narrator’s integrity is not questioned; and the Matn is not weak nor it does contradict certain parts of the Qur’an or Sunnah Mutawatir or definite Ijma’a, in this case the Hadith is accepted, acted upon and advanced as a Shar’ai evidence, whether Sahih or Hasan.
As for when the Hadith is contrary to these qualifications, it is rejected and not educed as proof.
One should not be over strict in rejecting a Hadith as long as it is possible to accept it according to the requirements of the Sanad, transmitter and Matn. Especially when the majority of the ‘Ulema have accepted it and the Fuqaha have generally used it. It is then worth to be accepted, even if it does not meet the conditions of the Sahih, because it comes under Hasan. Just as one should not be over strict in rejecting a Hadith, at the same time it is not allowed to be complacent with respect to the Hadith, thus accepting the Hadith which is rejected due to the Sanad, transmitter or Matn….)
According to the same book under the heading “Regarding the Hadith as evidence in Shari’ah rules”:
“… But the khabar al-ahad (isolated report) that could be used as evidence of the Shari’ah ruling is Sahih and Hasan Hadith. The Da’eef Hadith is not fit to be a Shari’ah proof whatsoever. Anyone who inferred it is not considered to infer with Shari’ah evidence. However, considering a Hadith as Sahih or Hasan is for the one who inferred it if he has the competence to know the Hadith, and not for all the Muhaditheen. This is because some Muhaditheen (scholars of Hadith) regarded trustworthy narrators and others did not regard them so, some regarded them as anonymous but others regarded them as known. As well as there are Ahadith that are considered unsound by a certain chain but are deemed sound by another. Also there are chains that are not accepted by some Muhaditheen but are accepted by others. And there are Ahadith that were not accepted and challenged by some Muhaditheen, while they were accepted by others and used them as evidence. As well as there are Ahadith that are challenged by some people of the Science of Hadith but are accepted by the general Fuqahaa and used them as evidence. As it is not permissible to accelerate the acceptance of Hadith without considering its soundness, it is also not permissible to speed up in challenging a Hadith and rejecting it just because a Muhadith challenged in the narrator, for a possibility that it would be acceptable by another narrator and the possibility that it has been used as evidence by the imams and the general Fuqahaa. Therefore it is best to have deliberation and thoughts about a Hadith before challenging it or rejecting it. Those who follow the narrators and Ahadith will find many difference in this between many Muhaditheen, and there are numerous examples about this.
For instance, Abu Dawoud narrated from Amr Bin Shu’aib from his father from his grandfather that he said: The Prophet of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said:
المؤمنون تتكافأ دماؤهم، ويسعى بذمتهم أدناهم، ويجير عليهم أقصاهم، وهم يد على من سواهم، يرد مشدهم على مضعفهم، ومتسريهم على قاعدهم
“Muslim blood is one, they are equal in covenants, their furthest is protected and they are united when attacked, the strong responds for the weak, and the chivalry respond for those sitting”.
The narrator of the hadith is Amr Bin Shu’aib; it is well known regarding Amr Bin Shu’aib from his father, from his grandfather, yet many used it as evidence and rejected by others. …”
Thus, a Hadith that is used by renowned scholars and Usuliyyoon is deemed Hasan, and to regard the Hadith listed in the books of the renowned scholars and Usuliyyoon of the Hasan type it is not necessary that it is mentioned in many books. It is sufficient to be mentioned to the extent that provides reassurance to the correctness of inferring it, but its appearance in many books and multiple Madhahib increases the reassurance to be used as evidence.
As for the saying of Al-Shafei it is true, and this does not contradict with what we have said. Thus we deem a Hadith that the renowned ‘Ulema extracted Shari’ah rules from it, we deem it a Hasan Hadith. But that if there is no Sahih Hadith that is stronger than it, otherwise we judge the evidence duly the followed Usul in terms of combining evidence or weighting among them as it is known in Fiqh under this category.
Ata Bin Khalil Abu Al-Rashtah
28th Dhul Qiddah 1435 AH