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(1) The Obligation of Transmitting on Authority of Trustworthy Narrators and Abandoning the Liars

In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Beneficent- All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds, and the [praiseworthy] end is for those who fear Him; and may Allah send blessings upon Muhammad, seal of the Prophets, and upon all the Prophets and Messengers. As for what follows: Indeed you mentioned, may Allah have mercy on you, by the guidance of your Creator, that you were interested in an examination of what is known of all the transmitted reports on authority of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings upon him, regarding traditions of the Dīn, its rulings, and everything from it regarding rewards, punishments, motivations, admonishments, and other descriptive topics through chains of narration which were related by and circulated between Ahl ul-Ilm. Thus you wished, may Allah guide you aright, to be informed about all of [the transmitted reports] in the form of a calculated composition and you asked me to abridge [it] for you in writing without a great amount of repetition. You allege that [much repetition] would distract you from what you intended in terms of understanding and deriving rulings from [the reports]. And because of that which you have asked, may Allah be generous with you, when I am attributed to its successful management and whatever condition can be construed by it, if Allah wills, (it will lead to) a praiseworthy ending and obtainable benefit. I thought at the time you asked me to undertake that [task]- if it was determined for me to do so, and preordained for me to complete it- that the first to benefit from that would be me specifically before anyone else and this is due to a great number of reasons which are too lengthy to describe except [to say] that in summary, having precision regarding a select few [narrations], and accuracy in them, is easier for a person than to undertake of a great number of them, and especially for one who is indistinguishable in it from the common people [in this matter] unless someone else informs him of the distinction. If the matter is just as we described, then focusing on the few authentic narrations is worthier for them than seeking an abundance of weak narrations. Although indeed it is hoped for that some benefit is attained by seeking after a large number [of Ḥadīth] of this type, and gathering the repetitions for them, but only for the elite who are endowed with some awareness and knowledge in their means [of ascertaining authenticity] and defects. Thus that, if Allah wills, will happen through whatever will be brought to bear of that [awareness, distinction, knowledge of the means, and defects] on the advantage in seeking large numbers of [the various categories of Ḥadīth]. And as for the common people who are different from the elite in terms of awareness and knowledge, then it is senseless for them to seek large numbers [of various categories of Ḥadīth], while they are unaware of the few [Sahīh]. Then we, if Allah wills, will begin to extract and compose what you have asked upon conditions which we shall mention to you. We set ourselves upon the entirety of what is transmitted from the reports on authority of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings upon him. Then we divided it up into three sections and three levels of people without repetition except: 1) When coming to a point where it was essential to repeat a narration in which there is an addition that clarifies the meaning of the first one; or 2) When there is a second chain that supports the first one in some hidden defect present since the additional significance in the second Ḥadīth assumes the position of a complete Ḥadīth. Repeating narrations which have the kind of ‘addition’ we described is inevitable [since it eliminates the perceived hidden defect of the first narration]; or that significance [of the addition] is separated from the entire narration by abbreviating it when it is possible [to understand the significance from a small part of the narration], however separating the relevant part of the narration from the rest might make it difficult to understand the link between them, so repeating it in its original form when that proves difficult is safest. Thus when we find that it is avoidable to repeat the narrations in their entirety we take care not to do so, if Allah wills. As for the first category, we aspired to advance the report which is safer from defects than any others, and is purified due to being related by people of integrity in Ḥadīth, and certitude for what they relate; there are no strong disputes found [compared to the reports of other Thiqāt] regarding their transmissions, and no excessive inconsistencies [in their own reports] - just as is the case regarding a great number of Muhaddithīn and which appears in their narrations. Thus when we examined reports of this description from the people, we also came across reports in whose chains there fell some of those who are not described with memorization and precision, like those of the previous description before them. Although they fell below what we described [from the first group], they still have the designation of protection [from ill-repute] and truthfulness; and they acquired knowledge, included among them are the likes of Atā’ bin is-Sā’ib, and Yazīd bin Abī Ziyād, and Layth bin Abī Sulaym, from among the carriers of Āthār and the relaters of Akhbār. So even though they possessed what we described of knowledge, protection and being known as scholars among Ahl ul-Ilm, their contemporaries who we mentioned as precise and sound in transmission were above them in status and rank because this [the first category] is a high rank and sublime characteristic according to Ahl ul-Ilm. Do you not see that when you weigh these three people we mentioned- Atā’, Yazīd, and Layth- with Mansūr bin il-Mu’tamir, Sulaymān al-A’mash and Ismā’īl bin Abī Khālid in regards to precision in Ḥadīth and soundness in it, you will find them distinct from others and not near them [in rank?]- there is no doubt regarding that among the people knowledgeable in Ḥadīth since the soundness of the memorization of Mansūr, al-A’mash, and Ismā’īl, and their precision in Ḥadīth was well-known among [the people knowledgeable in Ḥadīth] and they were not aware of examples of that from Atā’, Yazīd, and Layth. Upon the same course as the above, when you weigh between the two levels like Ibn Awn and Ayyūb as-Sakhtiyānī with Awf ibn Abī Jamīlah and Ash’ath al-Humrānī- and all 4 are companions of al-Hasan and Ibn Sīrīn- there is disparity between the two groups. Between these two groups is a distance in terms of perfection of virtue and soundness of reporting even though Awf and Ash’ath are not repelled from [the status] of truthfulness and honesty according to Ahl ul-Ilm, rather the situation is as we described regarding their position. We only mentioned these examples by way of naming them specifically so that their examples might be an indication for whoever is ignorant of the path to return to understanding of Ahl ul-Ilm regarding the ranking of its people. Thus there is no shortchanging the men of elevated rank any amount of what is due his level, and there is no elevation of those who are lower any amount of knowledge above his position- and each who possesses the right is given his right and is settled in his rank. It has been mentioned on authority of Ā’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, that she said: ‘The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah upon him, ordered us to afford people their (rightful) positions according to what the Qur’ān states: {And above all who possess knowledge is another who is knowledgeable}[Yūsuf: 76] . Thus based on the example of what we mentioned [regarding the narrators of Hifẓ and Itqān, and narrations which lack excessive inconsistency or strong contradiction], we compiled what you asked for of [those kind] of reports on authority of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah upon him. As for anything of that wherein the people were charged [with some criticism] by the people of Ḥadīth, or by the majority of [the people of Ḥadīth], then we did not preoccupy ourselves with bringing forward their narrations, such as Abd Allah ibn Miswar Abī Ja’far il-Madā’inī, Amr bin Khālid, Abd il-Quddūs ash-Shāmī, Muhammad ibn Sa’īd il-Maslūb, Ghiyāth ibn Ibrāhīm, Sulaymān bin Amr Abī Dāwud an-Nakha’ī, and those like them whereof they were accused of fabricating narrations and manufacturing reports; and like that are those whose narrations are dominated with Munkar, or mistakes- we withheld from their narrations as well. An indication of Munkar in the narration of a Muhaddith is when his transmission differs with the transmission of a Muhaddith from the people of memorization and acceptance, or does not agree with it when the two are compared. When the majority of a person’s narrations are like that, he is abandoned [Mahjūr] in Ḥadīth, and not accepted in it, and his narrations are not acted upon. The following are those Muhaddithīn who are among this group: Abd Allah ibn Muharrar, Yahyā bin Abī Unaysah, Al-Jarrāh bin ul-Minhāl Abūl-Atūf, Abbād bin Kathīr, Husayn bin Abd Illah ibn Ḍumayrah, Umar bin Suhbān, and those of the same type in terms of transmission of Munkar Ḥadīth. We did not pause upon their narrations or preoccupy ourselves with them due to the ruling of Ahl ul-Ilm. That which we are aware of from their school of thought in accepting what is singularly reported by a Muhaddith from the narrations is that (the Muhaddith) took part along with the trustworthy narrators from Ahl ul-Ilm wal-Hifẓ in transmitting some of what they transmitted, and [the Muhaddith] is predominantly in agreement with them; when one is found like that, then if he adds to [the transmission] anything not found with his companions, then his addition is accepted. As for those who you see resorting to the likes of az-Zuhrī due to his greatness, and due to the great number of his companions being among the precise Huffāẓ, [resorting to] his Ḥadīth and the Ḥadīth of those like him, or to the likes of Hishām ibn Urwah, then their Ḥadīth are extensively shared among Ahl ul-Ilm. The greater majority of their companions related their Ḥadīth in agreement with one another [with few having contradictions]. Thus to transmit from [Urwah and az-Zuhrī], or one of them, from among the multitude of Ḥadīth, what is not known among any of their companions, and [the Rāwī] is not of those who share in the Sahīh narrations [found] among them, then it is not allowed to accept the narrations of this category of people, and Allah knows best. We have explained from the school of Ḥadīth and its people some of what those who wish to traverse the path of [the Muhaddithīn] should aim for, and be guided towards. We will, if Allah wills, add to the explanation and clarification in another place in this book upon the mention of defective reports [Mu’allalah] when we come to it, in the places where explanation and clarification are appropriate, if Allah wills. And what follows: May Allah have mercy on you, if not for that which we saw of an evil act, largely from those who claim to be Muhaddithīn, in what they were supposed to adhere to when putting forward weak narrations and abominable transmissions and their neglect for the investigation of famous Sahīh narrations related by the trustworthy narrators, well-known for their truthfulness and honesty, after knowledge of them and affirmation with their tongues, that a great many of [weak and abominable narrations] which were cast towards heedless people are denounced and spoken of as not acceptable whereof the A’immah of the people of Ḥadīth criticized their transmissions- A’immah like Mālik ibn Anas, Shu’bat bin al-Hajjāj, Sufyān bin Uyaynah, Yahyā bin Sa’īd al-Qattān, Abd ir-Rahman ibn Mahdī, and other A’immah- then the establishment of what you asked for of distinction [between the types of Ḥadīth] and collection [of those which were Sahīh] would be easy for us. However on account of what we informed you of regarding the people’s circulation of abominable reports with weak, unknown chains, and their casting them towards the common people who are not aware of their defects, responding to what you asked became lighter upon our hearts.

REFERENCE:

sahih al muslim 2: Chapter 1, Hadith 1

READ HADITH 1 WITH ARABIC

(2) The Obligation of Transmitting on Authority of Trustworthy Narrators and Abandoning the Liars

Know - may Allah, exalted is He, grant you success – that what is obligatory upon everyone who is aware of the distinction between the Sahīh transmissions and their weak, the trustworthy narrators from those who stand accused, is to not transmit from them except what is known for the soundness of its emergence and the protection of its narrators; and that they fear what may be from those accused (of deficiency in narrating) and the stubborn people of innovation. The proof that what we have said is required above what opposes it is in the verse: {Oh you who believe! If a sinful person comes to you with news, then verify it lest you afflict people through ignorance then you become sorry about what you did}[al-Hujurāt: 6]; and the verse: {… from whom you are pleased with from the witnesses}[al-Baqarah: 282] and the verse: {And let two who possess integrity among you bare witness}[at-Talāq: 2]. Thus it demonstrates what we mentioned from these two verses that the report of the sinful is dropped and not accepted, and that the testimony [Shahādah] of one who does not possess integrity is rejected, and the report [Khabar] as well- even though its significance is separated from the meaning of testimony in some respects, they are in agreement regarding the overall conditions they share since the report of the sinful is not acceptable according to Ahl ul-Ilm just as his testimony is rejected according to all of them . The Sunnah demonstrates the prohibition of transmitting abominable transmissions just as in the example from the Qur’ān regarding the prohibition of the report of the sinful. There is a famous narration on authority of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah upon him, that: ‘Whoever relates on my authority a narration while aware that it is a lie, then he is one of the liars’ . Abū Bakr ibn Abī Shaybah narrated it to us that Wakī narrated to us, on authority of Shu’bah, on authority of al-Hakam, on authority of Abd ir-Rahman ibn Abī Laylā, on authority of Samurah bin Jundab. And also Abū Bakr ibn Abī Shaybah narrated to us, that Wakī narrated to us, on authority of Shu’bah and Sufyān, on authority of Habīb, on authority of Maymūn ibn Abī Shabīb, on authority of al-Mughīrat ibn Shu’bah, they both said that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah upon him, said the same thing.

REFERENCE:

sahih al muslim 2: Chapter 1, Hadith 2

READ HADITH 2 WITH ARABIC

(3)

Abū Bakr ibn Abī Shaybah narrated to us that Ghundar narrated to us, on authority of Shu’bah; and Muhammad bin ul-Muthannā and Ibn Bashār both narrated to us, they said: Muhammad bin Ja’far narrated to us, Shu’bah narrated to us, on authority of Mansūr, on authority of Rab’iy ibn Hirāsh, that he heard Alī, may Allah be pleased with him, giving a Khutbah and he said that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah upon him, said: ‘Do not lie upon me; indeed whoever lies upon me will enter the Fire’.

REFERENCE:

sahih al muslim 2: Chapter 1, Hadith 3

READ HADITH 3 WITH ARABIC

(4)

Zuhayr bin Harb narrated to me, Ismā’īl, rather, Ibn Ulayyah narrated to us, on authority of Abd il-Azīz ibn Suhayb, on authority of Anas bin Mālik, that he said: ‘Indeed what prevents me from relating to you a great number of Ḥadīth is that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah upon him, said: ‘Whoever intends to lie upon me, then let him take his seat in the Fire.’

REFERENCE:

sahih al muslim 2: Chapter 1, Hadith 4

READ HADITH 4 WITH ARABIC

(5)

Muhammad bin Ubayd il-Ghubarī narrated to us, Abū Awānah narrated to us, on authority of Abī Hasīn, on authority of Abī Sālih, on authority of Abū Hurayrah, he said, the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah upon him, said: ‘Whoever lies upon me intentionally, then let him take his seat in the Fire’.

REFERENCE:

sahih al muslim 2: Chapter 1, Hadith 5

READ HADITH 5 WITH ARABIC

(6)

Muhammad bin Abd Allah ibn Numayr narrated to us, my father narrated to us, Sa’īd bin Ubayd narrated to us, Alī bin Rabī’ah narrated to us, he said: ‘I arrived at the Masjid and al-Mughīrah, the Amīr of al-Kūfah said: ‘I heard the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah upon him, saying, ‘Indeed a lie upon me is not like a lie upon anyone else, for whoever lies upon me intentionally, then he shall take his seat in the Fire’.’ ’

REFERENCE:

sahih al muslim 2: Chapter 1, Hadith 6

READ HADITH 6 WITH ARABIC

(7)

Alī bin Hujr as-Sa’dī narrated to us, Alī bin Mushir narrated to us, Muhammad bin Qays il-Asadī informed us, on authority of Alī ibn Rabī’at al-Asadī, on authority of al-Mughīrat ibn Shu’bah, on authority of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah upon him a similar narration, however he did not mention the words ‘Indeed a lie upon me is not like a lie upon anyone else’.

REFERENCE:

sahih al muslim 2: Chapter 1, Hadith 7

READ HADITH 7 WITH ARABIC

(8)

Ubayd Allah bin Mu’ādh al-Anbarī narrated to us, my father narrated to us; and Muhammad bin ul-Muthannā narrated to us, Abd ur-Rahman bin Mahdī both narrated to us: Shu’bah narrated to us, on authority of Khubayb bin Abd ir-Rahman, on authority of Hafs bin Āsim, on authority of Abī Hurayrah, he said, the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah upon him, said: ‘It is enough of a lie for a man to narrate everything he hears’.

REFERENCE:

sahih al muslim 2: Chapter 1, Hadith 8

READ HADITH 8 WITH ARABIC

(9)

Abū Bakr bin Abī Shaybah narrated to us, Alī bin Hafs narrated to us, Shu’bah narrated to us, on authority of Khubayb bin Abd ir-Rahman, on authority of Hafs bin Āsim, on authority of Abī Hurayrah, on authority of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah upon him, the same as that.

REFERENCE:

sahih al muslim 2: Chapter 1, Hadith 9

READ HADITH 9 WITH ARABIC

(10)

Yahyā bin Yahyā narrated to us, Hushaym informed us, on authority of Sulaymān at-Taymī, on authority of Abī Uthmān an-Nahdī, he said, Umar bin ul-Khattāb, may Allah be pleased with him, said: ‘It is enough of a lie for a man that he narrates everything he hears’.

REFERENCE:

sahih al muslim 2: Chapter 1, Hadith 10

READ HADITH 10 WITH ARABIC

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