Presentation on theme: "Discipline of Hadith (Sayings of Prophet Muhammad)"— Presentation transcript:
Discipline of Hadith (Sayings of Prophet Muhammad)
DISCLAIMER The contents of this presentation are basically what Sadi & Achmad had gathered and learned when attending AIT Module 1 class, in Fall 2010 at Islamic Center Southern California, by Dr. Maher specifically in regards to a session about Hadiths and his book ISLAM 2.0. Additionally, weve also included other material from different resources such as a Usool al- Hadeeth book by Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips and other. Nevertheless, we have tried to do our best in making this presentation to the best of our knowledge at the time of writing. Thus we apologize if we accidentally share erroneous personal opinions or understanding of the subject as it would certainly be because of our own shortcomings. Should there be some coincidental benefit from this presentation from any of us, it would most definitely be because of God (Allah, the True Sustainer) instead of the host/presenter.
Issues Identified 1)Lack of knowledge about the discipline of hadith. 2)Reckless quoting of hadith without authentication, verification or awareness of context. 3)Intellectual chaos, the manipulation of the masses, and the intimidation of open-minded thinkers. 4)Unfounded use of hadith with personal ambitions, political goals or ideological agendas to pick and choose hadith that will serve their purposes, and recruit and indoctrinate youth followers. 5)Non Muslims encounter of outrageous and bizarre narratives of hadith leads to bad impression of Islam. (Often the revealed verses of the Qur'an and the reported versions of hadiths are quoted on the internet concurrently or simultaneously. Internet surfers are not necessarily educated to know that these two separate "texts" are independent of one another.)
Goal of the Discussion 1)To demystify the subject of hadith. 2)To protect us from being misled or exploited. 3)To provide background knowledge of the historical facts behind the compilation of the Hadith. 4)In-depth critical study to defend True Islam from being damaged and distorted. 5)Provide the opportunity and encouragement to those who would like to pursue further studies on the subject.
What is the definition of Hadith? 1)Arabic meaning is Modern or Contemporary. Opposite of Ancient. 2)It also means News or Talking. 3)In Islamic literature it means the saying of prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Nevertheless, in Hadith also used in Quran
What is the definition of Hadith? Continue…. Nevertheless, the term Hadith has been used in Quran as well. There are 3 categories are the most notable usages in Holy Quran. It has been used to mean: 1.The Quran itself, and hadith. i.e. Q.S. Al-Qalam 44: [..فَذَرْنِي وَمَن يُكَذِّبُ بِهَـٰذَا الْحَدِيثِ ۖ] -- Then leave Me alone [OMuhammad] with those who reject this communication: 2.A historical story. i.e. Q.S. Thaaha 9: [ وَهَلْ أَتَاكَ حَدِيثُ مُوسَى ] -- Has the story of Moses reached you 3.A general Conversation. i.e. Q.S. At-Tahriim 3: […وَإِذْ أَسَرَّ النَّبِيُّ إِلَىٰ بَعْضِ أَزْوَاجِهِ حَدِيثً] -- When the Prophet confided in one of his wives….
Difference between Quran and Hadith Qudsi 1) Quran is verbatim word of Allah to prophet through Angel Jibraeel. Quran starts with Surah Fatihah and ends with Surah Naas.Quran was written at the time of prophet Muhammad. As it was revealed it was dictated. It was verified in house of Hafsa and compiled in the form of book at the time of Omar Ibn Khateeb. Quran is protected from any distortion by Almighty God himself. [15:9] Absolutely, we have revealed the reminder, and, absolutely, we will preserve it. 2) Hadith Qudsi is the word of God revealed to prophet through the language of Prophet. Qudsi does not necessarily mean it is confirmed or authentic. It can also be forgery, or its Isnad are questionable. It is not stated that Hadith is also protected from distortion by Almighty.
History of Hadith in Prophets Time 1) Interestingly we have a documented Hadith that states that Prophet said not to write Hadith which is in the most reliable sources of Hadith. The Prophet said, "Do not write down anything from me except the Quran." [Ahmed, Vol. 1, Page 171, and Sahih Muslim] Ibn Saeed Al-Khudry reported that the messenger of God had said: The Prophet said, "Do not write anything from me EXCEPT QURAN. Anyone who wrote anything other than the Quran shall erase it."
History of Hadith in the time of Prophet(pbuh) The speculated reasons are: 1. High rate of illiteracy. People were illiterate at the time and writing loses its value. 2. To prevent any diversion from the Quran or any mix up with the gradually trickling revelation and not have 2 texts to follow. There was no standard at the time to write Context of the Hadith. 3. Except in the case for Abdullah amr Ibn As & Ali inn Abi Thalib. These 2 people are allowed to write hadith by the Prophet because the Prophet knows that these 2 people will not get the sayings of the Prophet SAW (personal statements) mixed up with the Quranic Revelations (Gods statements sent down from on high to the Prophet by His Almightys courier the angele Gabriel).
History of Hadith in the time of Companions All of the 4 caliphs (30 years after prophet) refused to record the Hadith. Strict even in verbal narration of Hadith and required 2 witnesses to verify the Hadith. It was not until the Caliph Omar Ibn Abdelaziz year Hijri year that he decided collecting and writing of hadith for the integrity of the teachings, and in the face of inaccuracies and outright forgery.
History of Hadith in the time of Successors After the companions of prophet there was a gush of recording of Hadith by Successors which lacked Organization and Verification. Some 250 years after the fact, some efforts were made to separate the sayings of the Prophet (pbuh) from other sayings by the following scholars: - Al Boukhary died year 256H/870AD. – Sahih Bukhari - Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj died year 261H/875AD. – Sahih Muslim - Al-Tirmidhi died 279H/892AD. – Jami al-Tirmidhi - Abu Dawood died year 275 H/888AD. – Sunan Abu Dawood - Ibn Majah died year 273 H/887AD. – Sunan Ibn Majah - Al Nisaie died year 303 H/915AD. – Sunan al-Sughra The above Compilers of Hadiths and their works are known in the Sunni Muslims Circle as the 6 Canonical Collections (as-Sihah as-Sittah; The Sound Six)
Number of Hadith The number of hadiths collected and attributed to the prophet Muhammed is in the hundreds of thousands, as much as 700,000. As much as 99% of all these hundreds of thousands hadiths were rejected by the early Muslim scholars who thought they can not figure out which hadith is authentic and which is not. The ranking of Hadith below is based on the number quoted by each person: 1. Abu Hurayra 'Aysha Umm al-Mu'minin Umar Ibn al-Khattab Ali Ibn Abi Talib Abu Bakr al-Siddiq 142 Compare the numbers of Hadiths given by Abu Baker by that of Abu Hurayra while keeping in mind that Abu Baker accompanied the Prophet for about 23 years, while Abu Hurayra accompanied the Prophet for less than 2 years.
Background on Abu Hurayra The most Hadith are quoted by Abu Hurayra. Abu Hurayra, came from Yemen in the seventh year of Hijra and converted to Islam from Judaism. He stayed in the company of the Prophet Muhammed less than two years. He narrated more than 5000 hadiths, actually 5374 hadiths, from this in less than two years company, (Compare this with the relatively few hadiths narrated by Aysha, Abu Baker, or Omar, for example, after very long company of the prophet). Most of his narrated hadiths are called the "Aahad" hadiths, i.e. hadiths only witnessed by one person, this one person was Abu Hurayra himself. Some of the Prophets companions (Sahaba) and Aysha, the Prophet's wife, accused him of being a liar, telling lies about the prophets just to make up hadiths and gain some status. Omar Ibn Al-Khattab, the second guided Khalifa threatened Abu Hurayra to send him to exile if he does not stop telling hadiths about Muhammed, he did stop until Omar's assassination then started again. Many of the hadiths that were narrated by Abu Hurayra contradict the other hadiths, including his own narrated hadiths, contradict the Quran and contradict common sense. Abu Hurayra is well known for his prejudice against the women and the dogs. He produced some of the most insulting hadiths to Muslim women, and hadiths that call for the killing of the dogs.
A saying erroneously attributed to the Prophet The following Question and Answer published in the October 1999 issue of a monthly Islamic Journal Renaissance tells us that the Symbols of Bad Luck attributed erroneously to the Prophet are not his views. Question: I read a Hadith which mentions that a house, horse and a woman are three things that could either prove good or bring bad luck for a man. Can you explain the meaning of this please? How can we label anything as a symbol of bad luck? Answer: …The Hadith you have mentioned has come in most of the major books of Hadith in the words near to the ones you have quoted. However, the following text of it contained in the sixth volume of Imam Ahmad Ibn Hambals Musnad presents the true picture in this regard: Abu-Hassan reports that two people came to Aishah and said to her that Abu Hurayrah narrates that the Prophet used to say that bad luck is to be found only in women, horses and houses. At this Aishah replied: By the God who revealed the Quran to the Prophet! The Prophet never said this; what he did say was that the People of the Jahilliyyah hold this opinion… It is evident from this text of the Hadith that this saying has been erroneously attributed to the Prophet (sws). He had actually quoted the views held by the people of Jahilliyyah (age of ignorance).
Background on Bukhary Al Boukhary is the compiler of Sahih Al Bukhari (al-Jami as-Saheeh).– This is the most famous and only Authentic source of Hadiths that he compiled. He also had many other compilations that are not thoroughly authentic. Bukhari has tested his collection of narrations genuineness based on his own canons of criticism. Some says that he only managed to find 9,082 hadiths out of some 600,000 narrations. However, if repetitions are excluded the actual number of hadiths goes down to about 2,062 hadiths. Nevertheless, it would be a mistake in Sahih Bukharis compilation to suppose that the each hadith in Sahih are free from defects. Rather, according to as-Suyooti, there are criticism showed that the hadiths in Sahih Bukhari were not mistaken or false but they did not just measure up to the high standard which Bukhari had set. Some muslims consider it more sacred after the Quran and some take it more important than Quran. For Example: In Egypt they swear by Bukhari and recite Bukhari in ships.
Two Schools of Thought Emerged Hadith or Sunnah is not needed. Hadith or Sunnah is needed.
Arguments of those who disapprove Hadith Hadith was not written or allowed to be written at the time of the Messenger or his companions. Quran stated its completeness and self-sufficiency. Say: "Allah's guidance is the (only) guidance and we have been directed to submit ourselves to the Lord of the worlds. Q. 6:71 The word hadith, with the meaning it is used is not categorically mentioned in the Quran. There was a lapse of nearly two centuries from the year of the death of the Prophet to the time when most of the hadiths were compiled. This time factor alone is enough to make one question the accuracy of the written hadiths. How can one verify an unwritten text years later? How can we claim that the memories of human beings did not slip away in the course of time ? "We have permitted the enemies of every prophet - human and jinn devils - to inspire in each other FANCY WORDS, in order to deceive. Had your Lord willed, they would not have done it. You shall disregard them and their FABRICATIONS. This is to let the minds of those who do not believe in the Hereafter listen to such FABRICATIONS, and accept them, and thus expose their real convictions. " [6: ]
Variations of the Same Hadith The farewell Pilgrimage of the Prophet Muhammed is a corner stone in the Muslim history. The Final Sermon given by the Prophet during this pilgrimage was witnessed by thousands of Muslims. There are however THREE versions of this sermon in the Hadiths books. This by itself reflects the degree of corruption of the Hadiths books as this is the most witnessed speech of the prophet Muhammed. First version that is used by Shiite Muslims: " I left for you what if you hold up to, you will never be misguided, the book of God and my Family. Muslim 44/4, Nu2408; Ibn Hanbal 4/366; darimi 23/1, nu Second version that is used by Sunni Muslims: "I left for you what if you hold up to, you will never be misguided, the book of God and my Sunnah". Muwatta, 46/3 Third version that is used by those who do not approve of Hadith: "I left for you what if you hold up to, you will never be misguided, the BOOK OF GOD." Muslim 15/19, nu 1218; Ibn Majah 25/84, Abu dawud 11/56.
Arguments of those who approve Hadith The Prophet (pbuh) is the primary expounder and interpreter of the Quran: a) Verily, in the Apostle of God you have a good example for everyone who looks forward (with hope and awe) to God and the Last Day, and remembers God unceasingly. (33:21) b) O you who have attained to faith! Pay heed unto God, and pay heed unto the Apostle and unto those from among you who have been entrusted with authority; and if you are at variance over any matter, refer it unto God and the Apostle, if you truly believe in God and the Last Day. This is the best for you and best in the end. (4:59)
Task of authentication and verification: Problematic it may be to decipher the whole package of what is true or false but we do not throw away the whole package. Refer to the disciplines and guidelines of authenticating and verification which are called Ilm Al Isnad i.e. the reference system of each hadith
HADITH MATN (Body of the Text) SANAD (Chain of Narrations) MARFOO OR MUSNAD (Elevated up to the Prophet) MAWQOOF (Stopped at the Companions) MAQTOO OR MURSAL (Stopped at the Successors)
Chains of narrators (Sanad) going back to the Prophet Muhammad (This is the most debated source of Islamic Law)
Category of Hadiths compilations in general 1.The first category belong the works chich are considered the most reliable. –Muwatta of Malik –Saheeh al-Bukhari –Saheeh Muslim –Saheeh Bukhari & Sahih Muslim include almost all traditions contained in the Muwatta of Malik. Thus, most major traditionist does not include it in the 6 Canonical Collections. Imam ash-Shafiee (Shafiee Madhab) declared the Muwatta Malik as the most authentic book after the Quran 2.The second category belong the works of the 4 Sunan works. –The tendency to associate some of the 4Sunan works with the 2 Saheehs appears to have begun sometime in the middle of the the Fourth Century of Islamic Calendar. 3.The third category belong such Musnads, Musannafs, and other collections as had been compiled before or after the Saheehs of Bukhari and Muslim. –Musnad of Abd ibn Humayd and Musnad at-Tayalisi –Musannaf of Abdur-Razzaq, Musannaf of Shaybah, and others. –However, these works contained reliable as well as unrealiable materials and had not been thoroughly examined by the traditionists or used as source texts in books of law and doctrine. 4.The fourth category contains collections of hadiths made by compilers who in later period collected traditions which were not found in the collections of the early anthologists. Much of such material was spurious. –The Musnad of al-Khwarizmi may be included in this category. 5. The fifth category are not generally established. However, some authorities chich contains traditions as are declared by the Muslim doctors to be unreliable and definitely forged with out doubt.
SANAD (Chain) Each hadith consists of two parts, i.e., sanad (chain of transmission) and matan (text), e.g. E.g. Said Who, To Who and who knows that he said it to the other person (Witness) and who said that these were witness (2nd Witness). Qutaybah Ibn Saeed informed us that: Sufyan reported to us on the authority of Zuhri, on the authority of Humayd... on the authority of Numan Ibn Bashir, that his father bestowed him a slave; thereupon he came to the Prophet (SAW) so as to make him a witness upon it. He (the Prophet ) asked: Have you bestowed (a slave each) to all of your children; he (Bashir) replied no. So he (the Prophet) asked (Bashir): take him (the slave) back. The first part of this hadith i.e., from Qutaybah Ibn Saeed informed us to Numan Ibn Bashir is sanad (pl. Isnad) and the second part, i.e., from that his father to take him (the slave) back. is matan. Isnad were used for the documentation and authentication of ahadith. Due to the fitnah (mischief) of the fabrication of ahadith, the hadith scholars were extremely careful about isnad. They had criticized and evaluated the transmitters without fear or favor. The Hadith of Companion or successors is not the source of legislation. The source of legislation is Quran and Hadith of Prophet only which is MUSNAD OR MARFOO.
Grading of SANAD The first categorization is if the Hadith can be Traced back to Prophet. The second categorization is the Continuity of the link of transmission. The third categorization is the Number of links
Continuity of the Link Manquatie (Any one link is missing) MUDEL PROBLEMATIC (Several Links are Missing) MOALLAQ (SUSPENDED) NO CHAIN
NUMBER OF LINKS IN THE TRANSMISSION MUTAWAATIR (Groups After Groups – continously recurrent) MUTAWAATIR BIL- LAFDH (Recurrent in Wording) Its extremely rare. I.e. the Hadith: Whoever lies about me (Prophet SAW) deliberately should take his seat in the Hell-Fire MUTAWAATIR BIL- MANA (Recurrent in meaning) hus, a large number of Hadith trasmitters concur in meaning but differ in wording or in forn are quiet frequent. i.e. Hadiths about rituals of formal prayer, Hajj, Fasting, Quantities of Zakah, etc. were witnessed by a large number of Companions. The most famous compilation of Mutawaatir Hadeeths is the al-Azhar al- Mutanaathirah by as- Suyooti. AHAD --- Sound-Fair-Weak-Forged (Singular – the narration of an individual) is a hadith in which the number of narrators at any level of Isnad do not reach anywhere near the minimum number for Mutawaatir hadeeths --about 10 people. 1 st Ahad Category. MASH-HOOR (Well- known) Minimum of 3 transmitter on every level of Isnad. Originally reported by one or more Prophets Companions. I.e. the Hadith: Allah will not take away knowledge from people by snatching it, but by taking away the scholars. 2 nd Ahad category AZEEZ (Strong/rare) Minimum of 2 transmitters on every level of Isnad. Some scholars did not distinguish between Mash-hoor and Azeez, nor produce any work dedicated to compiling Azeez narrations primarily because there was no significant benefit. I.e. the Hadith: None of you truly believes until I become dearer to him than his parents, his children, and all humankind. 3 rd category GHAREEB (Strange) A narration which has single transmitter on every level in the Isnad AFTER the Prophets Companions as the narrator. Some scholar such as Ibn Hajar used the term Fard as synonym for Ghareeb, while others considered them to be a separate classifications Ghareeb Sub Category 1: GHAREEB MUTLAQ / FARD MUTLAQ. A Hadidth inchich the single narrator is at the beginning of the Sanad, that is, it is narrated by a single Compainion from the Propthet SAW. i.e. the Hadith: Indeed deeds are judged according to their intentions. Ghareeb Sub-Category 2: GHAREEB NISBI (Relatively Single) A hadith in which the single narrator in the levels AFTER the Companions level. Thus, more than one Companions narrated it, but in at least 1 level of narrators, it was related by a single narrator. Plausible reasons: The Single narrator who is graded reliable (Thiqah) A specific single narrator from another specific single narrator. Single narrations from people of a specific town/region. Narrations by a peopleof a specific area from other people of a specific area
MATAN (Text) People have critiqued SANAD but ignored critique of MATAN of Hadith. Out of their piety they did not want to take a risk of critiquing MATAN because they thought it might be true. We should be able to critique MATAN as well because we should know that the text is leading to something good or not. 106 Imam Al Ghazali (who died at year 1111 AD) stated that a hadith could be rejected if the matn contradicts Quran or more authentic hadith. Imam Al Soyouti : If you encounter a hadith contrary to reason or to an established correctly accepted principle, you should know that it is forged.
Ranking of Hadith Saheeh i.e. Sound, which means that according to the criteria set by the specific compiler Hasan i.e. the chain is fair, good enough, but not perfect. Dhaeif i.e. weak, i.e. members of the chain are unreliable. Maudu i.e. forgery.
Litmus Test of SANAD of Hadith Part of the criteria is to look for Hadith that are ranked Saheeh (sound) AND that are MARFOOOR MUSNAD (Elevated up to the prophet) AND with NO LINK MISSING AND that are Mutawatir (Narrated by groups after groups). We should also know that the number of Mutwatir Hadith are also disputed from zero to close to dozen. The Hadith should always pass the filter of Quran AND the filter of the Mutawatir on the same subject.
Criteria to doubt certain Hadiths If it is against common experience. If it contradicts the Quran, the mutawatir hadith or the consensus of the scholars. If it is relayed by a single individual while the event is claimed to be witnessed by many, yet they did not relay the same hadith. If the hadith mentions severe punishment for a simple mistake, or it promises a big reward for an insignificant good deed.
Other criteria for hesitating to accept a Hadith: Rendering superior values to certain portions of the Quran. Superior virtues and values of persons or places. Prophecies of the future especially if there are specific times or dates. Things that are not befitting the personality of the Prophet or his character. Less than perfect Arabic language The mentality of taking Hadith with the possibility that it might be true has led us in trouble. The scientist of Hadith say that Hadith should be narrated as prophet said.
Examples of Contradicting Hadith Contradiction with Quran: - Quran on Future Say: "The Unseen is only for Allah (to know)..."Quran 10:20 Say: "As to the knowledge of the time, it is with Allah alone:I am but a plain warner. Q. 67:26 Say: I am no new thing among the messengers (of Allah), nor know I what will be done with me or with you. Q.46:9 - Hadith on Future Narrated by Abdullah ibn Busr The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: The time between the great war and the conquest of the city (Constantinople) will be six years, and the Dajjal (Antichrist) will come forth in the seventh. Hadith Number 4283 Narrated by Muadh ibn Jabal The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: The greatest war, the conquest of Constantinople and the coming forth of the Dajjal (Antichrist) will take place within a period of seven months.Hadith Number Quran about God: "... There is nothing like Him,..." 42:11 And when Moses asked to see Him, God told him that he cannot see Him. 7:143 - Hadith by Bukhari about God: (1) God appears to His believers and that they see Him as they see the FULL MOON. Bukhary.
Examples of Contradicting Hadith Punishment for adultery: –Al-Bukhari: 8.816; –Al-Qur'an: 24:2; 24:5-9 Extremely adverse comments supposedly made by the Prophet against women: –Al-Bukhari: 1.301; 7.30; 1.490; –Muslim 1032, 1034; –Abu Daud 703 –Al-Qur'an 2.223; 4.19; 16.97; 33.35; 48:5-6 To approach women during their menses, for sexual purposes: –Al-Bukhari: 1.298; –Al-Qur'an: Aspects of character ascribed to the Prophet: –Al-Bukhari: 7.590; 7:252/253/254; The circumstances under which and when the parts of Qur'an were supposedly to have been revealed: –Al-Bukhari: 6.209; –Al-Qur'an: 11:114; 11:5 Celestial Science: –Al-Bukhari: –Al-Qur'an: 36:38 The companions of the Prophet: –Al-Bukhari: –Al-Qur'an: 48:29; 8:63 Can anyone intercede on our behalf: –Al-Bukhari: & 571; 1.98; 1.331; 5.224; –Muslim 389, 747, 2071, 2516 –Al-Qur'an: 39.44; 2.254/255; 25.30; 2.48 &123; 6.51/70/94; 9.114; 7.188; 7.53; ; 30.13; 34.23; 11.46; 46.9; 36.23; 40:18; 43.86; 74.48; 111.1/3; 35.14; 10.3; 19.87; ; 21.28
Examples of Outrageous Hadith Hadith Insulting Prophet: –In Bukhary's Sahih, section of "Ghussull" (Washing after intercourse), the Hadith tells that the prophet Muhammed was to have intercourse with his wives, 11 of them, within one hour, day or night. And that he was given the sexual power of 30 men. What does this have to do with "WORSHIP GOD ALONE" Did the prophet Muhammed has anything else to do other than spending the time taking care of his wives ?
Example of Hadith Supporting Quran Hadith 9:477 quoted below tells us that the Prophet did not have the knowledge of the unseen. Narrated by Masruq: Aisha said, `If anyone tells you that Muhammad has seen his Lord, he is a liar, for Allah says: No vision can grasp Him. [Q.6:103] And if anyone tells you that Muhammad has seen the Unseen, he is a liar, for Allah says: "None has the knowledge of the Unseen but Allah."
Sunnah Sunnah is the Established Practice of prophet Muhammad. It is how prophet did things. Prophet Muhammad lived in the capacity of prophet for 23 years. According to Arabic Lexicographers it means a way, a course; a rule; a manner of acting; or a conduct of life
Sunnah or Hadith ??? The term Hadith has become synonym for the term Sunnah. This is due to Sunnah as a technical term in Science of Hadith, refers to whatever statements, acts approvals, physical or character descriptions that are attributeable to Prophet along with his prophethood. It is thus synonymous with the term Hadith. However, according to Usool al-Fiqh science (legal methodology), Sunnah refers to only the statements, acts, and approvals of the Prophet SAW. It is also refers to whatever is supported by evidence from the Shariah; which is the opposite of bidah (innovation in faith). In the legalistic science of Fiqh, the term Sunnah refers to recommended acts authentically attributeable to the Prophet SAW; where whoever does it (the doer) is rewarded and whoever does not do it (the non-doer) is not punished nor incur sin. Sunnah is also used to refer to the opposite of bidah. According to its general definition, the Quran is the most important part of the Sunnah conveyed by the prophet SAW. It may also be said that the hadiths were the containers in which the Sunnah of the Prophet SAW was conveyed during his lifetime and his death.
Sunnah and Hadith Sunnah means the prophetic ways, traditions and orders that have become models to follow by his followers. It is erroneous to interchange the word Hadith with Sunnah or vice versa. There are several hadiths that have nothing in the least to do with the traditions of the prophet. It is not correct to contend that the Sunnah of the Prophet has been communicated to the Ummah by the Hadith literature alone. Historically, the Hadith literature that is in circulation, was non-existent for the first few centuries of Islam. The Prophets example has been mostly communicated through the practical examples of the living and practicing Muslim communities. A question asked over and over again by the traditionalists is: How else would I have known how to recite my ritual prayers and how many rakats to recite for each prayer, if not through the compiled Hadith literature, since the Quran is silent on these issues? The obvious response would be; In the same manner it was known to the Muslim community for more than two centuries before the compilation of the Hadith literature. If one were to stand up before a congregation in any mosque and ask: When and how did the worshippers learn to recite their ritual prayers?. The majority of the Jamaati members would probably answer: i. At an early age when he or she had not or could not read the books of hadiths. ii. In their own homes from the family members or in the Madressahs (religious schools) from the teachers. The reality is that the majority of the Sunnahs of the Prophet have been communicated to the society through the examples of living Muslims.
Types of Sunnah Non-Legal Sunnah (Not meant to be followed) Natural Human Activities of Prophet Empiric knowledge or Personal/social habit or Custom Actions relating to specific circumstances or Situations Legal Sunnah (Meant to be followed) General LegislationSpecific Legislation
Critique on Sunnah Words of Sheikh Yusuf al Qaradawi in his epilogue to his book on the Prophetic sunna: The sunna is in need of new explanatory works to bring forth its truths and clarify what is unclear and to correct the collective understanding and to rebut the falsehoods, written in their current language and the paradigm of this age. The Quran has garnered in our age, as is its right, the attention of great scholars, who have devoted themselves to its tafsir (interpretation) and the bringing forth of its gems and essence, addressing the modern mind, with what has been made available to them of new facts and knowledge, allowing them to enter the minds and the hearts from the widest of doors. We have seen this in the tafsirs of Muhammad Rashid Rida, Jamal al Din al Qasimi, Al Tahir ibn Ashur, Abi alAla Maududi, Sayyid Qutb and Mahmud Shaltut and others. The books of sunna, and particularly the two Sahihs, have no explanatory works from the likes of these giants who combine authenticity and modernization and hopefully God will inspire some of the great expositors to write works of commentary and explanation of the Sahihs of the two sheikhs Bukhari and Muslim, a contemporary scholarly explanation. In this way, Islamic scholarship will be served a great service. And the last of our supplication is All Praise be to God, the Lord of the Worlds.
Conclusion Our problem now is that people are bankrupt at the level of Quran and Wealthy at the level of Hadith unless we change our focus. Most of the Hadith books have single chain Hadith. Mutwattor Hadith are disputed. One scholar narrated the Muttwattar Hadith to be 16 and some expanded it to be 120 Muttawatir. As soon as the Muslims deserted the Quran in favor of the Hadiths and Sunna books, their true Islam was corrupted beyond belief and their practice of Islam today is but a reflection of the Islam of the Scholars like Bukhary, Moslem, Nesaay, Termethy, Abu-Daoud...etc. and not a reflection of the Islam (Submission) presented to us by the Prophet Muhammed.