Sunday, May 31, 2009

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Signs of Success

Chapter Sixteen

This will only become clear after a period of time. Unless you have insight then you may be able to tell in a short space of time. You will find the circumstances around your studies easy in that there is not excessive hardship.

Although this is not the only sign. The greatest sign will be when your teacher answers your question without you asking it. The question may be from a question that you may or may not have got the answer for or from a question you are about to ask. This is an amazing sign and if you get it with a particular teacher then stick to that teacher for as long as possible.

There are other signs like you may come across books that no one else has or that you’ll answer a question without realising you knew the answer! Sometimes you may find a book with much blessings and this book was meant to be found by you. Sometimes you may be asked something that you once knew but could not recall then the question is asked and out comes the answer!

Or you may find the time spent studying with a scholar; more beneficial than other times that you study. When you see some signs be thankful for the endless graces of Allah (mighty and majestic) and keep studying.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Chapter Fifteen

Knowledge is the most important thing that you’ll do in your life; you have to treat it like that. You have to give it, its right, it is truth and you have to ready to carry it to people but most of all yourself. Learn the basics, everything that you need everyday, and then affirm yourself in it, until you know it well.

Know that you have to study to get somewhere and you have to keep studying in order to get to your destination. When you know it enough you must teach even just to one person and don’t every turn anyone down.

You must leave things that take you away from knowledge or knowledge will leave you, it’s that simple. You must devote yourself to knowledge it must be your only concern and all your concerns.

People of knowledge need to be sincere in obtaining knowledge, not for show or grandiose or to win arguments or elevate yourself in front of others. It has to be solely for Allah and to revive the religion in yourself first; through the means of practice.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Character with other students

Chapter Thirteen

This is something that I have the most difficulty with. I am struggling to implement this myself.

You may be studying with the teacher in a small group or a large group either way, be aware of the needs of those around you. Some of them may know more than you and they may also know less but realise their intention may make them excel faster and quicker than you.

You might hear a question, from them, asked that you can answer, should remain silent and allow the teacher to answer. Take note of the answer; as you will always get more from the teacher. If you answer the question then you loose the chance to learn more, you know the answer but the teacher may give you more details that you did not know. So, now you can add more details to your answer.

If you know more than the students around you, you should let them have the floor for questions, prefer them to yourself for questions. When they have asked their questions and then ask yours especially if they have benefit. Sometimes you may know that asking a certain question will benefit those around you so ask that question.

You should let them finish and not interrupt their voices or questions, allow them time. If you know more then you should not be overbearing in the class as this will have a negative effect on the class. This may even cause people to leave the class as they can get easily disenchanted, when the subject is difficult.

You should give and return Salams and not show arrogance, as it will destroy you, internally and externally. Be kind to them and help them in their studies, if you are asked a question then answer and thank Allah Subhanu wa ta’ala, for sending someone to confirm your knowledge.

Help your fellow student as much as you are able to do so and do not see any action as small for them.

Do not be so arrogant as not to ask them for clarification, as they may have caught what you missed.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Instructions of the teacher

Chapter Fourteen

You should try your up most to follow through on any instructions that the teacher has given you. They want the best for you and you can get benefit from things that you may not have initially seen.

If the teacher tells you to do something disliked or Haram, if its haram you should not do it and re-consider your decision to study with him. If its disliked it may be minor or major, avoid if major.

If the teacher says something once you could be forgiven for forgetting and if he repeats it then, you must follow up. He/She is stressing the importance of this, try the action at least once but this action should not upset anyone, nor should cause discomfort to anyone. For example praying Tahajjud, try it but if they say something unreasonable then leave it.

If it's to revise or repeat something, repeat or revise the lesson as much as you can, this can only bring benefit.

One important note is that the scholar will be able to know what's best for the student and this will mean to avoid certain books. Purely because if you read a certain book it may confuse your current knowledge. The example of this is a student of the Shafi school reading texts which include Hanafi rules he may not be able to distinguishing them. This could cause the student to mix between the schools without knowing.

So listen to the teacher and pay attention.

If he does scold you on an issue then do not repeat it and correct yourself.

Monday, May 18, 2009

“A Muslim slave is better than a polytheist.”

“A Muslim slave is better than a polytheist.”
Quran - the Heffer 2:221

The prohibition of the female Muslim marring the non Muslim male is not about actions alone. The belief of Muslim is better that the non Muslim on any day of the week and on the most important day, the last day.

One of the principles of the sacred law is that it protects lineage and religion. A Muslim woman who marries a non Muslim man risks losing her religion and the religion of the child. A child that is brought into this environment can be nothing but mixed up and this could lead to disbelief.
This is not about being far or equality because men are allowed but look at the results. Many Muslim men who marry non-Muslim women have lost their children to disbelief.

Faith is the most important factor here and there cannot be any skating around the issue. If a Muslim woman marries a non-Muslim male then this is a major sin. As long as she does not believe that what she is doing is permissible then she is still a Muslim but if she says it is permissible then she has left Islam.

We have reached a time where there are many single female Muslims and do not forget that there are many single male Muslims.

A Muslim man has to respect the religion of his non-Muslim wife, he believes in her Prophet, Moses, Jesus and Yahya (upon them all peace). He respects her book and he has to by sacred law to pay for her daily needs: food, housing etc. A non-Muslim man on other hand doesn't believe in her Prophet or religion. So he could cause her to loss in her religious action. For example he might prevent her fasting because he doesn't like it or he might stop her praying. He may also refuse to pay for any of her daily needs; he is not obliged to do this. A person may find a non Muslims character better than a Muslims but what they have to bear in mind is that the non Muslim belief is what is important. Also do you want that person to be with you in paradise? Ask them to accept Islam even if it is just verbally.

The non Muslim female is able to complain to a shariah council because of her Muslim husband but neither the non Muslim or the Muslim wife (married together) have recourse in a shariah court of law as their marriage is not valid.

Also, how do they deal with the issues when a non-Muslim wants to bring alcohol and pork into the home? How can children be protected from these? When they see their parents do haram would not this encourage them to do similar?

So the reason here is that the non-Muslim man cannot fulfil her rights either worldly or religiously. If he did then he would be Muslim. This is in order to protect the woman from harm.

All this is academic because Allah (mighty and majestic) has stated in the Quran that:

"Do not marry unbelieving women (idolaters), until they believe: A slave woman who believes is better than an unbelieving woman, even though she allures you. Nor marry (your girls) to unbelievers until they believe: A man slave who believes is better than an unbeliever, even though he allures you. Unbelievers do (but) beckon you to the Fire. But God beckons by His Grace to the Garden (of bliss) and forgiveness, and makes His Signs clear to mankind: That they may celebrate His praise.”
The Heffer 2:221

The Quranic passage is clear marry a disbeliever and you are approaching the fire whilst God is calling you to paradise.

At the same time I do have a lot of sympathy for single brothers and sisters but we cannot sell ourselves short. A partner from the Indo - pak world, despite all their apparent problems, is better than a disbeliever. Although, this is a secondary option that must be considered.

Most important of all we should not sit here and debate the Quran - this is prohibited for people to do. If there is an unclear meaning then we go to the scholars but what we do not need to do this seen as the meaning is clear.

Please note we cannot abrogate a ruling of the Quran as this is God's ruling for us. What would we be if we ignore this ruling? Who are we following then? The whims of our caprices?

If you are a Muslim lady in this situation then ask your husband to convert even if he just says it verbally and does not act on it. This will change your whole situation and if he will not convert to save your marriage then was he worth it in the first place?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sheikh Atabek Shukurov


“Do not backbite each other, would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother?” (49:12)

“Woe betide every backbiter, derider.” (104:1)

Backbiting is defined as mentioning someone in a way that they would not like. You have to mention their name or the person who you are talking about has to know who you are talking about; if they do not know who you are talking about then it is not backbiting.
(Some of the scholars say if that person was behind you and heard what you had to say, would it hurt him? If it does then it is backbiting.)

We should stay away from backbiting because there is a hadith/prophetic narration when the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) when he saw people cutting themselves with cooper nails during the heavenly ascent.

Other hadith/prophetic narration

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Do you know what backbiting is?”
They said: “Allah and His Messenger know best.”
He said: “It is to mention about your brother something that he would dislike having mentioned about him.”
Someone asked, “O Messenger of Allah! What do you say if what you said about him was true?”
He replied: “If what you said about him is true, then you have backbitten him. If what you said about him is false, then you have slandered him.” [Muslim (2589)]

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Whoever can guarantee to me what is between his two lips and what is between his two legs, I can guarantee for him Paradise.” [al-Bukhârî (6474)]

Backbiting is a major sin in Islam, Haram/prohibited – it is punished for and cause punishment in the grave.

Some scholars say backbiting is worse than illegal fornication/Zina because if someone commits Zina then it’s between them and Allah (mighty and majestic) but backbiting is between you and others

It is not permissible to listen to backbiting, the listener is like the speaker

What situations allow you to backbite?
1. When someone has harmed you and are complaining to someone about your problem but this is with the condition that you are talking to someone who can stop it. i.e. Authorities.
2. To someone who can order that person to stop, such as a scholar
3. To advise a student that to study with a scholar but this is only about what directly affects the student.
4. When you are asked about someone to warn them (to marry or do business with).
5. To call someone by a name that comes from a defect in him but he does not mind
6. About a bad person who sins openly

The Reasons for backbiting are many:
1. Pride
2. A group think they are better than another
3. To jest
4. Envy
5. Debase


If you hear someone backbiting then you must:
1. stop them or leave them
2. reject it in your heart – if you remain sat there

Part of repentance from backbiting is to pray for that person (this will remove the sickness from the heart)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Sheikh Hamza Yusuf

The Perfect path parts one to five

Avenzoar or Ibn Zuhr (1091–1161)

Spanish Muslim surgeon.

Admired by contemporaries, his work advanced the practice of surgery in both the Muslim and Christian worlds. Avenzoar approached medicine in a practical manner and his works included advice on diet as well as information on surgical and medical treatments. He described the role of the oesophagus, pericarditis (inflammation of the sac surrounding the heart), tracheotomy (surgical opening of the windpipe), and procedures for the removal of cataracts in the eyes and kidney stones. He also discovered the parasite for scabies, a contagious skin infection, and described treatments for inner ear infection and tumours.

Avenzoar's Kitab al‐Taisir fi al‐Mudawat wa al‐Tadbir/Practical Manual of Treatments and Diet and Kitab al‐Aghziya/Book on Foodstuffs were translated into Latin in the late 13th century and used in European universities until the 18th century.

Avenzoar studied at the University of Córdoba in Spain before spending time in the great medical centres of Baghdad and Cairo. He later worked for the rulers of Muslim Spain. Unlike many of his contemporaries Avenzoar required proof in all things and did not just accept the ideas of classical theorists such as Galen, whose beliefs were widely considered infallible. A number of his anatomical discoveries were made through dissections of the human body, although this work was limited as it was forbidden under Islamic law.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Cries of the Seagulls

One of the most exhilarating and inspiring moments of Islamic history, outside the prophetic period and what followed it, is the conquering of the city of Constantinople. This event marks the beginning of the Ottoman expansion into Europe.

It comes also as welcome relief to readers of history, as on the other side of Europe, the Spanish caliphate is flickering like a candle about to go out. So this event occurs as Islam is setting on one part of Europe and dawning on the other side. The Ottoman Sultan Muhammad or Mehmet, as the Turks say, heard the narration about the conqueror Constantinople, "Verily, you shall conquer Constantinople. What a wonderful leader will he be, and what a wonderful army will that army be!" Imam Ahmed. (please see )

He was a young man at this point and when he conquered the city he was only twenty one years old! One of the first things he did was to change the Hagia Sofia into a masjid and ordered the call the prayer to be announced. The church was changed into a masjid and this continued for a nearly five hundred years until the Turkish republic changed it into a museum in 1935.

Since then it has been given to non-Muslims and they have removed the carpets, the decorations, most of the calligraphy and everything else. To the Muslims credit, they plastered over the pictures of Jesus (upon him peace) Yahya and other pictures. When they changed it into a masjid, they did not destroy what was previously there. This is a common feature in Islamic history, Muslims would use the best of the people that they came into contact with and used what the people were good at. They did not destory what they came into contact with.

The Byzantine researchers have removed almost everything that made it a masjid. It stands now as a cold building, devoid of life, devoid of a spirit, devoid of a soul. The only thing that remains in the masjid are the amazing wooden boards that have the divine name Allah (mighty and majestic), the name of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), the names of the four rightly guided khalifs, Hassan and Hussain (may Allah be pleased with them all) written on them.

The divine name is obscured by elaborate scaffolding that extents from the centre of the prayer area up to the main dome. As they chip through some of the most beautiful calligraphy that I have ever seen, in search of a picture of Mary the mother of Jesus.

In Spain, the masjid of Cordoba was changed into a church at the command of the Christian rulers after the removal of the final khalif in Spain.

I remembered the thoughts of a famous author who saw it and was repulsed by the injustice done by the work of the builders on the masjid. Nothing that the author wrote in his three hundred page book affected me like the paragraph he wrote on this. I knew if I ever went there that maybe I would feel the same repulsion but, at least, I would be prepared for it.

So it would not be a shock, I would have prepared myself. Nothing prepared me for what I saw in Hagia Sofia, every cell of my being was nauseated. One of the party who went with us and told us that it was turned into a museum, I did not believe them. When I saw this with my own eyes I was horrified. I knew that secularism was very deeply rooted into the Turkish experience but there are some lines that cannot be crossed. This was a line that had been crossed.

I knew that Kemal had cancelled so many things but after his death, other political parties came and changed a lot of things back to how they were. The main difference between the Hagia Sofia and the Masjid in Cordoba was the masjid was on land "re-conquered" and there was little we do about it. The Christian leaders had broke the agreement to allow the Muslims worship without hindrance and maintain their places of worship. The Hagia Sofia was given up, here you go, you want it? You can have it.

I could understand if it was a non Muslim country but in a Muslim country, I could not except it.

The following narration gave me much needed solace. Abu Hurayra reports that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, ''Have you heard of a town of which a part is in the sea?'' ''Yes.'' they said. He said, "The last hour shall not occur till 70,000 of the children of Ishaq shall attack it. When they come to it, they (Muslims) will not fight with arms, nor throw arrows. They will only say; There is no god but Allah, Allah is the greatest, and then on of its sides will fall down. They will recite for the second time : there is no god but Allah, Allah is the greatest, and then another of its side will fall down. After that they will say it for the third time: there is no god but Allah and Allah is the greatest, and then it will be opened for them and they will enter and acquire booty. While they will be dividing the booty, a proclaimer will come to them and say, "The Dajjal has come out!" Then they will leave everything and return." (Muslim)

Istanbul is city that has parts divided by waters. In any part of the city you will be close to water and the seagulls come so close, that you can hear them and see them.

I was walking down a city lane (closeby) and I thought that I heard a child cry but looking around, there was no child visible. Then I realised it was not a child it was seagulls, their cries were unlike anything that I heard. I had heard seagulls before but they did not sound like any seagulls that I had heard before. It is something that I will not forget in a hurry. The cries of seagulls...

This is a picture of how the masjid used to be...

Friday, May 08, 2009

Sheikh Adib Al-Kallas

Please see the link to the biography of the great Hanafi Sheikh Adib Al-Kallas (may Allah preserve and protect him).

Or you can see the complete biography by clicking on this link...

Sunday, May 03, 2009

How was Hadith/Prophetic narrations gathered and recorded?

How Hadith was gathered

This post was inspired by a lecture given by Sheikh Atabek Shukurov on hadith. I went into the lecture thinking that I knew the science quite well and there was very little to learn. As it turned out there was a lot I had yet to learn, which is something that happens regularly whenever I study with Sheikh! So the reason for writing this article was to increase my own knowledge and to explain this affair to some of the heedless who attack hadith.

What does hadith mean?

The hadith means “speech or report” from a root word “hadatha” which means to occur or take place.[1] Hadith, in Shariah terminology, can be defined as the speech, action or silent approval of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Or it can be simply defined as anything about the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

My previous understanding
I had read several books on about Islam which spoke briefly about hadith. They all state that Umar ibn Abdulaziz or Umar the second (may Allah show him mercy) commanded one of his governors to gather the hadith.[2]

The problem with this that there is a gap of around eighty five years,without any record from the time that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) passed away to the time when Umar Ibn Abdulaziz came to power.

If you read any books that are written about Islam they have a small section explaining how hadith was gathered. You would be confused because there are differing reports, none of which are satisfying in terms of understanding and relating the events clearly.

The differing opinions from the Orientalists and the like are: “Oral and written methods used,”[3] “Generations of Muslims wrote and recorded the Prophet’s words through various verbal and written records,”[4] In the same book the method of recording it is not mentioned[5] and there are other opinions, who like some people now, reject hadith totally.

Some individuals make the absurd statement that they do not know what is authentic and what is not. This opinion comes from those who do not have the tools to look for the authentic hadiths because of their own weakness and not because they do not exist. It’s the same as someone saying that there is no gold in his garden so there is no gold anywhere! If that person looked elsewhere he would find gold but he is real loser who cannot see the shinning gold of the hadith found in books.

For us to truly understand how hadith was gathered we have to go right back to time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). From there we can begin and from there we can grow to understand the narrative.

In the lifetime of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)

There are different accounts about how hadith was recorded in the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) some take one account and neglect the other; to take either does not explain the picture in its entirety.

There are hadiths that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) orders the recording of hadith and in another hadith he orders them not to be written. Let us now look at the narrations.

Abu Sa’id Al-Khudari states that the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Do not write anything, from me, except the Quran. So whoever has something from me other than the Quran let him erase it.” (Muslim, At-Tirmidhi and Ad-Darami)

This also proves more than one companion was recording hadith because if it was one companion then they would be named. Also the verb used to command them not to write is in the plural form.

Abu Sa’id Al-Khudari said they sought permission to record prophetic narrations and it was not given to them. Ad-Darami

These narrations establish that the hadith/prophetic narration was ordered not to be recorded by the companions but there are other narrations...

Abdullah ibn Amr said, “I used to write all that I heard from the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Some companions said, “Do not do that because the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, is human and he speaks when angered and happy. So I refrained from writing.” So he mentioned this to the Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, who said, “Write whatever I say. As I swear by the possessor of my soul nothing comes from me except the truth.” Imam Ahmed

Abu Hurayra stated about the matter of Abdullah ibn Amr, “The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, was sought permission to record what he heard so permission was granted to him.” Imam Ahmed and Al-Bayhaqi

Abu Hurayra said, “There was no companions of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, who had more hadith than me except that which Abdullah ibn Amr had. As he used to record them and I did not.” Al-Bukhari

So we can clearly see that Abdullah ibn Amr (may Allah be pleased with him) was given permission to record hadith over some other companions but why? The answer that is traditionally given is so that the companions would not confuse the Quran with the hadith. Which makes sense but then you may think that the Quran and the hadith are totally different in terms of syntax and sometimes words used, so why the confusion? Easy, because this command was specific to some companions who had recently entered into Islam. As for others who had been Muslims for some time it was not difficult for them to tell the difference between the Quran and the hadith. And the following narration explains it all.

Ali was asked, “Did the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) alloted you with something?” He replied, “I swear by the opener of the seed and creator of the soul, no. That was so the Quran was not mixed up but when we knew the Quran and could distinguish it, identify it precisely and memorise it. Then it was sure that it was not going to be mixed then permission was given to write (Hadith).”[6]

So when the companions could distinguish between Quran and hadith they were given permission to record hadiths.

Also please note the following narration concerning Abu Hurayra:
I said to Messenger of Allah, "I hear many hadiths from you but I forget them." The Messenger of Allah said, "Spread your Rida' (garment)." I did accordingly and then he moved his hands as if filling them with something (and emptied them in my Rida') and then said, "Take and wrap this sheet over your body." I did it and after that I never forgot any thing. (Sahih Bukhari 1.119, Sahih Bukhari 1.120)

After the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) passed away

The immediate concern of the companions, after the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) passed away, was to gather and record the Quran. Though this did not happen straight away this occured after a battle in which some companions who had memorised the Quran had been killed. The Quran was gathered and recorded by the companions (may Allah be pleased with them) after this event upon the insistance of Umar ibn Al-Khattab.

The following event confirms that not only did Abdullah ibn Amr record hadith other companions did as well.

It is related that 'Aisha said, "My father gathered the hadith of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and it was about five hundred hadiths. He spent one night tossing and turning and this worried me. I asked, "Are you tossing and turning because of some aliment or have you heard some bad news?" In the morning he said, "Daughter, bring me the hadiths you have with you." I brought them, then he called for fire and burnt them. He said, "I fear lest I die with those (hadiths) still in your possession and there might be among them hadiths from someone trusted and believed, but it was not as he said to me, and I would have imitated him (in his error)."[7]

This, first and foremost, shows how sincere Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) was because he feared that he might narrate something that could be incorrect. The fear was from the following narration; The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Whoever lies about me, knowingly. Let him prepare his seat in the hellfire.” Muslim[8]

During the Caliphate of Umar ibn Al-Khattab he wanted to record the hadiths and after a month of deliberation; he consulted with the senior companions about recording the hadith who agreed that it was something that they should do.[9]

Then he announced, “I intended to write the Prophet’s Sunnah but I remembered a community before you who wrote books and became preoccupied with studying them, abandoning the book of God. I swear by Allah that I am not to let anything be mixed with the book of Allah.”[10]

So the project was left in favour of keep the community occupied with the Quran. This did not mean that there was no recording of hadith, there was recording by companions and the students of companions. There was no official gathering of hadith at this time, yet.

The Scrolls of the Companions (may Allah be pleased with them all)

Many companions had copies of hadith from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) this is a list of some. Much of the hadith was not in any specific order except were detailed.

1. Abdullah ibn Amr Al-‘As had was is known as “As-Sahifa As-Sadiqa/the True Scroll” it contained one thousand hadith.[11] As we know this was one of the companions who recorded hadith during the lifetime of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

2. Ali ibn Abu Talib (may Allah ennoble his face) had some scrolls. He was one asked by Abu Jahifah, “I once asked Ali (may Allah be pleased with him), “Do you have a book?” He replied, “No, except the book of Allah or the understanding given by men or these scrolls.” I asked, “What are these scrolls?” He said, “It’s about ransom, hostage release and that a Muslim is not killed for a disbeliever.” Al-Bukhari
The Shia wrongly claim that some of these scrolls are “lost” pages of the Quran but as we can see from the narration itself it was scrolls of hadith.

3. Jabir Ibn Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with them) also had scrolls of hadith.[12]

4. Hammam ibn Munabbiah[13] was a student of Abu Hurayraih (may Allah be pleased with him) and wrote as he was dictated to. The scroll was one of the oldest to reach us in full.[14]

Other companions also had scrolls which include; Abdullah ibn Abbas,[15] and Abdullah ibn Mas’ud.[16] We have not given you a full list just some of the most famous ones, others can be found. The next development in Hadith recording is the topic of the next part.

Official orders to record Hadith

The official orders for gathering hadith was when Abdulaziz ibn Marwan ibn Al-Hakam wrote a letter to Kathir ibn Murra Al-Hadarmi stating, “Record for us what you have heard from the Companions except the hadith of Abu Hurayra as that we have."[17]

Al-Bukhari, in his authentic collection, narrates from Abdullah ibn Dinar that Umar ibn Abdulaziz wrote a letter to Abu Bakr ibn Hazm[18] “Look for the hadith of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, then write it down. As I fear that the effacement of knowledge and the scarcity of scholars. Do not except anything except the hadith of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. Disseminate the knowledge and sit until you are taught that which you know not. As knowledge does not destroy until it become secret.”

Note this is when the hadith was ordered to be preserved and protected by a ruler. This had not been the case before this date because the preserving of Prophetic narrations had been done by the companions and then succeeding generations. So now this is an order on the grand level of the government and it should be noted that Umar ibn Abdulaziz was a scholar as well. So this could be the reason why others did not order it.

This is also the date when most Orientalists say that hadith was gathered. As we can now see from all the information that we have given you previously this is simply not the whole picture. How could there be such a large gap between the times they were articulated to the time they were recorded. So now we have explained this I hope it is now clear for everyone.

Umar ibn Abdulaziz (may Allah show him mercy) appointed teachers, funded students and arranged weekly classes of hadith in Arabia as well as sending out men to other parts of the Islamic world to teach.[19]

It is also worth noting that the Governor Abu Bakr ibn Hazm drew support for this effort from Amrah bint Abdurrahman who was the custodian to the hadiths from Aisha daughter of the Caliph Abu Bakr.[20]

Some Famous narrators of hadith

The most famous narrator of Hadith is Abu Hurayra (may Allah be pleased with him) from the men and Aisha daughter of Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with them) from the women. These were two young companions who lived long after the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) passed away and this allowed them to teach what they heard. Here is a short list of the top six which includes the amount of hadith they narrated:

1. Abu Hurayra 5374

2. Abdullah ibn Amr 2630

3. Anas ibn Malik 2286

4. Aisha daughter of Abu Bakr 2210

5. Abdullah ibn Abbas 1660

6. Jabir ibn Abdullah 1540[21]

Comprehensive notes on the amount of hadith that was narrated by the Companions can be found in the books that this material is sourced from.

The Successors of Hadith

The following generation are the first generations that are known as Muhaddithun or Prophetic narration experts. The following is a list of such luminaries of this time:

Ibn Shihab Al-Zuhri (d.124/742) who had so many hadith that he needed several riding beasts to carry them,[22]

Abdulmalik ibn Abdulaziz ibn Jurayj (d.150/760) worked at Mecca,

Sa’ad ibn Aruba (d.157/774) in Mesopotamia,[23]

Imam Al-Awza’i[24] (d.159/775) in Syria,

Muhammad ibn Abdurrahman (d.159/775) in Medina,

Za’ida ibn Qudama (d.160/776) and Sufyan At-Thawri (d.161/777) in Kufa,

Hammad Ibn Salama (d.165/781) in Basra,[25]

Al-Layth ibn Sa’ad (d.175/791) in Syria and Abdullah ibn Mubarak (d.118/737) in Iraq.

This is not an extensive list rather this is a taste of the great scholars who lived and keep hadith alive in this time. Also please note that this list does not include scholars who were jurists. For more detail see Sheikh Gibril Haddad’s Sunna notes Volume one p.22 onward.

Famous books of Hadith
Then these narrations that the companions and then the next generation passed on lead to the more famous books that we know now as, Sahih As-Sitta or the authentic six. This is not to say that there was no other books written but these were the ones that we have come to know.

If you look into the characters of these compliers then you can see why their records reached us.
1. Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal (b. 164/780-d.241/855) who complied Al-Musnad.
2. Imam Al-Bukhari (b.194-d.256) compiler of what is known as Sahih Al-Bukhari.
3. Imam Muslim (204h-264h) Sahih Muslim
4. Imam At-Tirmidhi (209-279h) Sunan At-Tirmidhi
5. Imam Abu Dawood (202h-275) Sunan Abu Dawood
6. Imam An-Nisa’i (210h-303) Sunan An-Nisa’i

There are other collections such as Imam Malik’s Muwatta, Imam Muhammad’s Muwatta, Sunan Ibn Majah, Ibn Hibban and others.

What protects hadith from being tampered?
One of the greatest gifts that this nation received is the “Isnad” this is a chain of narration from where the narrator took the hadith from. It is something totally unique to the Muslim nation. Not only can we be sure of the text but we can also be sure of the people who narrated it.
Ad-Dhahabi said, "Abu Bakr was the first to take precautions before accepting reports."[26]

Going back to the issue of isnad this means that you are taking your information from a trustworthy or valid source and the way that this is proven is the names of who you took information from.

Ibn Sirin famously stated, “People used to not ask about Isnads (chains of narration), but when the civil war (fitna) occurred, they began to say, “Name your narrators!”[27]

This proves two things: one that the chains of narration did exist and in a certain time people did not used to question the trustworthiness of a person. If it was a hadith then it was enough!
Ibn Sirin gave two similar statements, “This knowledge is religion. So look to whom you take your religion from.”[28] “The Hadith is religion. So look to whom you take your religion from.”[29]

Sufyan At-Thawri (may Allah show him mercy) said, “The chain of transmission (isnad) is the weapon of the believer. Whoever has no weapon, how can he fight?”[30]

Anyone, in our time, who is calling to the religion is calling to light and the only difference is some are connected and others are disconnected. The ones who are disconnected have no chain and no light. Those who have the light are the ones who are connected to the system of Isnad.

The Science of Hadith Criticism
This science gradually developed as the hadiths spread and as others began to scrutinise chains of narration, narrators and the actual text of the hadith. Here is an early example of the criticism that hadith would come under.

Fudail ibn Dukayn,[31] teacher of Imam Bukhari, said, “I came to Zufar[32] and he had wrapped himself in a cloth, so I said to him, “O’ Ahwal,[33] come so we can sift through the narrations and I would offer what I had heard. He would say, “This is acceptable, this is not acceptable, this abrogates and this is abrogated.”[34]

The hadiths came under rigorous scrutiny[35] and it was primarily aimed at narrators from whom the text was taken.[36]


The taking, the recording, the spreading, the explaining and the criticism of hadith was not something that could have been fabricated or forged.

It was documented on every level by thousands of scholars from thousand of successors from the Companions who took the hadith from the mouth of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

The companions recorded as much as they could and we have a wealth of hadith which is so great, how can one begin to fully comprehend it? May Allah be praised for sending us scholars of jurisprudence who helped us figure out a way that we can fully understand these hadith. As the understanding of the hadith did not just mean the actually text or the narrators this went beyond to events that occurred around the hadith.

Which cannot be simply picked up from reading the hadith, you have to read it with someone who read it with someone with Isnad and whose chain extents to the source, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). How else are you going to be sure that the information that you have got is correct? How many of us read hadith and do not understand it but see it fit for us to give a judgement on it and then force others? How many of us hear hadith and do not follow it up by acting upon it? I have to count myself as one of these, I cannot exclude myself.

The hadith science is not something that can be brushed to one side and be ignored. We have seen during this article that it is an immensely complex science which has great depth. Only those with a vested interest are elsewhere and compound ignorance can reject them. I am not just speaking about one I am speaking about the whole corpus of texts. We have to listen to madmen, in our time, who reject hadith outright! This can only mean one thing and one thing only, they have failed to read the Quran.

Allah said, “Obey Allah and obey the Messenger.” The Women 4:59

Sheikh Atabek commenting on this verse and said something to the effect of, How else can you obey the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) if you do not do what he said?


[1] Dictionary of Modern Arabic 1994 Wehr Hans Spoken Language series p.161
[2] The Traditions of Islam 2003 Guillanme Alfred Kessinger Publishing p.17
[3] Introduction to Islam 2003 Waines David Cambridge university press p.40
[4] Oxford History of Islam 1999 Esposito J.L. Oxford university press p.121
[5] Ibid p.74
[6] Noble narrations handout lesson one page nine
[7] Al-Hakim from Ibn Kathir in the musnad al-saddiq inside his Jami' Al-Asanid from Sheikh Gibril Haddad’s Sunna notes p.122
[8] Abridged summary of Muslim p.429 no 1861
[9] A textbook of Hadith studies 2005 Kamali Mohammad Hashim The Islamic foundation p.28 from As-Suyuti Tadrib al-rawi p287
[10] Hadith status and role 2005 Nadwi Sayyed Abdul Hassan Ali Uk Islamic Academy p.16 from Ibn Abdul-Barr Jami’ Bayan Al-‘ilm vol.1 p.76
[11] A textbook of Hadith studies 2005 Kamali Mohammad Hashim The Islamic foundation p.25 from Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi Taqyid al-‘ilm p.84
[12] Ibid p.25 from Al-Bukhari Al-Tarikh Al-Kabir vol 4 p.182
[13] 101 or 102 died Islamic year
[14] Hadith: status and role 2005 Nadwi Sayyed Abdul Hassan Ali p.19 states that it was found the libraries of Damascus, Berlin and the University of Ankara which was later published by Dr M. Hamidillah in Hyderbad in 1955.
[15] Hadith: status and role p.18 At-Tirmidhi Al-Ilal
[16] Ibid from Ibn Abdulbarr Vol.1 p.72
[17] Noble narrations handout number five by Sheikh Atabek Shukurov Nasafi page p.3
[18] Passed away 120 Islamic year
[19] Hadith Literature: Its Origin, Development and Special Features 1993 Siddiqqi M.Z. Islamic Texts Society p.6 from Maqqari Nafta I, p.130
[20] Hadith Literature: Its Origin, Development and Special Features 1993 Siddiqqi M.Z. Islamic Texts Society p.6 from Ibn saad II/ii 134 and Bukhari chapter of writing
[21] Hadith Literature: Its Origin, Development and Special Features 1993 Siddiqqi M.Z. Islamic Texts Society p.15-18 from Ibn Jawzi Talqih 184-86
[22] Hadith Literature: Its Origin, Development and Special Features 1993 Siddiqqi M.Z. Islamic Texts Society p.7 from Ibn Saad II/ii 136
[23] Parts of Iran, Iran, Turkey and Syria
[24] founder of the Awza’i school of jurisprudence and one of the contemporaries of Abu Hanifa
[25] Hadith Literature: Its Origin, Development and Special Features 1993 Siddiqqi M.Z. Islamic Texts Society p.7 from Fihrist 225-27
[26] Sunna notes 2005 Sheikh Gibril Haddad Warda publications p. 120 from Ad-Dhahabi tadhkirat al-huffaz (1:2-3) cf. Al-A'zami, manhaj al-najd 'ind al-muhaddithin p.50.)
[27] Hadith Literature: Its Origin, Development and Special Features 1993 Siddiqqi M.Z. Islamic Texts Society p.79 from Schacht, Joseph 1959 The origins of Muhammadan Jurisprudance p.36
[28] Shamil At-Tirmidhi 2006 Imam Tirmidhi p.250 from Muslim
[29] Ibid p.249
[30] Sunna notes p.58 from Ibn Rajab Ilal At-Tirmidhi (‘Itr ed. 1:56-62)
[31] Abu Na’im Al-Fadal ibn Dukyan. Salah ibn Ahmed ibn Hanbal asked his father, “With Waqiah, Abdurrahman, Yazid ibn Haroon where does Abu Na’im stand with those?” He replied, “His narrations come from half of those, except he intelligently checked the truth.” He asked, “So is Abu Na’im more trustworthy or Waqiah?” He replied, “Abu Na’im has fewer errors.” He asked, “What about Abu Abdullah?” He replied, “Abu Na’im has better knowledge of the scholars, the lineages and of the men of narration. Waqiah has more jurisprudence.” Ahmed ibn Al-Hassan At-Tirmidhi was informed that Abu Abdullah said, “When Abu Na’im died his book came to the forefront so when the people differed they went back to it.” Abu Zarah’a said, “I heard Ahmed ibn Salah say I have not seen a prophetic narration expert as truthful as Abu Na’im.” He died on the doubtful days before Ramadan in the Islamic year two hundred and nineteen.
[32] Imam Zufar was one of Abu Hanifa’s students
[33] His nickname
[34] From the jurist and its follower by Al-Khateeb Al-Baghdadi 1/163
[35] Introduction to Islamic civilisation 1976 Savory, Roger Cambridge university press p.57
[36] And Muhammad is the Messenger (1985) Schimmel Annemarie the university of Carolina press p.27

More can read about this subject in Muhammad Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) by Fethullah Gulen from page 314.