When Is a Hadith Suitable for Practice?

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Translator’s Preface

The following is an excerpt from our abridged translation of the masterpiece, Athar al-Hadīth al-Sharīf fī Ikhtilāf al-A’immah al-islamic_calligraphy_2_by_zenoxen-d4qrkc1Fuqahā’, by the Syrian Hadīth scholar, the teacher of our teachers, Shaykh Muhammad ‘Awwāmah. There were numerous requests for an abridged translation of the work for the benefit of non-Arabic readers, as the original work is relatively lengthy. We will post sections of it in installments and finally publish the complete abridgement in a separate post. We have previously posted two sections from the middle of the book. We will now post excerpts from the beginning of the book in sequence.

The excerpt before you is the preface and first section of the book. There is no need to expound on the outline, objectives, and theme of the book as the author himself has tended to this in the preface. One can understand the importance of the work by looking at its title, “The influence of the noble Hadīth upon the differences of the jurist Imāms.”

In this section, the author first explains the status of the blessed Hadīth in the hearts of the Imāms. By doing so, he shows that the objective of the Imāms in their differences and choosing some evidences instead of others was solely the pleasure of Allāh and the preservation of His din.

Thereafter, the author discusses the first of four reasons of differences among the jurists i.e. when is a Hadīth suitable for practice. He demonstrates how the task of ascertaining whether a Hadīth is suitable for practice is not simple, as the scholars differ regarding many aspect of a Hadīth, some relating to its chain and others relating to its text. Moreover, he briefly discusses the multiple uses of a weak narration and refutes the misunderstanding that a weak narration is similar to a fabricated one.

It is important to remember that this is only an abridged translation. Therefore, many sections were omitted and some were summarized. Those who are interested in more detail are advised to read the original work. To make the article more reader-friendly, an idiomatic translation was adopted in several places.

Muntasir Zaman  Read the rest of this entry »