Cii Radio | 18 September 2014/23 Dhul Qa’dah 1435
In this age of modernity, where almost every aspect of the Deen of Allah SWT has come under sustained attack, the noble sayings and practices of Rasulullah SAW – the Hadith and Sunnah – too have not been spared. Without the Hadith of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) Islam would become a mockery and anyone would be given licence to do what they want. Innovations are being propagated in the name of Islam when people take this audacious approach. To expose the serious fitnah of Hadith rejection and to reinforce a Muslim’s belief in Hadith and the role that Hadith plays in the life of a Muslim, Cii Radio spoke with Maulana Muhammad Karolia – teacher at the Jammia Mahmudia in Springs – about the importance of the love for the Hadith of our beloved Nabi Muhamamd (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).
Q: When we look at the religion of Islam, the different aspects that make up Islam, belief in Islam and what makes a Muslim, is it fair to say that without Hadith there is no Islam?
A: It is more than correct. Without Hadith it is impossible to be a Muslim. We can’t have Islam without the Hadith of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and the reason for that being, when Allah SWT revealed the Quraan to Rasulullah (sallallahu alyhi wasallam), among the various aayaat of the Quraan there is one particular aayah wherein Allah SWT addresses Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and says, “Oh Rasool, We reveal the reminder (the Quraan) to you so that you will expound (explain, clarify) upon the people what has been revealed to you.” When we look at the Quraan, we find that the basic injunctions of the Shariah are mentioned in the Quraan, but the Quraan was meant to last and be preserved forever and one of the means of preservation of the Quraan, is where the Quraan is memorised to memory. Allah SWT wanted the Quraan to be concise, comprehensive, easy to memorise yet at the same time all encompassing. In the Quraan we will find an answer for everything with regards to Islam and Shariah. Because the Quraan has to be concise, Allah SWT mentions the broad principles. The finer details Allah SWT leaves to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Looking at an example, the most important injunction in Shariah which is Salaah, the Hadith of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) wherein Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said, “Salaah is the most important pillar of Islam. If you establish Salaah, you will establish the rest of Deen. If you destroy Salaah, there is no hope of you establishing the rest of Deen.” Knowing the five most important pillars of Islam, after Imaan, the most important pillar is Salaah. Quraan tells us to perform Salaah but Quraan does not tell us the procedure of Salaah and how each Salaah is broken up. We get this information from the Hadith of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The finer details about fasting, zakaah, Salaah, Azaan etc we receive from Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhii wasallam). Take out Hadith from our lives and we don’t have Islam.
Q: If anybody out there explicitly ridicules or rejects the Hadith, what are the consequences of that?
A: There are two types of Hadith. One is called Hadith Mutawatir which is reported by a huge number of narrators that their agreement to make it up is impossible. A person who rejects any one of those Ahaadith [Hadith Mutawatir], their Imaan becomes questionable. When a person rejects Hadith completely, then there is no Shariah left, he is basically making a mockery of Islam. It depends on individual injunctions of the Shariah, which injunction does the person reject, ridicule or negate. We have to differentiate between negation and ridicule. If he is negating, the injunction being negated has to be looked at. Sometimes negation of particular injunctions will result in disbelief and sometimes it will result in him being declared an innovator, a faasiq (hypocrite) or a faajir (a sinner). When a person mocks then there is no differentiation, you are mocking a Sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and your Imaan is at stake.
Q: Looking at Mutawatir Hadith, the concept some people propagate is that Hadith originated so many centuries later and that “it was made up”, Naudhubillah – please paint for us a picture of how Hadith was painstakingly collected and the strict standards put in place to authenticate Hadith to be a solid chain right from Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) to our time?
A: In one aayah of the Quraan, Allah SWT encourages us to follow the example of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), “There is certainly for you in the Rasool of Allah, an excellent example.” Then there are other aayah in the Quraan where Allah SWT doesn’t just encourage but commands us to obey Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), “Obey Allah and obey Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).” It’s not possible that Allah SWT commands us to follow the example of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) but doesn’t preserve it. This alone is sufficient indication that Sunnah has been preserved by Allah SWT. When we look at the previous scripts, the Taurah and Injeel, and the Quraan, an important difference in the Taurah and Injeel there has been changes of different sorts, addition deletion and sometimes the texts have been retained but the meaning has been changed. With regards to the Quraan, Allah SWT says, “We have revealed the Quraan (the Reminder), and We are going to safeguard and preserve the Quraan.” When Allah says preserve He means protect from addition, deletion and change in meaning. The Ulama say that when Allah SWT promised to preserve the Quraan, Allah SWT also promised to preserve the Hadith of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)
The Ulama devised certain ways of preserving the Hadith of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), the first and most important way, whenever anybody narrates a Hadith, this is in the Taabieen, the latter time of the Sahabah (radiallahu anhum), a narration in the introduction of Sahih Muslim – the second most authentic Hadith kitaab (book) – Imam Muslim (rahimullah)quotes that in the early stages when a person used to narrate a Hadith of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) they used to trust him because he was a sahabah and he spoke the truth. But then after the time of the sahabah, there were certain differences of opinion, and the appearance of deviant sects, the Shia, Khawaarij etc. This is when some tried to fabricate narrations. After that, the few Sahabah that were left in the Dunya at the time and the Taabieen would ask anyone that narrated a Hadith to mention the chain of narrators also. A narration from Abdullah bin Mubarak says that when someone was asked for the chain of narrators, they were left speechless because they were caught out lying. The names of every possible narrator was recorded and they went into the details of the narrators character to determine how reliable he was, how accurate he was, how reliable was his memory, whether he made mistakes, how often and what type of mistakes. They would question whether he was an upright Muslim or one who publicly violated the laws of Shariah. Once they checked the narration and scrutinised every single narrator, they checked whether there was continuity in the chain of narration. If there was a breakage, where did it occur, if it’s a single narrator they checked whether there were any other people narrating the same subject matter and Hadith, on what basis and reasons was a narrator discredit, it’s an intricate science. A very scientific approach was taken to preserve the Hadith of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), to differentiate between what we can certainly say was uttered by Rasulullah (sallallau alayhi wasallam), or what could have been uttered by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and what is deemed to have been fabricated.