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Usool Al-Hadeeth by Sh Yasir Qadhi Part 4

Mujum Works
Another category of hadeeth of literature is Mujum works. These works are arranged according to the Shaykhs we heard them from. For example, you would go to Iraq and listen to some shaykhs and write down the ahadeeth from the shaykhs you heard them from, and then you’ll go to Syria and write down what you heard there, then Yemen, so you would arrange it according to the shaykhs you heard it from. One alim, At-Tabarani (died 360 Hijrah), made this method famous, he wrote three books called Al-Mujum Al-Kabeer (big mujum), Al-Mujum Al-Awsut (medium mujum), and Al-Mujum As-Sagheer (small mujum).

These are the four main ways of compiling ahadeeth, Musnad, Sahih, Sunan, and the Mujum. There are other ways as well but these are the four main ones. The six books famous books of ahadeeth are Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, At-Thirmidhi, An-Nasaee, and Ibn Majah. Except for Bukhari and Muslim there is no preference over the other works of ahadeeth. These are the six most important books of Sunnah and Allah (swt) has written for them acceptance in the sense that it is easy to buy a copy of At-Thirmidhi but to buy a copy of At-Tabarani would be difficult. Regarding the six books, many people have discussed them, talked about them, explained them, wrote commentaries about them, but these six aren’t the only works of the Sunnah. One of the reasons these six where so famous is because they were comprehensive, if we were to put these six works together basically we would have the Sunnah preserved in them.

*Note: The difference between Sunan and Jamia is that Jamia is more comprehensive. Sunan only talks about legal aspects, fiqh. The Jami will include Seerah, Tafseer, etc.

What NOT to quote as a reference when writing or talking about Islam

Many times in English and urdu books you’ll find references that are not source references. A source reference is a reference is when you go back to it, it is the first time that hadeeth has been compiled. Many people, who are not qualified to write, write. When they write, they reference books that are not source references. For example, they’ll reference 40 Ahadeeth Nawawi, this is not a book to reference, Imam Nawawi won’t doesn’t quote the isnad in his book. So it is not proper to reference a hadeeth to a non-source work. Another book that is commonly referenced is Riyadh us-Saliheen. Although this book is very comprehensive and beautiful book it is not a source book. Shaykh Yasir Qadhi recommends Riyadh us-Saliheen for all laymen Muslims; it is very practical and beneficial for Muslims to read. If authors reference these types of books, we should know that that author is not really scholar. Another book that is reference is Al-Mishkat Al-Masabih by At-Tabreezee, this is not a source book, and it is more of a compilation of books. Likewise another book is Al-Munziree’s At-Targheeb Wat-Tarheeb, this book is not a source book, it is a compilation of ahadeeth from the source books. Lastly, Kanzul Ummaal by Taqi-Ud-deen Al-Hindi, this book is the largest collection of ahadeeth under two covers, it consists of over 20,000 – 30,000 ahadeeth arranged by topic. Al-Hindi tried to make a encyclopedia of all the ahadeeth that came before him, but this is not a source reference. One way to tell if a book is scholarly is it will reference to classical works such as Bukhari, Muslim, At-Tirmidhi, etc.

How to search for ahadeeth

Realistically you have to be a real student of knowledge who knows the language of Arabic and knows the sciences of ahadeeth. Just to get an idea or a feel for it, there are four main ways to do this:

1 – By the narrator or isnad
If we know for example a specific sahabi narrated the hadeeth then there are certain books we can go to (i.e. Imam Ahmad’s Musnad, or other books that have been arranged by sahabi).

2 – Look it up by the matan (text of hadeeth) alphabetically
As-Suyooti arranged over 20,000 ahadeeth alphabetically. The matan, or the exact Arabic phrase, can be looked up.

3 – By topic (longer method)
Look up books of ahadeeth (Bukhari, Muslim, etc.) or go to certain works written by the fuquhaa. For example, Bulugh Al-Maram by Ibn Hajar, is specially meant to talk about fiqh ahadeeth. In Bulugh Al-Maram for example Ibn Hajar will tell you that At-Thirmidhi narrated the hadeeth and then you can go back and look it up.

4 – By any word in the hadeeth
There is only one book that talks about this, it is called Al-Mujimal Muhfaraas in Arabic. This book was a project started by Kaafir orientalists in the beginning of the 20th century was to compile a concordance of the words of the Propeht‘s (saw) ahadeeth. This was done so if they wanted to find a hadeeth all they needed to know was one word of the hadeeth. For example, Innamal amalu binniyaat, this can be looked up by the separate words and the concordance will tell where it is narrated. The reason these orientalists did this was to refute Islam and refute the ahadeeth of the Prophet (saw). This work took over 35 years to complete in 9 volumes. This book is so good that it is a standard reference for Muslims now, every modern student of ahadeeth should have this book because of its accuracy. This book is most benefited by Muslims; nowadays the majority of orientalists don’t know how to use it. Allah (swt) changed the kufaar plans to be used against them and the scholars and students of Islam are using it to defend Islam.

The last way to look up ahadeeth is the easy way out, to look it up by computer. CD software and programs of ahadeeth are sold and can be used to search ahadeeth. But the drawback is that these programs are written by non-scholars so they are not very accurate in the hadeeth spellings and stuff like that.

How do we know the authenticity of a hadeeth?
There is no simple way to know if it is an authentic. If the hadeeth is in Bukari or Muslim then it is authentic, if it is in other books there is no way simple way to confirm its authenticity.  But there is a certain priority that the other ahadeeth books have, for example Sunan An-Nasaee is the most authentic of the Sunans, followed by Sunan Abi Dawood, Jamia At-Thirmidhi and Ibn Majah. Musnad Imam Ahmad is for the most part authentic, but it has some ahadeeth that are slightly weak. The students of the modern time need to rely upon the works of the ulema of the past, what have they said about the ahadeeth. Firstly you need to know Arabic and have the books to go back to. For an English student it is practically impossible except by asking the people of knowledge. We should rely upon literature that we know rely upon sahih ahadeeth.

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