When the illustrious Fuqaha-e-Kiraam cite a Hadith as a Mustadal or adduce it in corroboration of the view they expound, then the very citation of the Hadith is the daleel for its saht (authenticity) regardless of any classification of the later Muhadditheen. This is a well-known principle of Fiqh.
Mustadal (plural mustadallaat) is the basis on which the Fuqaha formulate a Shar’i hukm. Qur’aanicverses, Ahaadith, statements and rulings of the Sahaabah and the principles of Shar’i Qiyaas form the Mustadallaat of the Fuqaha. The Fuqaha do not operate beyond the confines of these Qur’aanic principles. Shaikh Yusuf Bin Isma’eel An-Nibhaani says in his Hujjatullaah Alal Aalameen:
“Whoever says that Sunnat is only what is explicitly mentioned in the Ahaadith, has in fact rejected all the Math-habs of the Mujtahideen. He has rejected Ijma’. The evil of his belief is not hidden. We seek protection from Allah Ta’ala (against such deviation).
It is mentioned in Al-Yaaqoot wal Jawaahir, and similarly it is narrated in Al-Mizaanul Khadriyyah (of Imaam Sha’raani) that Shaikhul Islam Zakariyya (among the Shaafi’ Fuqaha) said: ‘Alhamdulillaah, I have searched for the proofs of the Mujtahideen (i.e. for their dalaa-il and mustadallaat). I have not found even a single fara’ (a mas’alah which is not a principle) from among the Furoo’ of their Mathaahib except that it is substantiated by a daleel, either an Aayat from the Qur’aan or a Hadith or an Athar (statement of a Sahaabi) or Saheeh Qiyaas – based on saheeh principles. ….All their statements are derived from the rays of the Noor of the Shariah which is the foundation. It is impossible to find a fara’ (of the Fuqaha) without a basis (in the Qur’aan and Sunnah).”
It should be clear to men of knowledge that when a Muhaddith of the later eras describing a Hadith says: “I do not recognize it.”, “I do not know it.”, “There is no basis for it.”, “It is weak.”, etc., he says so within the limits of his knowledge and investigation based on principles which he or other Muhadditheen have evolved. He never directs such comments against the Mustdallaat of the Fuqaha who were the Asaatizah of the Asaatizah of the Muhadditheen.
On the contrary, it was the practice of the Muhadditheen to set aside their own Saheeh Ahaadith, if there was a conflict with the practice (amal) and ruling of the Fuqaha. Thus, they would say:“The amal of the Ahl-e-Ilm is on this….”, and they would say this even if they had classified the Ahaadith as weak (Dhaeef). Despite the Hadith being Dhaeef according to their classification, the Muhadditheen would mention the amal of the Fuqaha.
Thus the Muhadditheen who had compiled the Hadith books, would practise in accordance with the Ahaadith which they themselves had classified as Dhaeef because these ‘Dhaeef’ narrations constituted the Mustadallaat of the Fuqaha. The principles and rules of Hadith classification which the later Muhadditheen had formulated did not apply to the Shariah’s laws or to the Hadith mustadallaat of the Fuqaha-e-Mutaqaddimeen.
The Muhadditheen were not among the Aimmah Mujtahideen. They followed the Math-habs in their practical life. They did not formulate a different Math-hab for themselves based on their classification of Hadith.
In terms of this well-known principle of Talaqqi bil Qubool a Hadith becomes valid for amal even if its isnaad is dhaeef. In this regard, Hafiz Ibn Hajar writes:
“One of the criteria for acceptance of Hadith is the concurrence of the Ulama on making amal (acting) on the Hadith. Such a Hadith (on which there is the concurrence of the Fuqaha) will be incumbently accepted.”
In his Al-Ajwibatul Faadhilah, Hadhrat Maulana Abdul Hayy, explaining the principle of Talaqqi Bil Qubool, says:
“Similarly (will a Hadith be accepted) when the Ummah accepts a Dhaeef Hadith. (Ummahin this context does not include the rank and file). According to the authentic view such a Hadith will be acted on. Allaamah Muhaddith Faqeeh Shaikh Husain Bin Muhsin Al-Ansaari Al-Yamani was asked about the statement of Imaam Tirmizi who says in his Jaami’ when he narrates a Dhaeef Hadith: “Amal (practical adoption) on it is according to the Ahl-e-Ilm (the Fuqaha).” …….And it was also asked about the established principle on which there is the consensus of the Muhadditheen that anything other than a Saheeh or Hasan Hadith will not be accepted in the matter of (formulating) ahkaam. But this Hadith (referringto a particular Hadith) is Dhaeef. How is it then permissible for the Ulama to act on it?
The Shaikh said in response: “MayAllah grant us and you taufeeq. A Dhaeef Hadith is one which lacks a condition from among the conditions of acceptance…..As-Suyuti said in Sharh Nazmid Durar (Al-Nahrul lazi Zakhar): Qubool (Acceptance) is:
(1) What the Ulama have accorded Talaqqi bil Qubool i.e. the Fuqaha have accepted a narration even though there is no saheeh isnaad for it. Among the group of Ulama who have narrated this is Ibn Abdul Barr.
(2) Or it (the narration) has become well-known to the Aimmah-e-Hadith. And As-Suyuti has also said after mentioning the Hadith: ‘Tirmizi said: ‘Amal today is on this Hadith according to the Ulama.’ With this statement he indicated that a Hadith is strengthened with the acceptance by the Fuqaha.”
Many authorities have explicitly said that of the evidence for the authenticity of a Hadith is the acceptance by the Ulama even if there is no reliable isnaad for it. As-Suyuti has also said in Tadreebur Raawi: “Some of them (the Authorities) said: ‘Hadith will be accorded authenticity when the People (i.e. the Fuqaha) have accepted it as authentic even if there is no saheeh isnaad for it.” Ibn Abdul Barr said in Al-Istithkaar when it was narrated from Tirmizi that Bukhaari authenticated the Hadith of the Ocean (that its water is pure), while the Muhadditheen do not accredit this type of isnaad. Nevertheless according to me the Hadith is Saheeh because the Ulama have accorded it acceptance.”
It is mentioned in At-Tamheed: ‘Jaabir narrated from Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam):‘A dinaar is twenty four qeeraat.’ About this Hadith, he said: ‘In terms of the statement of the Ulama and their Ijma’ regarding its meaning, it is independent of isnaad (i.e. it is authentic without an isnaad).
Regarding the practice of Talqeen to the mayyit (according to the Hambali Math-hab). “A Dhaeef Hadith is narrated on this issue. At-Tabraani records in his Mu’jam the Hadith of Abu Umaamah..…..This Hadith is not substantiated. However, the continuity of practice in this regard in all the lands and ages without any rejection suffices for its practical adoption.”
The Hanafi Muhaqqiq, Imaam Al-Kamaal Al-Humaam, says in Fathul Qadeer (about the weakness of a Hadith): “Among the factors which authenticate Hadith is the concurrence of the Ulama on its practice.”
Tirmizi said after narrating it: ‘Hadithun Ghareebun’. (This Hadith is Ghareeb). But, notwithstanding this, the amal is on it according to the Ulama among the Sahaabah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and others besides them (i.e. the Taabieen, etc.)’.
Imaam Maalik (rahmatullah alayh) said: “The fame of a Hadith in Madinah makes it independent of a saheeh sanad.”
Haafiz As-Sakhaawi says in Fathul Mugeeth: ‘When the Ummah accepts a Dhaeef Hadith, then according to the authentic view it will be adopted (for amal). So much so, that it will attain the status of Mutawaatir, and it will abrogate Maqtoo’ (Ahaadith). It is for this reason that Imaam Shaafi’ (rahmatullah alayh) said about (the particular) Hadith: “There is no bequest for an heir”, verily, the Muhadditheen have not substantiated it (i.e. it is not authentic in terms of their criteria). Nevertheless, the Ummah has accorded it acceptance for practical adoption. In fact, they (the Fuqaha) have affirmed it to be Naasikh (i.e. it is an abrogater) for the Qur’aanic aayat regarding wasiyyat (bequest).”
Allaamah Saalih Bin Mahdi Al-Muqbeeli said: “Saheeh Hadith in the specific meaning of the Muta-akh-khireen (the later Muhadditheen from about the age of Bukhaari and Muslim), is that which has been narrated by an uprighteous Haafiz who inturn narrates from a similar narrator without a defect. Saheeh Hadith in the general meaning according to the Mutaqaddimeen (the authorities of the early era) among the Muhadditheen, all the Fuqaha and Usooliyyeen, is a narration on which there is practical adoption (ma’mool bihi).” Thus, when a Muhaddith among the Muta-akh-khireen says:‘This Hadith is not Saheeh.’, then while it negates the special and restricted meaning of the term, it does not negate the general meaning of authenticity according to the Mutaqaddimeen, all the Fuqaha and Usooliyyeen. Therefore, at this juncture there is the possibility of a Hadith being of the Hasan or Dhaeef or Ghair Ma’mool category. On account of this possibility, it is incumbent to probe the Hadith. If it is established that it is Hasan or Dhaeef Ma’mool bihi (i.e. it has been practically adopted by the Fuqaha), then it will be accepted. And, if it is Dhaeef Ghair Ma’mool bihi (i.e. it has not been adopted for amal by the Fuqaha), then it will not be accepted.” (End of Maulana Abdul Hayy’s dissertation.)
It is clear that the classified Hadith categories of the later Muhadditheen do not apply to the narrations accepted and adopted by the Fuqaha who went before them. It should be simple to understand that after the demise of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), Islam did not disappear as Judaism and Christianity had disappeared with the departure of their respective Nabis. Not a single mas’alah of the Shariah was lost after the demise of Nabi-e-Kareem (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).
When the Muhadditheen appeared on the scene two centuries later, they found Islam intact. They followed the Islam into which they were born, and they continued practising the Ahkaam without interpolation, deletion and alteration in the light of their classification of Hadith. The masaa-il of the Shariah which the Sahaabah and their illustrious Students, the Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen had evolved, were all based on the Qur’aan and Sunnah which did not disappear. The Mujtahid Imaams were Muhadditheen of the highest calibre. Only when a Hadith was Saheeh and beyond reproach, would it constitute a valid Mustadal for extrapolation of ahkaam. In the circles of Ilm it is common knowledge that acceptance of a Hadith as a Mustadal by the Fuqaha is the daleel for the authenticity of that Hadith.
Any unbiased person with a little understanding will readily understand that principles formulated two centuries after the age of the Fuqaha-e-Mutaqaddimeen cannot negate the authenticity of the narrations accredited by these illustrious Fuqaha, who flourished in the age of the Sahaabah and in close proximity to their era.
Maulana Abdul Hayy further says: “Shaikh Ibraaheem Ath-Thabrahaiti Maaliki says in Sharhul Arbaeen An-Nawwiyah: ‘The occasion for not adopting Dhaeef Hadith in matters of Ahkaam, is when the Fuqaha have not accepted it. If they have accepted it, then it is confirmed, and it (the Dhaeef narration) becomes a proof which shall be practically adopted in matters of ahkaam, etc. as Imaam Shaafi’ has said….. (This effectively debunks the enemies of Taqleed slandering Hanafi Dalaa’il to be based on weak Ahadith. They are NOT ‘weak’. They are solid GOLD.)
Haafiz Ibn Hajar says in Fathul Baari: “None of the isnaad (of narrations) is devoid of some criticism. But on the whole the Hadith has a basis. In fact, Ash-Shaafi’ has explicitly stated in Al-Umm that the text of this (Dhaeef) Hadith is Mutawaatir….” ……..
(Haafiz Bin Hajar commenting on a certain Hadith said): ‘Bukhaari said: “It is not Saheeh.” The Compilers of the Four Sunan narrated it, and Haakim narrated it from the tareeq of Eesa Bin Yoonus. Tirmizi said: ‘It is Ghareeb.’ We do not recognize it except from the narration of ‘Eesa Bin Yoonus from Hishaam. I (i.e. Imaam Tirmizi) asked Muhammad (i.e. Imaam Bukhaari) about it. He said: ‘’I do not regard it to be secure (i.e. its sanad).’ Ibn Maajah and Haakim have narratedit from the avenue of Hafs Bin Ghiyaath, and also from Hishaam. Tirmizi said: ‘It has been narrated in different ways from Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu). Its isnaad is not saheeh.’ (However, inspite of all this criticism), the amal of the Ulama is on it. (i.e. they have adopted it and the Ummah is practising accordingly).”
(Be it known that the Shariah as we have it today, was transmitted down the long corridor of more than 14 centuries from the Sahaabah. The Shariah did not reach us from Imaam Bukhaari or from any of the other Muhadditheen who appeared centuries after the Sahaabah. Thus the amal of the Fuqaha-e-Mutaqaddimeen override the Hadith classifications of the Muhadditheen. Even if a Hadith is labelled ‘weak’ by the later Muhadditheen, it has absolutely no effect on a Shar’i hukm which was already Mutawaatir during the age of the Sahaabah and Taabieen.)
Our Ustaadh, Allaamah Shaikh Muhammad Badr-e-Aalam said in the Ta’leeq (Annotation) on the discussion of Imaamul Asr: “I say: …..Verily, the Shaikh does not intend with the aforegoing discussion the abolition of the application of Isnaad. How is this possible? If it was not for Isnaad, anyone would have said whatever he desired. On the contrary, the Shaikh intends to convey that when a Hadith has become authentic by way of indications and it has become obvious, then to discard it merely on the basis of a weak narrator is not correct. How can this be so when continuity of practical adoption of it is a stronger testification for its substantiation according to him?”
And, Shaikh Muhammad Yusuf Binnuri said: “Verily, Shaikh Anwar (Hadhrat Anwar Shah Kashmiri) would say: ‘The purpose of Isnaad is to ensure that something which is not Deen does not creep into the Deen. The purpose of Isnaad is not to expunge from the Deen what has been substantiated of it by the practice (amal) of the Ahl-e-Isnaad (the Ulama whose Isnaad links up with Rasulullah – sallallahu alayhi wasallam)’” – End of Hadhrat Maulana Abdul Hayy’s dissertation
Wakee’ Bin Jarraah, the renowned Muhaddith and expert in the field of examining narrators said: “A Hadith which is in circulation among the Fuqaha is better than a Hadith in circulation among the Shuyookh of Hadith.”
In Shaami it is said: “When the Mujtahid employs a Hadith as a basis for formulation (of masaail), then (his istidlaal with it) is the accredition of that Hadith.”
In Imdaadul Fataawa, it is mentioned: “Is the consensus of the Jamhoor not a sign for the Hadith having a strong basis even if the factor of dhu’f (weakness) has become attached to it by way of the sanad?”
In I’laaus Sunan, it is mentioned: “The fame (shuhrat) of a mas’alah liberates us from (the need) of probing the asaneed.”
Ainul Hidaayah states: “Imaam Shaafi’ has written in his Risaalah that the Taabieen Ulama had accepted it (referring to a particular Hadith with no proven isnaad) in view of the fact that it was confirmed to them that it was the instruction of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Ibn Abdul Barr said that this instruction (referring to the Hadith in question) is well-known to the Ulama of history and the Fuqaha, hence due to the resemblance with Mutawaatir, there is no need for its isnaad.”
Providing further insight on this issue, Allaamah Anwar Shah Kashmiri explains in Fathul Baari:
“The Muhadditheen (i.e. the later Hadith compilers) take into consideration only the state of the isnaad. They do not consider Ta-aamul (uninterrupted practice from generation to generation initiating from the age of the Sahaabah). Hence, many a time a Hadith is authentic on the basis of their criteria. However, they find that there is no amal on that Saheeh Hadith. This bewilders them. In this regard, Tirmizi narrated in his Jaami’ two authentic narrations, valid for practical adoption. Then he commented: ‘Verily, no one has adopted it for amal. Inspite of the authenticity of the Isnaad no one is making amal on it.
In the same way the Muhadditheen have classified as Dhaeef a Hadith from the angle of its Isnaad although the Hadith is widely practised on it. (By the Ummah) during their time. (i.e. it was ma’mool bihi). Thus there is a disadvantage from a different angle. It is therefore imperative to consider Ta-aamul along with the isnaad, for verily, the Shariah revolves around Ta-aamul and Tawaaruth.” (i.e. the permanent practice from the time of the Sahaabah.)
Let it be understood that the Muhadditheen also have their ‘math-habs’ in the science of Hadith classification. Different Muhadditheen have their own criteria. A Hadith which is dhaeef to one Muhaddith, may be saheeh according to another one. There is considerable difference of opinion on this issue. While some Muhadditheen have labelled these narrations dhaeef, others have described them as Saheeh.
It is a principle of the science of Hadith that the cumulative effect of a variety of narrations of similar subject matter, but of variant versions in their respective Isnaad, eliminates the dhu’f (technical weakness), and elevates the Hadith to a status of acceptable authenticity.
Added to this, is the acceptance of such weak narrations by the illustrious Fuqaha. This acceptance (Talaqqi bil Qubool) is the strongest evidence for the authenticity of these Ahaadith. The fact that the Fuqaha present Ahaadith as Mustadallaat or as corroboration, testifies that their authenticity stems from the era of the Sahaabah. The immediate Asaatizah of the first wrung of Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen in the Taabieen era. These Aimmah passed on their Knowledge to their successors who are the Leaders of the Math-habs, and from them this knowledge pervaded the successive ranks of Fuqaha. These Fuqaha did not glean these Ahaadith or their Ilm in general from kutub. Thus, this Knowledge of Islam which we have in our kutub of Fiqh in front of us is not secondary and tertiary acquired from book-study. It is the Ilm of Wahi which reached us via the noble Links in an unbroken Golden Chain (Isnaad) which links up with Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).
In ascertaining the saht (authenticity) of Ahaadith which constitute the Mustadallaat of the Ahkaam of Fiqh, we are totally independent of the Hadith Books of Imaam Bukhaari, Imaam Muslim, etc., etc. The presentation of a Hadith by the Fuqaha is the strongest proof of its authenticity. In the face of the accredition of the Fuqaha, the conflicting classification of the Muhadditheen is devoid of substance in the context of the Ahkaam already formulated and finalized during the Khairul Quroon epoch.
In view of the clarity of the exposition of the principle of Talaqqi bil Qubool by the Authorities of the Shariah, the negation of the authenticity of the Ahadith presented by the Fuqaha by the later day scholars is untenable. All attempts made by some Ulama of the later ages to assail the Ahadith & Dalaa’il of the 4 Math-habs are devoid of Shar’i substances. Their personal opinions have to be set aside as fallacious. The only motive underlying these abortive attempts to dislodge the Dalaa’il of the 4 Math-habs is to extract support for their self-opinions with modernists leanings. The Fuqaha-e-Mutaqaddimeen had no such agenda. They stated the unadulterated Haqq to safeguard the pristine purity of the Sunnah.
We are dealing with a Hukm of the Shariah which was concluded by the illustrious Fuqaha long, long before the age of the Muhadditheen. There is, therefore, no need to refer to the later Muhadditheen for ascertainment of the status of a Hadith which the Fuqaha had authenticated by utilizing it as their Mustadal or for corroborating a fatwa which they had issued. In short, these Ahaadith authenticated by the Fuqaha are like GOLD.