Category Archives: Principles of Hadith

The Usul Of Talaqqi Bil Qubool – Ahaadith Authenticated By The Fuqaha

[Majlisul Ulama]

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 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.

A Response to Doubts raised by Maududi on the Science of Hadith Verification

Maududi expounds his views extensively on hadith and the science of hadith verification in his book Tafhimaat (vol.1, p.359–362 / Islamic Publications Limited, Lahore 2000 CE). Under the heading, ‘Maslak-e-Eitidaal (The Moderate Position)’, he says,

“…Rather our intention is to clarify that those (the Muhadditheen) who have criticized or praised individuals were after all human. They too had human weaknesses. Is it necessary that those whom they have declared as trustworthy were trustworthy beyond doubt and trustworthy in all their narrations… Moreover, to accurately ascertain each individual’s memory, good intention and self-restrain, etc., is further difficult…

It is due to this and similar reasons that the knowledge of isnad, Jarh and Ta’deel cannot be considered correct in its entirety. This material is reliable to the extent that it helps in the research of Prophet’s Sunnah and Aathaar and it may be given due consideration, but it is not of the status that it may be relied upon completely.”

On page, 356-57 he writes,

“The first thing that is examined in judging a narration is the  status  of  the  narrators.  In  this  regard,  each  and  every narrator  is  examined through various manners, whether he is  a  liar,  careless  in  narrating  narrations,  sinner  or  heretic, dubious  or  weak  in  his  memory,  whether  his  condition  is unknown or his condition is known. By all these conditions the  status  of  the  narrators  were  examined  by  the Muhadditheen,  and  they  thus  presented  a  glorious collection  on  Asmaa’  ar-Rijaal  (the  study  of  the  narrators) which  are  beyond  doubt  invaluable.  But  what  amongst  this is  not  prone  to  mistakes?  Firstly,  it  is  difficult  to  accurately know  the  biography  of  the  narrators,  their  memory  and their  other  inner  qualities.  Secondly,  those  people themselves  who  formed  an  opinion  about  them  were  not free  from  human  weaknesses.  Nafs  (desires)  accompany everyone  and there  is  a  strong  possibility  that  personal opinions  interfered  in  forming  an  opinion,  good  or  bad, about individuals…


Firstly:  The science  of hadith and isnads (chains of narrators) is one of  the  special  characteristics  of  this  ummah.  No  other nation  paid  attention  as  this  ummah  did  to  the chains  of  narration  through  which  their  books and  their  religion  were  transmitted.  This  is why  the  texts  of  other  nations  were subjected  to  distortions  and  fabrications, and it became impossible for them to know  the  pure  religion  and  to  find  out  about  the  stories  of  the Prophets in a sound and authenticated manner.

The  scholars  of  hadith  have  striven  hard  and  reached  a prominent  position  in  that  field,  as  Allah  has  honoured  them  with efforts  to preserve His religion and the Sunnah of His Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)

Muhammad ibn Haatim ibn al-Muzaffar (rahimahullah) said,

“Allah  has  honoured  this  ummah  and  favoured  it  over others  by  blessing  it  with  the  isnaad.  No  other  nation  has  this blessing,  and  they  do  not  distinguish  between  that  which  was revealed  in  the  Tawrah  and  Injeel  and  was  brought  by  their Prophets, and that  which  was added to their books of narrations transmitted  from  inauthentic  sources.  This  ummah  narrates hadith  from  a  trustworthy  individual  who  was  known  at  his own  time  for  sincerity  and  honesty,  from  another  of  similar character,  and so on until the end of the chain of narrators. Then they  researched  very  carefully  to  find  out  who  had  the  stronger memory  and  was  more  precise,  and  who  spent  more  time  with the  one  from  whom  the  report  was  transmitted,  and  who  spent less  time,  then  they  would  write  down  the  hadith  from  more than  twenty  chains  of  narration,  so  that  they  could  be  sure  that they had eliminated  any  mistake or error from it,  and they  wrote it  exactly  as  it  was  narrated.  This  is  one  of  the  greatest  blessings that  Allah  has  bestowed  upon  this  ummah.  We  ask  Allah  to inspire us to thank Him for this blessing and we ask Him to make us  steadfast  and  to  guide  us  to  that  which  will bring  us  closer  to Him  and  make  us  adhere  to  obedience  to  Him.” [End  quote  from Sharaf Ashaab al-Hadith (40)]

Secondly: They are the best people who strove the most to ensure that their judgement and transmission of hadith was done on the basis of honesty  and sincerity,  and  they  were  the  ones  who strove the most to avoid  errors  and  mistakes  to  the  extent  that  they  set  the  highest example  of  fairness  and  avoiding  favoritism  when  it  comes  to preserving the religion of Allah. 

So we see ‘Ali ibn al-Madini  ruling that his father was da’eef (weak),  and  he  knew  that  this  ruling  regarding  his  father  would guarantee an end to his position as a scholar, but  that  did  not  prevent him from stating his opinion concerning him.

Al-Khateeb al-Baghdaadi (rahimahullah) said,

“None  of  the  people  of  hadith  should  show  any  favoritism with regard to the science of hadith, whether it is to his father or his  son.  ‘Ali  ibn  ‘Abd-Allaah  al-Madini,  who  was  a  prominent scholar  of  hadith  in  his  time,  never  narrated  even  a  letter  to suggest  that  his  father  was  strong  in  hadith,  rather  what  was narrated from him was the opposite of that.” [End  quote  from  Sharaf  Ashaab  al-Hadith  (41)]

Ibn Hibbaan said in al-Majrooheen (2/15),

“Ali  ibn  al-Madini  was  asked  about  his  father  and  he  said, ‘Ask  someone  else.  They  said,  ‘We  asked  you.  He paused  then  he  raised  his  head  and said,  This has  to  do with religion;  my  father  is  da’eef (weak).” 

Yahya  ibn  Ma’een (rahimahullah) spoke about a friend of his whom  he  loved,  and  al-Husayn ibn Hibbaan narrated that he said of Muhammad ibn Saleem al-Qaadi,

“By Allah, he is our friend, and he is dear to us, but there is no way  to  praise  him  and  I  do  not  recommend  anyone  to  narrate from him or encourage others to do so.” and he said, “By Allaah, he heard  a  great  deal  and  he is  well  known, but he  does not limit himself  to  what  he  heard,  rather  he  includes  things  that  he  did not  hear.”  I  said  to  him,  “Should  he  be  narrated  from?”  He  said, “No.”                                   [See, Tareekh Baghdaad (5/325)]

Jareer ibn ‘Abd al-Hameed said concerning his brother Anas, “He should not be narrated from. He tells lies when he talks to people.”           [Al-Jarh wal-Ta’deel (2/289)]

Imam  al-Bukhari (rahimahullah) narrated  a  great  deal  in  his  Sahih  from  his Shaykh,  Muhammad  ibn  Yahya  al-Dhuhali  in  spite  of  the  harm  that he  was  subjected  to  as  a  result  of  a  misunderstanding  between  him and the Shaykh who forsook him. But that enmity did not prevent him from accepting and narrating his hadith.

They  would  accept  hadith  from  those  who  held  different opinions and beliefs to their own – if it was proven that (the narrator) was  honest  and  sincere.  The  fact  that  a  narrator  was  a  follower  of bid’ah did not prevent them from judging him on the basis of fairness, because  they  paid  heed  to  the  Words  of  Allah,  “O  you  who  believe! Stand  out  firmly  for  Allaah  as  just  witnesses;  and  let  not  the  enmity and  hatred  of  others  make  you avoid justice.  Be  just,  that  is  nearer  to piety,  and  fear  Allah. Verily,  Allaah  is Well  Acquainted with  what  you do.” [Surah al-Maidah 5:8]

Yahya ibn Ma’een (rahimahullah) was asked about Sa’eed ibn Khuthaym and he said,

“He  is  a  Kufi  and  there  is  nothing  wrong  with  him;  he  is trustworthy.”
It was said to Yahya, “Is he Shi’i?”
He said, “A trustworthy Shi’i, a trustworthy Qadari.” [Tahdheeb  al-Kamaal  (10/414)]

Abbaad  ibn  Ya’qoob  al-Rawaajini  al-Kufi  was  a  fanatical  Shi’i,  but despite that Ibn Khuzaymah said in his Sahih (2/376), “The  one  who  is trustworthy  in  his  narration  but  dubious  in  his religious commitment, ‘Abbaad ibn Ya’qoob, told us… ”

Thirdly:  Just  as  they  understood  the  seriousness  of  tarnishing people’s  honour  unlawfully,  they  also  understood  the  seriousness  of speaking  badly  about  any  of  the  narrators,  because  it  could  affect  the issue of accepting or rejecting the hadith of the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) from  them.  Muhammad  ibn  Sireen (rahimahullah)  said,  “This  knowledge  is  the (foundation  of)  religion,  so  watch  from  whom  you  learn  your religion.”  [Narrated by Muslim in the Introduction to his Sahih]

Ibn Daqeeq al-‘Eid said,

“The  honour  of  the  Muslims  is  a  pit  of  Hellfire.  Two  groups are  standing  at  the  edge  of  this  pit;  the  muhadditheen  and  the judges.”         [See: Tadreeb al-Raawi (2/369)]

Such great  piety  and  awareness  must  inevitably have  a  great  effect  of fairness  and  seeking  to  be  right  when  judging  narrators.  This  is  what was  stipulated  by  the  scholars  for  everyone  who  wants  to  examine narrators and pass judgement concerning them.

Al-Dhahabi said in al-Mooqizah (82),

“Judging narrators requires a great deal of piety and freedom from  whims  and  desires  and  bias,  along  with  complete experience in the science of hadeeth and the faults and narrators thereof.” 

Al-Mu’allimi (rahimahullah) said in al-Tankeel (1/54),

“The  imams  of  hadith  are  knowledgeable  and  careful, andthey  strive  to  avoid  mistakes,  but  they  differ  with  regard  to that.”  

Fourthly:  Yes,  none  of  them  is  infallible  and  it  is  possible  that  there may be mistakes in what some of them say. It is also possible that the cause  of  some  of  these  mistakes  may  be  love  or  hate  for  someone. Some  things  of  that  nature  did  indeed  happen,  for  no  human  being can  be  entirely  free  of  that.  But  that  should  not  be  a  reason  for doubting all of their judgements, and this is for the following reasons:

1  – Because these are a few mistakes when compared with the great  legacy  that  the  leading  scholars  of  hadith  and al-jarh  wa’l-ta’deel  have  left  behind,  the  vast  majority  of which  is  based  on  honesty  and  fairness,  so  it  is  unfair  to overlook that because of a few mistakes.

2  –  Because  the  scholars  highlighted  these  mistakes  and pointed them out in their comments. Whatever the motive was,  whether  it  was  enmity,  envy  or  a  difference  of madhhab, they would reject unfair judgements and would issue fair judgements concerning a specific narrator.

Hence none of the scholars accepted the view of Imam Malik (rahmatullah alayh) concerning  Muhammad  ibn  Ishaaq,  the  author  of  al-Maghaazi,  that he  was one of the  fabricators,  when  they  realized  that  this  statement was  based  on  resentment  and  personal  reasons;  rather  they  judged him  as  “hasan  al-hadith”  (i.e.,  a  good  narrator)  and  the  leading scholars  of  hadith  used  his  reports  as  evidence.  And  they  did  not accept the view of al-Nasaa’i concerning Ahmad ibn Salih al-Masri, or the  view  of  Rabi’ah  concerning  Abu’l-Zinnaad  ‘Abd-Allaah  ibn Dhakwaan. [See, al-Raf’ wa’l-Takmeel (409-432)].

Abu Hatim al-Raazi (rahimahullah) said,

“There has never been in any nation since Allah created Adam (alayhissalaam), safekeepers  who preserve the  legacy of the Messengers except in this  ummah.  A  man  said  to  him,  “O  Abu  Hatim,  perhaps  there were  narrations  which  have  no  basis  and  are  not  sound?”  He said,    “Their scholars will recognize the sound from the unsound. So  they  preserved  this  science  (of  hadeeth)  so  that  the  people who  came  after  them  were  able  to  distinguish  between  reports and  preserve  them.”  Then  he  said.  “May  Allah  have  mercy  on Abu Zur’ah; by Allah he strove very hard to preserve the legacy of the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).”        [Sharaf Ashaab al-Hadith (43)]

You should understand that Allah has  preserved  this religion  by  His  grace  and  blessing  and  that  the Sunnah  has  been  preserved  as  Allah guaranteed  to  preserve  His  religion.  So  it  is not  possible  for  the  scholars  to unanimously agree to authenticate  a weak narrator  or  to  criticize  or  condemn  a sound narrator. Rather you will inevitably find  that  truthfulness  and  fairness  are very  apparent  in  the  views  of  the  majority of scholars and in most issues of religion.

Imam  al-Dhahabi  (rahimahullah)  said  in  al-Mooqizah (84),

“The  same  Imam  may  be  more  generous  or  more kind  with  regard  to  a  report  that  is  in  accordance  with  his madhhab  or  the  madhhab  of  his  Shaykh  than  with  regard  to other  reports  that  say  the  opposite.  But  it  is  only  the  Prophets who are infallible.  But this religion  is  supported and protected by Allah, may He be  exalted,  and  its  scholars  will  never  agree  on  misguidance, either deliberately or by mistake. So no two scholars will agree on classing  a  weak  narrator  as  sound,  or  a  sound  narrator  as  weak. Rather  their  differences  will  be  with  regard  to  how  strong  or weak a narrator is.  The  one  who passes such judgements speaks on  the  basis  of  his  own  effort,  strength  and  knowledge.  If  it  so happens that  he  makes a  mistake in  judging,  then  he will have  a single reward. And Allah is the source of strength.” 

Ibn Kathir (rahimahullah) said in al-Baa’ith al-Hatheeth (1/11),

“As  for  the  words  of  these  imams  who  took  on  this  task  (of examining  hadith),  they  should  be  accepted  without questioning  or  mentioning  the  reason  because  of  their knowledge  of  it  and  their  deep  understanding  of  this  field  and because  of  their  being  known  to  be  fair,  religiously  committed, experienced  and  sincere,  especially  if  they  agree  unanimously that a narrator is weak, or matrook (to be ignored) or a liar and so on.  The  skilled  muhaddith  will  not hesitate  to  agree  with  them  when they  take  a  decision  of  that  nature because  of  their  honesty, trustworthiness  and  sincerity.  Hence  al-Shafi’i (rahimahullah) said  in  many  instances  when commenting  on  Ahadith,  “None  of  the scholars would regard this hadith as sound,” so he would reject it and not quote it as evidence on that basis.” 

Finally, one should be content with the blessing that Allah has bestowed  upon  this  ummah  by  means  of  this  noble  branch  of knowledge, and do not get carried away with doubts about the sahih ahadith.  Reason  dictates  that  we  should  not  reject  the  efforts  of thousands of sincere scholars throughout the centuries on the basis of a  few  mistakes  here  and  there.  To  appreciate  the  science  of  Hadith verification,  one  must  strive  to  read  the  numerous  books  on  the subject,  and  one  cannot  help  but  be  astonished  by  the  huge  efforts that  were  put  into  verifying  a  single  hadith

Even  the  Orientalist Margoliouth said, “The Muslims may boast about their science of hadith.”

Difference between Ahadith Narrations & Historical Reports

[By Mufti Shafi’i Uthmani (rahimahullah)]

In Islam, the level of belief and reliance that is placed on the Qur’aan and Mutawatir Ahadith, that level of belief has not been placed upon the general Ahadith. The rank of the statement of the Sahaba (radhiyallahu anhum) is not that of the Hadith of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). Similarily, the rank of the belief and reliance on  historical narrations is not the same as that of the Qur’aan, Sunnah or the statements of the Sahaba (radhiyallahu anhum) proven through an authentic chain of narration.

If a Hadith is found to be in (apparent) contradiction to the text of the Qur’aan, then it will be compulsory to interpret it (make ta’wil) and if the interpretation is not understood then it compulsory to leave that Hadith out. Similarily, if a historical narration contradicts anything proven in the Qur’aan and the Sunnah, then it will be left out or it will be compulsory to  interpret it, no matter how reliable and dependable that narration is in historical terms.

This grading of reliability and dependability does not lower the honour and importance of a science, but it enchances the Shariah and the honour of its laws, such that the highest level of reliability and dependability will be necessary in order to prove them.


It is sufficient to gauge the importance of history in Islam from the fact that history and stories is one of the five important sciences of the Noble Qur’aan. The Noble Qur’aan gives special importance to explaining the good and bad conditions of the days of before and after past nations. However, the Noble Qur’aan has a unique style of explaining history and stories. Instead of mentioning the story in sequence, it divides the story, and narrates it together with other subjects. Also, the story is not mentioned just in one place, but the Qur’aan repeates the story in various places.

Through this unique method, the importance of history as well as its objective is clarified, i.e the lessons behind each incident. Islam has taught special etiquettes in the writing of history, and has also stated that history, merely as a subject, has no real value. History becomes valuable only when one takes lesson from it.

After pondering over the treasure of Ahadith and Sirah of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) one shall find the entire treasure to be a history of the speech and actions of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). When people began narrating incorrectly and fabricating Ahadith, then the need arose for the history of narrators to be known, in order to protect the Ahadith. The Imam’s of Ahadith placed great importance upon this. Sufyan Thawri (rahimahullah) said that when narrators began to lie, we used history to oppose them.

That part of history, which deals with narrators of Ahadith, (regarding whether they are reliable or not) has been given great importance in the science of Hadith. It even received a separate name, i.e Asma’ ur Rijal (The names of narrators).

The scholars of the Ummah that have objected and classified the criticism of narrators to be backbiting, their objection was only in the case where the criticism went beyond the limits of the Shariah; where finding fault and disgracing the person without need and necessity became the objective; or where there was no justice and balance exercised in the grading of a narrator.

Just as the Muhaddithin felt the need to scrutinize the narrators, at the same time they placed a number of necessary conditions in order to keep this work within the limits of the Shariah. This has been explained in detail by Hafidh Abdur Rahman Sakhawi (rahimahullah) in his book- Al-A’lam bil taubeeq liman zim al-tareeq.

In this book he has mentioned that the first condition for levelling criticism is that the intention of the criticizer be correct. The intention should never be to show a fault of a narrator or to disgrace him, but rather the objective should be well-wishing and the protection of the Ahadith.

Secondly, this work should only be done regarding that person who has a link to the narration of a Hadith; or in the case where one would be saved from harm due to the criticism levelled. If this is not the motive, then remember, it is no work of Deen to make spreading the faults of someone a past-time.

Thirdly, a scholar should only suffice a minimum required in this particular field, which is that a particular narrator is weak, unreliable or he fabricates narrations. Extra words that point out a fault should be avoided. Whatever is said must only be said after thorough investigation and research.

In summary; that part of history that deals with the protection of Ahadith i.e criticizing the narrators, jarh and ta’dil, explaining their biographies, etc, forms the part of those necessary sciences upon which the preservation of the Ahadith of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) depends.

As for that part of history, which has generally been referred to as ‘history’, which discusses all major events which occurred rrom the time the universe was created until present times, the incidents of the Ambiya (alayhimussalaam), the lives of rulers and kings, the revolutions in the world, wars, victories, etc, these incidents, have been narrated from generation to generation and some have come down in book form. Before Islam, this was nothing but a collection of stories, incidents and tales, which had no verification and none ever bothered regarding checking its authenticity.

Islam was the first to make clarification and research into the authenticity of the narration necessary. The Noble Qur’aan says:

“If a sinful person brings you a report, verify its correctness”.

Those who recorded the teachings of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), his speech and actions adopted this special method and made more than one science through which the Hadith of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was protected. Principles were also formulated for the other matters that were narrated. In the general history of the world that the Muslims compiled, these principles were considered as far as possible.

Muslims were the ones who accorded history the standing of being a proper and reliable science. Muslims taught the world to write history and to verify it. The scholars of the Ummah had scrutinized the narrations of the incidents of the Ambiya (alayhimussalaam) and then the Ahadith. Not only did they separate the truth from the falsehood, but also they established stages from highest to lowest in the true and reliable narrations.

They separated the part of history that deals with the Ahadith i.e. Asma’ ur Rijal and made it a part of the science of Ahadith. They also paid special attention to writing general history, the history of countries and kings, the history of  various parts of the world and its Geography.

There are great Imams of Hadith and Tafsir, scholars and jurists, etc, who have written regarding the history of Ummah. Thousands of small and big books were written, from which it is proven that this history also has a status in Islam.

In the first 40 pages of his book, Hafidh Abdur Rahman Sakhawi (rahimahullah) has made mention of the virtues and benefits of history in detail, in the light of the statements of the scholars and wise men. The greatest and most comprehensive benefit is to derive lesson; to realize the temporary nature of this world by pondering over the rise and fall of nations, to create consciousness of the great power of Allah Ta’ala and to become aware of His bounties and blessings through the biographies of the Ambiya (alayhimussalaam) and the pious; and to inculcate  within one the importance of staying away from disbelief and sin, by taking lesson from the evil end of the disbelievers and sinners. 

Despite this science having so many benefits and virtues, none have ever accorded this science the status that the beliefs of Islam and laws could be drawn from it. No one ever accorded it such a status that historical reports could be used as proof  in the laws of halaal and haraam. Historical reports are not regarded as effective in those laws for which there is a need for Shar’i proof. In addition, there is no path for historical reports to create doubt in any of the laws that have been proven from the Qur’aan, Sunnah, Ijma’ or Qiyaas.

The reason for this is that, although Islamic history is not  baseless tales, without a chain of narration, however two matters cannot be overlooked when studying history and when using it for one’s objective. Those who overlook these two matters will use history incorrectly and will fall into the trap of many deviated groups.

The first matter is that the Ahadith of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) i.e. his speech or actions which the Sahaba (radhiyallahu anhum) have heard or seen, was a trust which they understood had to be conveyed to the Ummah. They thus paid special attention to every utterance and actions of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and ensured that it remained preserved in their minds and hearts, as far as possible.

Besides this, the intense love that the Sahaba (radhiyallahu anhum) had for Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was such that they were not even prepared to let the water he (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) used for wudhu fall to the ground, they would rub it on their faces and chests. When they would protect the hair that separated from the body of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and his old clothing more than their own lives, how could it ever be fathomed that they would not give due importance to protecting the Ahadith of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)?

The immense love of the Sahaba (radhiyallahu anhum) spurred them to protect his (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) every word and to care for his every hadith, more than even their own lives. Almighty Allah, for the protection of the words of His beloved Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) created a most noble group, possessing angelic qualities, numbering more than a hundred thousand, all with one mission i.e to ensure the protection and propagation of the speech and actions of the single personality, Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).

This privilege was not accorded to anyone before Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). Even if one were amongst the greatest of kings, then too no one would ever have the concern to listen to every word of his, attentively, remember it, and then propagate it to others. The incidents of kings, conditions of countries and places, and the changes of time are definitely studied and heard with interest, but who has the concern to remember them properly and propagate them as well? Therefore, historical incidents and narrations can never have the same status as that of a Ahadith!.

Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was commanded to propagate the Qur’aan and the teachings of Risalat (known as the Ahadith) throughout the world, and to the coming generations, until the Final Hour. For this purpose, Allah Almighty blesses him with such Companions, who were filled with his love and honour. Together with this, Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) made it the obligation of every Sahabi (radhiyallahu anhu) to convey whatever aspect of Deen they heard or saw from Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) to the Ummah.

Then too, the danger remained, that when propagating a law, or when narrating from one person to the next, it could easily happen that a mis-quote would occur or that a man could misunderstand a statement and narrate it according to his misunderstanding. To ward off this danger, He (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) issued a stern warning to the narrators of his Ahadith, that they were to exercise the utmost caution possible when narrating his words and actions, Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) would constantly repeat the following: he who wilfully attributes something false to me should prepare his abode in the fire

This severe warning made the Sahaba (radhiyallahu anhum) and the scholars of Hadith that came later so cautious in the narration of Hadith, that as long as a Hadith was not proven with very steong research, they stayed away from attributing it to him (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) The scholars that followed and arranged the Ahadith in chapters and sections, selected only a few thousand Ahadith, after great research, from the hundreds of thousands that they learnt.

In tadrib ur Rawi, p.12, Allama Suyuti (rahimahullah) has written,

Imam Bukhari (rahimahullah) said that he chose (the ahadith of) Sahih Bukhari from a hundred thousand authentic (sahih) and two hundred thousand unauthentic (ghayr sahih) Ahadith that he knew from memory. Subsequently, in Sahih Bukhari, there are four thousand unrepeated Ahadith.

Imam Muslim (rahimahullah) said that he chose from three hundred thousand Ahadith when writing his sahih, in which there are only four thousand unrepeated Ahadith.

Imam Abu Dawud (rahimahullah) says that from five hundred thousand Ahadith of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) he selected for his Sunan only four thousand Ahadith.

Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (rahimahullah) says that he chose the Ahadith of Musnad Ahmad from seven hundred and fifty thousand Ahadith.

In this way, through natural means and in the shade of the wise administration of Rasulullah  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), that Ahadith of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was gathered in a unique, divinely aided method and it became the second proof of the shariah after the Qur’aan.


This is because, firstly, there was no reason for people to give importance to remembering general incidents and events and then convey them to the people; exactly as they hear.

Secondly, if the historians had to judge and scrutinize historical reports and record them with the strict research the hadith narrations require, and only if three or four thousand were chosen from four hundred thousand in Ahadith, then in historical narrations, not even four hundred would have remained! Ninety-nine percent of historical narrations would be forgotten and obliterated and worldly and religious benefits attached to them would have been lost.

This is the reason why the books of the Imams of Ahadith alone have the status of being principle, reliable works. The narrators that have been classified as weak in the field of Ahadith, when it comes to history, these narrators are also accomodated and their narrations are given consideration.

Waqidi’ and Sayf ibn ‘Umar have been classified as weak in narrating hadith. In fact, they have been severely criticized. However, when it comes to history, the imams of Hadith do not find any problem in narrating from them.

In the science of history, all types of narrations are gathered in each chapter, without any real research or inquiry regarding its strength. Scholars who are taken to be leaders in inquiry, research and investigation in the sciences of Qur’aan and Sunnah, when they write a book in the field of history, then although they do not give place to baseless stories and tales, however, they do not over-exert themselves in researching the lives of the narrators and checking the criticism levelled against them, as they would gave done, had it been Ahadith that were being narrated.

Had these scholars exercised such caution in history as they did when it comes to the science of Ahadith, then ninety-nine percent of history would have been lost from the world. The world then have been deprived of the benefits, lessons, wisdoms, etc, that are linked to this science.

Also, since no Shar’i law was ever going to be extracted from the books of history, no real need for such caution and research was ever felt. That is why the imams of Jarh and Ta’deel (scholars who were famous in describing narrators) also adopted a wide, accepting stance in the field of history. The famous imam of Hadith and Usul al Hadith, Imam ibn Salah (rahimahullah) states in his book Ulum al Hadith:

The aspect dominant among the historians that they gather many narrations in which, authentic, unauthentic, and all types of narrations are mixed.

Allamah ibn Kathir (rahimahullah) was a famous Imam and a well-known researcher. He had an outstanding quality of researching and investigating narrations. However, when this same luminary writes his history work, Al Bidayah Wan Nihayah, then this level of inquiry and investigation does not remain, in fact, he himself attested to this fact, with the following statement, regarding some of the historical narrations in his book:

“I myself have doubt about their authenticity. However, since Ibn Jarir al Tabari (rahimahullah) and others have transmitted these narrations before me, I had thus merely followed suit. Had they not mentioned these narrations, I would have not recorded it in my book.”

It is quite apparent that in the search of a Hadith, he would have never that despite doubting its authenticity, just because some previous author had mentioned it that is why he wrote it.

This is despite the fact that ibn Kathir (rahimahullah) has refuted many narrations of Tabari (rahimahullah) and criticized them in Al Bidayah Wan Nihayah. All these points testify to the fact that in the field of history, those who criticize some narrations, they too have regarded it appropriate to gather as many narrations as possible regarding an incident, under one chapter, despite it being weak or even possibly fabricated.

This is not the co-incidental error of any individual, but this is the line of thinking of all the imams of science of history, that it is no fault to mention weak, unreliable narrations in the science of history without criticizing them. The reason for this is that they understood well that beliefs and laws of the shariah are not proven through history. Rather, its purpose is that man takes lessons from it and learns from the errors of those who had already slipped.

If a person desires using these narrations as proof for a ruling that deals with Islamic beliefs or practical deeds, then it is his responsibility to adopt the same laws for scrutinizing the details of each and every narrator, as is necessary in the narration of Hadith.

Without knowing this, how could it ever be permissible to draw rulings from historical narrations, just on the basis of a narration been found in the history book  of some reliable Imam of Hadith!

[Taken from the book Maqaam e Sahaba]