by Abu Dharr (Opinion, Crescent International Vol. 49, No. 12, Jumada' al-Akhirah, 1442)
There is a frigid arctic attitude among most Sunni and Shi‘i highbrows when the subject matter is the Prophet’s hadith. These types of adamant conventional persons do not permit the reexamination or cross-examination of hadith literature. Some of them turn very distasteful when a sincere and committed Muslim tries to approach hadith literature with a Qur’anic mind and the Qur’anic frame of reference.
After all the preceding articles on this subject, by now readers would know—or should know—that the Prophet (pbuh) did not have his hadiths recorded, nor did the rightful successors or heirs to the Prophet (pbuh) do so. What we have are sincere but imperfect mortal beings giving it the best they can to collect what others profess to have been stated by our principled Prophet (pbuh).
They went about gathering such statements tens of years and in some cases hundreds of years after the Prophet (pbuh) passed away. These compilers of hadith never heard the Prophet (pbuh) speak. They set up standards and criteria to evaluate each person or persons who claimed that they had memorized such hadith(s) on the authority of a trusted and reliable individual from a previous generation. And this line of trustworthiness and reliability is traced all the way back to the Prophet himself.
With all the rigor that went into this verification process it remains subjective, as the criterion set up by these compilers excluded other honest and dependable Muslims who were disqualified because they were not “Shi‘is” or they were not “Sunnis”. This subjectivity or partisanship by the compilers of the hadith is questionable.
Remember, we are not questioning the Prophet (pbuh). We seek refuge in Allah from even having such a thought. We are questioning those who, many decades later, in good faith, gathered statements that were ascribed to the Prophet (pbuh).
With all of this in mind, may we politely and respectfully pose the following question: is it possible for persons to have been deemed trustworthy or honest by the compilers of hadith when in fact they are less than trustworthy and inadequately honest? In other words, could we have individuals who were evaluated to be trustworthy or honest but in actual fact they were not? To be candid about it, could there have been individuals who lied when they said they heard the Prophet (pbuh) say what he in fact did not say or mean?
One of the worst traits a person can have is lying. Falsehood and deceit are universally abhorrent. Perjury is a serious offence. Hopefully, everyone would agree with that. In this context attributing a statement to Allah’s Prophet (pbuh) – a statement that he never uttered – is extremely damaging and detrimental. The Prophet (pbuh) is not “some ordinary person”. He is an exemplar, a pace-setter, and leader.
Now, let us explain how a person can alter a hadith by adding just one word to it and thereby say something the Prophet (pbuh) never said.
The Prophet (pbuh) said:
لا تكذبوا علي فإنه ليس كذب علي ككذب على أحد
Don’t say what I did not say as what I say is not like what anyone else says. [Al-Tabarani by way of Rafi‘ ibn Khudeij].
This is obvious as the Prophet (pbuh) clarifies and explains matters that pertain to Allah’s revelation and scripture. No one else, even if he is a genius or a prodigy, can clarify such matters. Islam from beginning to end means obedience to Allah (swt) and such obedience should be in the manner that He outlines.
All other issues pertaining to material progress or scientific advancement are left to the pace of individuals or societies within the general framework of Islam with its emphasis on justice, mercy, the common good, equality, freedom, fidelity, fondness, and a parallel deconstruction of injustice, inequality, savagery, slavery, greed, monopoly, etc…
Taking all of the above into consideration, how would you think the Prophet (pbuh) reasoned when he knew that the Qur’an was being committed to memory and manuscript while his clarifications of the Qur’an were not committed to memory and manuscript in his lifetime the same way the Qur’an was?
There is another authentic hadith that says:
لا تكذبوا علي فإن من كذب علي فليلج النار
[Do not attribute false statements to me; for whoever attributes false statements to me should prepare to enter the fire.] This hadith is found in al-Bukhari, Muslim, al-Tirmidhi, al-Nisa’i, Ibn Majah, al-Darqutni, and al-Hakim.
In al-Bukhari, Rab‘i ibn Kharrash says he heard [Imam] ‘Ali quote this hadith from the Prophet (pbuh).
Up to here, everything is fine. But then we encounter turbulence. There is this narration in al-Bukhari on the authority of Anas and Abu Hureirah with the addition of one word into this hadith; and that word is "متعمدا". This so-called hadith is:
من كذب علي متعمدا فليتبوأ مقعده من النار
This word means deliberately or intentionally. In other hadith books besides al-Bukhari this hadith with the additional word "متعمدا" also appears. If there were serious scholarly research into this matter, we would find that this additional word does not appear in narrations going back to three of the Prophet’s successors. Besides, anyone who puts his mind to work would realize that the Prophet (pbuh) would not have spoken such a hadith with the word “intentionally” in it.
With the word “intentionally” added, the hadith excuses those who fabricate hadiths unintentionally. The Prophet’s mind and soul, to a thinking Muslim, would never relieve a liar from a lie attributed to him (pbuh). A lie, by definition, is a false statement about something or someone whether it is intentional or not intentional.
Sure, it is possible, we may encounter in our history or in our present time such “pious Muslims” who would justify attribution of such false statements to the Prophet (pbuh) by implying or saying we are lying for the Prophet (pbuh) not against him! This whole issue in some quarters led some “scholars” to differentiate between a premeditated lie on one hand and an unprompted lie on the other hand; as if there are unacceptable lies and acceptable lies!
Some may ask: why are we dwelling on this subject? Is this the time to open up such a sensitive issue? Who benefits from this type of argument? The answer is, our heart goes out to the millions of Muslims who have been trapped by false hadiths and led on by false authorities and entrapped by false rationalizations of a jihad against the kafers… Algeria, Afghanistan, ‘Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, etc… are important illustrations of how hadith literature is considered major and the Qur’an minor with all the catastrophic results coming to our attention every time we wake up and every time we go to sleep.
We have more than we can handle of external vicious and brutal enemies. We don’t need internal ignorant but “good meaning” scholars to set another trap for tens of millions of Muslims to be killed or become refugees within a grand plan. We are unable to foresee such grand plans because of some iced up intellects who refuse to rekindle their God-given ability to understand the Quran in context, in real time after which they can understand the detailed facts about hadiths.
Different dynasties and recent regimes are very pleased to see Muslims discussing to death divisive issues that lead to bad feelings and cold-blooded killings. Our TV programs and educational curricula are loaded with trigger issues: does doubt invalidate a person’s wudu’? Is it possible to see Allah (swt) in the life to come? Does the prayer recitation of the salat by an Imam relieve those following in prayer from reciting the fatihah? Those in the highest offices of the land are overjoyed to see the Muslims drowning in their fiqhi fluctuating issues.
They want this status quo to continue forever. But they get nervous and threatened when Muslims begin to de-fiqhi-ize ancient understandings of Islam and re-fiqhi-ize a current understanding of their Islam. When Muslims begin to ask strategic and ideological Qur’anic questions: Is a government meant to serve an individual or a principle? Why has money and wealth become a monopoly of the 1%, while the rest are consumed by hunger, wars, malnutrition, a declining standard of living, etc? Are people entitled to their God-given freedom? Or can they be reduced to slavery or civic inferiors?
We are still living in a generation where Muslims argue and are willing to fight over whether a man shaking hands with a woman in public invalidates wudu’? This issue is more “Islamic” to them than whether a country has free or fraudulent elections.
We have a young generation of millions of Muslims who are sacrificing their lives within an imperialist-zionist-Saudi alliance oblivious of the fact that they have been ensnared by scholars for dollars and sheikhs for shekels and ruwaybidas (رويبضة)[preposterous personas] for riyals.
As if the CIA, the Mossad, MI6 and their Arabian underlings understood that a new generation of young Muslims is coming of age and they will fight for their rights. So, we will define the warfront and the war perimeters and the war conduct for them. And they picked the Saudi monarchy and its Arabian sheikhdoms to indoctrinate and enlist this up-and-coming generation into an imperialist jihad. All of this was made possible in large part because the Qur’an was marginalized and the hadith [false and true] was idolized.
In part, this is why we are shining the light on hadiths that are not hadiths.
I am delivering to you my Sustainer’s messages and giving you good advice: for I know [through revelation] from Allah what you do not know. (Al-An‘am, 62)