The definition of Hadith (حديث) according to the Muhaddithîn is “The knowledge of the sayings of Rasulullah ﷺ, his actions, conditions, acknowledgements of actions and that of his Sahaba [RA] and those beyond them (who are followed in Deen).”
(Fath al-Baqiy Bi Sharh Alfiyyah al-‘Iraqiy Pg.41)
- Mawdu’ Hadith (الحديث موضوع)
A Mawdu’ hadith is a fabricated one, due to its content (matn) or its chain of narration (isnad). Hadiths with no source are also dealt with here and are treated as a forgery unless a reliable source is brought up.
Serious Warnings given to those narrating storytales about the Holy Prophet ﷺ
“The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: ‘Whoever tells lies about me deliberately, let him take his place in Hell.” (Bukhari and Muslim, nearly two hundred sahabahs have reported this narration!)
He also said: “When the Children of Israel were doomed they started to tell stories.” (hadith da’if according to some, hasan for others) and that “Among the greatest of lies is for a man to claim to belong to someone other than his father, or to claim that he has seen something which he did not see, or to attribute words to the Messenger of Allaah ﷺ that he did not say.”
So the ahadith regarding this matter are pretty clear heh? So everyone who narrates fabricated ahadith and stories about the Messenger of Allah ﷺ and does not point out which are sahih and which are false is included among the sinners and is exposed to the warning of Allah.
I’ve just read a ‘juicy hadith’ whose authenticity might not be proven but it might make some cry, can I still propagate it?
NO. And you may also have an ego problem if your intention is to make other people cry.
What if we were in an Islamic State…?
Al-Suyooti mentioned that “whoever narrated false ahaadeeth deserves to be whipped and threatened with worse, and to be rebuked and boycotted; he should not be greeted, he may be talked about behind his back for the sake of Allah [see, even ‘backbiting’ becomes allowed], he should be referred to the ruler (to stop him doing this), judgement should be passed to prevent him from narrating such reports, and testimony should be given against him”.
Tahdheer al-Khawaas min Akaadheeb al-Qussaas, p.167.
This is in order to defend the Sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ and to eliminate false reports, and to protect individuals and societies against these fables and lies.
You see it’s easy on the net : one just log-in on the forums/social websites, copy/paste-likes-retweet an article using forged stories attributed to the prophet ﷺ while not at all concerned about the authenticity of the report, only our glory/number of views/retweets/likes seem to count.
Some useful related links which shows complexity of the hadith science:
‘Ulamas have explained that for using a Da’if (weak) hadith, it is absolutely necessary that these 3 conditions are met:
- The narration may not be mawdhu OR its weakness not be too important;
- The hadith must be in accordance with renown and legitimated practices, established from valid references (Qur’an verses, authentic or reliable ahadith)
- One must not have the conviction that the hadith is legitimate and established so that one does not attribute to the Holy Prophet ﷺ something he may not have said, as a precaution the hadith being unfounded.
Now what do we see nowadays ? Condition #3 is barely respected, and point #2 is taken lightly most often. As for #1, the degree of weakness is not always sought, as for some people any weak hadith = can be used. NO, it CAN be used PROVIDED above conditions are respected.
That is why I have included the ‘Extremely weak hadith’ in this blog as they are frequently quoted without satisfying the 3 conditions.
There is one hadith that I think may be unreliable, but I can still use it for fadha’il, right ?
NO, Rasulullah ﷺ is reported to have said ‘Whoever narrates such a Hadith from me regarding whose authenticity he doubts, then he is also from the liars.’
Sahih Muslim Vol.1 Pg.6 of Introduction; Sunan Ibn Majah Pg.5, Hadith39.
Either you believe it is reliable or not.
References (for the 3 conditions) :
Ad-dur ul Mukhtar, 1/87
Radd ul Muhtar
I’la’ us Sunan, 18/8904
Tadrib ul Rawi, 1/298-299
And what about heart-softeners (eg fabrications on lives of scholars, miracles/stories on people) that are too fabricated and whose lessons contain something contrary to the teachings of Islam?
Undoubtedly these false stories are things that become widespread among those who do not understand their religion properly. They are propagated by liars and storytellers who fabricate lies against the laws of Allah.
What we must do is be above being mere storytellers who tell the common folk stories that go against shari’ah. The salaf of this ummah issued a stern warning against these storytellers, because of the bad effects that their stories have on the common folk and because they contain things that go against the laws of Allah.
Ibn al-Jawzi (Rahimahullâh) said in Talbees Iblees (p. 150):
Rather the storytellers are condemned because they tell many stories without mentioning any beneficial knowledge, and usually they mix sound and unsound material in what they narrate and rely on things that are mostly impossible.
It was narrated that Abu Qilaabah ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Zayd said:
Nothing kills knowledge but stories. A man may sit with another man for a year and not learn anything from him, and he may sit with a knowledgeable man and not get up until he has learned something.Hilyat al-Awliya’ (2/287).
How often do these storytellers narrate from bad reports to the masses, and tell them these fables, which reach such a status among the masses that they believe everything that they hear and even give them precedence over the scholars and seekers of knowledge.
Ibn al-Jawzi also said:
The storyteller narrates weird reports to the masses, and tells them that even if he had even the slightest whiff of knowledge he would not have told them. So the masses leave with a lot of false notions in their minds, which they discuss amongst themselves. If a scholar denounces them, they say: we heard this, he narrated it to us. How many storytellers have misled others by means of the fabricated reports they narrate to them; how many people have turned yellow with hunger (because of what they heard encouraging asceticism); how many people left their families, homes and cities to wander like monks; how many have refrained from doing that which is permitted; how many have refrained from learning and teaching knowledge, believing that he is going against his own whims and desires; how many have made their children orphans because of their asceticism whilst still alive; how many have turned away from their wives and not given them their rights, so that she is neither single nor truly married.Al-Mawdoo’aat (1/32)
Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (Rahimahullâh) said:
The greatest liars among the people are the storytellers. The people need truthful storytellers who will remind them of death and the punishment of the grave. It was said to him: Didn’t you attend their gatherings? He said: No.Al-Adaab al-Shar’iyyah by Ibn Muflih al-Hanbali (2/82).
The storytellers pay too much attention to stories and myths, which they narrate to the common folk, without any understanding or knowledge, and the common man hears a lot but does not understand any ruling or gain any knowledge.
Isn’t that true? I’m sure you have read those narrations yet you could not find what was the right thing to do!? Woe to the liars!
The Salafs did not took this matter lightly. You don’t need more quotes, as it should be evident to you they followed the sunnah more than you and me.
LET US ALL CHANGE FOR THE BETTER !