Acquire knowledge of the Qur’an and Hadith and impart it to others

1380 (RUS-Ch241)

Allah, the Exalted, says:

“And, [O Muhammad], do not hasten with [recitation of] the Qur’an before its revelation is completed to you, And say: `My Rubb! Increase me in knowledge.” (Taha 20:114)

“Are those who know equal to those who know not?”’ (Az-Zumar 39:9)

“Allah will exalt in degree those of you who believe, and those who have been granted knowledge.” (Al-Mujadila 58:11)

“It is only those who have knowledge among His slaves that fear Allah.” (Fatir 35:28)

Abdullah bin `Amr bin Al-`As reported: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, Convey from me even an Ayah of the Qur’an; relate traditions from Banu Israel, and there is no restriction on that; but he who deliberately forges a lie against me let him have his abode in the Hell. [Al-Bukhari].

Commentary:  This Hadith contains the following three important points:

1. It stresses the importance of acquiring knowledge of the Qur’an and Hadith and imparting it to others. No matter whether one has more or less knowledge, he must communicate it to others. There is no justification to presume that preaching or inviting to the Message of Allah is the duty of religious scholars and those who are well-versed in this sphere. In fact, it is a duty upon every Muslim, so much so that if a person knows even a single Verse of the Qur’an, that is to say if he knows only one injunction of Allah, he is duty bound to communicate it to other people.

2. It allows the communication of Jewish Traditions but this permission is subject to the condition that such Traditions are not against the elucidations of the Qur’an and Hadith.

3. There is a stern warning on attributing any false saying to the Prophet (ﷺ). This demands strict scrutiny of Ahadith. If a Hadith does not have a reliable authority or whose chain of narrators has a false link or a person of doubtful integrity, that is to say if it is weak, then it is a serious offense to quote it as a Hadith of the Prophet (ﷺ). There are various grades of weakness, and this requires deep knowledge of the narrators and principles of Hadith to know them since scholars who are expert in this discipline are few and far. The safest course for ordinary scholars is to refrain from stating such Ahadith which are weak, no matter whether the weakness is serious or slight. The reason is that although the majority of Muhaddithun consider the slightly weak Ahadith acceptable but they cannot be identified by everybody. Thus, every Hadith which is marked as weak should not be mentioned. In the present age, Sheikh Nasiruddin Al-Albani has done a very remarkable work in this field. He has separated the weak Ahadith found in the four famous volumes of Ahadith (Sunnan Abu Dawud, At-TirmidhiAn-Nasa’i, and Ibn Majah) from the authentic and prepared separate volumes of authentic and weak Ahadith. This work of Al-Albani has made it easy for the ordinary `Ulama’ to identify the weak Ahadith. Only a man of Sheikh Al-Albanis calibre can do research on it. The ordinary `Ulama’ and religious scholars of the Muslims are heavily indebted to him for this great work and they should keep it in view before mentioning any Hadith. They should mention only the authentic Ahadith and refrain from quoting the weak ones. It is wrong to ignore this work on the ground that Sheikh Al-Albani is not the last word on the subject. There can be a possibility of error in his work because it is after all a human effort, but it will be very unfair to regard his effort of no account merely because of a possible error. It is regrettable indeed that only because of this possible error many people refuse to accept even the correctness of the Sahihain. (i.e., Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim). Should we then accept their view? No, certainly not. So there is no sense in not making use of Sheikh Al-Albanis matchless contribution. As Muhaddithun have done a great service to the Muslim Ummah by collecting and compiling the Ahadith, similarly in the style of Muhaddithun, and in keeping with the principles laid down by them, the research carried out to separate the authentic Ahadith from the weak is in fact an effort to complete their mission. In this age, Almighty Allah has bestowed this honour on Sheikh Al-Albani. May Allah protect him, give him the best of the reward and give him a long life.

We now revert to the subject under discussion and say that no such saying and practice should be attributed to the Prophet (ﷺ) the authenticity of which is doubtful. On this principle, weak Ahadith, should not be mentioned. It is very unfortunate indeed that in spite of such a stern warning, many of our `Ulama’ are not careful in this matter. Not to speak of weak Ahadith, they do not hesitate to mention even Ahadith Maudu`ah  forged Ahadith) only to adorn their speech. May Allah guide them to the Right Path. In fact, there is a class of religious scholars who try to refute the authentic Ahadith and validate the weak ones only to add credence to their own juristic school. May Allah save us from such evils.

(Riyadh Us-Saliheen, Knowledge, Chapter 241, No. 1380)

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