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- Islamic Online University Usool al-Hadeeth 101 http://www.islamiconlineuniversity.com 3 Transliteration System a d Short Vowels b t a t z i th u j gh h f Long Vowels kh q or aa d k ee th l oo r m z n s h Sh w s y
- Islamic Online University Usool al-Hadeeth 101 http://www.islamiconlineuniversity.com 3 OONNEE:: Definitions The Arabic word hadeeth basically means an item of news, conversation, a tale, a story or a report, whether historical or legendary, true or false, relating to the present or the past. Its secondary meaning as an adjective is new as opposed to qadeem, old. However, like other Arabic words (e.g. salaah, zakaah), its meaning changed in Islaam. From the time of the Prophet (r), his stories and communications dominated all other forms of communication. Consequently, the term hadeeth began to be used almost exclusively for reports that spoke of his actions and sayings.1 Usage of the Word hadeeth The term hadeeth has been used in both the Quraan2 and the prophetic traditions according to all of its linguistic meanings. The following three categories are the most notable usages. It has been used to mean: a)The Quraan itself ( ) Then leave Me alone with those who reject this communication3 .(Soorah al-Qalam, 68: 44) )) (( Indeed, the best form of communication is the Book of Allaah4 1 Hadith Literature, p. 1 and Studies in Hadith Methodology and Literature, pp. 1-3. 2 The term hadeeth is mentioned 23 times in the Quraan. 3 The Qur'aan. 4 The full text of the hadeeth is as follows: Sahih Muslim, and Musnad Ahmad, no. 13,909 CD and the wording is that of Ahmad.
- Islamic Online University Usool al-Hadeeth 101 http://www.islamiconlineuniversity.com 4 b) A historical story ( ) Has the story of Moses reached you? (Soorah Taahaa, 20: 9) )) (( You may speak about the Children of Israel without 5 c) A general conversation ( ) When the Prophet confided in one of his wives (Soorah at-Tahreem, (66): 3) )) (( Molten copper will be poured in the ear of whoever eavesdrops on the conversation of people who dislike him doing so or flee from him.6 Among the hadeeth scholars the term hadeeth means whatever is transmitted 5 The full text of the hadeeth is as follows: Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree. 6 The full text of the hadeeth is as follows: Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree.
- Islamic Online University Usool al-Hadeeth 101 http://www.islamiconlineuniversity.com 5 from the Prophet of his actions, sayings, tacit approvals, or physical characteristics. Scholars of Islaamic Law do not include the physical appearance of the Prophet in their definition. Importance of Hadeeth: 1. Revelation The Prophets sayings and actions were primarily based on revelation from Allaah and, as such, must be considered a fundamental source of guidance second only to the Quraan. Allaah in the Quraan said concerning the Prophet (r): ( ) (Muhammad) does not speak from his desires; indeed, what he says is revelation. (Soorah an-Najm, 53: 3-4) Therefore, the hadeeth represents a personal source of divine guidance which Allaah granted His Prophet (r) which was similar in its nature to the Quraan itself. The Prophet (r) reiterated this point in one of his recorded statements, Indeed, I was given the Quraan and something similar to it along with it.7 2. Tafseer: The preservation of the Quraan was not restricted to protecting its wording from change. Were that the case, its meanings could be manipulated according to human desires, while maintaining its wording. However, Allaah also protected its essential meanings from change by entrusting the explanation of the meanings of 7 The full text of the hadeeth is as follows: Sunan Abu Dawud.
- Islamic Online University Usool al-Hadeeth 101 http://www.islamiconlineuniversity.com 6 Quraan to the Prophet (r) himself. Allaah states the following in the Quraan regarding its interpretation: ( ) And I revealed to you the Reminder (Quraan) in order that you explain to the people what was revealed to them. (Soorah an-Nahl, 16: 44) Therefore, if one is to understand the meanings of Quraan, he or she must consider what the Prophet (r) said or did regarding it. E.g. in the Quraan, Allaah instructs the believers to offer salaah (formal prayers) and pay zakaah (obligatory charity) in Soorah al-Baqarah, (2), verse 43. However, in order to obey these instructions correctly, one must study the methodology of the Prophet (r) in this regard. Among his many clarifications concerning Salaah and zakaah, he instructed his followers saying Pray as you saw me pray,8 and he specified that 2.5% of surplus wealth, unused for a year,9 should be given as zakaah. 8 The complete text of the hadeeth is as follows: Sahih Al-Bukhari, vol. 1, p. 345, no. 604. 9 There are a number of authentic hadeeths in which the Prophet (r) gave specific instructions concerning the items and quantities on which zakaah was due, as well as the time it is due. Among them is the following narration from Alee ibn Abee Taalib: r)) : r ((. Alee ibn Abee Taalib quoted Allaahs Messenger (r) as saying: Whenever you possess 200 dirhams9 and a year passes on it, 5 dirhams is to be paid on it. You are not liable to pay anything
- Islamic Online University Usool al-Hadeeth 101 http://www.islamiconlineuniversity.com 7 3. Laws One of the primary duties of the Prophet (r) was to judge between people in their disputes. Since his judgements were all based on revelation, as stated earlier, they must be considered a primary source of principles by which judgements are carried out in an Islaamic State. Allaah also addressed this responsibility in the Quraan saying: ) ( O believers obey Allaah, obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. If you dispute about anything, refer it to Allaah and the Messenger. (Soorah an-Nisaa, 4: 59) Thus, hadeeths are essential for the smooth running of the law courts in an Islaamic State. 4. Moral Ideal Since the Prophet (r) was guided by revelation in his personal life, his character and social interactions became prime examples of moral conduct for Muslims until the Last Day. Attention was drawn to this fact in the following Quraanic verse: ( ) Surely there is for all of you a good example (of conduct) in the way of Allaahs Messenger. (Soorah al-Ahzaab, 33: 21) Consequently, the daily life of the Prophet (r) as recorded in hadeeth represents an ideal code of good conduct. In fact, when the Prophets wife, Aaishah, was asked about his conduct, she replied, His character was the Quraan.10 until you possess 20 dinars9 and a year passes on it, in which case a dinar is due. Whatever exceeds that will be counted likewise9 . And no zakaah is payable on wealth until a year passes on it. (Sunan Abu Dawud, vol. 2, p. 411, no. 1568 and authenticated in Saheeh Sunan Abee Daawood, vol. 1, p. 436, no. 1573.) 10 The full text of the hadeeth is as follows:
- Islamic Online University Usool al-Hadeeth 101 http://www.islamiconlineuniversity.com 8 5. Preservation of Islaam The science of narration, collection and criticism of hadeeth was unknown to the world prior to the era of the Prophet (r). In fact, it was due in part to the absence of such a reliable science that the messages of the former prophets became lost or distorted in the generations that followed them. Therefore, it may be said that it is largely due to the science of hadeeth that the final message of Islaam has been preserved in it is original purity for all times. This is alluded to in the Quraanic verse: ( ) Indeed, I have revealed the Reminder, I will, indeed, protect it. (Soorah al-Hijr, 15: 9) Hadeeth and the Sunnah The term hadeeth has become a synonym for the term sunnah, though there is some difference in their meanings. Sunnah, according to Arabic lexicographers, means a way; course; rule; manner of acting or conduct of life.11 Sunnah, as a technical term in the Science of hadeeth, refers to whatever statements, acts, approvals, physical or character descriptions that are attributable to the Prophet (r) along with his biography before or after the beginning of his prophethood. It is thus synonymous with the term hadeeth. However, according to Usool al-Fiqh science (legal methodology), sunnah refers to only the statements, acts and approvals of the Prophet (r). It also refers to whatever is supported by evidence from the shareeah; the opposite of bidah. And in the Legalistic science of Fiqh the term sunnah refers to recommended acts Musnad Ahmad, no. 23460 CD. 11 Lanes Lexicon, vol. 1, p. 1438.
- Islamic Online University Usool al-Hadeeth 101 http://www.islamiconlineuniversity.com 9 authentically attributable to the Prophet (r); the does of which is rewarded and the non-doer is not punished. It is also used to refer to the opposite of bidah as in the statement: Sunnah divorce and Bidah divorce. According to its general definition, the Quraan is the most important part of the sunnah conveyed by the Prophet (r).12 It may also be said that the hadeeths were the containers in which the sunnah of the Prophet (r) was