Shariah and Observance | Acting upon the Qur'aan | Hadith _______________________________________________
Shariat wa Tariqat ka Talazum
To understand the Ahadith of the Prophet(sallallaahu alaiyhi wassallam), Jurists have stressed that same rules apply to acting upon the Hadith as those that apply to acting upon the Qur'aan, which have been mentioned above. The Qur'aan is completely definitive, as are a large number of Ahadith, e.g. five time daily prayers and the number of rakaat's for every prayer. But besides these definitive Ahadith, there are also the conjectural Ahadith, to which several additional rules apply before one can act upon them.
Hafiz Ibn Hajr Askalani has written under the heading of 'Categories of Ahadith' in his book Nukhaba-tul-Fikr (a book on the laws of Hadith): 'if many have narrated a Hadith, and it is impossible for them to have conspired to lie, and its narrators are numerous through the ages, then that Hadith will be considered as Mutawatir, which makes it as definitive like the Qur'aan. If the narrators of the Hadith weren't consistently numerous throughout the ages, then the Hadith will be considered as Mash'hoor. The third type of Hadith is Aziz, which has at least two narrators in each era, and Gareeb if there is one narrator in each era. The last two types are called Khabr-e-Wahid, of which some are accepted and some are not, decided by investigation of the reputation of its narrators. There are levels to the Gareeb Hadith, depending on whether the weakness is in the beginning of a sanad or closer to the end of the sanad; and whether the narrator is just, has a complete memory, and that the Hadith has an unbroken sanad, and is not Mualal or Shaaz, then this Hadith will pronounced as authentic. Mualal is something that has a hidden defect in it; Shaaz is when one Siqa narrator narrates something that contradicts something another Siqa narrator has narrated. The strength and weakness of these qualities determines the level of definitiveness for each narration.
To be continued............