Assalamualaikum, I hear people who reject the hadith saying they were collected 200 years after the prophets death and can no way can be reliable, is this true?
Wa’alaykum as Salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,
No, this is not correct!
There were many narrations which were recorded in the presence of Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam). In fact, in a narration of Sahih al-Bukhari, there is proof to show that Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) actually commanded that few narrations be recorded. After mentioning certain laws, a person by the name of Abu Shah stood up and said, “Oh Nabi of Allah, please write it down for me.” Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) called out to the people: “Write down for Abu Shah.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, 9/5) In fact, the Quraish taunted him for writing everything, saying that Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) is merely a human being who speaks in anger and happiness.
Similarly, it was a practise of Abdullah bin ‘Amr to write down everything he heard from Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam). In another narration of Sahih al-Bukhari, Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) states: “No one has more narrations than me besides Abdullah bin Amr. The reason is that he used to write and I did not write.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, 1/34)
Abdullahi bin Amr (may Allah be pleased with him) says that he mentioned this to Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam), who responded by saying ‘Write! By Him in whose hand is my life. Nothing except the truth comes out of it.’ (Mustadrak Vol.1 Page 186)
Together with him, there were many other companions who had their own notebooks in which they used to record the Ahadith of Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam). Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “I did not write from Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) anything besides the Quran and what I have in this notebook.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, 4/102)
With that, there are narrations which show that many other companions too had their own compilations, namely: Jaabir, Abdullah Bin Masood, Samurah bin Jundub etc (may Allah be please with them all). In fact, the book of Hamaam bin Munabbih (may Allah be pleased with him) has even been published.
The afore-mentioned clearly proves that Ahadith were documented in the time of Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam). Yes, it is true that it was not a common practice, however, that was only to ensure that the words of Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) do not get mixed up with the content of the Quran.
On another note, it is not only through writing that a legacy can be preserved. The companions protected the Ahadith through their memories.
Allah blessed the Arabs of that time with remarkable memories. There are numerous incidents which bear testimony to this.
To mention one, Hafiz ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (may Allah be pleased with him) reports in his al-Isabah that once Marwaan wanted to test the memory of Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him). He requested Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) to narrate some Ahadith. The following year, he requested Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) to narrate those same Ahaadith of the previous year. Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) repeated all the Ahadith exactly as he did the previous year without a single error. (al-Isaabah vol.7 pg.353)
Like this, there are many other examples which could be cited.
Those who refute Ahadith do not realize that they are only shooting themselves in the foot by doing so. There are so many verses in the Quran which clearly state that one of the primary reasons of the advent of Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) was to expound on the Quran. Allah says:
“Allah did confer a great favour upon the Believers when He sent amidst them a Messenger from among themselves, rehearsing unto them the Signs (Verses) of Allah, purifying them, instructing them in Scripture, and teaching them Wisdom. While before that they were in manifest error.” [A’ale Imran 3:164].
“And We have sent down unto You the Message so that you may explain clearly to men what is sent for them.” [An-Nahal, 16:44].
Likewise, the Quran is replete with verses which exhort us to follow Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam):
“If anyone disobeys Allah and His Messenger he is indeed on a clearly wrong path.” [Al-Ahzab, 33:36]
“He that obeys Allah and His Messenger has already attained the great victory.” [Al-Ahzab, 33:71].
These verses command us to follow the prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam). How can we follow him if we do not have his narrations? Allah did not sent the prophet only for the companions, rather he was sent for guidance of humanity in its entirety:
“We have not sent you except as a Messenger to all mankind, giving them glad tidings and warning them against sin.” [Saba, 34:28]
We understand from the above that it is impossible to practice on the Quran but reject Ahadith. The truth is that the Ummah always accepted Hadith, and it is only recently that some puppets of the disbelievers, like Taha Hussein in Egypt, Abdullah Chakralawi in India etc came up with this belief that we should reject the Ahadith.
قال الإمام البخاري حدثنا أبو نعيم، حدثنا شيبان، عن يحيى، عن أبي سلمة، عن أبي هريرة: «أن خزاعة قتلوا رجلا» وقال عبد الله بن رجاء، حدثنا حرب، عن يحيى، حدثنا أبو سلمة، حدثنا أبو هريرة: …………….. ” فقام رجل من أهل اليمن، يقال له أبو شاه، فقال: اكتب لي يا رسول الله. فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم “اكتبوا لأبي شاه” (متفق عليه)
قال الإمام البخاري حدثنا علي بن عبد الله، قال: حدثنا سفيان، قال: حدثنا عمرو، قال: أخبرني وهب بن منبه، عن أخيه، قال: سمعت أبا هريرة، يقول: «ما من أصحاب النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أحد أكثر حديثا عنه مني، إلا ما كان من عبد الله بن عمرو، فإنه كان يكتب ولا أكتب» تابعه معمر، عن همام، عن أبي هريرة (متفق عليه)
قال الإمام البخاري حدثنا محمد بن كثير، أخبرنا سفيان، عن الأعمش، عن إبراهيم التيمي، عن أبيه، عن علي رضي الله عنه، قال: ما كتبنا عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم إلا القرآن وما في هذه الصحيفة (أخرجه البخاري في صحيحه (4/ 102)
قال الحاكم حدثنا أبو بكر إسماعيل بن محمد بن إسماعيل الضرير بالري، ثنا أبو حاتم محمد بن إدريس، ثنا عبد الله بن صالح، حدثني الليث بن سعد، وأخبرنا أبو قتيبة سلم بن فضل الآدمي، بمكة، ثنا عبد الله بن محمد بن ناجية، ثنا عبدة بن عبد الله الخزاعي، ثنا زيد بن حباب، ثنا ليث بن سعد المصري، حدثني خالد بن يزيد، عن عبد الواحد بن قيس، عن عبد الله بن عمرو، قال: قالت لي قريش: تكتب عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وإنما هو بشر يغضب كما يغضب البشر، فأتيت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فقلت: يا رسول الله إن قريشا، تقول: تكتب عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وإنما هو بشر يغضب كما يغضب البشر، قال: فأومأ إلى شفتيه، فقال: «والذي نفسي بيده ما يخرج مما بينهما إلا حق فاكتب (أخرجه الحاكم في المستدرك (1/ 186)
Ismail Moosa (Mufti)
Euro-Sunni & Islamic Research and Welfare Academy