Q: “Any type of knowledge which is uncertain (whether it be a Hadith or anything else) cannot be used as a source nor for declaring anything haram or farz.” And the biggest proof for this are the following verses of the Quraan:
(1) Sūrah al-Anՙām, v.143–148: In these verses, Allah severely condemns the mushriks for declaring things haram on the basis of “uncertain knowledge (ظن)”, and Allah challenges them to prove their claims on the basis of “certain knowledge (علم)”. And Allah also says that who can be more unjust than the one who misleads people “without certain knowledge (بغير علم)”! All this proves that declaring things haram on the basis of “uncertain knowledge (ظن)” is itself haram and the way of the mushriks, because Allah condemned them for this.
(2) Sūrah Yūnus, v.36: In this verse, Allah says that “uncertain knowledge (ظن)” does not lead a person to the truth, i.e. those who follow ظن have no guarantee of reaching the Truth!
(3) Sūrah al-Najm, v.28: In this verse also, Allah says that following ظن does not take a person to the Truth!
(4) Sūrah al-Anՙām, v.116: In this verse also, Allah says that if you follow most of the people on earth they will mislead you from the Path of Allah because of the reason that they follow ظن (“uncertain knowledge”).
The scholars of Hadith (esp. the earlier Hanafi imams) themselves agreed that even the Sahih Hadiths are “uncertain (ظني)”, and that there is not even a single hadith that is “certain (قطعي/متواتر لفظي)”.
Some hadith like these contradictions within Bukhari e.g. How old was the Prophet (pbuh) when he died? Bukhari 4:56:747 and 4:56:748 – He was 40+10+10=60 years old. Bukhari 5:58:242 and 5:59:742 – He was 63 years old.
See this difference in hadith. Due to this other hadith can also be wrong which leads them to uncertainty. And following uncertainty as expalined above is haram. So what to do with the hadith? And also prophet didn’t tell to preserve hadith and they were compiled after his death around 200 years later hadith were compiled. So during this time when hadith were not compiled then were not people who lived in Islamic way. Did each of them knew all hadith? Still they lived their life. When prophet didn’t make compulsory to preserve hadith. Then how come hadith became part of deen. Again hadith are uncertain, so how can islamic law based only on hadith be established which is uncertain?
All that is written above, consider them as questions and facts and also correct me where I am wrong because I may be wrong.
And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.
Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)
This answer was collected from MuftiOnline.co.za, where the questions have been answered by Mufti Zakaria Makada (Hafizahullah), who is currently a senior lecturer in the science of Hadith and Fiqh at Madrasah Ta’leemuddeen, Isipingo Beach, South Africa.