Author: Imam Hafiz Abu Dawud Sulaiman bin Ash'ath (compiler); Hafiz Abu Tahir Zubair Ali Za'I (editor); Yaser Qadhi (translator); Abu Khaliyl (editor)
Publisher: Darussalam Publishers & Distributors (July 2008)
Pages: 3033 Binding: Hardcover
Description from the publisher:
Hadith is next only to Quran as a source of Islamic laws and proofs. The term Hadith applies to the words and acts of Allah’s Messenger as well as his tacit approvals called Taqrir. The latter refers to acts done in his presence but he did not disapprove of them, his silence indicating his approval. All these three categories of Ahadith are variously known as (1) Khabar, (2) Athar, (3) Hadith and (4) Sunnah. (All these words have already been mentioned under the technical terms employed by Hadith scholars).
In contradistinction with Khabar and Athar, the words Hadith and Sunnah are widely popular, so much so, that a mere mention of any of these two words, inevitably brings to mind the words, acts and tacit approvals of Allah’s messenger. No other thought comes to our mind except the foregoing at the mention of the word Hadith and Sunnah, advancing as argument the words of some scholars, but, in fact, this distinction is not right. The Hadith scholars make no distinction between the two. According to them, Hadith and Sunnah are synonymous terms. Similarly, taking Sunnah as referring to the prophet’s habits, modes of behavior and manners and thereby denying their legal authority is equally wrong. It is, in fact, a deception, a concealed escape route leading to the rejection of Ahadith. Again, in the same way, considering only the acts of the Prophet that he did persistently and uninterruptedly as binding is, in fact a rejection of vast number of Ahadith. Those who say so have indeed allied themselves with the rejecters of Ahadith. Moreover, rejecting a Hadith on the ground that it is in conflict with the Quran and entrapping people into believing so, is not the way befitting a Muslim. That is the way of the crooked, the sectarians and the dissenters who reject a lot of Ahadith on the seemingly attractive plea of being in disharmony with Quran.
Two centuries after the advent of Islam, the Mutazilites rejected some Ahadith. Their purpose was to justify their wrong and misleading beliefs. Likewise, about a century and a half ago, the naturalists, too, criticized the canonical authority of Ahadith, their purpose being no more than to affirm naturalism and reinterpret Quran according to their own desires and whims. It is the sme group of naturalists who, impressed in our times by the ‘rare research works’ of the Orientalists and charmed by the wizards of the West and their civilization, are working in an organized way to alienate the Muslims from their own culture and Islamic values and traditions and are molding them according to modern civilization.
Anyhow, the term Hadith or Sunnah applies to whatever the Messenger of Allah said, did, or gave his tacit consent to.