Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Refuting mostmerciful.com: Hadeeth

A Refutation of the article entitles “'MYTHS AND REALITIES OF HADITH -- a critical study'” www.mostmerciful.com/hadith-book.pdf written by akbarally meherally

INTRODUCTION

For one not suspecting the intention of this particular article, one might think that the writer is honest in his analysis. But, upon reading and analysis, one will find that the entire article contains nothing but an implicit attempt to smear the good name of Al Hadeeeth
OBSERVATIONS

One will see that the writer adopt a very simplistic method in determining the meaning of a hadeeth. For instance he claims that:

“Any hadith that disagrees or is opposed to what has been revealed in the Holy Qur'an
should be discarded, even if it is a Sahih hadith or a Qudsi hadith.”

But, what should be questioned is that has the writer actually proved the existence of contradiction at all?

His entire discussion revolves around attacking Imam Bukhari, the Isnad system (which have been proven to be credible even by western Orientalists), a few hadeeths out of thousands that is viewed by the writer to be “strange” and his countless unfounded accusations that a certain portion of Al Hadeeth contradicts the Quran.

Let me rebutt the entire by the categories shown above

THE ISNAD SYSTEM: IS IT CREDIBLE OR NOT?

The writer, Akbarally Meherally(from hereon will be known as AM), quoted a statement from an unknown character name Brother Malik. And, he says:

“To understand the background to the development of Hadith literature one must sift
through the history of Islam from about 250 years after the time of our Prophet… during
the first century of the Prophet's era no hadiths were written down… Stories circulated by
word of mouth but they were never written down because the view was well known that
the Prophet and the companions did not want anything of the kind to be done, and so
there was a very strong feeling against the writing of any sort of 'Hadith' literature. The
so-called 'Science of isnad' -- touchstone of a hadith's authenticity -- has tremendous
flaws in it. How, then, can we go on giving credence to something that was not written
down and yet which, some 250 years after the fact, Bukhari supposedly managed to trace
back to its source (i.e. the Prophet) by establishing all the links in a chain which cannot
possibly have been genuinely reconstructed! How he (Bukhari) managed to do this
without written records, bridging a gap of about eight generations, and simultaneously
establishing not only biographical data but also a compelling analysis of the mental
faculties of his subjects defies belief! One can quote several hundred hadiths that not only
contradict the Qur’an but also clearly do damage to the Prophet's good name.”

One can see that AM relies on sources which are lazy, unfounded and also ignorant of the subject at hands. How AM can rely on simplistic statement like this really baffles me.

For those whom actually studied the Isnad system in detail, it has been concluded that the Isnad system is a sound system for verification of a status of Hadeeth.

Abdul Malik is under the impression that Hadeeth is transmitted in secret and that between the time of Imam Bukhari and the Prophet, there is like a vacumm. What he doesn’t realize is that the Hadeeth of the Prophet SAW is popular and taught to millions of Muslims throughout the period between Imam Bukhari and the Prophet SAW.

The need for verification of hadeeth doesn’t arise except for the fact there exist attempts by enemies of Islam to introduce fabricated and false words attributed to the Prophet. The attempt by enemies of Islam was detected long before the time of Imam Bukhari but most “tashih” (verification) was done by “Fuqaha” before the time of Imam Bukhari.

What Imam Bukhari has done is that he introduced a standard that’s above everybody else’s and he analyzed all the Hadeeth that’s available or known to the Muslim world at his time.

He then recorded all the hadeeth he has managed to collect in his book “At Tarikh Al KAbeer” and from there he collected 7000+ and put it in his “Aj Jami As Sahih”.

That’s why we find western analysts like Nadia Abboott or J. Robson defending the reliability of the Isnad system.

AM, on the other hand, relied on an obscure character name Bro Abdul Malik.

WRITINGS OF AL HADEETH

AM argues that the Prophet had prohibited the writings of the hadeeth during his time. What AM didn’t write is that the hadeeth that he relied upon:

“Al-Muttalib ibn Abdullah ibn Hantab said:
"Zayd ibn Thabit entered upon Mu'awiyah and asked him about a
tradition. He ordered a man to write it. Zayd said: The Apostle of Allah
(peace be upon him) ordered us not to write any of his traditions. So he
erased it."

is UNAUTHENTIC. He then wrote for several pages on the Prophet’s prohibition of writing the hadeeth.

AM also missed out a monumental book written by MM Azami which has extensive records of earlier writing of the Prophet’s words (entitled “Studies in early Hadith Literature)

It’s weird that for a Phd student like AM, he should be open enough to accept all literature with regards to the subject and not pick and choose the materials he likes and dislike.

Suffice to say, is entire case against the writing of the Prophet’s word is empty and baseless

FAILURE TO PROVE CONTRADICTION

Here shall show how AM had failed to prove existence of contradictions from the examples he provides

Case #1

“Allah's Messenger said:
On the Day of Resurrection, my Ummah (nation) will be gathered into three groups, one sort will enter Paradise without rendering an account (of their deeds). Another sort will be reckoned on easy account and admitted into Paradise. Yet another sort will come bearing on their backs heaps of sins like great mountains. Allah will ask the angels though He knows best about them: Who are these people? They will reply: They are humble slaves of yours. slaves of yours. He will say: Unload the sins from them and put the same over the Jews and Christians; then let the humble slaves get into Paradise by virtue of My Mercy”.

7 From ‘110 Hadith Qudsi’. Hadith No. 8 on page 19/20. Translated by Syed Masood-ul-Hasan, Revision
and Commentaries by Ibrahim M. Kunna, published by Darussalam, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in 1996/1417H.
.
The commentary to this hadith reads:
This Hadith is sound and mentioned in Mustadrak of Hakim.
Below are verses of the Holy Qur’an that speak of the final just and fair judgment by
Allah.
We shall set up scales of justice for the Day of Judgment so that not a soul will be
dealt with unjustly in the least. And if there be (no more than) the weight of a
mustard seed We will bring it (to account): and enough are We to take account.
Q. 21:47”

AM then claims that the hadeeth contradicts the verse. My question is, HOW?

One: We see clearly that the Hadeeth is an indication of Mercy from Allah SWT to his humble servants.

Second: The verse of 21:47 talks about all souls will be accounted for all their deeds during their life. Incidently, the Hadeeth points to the accounting process as well.

Third: The hadeeth addresses Allah Mercy AFTER those people have been accounted for.

So, where is the contradiction? In short, the hadeeth addresses the mercy of Allah SWT AFTER the “accounting” process mentioned by Allah SWT in 21:47

As for the Jews and Christians, they are already condemned to hell for eternity. Putting sins upon them does not make any difference at all.

So we see AM interprets the Hadeeth in any way he wishes and immediately comes to the conclusion that it’s contradictory.

Yet, we see that it’s not.

CASE #2: AM tries to paint a negative picture of Sahih Bukhari. He then tried to quote MM Azami out of context. I quote:

“A prominent Muslim scholar of our times, Dr. Muhammad Mustafa Azami, M.A., Ph.D.
and Professor of Science of Hadith, University of Riyadh, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia writes:
Many scholars criticized Bukhari's work. The criticism concerns about 80 narrators and
some 110 ahadith. 13
The number of questionable narrators mentioned above is very high. Dr. Azami has in
the footnote given references of the following two prominent works of the fourteenth
century Muslim scholars, based upon which he has made the above statement:
1. 'Abdur Rahman b. Abu Bakr Suyuti's book ‘Tadrib ar-Rawi’, ed. by A.
R. Latif, Cairo, 1379, vol. I, page 134.
2. Ibn Hajar's book ‘Hadyal-Sari’, Cairo 1383, vol. II, page 106. (Unquote)

What AM deliberately left out is:
a. Both Ibnu Hajr and As Suyuti defended the “Sahih” status of Sahih Bukhari.
b. The scholar that doubts the “80 narrators andsome 110 ahadith” is Ad Daruquthni
c. AM fails to quote Ibnu Hajr’s book “An Nukat” which rebuts Ad Daruquthni on the 80 narrators and 110 hadeeth altogether
d. Even MM Azami openly admits that both SAhih Bukhari and Muslim is 100% authentic

At this point, one cannot but notice the evil nature of AM article. It’s nothing but half truth, misquotes, misinterpretations and half baked attempts to highlight the works of the great Imam of the past.

Case #3 : Misunderstanding of Al Hadeeth on Future Happenings

AM quotes this hadeeth”

“Below I have quoted a hadith narrated by Abu Hurayrah that is not Qudsi and can be
found on the internet at an Islamic website. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: The Jews were split up into seventy-one or seventy-two sects; and the Christians were split up into seventy one or seventy-two sects; and my community will be split up into seventy-three sects. (Sunan Abu-Da’ud, Book Number 40, Hadith Number 4579.”

It’s clear that AM doesn’t know the fact that in Arabic, whenever the word “seventy” is used, it refers to “many”. It shouldn’t be taken in literal form. But, then again, AM relies on many of the hadeeth in literal term to support his “contradiction” theory.

Case #4: Hadeeth on Fly.

There has been so many explanation on this hadeeth. Funny AM only takes the ones he is comfortable with.

Refer to Dr Yusuf Qardhawi in his book “Al Fatawa Al Muasirat” where he explained I detail why this hadeeth makes sense.

Plus, the hadeeth says that we are to dip “the other wing” is an indication of dipping the entire fly. It’s “Majaz” again and AM fail to understand that.


Case #5: He claims the hadeeth below is aganst the Quran plus he claims that this hadeeth is taken from Old Testemenat by Abu Hurairah.

My Comments:

Narrated by Abu Hurayrah in Sahih Al-Bukhari 19.
Allah's Apostle said,
(The Prophet) Solomon once said, 'Tonight I will sleep with ninety women, each of whom will bring forth a (would-be) cavalier who will fight in Allah's Cause.' On this, his companion said to him, 'Say: Allah willing!' But he did not say Allah willing. Solomon then slept with all the women, but none of them became pregnant but one woman who later delivered a half-man. By Him in Whose Hand Muhammad's soul is, if he (Solomon) had said, 'Allah willing' (all his wives would have brought forth boys) and they would have fought in Allah's Cause as cavaliers.

He then claims that the hadeeth above is contradictory to this verse:
“31: 6: But there are among men those who patronize ridiculous hadiths without knowledge (thereby) misleading (men) from the Path of Allah and throwing a butt of mockery (on the Path): for such there will be a humiliating Penalty."


MY REPLY: First of all, there is nothing wrong with the hadeeth. Prophet Solomon wanted to build an army that will fight for the sake of Allah and he bedded all his wives.

The hadeeth didn’t even say that Prophet Solomon did it in one night. The hadeeth does say that Prophet Solomon has 90 wives.

AM thinks that the hadeeth is ridiculous. AM thinks that the hadeeth should not be part of the Islamic reference.

Yet, AM doesn’t tell us why the hadeeth is ridiculous. Maybe if AM had thought thru the hadeeth, he will see the logic.

As for his reference to 31:06, unfortunately, the verse has nothing to do with the Al Hadeeth An NAbawiy.


Case #6: He claims that the Hadeeth on Camel Urine is against these verses from the Quran:

And thou [Muhammad] (standest) on an exalted standard of character. 68:4
Ye have indeed in the Apostle of Allah a beautiful pattern of (conduct) for anyone
whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day and who engages much in the praise of
Allah.Q. 33:21
We sent thee not but as a mercy for all creatures.Q.21:107
It is part of the Mercy of Allah that thou dost deal gently with them. Wert thou
severe or harsh-hearted they would have broken away from about thee; so pass over
(their faults) and ask for (Allah's) forgiveness for them; and consult them in affairs
(of moment). Then when thou hast taken a decision put thy trust in Allah. For Allah
loves those who put their trust (in Him).Q 3:159

MY REPLY: My question is how are they contradictory? Especially if the order is a sign of the Prophet’s miracle?

Can AM bring a verse from the Quran that drinking of the camel urine in Sahih Bukhari is NOT or CAN NEVER BE one of the Prophet’s miracle?

Or does AM denies the existence of the Prophet’s miracle altogether.

These dubious examples from AM really underline the real agenda of AM and his group. To undermine Islam and the scholars of Islam.






AM ACCUSES HADEETH OF CLAIMING THE QURAN TO BE INCOMPLETE

AM uses the hadeeth below:

“Hadith narrated by Ibn 'Abbas. Caliph 'Umar said,
I am afraid that after a long time has passed, people may say, 'We do ot find the Verses of the Rajam (stoning to death) in the Holy Book,' and consequently they may go astray by leaving an obligation that Allah has revealed. Lo! I confirm that the penalty of Rajam be inflicted on him who commits illegal sexual intercourse, if he is already married and the crime is proved by witnesses or pregnancy or confession." Sufyan added, "I have memorized this narration in this way." 'Umar added, "Surely Allah's Apostle carried out the penalty of Rajam, and so did we after him.”

AM then says that the Hadeeth tries to paint a picture that the Quran is incomplete.

The problem with AM’s claim is numerous. Let me highlight a few big one:

a. AM is completely blank about the concept of “Aborogation” in the Quran. The Quran had clearly confirmed the existence of aborogation in the Quran. The hadeeth above supports the Quran’s notion of the existence of aborogation or “Nasikh wa Mansukh”.

b. In fact, Saidina Umar is referring to the period when the Quran is NOT COMPLETE. That’s because “NAsikh wa Mansukh” occurred when Al Quran was in the process of being sent down by God. It doesn’t occur now that the Quran is complete. Never did the hadeeth ever imply that the current Quran is incomplete now

c. AM is completely ignorant of the fact that the “rajm” is a punishment shown to us by the Prophet SAW.

I think in the 1400 years of Islam, AM is the first to make such claim.

AM then claims that the “rajm” hadeeth contradicts the Quran. Here lies more of his ignorance or selective memory or his bias stance that stopped him from studying deeper.

What he doesn’t know is that:

a. The rule of Rajm doesn’t depend on this hadeeth alone.
b. Hadeeth pointing to “Rajm” is of the level “Mutawateer Maknawi”
c. This proves that the order for “rajm” comes from the Prophet himself.
d. Is AM accusing the Prophet SAW of contradicting the Quran?

Also, all that we are able to see is that they are “Al Am Wal Khas” of the Arabic language in effect. Therefore, there exists no contradiction.


MORE FAULTY CLAIMS MADE BY AKBARALLY MEHERALLY

AM then went beserk again by accusing Sahih Bukhari contradicting the Quran in so many places. He listed them as follows:

a. Punishment for adultery:
b. Extremely adverse comments supposedly made by the Prophet against women:
c. To approach women during their menses, for sexual purposes:
d. Aspects of character ascribed to the Prophet:
e. The circumstances under which and when the parts of Qur'an were supposedly to have been revealed:
f. Celestial Science
g. The companions of the Prophet:
h. Can anyone intercede on our behalf:

BUT, we have seen how AM failed even to prove his first contention – Punishment for adultery- we can safely assume the rest of his example can be doubted.

I do not have time to comment on the rest of his example, but I shall do it in my next article.

However, it is incumbent upon AM to provide the details of his claim. For now, it’s just simple accusation and estimation only by AM.

HIS CONTEMPT AGAINST ABU HURAIRAH

AM, in the book, has made several accusation against Abu Hurairah, i.e. he takes from Jewish sources, he is forgetful etc.

All of the issues raised by AM on Abu Hurairah are based on lies and hearsay. One should refer to this url for more explanation on Abu Hurairah. http://www.allaahuakbar.net/shiites/in_defense_of_abu_hurairah.htm

Suffice to say that scholars who studies the classical texts in it’s original language have a completely good opinion of Abu Hurairah. Scholars such as:

(a) Dr. Mustafa al-Siba'i (founder of the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria), in his thesis, al-Sunna wa Makanatuha fi l-Tashri' al-Islami, (Cairo: 1380/1961);
(b) 'Abd al-Razzaq Hamza (the head of Dar al-Ahaadeeth in Makka and Imam of Masjid al-Haram),Zulumat Abi Raya amam Adwa' al-Sunna al-Muhammadiya, (Cairo: n.d.); and
(c) the definitive response by 'Abd al-Rahman ibn Yahya al-Mu'allami al-Yamani (the Librarian of Masjid al-Haram), al-Anwar al-Kashifa lima fi Kitab Adwa' 'ala al-Sunna min al-Zallal wa l-Tadlil wa l-Mujazafa, (Cairo: 1378) - may Allah have mercy with them all.

It’s weird that AM doesn’t refer to these sources when making his attack on Abu Hurairah.

QUOTING SEVERAL WRITERS ON THE ISSUE OF AL HADEETH

AM then went on to quote from a few “scholars” on the issue of Hadeeth. Before I start commenting on the figures, my question is, why quote people that has zero credibility in commenting on Al Hadeeth of the Prophet.

a. Dr. Sayed Abdul Wadud : He claims there is a Persian conspiracy against the Quran. He claims that the all of the writers of Sunnan Sittah are Persian. Yet, fact shows that only Imam Bukhari is not Arab.
i. Plus, what about the countless scholars of Hadeeth i.e. Ibnu Hazm, Al Hakeem, An Nawawi, Abdullah ibnu Mubarak, Fudail bin Iyadh and many more. They are all Arabs.
ii. Where is the Persian element here? One asks.
iii. Dr Wadud then made a very stupid observation:”[Hadiths} are supposed to be the collection of the sayings and deeds of the Rasool. But had the Rasool himself taken any step to make them a part of “Deen”? Did he try to preserve them as he did in the case of the Qur’an?”
iv. The answer is Yes. MM Azami actually wrote a book on this. So, here we see how shallow this Syed Abdul Wadud is.

b. Dr. Murad Willfried Hoffman
i. He asks this question: “Doubts are justified, because the six orthodox hadith collections were all assembled by the same criteria. In particular, out of sheer veneration of the Companions of the Prophet, isnad (chain of transmission) and matn (text) critique did not go as far as it would have if modern linguistic and sociohistorical analysis had been applied. Given the fact that tens of thousands of fabricated hadiths circulated within two centuries of the Prophet’s death, we simply have to admit that the Sunnah is not as reliable as we would all wish it to be. Let us be cruelly sober: Someone clever and ruthless enough to fabricate the matn of a hadith – be it for political or “pious” reasons – would he not be clever and ruthless enough to also fabricate its isnad?”
ii. Answer: I want to ask Dr Murad Willfried Hoffman, how does one fabricate a sanad? For, for each sanad, there are thousands of corroborations and support. Each “sanad” is a scholar or teacher well known in to their people. Each generation, millions heard and studied the Hadeeth of the Prophet. Imam Bukhari chose the “path” among the millions of each generation among the most renowed and accepted figures hence the term “sanad”.
iii. Such a question above indicates that Dr Willfried is himself not properly studied in the subject of Hadeeth.


c. Dr. Shabbir Ahmed, M. D.
i. One will notice that the Shabbir’s criticism is mostly from the “matn” perspective,
ii. He didn’t criticize the sanad or the isnad system altogether
iii. Yet, we all know how uncomfortable certain Muslims are with the “matn” contained in Sahih Bukhari considering they contradict many of the Western values and beliefs
iv. Dr Shabbir can easily be categorized as classic case of “Uncle Tom” because he says: Dr. Ahmed writes the following after quoting numerous passages from Al-Bukhari that are either “disturbing” or “grave insult to aesthetics and common sense”
v. We can tell that Dr Shabbir’s main “religion” is “logic and common sense” and not Islam.
vi. I will also be interested to know his comments on Dr Yusuf Qardhawi’s notice on the existence of “Majaz” in the hadeeth and also the Quran?
vii. Taking the hadeeth in it’s literal form alone is an example of stupidity in the Arabic language
viii. A reference to my website antiantihadeeth.blogspot.com will show many hadeeth misunderstood because of the stupidity of the reader in Arabic.

CONCLUSION

It’s clear that the book contains so much holes and inconsistency. All of Akbarally Meherally claim of contradiction is unsubstantiated. In other words, he doesn’t provide us unquestionable and undeniable evidence of the so call “contradictions”. In fact, many of his so call examples are refuted in this article. The fact remains that we are yet to see one major contradiction between the Al Hadeeth and Al Quran.

Furthermore, it is also very weird that Meherally fail to quote from scholars such as Al Qaradhawy in detail. It’s dangerous considering Meherally depends solely on secondary sources to when making his conclusion. Dr Yusuf had written extensively about hadeeth especially the ones which is considered as “strange”. Yet, Meherelly doesn’t refer to him at all.

Even when Meherally did refer, he is more comfortable in picking and choosing parts that he likes the most. For instance, he would quote As Suyuti and Ibnu HAjr with regards to the 80 sanad that is being questioned in “Sahih Bukhari” but he left out completely the fact that these two scholars both testifies to the “sahih” status of both books. In shot, nit-picking is the trademark of Meherally work.

So to conclude, Meherally should not question the future of Al Hadeeth. It is the future of those who doubts Sahih Bukhari and Muslim that needs to be questioned. For from now on, they are totally irrelevant to the Muslim Ummah. In short, all their effort are a big waste of time.

3 comments:

khairul said...

i get your argument, but what i dont get is this...

first you talk about the concept of nasakh wal mansukh,

Then, you talk about ayat rejam, which means to say that you are saying it is abrogated from the quran,

Then you say it is of the level of mutawateer maknawi. so we must do it, meaning that the act is not abrogated

Thanks, you just help me feel even more distance to hadeeth now, before this i am only suspicious of hadis sahih.

khairul said...

kepercayaan pada nasikh wal mansukh akan membatalkan seluruh premis al-quran bahawa ianya lengkap dan terpelihara. (Hud:1)

jangan semata-mata untuk mengiyakan hadis kita terlupa untuk melihat konsekuensi yang lebih besar

khairul said...

and you conveniently left out the discussion about this hadeeth

Book 008, Number 3425:

'A'isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported that Salim, the freed slave of Abu Hadhaifa, lived with him and his family in their house. She (i. e. the daughter of Suhail came to Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) and said: Salim has attained (puberty) as men attain, and he understands what they understand, and he enters our house freely, I, however, perceive that something (rankles) in the heart of Abu Hudhaifa, whereupon Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) said to her: Suckle him and you would become unlawful for him, and (the rankling) which Abu Hudhaifa feels in his heart will disappear. She returned and said: So I suckled him, and what (was there) in the heart of Abu Hudhaifa disappeared.