Materials for 1st Hadith Lecture (Session 9)

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Materials for 1st Hadith Lecture (Session 9)

I. Currently Available Written Tools for the Study of Hadiths

Sanad, isnaad, Chain of Narration ("documentation")

Abdullah ibn Yusuf told us that

Malik informed us from

Hisham ibn Urwah from

[his father] `Urwah from

`Aishah, she said

Text (matn) of hadith

Hamzah ibn `Amr al-Aslami (who used to fast continuously) asked the Prophet: "Should I fast even when I travel?" He replied: "Fast, if you want to; don't fast if you don't." Bukhari 1841 (Alfiya)

Box 1: A hadith from Bukhari

Abdullah ibn Yusuf (kh, d, t, s) Abu Muhammad who was originally from Damascus then moved to Tannis and was from the tribe of Kalaa`, the Hafiz.

He reports from Abd al-Rahman ibn Yazid ibn Jabir and Sa`id ibn `Abd al-Aziz.

From him report: kh, Bakr ibn Sahl, Habush ibn rizqillah.

Ibn Ma`iyn says: Ibn Yusuf is the strongest narrator of Muwatta left.

He died in 218 A.H.

Box 2: Abdullah ibn Yusuf in Kashif of Dhahabi (d. 748 A.H.)

Taqrib of Ibn Hajar (773—852)
kh, d, t, s. Abdullah ibn Yusuf of Tannis. (Tannis: spelt with a 't' then a double 'n' then an 'i' then an 's') Abu Muhammad of the Kalaa` tribe. Originally from Damascus.

Reliable, masterful. Among the most reliable narrators of the Muwatta.

Of the 10th generation.

Died in 218 A.H.

Box 3: Abdullah ibn Yusuf in Taqrib of Ibn Hajar (773—852)

Al-Kamal – al-Hafiz Abd al-Ghani al-Maqdisi (541—600)

Tahdhib al-Kamal – Yusuf ibn Abd al-Rahman al-Mizzi (654-742)

Tadhib Tahdhib al-Kamal -- Al-Dhahabi (673-748)

Tahdhib Tahdib al-Kamal (or Tahdhib al-Tahdhib) Ahmad ibn Ali ibn Hajar (773-852)

al- Kashif Al-Dhahabi (673-748)

Taqrib Ahmad ibn Ali ibn Hajar (773-852)

Box 4: The Books on Rijal ("information on hadith narrators")


Musa ibn Isma`il (d. 223)  Wahb (wuhayb? Tzkrh) (saw Hisham)


Uthman al-Darimi  Ibn Ma`in (158-233)


Al-Ajuri  Abu Dawud (202-275)


Ali ibn al-Madini (161-234)  Yahya ibn Sa`id (120-198)  Malik ibn Anas (93-179)


Ibn Sa`d (168-230)


`Amr ibn `Ali al-Fallas (d. 249)  `Abdullah ibn Dawud


Zubayr ibn Bakkar (172-256)  `Uthman ibn `Abd al-Rahman


`Ijli (182-261)


Ya`qub ibn Shaybah (262)


Abu Hatim (195-277)


Ibn Khirash (d. 283)  Malik (93-179)


Al-Harbi (198-285)


Al-`Uqayli (d. 322)  Ibn Lahiy`ah  Abu al-Aswad


Abu al-Hasan al-Qattan (254-345)


Ibn Shahin (297-385)  Yahya ibn Sa`id (120-198)


Abu Nu`aym (463-517)

Box 5: Summary of statements on Hisham (59-146) from Tahdhib

  • In (1) Musa ibn Ismail reports that Wahb saw Hisham coming to Kufa.

  • (2) and (3) are by Uthman al-Darimi and al-Ajuri each of whom is a student known for having collected the statements of his teacher--Ibn Ma`in and Abu Dawud, respectively. Ibn Ma`in was born about a decade after Hisham’s death—so his information probably came to him from those who had seen Ibn Hisham, while Abu Dawud would have gained his information from someone of Ibn Ma`in’s generation. Both of them are well known experts of hadith criticism.

  • (4) is narrated through a chain of greats in hadith criticism—the final one, Malik, was a student of Hisham.

  • The leftmost names prefacing (5) through (16) are names of well known authors of early works on the qualities of narrators of hadith—at least eight are from the 2nd and 3rd centuries. These people gained their knowledge from students of Ibn Ma`in’s generation, or from the generation after them.

Thus, although the texts we relied on in the previous discussion for information on Hisham are written in the sixth, seventh and eighth centuries, they convey information that is from scholars contemporary to Hisham or nearly contemporary to him.

The Comparative Method

In this lecture I will use a hadith of Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas to demonstrate the use of the comparative method in hadith analysis. Here is the text of one of the narrations of the hadith as Muslim has reported it:
The Hadith of Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas
Yahya b. Yahya al-Tamimi—Ibrahim b. Sa'd—Ibn Shihab-'Amir b. Sa'd from his father [Sa'd b. Abi Waqqas]: He said,

"The Apostle of God paid me a sick-visit during the Farewell Pilgrimage because of a sickness which brought me to the brink of death.

So, I said, 'O Apostle of God, this illness has reached the stage which you see, and I have much wealth and only one daughter to inherit from me. May I give away two thirds of my wealth as alms?'

He replied:'No.'"

[Sa'd went on to say:] "I said: 'May I give away half of it as alms?'

He said: 'No, one third, and one third is a lot. Leaving your heirs rich is better than leaving them destitute, begging from others. And you will be rewarded for whatever expense you incur, seeking thereby the pleasure of God, even for the morsel of food that you put in your wife's mouth.'" "

[Sa'd went on to say:] "I said: 'O Apostle of God, shall I be left behind my companions?'

He said, 'If you are left behind, any works which you do by which you seek the pleasure of God will result in your advancing in rank and stature. And, perhaps you will be left behind so that some people might benefit from you while other people be afflicted by you. O God, complete the emigration of my Companions and do not send them back on their heels. But Sa'd b. Khawla is the unfortunate one."

He said, "The Messenger of God sallallahu alayhi wa sallam regretted that he [i.e Sa'd b. Khawla] had died in Mecca."

(M 6: 268)

I have depicted 114 different narrations of this hadith as it appears in various hadith works in a table on the following page. Having given each narration a number I have made a "tree" of all the chains of narration of hadith with the "root" on the right and the "branches" on the left. So, for example, this version of Muslim is version 20. If you look at the table, you will see that version 20 comes from Ibrahim ibn Sa`d, who has it from Zuhri (Ibn Shihab in the text above), who has it from `Amir (ibn Sa`d) who reports the hadith from Sa`d.
The source for the judgments of second and third

century hadith critics: The Comparative method

  • Farewell Pilrgimage or Conquest of Mecca?

'Amir b. Sa'd, one of the nine people reporting the hadith of Sa'd's illness from Sa'd, has five students who report this hadith on his authority. Of these five students, Zuhri has nine people reporting this hadith on his authority. Of these nine, some of the reports attributed to Sufyan b. 'Uyayna record the incident as having occurred during the year of the conquest of Mecca. All of Zuhri's other students record the incident as having occurred during the Prophet's Farewell Pilgrimage, two years later. The same is attributed to the three contemporaries of Zuhri who record the hadith on the authority of 'Amir b. Sa'd.

It seems that Sufyan b. 'Uyayna had heard "year of the farewell pilgrimage" from Zuhri, but in relating the hadith further, had confused it with the year of the conquest of Mecca. The fact that eight other students of Zuhri report the incident as having occurred during the year of the Farewell Pilgrimage supports this conclusion.

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