Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Hadith related questions

Question: do you except the sahih and daeef hadith by Shaikh Nasir-ud-din Albani?

Answer: Only a Haafith scholar is qualified to make such judgments, and Al-Albaaniy has himself stated that he did not reach this level of qualifications. Moreover, making these judgements today is a bit of a stretch. Already some 900 years ago Ibn Salaah (author of the most famous book on hadith science) said that already in his day the doors for making these judgments were closed; the chains of narrations and the knowledge of narrators grow too weak as history passes. Most scholars disagree with this, however, since it would mean that people like Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalaaniy or Al-Suyuutiy would not be able to judge a hadith in terms of soundness/ weakness. However, it is a point to keep in mind for a objective outlook.

You should also know that the hadith scholars differed widely on the criteria for declaring a hadith sound, and on the quality of specific chains of narrators, among other things. In other words, it is not the end of the story if one single hadith scholar declares a hadith sound or weak, and it is dangerous to oversimplify and be bombastic about these matters. If you really want to fully know the state of a particular hadith you need to refer to books like Fathu-l-Baariy or 'I^laa'u-s-Sunan where rather complete discussions are mentioned, not just simply take a contemporary's word for it.

Question: and the way Albani described the way to prayer?

Answer: I don't know how he described prayer. If you go to www.hanafi_fiqh.tripod.com you can find a description according to the school of Abu Hanifah.

Question: is it a must to follow fiqh?can we follow any other fiqh except fiqh hanafia?

Answer: Fiqh means to understand the religion in terms of what is allowed or not, valid or not, sunnah or not, etc. I.e. it is about knowing the judgement of the religion on human actions. So yes, one must definitely follow fiqh, but you can follow any of the 4 established schools. To follow fiqh is to follow hadith. The study of fiqh is different from just knowing hadith, as the following tells you:

Ishaaq ibn Raahawayh said, "In Iraq I used to sit with Ahmad ibn Hanbal and Yahyaa ibn Ma^iin and our companions and we used to mention hadiths according to one path of narration or two or three, and Yahyaa bn Ma^iin would add 'and this path...'. Then I would say "Isn't this (hadith) authentic by our consensus?" and they would answer "Yes!" Then I would say, 'What does it mean? What is its explanation? What are the judments related to it (the fiqh of it)?'Whereupon they would all fall to complete silence - except Ahmad ibn Hanbal." In other words, because the others felt themselves unqualified.

Question: Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Umar (radhiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: "Whoever performs wudhu and makes masah over his nape, he will be saved from wearing a necklace (of fire) around his neck on the the day of judgement". The famous commentator of Sahih al-Bukhari, Allamah Ibn Hajar Asqalaani, writes in his book Talkheesul Habeer (vol. 1: p.92) that this narration is Sahih. Allamah Shawkani has also affirmed this in Naylul Awtaar (vol. 1, p.204). According to this text, Allamah Ibn Hajar Asqalaani would write in his book Talkheesul Habeer that this hadith is SAHIH. Now i found a book about weak hadiths and the book is saying that Allamah Ibn Hajar Asqalaani declared this hadith as weak! Can you give me me more info about this hadith?

Answer: There are several hadiths like this, probably the authors were speaking about different narrations. It is mentioned in the books that Nawawi weakened such a hadith and that al-Laknawiy confirmed this. It is musthabb to wipe the back of the neck after the head in the Hanafi school. In other words, the hadith is good enough to go by in matters of etiquette, because it is not in contradiction to established rules of the religion or authentic/ sound hadiths.

Question: What are the proofs of Imam Hanafi that blood breaks wudu? And can you provide me these hadiths with their sources?

Answer: From Ibn Humaam's commmentary on al-Hidaayah: Ibn Maajah relates a hadith which states, literally translated, that "whoever is afflicted by vomit, nosebleed, gulping, or mathiyy, let him go and take wuduu' and then continue his prayer, while refraining from speech in all of that". One of the narrators, Ibn ^ayyaash have been declared weak, but Ibn Ma^iin, declared him trustworthy. (Abu Adam: Ibn Ma^iin is known for being overly picky about narrators, so the hadith should be 'hasan' according to the rules of the Hanafi school).

There is also several weak hadiths which say (literally) that "there is wuduu' in any blood that flows." Al-Laknawiy states that these hadiths are strengthened as a group.

Question: Why don't Hanafi scholars perform Rafa-ul yedain (raising hands in prayer) like in the other 3 madhaabs? Also, was Imam Hanafi a tabiin, and did het say Anas and did he saw his manner of praying? If he saw praying Anas without Rafa-ul Yedain, why there are sahih hadiths which tells us that the Prophet used to do Rafa-ul Yedain?

Answer: Yes, it is true that Abu Hanifah saw Anas. I have never seen it stated that he saw him pray. There are correct hadiths that the Prophet raised his hands with his rukuu^, and there are correct hadiths that say otherwise. For this reason, the Hanafis considered raising the hands, other than when starting the prayer, as an act that was part of the prayer in the beginning of the Prophet's mission (may Allah raise his rank), but was later cancelled. By the way, the Malikis I have seen also don't raise their hands in fard prayers.

... and Allah knows best.