al-Salamu 'Alaikum, I would like to know how people here who have affinity with Takhrij al-Hadith give a Hukm upon a Hadith, if there is a need to it. I mean: if you come across a Hadith Marfu', how do you view it in terms of authenticity? What is your method in judging it - for yourself, not the public - and could you document it: step by step? Of course, we are laymen. We can not act as Muhaddithun and declare this or that Hadith as Sahih, Da'if or Mawdu' as a rule. This is a task for the scholars, like Ahmad Shakir, al-Albani, Habib al-Rahman al-A'zami, Hammad al-Ansari, Abd al-Qadir al-Arna'ut and many more who passed before, and of course many who are alive. We simply have to follow them in their judgements, I guess. But if you are in need of a Hukm, and you cant find one, how do you go to work? Will you pick out the best editions, and check the footnotes and commentary of Muhaqqiqin (such as Shu'ayb al-Arna'ut, Muhammad Mustafa al-A'zami, Isma'il al-Ansari etc.)? Or do you 'handle' it more professionally (as I do/try many time )? I'm really interested in this. Especially from several people who discuss concerning ahâdith. Let me inform my - simple - way of Takhrij/Hukm on a Hadith. I hope other will entertain us with theirs. Let say we have a Sanad and Matn, both full. And you do not know any Hukm upon it, from known scholars or unknown Muhaqqiqun 1 First step: I take the Taqrib of the Hafidh Ibn Hajar to 'judge' the narrators in themselves. The Hafidh divided the narrators in 12 classes. The 'general rule' is (based upon some Takhrij-manuals, incl. one 'commentary' on the Taqrib): - if all men are from the 2nd, 3rd or 4th class from the explanatory Intro of the Taqrib, its Sanad is probably Sahih - if just one (or more) of the men is also from the 5th or 6th class, and the rest better, than its Sanad is probably Hasan - if one of the men is from the 7th, 8th or 9th class, its Sanad is Da'if - if one of the men is from the 10th class its Sanad is Dai'if jiddan - if one of the men is from the 11th class its Sanad is Matruk - and finally, if one if the men is from the 12th class its Sanad is declared: Mawdu' Second step I do, after this: After I've 'judged' the men in the Sanad, I 'judge' its connection (ittisâl). Cause a chain with reliable men, does not mean a reliable Sanad. The men must have met and heard eachother. If all men state direct transmission (such as sami'tu, haddathana, akhabarana etc), one has no nee to look further; if not, its needed at times to refer to books for knowledge of it. I first check if one of the men is known for Tadlis: I take recourse to the Tabyin by Sibt b. al-'Ajami and the Hafidh's Ta'rif (the best on Mudallisûn, with ist own classes). The Taqrib mentions Tadlis of men, but not detailed; so its necessary to check another book devoted to it, if you dont know the status of some narrators. Then after the Tadlis-check is done, Ittisâl or Inqita' can depend on another thing: the absence of Sama' itself. That is: some men never met eachother or met but did not transmit to oneanother, without the people being Mudallisun at all. To know who heard from who directly, or not, one need to check: the Tahdhib al-Kamal of al-Mizzi. 3 The third step, after: Lets say, all men are reliable from the 2nd and 3rd class (i.e. all Huffâdh and Thiqat); and none is known for Tadlis - how small it may be; and all met eachother and transmitted (i.e. we preclude inqita'). Then its most probably a sound Hadith. But before I exclude, a) weakness of a narrator b) Tadlis and c) Inqita', I try to exclude 'hidden' default: 'ilal and shudûd. And this is difficult. For one need knowledge combined with experience of texts and transmitters. For the 'Ilal I check: - al-Tirmidhi's 'Ilal al-Saghir (with Ibn Rajab's comments) - Ahmad's 'Ilal wa'l-Rijal (in the ed. of Shaykh Wasiullah) with the Rijal-lexicon of Ibn al-Mabrid called Bahr al-Damm - sometimes I refer also to Ibn Abi Hatim's 'Ilal and K. al-Marâsil (which is in fact also a 'Ilal-work), and Ibn 'Abd al-Hadi's Sharh 'Ilal Ibn Abi Hatim is also useful Conclusion: if all these steps indicate no harm, I dare to say: Sahih ( or less, depending on the men etc.). The text of the Hadith must bear resemblance to the Prophet's sayings, but a chain of reliable men is always almost close to the known sunan and athar (even if the Hadith is Da'if). There are also other ways, and I dont follow it always like this. Sometimes I use al-Khulasa of al-Khazraji and al-Dhahabi's Kashif together with some modern books. In short: My Takhrij or Hukm is Taqrib > Tadlis > Inqita' > 'Ilal = Hukm My question: how do you do it? Hope to see some good and new 'ways'. wa-Salam!