Takhrij al-Hadith

Discussion in 'Advanced Hadith Studies' started by أبو نافع, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. أبو نافع

    أبو نافع Formerly - Abu_Abdallah

    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'.

  2. justabro

    justabro Salafi (Retd.)

    That looks like a good general approach... if I do takhrij, one thing I try to take note of is to try and check the original source books for Ilm al-Rijal or even the later works that gather together the actual statements of Jarh wal-Ta'dil like Tahdhib al-Tahdhib because often times you will find in their details about the narrators that shed more light on their status and abilities as a narrator. Many times you will find a generally acceptable narrator has been criticized from a certain shaykh or shaykhs in particular. Even if the criticism is insignificant, it is worth taking into consideration.

    In the case that the hadith is an alternate version of a famous hadith that is in al-Sahihayn for example (but with a ziyadah or some alteration), then I feel it is important to compare it with the originals lest the ziyadah be shadh.

    All in all, in particular, I try to seek out any and all comments made by the great Huffadh of the past on any hadith I am investigating. If I find them in agreement, then I do not go beyond what they have to say. If for example, Ahmad and al-Bukhari disagreed however, then I feel compelled to make a conclusion.

    One book that I frequently make recourse to if I am not finding information in other `Ilal books is Ilal al-Daraqutni. I dont have a hard copy of it, so I generally use the al-Maktabah al-Alfiyyah version. I don't know how other people find what they are looking for in it, but for me I use the search function, and it can sometimes take a while to find what you're looking for (if its in there). However, once you do, it's usually worth it as he is very exhaustive in addressing the ikhtilaf in the chains and mutun. He will oftentimes mention ikhtilaf amongst narrators you would not come across simply by doing your own takhrij.

    Al-Tirmidhi's Ilal al-Kabir is a great reference for al-Bukhari's judgments.

    When dealing with ahadith al-ahkam, besides the famous books of takhrij, I find Tariq Awadullah's tahqiq of al-Bulugh and al-Muntaqa to be useful. His comments are sparse but he usually tries to provide references to the books of Ilal anytime that they are available for a given hadith. Also for ahadith al-ahkam, I have a contemporary takhrij of al-Muharrar which is fairly useful as he has generally done a good job of compiling what everyone has said about each given hadith, both from the books of takhrij and the books of ilal.

    For me personally, these days, as I dont have as much time as I'd like, if I need to check a hadith, I will generally look to see if takhrij for it is already available for it in any of the references I have available (whether past or contemporary). If I find nothing there, I might check on Multaqa Ahl al-Hadith as you will oftentimes find detailed takhrij and oftentimes debates on the authenticity of certain reports. If those avenues fail, then I feel compelled to look into the hadiths for myself.
  3. أبو نافع

    أبو نافع Formerly - Abu_Abdallah

    I guess many would use the Tahdhib al-Tahdhib and its likes of books. I use to check them first too, but it is not easy to make good use of such books without knowing certain principles of narrator-criticism. For this reason one has to rely or at least consider the opinions of the Huffadh who made Istiqrâ' Tâmm: men like al-Dhahabi, Ibn Hajar etc. It is very difficult sometimes to judge a transmitter if there are conflicting judgements; a layman can better depend, in the absence of knowledge, on the Taqrib, the Khulasa, the Kashif etc. Especially Ibn Hajar's shâmil and 'âdil verdict on narrators should be taken as a guideline, I believe, even though the Hafidh is sometimes lenient (with the sadûqin).

    As for the narrators who are reliable, but who are criticized for narrating from particular narrators, if you check the 'Ilal al-Saghir with the Sharh of Ibn Rajab it will be enough most of the time. You dont have to check the Tahdhib works mostly, unless you are aware of a particular weakness in the transmitter unmentioned in the Taqrib and the 'Ilal books. I ask myself: How do you make use of the 'Ilal al-Daraqutni? The big book?! Do you really follow it up? It is the best book, by unanimity, but I think likier something for the Ulama. Ibn Rajab, Ibn Abd al-Hadi and other later books would be better.

    Knowing the Shadhdh is very important. But that is if there are variants of texts. Mostly you'll find discussion about ziyadat al-matn and the shadhdh-munkar issue concerning well-known narrations, which have aberrant varianst; in that case there is already preserved discussion on it by the scholars of 'Ilal, or there is even already a Hukm. My general way of Takhrij/Hukm is about narrations I can't find variants, let alone that I find a verdict on the Hadith. Almost all narrations which have several variants are judged on: either in the ahâdith al-ahkam books and their shuruh, or in the commentaries on Hadith-collections.

    I use internet too. The Multaqa is the best place for that, since the brothers discuss narrations in detail. www.sonnhonline.com is a great source for parallel narrations and judgement on narrators.

    JazakAllah for your thoughts!
  4. ibnfaruk

    ibnfaruk New Member

    Salams, Which method is better, to go through the books of Mustalah or just dive in to the practical side of hadith checking? Is it not better to have a teacher in this field instead doing it yourself ?
    I have found myself reading or listening to ahadith as much as possible then refering to scholars of hadith who are Muttamakkin in Ilm ul Hadith, i think giving judgements on a hadith needs years of continous study as one needs an encyclopedic knowledge of the narrators and then finding supporting evidences to either authenticate or weaken the hadith. Its a huge task.
    What about the Matn ? Sometimes the text can be rejected if it is not consistant with the Quran, well known Sunan, History and Aql , but obviously this is not from the lay man to delve into as many would jump at the chance to reject hadith on the grounds it did not make sense to them. I remember Shaikh Tariq Awadullah Hafizullah say that a person must be extremely familiar with the sayings of Rasullullah peace be upon him to reject a matn.

    Allah swt knows best

  5. أبو نافع

    أبو نافع Formerly - Abu_Abdallah

    You are totally right. Judging a Hadith is for the Muhaddithin, the specialists. To have a teacher who assists you or trains you is needed. But we speak about narrations on which you cant find a specific judgement and which are unique or less known and you can not refer to someone (today through internet much can!).

    It takes years of training, indeed, to acquaint oneself with this great 'Ilm. And knowledge of a Sanad is not sufficient to judge a Hadith; especially knowledge of the Matn is difficult, unless you've studied also Fiqh, Arabic, Tafsir, Qira'at etc.

    But knowing nothing is also not good. Take the narration discussed time back about the Voice of Allah, mentioned by Imam al-Bukhari and others. I would like to see how some reach to weakening it. Have they followed some method? How do they make Takhrij of it?

    I think knowledge of narrations of the Prophet is a must for everyone. If you have also knowledge or aspire to learn how to know the sound from the unsound, it is even better. I'm interested in how people reach certain thoughts about narrations, knowing that they get into it nonetheless the disapproval of the Ahl al-'Ilm to embark on something that is not theirs.

    There are several books on Takhrij al-Hadith and Hukm al-Hadith, which are prepared by teachers of Universities for students. Sort of introductions how to handle things. I hope people make good use of such books, cause they help you in that difficult subject.

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