Orientalists and Hadith

By Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwī Modern Western critical inquiry into texts carrying religious authority have been carried out on the assumption that those texts are of natural (this-worldly) origin and therefore any claims of supernatural origin are simply mechanisms by which the religious authority of those texts are established and sustained. This is supported by the historical fact that the Christian scriptures came to be recognised only when the establishment of geographically dispersed [and to some extent competing] Christian communities became apparent. Only after one of the dominant communities had forged an alignment with the political authority of the Roman…

View More Orientalists and Hadith

Sahih Muslim

By Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwi The two most sound books of hadith are Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, both of which have always been studied and taught in the highest seats of learning in the Muslim world, and extensively commented on by hadith and fiqh specialists. It is true that, in respect of the soundness of the hadith selected Sahih al-Bukhari is generally preferred over Sahih Muslim. However, there are certain technical points and professional qualities for which Sahih Muslim is preferred over Sahih al-Bukhari. Muslim follows the general method of hadith experts in organizing and ordering his material. This…

View More Sahih Muslim

The Nexus between Qurʾān and Sunnah

By Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwi and translated by Dr Abu Zayd To access the original arabic, follow this link They asked: Clarify for us the true connection between the Qurʾān and the Sunnah. I asked: What do you mean? They replied: Islamic groups and sects have differed greatly over their stance towards the Sunnah and over the nature of the link between the Qurʾān and Sunnah. What is your position on that?  I replied: I will first present all the positions, from past to present, concerning the Sunnah of the leader and master of the prophets and messengers, the beloved…

View More The Nexus between Qurʾān and Sunnah

Inculcate good etiquettes, O students of Hadith!

By Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwiand translated by Syed Huzaifah Ali Nadwi To access the original arabic, follow this link There are many types of students of Ḥadith, the best of them are those who study the books of Ḥadith from both aspects of the usūl and the furūʾ with a complete grasp of the asānīd, mutūn, rijāl and the ʿilal of the aḥādīth, comprehending their meanings and contents, and are able to apply them to their lives. Indeed these are the true heirs of the prophets, the instructors of goodness and the callers to the right path. By acquiring the…

View More Inculcate good etiquettes, O students of Hadith!

The Soundness of Ṣaḥīḥ Bukhārī

By Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwi and translated by Dr Abu Zayd To access the original arabic, follow this link Some people have written the following: “If everything in Bukhārī is authentic, then it would mean that a person should wake up and eat seven dates from Madīnah followed by drinking poison, in order to affirm the ḥadīth of Bukhārī that this would not harm him.” When our noble teacher Majd Makkī was sent these mocking words regarding the soundest book after the Book of God, he asked me for my thoughts. It would appear from this person’s formulation of his…

View More The Soundness of Ṣaḥīḥ Bukhārī

Sunnah and Ḥadīth

By Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwi and translated by Dr Abu Zayd To access the original arabic, follow this link They asked: What is the meaning of sunnah? The technical meaning of the term is a way or practice that was established and pursued by the Prophet, peace be upon him, and then by the Rightly Guided Caliphs, the rest of the Companions, and the leading figures in the generations that followed them. And what is the meaning of ḥadīth? Technically, it is a report comprised of the words of the Prophet, peace be upon him, or of his actions, tacit…

View More Sunnah and Ḥadīth

Departure of Scholars from the Way of the Ḥadīth Imāms

By Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwi and translated by Dr Abu Zayd To access the original arabic, follow this link They asked: We attend your lectures and you point out all sorts of scholarly mistakes in the treatment of the Prophetic sunnah and the failure to fully grasp the approach of the Imāms of ḥadīth. So please inform us of the roots and origins of this fault and error. I replied: There are two matters: that which most scholars fell into and that which only some of them did They asked: What affected most of them? I replied: Two matters. They…

View More Departure of Scholars from the Way of the Ḥadīth Imāms

Between Hadith and Fiqh

By Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwi and translated by Shafiur Rahman To access the original arabic, follow this link They said: We were impressed by your article “Between Hadith and Philosophy”, benefitting from it, and thereafter, being able to distinguish between the nature of hadith and the nature of philosophy and their respective standards and measurements which are specific to each one of the sciences, thereby avoiding the conflation and confused mixing of the two. So, please expound for us the difference between hadith and fiqh in a way that eliminates any complications and obscurity. I said: Read the article again…

View More Between Hadith and Fiqh

The Right Pathway to Studying Ḥadīth

By Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwi and translated by Dr Abu Zayd To access the original arabic, follow this link They asked: Why is it that you vociferously denounce the manner of teaching the noble Prophetic ḥadīth in most of the religious seminaries today? I replied: Yes, as a matter of fact, I do criticize this approach quite heavily for its mistakes in turning away from the expected aim They asked: And what is that expected aim? I replied: Historical Pathways to Ḥadīth Study The Companions of the Prophet received the Noble Qurʾān from him as well as his Sunnah (religious…

View More The Right Pathway to Studying Ḥadīth

The Meaning of Ijāzah: The True Role of Ijāzah within Islamic Scholarship

By Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwi and translated by Dr. Abu Zayd To access the original arabic, follow this link They asked: We see you greatly welcoming the quest for Ijāzah from various teachers, both verbally and in writing, and we see you placing them in a position of tremendous esteem and respect, even coveting them without end. Our question is: what is the value of these Ijāzahs that you have acquired and are proud of, being charmed by them in the same way people are normally allured by gold, silver, precious stones, and all other human passions? I replied: The…

View More The Meaning of Ijāzah: The True Role of Ijāzah within Islamic Scholarship