April 24, 2017 at 1:04 am

Obligations of Belief | Ask Madina

Answered and approved by Madina Faculty Members

Question:

Assalaamu alaikum,
I know as a Muslim we are obligated to believe in certain things like the Qur’an and all it contains as well as the sunnah. I heard we also have to believe in mutawaatir hadith. Can you please tell me where I can find what these hadith are [in Arabic or English]?

Answer:

بِسْم الله الرحمن الرحيم

الحمد لله الَّذِي خلق السمواتِ و الارضٓ و جعل الظلماتِ و النورٓ

أحمدُهُ حمداً كما ينبغي لِكَرَمِ وجهه وعِزِّ جلالِهِ

و الصلاة و السلام على سيّدنا محمد النور وعلى أهل بيته الطاهرين

In short, a Muslim is obliged to believe in what Allah and His messenger said.  


There are two ways by which they arrived to us:
The first (1) is through an absolutely definitive way. These are definitive by way of mass-transmission. These are the Qur’an and the mutawatir ahadeeth. It is rationally absolutely inconceivable that people came together to form a lie (fabricate what is being transmitted, etc.) due to the sheer amount of transmitters involved.

As for the first category, it is important to keep in mind three things:
A) Everyone agrees on the transmition of the Qur’an as we have it.
B) People disagree about what constitutes a mutawatir hadeeth (although in theory they agree that denying it would be Kufr (disbelief).
C) While they are mass transmitted and definitive in transmission, not all verses of the Qur’an and not all statements in the mutawatir hadeeth are decisive/definitive in meaning. As such, people may have varying interpretations about what these allegorical/metaphorical/ambiguous Qur’anic verses/mutawatir statements mean. The Qur’an even mentions that there are verses that could outwardly offer more than one linguistic meaning – in regard to Qur’anic verses – in Surah al Imran, verse 7.

The second (2) way something reaches us is by non-definitive means, such as the other various levels of transmitted ahadeeth (i.e., every hadeeth that is not mutawatir). Were one to deny a hadeeth (believing in the first place that the Prophet (alayhi wa alihi salaam) didn’t say it based on sound scholarly evidence), then that would not entail disbelief, as it was not definitively transmitted in the absolute sense (even though it may turn out he (alayhi salaam) did say it.

Allah knows best!

For a standard book taught containing mutawatir ahadeeth, please refer to Al Dur Al Mutanathir.


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