Life sketches of eminent scholars of Ahadith
Rasheed: The traditions which you quoted above, some of them belong to ‘Sehah Sitta’ (six authentic collections of traditions) and some do not. The Ahadiths from ‘Sehah Sittta’ are considered acceptable but those which are not from ‘Sehah Sitta’ are considered weak or un authentic.
Hameed: In the present times, people are unaware from the study or Art of Ahadith and they keep criticising. Now I ask you something, if I tell you that you are very intelligent, sensible and a worthy man then does that mean that all the other persons are stupid and senseless? The definition of ‘Sahih’ is according to its health. Because the six eminent scholars - Imam Bukhari 256 H, Imam Muslim 261 H, Imam Nasai 303 H, Imam Abu Dawood 275 H, Imam Mohammed Isa Tirmidhi 275 H and Imam Ibne Maja 273 H they are all after the completion of two centuries period, which being nearer to the period of Prophet SAW and their piety and abstinence being accepted by one and all of those times, their work is considered the most authentic.
But among ahadith books the first to come in light is ‘Muwatta’ written by Imam Malik Rh. He was born in 90 H and died in 179 H. Regarding Imam Malik’s book Imam Shafai Rh had said: “under the sky after Allah’s book (holy Quran) there is no book more significant than Imam Malik’s ‘Muwatta’ ”.
Hafiz Abu Noyaim Asfahani in his book “Hulliatul Auliya” had quoted with authentic order about Imam Malik Rh. Once a man saw holy Prophet SAW in his dream and asked him "The blessed period of your holy reign has passed, now if we have any doubts in the religious matters then with whom should we ask?" Holy Prophet PBUH replied: ”Get it clear with Malik Bin Anas, writer of ‘Muwatta’.”(Shrah AL- sudoor). he is among Tabeyeen (successors to the companions). In the science of Hadith sayings of Tabayeen are given status of Hadith. Imam Bukhari and Imam Msulim have taken many Ahadiths from ‘Muwatta’.
Imam Ahmad bin Hambal Rh died in 241 H his book ‘Musnad’ is very popular and comprises of six volumes, and each volume is as thick as Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim. But Imam Ahmad bin Hambal Rh has compiled ‘Musnad’ based on reporters name in alphabetical order that means if a reporter’s name starts with ‘A’ all of his Hadith are quoted followed by ‘B’ and so on. Contrary to this others have compiled Hadiths based on topic. So to find a Hadith on a particular topic becomes quite easy, and to do so in ‘Musnad’ is a very difficult task. If Hadiths of ‘Musnad’ are compiled again topic wise then it will be very fruitful. In ‘Ashat-ul-Lamaat’ translation of ‘Mishkat Shareef’ Hazrat Abdul Haq Mohaddith Dehalvi said about Imam Ahmad bin Hambal: “Imam Ahmad is the pioneer of Hadith, jurisprudence, worship, abstinence and piety. It is due to him that right is consider as right and wrong considered wrong. Imam Bukhari, Imam Muslim, Imam Abu Dawood are all disciples of Imam Ahmad bin Hambal Rh.” Ishaq bin Rahway Rh said about Imam Ahmad bin Hambal that Imam Ahmad bin Hambal is an inquisition between Allah and His Servants. Dari said about Imam Ahmad bin Hambal Rh: “I have not seen any man storing more memory of Ahadith than Imam Ahmad bin Hambal.” In his funeral, there were 8 lakhs men and 60 thousand women, and on the day of his demise twenty thousand Jews and Christians embraced Islam.
If you cosider ‘Sehah Sitta’ as only authentic hadith then ‘Muwatta’ of Imam Malik Rh and ‘Musnad’ of Imam Ahmad bin Hambal will be called unauthentic which is unwise.
compilers of hadith who were great in there knowledge and erudition their comprises more than fifty books on whose level one cannot comment. If a student of matriculation comments the students of B.A and M.A that he secured first rank and the other second. Then is this justified as right? Never! It is like “Fadhalna Badhahum Alabadh” . But that does not mean others are not worthy or unimportant.
Now Imam Tabrani’s ‘Muajim-e-Salasa’ (Three compilations) of Ahadith - Muajim-e-Kabeer, Muajim-e-Sagheer and Muajim-e-Ausat are famous. Imam Tabrani was born in 260 H he roamed around various cities like Syria, Medina, Mecca, Yemen, Baghdad Egypt and other places. He learned from more than a thousand teachers. He was a student of Imam Nasai and wrote ‘Kitab Ad Dua’. The writer of ‘Hisn-e-Haseen’ copied from ‘Kitab AdDua’, which is a large volume. Imam Tibrani slept for nearly thirty years on jute and made comfort forbidden on himself. He was an eminent theologian in the science of Ahadith. Abu Saber Ahmed bin Mansoor Shirazi said that he had copied three lakhs of Ahadith from Imam Tabrani. Imam Tabrani was 100 years and two months old when he died in the year 360 H.
Imam Baihaqi author of ‘Shob-ul-Iman’ was a very famous Hafez of hadith, he was a great pioneer of Hadith in his times. He wrote a number of books. There was no equivalent in his knowledge. Few people had said that there are seven persons whose immense knowledge have benefited Muslim: 1) Dara Qutni, 2) Hakim Abu Abdullah Neshapuri, 3) Abu Muhammed Abdul Ghani Misri, 4) Abu Noyem Ahmad bin Abdullah Asfahani, 5) Abu Omar bin Abdul bar namrai, 6) Imam Baihaqi and 7) Khateeb Baghdadi. Imam Baihaqi died in 454 H. His reportings were accepted by great theologians. Even the writer of ‘Mishkat Shareef’ has also quoted many of his reportings.
The author of the book ‘Sharah Al Sudoor’ writes that Imam Ibne Abi Duniya (who died in the year 282 H ) was among eminent writers and his books score more than 100. Among his students are Abu Bakar Shafai Rh and Haris Ibne Usama are famous.
To understand the kinds of Ahadith one requires a lot of erudition. It is not every ones cup of tea to understand Ahadiths and its kinds. Now a days it is observed that whenever a Hadith comes in view people underestimate it by saying it is weak or unauthentic. A Hadith is considered weak only when all its conditions or some of its conditions are not fulfilled.