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MethodforExaminingtheSanad andTypesofHadith

The narrator (Raavi in Arabic) of a Hadith is scrutinized to establish his reliability and his trustworthiness. This process of scrutinizing is known as criticism and authentication (Jarah Wa T`adeel). For this purpose, the biographies of each and every narrator are studied from the books of Jarah Wa T`adeel. A hadith can be divided into differentcategoriesasfollows: 1) The multiple number of isnaad of a hadith dertermines whether thehadithisMutawaatir,Mashhoor,AzeezorGhareeb. a) Mutawaatir:isthathadithwhichhasbeenreportedbysuchan enormous number of narrators which makes their agreeing to lieabsolutelyimpossible. b) Mashhoor: is that hadith which has been reported by three or more narrators in each generation but does not meet the conditionofMutawaatir. c) Azeez: the hadith which has been reported by no less than two narratorsfromeverygeneration. d) Ghareeb: is the hadith whose number of narrators falls down to one, whether the number of narrators is one through all the generations or whether the number falls to one in any singlegeneration.Majorityofahadithareofthistype. 2) Does the Sanad reach the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon Him)? According to this principle the ahadith are divided into three categories:Marfoo`,MauqoofandMaqtoo`. a) Marfoo`: is that hadith whose Sanad/Isnaad reachs the Prophet. b) Mauqoof:thathadithwhichhasaSanadthatdoesntreachthe ProphetbutendsonaSahabi(companion).

c) Maqtoo`: the hadith whose Sanad ends on a Tabai`ee (successor). 3) Is the chain of narration continuous or not? According to this division,therearefollowingtypesofahadith: a) Muttasil:thathadithwhichhasacontinuousunbrokenchainof narration. b) Munqata` or Mu`allaq: is that hadith which has a broken chain ofnarration. c) Mursal: A Tabai`ee (successor) narrates directly from the Prophet(peaceandblessingsbeuponhim)omittingtheSahabi. 4) Muhaddiseen look for two things in a narrator; one is `Adalat which means reliability and trustworthiness. It is judged by the narratorspietyandcharacter.Secondis theZabtortheretention i.e. memory, hearing, remembering and transmitting the hadith accurately. Adalat and Zabt constitute the Saqahat or the credibility of the narrator. This principle determines the degree of soundnessortheweaknessofahadith. Therefore, a Sahih Hadith (sound hadith) will be the one in which all the narrators will be reliable, have sound memory and the chain will be linked. It does not contradict a stronger hadith andthereisnocriticism. Similarly a Da`eef Hadith (weak hadith) will be the one in whichoneormorenarratorsareunreliableorhasapoormemory orthehadithcontradictsacorrecthadith. 5) Ifthenarratoriscriticizedforhisreliabilitythenthehadithwillfall intooneofthefourcategorieslistedbelow: a) Maudu`: A hadith whose chain of transmission has a narrator who has been proved guilty of lying sometime in his life. Muhaddiseen reject Maudu` ahadith because of the increased

possibility. Therefore, a Maudu` hadith is declared as fabricated. This principle of Usuulehadith shows the extreme care and honesty of our scholars` with which they carried out thetaskofthecompilationofhadith. Its very important to remember that a Daeef (weak) hadith is not a Maudu` (fabricated) hadith. The distinction between a fabricated and weak hadith is that the former is spurious and fraudulent while the latter is not fabricated because its narrators are reliable but the hadith does not meet theotherrequirementsofcorrectness. b) Matrook: One of the narrators of this hadith has been accused of lying (but not proven guilty of lying as this was the case in Maudu`hadith). c) Mubham: Mubham literally means vague and doubtful. A hadith whose one of the narrators is unknown is declared Mubham. d) Munkar: A hadith which has a faasiq narrator. The person who commitsasinisknownasFaasiq. 6) The sixth division is based on some fault of weakness in Zabt memory.Accordinglywegetthefollowingtypesofahadith: a) Shaaz: Shaaz literally means irregular, anomalous. Its narrators are all reliable but it opposes another hadith whose narrators aremorereliable. b) Mu`allal: A defective hadith. But the defect is a hidden one whichcanonlybediagnosedbytheexpertsofHadith: An additional narrator is added to the original Sanad. Awordorphrasehasbeenaddedtothetext. Awordhasbeenchangedforanoppositeword.

7) The seventh division is based on the difference or agreement betweenahadith: a) Muhkam: A hadith that does not disagree with any other hadith. b) Mutabai` or Shahid: A hadith which corroborates and confirms anotherhadith. c) Naasikh: If the command or order given in one hadith nullifies the command in another hadith, then the nullifying hadith is known as Naasikh and the hadith whose command has been nullifiedisknownasMansookh. 8) Ahadithcanalsobecategorizedsimplyas: a) Maqbool: Acceptable hadith. Since it fulfils all criteria of acceptabilityasoutlinedabove. b) Mardood: Rejected hadith. It does not meet the criteria of acceptabilityandisthereforenotapplicable.

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