Imam Muslim on The Importance of Hadith Verification


The Importance of Hadith Verification
From Muslim’s Introduction to his Sahih

NOTE: This text is copyright.

Know – may Allah have mercy upon you – that what is obligatory upon every individual who is familiar with discrimination between the authentic among narrations and the inferior [thereof], [as well as between] the reliable reporters thereof from the incriminated ones, is that he narrate from [the body of hadith] only that [material] for which he knows that the source is authentic and its reporters are [of] blameless [character]. He should avoid those [narrations] which are [related] from incriminated people, and [from] obstinate people of innovation.

The evidence that what we have stated is binding rather than anything different is the words of Allah – may His mention be glorified – (translated), “O you who believe! If a transgressor comes to you with information then verify [its truth], in case you smite a people out of ignorance, and then [later] become full of regret over what you have done.” And He said – glorified be his praise – (translated), “. . . from among those whom you approve as witnesses.” And He, the Mighty, the Majestic, said, (translated), “And establish in testimony two upright [men] from among you.” So, He has indicated, through these verses which we have mentioned, that the report of a transgressor is disreputable and unacceptable, and that the testimony of a non-upright individual is inadmissible. Although the import of a report differs from that of a testimony in some respects, they correspond in most of their features, for the report of a transgressor is not acceptable before the people of knowledge, just as his testimony is inadmissible according to all of them.

The sunnah has indicated the disallowance of the narration of munkar reports in a manner similar to the Qur’an’s indication of the disallowance of a transgressor’s report. [What I am referring to] is the famous statement from the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), “Whoever relates a hadith ascribed to me, which can be seen to be a lie, he is one of the liars.”

. . . . Rib`iyy ibn Khirash, that he heard `Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) delivering a sermon : he said : the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “Do not lie against me, for whoever lies against me will enter the Fire.”

. . . . Anas ibn Malik, that he said : What prevents me from relating to you many hadith is that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “Whoever deliberately lies against me should seek his place in the Fire.”

. . . . Mughirah said : I heard the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) saying, “A lie against me is not like a lie against anyone [else]. Therefore, whoever lies against me deliberately should seek his place in the Fire.”

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah : he said : the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “It is enough lies for a man that he relate all that he hears.”

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah : on the authority of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), that he said, “There will be people in the last part of my ummah who will relate to you that which neither you nor your fathers have heard, so beware you of them.”

. . . . The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “In the last ages, there will be lying charlatans who will bring you such ahadith as neither you nor your fathers have heard, so beware you of them, [in order that] they do not lead you astray, nor put you to trial.”

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