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In the Name of God بسم الله

Technical Terminology For Rijal Criticism

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Asalaamu alaikum,

Been poking through a number of excellent threads over the past months by some local hadith / rijal wizards.

Haven't really pored through in too much detail, because it's pretty detailed and technical, and you need time at the beginning of such areas to look at it slowly to really absorb it.

But one barrier that is perhaps removable is that posed by the mass of technical terms used in the field.

I was wondering if we could maybe gather together here a sort of glossary of terms for the benefit of everyone here. With a mod's cooperation, could pin it as a reference for future.

Here's a list to start with; if anyone has some other terms, he can add them to the list.

  • Thiqah - reliable / trusted?
  • Majhul
  • Taqwiy
  • Mu'tabar
  • Qawwi
  • Taraddi - spoken about in words of praise by someone trusted and reliable - "radi allahu a'nhum"?
  • Tarahhum - " " " " " " " " " - "rahim Allah a'laihi?"
  • Qudama / mutaqadimeen - early revered scholars?
  • Naskh
  • Jarh
  • Ta'deel
  • Mursal
  • Tadlees
  • Ittisal
  • Shawahid
  • Tabaqat
  • Daeef - weak
  • Hasan - good
  • Sahih - sound / strong

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Just a pointer, some of these words can mean multiple things so it would be good if some of the brothers could state them (just in case in the future someone is confronted with a different context. Here are some examples, naskh is usually a term in the law which means that a primary law has been abrogated, nusakh (pl.) or nuskha (sing.) can refer to a manuscript. Mutaqadimeen can also refer to the companions of the imams where as muta'akhireen can refer to the people who came after them. Mutaqadi'meen can also refer to the scholars before Allamah al-Hill and the latter to those that came after him. Muta'akhireen can also just mean the late scholars that came in our contemporary period (last century or so).

Other words like mursal can take on specific meanings among Sunnis (i.e. a sahaba omitting a transmitter and relating a hadith from the Prophet etc.)

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Many thanks to those contributing, and thanks to whoever pinned the thread. Lots of useful information. Need to work hard on my Arabic this year, insha Allah to be able to launch into some of this material first hand.

I think that would be an amazing contribution to Islam if you did. With your critical intellect + knowledge of the primary sources, we could all benefit tremendously here.

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(bismillah)

Many thanks to those contributing, and thanks to whoever pinned the thread. Lots of useful information. Need to work hard on my Arabic this year, insha Allah to be able to launch into some of this material first hand.

You should purchase "Elementary Modern Standard Arabic" by Peter Aboud, it's this big orange book - REALLY good and helpful especially for english speakers.

æÇááå ÃÚáã

Ýí ÇãÇä Çááå

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I think that would be an amazing contribution to Islam if you did. With your critical intellect + knowledge of the primary sources, we could all benefit tremendously here.

Thanks, but probably the primary motivator is to be in a better position to learn and teach my son (and daughter), both Arabic and the teachings of the religion from primary sources. My son is 7, and I'm actually quite a bit behind where I'd like to be in terms of grounding him in basic Arabic and his religion, learning Quran, etc.

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(bismillah)

You should purchase "Elementary Modern Standard Arabic" by Peter Aboud, it's this big orange book - REALLY good and helpful especially for english speakers.

æÇááå ÃÚáã

Ýí ÇãÇä Çááå

Thanks. How close is MSA to Classical Arabic, though? While it would be neat to be able to speak to living people and understand television, etc, the goal is the classical texts.

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Diraya: Derivation (another term for `ilm ar-rijal is `ilm al-diraya)

. Úáã ÇáÏÑÇíå : Úáã ÈÞæÇäíä íÚÑÝ ÈåÇ ÃÍæÇá ÇáÓäÏ æÇáãÊä.

`ilm ad-dirayah = knowledge of the laws and factors necessary for examining the sanad and matn in order to determine authenticity.

`ilm ar-rijaal = biographical information of the narrators, including their jarh and ta`deel. May be used to refer to checking if the sanad contains thiqaat or dhu`ufa'.

Mu'tabar - reliable (means the chain of narrators is sahih, muwaththaq, or hasan)

Its definition is broader than that. Some Imami scholars, such as al-Majlisi and at-Tabarsee, use it for a hadeeth that they have decided to accept and rely on, despite its technically weak chain.

  • Al-marfu': It is a hadith which reaches one of the Ma'sumun, regardless of continuity in the chain of transmitters.
  • Al-mursal: It is a hadith narrated by one of the prominent Tabi'un saying 'The Prophet of God said....' so on and so forth. There are many of this kind of narrations.

For Sunnis:

mursal is when a successor doesn't mention the companion he narrates from

marfoo' is a hadeeth attributed to the Prophet.

For Imamis:

mursal is a disconnected chain, sometimes used to denote a disconnection over a single generation, and sometimes used to denote a disconnection over multiple generations.

marfoo` is a chain with disconnection usually spanning multiple generations.

1. Qiyas - Guessing (?)

Used in sunni fiqh (often to make up for the lack of hadeeths). It is haraam in Shia Islam for at least fiqh.

Qiyas is the attempt to determine the correct position on something by using an analogy.

In fiqh, it can specifically refer to saying that act X is known to be permissible (or impermissible), and it is probably permissible/impermissible because of such-and-such reason, therefore act Y is also permissible/impermissible because it also has that reason.

For example, wine is haraam; because it intoxicates the mind; therefore narcotic drugs are haraam because they also intoxicate the mind.

Qiyas is used in Sunni Islam, but is condemned in Shia Islam. Here is an example of the Imam condemning qiyas:

Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated from his father from ibn abu ‘Umayr from Muhammad ibn Hukaym who has said the following:

“Once I asked (Imam) Abu al-Hasan Musa (A) ‘May Allah keep my soul in your service, please make us Faqeeh (people of proper understanding in religion). Allah has granted us the blessing of your existence among us and has made us independent of other people. This blessing is so great that even if a whole group of us may come to one place, no one needs to ask another a question to prepare an answer for it. Sometimes, however, we may come across an issue for which we have heard nothing from you or from your forefathers. We then look into the best resources available and the closest to your guidance. Can we take such a finding as an authority?’

‘Never, ever, by Allah, O ibn Hakim, many people have been destroyed in it,’ replied the Imam Úáíå ÇáÓáÇã. Ibn Hakim said that the Imam then said, ‘May Allah curse (la`an Allah) Abu Hanifa who says, “Ali said so and so, therefore, I said so and so.’”

Muhammad ibn Hakim has said that he told Hisham ibn al-Hakam, ‘By Allah, I only wanted the Imam to give us permission to use analogy.’”

(source: al-Kafi, volume 1, book 2, chapter 19, hadeeth 9. grading: Majlisi says this hadeeth is hasan (good) in miraat al-uqool, volume 1, page 193)

The Imam has also said that the first to do qiyas was shaytaan:

Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated from his father from Ahmad ibn ‘Abd Allah al-‘Aqili from ‘Isa ibn ‘Abd Allah al-Qurashi who has said the following:

“Once, abu Hanifa came to see Imam abu ‘Abd Allah, recipient of divine supreme covenant, who said to abu Hanifa, ‘O abu Hanifa, do you practice analogy as I hear you do’? Abu Hanifa replied, ‘Yes, I do practice analogy.’ The Imam then said to him, ‘Do not practice it; the first person who used analogy was Satan when he said, “Lord, you have created me from fire and created him from clay.” He analogized fire with clay. If he had analogized the light in the clay and fire he would have learned about the difference between the two lights and the excellence of one over the other.’”

(source: al-Kafi, volume 1, book 2, chapter 19, hadeeth 20. grading: Majlisi says this hadeeth is saheeh in miraat al-uqool, volume 1, page 201)

The reason why qiyas is condemned is because it doesn't always work. It's just guesswork. For example:

And (shayk as-Sadooq reports) in al-`Ilal from his father and Muhammad b. al-Hasan from Sa`d b. `Abdullah from Ahmad b. Abi `Abdillah from Shabib [from Abu Zuhayr b. Shabib – in al-`Ilal] b. Anas from a man from Abu `Abdillah Úáíå áÓáÇã in a hadith regarding the nullification of qiyas, that he said to Abu Hanifa: Which is more impure, urine or janaba? So he said: Urine. So Abu `Abdillah Úáíå áÓáÇã said: So why is then that the people do ghusl from janaba and they do not do ghusl from urination?

Here the Imam pointed out that it is well-known that urine is more najis than janaba, yet a person in janaba does ghusl while the person who has urinated only needs to perform wudhu.

Another refutation of qiyas would be to point out that salat (prayer) is greater than sawm (fasting) but a woman who is excused from praying and fasting due to her monthly course, must only repeat the missed fasts.

May Allah provide for a correction to be made if I have uttered something in error.

Thanks, but probably the primary motivator is to be in a better position to learn and teach my son (and daughter), both Arabic and the teachings of the religion from primary sources. My son is 7, and I'm actually quite a bit behind where I'd like to be in terms of grounding him in basic Arabic and his religion, learning Quran, etc.

In terms of his learning Arabic (either MSA for interaction with Arabs or classical Arabic for texts or both), why not hire him a tutor instead of teaching him yourself if you are not fluent?

(wasalam)

Edited by Cake
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Not fluent but not totally ignorant either. Know my letters, how to write them, pronounce them, how to read out words, have a vocabulary of a few 100 - 1000 words, some phrases; I can kind of understand rough outlines of religious speeches if I'm wakeful. I just need to stitch the pieces together. Grammar, continue expanding vocabulary. I can teach what I know, and push that farther as the horizons of my abilities grow. I will probably enroll them in a local Sunday madressa for this year too. But I am the father, you know? I feel the responsibility to lift a lot of the weight myself. It's a duty.

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Also, some words that I want to know the meaning of and are related to rijal:

1. Qiyas - Guessing (?)

These are not related to Rijaal. However, Qiyas is defined here:-

"Qiyas" is defined as the assignment of a "Hukam" of an existing case found in the texts of the Quran, the Sunnah, or Ijma to a new case whose "Hukam" is not found in those sources on the basis of a common underlying attributes called the "Illah of the hukam".

2. Istehsaan - ?

Istehsaan means moving away from the implications of analogy (Qiyas) that is stronger than it, or it is the restriction of analogy (Qiyas) by an evidence that is stronger than it.

It is also defined as "the giving up of analogy (Qiyas) for a stronger evidence from the Book, the Sunnah or Ijma.

From these definitions it is obvious that Istehsan means the preference of stronger evidence over analogy (Qiyas). In other words it means.

1. The preference of Qiyas Khafi over Qiyas Jali.

2. It also means following the requirements of a stronger general principle that requires something different from strict analogy. (Qiyas).

3. It may also mean the creation of an exception to a general principle due to a stronger evidence when the general principle is based on analogy (Qiyas).

3. Estinbaat - ? (to derive something implicitly, maybe?)

Estinbaat means to derive a "Hukam e Shariah" on a particular issue from Quran and Sunnah directly or to derive a principle which lays the foundation of a "Fatwa" or "ruling" on a particular issue.

Edited by Aabiss_Shakari
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There is a difference between Majhul and Muhmal.

Majhul is one who has been mentioned in the books of Rijal, but whose status of Wathqa (veracity) is unknown.

Muhmal is one who is not mentioned at all, even by name - in the books of Rijal.

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Maqbul - This is a Hadith that has garnered acceptance, and has been used by the Fuqaha, and its import has been acted upon, without considering the Sihha of the Sanad or lack of it.

Mudhtarib - This is a Hadith in which there is Ikhtilaf (differences) over its Matn or its Sanad, so it was narrated one time in this way (i.e. with a particular Sanad or Matn), and at another time in another way (i.e. with difference in Sanad or Matn with the first narration - causing a change in the meaning), this can originate from the same narrator (i.e. who narrates the Hadith with differences), or due to different narrators (i.e. each narrating differently), or authors of books.

Musahhaf - This is a Hadith whose Matn or Isnad has been changed by something similar to it, due to copyist errors, like the change of Burayd to Yazid, Hariz to Jarir etc.

Mudarraj - This a Hadith in which the words of a narrator or an author creep into the Matn or Sanad, such that it is thought that it is part of the Hadith, like as-Saduq commenting on Ahadith in his works, as time goes on and due to copyist errors, some of his comments end up being part of the Matn.

Mudhmar - This is a Hadith in which the last narrator does not name the Imam explicitly,like a comapnions of the Imam saying - and from Him or I asked Him.

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Partisan of Rasul - if you want to make a post use the box at the bottom of this page and press Post. Please don't use the Report function.

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Also, some words that I want to know the meaning of and are related to rijal:

1. Qiyas - Guessing (?)

2. Istehsaan - ?

3. Estinbaat - ? (to derive something implicitly, maybe?)

Qiyaas is analogy or personal opinion. People like Abu Haneefah of the Sunnis were cursed for using Qiyaas by our A`ima [as].

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(salam)

Salam,

If a fellow brother/sister could help me with the following terms, I would be very grateful,

What does it mean when a hadith is graded as 'majhool'? Usually, when 'majhool' is used, it refers to a narrator who is unknown, but what does a 'majhool' narration mean? I know that it has already been defined here:

Al-majhul: It is a tradition in which in spite of a continuous chain of transmission the sectarian affiliations of its transmitters are not known.

But I still don't understand it. What does "the sectarian affiliations of its transmitters" mean exactly?

Also, what does 'hassan ghareeb' mean? I think this is used more in Sunni rijal than Shi`ah ones, right?

The last one, why do the muhaddiths grade hadiths like, 'hassan kal-saheeh'. Why can't it just be 'hassan', or 'saheeh'. There are also, 'muwathaq kal-saheeh', and 'majhool kal-saheeh'. I have only seen Shi`ah muhaddiths use this, but I have seen Sunni muhaddiths use 'hassan saheeh', Could someone explain what that means as well?

Thanks in advance.

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Also, what does 'hassan ghareeb' mean? I think this is used more in Sunni rijal than Shi`ah ones, right?

 

I believe that means that it comes through one chain of narrators only therefore it is gharīb, and that chain of narrators is hasan.

 

 

Al-majhul: It is a tradition in which in spite of a continuous chain of transmission the sectarian affiliations of its transmitters are not known.

 

Basically what sort of person he was, and which group of people he was with (could be political, religious etc.) - he's pretty unknown.

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I believe that means that it comes through one chain of narrators only therefore it is gharīb, and that chain of narrators is hasan.

 

Wouldn't that be a Shadth Hadith though? That is, a Sahih or Hassan Hadith that has only one chain of narrators?

I could be wrong but I think Sahih Gharib or Hassan Gharib has to do more with the oddity in the matn or context of the Hadith rather than it's isnad.

Maybe someone more knowledgable can add on.

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(salam)

(bismillah)

 

It varies on the scholar, but mostly you will see Hasan Gharib or Sahih Gharib from al-Tirmidhi. al-Tirmidhi himself explains what he meant.

 

al-Tirmidhi, in his al-`Ilal says:

"Whenever we say in this book 'it is a Ghareeb Hadeeth', according to the People of Hadith it could be Ghareeb for various reasons:

 

وما ذكرنا في هذا الكتاب "حديث غريب" فإن أهل الحديث يستغربون الحديث بمعان، رب حديث يكون غريباً لا يروى إلا من وجه واحد، مثل ما حدث به حماد بن سلمة 

1.) A hadith can be Ghareeb because it is not narrated through anyone else except through one route. For example the hadeeth of Hamaad b. Salamah

 

 إِنَّمَا يستغرب لزِيَادَة تكون فِي الحَدِيث وَإِنَّمَا تصح إِذا كَانَت الزِّيَادَة مِمَّن يعْتَمد على حفظه ....فَإِذا أَرَادَ حَافظ مِمَّن يعْتَمد على حفظه قبل ذَلِك مِنْهُ 

2.) A hadith is considered Ghareeb because there is an addition in the hadeeth, the addition will only be accepted if it is through someone who memory is depended upon....So When a Haafidh whose memory is relied upon narrates it, then it is accepted from him

 

حَدِيث يرْوى من أوجه كَثِيرَة وَإِنَّمَا يستغرب لحَال الْإِسْنَاد 

3.) A hadith can be narrated through many routes and it is considered Ghareeb due to the condition of the chain

 

(salam)

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(salam)
(bismillah)

 

Here are other scholar's views on the term Ghareeb al-Hadeeth:

 

al-Nawawi, in his al-Taqreeb wa al-Tayseer li-Ma`rifah Sunan al-Basheer al-Nadheer, Mu`assasa al-Kutub al-Thuqafiyyah, pg. 77:

غريب الحديث: هو ما وقع في متن الحديث من لفظة غامضة بعيدة من الفهم لقلة استعمالها

"Ghareeb al-Hadeeth: It is what is located in the matn of the Hadeeth from the words that are incomprehensible and far from understand due it is little usage"

 

 

al-Sakhaawi, in his Fath al-Mugheeth bi-Sharh Alfiyyah al-Hadeeth, Daar al-Kutub al-`Ilmiyyah, vol. 3, pg. 45:

ما يخفى معناه من المتون لقلة استعماله ودورانه، بحيث يبعد فهمه، ولا يظهر إلا بالتفتيش فى كتب اللغة

"It has a concealed meaning in the matn due to its little usage and its time period (of the hadith), where it is far from understanding, and it is not apparent (in meaning) except through research in the books of Languages"

 

 

Ibn Salaah, in his Muqadimmah, pg. 195:

وهو عبارة عما وقـع في متـون الأحاديث من الألفاظ الغامضة البعيدة من الفهم لقلة استعمالها

"It is a phrase which is place in the matn of the hadeeth that is from the words that are incomprehensible and far from understanding due to its little usage"

 

(salam)

Edited by Nader Zaveri
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On 8/18/2012 at 8:38 AM, Abbas. said:

 

50. Al-mutawatir: It is a tradition which has been transmitted from several narrators, so that it is impossible that it should have been forged. There are two kinds of this hadith: mutawatir in meaning, and mutawatir in words. However, if recurrence (tawatur) is in words, there may be chances of forgery.

There is also a third type of (tawatur) which is called tawatur ijmaali (تواتر اجمالی). For example there are many hadiths which speaks of the bravery of Imam Ali (as) in various situations. From all these ahadith we become certain that Imam Ali (as) was a very brave man.

Therefore, if a hadith has been narrated through various chains (so much so that we become certain they can not all be forged hadiths due to being narrated through too many people) with the same words, it is called mutawatir in words (متواتر لفظی). If it has been narrated so but with variation in words (yet referring to the same meaning), that is called mutawatir in meaning (متواتر معنوی). And when through different ahadith regarding different issues we come to a certain conclusion that is called non-specific mutawatir (متواتر اجمالی).

http://en.wikishia.net/view/Tawatur

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