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Hannibal

Kamal Al Haydari And The Cult Of Isnad

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Kamal al-Haydari is trying to say that we should abandon 'ilm al-Hadeeth?  Well that's just lovely.

 

Viva la Sufiism.

 

He didn't say anything of the sort. Did you watch the video?

 

Anyway, on this topic at least, I agree with the Sayed completely ...

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He didn't say anything of the sort. Did you watch the video?

No.  I was taking a wild guess based on the title of the video and this thread.  If that isn't what he is saying, why the need for the misleading titles? 

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No.  I was taking a wild guess based on the title of the video and this thread.  If that isn't what he is saying, why the need for the misleading titles? 

 

If you actually listen to the video your question will be answered. 

Edited by Hannibal

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No.  I was taking a wild guess based on the title of the video and this thread.  If that isn't what he is saying, why the need for the misleading titles? 

 

He's not saying isnaad is irrelevant. Rather, he posits that matn is the primary factor that should be considered when gauging the authenticity of a hadeeth. This is in opposition to the current method du jour of analysing the sanad before anything else.

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If you actually listen to the video your question will be answered. 

Thanks akhi, I never would have guessed that.

 

He's not saying isnaad is irrelevant. Rather, he posits that matn is the primary factor that should be considered when gauging the authenticity of a hadeeth. This is in opposition to the current method du jour of analysing the sanad before anything else.

I strongly disagree.  The matn is very relevant, yes, but anybody can fabricate a hadeeth that has a decent matn; it doesn't make it automatically authentic.  There are many things to look at and the isnaad is probably the most important in my opinion.

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Thanks akhi, I never would have guessed that.

 

I strongly disagree.  The matn is very relevant, yes, but anybody can fabricate a hadeeth that has a decent matn; it doesn't make it automatically authentic.  There are many things to look at and the isnaad is probably the most important in my opinion.

 

 

Well, you better throw out as-Saheefah as-Sajjadiyya and Nahju 'l-Balaagha then, because their asaneed are "dha'eef"..

 

Btw, just as a matn can be fabricated, so can a sanad ,,, 

Edited by Abdul Qaim

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Thanks akhi, I never would have guessed that.

I strongly disagree. The matn is very relevant, yes, but anybody can fabricate a hadeeth that has a decent matn; it doesn't make it automatically authentic. There are many things to look at and the isnaad is probably the most important in my opinion.

Have you read any book on ilm alrijal and ilm al Hadith ?

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Well, you better throw out as-Saheefah as-Sajjadiyya and Nahju 'l-Balaagha then, because their asaneed are "dha'eef"..

 

Btw, just as a matn can be fabricated, so can a sanad ,,, 

I do throw those out.  Nahj al-Balagha, at least, is not a reliable book of hadeeth.  The title itself should tell you what it is.  It's a compilation of eloquence.  It is not even meant to be a reliable compilation of ahadeeth.  

 

I'm aware.  There are ways of determining its authenticity. 

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I do throw those out.  Nahj al-Balagha, at least, is not a reliable book of hadeeth.  The title itself should tell you what it is.  It's a compilation of eloquence.  It is not even meant to be a reliable compilation of ahadeeth.  

 

 

The compiler of Nahju 'l-Balaagha, Shareef Radhi, certainly believed it to be reliable, though I don't think he ever claimed 100% authenticity. "Balaagha" means "rhetoric", and the book has been called "The Peak of Rhetoric" because of the eloquence of the language used in its sermons.

It certainly wasn't compiled simply as a demonstration of eloquent speech, otherwise it would have included sermons and letters from people other than 'Ali ibn Abi Talib (as). It sounds like you are suggesting it was simply some sort of linguistic exercise. Is this what the Sanadi Cult has brought us to?

Edited by Abdul Qaim

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The compiler of Nahju 'l-Balaagha, Shareef Radhi, certainly believed it to be reliable, though I don't think he ever claimed 100% authenticity. "Balaagha" means "rhetoric", and the book has been called "The Peak of Rhetoric" because of the eloquence of the language used in its sermons.

It certainly wasn't compiled simply as a demonstration of eloquent speech, otherwise it would have included sermons and letters from people other than 'Ali ibn Abi Talib (as). It sounds like you are suggesting it was simply some sort of linguistic exercise. Is this what the Sanadi Cult has brought us to?

Is Imam Ali (ع) infallible? According to Nahj al-Balagha, he is not.

“Do not evade me as the people of passion are (to be) evaded, do not meet me with flattery and do not think that I shall take it ill if a true thing is said to me, because the person who feels disgusted when truth is said to him or a just matter is placed before him would find it more difficult to act upon them. Don’t stop saying the Truth, or Just Advice, As I am not above making Mistakes, and I am not safe from making Mistakes in my Actions”. (Sermon 216)

Is this what the Matni Cult has brought us to?? Accepting any narration so long as a Rijaali rejects it?

Edited by Mu3lam

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Well, you better throw out as-Saheefah as-Sajjadiyya and Nahju 'l-Balaagha then, because their asaneed are "dha'eef"..

 

Btw, just as a matn can be fabricated, so can a sanad ,,, 

 

(salam) akhi,

 

I don't think that it will be prudent to simply discard a hadith because its chain is weak as in my opinion such a hadith does not consititute proof. For example, we read dua kumayl and find its content to be agreeing with what is in the Quran and other ahadith - about glorifying Allah, asking for forgiveness of our sins etc. But we should not stop reciting the dua just on account of its chain being weak. In fact, we should not 'use' the dua as a proof for something else - because it has dhaeef sanad.

 

Am unsure if people will agree with me on this, though this is what I feel is how it should be.

 

And I've been on SC since a few days after a hiatus, so it is good to see you around here :)

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Is Imam Ali (ع) infallible? According to Nahj al-Balagha, he is not.

“Do not evade me as the people of passion are (to be) evaded, do not meet me with flattery and do not think that I shall take it ill if a true thing is said to me, because the person who feels disgusted when truth is said to him or a just matter is placed before him would find it more difficult to act upon them. Don’t stop saying the Truth, or Just Advice, As I am not above making Mistakes, and I am not safe from making Mistakes in my Actions”. (Sermon 216)

Is this what the Matni Cult has brought us to?? Accepting any narration so long as a Rijaali rejects it?

 

The sermon in question would be rejected precisely because of the matn - there is no need for isnaad checking. I didn't say Nahju 'l Balaagha was 100% saheeh (neither did Shareef Radhi, AFAIK). What I am saying is it is largely reliable, and that reliability (or lack thereof) is not reliant on its isnaad.

'Ilmu 'l Rijaal is a useful tool, but it should never be the first tool dragged out when determining the potential authenticity of a narration, IMHO. The very books of Rijaal that one may rely on are sometimes themselves lacking asaneed (ibn al-Ghadaa'iri's Kitaab al Du'afa is a case in point), or rely on ahadeeth which may be mursal, or they may even contain short judgements on the character of rijaal without any reference as to how these opinions were formed. I sometimes get the feeling I'm reading a medieval gossip rag.

 

Where 'ilmu 'l rijaal is most useful, IMO, is in determining the tabaqah of the narrators in a particular sanad. It is also helpful when looking to know if there is particular information about the beliefs of rijaal in a general sense. By that, I mean, for example, one or more Waqifis in a chain praising Imam ar-Rida (as). Now that would pique my interest and suspicion. 

(salam) akhi,

 

 

And I've been on SC since a few days after a hiatus, so it is good to see you around here :)

 

Wa 'alaykum salaam. Nice to see you, too, akhee :)

Edited by Abdul Qaim

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There is an attraction to matn criticism after one sees the problems with traditional `ilm ar-rijal - too many majhools, unclear birth and death dates, conflicting reports on reliability, relying on weak reports to determine the reliability of narrators, an unclear definition of ghulu and blanket weakening of all ghulat, truthful people always being truthful, liars always being liars, etc. It oversimplifies matters and I'm not blind to its weaknesses. It's like using hard sciences (math, chemistry) to understand a soft science (history, religion, etc.) and it will not always fulfill its function.

But matn criticism can be far more complicated and a lot more subjective. A decent matn critic must be an expert in the Arabic language and its evolution, the Qur'an and its many tafasir, Islamic history, traditional rijal, Isra'iliyyat, the Shi`a books, the Sunni books, and academic studies, before he can effectively analyze a matn without missing anything. To really analyze a matn, you must balance all of these areas together. With expertise in the Arabic language, you can catch mistakes in the grammar of the hadith, which may raise suspicions in its authenticity. You can also analyze the usage of words, and how these words changed meanings from the time of the Prophet (pbuh) to modern times. With an exoteric and esoteric knowledge of the Qur'an, you can determine which mutun are consistent and inconsistent with the Book. With good knowledge of history, you can determine if a matn can "realistically" fit within an Islamic timeline. With traditional rijal, you can identify motifs in the mutun of certain narrators. With knowledge of the Isra'iliyyat (Bible, Talmud, Christian and Jewish oral traditional, Manichaeanism, Elchasaitism, Zoroastrianism, etc.) you can identify foreign influences in hadith transmission. With knowledge of Shi`a books, you can identify canon and tawatur, and know the history and transmission of books and usool. With knowledge of Sunni books, you can compare mutun with similar hadiths in Sunni books, and make judgments on authenticity of either source. With knowledge of academia, you'll know the various theories of leading academics in the field of matn criticism. The Imams gave tawtheeq of many individuals, which implies that their word is taken above the word of others. Any matn critic must take that into account, rather than treating all chains the same way.

If you catch my drift, if you want to balance all of the above, then no one can grade a hadith besides a super `allamah. I'm not sure if anyone alive today is qualified in all of the fields I've mentioned.

The Imams told us to compare their hadiths with the Qur'an, but it became clear that fabricators of hadith would soon have good knowledge of the Qur'an and its content. It's easy to bypass all of that and fabricate a tradition that can be reconciled with the Qur'an. Fiqh, history, eschatology, and topics related to Imamology are all things that one must look outside of the Qur'an to verify.

The Imams also warned us of casting aside a hadith because of a matn that seems strange to us. Here you can argue that these hadiths are referring to "gut feelings" rather than clearer qara'in and `ilal developed through Islamic sciences.

My problem with tawtheeq of muta'akhireen via qara'in is this: let's say we have a majhool individual who narrates 5 hadiths in our books. The hadiths do not seem strange to the scholar looking at them, so he gives the majhool guy a boost to "thiqa". But we know that our scholars filtered their books of content that would be considered "out of the fold" of the Imamiyya. Meaning, Kulayni, Saduq, and others, would not have accepted all of the hadiths of this guy, but just the ones that passed their tests. For all we know, the man could be a nasibi, a ghali, or a downright liar, and these 5 were his only acceptable traditions. Now, someone may say that there's nothing wrong with accepting that which Kulayni and Saduq thought was good enough for their books. But Kulayni and Saduq are fallible individuals, and perhaps they missed something in the matn of these hadiths that this muta'khir scholar also missed. Now imagine that another scholar with another set of expertise will identify reasons to doubt some of these 5 hadiths. Maybe they found new reasons to doubt the narrator or the mutun. Which opinion do we go with? And who is qualified to choose which tawtheeq/tad`eef is valid if the muta'akhireen scholars disagree? Take Muhammad b. Sinan for example, who is weakened very clearly by Najashi. Some modern people take his hadiths based on the fact that many of them were accepted into our books, and these hadiths were filtered of any ghulu that Muhammad b. Sinan may have professed at any given point. Different matn critics will come to different conclusions of Muhammad b. Sinan, all based on complete or incomplete understandings of matn criticism and different approaches. Then we're back to square one.

The attraction to isnad criticism is its simplicity. It is imperfect and I absolutely agree that one should not look at asaneed with a black-and-white outlook. There are some very good reasons why most academics and historians do not look at rijal. But with rijal, anyone with a basic understanding of Arabic and rijal books can point out weaknesses in chains, without requiring a detailed understanding of the language, history, the Qur'an, tafasir, Shi`a and Sunni books, Isra'iliyyat, and academia - a level of knowledge that perhaps no one person possesses the whole of. And, in my experience, rijal usually "works". It eliminates the hadiths of ghulat, nawasib, known liars, obscure individuals, and it usually eliminates hadiths with strange or irreconcilable mutun. It's not perfect - no standard that analyzes tens of thousands of hadiths and narrators can be perfect. But most of the time, it really does work. The main downfall of rijal is not its failure to find "reliable" narrations. The main downfall of rijal is that it puts the numerical majority of our hadiths aside (usually due to majhools), and this bothers some muta'akhireen scholars. There are ideas and practices of popular Shiism that are not supported by strictly reliable hadiths, and so for some people, a new system is required that is more focused on tawatur and qara'in. Matn criticism is better in many ways, but it requires high expertise and high subjectivity to do the same task. In the end, rijal scholars and matn critics will still agree on more than 90% of the issues imo, even if they disagree on the gradings of specific issues.

Finally, someone who knows what he is talking about. Thank you brother, May Allah bless you and increase your knowledge by the right of this holy day.

It would be great if you added the role of our imams themselves in filtering and propagating the hadiths among their Shia.

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Sorry to bring this topic back to life again, but about the sermon 216, 

 

"......Therefore, do not abstain from saying a truth or pointing out a matter of justice because I do not regard myself above erring."

The khutbah then proceeds with "....I do not escape erring in my actions but that Allah helps me (in avoiding errors) in matters in which He is more powerful than I."

Seems clear to me that Imam Ali (AS) was indeed infallible with guidance from Allah (SWT), he was never independently infallible.

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