May People Act According to a Weak Hadith?
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May People Act According to a Weak Hadith?

Questioner

Alexis

Reply Date

Dec 05, 2018

Question

Dear scholars, as-salamu `alaykum. What is the value of a weak hadith? Is it appropriate to quote a weak hadith to support a religious opinion or matter? Jazakum Allah khayran.

Mufti

Answer


Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. 

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.


In this fatwa:

1- Only the authentic (sahih) and good (hasanhadiths are used in deriving the rules. The weak (da`if) hadiths have no value.

2- However, the scholars have sometimes used weak hadiths for moral and spiritual (fada’il) matters.

3- When one uses a weak hadith for any reason, one should explain it to the people that this is weak hadith and that it is being used for this particular reason.


In his response to the question, Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, Former President of the Islamic Society of North America states:

The science of Hadith is very deep and intricate. Therefore, only one who has the necessary qualifications and expertise in Hadith should engage in these discussions.

Scholars of Hadith should verify and check the authenticity of hadiths circulated by laymen and common people in order to explain what is acceptable and what is not.

Generally, in Islamic law, only the authentic (sahih) and good (hasan) hadiths are used in deriving the rules. The weak (da`if) hadiths have no value for the purpose of Shari`ah.

However, the scholars of hadith sometimes differ among themselves in the determination of whether some hadiths are weak or not. The scholars have sometimes used weak hadiths for moral and spiritual (fada’il) matters.

It is important that when one uses a weak hadith for any reason, one should explain it to the people that this is weak hadith and that it is being used for this particular reason.

We must also keep in mind that according to the scholars of hadith the hadiths are counted according to their chains of narrators (isnad) and according to the texts (matn).

The weakness in a hadith could be due to the lack of continuity in the chain of transmitters or due to the lack of integrity (`adalah) of its narrators. There are various categories of weak hadiths depending on what part of the chain of transmitters was interrupted and what lack of integrity is detected in a transmitter or transmitters of that particular hadith.

It is also possible that a hadith is weak according to one narration (i.e. chain of transmission), but its text is found in another better and more sound narration. Thus the judgment in this matter requires a thorough knowledge of the hadith literature and methodology.

Almighty Allah knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.




About Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi

Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi is the Chairman of the Fiqh Council of North America

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