4. GENERAL ANALYSIS OF THE TRADITION


Chapter 3, Hadith & Seerah, The Authority of Sunnah / Saturday, August 30th, 2008

The last, and very important, scrutiny is accompanied by the general analysis of a tradition. In this scrutiny the tradition is analyzed in the light of other relevant material available on the subject. The tradition is examined from different angles: whether the reported saying or event is at all possible; whether the reported event conforms to the established historical events; whether its text can be held as truly attributed to the Holy Prophet (SAWS); whether the chain of narrators is genuine etc.

This is a very difficult and delicate scrutiny which cannot be undertaken successfully unless the scholar has full command over all the relevant subjects, occupies complete knowledge of hadith and has a great skill in the science of criticism of hadith.

If, after this scrutiny, a strong doubt appears to a scholar about the authenticity of a hadith, he points out that there is a “defect” (‘illah) in the chain or in the text of the hadith, and a tradition having this kind of ‘illah’ or ‘defect’ is not held as ‘Sahih’.

Thus, a ‘Sahih” (correct) hadith has been defined by the scholars as follows:

“What is reported, by a reporter who is honest and of good memory power, without any break in the chain of narrators, without any ‘shudhudh’ (rareness) and without any ‘illah’ (defect)”.

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