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The Knowledge of Tradition (Hadith)

Author : Editor-in-chief
Subject : Hadith sciences
Translator : Mahdi Baqi


25 May 2010
Hadith Sciences 1

Abstract

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Hadith, is one of two foundational sources of Islam. Due to the importance that it enjoys the identification of the essence and dimensions of the Religion depend on the accurate identification of it. Hadith, even though it may be known as the secondary source of the Religion, however in the understanding of the essence of the Religion it is not in anyway of lesser importance than the first source. Revelation; is the primary text of the Religion. It was revealed to the Messenger over a period of twenty years in a unique atmosphere and special conditions; containing general principles and referring to realities of the metaphysical world in addition to human relations in different spheres. Recognising that atmosphere and conditions as well as discovering those references in addition to certain subjects addressed is possible through Hadith, especially the Prophetic Traditions.

The Messenger who was the receiver of Revelation and its propagator, was fully aware of the ups and downs of events that [necessitated] revelation to descend regarding them. His soul was replete with secrets that were unveiled through Revelation and in his relation with the messengers of Allah the Angels, which he made available to people in accordance with capacities and conditions of the addressees in the course of time.

Without doubt, paying attention to what that Noble Prophet has said and has remained as a legacy from him is in fact the saying of Allah: “Take whatever the Apostle gives you and relinquish whatever he forbids you[1]. It also makes us closer to the core of legislation and the essence of Religion. Today, with the passing of many centuries since that era and the increasing passage of time that we have, we are only dealing with aged documents and texts that have left a long period of time behind and social and political upheavals had impacts in their compilations and their increase or decrease. The conditions of the writers and narrators of such traditions were not always the same rather they were subject to expansions and contractions. At times they were afflicted by forgetfulness and inattentiveness; thus they would not properly identify a copy or copies [of compilations] or they would not properly read [its text]. Thus at times their compilations were exposed to discrepancies and alterations.

What we have today in our positions are the documents and texts that have gone through period of time and have reached us. What can we do with such a heritage that has been founded and a civilization was built on it and we are only the spectator? Should we easily pass them by without paying any attention? In this case, which path of knowledge granting assurance will open unto us? Is it that we should gladly and wholeheartedly receive and accept them? In this regard, how are we to accept them with contradictions and internal incompatibilities? Or we should further dive in this great ocean of Hadith data and from its midst extract the gems and pearls and preserve them in the treasure-trove of our existence and be committed and believe in them.

We should accept that we are faced with a reality that is undeniable, a mass of manuscripts that have remained under the name of tradition and narration. With all this, that which is before us is not the whole truth. Recognising the authentic from the inauthentic, the valuable from the worthless and the pure from the impure, for the purpose of arriving at part of the truth is a scientific obligation that we have before us. It is obligatory for us and every Muslim that for the purpose of arriving at the essence of the Religion, along with the Qur’an, to research into the Hadith. The difference is that research in the Qur’an, is restricted to the text whereas in Hadith in addition to the research of the text there is also research in the chain of narrators, as well as studying historical classification and the identifying the pure from the impure.

We will in this magazine - within the framework of our ability - in addition to exerting effort in the spreading of the Hadith Culture, explain the status of Hadith, the history of Hadith and the methodological approach in the understanding of Hadith. We will contribute to introduce the Hadith heritage and strive in its refinement.

We have begun a way that with hope and dependence on Allah will advance with co-operation of our readers. We will strive through the use of Cyberspace and by benefiting from the ability of Scholars in the Science of Hadith, be it in the translation of their works or articles that will be written by our readers to assist the discovering and spreading the essence and clearer identification of Hadith by the will of Allah.



[1] Qur’Án, 59:7.

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