7: The People of Hadeeth Safeguard The Religion and Preserve the Sunan
Abu Haatim ar-Raazee said, “There has never been in any nation amongst the nations, ever since Allaah created Aadam, the trustworthy ones who safeguard the aathaar (narrations) of the Messengers except in this Ummah.” So a man said to him, “O Abaa Haatim! Perhaps they narrated a hadeeth which has no basis and which is not authentic!”. He replied, “Their scholars know the sound from the defective hadeeth. Their narrating of this information is for the purpose of information, so that it becomes clear to those who come after them that they did differentiate between the aathaar and that they preserved them.” Then he said, “May Allaah show mercy to Abu Zur’ah. By Allaah he was a mujtahid (striver) in memorising and safeguarding the aathaar of Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam).”
Abdullaah bin Daawood al-Khairaanee said, “I heard from our scholars and from those who are above us (i.e. those before us) that the People of Hadeeth and the Carriers of Knowledge are the Trustees of Allaah for His religion and the Safeguarders of the Sunnah of His Prophet, with respect to what they know and practise”.
Kahmas al-Hamdhaanee said, “Whoever does not realise that the People of Hadeeth are the Preservers of the religion, then he is to be counted amongst the weak, poor ones, those do not worship Allaah with any religion (i.e. devotion). Allaah the Most High said to His Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam), “Allaah has revealed the Most Beatiful of Hadeeth (i.e. speech) in a Book” (Zumar 39:23), and the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said, “Jibreel narrated to me from Allaah the Mighty and Majestic”.
Sufyaan ath-Thawree said, “The Angels are the guardians of the Heavens and the People of Hadeeth are the guardians of the Earth.”
Yazeed bin Zaree’ said, “Every religion has a knight and the knight of this religion are the People of Isnaad (i.e. Muhadditheen).”
Abdaan said, “Al-Qaasim bin Nasr al-Mahramee said: A man narrated to me – and he named him – his name escapes me, saying: I saw the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) in that which a person sees in a dream, and the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) was asleep. And Yahyaa bin Ma’een was standing by his head, protecting him with a fly swatter. Then when I awoke, I came to Yahyaa and informed him of this. He said to me, “We defend the Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) against lies”.”
Tahdheeb Sharaf Ashaabul-Hadeeth of al-Khateeb al-Baghdaadee (p.66-67)