Mustalah al-Hadeeth (Science of Hadeeth) By Shaykh Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (Part 1)


Allaah (Subhana wa ta ‘alaa) has sent Prophet Muhaammad (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) with the guidance and religion of truth that it may prevail over all falsehood[1]. Furthermore, he has been commanded to present all of the religion of Islam to mankind.[2]

So Allaah (Azza wa jaal) revealed to him the Book (i.e. the Qur’an) and the Wisdom (i.e. the Sunnah) and commanded him to explain to the people what has been sent down to them, in order for them to ponder over, act upon and benefit from.[3] Thus, the Qur’an and the Sunnah are the 2 sources by which Allaah (Tabaraka wa ta’alaa) has provided and establish the Hujjah (proof) against His slaves and upon these two sources is built the ruling of belief and action [i.e. what beliefs and actions constitute the Shari’ah ( Divine Law)].[4]

So whoever uses a Qur’anic text as a source of proof, he only has to check the validity of the tafseer (explanation) of that text and does not need to check the authenticity of its chain (chain of narrators). This is because the whole text of the Qur’an was transmitted amongst the people in Mutawaatir (multiple) form, therefore, there is no doubt whatsoever regarding its authenticity. Furthermore, the Qur’an is set or fixed in both its text and its meanings, so no one can change or alter it.[5]

However, anyone who wishes to use the Sunnah as a source of proof has to be certain that it fulfils two important conditions;

  1. The Sunnah been transmitted is truly connected to the Messenger of Allaah (Sallallahu alayhi was sallam) (i.e. the hadeeth is authentic).
  2. The tafseer (explanation) of the hadeeth points to the proof, which is been established by the hadeeth.

So due to the first point, it was necessary to formulate a set of rules and principles as guidelines to differentiate between narrations which were authentically transmitted from the Prophet of Allaah (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa salam) and those which had been falsely attributed to him. The Scholars of the past have under taken this enormous task and responsibility in collecting the various rules and principles regarding this subject, under the title: ‘Mustalah al Hadeeth’ (the study/science of narrations).


[1] Allaah (Subhana wa ta ‘alaa) says: “It is He Who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth, to make it superior over all other religions even though the Mushrikoon (polytheists, disbeliveers) hate it.” Suratut-Tawbah (9): 33

[2] Allaah (Azza wa jaal) says: “O Messenger! Proclaim the message which has been sent down to you from your lord . . .” Suratul Ma’idah (5):67

[3] Allaah (Tabaraka wa ta’alaa) says: “And We have also sent down unto you the Dhikr (i.e. the Qur’an) that you may explain clearly to men what is sent down to them and that they may give thought.” Suratun-Nahl (16):44

[4] Allaah (Azza wa jaal) says: “…Say: ‘Allaah is Witness between me and you; this Qur’an has been revealed to me that I may therewith warn you and whomsoever it may reach…’” Suratul-An’am (6):19

Allaah (Subhana wa ta ‘alaa) says: “…And let those who oppose the Messenger’s commandments (i.e. his Sunnah) beware, lest some Fitnah (disbelief, trials, etc) or a painful torment be inflicted on them.” Suratul –Noor (24):63

[5] Allaah (Subhana wa ta ‘alaa) says: “Verily We: It is We Who have sent down the Dhikr (i.e. The Qur’an) and surely, We will guard it.” Suratul-Hijr (15): 9



2 thoughts on “Mustalah al-Hadeeth (Science of Hadeeth) By Shaykh Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (Part 1)

  1. Pingback: Mustalah al-Hadeeth (Science of Hadeeth) By Shaykh Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (Part 1) | ibn aaisha's Blog

  2. Pingback: Mustalah al-Hadeeth (Science of Hadeeth) By Shaykh Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (Part 1) | SERAAT-E-MUSTAQEEM

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