Riwaayatil Hadeeth Bil Mu’anaa (The Quotation Of A Narration By Its Meaning)
Definition: This is where a narrator/muhahdith quotes a hadeeth with a text that is different to that which has been narrated from the Prophet of Allaah (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa salam).
The Ruling: Ar-riwaayah (the quotation) of a hadeeth by its meaning is not accepted unless it achieves the following criteria;
- Someone who knows the meaning of the original text of the hadeeth must do the quotation of a hadeeth by other than its text.
- The narrator must have a good reason as to why he is performing riwaayah of a hadeeth by its meaning (e.g. the narrator has forgotten the original text of a hadeeth but knows its meaning). However, if he knows the original text of the hadeeth, then it is not permissible for him to change it, unless he is explaining the hadeeth (e.g. in their own language).
- The quotation of a hadeeth by its meaning should not be performed with those ahadeeth that deal with sayings and actions of worship.
Finally, the narrator should endeavour to inform his audience that the hadeeth which he has narrated was narrated by its meaning and not its actual text.
Narrated Anas bin Maalik (Radiyallaahu anhu): The Prophet of Allaah (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa salam) said to a bedouin who had urinated in the mosque: “The mosques are not the places meant for urine and filth but are only for the remembrance of Allaah, prayer and recitation of Qur’an, or the Messenger of Allaah (‘Alahyi sallatu wa salam) said something like that…”
 Recorded in Bukhari and Muslim