The Incorrect Use Of Ahad Hadeeth In Aqeedah By The Asharis & The Matruidis

The Asharis and Matruidis accept the saheeh (authentic) and hasan (good) ahad hadeeth (also known as hadeeth ahad or khabar wahid they are hadeeth narrated by people whose number does not reach that of the mutawatir hadeeth, ahad hadeeth are classified into: Gharib, Aziz & Mashhur) in regards to fiqh rulings (ahkaam) but the Asharis and Matruidis have asserted that the islamic aqeedah (islamic beliefs) is divided into usool (fundamentals) & furoo (subsidiary issues).

They believe that the usool (foundations) of aqeedah is only based on the Quran and saheeh Mutawatir hadeeth (which is a narration that has been narrated by a large number of narrators at every level in the (isnaad) chain of narration such that it is impossible for all these narrators to all be lying. There is no precise definition for a “large number of narrators; the numbers four, five, seven, ten, twelve, forty and seventy, among others, have all been variously suggested as a minimum number of narrators needed at every level in the narration for a hadeeth to be classed as mutawatir). In their opinon the usool of aqeedah is those issue that it is obligatory to have belief (iman) in and if they are rejected this leads to disbelief (kufr).

The Asharis and Matruidis further assert that the furoo (subsidiary issues) in aqeeedah must be based on the Quran, saheeh and hasan mutawatir hadeeth and saheeh and hasan ahad hadeeth.

The furoo of aqeedah in their opinion is believes which are obligatory to have iman (faith) in if this belief is based only on the Quran, saheeh or hasan mutawatir hadeeth, but if this matter is only based on a saheeh or hasan ahad hadeeth it is only highly recommend to have iman in such a matter. Though it is not obligatory to have iman in the furoo of aqeedah which is only based on saheeh or hasan hadeeth to have iman in these beliefs this would be excellent.

According to the Asharis and Matruidis a Muslim who denies a issue connected to the furoo of aqeedah which is only based on a saheeh or hasan ahad hadeeth is not according to the Ashari and Matruidis denying something which is decisively proven in the deen (religion). The reason they hold that ahad hadeeth no matter how authentic is not decisively proven in  the deen, is because in their view ahad hadeeth only provide dhann daleel (speculative prove) which is dhann al-ghalib (strong assumption of the truth) and not qat’ee daleel (definitive prove) which is ilm al-yaqeeni (certain knowledge of the truth).

Hence in the Asharis and Matruidis opinon it is halaal for Muslims to reject or accept saheeh or hasan ahad hadeeth in conection to their furoo of aqeedah but it is not obligatory to reject or accept these hadeeth.

However it is also halaal according to the Asharis and Matruidis for Muslims to reject saheeh or hasan ahad hadeeth when it comes to their usool of aqeedah but they further claim it is also obligatory to reject daeef (weak), hasan and saheeh ahad hadeeth in usool of aqeedah.

So from the above it is clear that the Asharis unlike the Kharawij, Shia, Mutazilah, and the Jahamiyah do not make the grave mistake of completely rejecting any type of ahad hadeeth in relation to aqeedah no matter how authentic it is.

However they have not completely accepted hasan and saheeh ahad hadeeth in aqeedah like Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah who have completely accepted every hasan or saheeh ahad ahad hadeeth in relation to every issue of aqeedah.

The Asharis have invented a middle way between Ahlus Sunnah and the misguided Kharawij, Shia, Mutazilah, and Jahamiyah concerning accepting the ahad hadeeth in relation to aqeedah.

Thus the Asharis and Matruids have rejected ahad in relation to their usool of aqeedah and but in relation to their furoo of aqeedah they have allowed Muslims to reject or accept ahad hadeeth, on the premiss that ahad hadeeth no matter how authentic are not qat’ee daleel (definitive prove) in the deen. Because in their view ahad hadeeth only provide dhann daleel (speculative prove) which is dhann al-ghalib (strong assumption of the truth) and not which is ilm al-yaqeeni (certain knowledge of the truth), so a Muslim can accept or reject these ahad hadeeth due to them providing dhann daleel (speculative prove) and not qat’ee daleel (definitive prove) which is haraam to reject.

The Matruidi Ashari belief in regards to ahad hadeeth and aqeedah is very strange because all the fiqh rulings (ahkaam) the Asharis and Matruidis have accepted that are based on  ahad hadeeth, each one of these fiqh ruling must be preceded with the belief (i’tiqaad) that Allah has legislated that matter (i.e. wether it is halaal or haraam, obligatory or disliked etc). Thus every ahad hadeeth that contains a ruling it is obligatory that the Asharis and Matruidis hold the i’tiqaad (belief) that Allah legislated this matter (i.e. wether it is halaal or haraam, obligatory or disliked etc). Therefore distinguishing between ahad hadeeth that can be accepted in fiqh rulings and others that have to be rejected in usool of aqeedah (and others that optional to reject or accept in furoo of aqeedah) is baseless since all ahad hadeeth that relate to actions (worship), can never by isolated and separated from aqeedah. Therefore accepting ahad hadeeth in fiqh should be accompanied by the belief that all ahad hadeeth have to be accepted and never rejected in usool aqeedah and furoo aqeedah.

In addition as all ahad hadeeth in fiqh are accompanied by the i’tiqaad (belief) that Allah has legislated that matter (i.e. wether it is halaal or haraam, obligatory or disliked etc), so according to the Asharis and Matruids these ahad hadeeth would have to be rejected as they do not accept ahad hadeeth in usool aqeedah. So in simple terms it is possible to say that fiqh rulings cannot be proven on the basis of ahad hadeeth, because of the previously mentioned belief that is accompanied with it. So if the Asharis and Matruidis opinion on ahad hadeeth in relation to usool of aqeeadah is accepted, then many of the fiqh rulings of the shariah (islamic law) would be rendered invalid.

Ashari and Matruidi Beliefs For Which They Have No Qat’ee Daleel (Definitive Evidence)

Furthermore the Asharis and Matruidis believe that the ahad hadeeth only leads to following dhann daleel (speculative evidence) which is only dhann al-ghalib (strong assumption of the truth) however they hold that this dhann daleel is halaal to follow in actions (fiqh rulings) but haraam to base (what they claim is the) usool of aqeedah on, this is a belief for which the Asharis and Matruidis have no qat’ee daleel (definitive evidence, i.e. no hasan or saheeh mutawatir hadeeth or one verse from the Quran affirms this  i’tiqaad (belief)).

Also the Asharis and Matruidis contradict their own stance on hadeeth and aqeedah because they hold a i’tiqaad (belief) that islamic aqeedah (islamic beliefs) is divided into usool (foundations) & furoo (subsidiary issues) but this division is not based on saheeh or hasan mutawatir hadeeth or a single verse from the Quran. In fact not even in saheeh ahad hadeeth is their prove for this division, the prophet Mohammed, his sahaba and the salaf never divided aqeedah into usool and furoo of aqeedah.

Moreover the Asharis and Matruidis hold a principle that the ahad hadeeth are not to be accepted when it comes to (what the Asharis and Matruidis understand to be the) usool of aqeedah and it is haraam to use ahad hadeeth in usool of aqeedah. This principle is itself a belief which is not based on saheeh or hasan mutawatir hadeeth or qat’ee daleel (definitive evidence) from the Quran.

Connected to the above Ashari Matruidi i’tiqaad (belief) is that in their so called furoo of aqeedah they hold it is halaal for a Muslim to accept or reject ahad hadeeth if the furoo of aqeedah belief is only based on a saheeh or hasan ahad. This belief is not based on any saheeh or hasan mutawatir hadeeth or one verse from the Quran because their is absolutely no proof in the deen for it being halaal to reject ahad hadeeth if they are hasan or saheeh. The salaf never gave people a choice to accept or reject ahad hadeeth in fact they held it was obligatory for the ummah as whole to accept every ahad hadeeth that is proven by the scholars of hadeeth to be either saheeh or hasan.

Plus the Asharis and Matruidis belief that the ahad hadeeth only leads to following dhann daleel (speculative evidence) which is only dhann al-ghalib (strong assumption of the truth) and not qat’ee daleel (definitive evidence) which is ilm al-yaqeeni (certain knowledge of the truth) is another belief for which the Asharis hold for which they have no saheeh or hasan mutawatir hadeeth or one verse from the Quran.

Do Asharis & Matruidis Even Know What Is The Minimum Number Of Narrators Need For A Hadeeth To Be Mutawatir

Additionally the Asharis and the Matruidis claim they reject ahad hadeeth in their usool of aqeedah and only accept mutawtir hadeeth in usool of aqeedah. However how can they only accept ahad in usool of aqeedah when the exact number of narrators needed to make a hadeeth become mutawatir and not be classed as ahad is differed over by the scholars of hadeeth. The scholars of hadeeth have come up with many numbers for the minimum amount of narrators need to make a hadeeth mutawatir from those numbers are four, five, seven, ten, twelve, forty and seventy and others. So the question is what is the minimum number of narrators needed to make a hadeeth mutwatir according to both Asharis and the Matruidis. The problem is the Ashari and Matruidi “scholars” have never been able to come to an agreement among themselves on this issue, thus the Asharis and Matruidis collectively do not known which hadeeth are mutawaatir and which are ahad.

Therefore the Asharis and Matruidis do not even really know themselves what hadeeths to believe in with regards to their usool of aqeedah (which is based on the Quran and saheeh (authentic) Mutawatir hadeeth), their furoo of aqeedah and their fiqh rulings (which is based on the Quran, saheeh and hasan mutawatir hadeeth and saheeh and hasan ahad hadeeth) as they have no collective understanding of which hadeeths they should consider ahad and which they should consider mutawatir based on the number of narrators. So the Asharis and the Matruidis own claim that ahad hadeeth have to be rejected in usool of aqeedah and only mutawtir hadeeth can be accepted in usool of aqeedah is insane when the exact number of narrators needed to make a hadeeth become mutawatir and not be classed as ahad is differed over by themselves let alone other islamic sects.

Do Some Classical Scholars Agree That Ahad Hadeeth Can Be Rejected In Any Aspect Of Aqeedah

Moreover there was no making a distinguish in using ahad hadeeth and mutawatir in relation to aqeedah and fiqh, nor did they ever make a division in aqeedah between usool and furoo of aqeedah in the sahabas time, nor amongst the second and third generation scholars of Islam, they never differed over these issues. Plus Imam Ahmed, Imaam Abu Haneefa, Imam Sha’afi and Imaam Malik and the rest of the scholars who were present in their times and also these four imams their companions (students) never use to make a distinguish in using ahad hadeeth and mutawatir in relation to aqeedah and fiqh, nor did they ever make a division in aqeedah between usool and furoo of aqeedah like their teachers (the four imams). 

Now after all what has been said up until now it is clear that the Asharis and Matruidis  have no proof from the Quran or the Sunnah for their strange understanding of ahad hadeeth in relation to aqeedah. The Asharis and Matruidis do however have the opinions of some great classical scholars like Imam Nawawi and others who agree with them that the ahad hadeeth only provide dhann daleel (speculative evidence) which is only dhann al-ghalib (strong assumption of the truth) and not qat’ee daleel (definitive evidence) which is ilm al-yaqeeni (certain knowledge of the truth).

Plus the Asharis and Matruidis often quote these scholars to justify their opinion but  what the Asharis and Matruidis have failed to realise is that despite these classical scholars stance, that saheeh or hasan ahad hadeeth are not Qatai (definite) knowledge but Dhanni (speculative) knowledge, all these scholars still accepted ahad narrations in regards to all aspects of Aqeedah and fiqh akaam (rulings).

Imam an-Nawawi stated “The Khulafaa ar-Raashidoon, the rest of the Sahaabah and those who came after them from the Salaf and the Khalaf did not cease to act upon Khabr al-Waahid (ahad hadeeth, he did not say they only act upon them in what the Asharis and Matruidis call furoo of aqeedah and fiqh akaam, so they acted upon ahad hadeeth in all aspects of fiqh and aqeedah (usool and furoo))” (Sharh Saheeh Muslim 1/130).

So these great classical scholars differed with the Asharis and the Matruidis who claim it is halaal to reject or accept ahad hadeeth in (what they call) furoo of aqeedah and fiqh akaam and it is halaal and obligatory to reject all ty not in (what they call) usool of aqeedah.

3 Simple Proofs That Ahad Hadeeth Can Be Used In All Aspects Aqeedah

  1.  The Prophet (peace be upon him) sent individual delegates with his letters to rulers such as Khosrau and Caesar, to invite them to Islam, to both its Aqeedah (creed) and Shariah (law). Had those delegates not been sufficient to establish evidence, for being individuals, the Messenger would not have sent his letters with just one of them, instead he would have sent them with a number of delegates to reach the level of Tawatur (a significant number of narrators whose agreement upon a lie is impossible).
  2. Also the Prophet normally sent just one person to teach people, for example Mus’ab ibn ‘Umayr to Madinah, Mu’ad ibn Jabal to Yemen etc. The people they were sent to did not reject and ask for a ‘mutawatir’ group of people.
  3. The action of the direction of the qiblah (prayer direction) changing from Jerusalem to Makkah is also a proof, as only one caller was sent out to the different masajid announcing it and everyone accepted the command instantly.

Here only three proofs have been brought however there are numerous proofs Imam Shafi in his book Risalah (p. 401-458), titled a chapter with the heading “The evidence for affirming ahad narrations, with many evidences that affirm the [fact that] kahabr al-wahid (ahad hadeeth) is an evidence [in itself], and the refutation of those who criticised it as an evidence”, he wrote this chapter, affirming the fact that he accepts ahad narrations in his aqeedah and to prove that all Muslims should accept in all areas of aqeedah.

Additionaly Shaykh Abu Muhammad ‘Aly ibn Hazm in a research study on the Sunnah, in the book entitled, “Al-Ihkam fy Usul Al-Ahkam” and Shaykh Abu ‘Abdullah ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah in: “Al-Sawa‘iq Al-Mursalah ‘ala Al-Jahmiyyah wa Al-Mu‘attilah” have both brought a lot of evidence to support the view that ahad hadeeth can be used in all areas of aqeedah whether in the usool or furoo of aqeedah (the Asharis and Matruidis claim there is usool and furoo in aqeedah),

Some Scholars From (The Salaf) The 2nd and 3rd Century Hijirs Affirmation That Ahad Hadeeth Can Be Used In All Aspects Of Aqeedah

Below is a list of scholars from the salaf whose statements indicate that the salaf use to affirm the use of ahad hadeeth in all areas of aqeedah wether in the usool or furoo of aqeedah (the Asharis and Matruidis claim there is usool and furoo in aqeedah).

Imaam Ahmad bin Hanbal (d. 241H) said (Sharh Usool ul-I’tiqaad of al-Laalikaa’ee, no. 777) regarding the ahaadeeth of the sifaat (Allaah’s Attributes): “We have faith in them, we affirm them and we do not reject a single one of them if they are with chains of narration containing reliable and trustworthy reporters (asaaneed sihaah)”.

He (Imaam Ahmad bin Hanbal )also said (Sharh Usool ul-I’tiqaad of al-Laalikaa’ee, no. 889) about the ahaadeeth of the Ru’yah (the Believer’s seeing of Allaah on the Day of Judgement): “They are ahaadeeth of reliable and trustworthy narrators (ahaadeeth sihaah), we have faith in them and we establish [ourselves upon them]. And whenever [a hadeeth] is reported from the Prophet with good chains of narration we have faith in it and establish ourselves upon it.”

Sufyaan ibn Uyainah (d. 197H) said (Sharh Usool ul-I’tiqaad no. 877 and as-Sunnah of Abdullah bin Ahmad no.40) about the ahaadeeth of the Ru’yah (seeing Allaah in the Hereafter): “They are true. We report them in the manner we have heard them from those in whom we place our trust and are pleased with.”

Abu Ubaid [al-Qaasim bin Sallaam] (d. 224H) said about some of the ahaadeeth mentioning the attributes of Allah (Sharh Usool ul-I’tiqaad no. 928): “These ahaadeeth in our estimation are true, the trustworthy and reliable reporters have narrated them, one from another [and so on].”

Muhammad bin al-Hasan ash-Shaybaanee (d. 189H), the companion of Abu Haneefah said (Sharh Usool ul-I’tiqaad 3/432): “All the Fuqahaa , from the east to the west are agreed upon: [The obligation of] having faith in the Qur’aan and the ahaadeeth which the reliable and trustworthy narrators have come with from the Messenger of Allaah – in describing the Lord, the Mighty and the Majestic – without explaining them (tafseer) or likening them to the creation (tashbeeh). So whoever explains anything from them today, then he has departed from that which the Prophet and his Companions were upon for verily, they did not explain them but they gave verdicts with whatever is in the Book and the Sunnah and then they remained quiet. So whoever speaks with the saying of Jahm [bin Safwaan] then he has separated from the Jamaa’ah since he [Jahm] describes Him [Allah] with nothingness.”

Also Muhammad bin al-Hasan ash-Shaybaanee (d. 189H) was asked about some of the ahaadeeth mentioning the attributes of Allaah so he said (Sharh Usool ul-I’tiqaad no. 741): “Verily, these ahaadeeth – the reliable and trustworthy narrators have reported them.”

Abdullah bin al-Awwaam said (in as-Sunnah, 1/66, of Abdullah bin Ahmad bin Hanbal): Shareek bin Abdullaah (d. 177H) came to us and we said: “There are a people who reject these ahaadeeth: “Verily, Allaah descends to the lowest heaven”, the [hadeeth] of the Vision and others similar to these ahaadeeth. So he said: “Indeed, the one who came with the Sunnah in the prayer, the zakaah, and the Hajj is the one who came with these ahaadeeth and indeed, we know of Allaah through these ahaadeeth.”

From the above it is apparent that salaf use to accept ahad hadeeth in all aspects of aqeedah.

Conclusion

To conclude the Asharis and Matruids beliefs concerning the ahad hadeeth in regards to the aqeedah are not based upon any not even one saheeh or hasan mutawatir hadeeth or one verse from the Quran or even saheeh or hasan ahad hadeeth. Even the scholars that agree with them that ahad hadeeth are not Qatai (definite) knowledge but are Dhanni (speculative) knowledge, accepted ahad narrations in regards to all aspects of Aqeedah and fiqh akaam (rulings).

So the Asharis and Matruidis could argue is the ahad hadeeth are not Qatai (definite) knowledge but are Dhanni (speculative) knowledge but what they can not rgue is that it is obligatory to believe in and establish their usool of aqeedah and furoo of aeedah on saheeh and hasan ahad hadeeth.

Side Point

The khabar ul-aahaad refers to the hadeeth which is not mutawaatir (definition will come later) and the bulk of the Sunnah, the vast majority of it, and whatever is in the Saheeh’s of al-Bukhari, Muslim, and the Sunan of Abi Dawud, at-Tirmidhee, Ibn Maajah, an-Nasaa’ee and other compilations of hadeeth, then the majority of it is khabar ul-aahaad. And examples of the beliefs established by the khabar al-aahaad include, by way of example only:

  1. The superiority of the Prophet Muhammad (alayhis salaam) over all other Prophets and Messengers
  2. Affirmation of the intercession of the Prophet (alayhis salaam) on the Day of Judgement
  3. The miracles of the Prophet (alayhis salaam)
  4. Information regarding the beginning of creation, the attributes of the Angels, the Jinn, and the characteristics of Paradise, Hellfire
  5. The ten companions granted Paradise
  6. Faith in the scales (that will weight the good deeds) and its description
  7. Faith in the Hawd (pool) of the Prophet (alayhis salaam) from which the believers will drink
  8. Faith in the Pen (al-Qalam) which wrote everything to occur from Allaah’s decree
  9. Faith that Allaah prohibited the earth from consuming the bodies of the Prophets
  10. Faith in the Mahdee
  11. Faith in the Dajjaal
  12. Faith in the descent of Eesaa (alayhis salaam)
  13. Faith in the ascension of the Prophet (alayhis salaam) with all its particular details
  14. Faith in the punishment of the grave
  15. Faith in the questioning by Munkar and Nakeer
  16. Faith in everything that has come regarding the Day of Judgement
  17. Faith in all the descriptions of Paradise and Hellfire
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About Abdul Kareem Clarke-Binns

I am a revert trying to spread the sunnah inshallah.
This entry was posted in REFUTATIONS OF THE ASHARI CREED and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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