Published in  
Sunnah
 on  
July 27, 2021

Ibn Mulaqqin's al-Tadhkirah | Part 2

This is an introductory explanation and short notes on Imam Ibn al-Mulaqqin's al-Tadhkirah fi Ulum al-Hadith. It is one of the first books taught to students interested in the sciences of hadith. Imam Ibn Mulaqqin is a famous hadith master and a Shafi'i jurist. This is a list of terms used in hadith sciences, which he summarised from his two-volume work on hadith principles named: Al-Muqni' fi Ulum al-Hadith.

Read Part 1: Here

This is a continuation of Imam Ibn al-Mulaqqin's al-Tadhkirah fi Ulum alHadith.

وَالْمُعَلَّقُ: هُوَ مَا حُذِفَ مِنْ مُبْتَدَإِ إِسْنَادِهِ وَاحِدٌ فَأَكْثَرُ

10. Mu'allaq (suspended report): Truncated; one or more [consecutive] narrators are omitted from the beginning of the chain.

- Linguistically, mu'allaq refers to hang, suspend, hold on to, cling , or adhere. For a hadith to be accepted, the narrator has to be adil and dhabiṭ.

- If scholars of hadith who generally narrate authentic ahadith, narrate a mu'allaq with full conviction (i.e. using clear terms), then it is considered acceptable. But if the certainty factor is not there, or the scholars are known to mix up authentic and weak narrations, then this narration is not considered acceptable.

- Imam Bukhari in his Sahih has many such ta'liq, where he cites a sahabi without the chain, and even omits the mention of the sahabi at times. There are further conditions for a mu'allaq narration to be considered sahih. If the wordings used are uncertain and in passive voice such as: ‘it has been reported’ or ‘it is said’, then it is an indication of a weak narration.

- Different types of truncation include:

a. Single narrator truncated: Imam Bukhari says: Malik from Zuhri from Abu Salamah from Abu Hurairah from the Prophet ﷺ. There has to be at least one narrator between Imam Bukhari who was born in 194 AH and Imam Malik who passed away in 179 AH.

b. Truncation of all narrators except the Sahabi: Imam Bukhari says: Umm al-Mu’minin Aisha said: “The Prophet  ﷺ would remember Allah in every state.” All the narrators between Imam Bukhari and Aisha are dropped.

c. Complete truncation: Imam Bukhari says: “The delegation of Abd al-Qays told the Prophet ﷺ, “Tell us something concise, upon which, if we act, we shall enter Jannah.” All the narrators till the Prophet ﷺ are dropped when reporting this narration.

- The difference between from mu'dal and mu'allq is that here, the exclusion of the narrators in the chain is done not by another narrator but by the compiler/author of the book. The author of the primary book should have his own chain for the narration to the Prophet ﷺ.


وَالْمُعَنْعَنُ: وَهُوَ مَا أُتِيَ فِيهِ بِلَفْظَةِ "عَنْ"، كـ "فُلَانٍ عَنْ فُلَانٍ"، وَهُوَ مُتَّصِلٌ إِنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ تَدْلِيسٌ، وَأَمْكَنَ اللِّقَاءُ

11. Mu'an'an (indecisive transmission report): That which is narrated with the word 'an (عن meaning 'from' معنعن), such as: X (narrates) from Y; this is deemed continuous (muttasil) so long as there is no tadlis and the possibility of the meeting of narrators is also plausible.

- Scholars have differed whether a mu'an'an should be considered continuous or interrupted narration, because the word 'an carries ambiguity – it could mean that “I have heard from narrator X” or simply that it is narrated from X (as in a mudallas narration). So the main issue here is that we don't know how exactly or under what condition the narration has been transmitted.


وَالتَّدْلِيسُ: وَهُوَ مَكْرُوهٌ لِأَنَّهُ يُوهِمُ اللِّقَاءَ وَالْمُعَاصَرَةَ، بِقَوْلِهِ: ((قَالَ فُلَانٌ ... )) وَهُوَ فِي الشُّيُوخِ أَخَفُّ

12. Tadlis (masked reports): (Mudallas) It is disliked, as it gives a [false] impression of meeting the narrator [from whom it is being narrated] or that they are contemporaneous, by saying: “so-and-so [fulan] has said.”

However, it is milder when it is narrated by referring to the shaykh [narrator upstream in the chain] by a name or appellation that is not well-known.

- Linguistically, it refers to covering up something, putting darkness over something, hiding a defect or similar.

- Types of Tadlis:

a. Tadlis al-Isnad (تَدْلِيْسُ الإِسْنَاد): In this chain, the narrator skips or doesn’t mention the name of his teacher (the person he is narrating from) and rather mentions the name of the person above his teacher in the chain. Even though the narrator hasn’t heard this particular ḥadith from the teacher’s teacher, he uses terminology such that it gives the impression that he did so.

Example: Ali ibn Khashram says: We were with Ibn Uyaynah who said: “Zuhri...” He was asked: “Did Zuhri narrate to you?” He remained silent and he said again: “Zuhri...” He was asked: “Did you hear it from Zuhri?” He replied: “No. I did not hear it from Zuhri, nor anyone who heard from Zuhri; rather, Abd al-Razzaq narrated to me from Ma'mar from Zuhri.”

b. Tadlis al-Shuyukh (تَدْلِيْسُ الشُّيُوْخ): This is not strictly the removal of a narrator but rather, their mention by other than what they are usually known by. For example, if a person is mostly known by his given name, say Abd Allah, but he is mentioned instead by a kunyah such as Abu Muḥammad.

Example: Abu Bakr ibn Mujahid al-Muqriy says: Narrated to us Abdullah ibn Abu Abdullah – and he is referring to Abdullah ibn Abu Dawud al-Sijistani, the author of Sunan Abi Dawud.

c. Tadlis al-Taswiyah (تَدْلِيْسُ التَّسْوِيَة): This is the worst kind of tadlis. This is in reality a type of tadlis al-isnad. It involves removing a weak narrator between two trustworthy narrators using terms that make it seem like the chain is connected through only trustworthy narrators. Those well-known for practicing tadleesut taswiyah: Baqiyyah ibn al-Waleed and al-Waleed ibn Muslim.

- If it is established that a person is known for doing tadlis, then his narrations are not accepted. But if the narrator is known to be thiqah (trustworthy), adil (just), and dhabit, (precise), then his narration can be accepted.

- In a mudallas narration, if words such as 'an (from) are used, which clearly indicate that the narrator has heard the hadith (sama'a) from a teacher, even though he hasn’t heard from him, nor read in his presence, it is forbidden; because it is a clear lie. To summarize, it is makruh to do tadlees of a thiqah narrator and haram to do tadlees of a daeef person.

- That’s why scholars of Hadith employ usage of words like حدثنا (Haddathana), سمعت (sami`tu) and أخبرنا (akhbarana). These words are explicit and make things very clear. When the word عَنْ is used, we look at the person narrating. If he is someone known for dropping narrators in the middle of the chain, then his usage of the word is not taken and is considered to be a mudallis.


وَالشَّاذُّ: وَهُوَ مَا رَوَى الثِّقَةُ مُخَالِفًا لِرِوَايَةِ الثِّقَاتِ

13. Shadh (anomalous report): Anomaly; that narrated solitarily by a trustworthy narrator [thiqah] which contradicts a transmission of all other trustworthy narrators [thiqat].

- Linguistically, shadh refers to be isolated, alone, or separated.

- Imam Sakhawi says, “that which contradicts everyone else (riwayat al-nas)”. Shadh can be due to contradiction (of the thiqah) in either the chain or in the text of the narration. According to Imam Sakhawi, even if it is a truthful narrator (saduq) who is lesser than thiqah who contradicts all others, it will be termed a shadh. Imam Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani said that it is when an accepted (maqbul) narrator contradicts a narrator of a higher rank. According to Imam Ibn Hajar, if a narration which goes against another authentic hadith is reported by a weak narrator, it is known as munkar (denounced).

- Shadh is a form of opposition and can occur in 2 ways:

1. The one who is opposing is a reliable person. Ex: Imam Malik or Imam Shafi’i.

2. The one opposing is individually stronger than the others involved, but when they concur together as a group, they are stronger. In this scenario we have a thiqah opposing a group of thiqah’s, hence outweighed.

For Shadh, the one who is opposing is more higher, qualified and knowledgeable than the one being opposed. If 2 conflicting reports can be reconciled then they are not considered to be shadh.

- Example of Shadh in Isnad: Imams Abu Dawud and al-Tirmidhi transmit through the following isnad: Abdul Wahid bin Ziyad from al-A'mash from Abu Salih from Abu Hurairah that the Prophet ﷺ said: "When one of you offers the two rak'ahs before the Dawn Prayer, he should lie down on his right side."
Regarding this narration Imam al-Baihaqi said, "Abdul Wahid has gone against a large number of people with this narration, for they have reported the above as an act of the Prophet, and not as his saying; Abdul Wahid is alone amongst the trustworthy students of al-A'mash in narrating these words."

- Example of Shadh in Matn: In a hadith of Muslim, from Nubayshah al-Hudhali who says the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “The Rising Days (Ayyam al-Tashriq) are for eating and drinking.” Musa ibn Ulayy reports this hadith with additional words “..and the day of Arafah” which is anomalous to all other thiqah narrators.


وَالْمُنْكَرُ: وَهُوَ مَا تَفَرَّدَ بِهِ وَاحِدٌ غَيْرُ مُتْقِنٍ وَلَا مَشْهُورٍ بِالْحِفْظِ

14. Munkar (disclaimed report): An isolated report by a narrator who is [known to be] inaccurate, and lacks good retention.

- Linguistically, munkar refers to criticize, reject, disown or deny.

- This is the narration of a daeef narrator that goes against the narration of a thiqah narrator. It is also known as mawdu'. The opposite of munkar is ma'ruf.

- The wrong narrations of a narrator outnumber his authentic narrations. The narrator is usually lost or heedless in listening to or writing the narration. The narrator is known for engaging in major sins and indulgent in minor sins. A narrator in whom fisq is present and the aforementioned traits, then his narrations are deemed as munkar.

- Imam Ibn Hajar writes in Nuz’hah: “Those who said shadh and munkar mean the same are mistaken.”


وَالْفَرْدُ: وَهُوَ مَا تَفَرَّدَ بِهِ وَاحِدٌ عَنْ جَمِيعِ الرُّوَاةِ، أَوْ جِهَةٌ خَاصَّةٌ، كَقَوْلِهِمْ: ((تَفَرَّدَ بِهِ أَهْلُ مَكَّةَ))، وَنَحْوِهِ

15. Fard (unique report): The report in which a narrator is solitary and is isolated from all other narrators; or when reported through a specific route and there is no other as they say: “The narrators of Makkah are unique in this”.

- Linguistically, fard refers to solitary or isolated.

- Fard can be of 2 types:
1. Fard al-Mutlaq (absolutely unique report): Narrations in whose isnad there is only one person narrating from the sahabi. It doesn’t matter if the narrators of other levels are alone in their level or not. Sometimes, all the narrators, or most of the narrators in every level of the isnad for a fard mutlaq, are alone in their level. This occurs at the root of the isnad – being narrated by a single reliable narrator. The narration is completely or absolutely originating from one source.

Example: Al-Ḥumaydi Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr told us: Sufyan told us: Yahya ibn Saeed al-Ansari told us: Muhammad ibn Ibrahim al-Taymi informed us that he heard Alqamah ibn Waqqas al-Laythi saying: I heard Umar ibn al-Khattab say while on the minbar: I heard the Messenger of Allah ﷺ saying, "Deeds are (judged) by intentions, and for every person (is) what they intended. Whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or to marry a woman, his emigration was for that to which he emigrated." [Bukhari] This narration is not found on the authority of anyone else other than Umar ibn al-Khattab.

2. Fard al-Nisbi (relatively unique report): Narrations in whose isnad, not the person narrating from the, but the ones after him are alone in their level. So the narration has a few chains but in one of the chains, there is singular narrators. Fard al-mutlaq is generally referred to as fard whereas fard al-nisbi is generally referred to as gharib. It is also of 2 types:
a. A narration has been narrated by only by those of a particular land. Narration is restricted by the land.
b. If a singular individual made the narration and it took place in the middle of the chain of narration.

Knowing fard al-nisbi becomes important when determining shadh.

Example: Abu al-Walid al-Ṭayalsi told us: Hammam told us, from Qatadah, from Abu Nadrah, from Abu Saeed, who said, “We were ordered to recite the Opening of the Book (i.e. Surah al-Fatihah) and that which is easy (from the Quran for us).” [Bukhari] This is a fard nisbi narration with regard to a specific region that is Basrah and no others reported this.

وَالْغَرِيبُ: وَهُوَ مَا تَفَرَّدَ بِهِ وَاحِدٌ عَنْ الزُّهْرِيِّ وَشِبْهِهِ مِمَّنْ يَجْمَعُ حَدِيثَهُ

16. Gharib (uncommon report): Unfamiliar; such reports which are narrated by a single person via imams who are known for their voluminous reports, such as Zuhri.

- Linguistically, gharib refers to something strange or peculiar. Narrations that have only one narrator at every level of the isnad. This is generally at the start of isnad; the number of narrators could increase at lower levels of the isnad but the hadith will still be classified as gharib.

- Zuhri mentioned by the author here refers to Imam Muhammad ibn Muslim ibn Shihab al-Zuhri al-Madani (d. 124 AH). He is credited as being one of the first to gather ahadith together into a compilation.

- Every gharib is fard, but the converse is not true.


فَإِنْ انْفَرَدَ اثْنَانِ أَوْ ثَلَاثَةٌ، سُمِّيَ عَزِيزًا

17. Aziz (rare report): If a report similar to the above is narrated by two or three narrators it is known as Aziz.

- Linguistically, aziz refers to precious, invaluable, cherished, or rare.

- Narrations that have at least two narrators at every level of the isnad are known as aziz. If any level of the chain has more than two narrators, then that is also acceptable.

- Example: First chain - Ya'qub ibn Ibrahim told us: Ibn Ulayyah told us, from Abd al-Aziz ibn Suhayb, from Anas…

Second chain - Adam told us: Shuʿbah told us, from Qatadah, from Anas...

that the Prophet ﷺ said, "None of you will have faith till he loves me more than his father, his children, and all of mankind." [Bukhari]

2 Companions narrated it from the Prophet ﷺ: Anas and Abu Hurairah.
2 narrated it from Anas: Qatadah and Abd al-Aziz ibn Suhayb.
2 narrated it from Qatadah: Shuʿbah and Ḥussayn.
2 narrated it from Abd al-Aziz: Ismail and Abd al-Warith.
And a group narrated it from each one of them.

فَإِنْ رَوَاهُ جَمَاعَةٌ سُمِّيَ مَشْهُورًا.

18. Mashhur (well known report): Famous; if it is reported by a group of narrators.

- Linguistically, mashhur refers to making a matter or action known, clarifying it, or making it clear and well known. It is also known as mustafid. Linguisticallyrefers to the fast flow of water from a fountain.

- Narrations that have at least three narrators at every level of the isnad and fall short of meeting the conditions to be known as mutawatir, are classified as mashhur. If some levels of the chain have more than three narrators, then that is also acceptable. Some scholars of hadith have termed such narrations as mustafid.

- Mashhur can be of 6 types:
1. Mashhur to the people of hadith particularly.
Ex: Hadith of Anas: “that Allah’s Messenger made qunoot for a month after rukoo’ invoking against Ri’l and Dhakwan.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

2. Mashhur to the people of hadith, the scholars and the common people.
Ex: “The Muslim is he whom the Muslims are safe from his tongue and his hand.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

3. Mashhur to the fuqaha (scholars)
Ex: The most hated of the permissible to Allah is divorce.” [Da’eef Abu Dawud, Ibn Maajah and al-Haakim]

4. Mashhur to the Scholars of Usul (principles of fiqh).
Ex: “Mistakes and forgetfulness have been set down (forgiven) for my Ummah and that which they are forced to do.” [Sahih at-Tabarani from Thawban]

5. Mashhur to the people of Arabic grammar – Grammarians.

6. Mashhur to the common people.

- Example: Ahmad ibn Yunus informed us: Zaʾidah told us, from al-Taymi, from Abu Mijlaz, from Anas, who said, “The Prophet ﷺ recited qunut for one month, praying against the tribes of Riʿl and Dhakwan.” [Bukhari]

- Gharib, Aziz, and Mashhur are known as Ahad narrations.

وَمِنْهُ الْمُتَوَاتِرُ: وَهُوَ خَبَرُ جَمَاعَةٍ يُفِيدُ بِنَفْسِهِ الْعِلْمَ بِصِدْقِهِ

19. Mutawatir (mass transmitted report): And from the above category (related) is mutawatir: it is a report by a group which in itself warrants for its being truth.

- Linguistically, mutawatir refers to to something that repeats itself, uninterrupted, unbroken succession, or continues regularly. Linguistically, it also refers to the heavy multitude of rain drops once rain starts to pour.

- Mutawatir is a narration that is reported by a group of people at every level, and so well-known that it is inconceivable that they have conspired together to perpetuate a lie. There is no set definition for it. Some say 10+ narrators at every level of the chain.

- Till the 4th century, none of the salaf cared about ahad or mutawatir terminologies as long as the chain was connected and the narrators met the criteria. A gharib chain of narration can be sahih without a doubt. This is when deviant ideas started to crop into the Ummah. This criteria of mutawatir was actually developed by the scholars of Usul al-Fiqh and not Hadith to derive certainty on a matter. This led them to reject so many fundamental narrations like the punishment of the grave, certain aspects of Jannah and Jahannam, aspects of Dajjal and Mehdi etc. 

- Any information which is derived from a narration which meets all the criteria to be classified as is to be taken with utmost certainty and convictionnce a narration is classified as , then there is no need to waste time in investigating the people present in the chain of narration.

- Example: Muḥammad ibn Ubayd al-Ghubari told us: Abu Awanah told us, from Abu Hasin, from Abu Salih, from Abu Hurairah, that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, "Whoever lies upon me intentionally, let him take his seat in the Fire." [Muslim] Imam Nawawi has said that this hadith is reported by 200 companions.


وَالْمُسْتَفِيضُ: وَهُوَ مَا زَادَ رُوَاتُهُ فِي كُلِّ مَرْتَبَةٍ عَلَى ثَلَاثَةٍ

20. Mustafid (well circulated report): Ample; that in which there are more than three narrators at every level in the chain.

- Linguistically, Mustafid refers to copious, ample, or widespread.

- Some scholars have opined that mustafid and mutawatir are the same. Others have said that mustafid and mashhurr are the same. Those who differentiated between mustafid and mashhur said that there are the same number of narrators at each level in mustafid, but they can vary in mashhur.

Based on the hadith primer, al-Tadhkirah fi Ulum al-Hadith authored by Imam Ibn al-Mulaqqin, and explained by Sheikh Owais Nagrami Nadwi, Mufti Muhammad Ibn Muneer and Ustadh Muzammil bin Shahul Hameed

No items found.
  • Our Latest
  • Instagram Posts
233K followers
@template