وَالْمُعَلَّلُ: وَهُوَ مَا اطُّلِعَ فِيهِ [عَلَى عِلَّةٍ قَادِحَةٍ فِي صِحَّتِهِ، مَعَ السَّلامَةِ عَنْهَا ظَاهِرًا.
21. Muállal (the defective report): Reports which appear to be safe from any defect, but (on closer inspection) there are hidden defects (illal) and factors which prevent it from being a sound report.
- Linguistically, Muállal refers to being defective. It is also known as Ma'lul.
- In such a narration, one of the narrators in the chain did some taghayyur (changes) in the narration based on his speculation.
- al-Illah (العلّة) refers to a defect or a disease. In hadith terminology, it refers to hidden defects in a narration’s chain or text that impairs its authenticity although it appears to be sound. The narration could be defective due to a narrator lying, being negligent, having poor memory, etc. It is said that Imam al-Tirmidhi called naskh (abrogation) as illah.
- It requires the investigation of a highly trained scholar of hadith to spot such defects. This is why only a few of the leading scholars delved into this area, such as Imam Ibn al-Madini, Ahmad, al-Bukhari etc.
- Imam Ibn al-Madini says that such a defect can only be revealed if all the asanid of a particular hadith are collated. In his book Al-'Ilal, he gives thirty-four successors and the names of those companions from whom each of them heard ahadith directly. For example, he says that al-Hasan al-Basri (d. 110H, aged 88) did not see 'Ali (d. 40H), although he adds that there is a slight possibility that he may have seen him during his childhood in Madinah. Such information is very important, since for example, many Sufi traditions go back to Al-Hasan al-Basri, who is claimed to report directly from 'Ali.
- Example: The hadith of Ya‘la ibn ‘Ubayd, from ath-Thawri, from Amr ibn Deenar, from Ibn ‘Umar in marfu‘ form, that states, “The two parties involved in a transaction have the right to keep or return goods…”.. In this narration, Ya‘la erred in narrating from Sufyan ath-Thawri by saying Amr ibn Deenar, when in fact, it was Abdullah ibn Deenar who was supposed to be in the chain. Hence, we see that the matn is sahih despite there being this ‘illah in the isnad. Why? Both Amr and ‘Abdullah ibn Deenar are thiqah, and exchanging a thiqah for another thiqah does not affect the authenticity of the matn, even when such an error occurs in the isnad.
وَالْمُضْطَرِبُ : وَهُوَ مَا يُرْوَى عَلَى أَوْجُهٍ مُخْتَلِفَةٍ مُتَسَاوِيَةٍ
22. Mudtarib (the inconsistent report): Ambiguous; that which is reported via different routes or versions of equal rank or strength.
- Linguistically, Mudtarib refers to being disrupted and is derived from the word idtiraab.
- In such a narration, there are multiple reports conflict with each other such that it is not possible to reconcile between them. Furthermore, all of those narrations are equal in strength from all angles, making it impossible to give preference to one over the other and do tarjeeh. Mudtarib is a type of Illah as well. This defect can occur in the sanad or the matn. In this case, both narrations are termed as weak.
- This indicates that this hadith was not memorized or transmitted properly and questions on the very source of this hadith are raised. One of the narrators in the chain who narrated the hadith is lacking in memory since those that narrate from him are seen to be strong and equal.
- Example: The hadith of Fatima bint Qays where she said,“The Messenger of Allah ﷺ was asked about zakah, and he said, "Indeed there is a charity due on wealthy aside from zakah.’" [Tirmidhi]. It was also reported from the same route with the wording, “There is nothing due on wealth other then zakah.” [Ibn Majah]. On this, Imam al-Iraqi stated, “This is an instance of idtiraab which cannot be reconciled."
وَالْمُدْرَجُ: وَهُوَ زِيَادَةٌ تَقَعُ فِي الْمَتْنِ وَنَحْوِهِ
23. Mudraj (the interpolated report): in which an (unintended) addition is made to the text or similar.
- Linguistically, Mudraj refers to being appended or placed into and made a part of something else.
- The narrator does not intentionally add to the wordings of the narration. Rather, when narrating, he might add explanations or clarifications of what the text means in one flow. These interjections are wrongly included in the wording of the hadith by the person taking it from the primary narrator and narrating it forward. This can happen at the beginning, mid, or even at the end of the hadith. It could at times be the tafsir of a companion like that of Ibn Abbas or Ibn Mas'ud.
- In some cases, it could actually be a false addition by a liar. A reporter found to be in the habit of intentional idraj is generally unacceptable and considered a liar.
- Example: Narrated Aisha رضي الله عنها: The commencement (of the Divine Inspiration) to Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) was in the form of true dreams in his sleep, for he never had a dream but it turned out to be true and clear as the bright daylight. Then he began to like seclusions, so he used to go in seclusion in the cave of Hira where he used to worship Allah continuously for many nights before going back to his family to take the necessary provision (of food) for the stay. [Bukhari] The part that mentions about worshipping Allah are an additional explanation from Imam Zuhri.
وَالْمَوْضُوعُ: وَهُوَ الْمُخْتَلَقُ الْمَصْنُوعُ. وَقَدْ يُلَقَّبُ: بِـالْمَرْدُودِ والْمَتْرُوكِ وَالْبَاطِلِ [وَالْمُفْسَدِ]
24. Mawdu' (the forged report): That which is fabricated or made-up, or forgery (masnu'); the following terms are also used to describe this:
a. Mardud: Rejected
b. Matruk: Forsaken or Discarded
c, Batil: Invalid or Void
d. Mufsad: Corrupt or Spoilt
- Linguistically, Mawdu' refers to being placed down.
- It is an invented or fabrication or a lie that is being attributed to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ. Some scholars classify it as the worst from among the category of a dhaeef hadith. Imam al-Haramayn al-Juwayni classified such liars to have left the fold of Islam, such is the severity of this action.
- A lot of these fabrications or lies were made with the intention to either bring people closer to Allah (by lying), or to harm Islam, or to push a certain point of view, or to give validity to a claim (usually that of a ruler), or to seek fame in the society or similar.
- The smaller the number and importance of defects, the less severe the weakness. The more the defects in number and severity, the closer the hadith will be to being mawdu'
- Example: This exampleis historical in nature, when the second caliph, 'Umar ibn al-Khattab decided to expel the Jews from Khaybar. Some Jewish dignitaries brought a document to 'Umar apparently proving that the Prophet ﷺ had intended that they stay there by exempting them from the jizyah; the document carried the witness of two companions, Sa'ad ibn Mu'adh and Mu'awiyah ibn Abi Sufyan. 'Umar rejected the document outright, knowing that it was fabricated because the conquest of Khaybar took place in 6 AH, whereas Sa'ad ibn Mu'adh died in 3 AH just after the Battle of the Trench, and Mu'awiyah embraced Islam in 8 AH, after the conquest of Makkah.
وَالْمَقْلُوبُ: وَهُوَ إِسْنَادُ الْحَدِيثِ إِلَى غَيْرِ رَاوِيهِ
25. Maqlub (the flipped report): That whose chain of narration is mixed-up with narrators of a different hadith.
- Linguistically, Maqlub refers to being reversed, flipped, or inverted.
- It is the reversal or substitution of a word with another. It can occur in both the sanad or the matn of a narration.
- This was done at times to test the memory of a narrator. Here, some words of the hadith, or the narrators in the chain were mixed and presented as a test to the narrator. This is permissible and was done by the scholars of Baghdad to test the memory of Imam al-Bukhari. But it becomes impermissible if this is being done to alter the hadith and to pass off something that is wrong as authentic. This is now a fabrication.
- Example: Reversing a narrator’s name and the name of his father; such as a hadith that was originally reported from Ka‘b ibn Murrah, but the narrator reverses it and reports it from Murrah ibn Ka‘b. This is an example of Maqlub as-Sanad.
- Example: The hadith of Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه as recorded by Imam Muslim that mentions the seven people who would be under the Shade of Allah in the Akhirah. The wording, “The man who gives in charity secretly, such that his right hand does not know what his left has given.” This is transposed by one of the narrators accidentally where the wordings now are, “The man who gives in charity secretly, such that his left hand does not know what his right hand has given (in charity).” This is an example of Maqlub al-Matn.
وَالْعَالِي: وَهُوَ فَضِيلَةٌ مَرْغُوبٌ فِيهَا، وَتَحْصُلُ بِالْقُرْبِ مِنْ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم، وَمِنْ أَحَدِ الأَئِمَّةِ فِي الْحَدِيثِ، وَبِتَقَدُّمِ وَفَاةِ الرَّاوِي، وَبالسَّمَاعِ
وَالنَّازِلُ: وَهُوَ ضِدُّ الْعَالِي
26. Aali (the elevated report): This is a superior attribute that is avidly sought as this makes one closer to the Prophet, and the Imams of hadith, and when a narrator passes away (before other contemporaries can get to hear from him).
27. Nazil: it is the opposite of Aali.
- Linguistically, Aali refers to being elevated, from the word Uluw (elevation) whereas Nazil refers to descended, from the word Nuzool (descent).
- Aali is a sought after narration that has fewer narrators relative to another sanad of a given hadith. The hadith with more larger number of narrators in comparison to the other is known as Nazil. A certain hadith is narrated by
Imam al-Nasai (d.303 AH) via eleven narrators whereas Imam Ibn Hajar reports the same hadith through a different route in only eleven narrators, even though Ibn Hajar comes nearly 500 years after Imam al-Nasai.
-There is less chances of corruption in an elevated chain of narration as compared to Nazil. Imam al-Nawawi says that it is sunnah to seek a chain with lesser narrators.
- Aali can have a few categories:
a. Reaching the Messenger of Allah ﷺ by way of an unblemished authentic sanad: This is the highest form of Uluw, and is considered as the best category.
b. Reaching one of the leading scholars of Hadith or Imams of Fiqh.
c. Reaching a narration of a dependable book, such as the Kutub as-Sittah.
d. Resulting from the narrator passing away at an earlier date. In such an instance, Imam an-Nawawi reported, “Whatever I narrate through three individuals, from al-Bayhaqi, from al-Hakim possesses more Uluw than what I narrate through three individuals from Abu Bakr ibn Khalaf, from al-Hakim, due to the earlier death of al-Bayhaqi.”
e. Resulting from earlier hearing: This refers to hearing from a narrator (usually a teacher) at an earlier time. Here, the sanad of someone who heard from him earlier would possess more Uluw than someone else who heard from him later on.
وَالْمُخْتَلِفُ : وَهُوَ أَنْ [يَأْتِيَ حَدِيثَانِ مُتَعَارِضَانِ فِي الْمَعْنَى ظَاهِرًا، فَيُوَفَّقَ بَيْنَهُمَا]، أَوْ يُرَجَّحَ أَحَدُهُمَا
28. Mukhtalif (Reconciliation): Two ahadith that apparently contradict each other as far as the literal meaning is concerned. Such (apparently contradicting) ahadith are either reconciled, or one will be given precedence over the the other.
- Linguistically, Mukhtalif refers to being inconsistent. It is also known as al-Mukhtalaf.
- When two ahadith appear to contradict each other:
a. If it is possible to reconcile between them, such must be done and both are to be acted upon.
b. If it is not possible to reconcile between them in any way then - If one of them is naasikh, it is given precedence and implemented while the mansookh is left off. If that is not known, one is chosen over the other using methods of tarjeeh (weighing and giving precedence), which are more than fifty, and is then implemented.
c. If one cannot be given precedence over the other, although this is very rare, neither is to be implemented until one is deemed to be more preferable.
- Example: In one narration a man came to the Prophet ﷺ and said, “I touched my penis” or he said, “Does a man who touch his penis during the prayer should perform Wudhu?” The Prophet (ﷺ) replied, “No, it is only a part of your body”. [Reported by Al-Khamsa. Ibn Hibban graded it Sahih (sound)] In another narration, Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said, “If any of you touches his penis he must perform ablution.” This has been recorded by Imams Malik, Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Nasa’i, Ibn Majah and Darimi.
How do we reconcile between the two? Sheikhul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah used the first hadith as a basis to rule that touching the penis directly without any desire does not invalidate the wudhu. This narration was narrated by Qais ibn Talq, the son of Talq in the hadith. Imam Ahmad and Imam Shafi'i deem the ahadith from Qais ibn Talq to be weak. Even if it was to be taken as authentic, it would be deemed as abrogated. Why? Talq ibn Ali is reported to have heard this from the Messenger of Allah in the early years after hijrah when Masjid al-Nabawi was being built. Also, this hadith would be in opposition to other stronger ahadith on the matter. Abu Hurairah who accepted Islam much later in 7 AH is reported to have said: “If one of you puts his hand on his penis with no barrier in between, then he must do wudhu.” Another report mentions “the private part”. The second narration is narrated by Busra bint Safwan ibn Naufal who accepted Islam in 8AH after the conquest of Makkah.
والْمُصَحَّفُ: [وهو تغير لفظ أو معنى]، وَ[هو] تَارَةً يَقَعُ فِي الْمَتْنِ، وَتَارَةً فِي الإِسْنَادِ. وَفِيهِ تَصَانِيفُ.
29. Musahhaf: When the pronunciation or the meaning of a word is changed (due to misplacement of dots or misplacement of vowels(muharraf)).
- Linguistically, Musahhaf refers to a mistake in writing, from the word tas-heef.
- Here, it refers to altering a particular phrase, either in wording or meaning such that it means something completely different from what was intended to be conveyed. It can occur in both the sanad or the matn of a narration.
- What is the difference between Musahhaf and Muharraf? The earlier scholars of hadith did not differentiate between them, and instead saw them as synonyms. Some scholars distinguished between them as follows:
a. Musahhaf: It is altering the placement of dots on the letters, while the form of the letters remained intact.
b. Muharraf: It is altering the vowels of the letters, while retaining the form of the word.
- Example: Jabir b. 'Abdillah reported that on the day of Ahzab, Ubayy received the wound of an arrow in his medial arm vein. Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) cauterised it. [Muslim] Some narrators committed tas-heef by saying “Abi,” in reference to Jaabir’s father. However, the person actually intended was Ubayy ibn Ka‘b, since Jabir’s father had already been martyred during the Battle of Uhud.
وَالْمُسَلْسَلُ : وَهُوَ مَا تَتَابَعَ رِجَالُ إِسْنَادِهِ عَلَى صِفَةٍ أَوْحَالَةٍ. وَقَلَّ فِيهِ الصَّحِيحُ
30. Musalsal (Patterned Chain Narrations): is that in which successive narrators in the chain follow (or imitate) the previous ones, whether in attribute or the state in which it was narrated; only a few of such musalsal ahadith are sound.
- Linguistically, Musalsal refers to a mistake in writing, from the word tas-heef.
- A hadith musalsal is a hadith that contains an extra element of information about the way the hadith was being transmitted at every link of the chain. The word musalsal means ‘in a chain’ or ‘made into a chain.’.
- Normally when a teacher would teach his students, the very first time, they would narrate this hadith. It is narrated on the authority of Abdullah b. Amr b. ‘As and this is recorded in the Sunan of Imam Abu Dawud, the Jami' of Imam Tirmidhi among others.
- Example: I heard this hadith from my Sheikh, Dr.Abu Lais al-Khayrabadi which he heard first from Shaykh Muhammad Zakariyyah Kandhalwi who first heard from Allamah Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri who heard from Mawlana Abdul Qayyum Budanwi or Burhanwi who in turn heard it from Shah Ishaq Dihlawi who heard it from Shah Abdul Aziz Dihlawi who heard it from his father Shah Waliullah Muhaddith Dihlawi all as their first hadith from thier teacher.
(The remainder of the sanad from Shah Waliullah is published in Fadl Mubin fi Musalsal min Ahadith Nabi Amin3.) Like this the chain reaches all the way till Imam Sufyan b. ‘Uyaynah. This is where the custom of it being the first hadith to be taught terminates. Imam Sufyan heard this from Amr bin Deenar who heard it from Abu Qabus (the free slave of Abdullah b Amr) from heard from the companion Abdullah b Amr b al-Aas who said the Prophet ﷺ said:
الرَّاحِمُونَ يَرْحَمُهُمُ الرَّحْمَنُ
The merciful will be shown mercy by the Most Merciful.
ارْحَمُوا مَنْ فِي الأَرْضِ يَرْحَمْكُمْ مَنْ فِي السَّمَاءِ
Be merciful to those on the earth and the One in the heavens will have mercy upon you.”
This chain has nearly 30 generations of scholarship. May Allah Almighty have mercy on them all.
Lines 1-9: https://www.inkoffaith.com/post/tadhkirah-1
Lines: 10-20: https://www.inkoffaith.com/post/tadhkirah-2
Lines 21-30: https://www.inkoffaith.com/post/tadhkirah-3
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.