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Ever thought of the fallibility of 'Isnad' ??


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Author Topic: Ever thought of the fallibility of 'Isnad' ??  (Read 815 times)
Zeynab
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« on: May 20, 2007, 04:34:50 am »

 

BismEm

 salamem  to all

'Isnad' is the term given to the chain of narrators of every Hadith. It is often known as the "methodology" or "scientific compilation of Hadith." In other words, it refers to the verification of the chain of narrators ('isnad') for authenticity. If this chain of narrators is considered reliable by the ulemas then the hadith is recognized as 'authentic' or 'sahih.'

Our scholars say that the 'isnad' of every "authentic" or "sahih" Hadith has been studied and found "true." Unfortunately, this claim itself exhibits the biggest falsehood.

According to the rules of the Hadith doctors, Hadith requires to be examined for authenticity on the basis of:

1) its chain of narrators
2) its body text

But even according to their own criteria of applying these two rules, the ulemas often find themselves in a quagmire. There are many Ahadith which according to them appear to have a "sound" or "reliable" chain of narrators, but the substance or the meaning is not acceptable. As Brother Muhammad Asadi explains, "One example of this and their whole system collapses. The Koran gives us the standard for judging anything that is presented. If the Koran confirms it in total its true. If the material adds to or contradicts the Quran, its source is not God or His Messenger."

Big claims of "scientific compilation" of Hadith are not unusual. But if the contents of a Hadith are unacceptable (which is very often so), the "scientific compilation" or whatever impressive term one may like to use, is rendered useless. In that case it simply means that that Hadith is false and must be trashed. No amount of "scientific compilation" can turn falsehood into truth. No matter how "truthful" the chain of narrators may appear, that's insignificant and serves no purpose unless the contents are in conformity with the Glorious Quran. Again quoting Br. Muhammad Asadi on what the scientific method demands is "how truthful a person was be ignored, and the item be tested on objective criteria. What does the content say?"

This is by far the most important aspect. If the substance of a narration goes against the Quranic principles (and always remember, the Prophet's [SAAW] teachings were based meticulously on Quranic values), the acceptance of 'isnad' is of NO value.

Furthermore, if one concentrates on the concept of the term "isnad" as a criterion, the word itself refers to little beyond hearsay. It defines it's own self as a flimsy and not a foolproof evidence of any claims whatsoever, symbolising the travelling path of gossip or calculated bluff. The only simple requirement to concoct a false yet irrefutable chain of narrators is to have some information on the family & social relationships of the person in focus and perhaps the political setup of the era. Anyone determined to lie on a particular issue can construct a phoney chain of narrtors to support that lie in a few minutes. That's nothing difficult, and it could be virtually impossible to refute that chain on the basis of practical logic.

In any court of law, is the plaintiff or the defendant or any witnesses allowed to testify by mentioning the "chain of narrators" as the sole evidence to their dispute? That would surely be a mockery of justice. But our ulemas are compelled to use "isnad" for this purpose by giving it a dozen different titles because this is the only tool available that can be twisted to masquerade as some sort of "proof" for authentcity.

Although God Amighty has plainly and firmly stated that only the Quran is to be taken as the Criterion (refer to Verse 25:1 - Surah Al Furqan) for judging all matters, yet according to the rules of our ulemas, the fractured and deeply suspicious ideology of "isnad" has bypassed the Quran and established itself as the 'criterion' in this field. It amounts to betrayal of public trust and is a very serious issue. On the Day of Judgment each one of us will be questioned on what basis we accepted human writings in preference to the Divine Message for which God Almighty gave us no warrant.

May Allah grant us an independent sense of perception, constantly keeping in mind the norms & principles of the Glorious Quran as our only Criterion. Allah has given each one of us a degree of common sense and surely He expects us to use it.

JazekAllah Khair.  Allah bless ..



Related post:
Is this the sort of "science" hadith teaches?


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Ruhi_Rose
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« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2007, 05:26:56 pm »

yeah, pretty cool analysis of isnad.  besides, a thousand odd years ago, it was easier to concoct isnads by the writers because asking for references was not a part of the culture for confirming a matter.  It was considered most impertinent to question a writer (an imam or an 'ulema' of the time) for proving the authenticity of his writings.  Whatever they said was to be taken for granted.  Actually, to a large extent, it's still much the same in many parts of the Muslim world. Sad
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N. Truth Seeker
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« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2007, 05:53:07 pm »

On matters like these, I wouldn't make too much distinction between Bukhari's times and the present.  Even if the task of constructing narrations have stopped now (or at least I hope it has), the practice of readily giving the benefit of the doubt to anyone who leads the jamaah wearing a beard and a khimar is still very much there.  In the past, narrations were not just constructed, but constructed and reconstructed and then again reconstructed.  Those who have really scrutinized the history of Hadith with a completely unbiased approach have confirmed that majority of narrations (if not all) which we read today have been revised again and again no less than 10 times since the past 1100 or 1200 years.  If this is the pathetic history of narrations, how can one be expected to trust the chain of narrators?  It's only the metality that's never changed.  Just as the blind subservience to the writings and orders of imams was commonplace in Bukhari's time, it's much the same now.  Some Muslim groups living in the West have tried to come out of this 'trance' and perceive for themselves.  But it's not been easy for them.  If they make their views public, they're either unofficially ostracized or talked of as "heretics."  This reminds me of the very apt analogy of the medieavel inquisitors with today's radical so-called Muslims in the post The Inquisition and unpleasant analogies.  Anyone who hasn't read this piece yet, I'd request you to check it now.

May Allah (The Most Bountiful) have mercy on the hardworking ones among the Ummah, for they maybe very few, but they are there.  And may Allah (The Greatest) bless the final Messenger, ameen.  May He accept my heartfelf prayers.

Thank you for this good piece of work sister zeynab.  you courage and dedication is commendable.

 wsalam to everyone
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Ruhi_Rose
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« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2012, 08:28:26 pm »

Thought of hopping in here again from the link at Are there any good Ahadith?


Narrated by Ruhi Rose - MV team memer:
"My maternal grandmother, Zahra, mentioned to her daughter (my aunt), Rokiya, who spoke to her sister (my mother), Salma, and Salma recounted it to her eldest son (my brother), Saadi, who recently told all his siblings, myself included, in a family gathering that the traditional menu of our ancestral family birthday party used to be chicken & fried rice."

Can anyone refute my statement by studying the "isnad" out here that chicken & fried rice wasn't our ancestral traditional meal on birthdays?
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Heba E. Husseyn
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« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2012, 08:32:32 pm »

Ahaahaha ha ha ,,  Cheesy Grin Cheesy  very smart one sister.  So, now you tell us, was chicken & rice really the favorite of your ancestors on birthdays? 
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Ruhi_Rose
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« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2012, 08:36:37 pm »

The chain displaying the close family relations is 100% correct.  The substance or the message contained in this statement is 100% wrong. 

No one in my family ever talked about chicken and fried rice on birthdays  Tongue

I said it because I personally like chicken and fried rice.  If I ever desire to start the culture of making it a traditional family birthday meal, I'll propagate this "hadith" of mine  Wink Cheesy Grin   
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« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2012, 08:40:05 pm »

 HysLaugh  I really liked this one.

Not to mention, most Hadith lies are not so harmless as 'chicken and rice.'  They're downright gross that contradict the Noble Quran and the exemplary character of our Prophet (saw).
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« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2012, 08:43:23 pm »

kool one, sister Ruhi  !!!!   teethsmile
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