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There is a difference between History and Hadith ..


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Author Topic: There is a difference between History and Hadith ..  (Read 1652 times)
Heba E. Husseyn
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« on: November 15, 2007, 03:07:23 am »

Though history isn't totally reliable, it's a lot more dependable than hadith because   it's a very different field altogether.

What is history?

History is the study or recounting of past events and activities involving one of the following methods or all:

1) A chronological record of the events of successive years. A periodical journal in which the records and reports are compiled.

2) Narration or story, which is an account or recital of an event or a series of events, either true or fictitious.

3) Version, that is, description or account from one point of view, especially as opposed to another.

For instance, how do historians know of the events that occurred in the Philippines before the time of the Spaniards? How do they know the names of the people who lived then and the things they did if there are almost no authentic written documents from that era?

How do historians acquire historical information / data?

Traditionally, historians have attempted to answer historical questions through the study of written documents, although historical research is not limited merely to these sources. The sources of historical knowledge can be separated into three categories:

(a) what is written,
(b) what is said,
(c) and what is physically preserved.

Historians MUST consult all three.

Good historians frequently emphasize the importance of written records, which universally date to the development of writing. This emphasis has led to the term 'prehistory' referring to a time before written sources were available on a particular event or personality etc. Since writing emerged at different times throughout the world, the distinction between prehistory and history often depends on the topic.

The 3 categories of time in history used as verification

The scope of the human past has naturally led scholars to divide time into manageable pieces for study. There are a variety of ways in which the past can be divided, including chronologically, culturally, and topically.

Traditionally, the study of history was limited to written and spoken word. However, the rise of academic professionalism and the creation of new scientific fields in the 19th and 20th centuries brought a flood of new information. Archaeology and other social sciences were providing additional information.

Thus, history has more than one approach for authentication and verification.

Hadith

As for Hadith, its story has just one source for confirmation.  Every narration has only one method of 'verification' i.e. isnad, the unreliability of which has been detailed in our post "Ever thought of fallibility of Isnad?"
 
Moreover, history doesn't have a 'fragile ego' like Hadith. Even if certain historical reports are doubted, history does not take that as an infra dig. No data compiled by humankind can be one hundred percent reliable or accurate, no matter how carefully it's been acquired (which of course is NOT the case with Hadith). On this very basis, mere human narrations are never made a source of law in history regardless of the direction in which the chain of narrators flow.  Such a chain can easily be constructed anytime by anyone and is no proof of authenticity.

The altered versions of Old & New Testaments and Hadith are human narrations. In connection with history, the only difference between the two are - Hadith narrations are written information of the narrators but without any proof of its reliability/authenticity except the Isnad, which evidently has been constructed & re-constructed in most cases and cannot be relied upon at all. As for the altered Old & New Testaments, since these started being re-written hundreds of years before Hadith, there's no record of the culprits who began this practice. And obviously because the Jews and Christians brought the changes directly onto their Divine Scriptures, it was still more necessary to conceal the identity of those who did this.

It is the concept of tracking Isnad or the chain of narrators in Hadith that we often hear of as the 'Science of Hadith' or the 'Hadith Methodology.' Unfortunately, these bombastic terms that frequently impress the minds of many a naive faithfuls are just the facade with an ostentatiously lofty style but in reality quite hollow from within. The enormous scope for the Isnad to falter which is far greater than the possibility of its correctness is conveniently concealed in this so-called "Methodology" myth.

Conclusion

Compared to the various extensively and carefully researched historical data which involve more than just narrations with a chain of narrators, it's evident that Hadith is much too insufficient and weak as a source of past information to be called "history." 

JazekAllah Khair.  As-Salaam Alaykum. 



For a specific example of differentiating between History and Hadith, also check our post "If Imam Hussein isn't in the Quran, how can we accept his martyrdom?"
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« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2007, 11:24:18 pm »

Hmmmm, so .. gist of it would be that history consists of what is written, what is said and what is physically preserved. Plus the various social sciences of modern times for additional information. Historians consult all of the above sources while Hadithers consult just one, i.e. whatever is written which is supposed to have been said as well.

Useful article. Thanks sister. AsSalaam Alaikum.
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Zeynab
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« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2007, 11:56:37 pm »

This is a very useful topic and I'm glad u posted it, sister.  I've had arguments with hadithers more than once when they've stated hadith to be the same as any other researched substance of history.  You have mentioned well how hadith takes into account only one source for promoting its contents, thus making itself most prone to unreliability.

Thanks for the posting.  Walaikum Salaam.
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« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2007, 07:01:19 pm »

Assalamu alaikum,

Thank you very much sister Cat Prowler for this highly beneficial piece of writing.

I completely agree. As sister Zainab says, Sunni's often try to pull the trick that Islamic history = Hadith and Hadith = Islamic History and try to put you in the spot light (ie. how do you know how to pray? How do you know this or that happened) etc.

If history is only preserved through Hadith nerrations, then we would not now about somany civiliations in our history.

I think Hadith can be seen as just another historical reference, albeit a weak and unreliable one

peace.

PS. Free-minds have got an article up denying history of the Prophet's life completely. They fell into the trap of equating Hadith with History and came up with a radically different version what happened. I found it completely ridiculous. I wanted to say some things on it in Sister Zainab's other post on 'sects'. They have got radical stuff on their website, but they also have some good stuff there. I visit their forums, and there are a lot of people on there with our views who do not agree with the crazy things free-minds have on the website - they just go to the forums to discuss the Qur'an etc. It is important to remember the Qur'anic Verse "Who hear advice/word/speach and follow the best thereof. Such are those whom Allah guideth, and such are men of understanding" (Qur'an 39:18). << With this in mind, on the issue of free-minds translation - I find their translation to be good in terms of use of easy language and closeness with arabic on the whole. I dont use the translation of Verses where they have made gross misinterpretaion/s like grapes for "hur". I was a bit surprised how Sr. Zainab takes her stance compared to me but I respect her for her sincerity and knowledge.

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« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2010, 11:53:24 pm »


 
Moreover, history doesn't have a 'fragile ego' like Hadith. Even if certain historical reports are doubted, history does not take that as an infra dig.

lol,, so correct.  The reason hadith takes its critisizms as beneath its so-called dignity is a result of its own guilty conscience.  You know, when someone does something wrong or lies shamelessly, and then if they see others exposing that as a violation, their minds prick because truth hurts.  That's the problem and the cause for Hadith being bundled up with so much conceit and ego.

Lovely article!
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« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2010, 03:41:01 am »

Fabulous one!  well written sister Heba.  It nicely throws back the Hadithist song of dubbing Hadith as "Islamic History."
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« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2010, 03:46:45 am »

Salams and thanks all of u.  Sorry for jumpin in so late. 

And hey, let me tell about this.  It's actually written by Sis Zainab.  It's an old one, about 5 yrs old.  She sent it to me on email before this forum was around and somehow didn't have a backup with her.  When I reminded her of this dynamic piece, she told me to go ahead and post it.  I guess i should write "by sis zainab" in the original post Smiley  right sis?  Smiley

thanks for the misunderstanding, sis  Cheesy    just kiddin.  this is hers.
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« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2010, 03:52:28 am »

O! Doesn't matter sis.  what difference does it make, as long as the truth is written and put up?
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« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2011, 05:45:58 am »

And sis, isn't it correct that plenty of history can also be confirmed (to a large extent) through heritages and archeology?
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« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2011, 05:54:56 am »

Sure it can, big time!  But look at the way the Saudis with their Wahabi counterparts have destroyed almost all of the Islamic heritage on that land.  And of course they aren't on bit interested in archeology.   Just read that article "Mecca for the Rich" by Jerome Taylor of The Independent.  It's so disturbing  Sad
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« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2011, 08:56:02 am »

Sure it can, big time!  But look at the way the Saudis with their Wahabi counterparts have destroyed almost all of the Islamic heritage on that land.  And of course they aren't on bit interested in archeology.   Just read that article "Mecca for the Rich" by Jerome Taylor of The Independent.  It's so disturbing  Sad

Yeah sis, I read it  Sad   Really sad and depressing.  And destruction of such truthful evidences of history will make it easier for these buggers, the imams, to write more false hadiths.
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« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2012, 02:27:51 pm »

 wsalam


categories:  Thumbsup Thumbsup

(a) what is written,
(b) what is said,
(c) and whatis physically preserved.

Historians MUST consult all three


Marvelous !! that's brilliant piece of knowledge,very appreciating one. People who have not understood this difference have drawn erroneous conclusions and got misled rule of history make sense it includes level ,categories for authenticity but hadith source is based on circulated rumours on the streets collected and recorded,yeah rumours so- called chain of narration and in sects divided ummah can't be devoted or dedicated in their hadith work that's for sure and as with any act of men,it is open to error..hadith policy is out of physically preserved that's i know ,hadith and Hadithist have nothing to do with physically preserved sunnah neither in understanding nor in implement. hadith gives them dare and big word of mouth to speak against Words of Allah ,courage to point out finger on divine book ,that it does not contain everything  Angry does not contain the method of salaat etc ??  Angry  rule of physically preserved method is beyond of their understanding and they are following mr bukhari's written instructions with the stamp of ulma's the creature between human and angel  Undecided  gatekeepers of jannah .who the hell amongst in these people need verification ,proof of authenticity of islamic history or hadith both are same now i got it !! Two sides of the same coin. islamic history become simply trash  Angry
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« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2012, 11:16:25 pm »

Hadith thumping "scholars" have upheld the rule of the unauthentic hadith through their authoritative attitude, forbidding the Muslims from questioning even the blatant flaws of hadith like dictators.  Gradually over the period of the past generations, the Muslims have become so scared that even when they clearly read the bad things claimed by hadith, they try to ignore those flaws and convince themselves sub-consciously that hadith can never be wrong and their "scholars" can never give them wrong advise.  The lack of credibility of a lame-duck system like the isnad is so obvious, yet they never question it.  This is basically a 'strategy' of denial of the truth.  It helps the mainstream Muslims to continue sleeping without working hard to discover the truth and avoiding any arguments with their "ulemas" and imams.  Over the period of generations, they begin to love their ignorance and baatil becomes more important to them than Haqq.  It is such adherence to baatil by the ummah that makes them say "hadith is same as history."
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