بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
Kaleef K. Karim
Did the prophet and his companions prohibit Hadiths being written down or did the companions discourage (prohibit) people from following Hadiths of Muhammed (p)? We shall find out as you read further. The quotes in red (below) are all from Shia (Rafida) website. Hadith-rejecters use these references as if they are genuine. They don’t know the difference between Sahih and Da’eef (weak) Hadith. I will respond to their claims God willing. NOTE: I will highlight the Hadiths they have used in read.
Ahmad, Muslim, al-Darimi, al-Tirmidhi and al-Nasa’i reported on the authority of Abu Sa’id al-Khudri that he said: The Messenger of Allah (S) said: “Write nothing from me except the Qur’an, and whoever has written anything must efface it.”
Again al-Darimi has reported from Abu Sa’id al-Khudri that he said: I asked the Prophet (may God’s peace and benediction be upon him and his Progeny) to grant me permission to write down from him, but he refused to give me permission.” Another narration is ascribed to al-Tirmidhi who reported from ‘Ata’ ibn Yasar, on the authority of Abu Sa’id too, that he said: “We asked the Prophet (may God’s peace and benediction be upon him and his Progeny) to grant us permission to write (hadith), but he never gave us permission.”
Response: Professor Jonathan Brown explains why Prophet Muhammed (p) didn’t allow his teachings to be written down,
“There are several Hadiths, in which the Prophet warns his followers not to record his words out of fear that they might be confused with God’s words as revealed in the Quran. As the Quran was still being set down in writing during the prophet’s lifetime by numerous scribes and in many private notebooks, collections of the prophet’s teachings might easily be conflate with the Holy Book…. It was unrealistic; however, that law maker and political leader like the prophet could allow no written record keeping. It would simply have been impossible for Muslims to preserve accurately the teachings they heard from the prophet without some recourse to writing… We thus find reports encouraging it. The companion Anas B. Malik is even quoted as saying, “We did not consider knowledge of those who did not write it down to be [real] knowledge.” We thus also find Hadiths in which the Prophet allows new Muslims visiting from outside Medina to record lessons he gave in a sermon.” (Source: Jonathan Brown “Hadith Muhammed’s Legacy in the Medieval and Modern World” page 21)
Imam Nawawi (d.676/1277) says the following on why the Prophet (p) didn’t allow written record of his teachings at his early mission:
“The reports that condemn the writing of Hadiths came from earlier years of the prophet’s career, when he was concerned about his words being mistaken for the Quran. Permission to write down his teachings would come later, when the Quran had become more established in the minds of Muslims, and the Prophet’s role as the leader of a functioning state required written records.” (Source: Abu Zakaria Mohiuddin Yahya Ibn Sharaf al-Nawawi, Sharh, Sahih Muslim, volume 1, page 357)
More proof that the Messenger made it evident that his Sunnah musts be followed and practised:
Narrated Irbad ibn Sariyah: AbdurRahman ibn Amr as-Sulami and Hujr ibn Hujr said: We came to Irbad ibn Sariyah who was among those about whom the following verse was revealed: “Nor (is there blame) on those who come to thee to be provided with mounts, and when thou saidst: “I can find no mounts for you.” We greeted him and said: We have come to see you to give healing and obtain benefit from you. Al-Irbad said: One day the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) led us in prayer, then faced us and gave us a lengthy exhortation at which the eyes shed tears and the hearts were afraid. A man said: Apostle of Allah! It seems as if it were a farewell exhortation, so what injunction do you give us? He then said: I enjoin you to fear Allah, and to hear and obey even if it be an Abyssinian slave, for those of you who live after me will see great disagreement. You must then follow my Sunnah and that of the rightly-guided caliphs. Hold to it and stick fast to it. Avoid novelties, for every novelty is an innovation, and every innovation is an error. (Source: Abu Dawud Book #40, Hadith#4590)
Narrated Hudhaifa: Allah’s Apostle said to us, “Honesty descended from the Heavens and settled in the roots of the hearts of men (faithful believers), and then the Quran was revealed and the people read the Quran, (and learnt it from it) and also learnt it from the Sunna.” Both Quran and Sunna strengthened their (the faithful believers’) honesty. (Sources: Sahih Bukhari Hadith No. 208) and (Bukhari Book #92, Hadith #381)
For further rebuttal to the above Hadiths they have cited, click on the link below:
It is also reported from Marasil ibn Abi Mulaykah, that Abu Bakr gathered people, after the Prophet’s demise, addressing them: You relate from the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be God’s peace and benediction, traditions regarding which you disagree, and consequently severer controversy shall occur among people. So relate nothing from the Messenger of Allah and when asked by anyone you can say: The Book of Allah is the arbitrator between us. Deem lawful what it considers lawful, and deem unlawful what is considered unlawful in it. Al-Dhahabi’s Tadhkirat al-huffaz, vol.I, p.3. .
Response: I examined this narration and I came across the whole text of this Quote in Al Dhahabi’s Book. He says that they “DO NOT KNOW WHO NARRATED this story.” Meaning they do not know who this person is or who narrated this story. In other words the Hadith above is not even authentic. Here is the full Arabic text for the above quote below:
“انكم تحدثون عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم احاديث / صفحة 3 / تختلفون فيها والناس بعدكم اشد اختلافا فلا تحدثوا عن رسول الله شيئا فمن سألكم فقولوا بيننا وبينكم كتاب الله فاستحلوا حلاله وحرموا حرامه . فهذا المرسل يدلك ان مراد الصديق التثبت في الاخبار والتحري لا سد باب الرواية ، ألا تراه لما نزل به امر الجدة ولم يجده في الكتاب كيف سأل عنه في السنة فلما اخبره الثقة ما اكتفى حتى استظهر بثقة آخر ولم يقل حسبنا كتاب الله كما تقوله الخوارج . وحدث يونس عن الزهري ان ابا بكر حدث رجلا حديثا فاستفهمه الرجل اياه فقال أبو بكر : هو كما حدثتك ، أي ارض تقلني إذا انا قلت ما لم اعلم ؟ وصح ان الصديق خطبهم فقال : اياكم والكذب فان الكذب يهدي إلى الفجور والفجور يهدي إلى النار . وقال علي بن عاصم وهو من اوعية العلم لكنه سيئ الحفظ ، انا اسماعيل ابن ابي خالد عن قيس بن ابي حازم قال سمعت ابا بكر الصديق يقول اياكم والكذب فان الكذب مجانب الايمان قلت صدق الصديق فان الكذب رأس النفاق وآية المنافق والمؤمن يطبع على المعاصي والذنوب الشهوانية لا على الخيانة والكذب ، فما الظن بالكذب على الصادق الامين صلوات الله عليه وسلامه وهو القائل ان كذبا على ليس ككذب على غيري ، من يكذب على بنى له بيت في النار ، وقال من يقل على ما لم اقل ، الحديث . فهذا وعيد لمن نقل عن نبيه ما لم يقله مع / صفحة 4 / غلبة الظن انه ما قاله”
Shia scholars love lying, they are the same people who curse and slander the companions and even the wife of Muhammed (p). Let’s now respond to their claims and see if Abu Bakr only followed the Quran.
1. After the prophet Muhammed (pbuh) died Abu Bakr send out armies to in spite of the opposition from certain Muslims, he silenced his opponents and said the following words to them:
“I have before me a decision that has already been made by the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). And were I to think that wild predatory animals would snatch me away, I would still send out Usamah’s army in accordance with the command of the prophet (pbuh).” (Source: Ad-Dawah Ilal-Islam page 63)
2. The people gave allegiance to Abu Bakr when he became the leader of the Muslims. In a remarkable speech he made to the people this after the prophet (p) death he said the following words to the people:
“O people I have indeed been appointed over you, though I am not the best among you. If I do well, then help me; and if I act wrongly, then correct me. Truthfulness is synonymous with fulfilling the trust, and lying is tantamount to treachery. The weak among you is deemed stronger by me, until I return to them that which is rightfully (someone else’s), God willing… Obey me so long as I obey Allah AND His Messenger. And if I disobey Allah and His Messenger, then I have no right to your obedience. Stand up now to pray, may Allah have mercy on you.
(Source: Al-Bidaayah Wan-Nihaayah volume 6 pages 305-306)
Abu Bakr makes it clear that people should NOT follow him blindly, he says he should only be obeyed if he obeys Allah AND HIS Messenger (rules & regulations i.e the Quran and the Sunnah of the prophet). If he didn’t follow these, then he doesn’t need obedience from the Muslim Ummah at the time. This incident took place after the Prophet’s (p) death.
3. Here is another Hadith where Abu Bakr (ra) didn’t abandon the way of the Prophet:
Narrated al-Mughirah ibn Shu’bah: Qabisah ibn Dhuwayb said: A grandmother came to Abu Bakr asking him for her share of inheritance. He said: There is nothing prescribed for you in Allah’s Book, nor do I know anything for you in the Sunnah of the Prophet of Allah (pbuh) Go home till I question the people. He then questioned the people, and al-Mughirah ibn Shu’bah said: I had been present with the Apostle of Allah (pbuh) when he gave grandmother a sixth. Abu Bakr said: Is there anyone with you? Muhammad ibn Maslamah stood and said the same as al-Mughirah ibn Shu’bah had said. So Abu Bakr made it apply to her. Another grandmother came to Umar ibn al-Khattab asking him for her share of inheritance. He said: Nothing has been prescribed for you in Allah’s Book. The decision made before you was made for a grandmother other than you. I am not going to add in the shares of inheritance; but it is that sixth. If there are two of you, it is shared between you, but whichever of you is the only one left gets it all. (Source: Sunan Abu Dawud Book #18, Hadith #2888)
We see from the above narration that Abu Bakr (ra) followed the teachings (Sunnah) of Prophet Muhammed (p). This incident took place after the demise of Prophet Muhammed (p), this alone, should be sufficient enough evidence that Abu Bakr (ra) never abandoned the teachings of Muhammed (p).
Al-Sayyid Rashid is reffering by this to the Khabar reported by al-Hakim from A’ishah, and cited by al-Dhahabi in Tadhkirat al-huffaz, vol.I, p.5, in which she said: My father had collected the traditions of the Messenger of Allah, which they numbered five hundred, and he remained upset all the night. When he entered upon the morning, he came to me and said: ‘O daughter, bring the ahadith that are with you.’ I brought them to him. He burnt them and said: “I am afraid lest I should die leaving these with you, and among them there might be ahadith which I took from a man I had faith in and trusted, but the truth proved to be not as he related, the fact showing me to be responsible for them!” When al-Sayyid Rashid refers to such a khabar in this regard, or inferring any hadith, we should be assured that it be undoubtedly sahih, since he is one of magnates of hadith.
The above narration used by Rafida has been debunked in the following link below, go to section “Claim 4”
The Moroccan traditionist Ibn Abd al-Barr and al-Bayhaqi in al-Madkhal, reported from Urwah that Umar ibn al-Khattab intended to write down the sunan (traditions), so he sought the legal opinion (fatwa) – or consulted, according to al-Bayhaqi’s narration – the Messenger’s Companions in this regard, and they advised him to write them down. Then Umar started seeking Allah’s guidance, keeping on this for one month, after which one day entering upon the morning with God’s determining the decision for him, he said: I have intended to write down the sunan, and I remember that some people before you had written some books, devoting themselves to them and discarding the Book of Allah. By God, I never mingle anything to the Book of Allah. According to al-Bayhaqi’s narration (he said): “I never obscure the Book of Allah with anything at all.”
Yahya ibn Ju’dah reports that Umar ibn al-Khattab intended to write ahadith and sunan. But having changed his mind he sent a circular to all the cities declaring: “Whoever has with him anything of it should efface it.”44 Jami’ bayan al-‘ilm wa fadlih, vol.I, pp.64, 65; Tabaqat Ibn Sa’d, Laidan, Edition, vol.I, p.206.
Ibn Abd al-Barr reports from al-Shi’bi, from Qurdah ibn Ka’b that he said: We went out taking the direction of Iraq, when we were accompanied by Umar till the region of Sirar,61 who said to us: Do you know the reason for my accompanying you? We said: May it be you intended to dignify and honour us? He said: “Nevertheless, there was some necessary need I wanted to be met. You are going to a country whose people being known of diligent bee-like sound in reciting the Qur’an, so you are asked not to frustrate their wills through narrating (abundant) traditions from the Messenger of Allah, and I will be your partner in this task. Qurdah said: After that I have never reported any hadith from the Messenger of Allah.
In another narration, he said: You are going to visit people of a village known of diligently reciting the Qur’an, with a sweet bee-like echo, so never repel them (from this) through narrating traditions, so as to divert their attention (from the Qur’an). Recite the Qur’an with intonation, and lessen in narrating hadith from the Messenger of Allah, whence I will do the same. Then when Qurdah reached that region, its people said to him: Relate to us (hadith). He replied: We are forbidden by Umar.62 62. This addition is taken from Tadhkirat al-huffaz of al-Dhahabi. It is confirmed by al-Hakim in his Mustadrak, vol.I, p.102.
Response: Umar is another companion (May Allah be pleased with him) who has not escaped the slander and lies that have been attributed to him by Shia. The first quote that talks about Umar ordering other companions to efface the Hadith they have in their possession, I have looked for this Hadith and it is no where to be found in the references they have provided. I will quote the following Hadiths, that Umar always followed the way of the prophet Muhammed’s (p) teachings.
1. Narrated Umar ibn al-Khattab: As-Subayy ibn Ma’bad said:
I raised my voice in talbiyah for both of them (i.e. umrah and hajj). Thereupon Umar said: You were guided to the practice (Sunnah) of your Prophet (p). (Source: Abu Dawud Book #10, Hadith #1794)
2. Umar Ibn Khattab makes it clear that people cannot abandon the Book of Allah and the Sunnah (teachings) of Prophet Muhammed (p):
Abu Ishaq reported: I was with al-Aswad b. Yazid sitting in the great mosque, and there was with us al-Sha’bi, and he narrated the narration of Fatima bint Qais (Allah be pleased with her) that Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) did not make any provision for lodging and maintenance allowance for her. Al-Aswad caught hold of some pebbles in his fist and he threw them towards him saying: Woe be to thee, you narrate like it, whereas Umar said: We cannot abandon the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of our Apostle (pbuh) for the words of a woman. We do not know whether she remembers that or she forgets. For her, there is a provision of lodging and maintenance allowance. Allah, the Exalted and Majestic, said:” Turn them not from their houses nor should they themselves go forth unless they commit an open indecency”. (Source: Sahih Muslim Book#009, Hadith #3524)
3. Umar Ibn Khattab delivered a sermon after the prophets death and said:
“O Allah, I call upon You to bear witness over the governors of the regions, for I have only appointed them over them so that they may judge fairly amongst them and teach the people their religion and Sunnah of their prophet (pbuh), and divide the booty amongst them.” (Source: Sahih Muslim Hadith number 567)
4. Umar Ibn Khattab:
“Learn grammar as you learn the sunnahs and shares of inheritance.” (Source: Al-Bayan wa at-Tabyeen by al-Jahdh 2/219)
5. Umar Ibn Khattab:
“Try to understand whatever cases are referred to you where there is no evidence from the Quran or Sunnah, then try to make an analogy between the case that is before you and similar cases that are dealt with in Quran and Sunnah.” (Source: Ilam al-Muwaqqi’een, 1/85; Majallah al-Bulooth al-Ilmiyah, 7/287)
6. Ash-Shabi narrated that Shurayh said:
Umar said to me, “Judge in accordance with what you know of the book of Allah if you do not know anything in the book of Allah, then judge according to what you know of the judgements of the Messenger of Allah (p). If you do not know of anything in the judgements of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) then judge according to what you know from the guided Imams. If you do not know of the judgement of the guided Imams, then try to work it out yourself, and consult knowledgeable and righteous people.” (Source: Ilam al-muwaqqi’een, 1/224; Tareekh al Qada fee al-Islam page 119)
7. Umar Ibn Khattab (RA) wrote a letter to Shurayh in which he said:
“Judge according to what is in the book of Allah, if there is nothing in the book of Allah, then according to the sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). If there is nothing in the sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), then judge according to the judgements passed by the righteous.” (Source: Tareekh al-Qada fee al-Islam, page 120)
If you want to read more Hadiths in whichUmar Ibn Khattab followed the way of the Prophet (p), click on the following link below and go to section “claim 5”:
Zayd ibn Thabit entered upon Mu’awiyah, who inquired him about a hadith, commanding someone to write it down, when Zayd said to him: “The Messenger of Allah (may God’s peace and benediction be upon him and his Progeny) ordered us not to write anything of his traditions.” So he effaced it. Abd Allah ibn Yasar is reported to have said: I heard Ali addressing the people saying: I invite whoever having a book (of hadith) to return and efface it. People before you perished due to their following the traditions of their ulama, and discarding the Book of their Lord.
Response: There is an abundance of Proof from Hadith that Ali Ibn Abi Talib (ra) followed the teachings of the Prophet (p):
1. Narrated Ali ibn AbuTalib: Hudayn ibn al-Mundhir ar-Ruqashi, who was Abu Sasan, said:
I was present with Uthman ibn Affan when al-Walid ibn Uqbah was brought to him. Humran and another man bore witness against him (for drinking wine). One of them testified that he had seen him drinking wine, and the other testified that he had seen him vomiting it. Uthman said: He could not vomit it, unless he did not drink it. He said to Ali: Inflict the prescribed punishment on him. Ali said to al-Hasan: Inflict the prescribed punishment on him. Al-Hasan said: He who has enjoyed its pleasure should also bear its burden. So Ali said to Abdullah ibn Ja’far: Inflict the prescribed punishment on him. He took a whip and struck him with it while Ali was counting. When he reached (struck) forty (lashes), he said: It is sufficient. The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) gave forty lashes. I think he also said: “And AbuBakr gave forty lashes, and Uthman eighty. This is all Sunnah (standard practice). And this is dearer to me.” (Source: Sunan Abu Dawud Book #38, Hadith #4465)
2. Ali Ibn Talib was one of the keenest companions to obey and follow the Sunnah of the Prophet (p). Ali ra) said:
“I would not forsake the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh) for the opinion of anyone.”(Source: Fath Al-Baree 3/421)
3. He also said:
“I am not a Prophet, and I do not receive revelation, but I act accordance with the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of Muhammmed (pbuh) as much as I can.” (Source: Ash-Shafaa by Al Al-Qadee Iyad 2/556)
He further said:
“If I narrate something to you from the Messenger of Allah, then to fall from Heaven would be dearer to me than to tell lies about Him.” (Source: Musnad Ibn Hanbal volume 1, number 1086, Bukhari 3611 and Muslim 1066)
4. Ali used to encourage Muslims to adhere to the guidance of the Prophet Muhammed (p). He said in a sermon he delivered in Rabdah:
“Adhere to your religion, follow the guidance of your prophet and follow his sunnah. Whatever you do not understand, try to find the answer in the Quran: whatever the Quran approves of adhere to it, and whatever it disproves of, reject it.” (Source: Al Bidaayah wan Nihaayah 7/246 and it is Tarkh Al-Tabari as well)
5. After Ali (ra) came back from fighting the Kharijites he said in a eloquent speech to his companions and said:
“Follow the guidance of your prophet, for it is the best of guidance. Follow his sunnah, for it is the best of ways.” (Source: Al-Bidaayah Wan Nihaayah 7/319)
6. Ali Ibn Talib (ra) thinking positively of Hadith of the Prophet (p).
“If you are told a Hadith from the Messenger of Allah then take it in the best guided and most appropriate manner.” (Source: Musnad Ibn Hanbal volume 2/211)
7. Ali Abi Ibn Talib used to encourage people to visit one another and discuss issues of knowledge (Sunnah of the Prophet). He said:
“Visit one another and discuss Hadiths; do not neglect it lest they disappear.” (Source: Jami li Akhlaq Ar-rawi 1/236)
8. In another Hadith Ali (ra) said:
“Visit one another and discuss Hadiths, for if you do not do that, they will disappear.” (Source: Shraf Ashab Al-Hadith of Baghdadi page 93)
The Hadith they have used on Muwawiya, that has also been dealt with in the following link below. Go to section “claim 2”:
Ibn Qutaybah says: A large number of dignified Companions and favourites of the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be God’s peace and benediction, like Abu Bakr, al-Zubayr, Abu Ubaydah and al-Abbas ibn Abd al-Muttalib used to relate very few traditions from him (Prophet). Rather some others would never relate any hadith, among whom we can refer to Sa’id ibn Zayd ibn ‘Amr ibn Nufayl, who was one of the ten promised with paradise, as they claim.
Response: Jonathan Brown says the following on this:
“Interestingly, those companions who spent the most time with the prophet during his public life rank among the least prolific Hadiths transmitters. The prophet’s close friend and successor , Abu Bakr, his cousin/son in law, Ali B. Abi Talib and close advisor Umar Ibn Khattab are the sources for only 142, 536, and 537 Hadiths respectively. These prominent early Muslims, who were looked to as leaders responsible for decisions and religious rulings after the prophets death, seem to have preserved the spirit of Muhammed’s teachings in their actions and methods of reasoning rather than by citing his hadiths directly.” (Source: Jonathan Brown “Hadith Muhammed’s Legacy in the Medieval world” page 20)
Ibn Sa’d and Ibn Asakir reports from Mahmud ibn Labid that he said: I heard Uthman ibn Affan addressing people from over the pulpit: It is unlawful for everyone to narrate any hadith he never heard of during the time of Abu Bakr and that of Umar. Verily that which made me abstain from narrating from the Messenger of Allah was not to be among the most conscious of his Companions, but I heard him declaring: “Whoever ascribing to me something I never said, he shall verily occupy his (destined) abode in Fire.” Jami‘ bayan al-’ilm wa fadlihi,60 60. Jami’ bayan al-‘ilm, Vol.II, p.120.
All one has to do is read the above Hadith carefully and you will come to realise that Uthman (ra) did not want to hear any Hadith that HE never heard of at the time of Abu Bakr and Umar Ibn Khattab. So he never said “NEVER narrate anything from the Prophet (p).” He just said that he did NOT want to hear Hadith that HE himself never heard of at the time of Abu Bakr or Umar. The above Hadith shows that Uthman was in favour of hearing Hadith. Here is a little statement what Uthman Ibn Affan (ra) said when he became the leader of the Muslims:
“I have been given a responsibility and I have accepted it. Verily I am a follower (of the sunnah) and not an innovator. I promise you in addition to following the Book of Allah AND the Sunnah of his prophet (pbuh)... (Source: Tareekh Al-Tabari 5/443)
In Conclusion, the evidences I have shown is in my favour that the Companions did follow and practice the teachings of Prophet Muhammed (p). Those Rafida didn’t do nothing but twist, use fabricated Hadith. The whole reason they deceptively quoted those fabricated, weak Ahadith is to make it out to Muslims that the companions of Prophet (p) were astray, in other words they were disbelievers (Na uzubillah).