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irsyad al hadith 249

Question:

What is meant by mawdu’ hadith?

 

Answer:

Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.

Stating something to be from the Prophet PBUH’s while it is not from him is prohibited. This is because, the punishment for those lying in the name of the Prophet PBUH is for him to be thrown in hell. There are numerous hadith on the prohibition of lying in the name of the Prophet PBUH. Among them are:

  • The Prophet PBUH said:

مَنْ كَذَبَ عَلَىَّ مُتَعَمِّدًا فَلْيَتَبَوَّأْ مَقْعَدَهُ مِنَ النَّارِ

“Whosoever tells a lie against me intentionally then surely let him occupy his seat in Hell-Fire”

Sahih al-Bukhari (107)

  • The Prophet PBUH said:

مَنْ تَعَمَّدَ عَلَىَّ كَذِبًا فَلْيَتَبَوَّأْ مَقْعَدَهُ مِنَ النَّارِ

"Whoever tells a lie against me intentionally, then (surely) let him occupy his seat in Hell-fire."

Sahih al-Bukhari (108)

  • The Prophet PBUH said:

مَنْ يَقُلْ عَلَىَّ مَا لَمْ أَقُلْ فَلْيَتَبَوَّأْ مَقْعَدَهُ مِنَ النَّارِ

"Whoever (intentionally) ascribes to me what I have not said then (surely) let him occupy his seat in Hell-fire."

Sahih al-Bukhari (109)

  • The Prophet PBUH said:

وَمَنْ كَذَبَ عَلَيَّ مُتَعَمِّدًا فَلْيَتَبَوَّأْ مَقْعَدَهُ مِنَ النَّارِ

“Whosoever tells a lie against me intentionally then surely let him occupy his seat in Hell-Fire”

Sahih al-Bukhari (110)

  • The Prophet PBUH said:

لاَ تَكْذِبُوا عَلَىَّ، فَإِنَّهُ مَنْ كَذَبَ عَلَىَّ فَلْيَلِجِ النَّارَ

"Do not tell a lie against me for whoever tells a lie against me (intentionally) then he will surely enter the Hell-fire."

[Sahih al-Bukhari (106) and Sahih Muslim (1)]

  • The Prophet PBUH said:

مَنْ حَدَّثَ عَنِّي بِحَدِيْثٍ يُرَىْ أَنَّهُ كَذِبٌ فَهُوَ أَحَدُ الْكَاذِبِيْنَ

'"Whoever narrates a Hadith from me thinking it to be false, then he is one of the two liars." (Either the one who invents a lie or the one who repeats it; both are liars).

[See: Muqaddimah Sahih Muslim]

Based on the above hadith, it is clear to us that there is a terrible warning to those who lie in the name of the Prophet PBUH. Therefore, we can conclude that the ruling of lying in the name of the Prophet PBUH is clearly haram according to the above excerpts.

The History of Fabrication or Falsehood in the Name of the Prophet PBUH

It is never known among the companions of the Prophet PBUH who lie in the name of the Prophet PBUH. The reason is, the Prophet PBUH is the most noble and honoured man and no one should lie in his name. It is narrated by more than a hundred companions of the Prophet PBUH on hadiths stating the warning for those who lie and hell as a warning (reminder) for this ummah (the ummah of the Prophet Muhammad PBUH) and to prevent them from lying in the name of the Messenger of Allah PBUH.

According to the historians, the beginning of the fabrication of the Prophet PBUH’s saying started when there was a fitnah which led to the killing of Saiyidina Uthman bin Affan RA. This is because, during that time, there was a rise of the al-Ahwa’ (people who follow their desire) when schism and disputes took place and these led to the lies in the name of the Prophet PBUH so that the fabricated hadith will be in line with their own desires.

[See: al-Wadha’ Fi al-Hadith al-Nabawi, 19-20]

The Position and Definition of Mawdu’ Hadith

The position of mawdu’ hadith is it is the worst of dhaif hadith as stated by the scholars like:

  • Imam Ibn Salah (643h) said:

اعْلَمْ أَنَّ الْحَدِيثَ الْمَوْضُوعَ شَرُّ الْأَحَادِيثِ الضَّعِيفَةِ

“Know that indeed, mawdu’ hadith is included as the worst dhaif hadith” [See: al-Muqaddimah, 98]

  • Imam al-Nawawi (676h) also said:

الْمَوْضُوعُ: هُوَ الْمُخْتَلَقُ الْمَصْنُوعُ، وَشَرُّ الضَّعِيفِ

“Mawdu’ hadith is hadith which is made or created and it is the worst dhaif hadith.” [See: Tadrib al-Rawi, 323/1]

Before we discuss in detail regarding mawdu’ hadith, it is best if we first understand the definition of this mawdu’ hadith. Imam al-Baiquniy states in his popular manzhum on mawdu’ hadith:

وَالكَذِبُ المُخْتَلَقُ المَصْنُوعُ * عَلَى النَّبِيِّ فَذَلِكَ المَوْضُوْعُ

"invented and created falsehood,"

In the name of the Prophet PBUH is named Mawdu’ Hadith

According to Imam al-Baiquniy, mawdu’ hadith is a fabricated hadith which are created or invented and is said to be the words of the Prophet PBUH. Besides, Syeikh Sayyid Abd al-Majid al-Ghouri in his book stated that mawdu’ hadith is:

“Hadith which does not come from the Prophet PBUH whether in the form of words, actions, taqrir and it is said as the Prophet PBUH’s accidentally, intentionally, due to ignorance and deceit.” [See: Mu’jam al-Musthalahat al-Hadithiyyah, 798]

Therefore, it is clear upon us that mawdu’ hadith is a hadith created or invented, then is said to be of the Prophet PBUH in falsehood either by words, actions and iqrar of the Prophet PBUH while in truth it is not from him.

The Ruling of Narrating Mawdu’ Hadith

The scholars state that it is impermissible or haram for us to narrate mawdu’ hadith when it is known of its condition (the fabrication) except to explain on the fabrication. This is the opinion of Imam Ibn Salah, Imam al-Nawawi, al-Suyuthi (911h) and many other scholars including contemporary scholars of hadith. This ruling is decided due to the great prohibition from the Prophet PBUH on lying in his name. However, this ruling does not apply on dhaif hadith as it still can be narrated in fadhail matters when the conditions are fulfilled as stated by al-Hafiz ibn Hajar al-Asqalani and we already explained this in our previous article under the title of dhaif hadith.

Characteristics or Signs of Mawdu’ Hadith

Matters which may be traced either in sanad and matan of the hadith and we cited them from the book Ulum al-Hadith by Prof. Dr Muhammad Abu Laith, which are:

In Sanad

  • Iqrar or confession from the narrator that he himself created the hadith.
  • It is proven in his confession that he lied. For example, he said that he listened to this hadith from a certain sheikh at a certain place while the sheikh is known never has entered or reached the said place.
  • The narrator is famous as the fabricator of the Prophet PBUH’s sayings.

In Matan:

  • The text of the hadith contradicts with al-Quran, usul and religious maxim.
  • The text of the hadith contradicts with other sahih hadith.
  • The text of the hadith contradicts with the consensus of the Companions R.anhum
  • Contradicts with nature, eyewitness and scientific knowledge (authentic modern scientific discoveries which does not contradict with the Quran, hadith and the main sources in the religion).
  • The text is not found in the muktabar books of hadith.
  • There are defects in the sentence structure and meaning.
  • The text of hadith contains matters which are seen as being excessive and impossible for the Prophet PBUH to say so.
  • The text of hadith contains bid’ah matters which are created and of no origin while the narrator is among those who call for that particular matter.

The Purposes of Creating Mawdu’ Hadith

Among the purposes of creating or inventing the hadith are:

  • As support towards particular groups including religious group (Aqidah sects), madhhab or political parties.
  • Vengeance towards Islam and its ummah
  • To drive people away from the religion.
  • An extreme desire of changing the people towards religion.
  • Wanting something in return.

Terminologies in Mawdu’ Hadith

Here we cite again some articles we have already written before on the terminologies of mawdu’ hadith. Among the common terminologies used by the scholars in stating the status of a certain hadith are:

  • Al-Mawdu’ (الموضوع): This is the most famous terminology used.
  • Of no origin (لا أصل له): In Tadrib al-Raqi, ‘of no origin’ means hadith without sanad. [See: Tadrib al-Rawi, 162/1]
  • Bathil (الباطل): Some scholars also use the term ‘bathil’ to indicate mawdu’ hadith.
  • With no sanad (لا إسناد له): Sometimes, it is added in this term by “I do not know for this hadith a sanad (لا أعرف له إسنادا)”. According to Ibn ‘Arraq (‘Arraq), if the huffaz al-hadith state on the status of a hadith by the term “I do not know of it (لا أعرفه) or of no origin (لا أصل له), then it is enough to state the rule of a hadith.” [See: Tanzih al-Syariah. 8/1]
  • Does not reach (the Prophet PBUH) (ليس مرفوعا): Which is when a hadith is stated by this term, then this indicates that its sanad is broken or does not reach the Prophet PBUH.
  • Is not known by this words (لا يعرف بهذا اللفظ): This is also one of the terminologies used in stating that this hadith is not sahih.

Books Related to Mawdu’ Hadith

Among the books which gather and explain on mawdu’ hadith are:

  • Tazkirah al-Mawdhu’at by al-Hafiz Ibn Thahir al-Maqdisi (507 H)
  • Al-Mawdhu’at Min al-Ahadith al-Marfu’at by Imam al-Juzaqaniy (543 H)
  • Al-Mawdhu’at by Imam Ibn al-Jauzi (597 H)
  • Al-Manar al-Munif by Imam Ibn al-Qayyim (751 H)
  • Al-Maqasid al-Hasanah by Imam al-Sakhawi (902 H)
  • Al-La’aali al-Masnu’ah by Imam al-Suyuthi (911 H)
  • Tanzih al-Syari’ah al-Marfu’ah by Imam Ibn ‘Irraq (‘Arraq) al-Kinaniy (963 H)
  • Al-Asrar al-Marfua’ah and al-Masnu’ Fi Ma’rifah al-Hadith al-Mawdhu’ by Syeikh Mulla Ali al-Qari (1014 H)
  • Kasyf al-Khafa’ Wa Muzil al-Ilbas by Imam al-‘Ajlouniy (1126 H)
  • Al-Fawaid al-Majmu’ah Fi al-Ahadith al-Mawdhu’ah by Imam al-Syaukani (1255 H)
  • Al-Athar al-Marfu’ah Fi al-Ahadith al-Mawdhu’ah by Syeikh Abd al-Hayy al-Laknawi al-Hindi (1304 H)

Our Obligations and Roles

As a believer who loves the Prophet PBUH, we should preserve the name and physical character of the Prophet PBUH from the falsehood and fabrication of those with bad intentions. This is a proof of our love towards him as stated in a hadith:

  • The Prophet PBUH said:

لاَ يُؤْمِنُ أَحَدُكُمْ حَتَّى أَكُونَ أَحَبَّ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ وَالِدِهِ وَوَلَدِهِ وَالنَّاسِ أَجْمَعِينَ

"None of you will have faith till he loves me more than his father, his children and all mankind."

Sahih al-Bukhari (15)

Besides, it is our duty before reading, writing, teaching, delivering or spreading a particular hadith of the Prophet PBUH to verify its source and status because there is concern that by not stating the source and status, we may be included in the warning of the Prophet PBUH. By doing this, we may preserve the purity of this religion from the deviation of those wanting to attack Islam.

Closing

In conclusion, mawdu’ hadith is the worst level of dhaif hadith as we mentioned above. Besides, the ruling of narrating mawdu’ hadith is haram except to state its fabrication and its effect of being thrown in the hellfire afterwards. Lastly, hopefully, with this brief explanation, it can give some understanding to us about the meaning of mawdu’ hadith as well as how to identify it. May Allah SWT give us understanding in this religion as well as guarding our tongue from committing any falsehood in the name of the Prophet PBUH. Amin.

Wallahua’lam.