Assalamualaikum, what is the meaning of hadith hassan?
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.
According to the question asked, the question is related to the knowledge of mustholah hadith (terminologies) or is named as ulum al-Hadith. Hadith hasan is a type of hadith sahih.
The Definition of Hadith Hasan
Hadith hasan has more than one definition. However, Imam al-Baiquniy stated in his mazhumah in defining hadith hasan stated:
وَالحَسَنُ المَعْروفُ طُرُقاً وَغَدَتْ * رِجَالُهُ لَا كَالصَّحِيْحِ اشْتَهَرَتْ
“And (hadith hasan) is known thorugh numerous thuruq (routes). The rijal (narrator) is not as famously known as the narrator of sahih hadith.”
Hadith hasan is also hadith of which its source and narrators are famously known or hadith with continuous sanad with just narrators but their memorization is lesser but are free from syaz and also ‘illah (defects). (See ‘Ulum al-Hadith wa Nusus min al-Athar, 124)
The Divisions of Hadith Hasan
According to Imam Ibn al-Salah divided hadith hasan into two:
- Hasan li Zatihi (الحسن لذاته)
Hasan li Zatihi is a hadith narrated by a just narrator but has a lesser memorization with a continuous sanad free from syaz and ‘illah. The example of hadith hasan li Zatihi is:
From Abi Umamah RA, the Prophet PBUH said:
مَنْ أَحَبَّ لِلَّهِ، وَأَبْغَضَ لِلَّهِ، وَأَعْطَى لِلَّهِ، وَمَنَعَ لِلَّهِ فَقَدِ اسْتَكْمَلَ الْإِيمَانَ
“If anyone loves for Allah's sake, hates for Allah's sake, gives for Allah's sake and withholds for Allah's sake, he will have perfect faith.”
Sunan Abu Daud (4681)
Narrators in this hadith are thiqah (trustworthy) except al-Qasim which is Abdulrahman al-Syami. He is a tabi’in and he is one of a just (honest) narrator. However, hadith scholars discussed on his memorization and some ruled him as dhaif (weak) while others stated that he is thiqah. Thus, this hadith is hadith hasan li Zatihi for one of its narrators in the sanad is disputed in terms of his memorization in narrating a hadith.
- Hasan li Ghairihi
Hasan li Ghairihi is a hadith narrated by mastur or dhaif (weak) narrators where the narrators made a lot of mistakes but was not accused as a liar. Furthermore, their narration may possibly be mutaba’at or there are numerous routes of the narration or there are syahid (support from other narrations). An example of hadith hasan li ghairihi is:
From ‘Amir bin Rabi’ah, from his father who said:
أَرَضِيتِ مِنْ نَفْسِكِ وَمَالِكِ بِنَعْلَيْنِ؟ قَالَتْ: نَعَمْ، قَالَ: فَأَجَازَهُ
"A woman from Banu Fazarah was married for (the dowry of) two sandals. So the Messenger of Allah said to her: 'Do you approve of (exchanging) yourself and your wealth for two sandals?' She said: 'Yes.'" He said: "So he permitted it."
Sunan al-Tirmizi (1113)
There is a narrator in the sanad of this hadith or it is narrated by ‘Asim bin ‘Ubaidillah of whom he is a narrator with a bad memorization. However, this hadith is ruled as hasan because there are other routes (sanad) which support this narration to the level of hasan li ghairihi. Imam al-Tirmizi stated other routes of this hadith are from the route of Umar, Abi Hurairah, Sahl bin Sa’ad, Anas bin Malik, Abi Sa’id and several others from among the Companion R.Anhum.
The Status of Hadith Hasan
Hadith hasan can generally be used as argument according to the majority of scholars the same as hadith sahih. (See al-Ba’ith al-Hathith, 46). However, hasan li Zatihi can be used as an argument according to hadith scholars, while hasan li Ghairihi can also be used as an argument. Nevertheless, Imam al-Sakhawi set certain conditions for hadith hasan li Ghairihi where if it is used as an argument, there must be other routes which support it.
The Meaning of Hasan Sahih by Imam al-Tirmizi
Imam Ibn Kahtir in his book explain the meaning of hasan sahih by Imam al-Tirmizi where there are some doubts on it for he assembled them both (hasan and sahih) in one hadith as though there is some uncertainty. Here, we include several meanings presented by scholars about he definition or meaning of hasan sahih.
- Hadith hasan sahih has two sanad (routes) and one of its sanad is hasan and the other sahih
- Hadith hasan sahih is a hasan hadith on its matan (text/meaning) and sahih on its sanad
- Hadith hasan sahih is a hadith of which its level is lower than sahih hadith, but higher than hadith hasan (See al-Ba’ith al-Hathith, 52-53).
- Hadith hasan sahih is a hadith of which scholars have differing opinions on it, some ruled it hasan and others evaluated it sahih if the hadith has only one sanad. If the hadith has two sanad (routes of narration), it may be possible that one of the sanad is hassan and the other is sahih.
To conclude, hasan hadith is included in the category of sahih hadith of which it can be used as an argument. Hopefully, this brief explanation will benefit and increase our knowledge in the science of hadith and subsequently we are able to protect the hadiths of the Prophet PBUH from any deception on his PBUH’s name. Amin.