How Many Mutawatir (Mass Transmitted) Ahadith Are There?

Question: Assalamu ‘alaykum.

 How many mutawatir ahadith are there?

Answer:

Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

The answer to this question is not straightforward due to the historical difference of scholarly opinion on the definition of a mutawatir (Mass Transmitted) hadith. There is also the issue of hadith that are mutawatir in wording and those like this but meaning.

Having said this, Imam Muhammad b. Ja’far al Kattani authored a work in which he documented 310 narrations. He said they were from both categories and that there were other narrations that scholars have differed on, which he did not include. (Kattani, Nazm al Mutanathir Min al Hadith al Muwatatir)

Allah knows best.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim

 

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History, he moved to Damascus in 2007, where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital. He was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

How Can We Explain Certain Hadiths That Go Against the Most Basic Points of Faith?

Question:

How can we explain certain hadiths that go against the most basic points of faith?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

Whenever we read a hadith that is confusing, we should first ask if the hadith has been translated properly and whether or not we are reading it correctly. Not every translation is loyal, and sometimes our own limited grasp of Arabic deceives us. The next step is to question whether or not the hadith is authentic.

If we go through this process properly, we will never find any conflicts between hadiths, and we will never have any doubts about our faith.

With regards to the hadith in question, it means that Allah was alone and that there was nothing else besides Him. When it says, “He was above the clouds, below which was air, and above which was air,” (Tirmidhi and Ahmad) it is just a figurative way of saying that there was not anything else besides Him. “Cloud” and “air” just mean nothing. This is how it was explained by Yazid ibn Harun who was one of the greatest hadith narrators and one narrator of the hadith in question. [Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi, Mubarakpuri]

It seems like it was just another way of phrasing the hadith “Allah was and there was nothing besides Him.” [Bukhari and others]

So, in sum, there is no confusion at all.

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid Dingle

 

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.

Did the Prophet Equate Suspicion With Lying?

Question:

What is the meaning of this hadith?

حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى بْنُ يَحْيَى, قَالَ قَرَأْتُ عَلَى مَالِكٍ عَنْ أَبِي الزِّنَادِ, عَنِ الأَعْرَجِ, عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ, أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ “‏ إِيَّاكُمْ وَالظَّنَّ فَإِنَّ الظَّنَّ أَكْذَبُ الْحَدِيثِ وَلاَ تَحَسَّسُوا وَلاَ تَجَسَّسُوا وَلاَ تَنَافَسُوا وَلاَ تَحَاسَدُوا وَلاَ تَبَاغَضُوا وَلاَ تَدَابَرُوا وَكُونُوا عِبَادَ اللَّهِ إِخْوَانًا ‏”‏

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for writing to us.

 

The Authenticity of the Hadith

The majority of scholars agree that all hadiths in the authentic compilations of Imams Bukhari and Muslim are authentic. [Nawawi, Sharh Sahih Muslim]

 

The Meaning of Suspicion

As regards the meaning of the hadith, you use the word “suspicion” to translate “الظن.” This refers to a suspicion that has no basis or foundation in fact. It is just hearsay, talk, or imagination.

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) prohibited that kind of suspicion. He said one must avoid suspicion for it is the greatest lie. The reason for this is that if one entertains a thought or idea, one allows it to become established in one’s heart. This, in turn, results in one believing it. As a consequence, one would have innumerable problems in life.

For instance, a man may suspect his wife’s fidelity and vice-versa. A son may suspect that his parents are not truly his parents because of an error that occurred in the hospital. The Prophet says one must avoid such suspicion.

Imam Nawawi comments on this hadith. He says that the Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) is referring to the suspicion that remains within the person. As a result, it becomes settled in his heart (as if it is the truth). He did not prohibit suspicion that enters a person’s heart, which the person forgets, ignores, or brushes aside. [Nawawi, Sharh Sahih Muslim]

 

The Meaning of Inquisitive

You use the word “inquisitive” to translate “التحسس.” It refers to listening to people’s speech or looking into that which is private.

In other words, inquisitiveness leads one to listen to private conversations and delve into people’s private lives. [Nawawi, Sharh Sahih Muslim]

And Allah knows best.

[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan

 

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdurragmaan received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.

How Does Verse 82 of Sura Al-Nisa Explain Contradictions in Hadith?

Question:

Can you explain verse 82 in Sura al-Nisa’?

Answer:

Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barkatuh.

I pray you are well.

 

There Are No Mistakes in the Qur’an

The verse in question talks about the absence of any mistakes and internal contradictions in the Qur’an. This is something in which there is no doubt. The text of the Qur’an is perfectly preserved, and what it states has been proven to be true time and time again throughout history. Many other matters will come to light too.

 

Contradictions in the Hadith

Contradictions can be found in the hadith literature. However, this is understandable, and not a problem. The hadith were not all narrated verbatim: scholars who knew the language well sometimes narrated a hadith using a synonym.

Also, the hadiths were narrated over a period of time, and rulings were being revealed and amended over that period. This too led to conflicting narrations. Sometimes, the context of a hadith makes it seem like it conflicts with others, when, in reality, they do not.

Scholars have a methodology for addressing these issues, and there are many works that analyse seemingly conflicting narrations. If they can find and explain the reason, they do. Otherwise, the narration must have been abrogated.

I pray that helps. May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

 

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

Does a Feeling of Passing Wind Invalidate the Wudu, if There Is No Accompanying Sound or Smell?

Question:

Does a feeling of passing wind invalidate the wudu, if there is no accompanying sound or smell?

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate,

The actual passing of wind invalidates wudu. If one is uncertain whether the wind has exited the anus or not, the following criteria are applied:

If you are reasonably sure that wind has fully exited the body from the anus, act as though your wudu has been invalidated. If, however, you are doubtful as to whether or not wind exited, ignore your doubts as you are still in a state of purification. [Tahtawi/Shurunbulali, Hashiyat Maraqi al-Falah]

Always use this principle – “Certainty is not removed with doubt.” [Ibn Nujaym, al-Ashbah wa al-Nazair]

If you are certain that you were in a state of purification and doubt whether that state was invalidated by some factor, you are pure.

I hope this helps,
Allah knows best.
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

 

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a teacher of Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he then completed four years at the Darul Uloom seminary in New York where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences. He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he stayed for three years studying in Dar Al-Mustafa under some of the greatest scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib. In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Qur’an and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Qur’anic exegesis, Islamic history, and a number of texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.

Was My Ghusl Valid When I Used a Cup for Pouring the Water?

Question:

Do I have to redo my ghusl if I used a cup to pour water?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. The situation that you describe is perfectly sufficient for a valid ghusl. Pouring from a cup ensures that you do not waste water, and that is one of the sunnas of the ghusl which is difficult to follow these days. You should use also rub the water all over, as this is sunnah and serves to spread the water to every area.

The two integrals of the ritual bath in the Shafi’i school are a) the intention) and b) that water reaches all of the skin, hair, and nails. Please consider taking a course on personally obligatory fiqh of worship.

Take every measure to ignore baseless misgivings (waswasa). Allah wants your worship to be easy and not cumbersome. Once you take a course on the subject, the Devil will not have his way with you, and you will have the confidence that you need to proceed with ease. May Allah reward you for your sincerity and give you the best in this world and the next.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

 

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

What Should I Do About Stubborn Parents Who Refuse My Potential Suitor?

Question: I am a 23-year-old postgraduate female student, and I am in love with my classmate who is 27 years old. In sha Allah, next year we will graduate, and soon he will get a job. I told my father about him, but my father is strictly against telling him that we are poor and that we are from another state. Our cultures will not match. However, he is a good religious person, and his family is too. We have been making dua to Allah and praying tahajjud to change my father’s mind.

 

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. I empathize with your frustration about your father’s rejection of this man. It is not easy to be in love and be unable to do anything about to marry.

 

Make Dua

At this point, this is all that you can do, and it is the best thing that you can do.  His consent is necessary to move forward, and remember that Allah can change the hardest of hearts. Please say this du’a for marriage in addition to your daily prayers and tahajjud. Also, pray the Prayer of Need:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/marriage/dua-make-someone-spouse/

 

Face Reality

I see that you are already emotionally attached, so I recommend that you try to keep your distance from him and accept the fact that your father may or may not agree. Be prepared either way. In the future, try not to get attached to anyone and stay within the limits of gender interaction. Please see this link:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/father-will-disown-marry-man-choose/

 

Learn

In the meanwhile, use your free time to learn about the rights and responsibilities of marriage, and prepare yourself with basic knowledge of fiqh and the halal and the haram of daily life. In sha Allah, the better you prepare, the better marriage you will have with whomever it may be.

May Allah reward you and give you the best in this world and the next.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

How Do We Ignore Shaytan’s Distractions?

Question: How do we act on the Prophetic instruction to blow thrice to the left and seek refuge in Allah during the prayer when we are distracted by Shaytan?

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate,

The narration you are referring to is as follows:

Uthman bin Abi al-‘As narrates that he came to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and said, “O Messenger of Allah. The devil comes between me and my prayer and my recitation and confuses me.” So the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) replied, “That is a devil called Khanzab. So if you sense him, seek refuge with Allah from him and blow to your right side thrice.” He (the narrator) said, “I did that and Allah sent him away from me.” [Muslim]

 

Acting On This Hadith

If you sense the Devil casting doubts in your heart or distracting you, you are allowed to seek refuge in Allah and blow thrice to the left. You should do this with the least amount of movement possible.

Small amounts of movement are not disliked in the prayer if they are done for a reason in the best interest of the prayer. Implementing this narration, when such a situation occurs, is in the best interest of the prayer. [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

I hope this helps,
Allah knows best.
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; a student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of the Qur’an and the Islamic sciences

How Do We Reconcile With Someone Whom We Backbit?

Question: Do we have to tell someone if we have backbit about them? Can we just pray for them? Also, can we pray collectively about those who we backbit about without mentioning their name? Also, if we backbit about a non-muslim, and we cannot tell them, can we pray for their hidayah? If we tell them, then there is much fear of hurting them.
Answer: 
In the Name of Allah, the Merciful and Compassionate,
I hope you are doing well, insha’Allah. Thank you for the question.
Process

Tawba from backbiting is a process.  It entails:

·        desisting from backbiting
·        resolving not to backbite again
·        expressing remorse
·        seeking Allah’s forgiveness for yourself and the victim of your backbiting

Scholars differ as to whether the backbiter must seek pardon from the victim. Some opine that it is not stipulated as informing him might cause greater distress and anguish. The expiation would then be for the backbiter to praise the person in the very same gatherings in which he backbit him. In addition, the backbiter should stop others from backbiting the victim to the best of his ability. [Tafsir Ibn-Kathir]

According to the Shafi’i school of thought, if the backbiting did not reach the ears of the person, it would suffice him to be remorseful and seek forgiveness for the person as per the detail provided above.

However, if the backbiting has reached the person, then ibra (exoneration) will not be valid unless the details are disclosed to the person. This is because a person may forgive certain things to exclusion of others. [Mughni al-Muhtaj, Nihaya al-Muhtaj]

 

Backbiting a Non-Muslim

As for backbiting against a non-Muslim, Shabralmillisi has the following to say, “The more correct view is that he (the backbiter) prays a prayer of forgiveness for him other than forgiveness of shirk (associating partners unto Allah) or for an increase in his wealth, etc. whilst expressing remorse.” (Hashiya al-Shabramillisi) Moreover, as per your suggestion in the question, the best prayer for a non-Muslim is that of guidance.

Furthermore, a collective prayer for those whom we backbit would not suffice.

 

Conclusion

The expiation requirements for backbiting are telling of its severity. It should serve as a deterrent from this major sin. The devastating impacts of backbiting on the familial and social fabric of our Muslim community cannot be overstated. May Allah grant us the tawfiq (knowledge and practice) to follow through on His commandments and desist from His prohibitions.

[Shaykh] Muhammad Carr
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Why Do the Prophets Have To Be Sinless?

Question: Why do the Prophets have to be sinless?
Answer:

In the Name of Allah, the Merciful and Compassionate Walaikum assalam,

I hope you are doing well, insha’Allah. May Allah bless you for your concern for sound beliefs and understanding.

 

Allah Has Absolute Will and Absolute Power

We believe—rationally and on the basis of revelation—that Allah Most High is the necessary existent and creator of all things. Allah has the attributes of absolute Will and absolute Power.

His Will and Power relate to anything possible (mumkin). Allah Most High tells us that He is, “The One who does whatsoever He wills.” [Qur’an]

Thus, Allah Most High can do anything possible or not do it. Nothing of the possible is outside the Will of Allah Most High—and there is nothing that Allah “must” do.

And anything that Allah Most High wills, He brings into existence with His Power. [Sawi, Sharh Jawhara al-Tawhid]

In Sura Yasin, Allah Most High tells us, “All it takes, when He wills something ˹to be˺, is simply to say to it: “Be!” And it is!” [Qur’an, 36.82]

 

Why Do The Messengers “Have To Be” Sinless?

While we affirm the absoluteness of Allah’s Will—that He can do whatsoever He wills—, we also affirm with certitude that Allah Most High is Wise (hakim) and Just. This is from His Perfection (kamal). [Nasafi, Sharh al-Umda fi’l I’tiqad]

Thus, while Allah could send anyone He wished as His representative—His prophet or messenger—what is (a) entailed by Divine Wisdom and (b) affirmed by Divine Revelation in the Qur’an and Sunna, is the sinlessness (‘isma) of the Prophets from all sin, major and minor. [Bajuri, Tuhftat al-Murid `ala Jawharat al-Tawhid]

Allah Most High has commanded us to (a) take the prophets as exemplars and (b) to follow them unconditionally—and Has commanded us to (c) obey Allah’s command, and (d) stay away from His prohibitions.

If the Prophets were to disobey Allah, it would entail that we were being called at once to (a) follow them in this act; and yet (b) not follow them in order not to disobey Allah. This is absurd. Thus, it is absurd for Prophets to disobey their Lord, whose representatives and exemplars they are. [Ibid.]

May Allah Most High increase us in faith certitude, knowledge, and clarity.

And Allah is the giver of success and facilitation.

[Shaykh] Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani spent ten years studying with some of the leading scholars of recent times, first in Damascus, and then in Amman, Jordan. His teachers include the foremost theologian of recent times in Damascus, the late Shaykh Adib al-Kallas (may Allah have mercy on him), as well as his student Shaykh Hassan al-Hindi, one of the leading Hanafi fuqaha of the present age. He returned to Canada in 2007, where he founded SeekersGuidance in order to meet the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge–both online and on the ground–in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He is the author of Absolute Essentials of Islam: Faith, Prayer, and the Path of Salvation According to the Hanafi School (White Thread Press, 2004.) Since 2011, Shaykh Faraz has been named one of the 500 most influential Muslims by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center.