Jami` Al Usul Fi Ahadith Ar-Rasul
Author: Majd-ud-Din Abu As-Sa`adat Al Mubarak ibn Muhammad Al Jazry ibn Al Athir (died in 606 AH).
Verified by: `Abddul-Qadir Al Arna'ut
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Praise be to Allah who clarified the way to Islam, made the Sunnah an explanation to the rulings, sent a Messenger as a guidance, and paved the way to the Shari`ah.
I praise Him frequently until He is satisfied and until I win His Meeting [on the Day of Recompense]. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone, a testimony that protects me from aberration and polytheism. I bear witness that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger. May Allah send peace and blessings upon him, his family, and Companions.
This book is composed of three parts: 1- General principles. 2- Objectives. 3- Conclusion.
The first part is divided into five sections: The first section is the reason for writing this book, which contains an introduction and four chapters:
Episode 1: Introduction
I still in my young age possessed by seeking knowledge, accompanying the people of knowledge, and imitating them as much as I can. This is due the great favor of Allah and His Kindness, therefore I have exerted efforts to seek knowledge until I have become able to know many secrets. I have never neglected the seeking of knowledge to the extent that I learned the secret of every knowledge following the example of my mates, without saying that I excelled them all. Praise be to Allah who bestowed His Favors upon me, to Him is the resort on the Day of Recompense and in Him is security from the great horror on the Day of the Great Summoning. I ask Him to guide me for thanking Him, for His Guidance, and for protecting me from aberration, as I thank Him for the favor of understanding. I ask Him to keep these blessings and increase them for me.
The status of sciences differs according to their contents. There is no disagreement among scholars that the greatest sciences are those which contain more benefits, achieve more everlasting happiness, and man is commanded to learn such as the sciences of Shari`ah which are the way of happy people to the last abode. No one has followed that path but was guided and no one has hold firm with it and was wretched, so how a powerful fort a person seeks refuge in when he learns the shari`ah sciences! The sciences of Shari`ah are divided into obligatory and voluntary. Obligatory sciences are divided into an individual duty and collective duty and each one of them has sections and types, some of them are principles and some are branches, some are introductions and some are supplements; however this is not the right position for elaboration.
One of the collective duty principles is learning the Hadiths of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the traditions of the Companions (may Allah be pleased with them), for it is the second source of Shari`ah.
Learning these Hadiths is an honorable and great matter that is not given but to those who follow the commands and prohibitions of the Shari`ah, and remove aberration from their hearts and tongues.
This science has fundamentals, rulings, rules, conditions, and terminologies which scholars mentioned and jurists explained. The one who desires to learn the science of Hadith has to know these rules after studying the Arabic Language and grammar which are the basics for learning Hadith because the Shari`ah was revealed in Arabic tongue.
A student should also learn the following:
- The knowledge of narrators, their names, lineage, ages, and the time of their death.
- The knowledge of the descriptions of narrators and the conditions for accepting their narrations.
- The knowledge of the source of narration, how did they receive the Hadith, and the ways of reporting narrations.
- Knowing the wordings of narrators, the exact wordings which they heard, and the exact wordings which they conveyed, and the classes of conveyers.
- Knowing the permissibility of conveying the Hadith by its meaning, reporting part of it, adding to it [as an explanation or comment], and the additions of trustworthy narrators.
- Knowing the higher and the lower chain of transmission.
- Knowing interrupted chains of transmission and its types: Al Munqati` [Disconnected chain of narration], Al Mawquf [The narration of an action or a saying of one of the Companions], Al Mu`dal [the drop of two or more narrators from the chain of transmission], and others, and the disagreement of people concerning accepting or rejecting such Hadiths.
- Knowing of the science of Jarh (criticism of Hadith narrators) and Ta`dil (validating the uprightness of Hadith narrators), their occurrence, and the classes of criticized narrators.
- The knowledge of the types of authentic and denied Hadiths and the division of predicates into authentic, denied, Gharib [reported only by one way of transmission], good, and others.
- Knowing the frequent reported, single, abrogating, and abrogated narrations.
- Knowing other branches which the scholars of Hadith included in the science and agreed upon.
Whoever masters these branches has entered this science from its major gate and encompassed all its secrets. However, the one who misses these branches, his knowledge will be little and will not be able to master this knowledge. On the other hand, there are some branches joint with other sciences such as the knowledge of frequent reported, single, abrogating and abrogated narrations which a jurist needs because he deducts rulings from Hadiths and needs to know the frequent reported, the single, the abrogating, and abrogated narrations. As for a scholar of Hadith, his function is to report narrations and convey what he has heard in the exact wordings, but if he did something extra, he will be rewarded by Allah.
May Allah guide us to accept guidance and follow the footsteps of the Pious Predecessors. May Allah benefit us from the useful knowledge to reach the highest ranks, and may Allah guide us to act according to Hadiths, for He is All-Hearing to invocations and He is capable to accept them.