20 August, 2018 | 8 Dhu al-Hijjah, 1439 H

"What corrupts generosity is mentioning it."

- The Prophet Muhammad (s)

Learning
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Core Curriculum

Section 1 - God, Religion and Islam: An Introduction
  • Topic 1.1 - The Problem of Evil, Suffering and Pain

  • Topic 1.2 - God, Allah and Religion

  • Topic 1.3 - Introduction to Islam

  • Topic 1.4 - What is “Religion” and What’s the Point of it Anyways?

  • Topic 1.5 - A Brief Introduction to the Prophet Muhammad (s), the Prophet of Islam

Section 2 - Foundations of Islam - Theology
  • Topic 2.1 - Entering Islam: The Shahada

  • Topic 2.2 - The Usūl al-Dīn: The Fundamental Beliefs of Islam

  • Topic 2.3 - Tawhīd: The Unity and Oneness of God in Islam

  • Topic 2.4 - Adala: Divine Justice in Islam

  • Topic 2.5 - Nubuwwa: The Purpose of Prophethood in Islam

  • Topic 2.6 - Imāmah or divinely guided leadership in Islam after the Prophet Muhammad.

  • Topic 2.7 - Maʿād: The Day of Judgment in Islam

  • Topic 2.8 - The Sharīʿa: Purpose and Practice

  • Topic 2.9 - The Islamic Concept of the Nafs: Battling the Human Ego

  • Topic 2.10 - Satan, Jinns and Angels: Their Influence in the World

  • Topic 2.11 - The Problem of Evil, Suffering and Pain

Section 3 - Foundations of Islam - Obligatory Acts
  • Topic 3.1 - Accepting Islam: Putting Faith into Action

  • Topic 3.2 - Jihād in Islamic Law and Spirituality

  • Topic 3.3 - Salāt: Obligatory Ritual Prayers in Islam

  • Topic 3.4 - Ritual Purity in Islamic Law: Understanding Tahāra and Najāsa

  • Topic 3.5 - The Five Categories of Islamic Law

  • Topic 3.6 - Tawalla and Tabarra, its Basics and Purpose

  • Topic 3.7 - The Purpose of Zakat and Khums in Islamic Law

  • Topic 3.8 - The Hajj Pilgrimage

  • Topic 3.9 - The Furūʿ al-Dīn: The Fundamental Practices of Islam

  • Topic 3.10 - Fasting in Islam, its Purpose, Dos and Don’ts

  • Topic 3.11 - Other Obligatory and Forbidden Acts in Islam

  • Topic 3.12 - Niyya: Religious Intention as the Foundation of Islamic Practice

  • Topic 3.13 - Commanding the Good and Forbidding Evil in Islam

Section 4 - Prophethood in Islam
  • Topic 4.1 - A Brief Biography of the Prophet Muhammad (s): The Prophet’s Childhood (PART I of III)

  • Topic 4.2 - Bio: The Prophet Muhammad as a Prophet of God (PART II of III)

  • Topic 4.3 - A Brief Biography of the Prophet Muhammad (s): The Prophet’s Character (PART III of III)

  • Topic 4.4 - The Prophet Muhammad (s) as Messenger and Teacher

  • Topic 4.5 - The Prophet and his Relationships

  • Topic 4.6 - The Prophet’s Sunnah and Hadith

  • Topic 4.7 - Ghadīr and Arafah: The Two Last Sermons of the Prophet

  • Topic 4.8 - Jesus and Mary in Islam

Section 5 - The Qur'an and Hadith
  • Topic 5.1 - Islam and Other Religions

  • Topic 5.2 - What is the Qur’an? A Short Introduction to Islam’s Holy Book

  • Topic 5.3 - The Structure of the Holy Qur’an

  • Topic 5.4 - The Quran and Islamic law

  • Topic 5.5 - The Qur’an, Allah and Humankind

  • Topic 5.6 - Hadith and Sunnah, difference and variations

  • Topic 5.7 - The Reliability of Hadiths

  • Topic 5.8 - A Reflection on Verses of the Holy Qur’an

  • Topic 5.9 - Hadith al-Thaqalayn

  • Topic 5.10 - Imam Ali (as) and Nahj al-Balagha.

  • Topic 5.11 - Taqlid and Tawḍih Al Masail Genre of Literature

Section 6 - Measuring Good and Bad in Islam
  • Topic 6.1 - The Effects of Our Actions in this World

  • Topic 6.2 - The Gray Areas of Islamic Law and Morality

  • Topic 6.3 - Heaven and Hell in Islam

  • Topic 6.4 - Life and Death in Islam

  • Topic 6.5 - Guidance According to Islam

  • Topic 6.6 - Fate and the Consequences of our Choices in Islam

  • Topic 6.7 - The Effect of Culture and Environment in Shaping our Religious Choices

  • Topic 6.8 - Major Sins in Islam

  • Topic 6.9 - Why Allah Allows People to Sin

  • Topic 6.10 - Repentance and Forgiveness of Sins in Islam

  • Topic 6.11 - The Three Kinds of Rights in Islam

  • Topic 6.12 - Sinning Against Others and their Delayed Punishment

  • Topic 6.13 - Kufr in Islam

  • Topic 6.14 - Trivializing the Harām

  • Topic 6.15 - Benefits of Islamic Law in this World

  • Topic 6.16 - Good and Bad Deeds: The Spiritual Consequences of our Choices

Section 7 - The Legacy of the Prophet Muhammad (s) and his Ahl al-Bayt (as)
  • Topic 7.1 - Islam and Knowledge: the Importance of Islamic Education

  • Topic 7.2 - The Ahl al-Kisa

  • Topic 7.3 - Imamah in the Qur’an

  • Topic 7.4 - Fatima al-Zahrah (as)

  • Topic 7.5 - A Brief Look at the Lives of the Imams (Imam al-Hasan until Imam Muhammad al-Baqir)

  • Topic 7.6 - A Brief Look at the Lives of the Imams (Imam Jafar al-Sadiq until Imam Hasan al-Askari)

  • Topic 7.7 - A Brief Look at the Life and Importance of Imam al-Mahdi (aj)

  • Topic 7.8 - Salawat and Atonement in Islam

  • Topic 7.9 - The Companions (Sahaba) of the Prophet According to the Qur’an

  • Topic 7.10 - Clerical Hierarchies in Muslim Communities

  • Topic 7.11 - Mosques in Islam

  • Topic 7.12 - The Philosophy of Karbala and Majalis

  • Topic 7.13 - A Brief Biography of Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (as)

  • Topic 7.14 - The Battle of Karbala: A Brief History

Section 8 - Islamic Relationships, Sects and Conflicts
  • Topic 8.1 - Misconceptions about Shi’ism

  • Topic 8.2 - Major Sects of Islam

  • Topic 8.3 - Islam and Religious Conflicts

  • Topic 8.4 - Islam and Rights

  • Topic 8.5 - Sunnism and Shi’ism, beginnings and historical developments.

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Special Topics

Section 9 - Independent Topics
  • Topic 9.1 - Muslim Converts – Welcome to Islam!

  • Topic 9.2 - Basic Dos and Don’ts of Being a Muslim

  • Topic 9.3 - Halal Food and Zabiha

  • Topic 9.4 - Family, Parents and Marriage in Islam

  • Topic 9.5 - Marriage in Islam

  • Topic 9.6 - Islam and Sex

  • Topic 9.7 - Modesty in Islam

  • Topic 9.8 - Women’s Menstruation in Islam

  • Topic 9.9 - Music, Alcohol, Drugs and Pork in Islam

  • Topic 9.10 - Islam and Science

  • Topic 9.11 - A Reading List of Islamic Knowledge

  • Topic 9.13 - Ritual Prayers and Supplications in Islam

  • Topic 9.14 - Death & Burial Rituals in Islam

  • Topic 9.15 - The Battle of Armageddon: An Islamic View

  • Topic 9.16 - The Muslim Calendar

  • Topic 9.17 - Muslims and non-Muslims in the Shariah

  • Topic 9.18 - A Timeline of Major Events in Islamic History

  • Topic 9.19 - Introducing the Qur’an: Why it is the way it is

  • Topic 9.20 - The School of Imam Jafar al-Sadiq

  • Topic 9.21 - Major Fields in Islamic Studies

  • Topic 9.22 - The Caliphate in Sunni and Shia Islam

  • Topic 9.24 - Islam, Racism and Anti-Semitism

Section 10 - Islam, Religion, and Modern Controversies
  • Topic 10.1 - Modern Fallacies about God: where Theists and Atheists Agree

  • Topic 10.2 - Tawhīd: The Muslim God according to the Prophet Muhammad and the Ahl al-Bayt (as)

  • Topic 10.3 - God’s Existence: The Argument From Being (Wujūd)

  • Topic 10.4 - God’s Existence: The Kalam Cosmological Argument

  • Topic 10.5 - God’s Existence: The Argument From Design

  • Topic 10.6 - The Problem of Evil, Suffering and Pain

  • Topic 10.7 - Why did God Create Us? The Purpose of our Creation

  • Topic 10.8 - Why Humans Need Religion according to Islam

  • Topic 10.9 - Jahl and Spiritual Ignorance in Islam

  • Topic 10.11 - Do Non-Muslims Go to Hell?

The Prophet’s Sunnah and Hadith

Abstract

This lesson is an introduction to the meaning and importance of Sunnah and Hadith. It also introduces some of the different originators of hadiths (Companions and the Ahl al-Bayt (as)) and explains why the Ahl al-Bayt (as) are the best sources of Prophetic hadiths. 

INTRODUCTION 

 

Bismillāhir Rahmānir Rahīm, As-salāmu ʿAlaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh. Peace be upon you brothers and sisters. 

 

Welcome back to the Muslim Converts Channel! So far we’ve talked a bit about the Prophet Muhammad (s) himself.  We’ve talked about his life, virtues and relationships. Now we want to look into the sources that tell us about his life. 

 

Where are these sources? What are they? The place to look at is his Sunnah and the means through which we know the Sunnah, namely the hadiths. This lesson will therefore be an introduction to hadith! 

 

BODY OF TEXT 

 

There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent example for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often. (Chapter 33, verse 21 of the Holy Qur’an) 

 

The Sunnah is the sum of the actions, sayings and moral character of the Prophet Muhammad (s). The Sunnah is the way we learn about his manners, ethics and religious life. But how do we know what the Sunnah is? The way the Sunnah gets transmitted to us is through the hadiths. If you recall, hadiths are a system of oral transmission that go back to people who were present during the time of the Prophet. These people orally transmitted what they saw or heard from the Prophet unto others. These oral transmissions were eventually written down. 

 

The same thing goes for the rest of the members of the Ahl al-Bayt (as). When people heard or observed their Sunnah, they related it to others in the form of hadiths.  

 

For a short period of time, the hadiths remained as an oral tradition. However, they were quickly written down in order to preserve them in a centralized and codified way. In the Islamic community, the Imāms of the Ahl al-Bayt (as) for example urged their followers and companions to write down their teachings in order to preserve them for future generations. The Imams taught that writing things down was much more effective for accuracy. 

 

Reference to hadiths are very important. Remember that the Qur’an contains the foundational elements of our religion. It is the prime source of our guidance. However, for practical reasons, the Qur’an cannot contain every single detail of Islam.  

 

If that were the case, the Qur’an would have had to be thousands of volumes and we all know that that would not have been practical. For this reason, the Sunnah and hadith were an essential tool in expanding the themes of the Qur’an, or in providing us with details that are not present in the text. 

 

Take for example the issue of prayer or the Hajj pilgrimage. The Qur’an tells us to pray (salāt) and to perform the Hajj pilgrimage. However, the Qur’an does not tell us how many daily units or rakats that we need to pray. Furthermore, the Qur’an does not tell us how we’re supposed to perform the Hajj. Or take another example. The Qur’an tells us to marry but never tells us how we’re supposed to get married!  

 

So in this sense, the hadiths open many doors for us. They help us understand Islamic law and beliefs better. They also help us understand the Qur’an better for they provide us with the explanations of the Prophet and his Ahl al-Bayt (as) as to what specific verses really mean.  

 

But not all hadiths are equal. We have hadiths that are considered reliable and we also have hadiths that are not so reliable. And then there are others that are outright fabrications. Remember that hadiths come through oral transmissions. Most hadith books, when narrating a hadith, also have chains of transmissions in them. This means that within a chain of transmission, we can see who related what to whom. In Islamic terms, a chain of transmission is known as a sanad. 

 

So let’s take the first line of transmitters into perspective. The Prophet’s hadiths were narrated by two groups of people who were present during his time. On the one hand there were his companions, and the other his Ahl al-Bayt (as). We saw in our previous lesson that there were good and bad companions.  

 

If we see that a hadith is being related by a bad companion  - for example, a companion who fought against Imam Ali (as) - then this hadith would be automatically suspicious for us. However, if the hadith is narrated by a good companion whom we trust, then the hadith would have a pass and would be considered reliable.  

Obviously there is much more than this in making a hadith reliable, such as the assessment of middle transmitters, but this is a discussion for another time. 

 

With that said, when the Ahl al-Bayt (as) narrate a hadith, we know that this hadith is extremely reliable (that is, once it has been established that the Ahl al-Bayt (as) did actually narrated it!). Why? Because the Ahl al-Bayt were infallible from mistakes and sins. 

 

So referring to the Ahl al-Bayt (as) and what they related is a good way to solve some conflicts and confusions regarding the Prophet’s Sunnah. It happens quite often where we read hadiths and we see contradicting sayings from the Prophet. Again, this is where the Ahl al-Bayt become useful. 

 

As Abān bin Taghlib, one of the famous companions of the Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (as) once said, “whenever we see different and contradicting versions of what the Prophet (s) said, we take the version of Ali (as)” … so this means that the Ahl al-Bayt are a good way to ensure that what comes to our hands isn’t fabricated or changed in meaning.  

 

Again, remember, there is a whole science behind it that studies every single transmitter in a hadith’s chain of transmission as well as the content of the hadith. The general name of this science is called ʿilm al-hadīth or the “science of hadīth.” In a future lesson, we will, insha’Allah, go deeper into the science of hadiths.  

 

Some of the major sources of hadiths from the Ahl al-Bayt (as) can be found in some books we have today. Of these books, some of the more popular ones include Kitāb al-Kāfī by Shaykh al-Kulaynī, Man Lā Yahduruhu al-Faqīh, ʿUyūn Akhbār al-Ridā and al-Tawhīd by Shaykh al-Sadūq. 

  

There are also other books from our Sunni brothers and sisters where the hadiths of the Prophet are related mostly through the companions. Among the more popular of these books, they include Sahīh al-Bukhāri and Sahīh Muslim.  

 

Until Next Time, Thank you for watching. As-salāmu ʿAlaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh 

Sanad

Chain of oral transmission 

 

Hadith

A report concerning the saying or action of the Prophet that has been orally transmitted to later generations.

Sunnah

Sunnah are the sayings and actions of the Prophet 

 

Chain of oral transmission

Relating a word or sentence to another person by word of mouth, and then that person relating it to someone else. 

Q1

Are all hadiths equal?

 No, some are reliable but others are fabricated

Q2

What is Sunnah?

Sunnah are the sayings and actions of the Prophet

Q3

What is a hadith?

 A hadith is a report concerning the saying or action of the Prophet that has been orally transmitted to later generations.

Q4

What is a Sanad?

 Arabic term for a hadith’s chain of transmission.

Q5

Who narrated hadiths from the Prophet?

 His companions and his Ahl al-Bayt (as)

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