Crown Prince: Proper documentation of Hadith underway

March 03, 2022

Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH – Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman stated that great efforts are underway to document the most authentic Traditions of the Prophet (Hadith) so as to protect Hadith from the misuse of extremists and terrorists.

In an interview with the American magazine “The Atlantic,” he cited that this issue has become the main source of division in the Muslim world, between extremist and peaceful Muslims. You have tens of thousands of Hadith. And, you know, the massive majority, are not proven and are being used by many people as the way to justify doing what they are doing. For example, Al-Qaeda followers, ISIS followers, they are using Hadith which are very weak, not proven to be true Hadith, to propagate their ideology.

So, simply put: God and the Qur’an tell us to follow the Prophet’s teachings. And at the Prophet's time, people were writing down the Qur’an, and writing down the Prophet's teachings, so the Prophet ordered that his teachings not be written down to make sure that the main base remains the Qur’an, so when we go to the Prophet’s teaching, we have to be very careful. And they are grouped in three categories.

First, what is called mutawatir. So that means, several people heard it from the Prophet, a few people heard from those few people, a few people heard (it) from (those) few people. And that has been documented. Those are almost super strong, and we have to follow them. they are few in number around 100 Hadith.

The second category is what we call the individual Hadith. So, one person heard it from the Prophet and another person heard it from that person, all the way to the one who documented it. Or a few people heard it from the Prophet, a few people heard it from the Prophet, and one person heard it from those few people. So, if there is a one-person link in the lineage of the Hadith, we call it one-person hadith. So that one we call ahad. And you should study whether it is true , whether it goes with the teachings of the Qur’an, if it goes with the teachings of mutawatir, and if it goes with the interest of the people. And based on that, you use it or not.

The third one was called khabar. Someone heard it from the Prophet, etc, etc., and among the links are some that are unknown. Those are the tens of thousands of Hadith, and that you shouldn't use at all, except in one case: if you have two options, and both of them are very good. And you can use that khabar Hadith in that case, provided that it is in the interest of the people.

So that's what we are trying to identify and publish, to educate the Muslim world about how do you use Hadith. And I believe that will make a huge difference. It needs time. We are in the final stages, I think we can put it out and maybe two years from today. It's just the documenting Hadith in the right way. Because people when they read different books, they do not have the mindset or the brain or the knowledge to look into the lineage of the Hadith and differentiate between them. We just put it simply: this is proven.

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