Sanad (Chain of Transmission) Made Essential Constituent of Deen

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Ibne Sereen said:

"This knowledge (of Hadith) is your Deen, so first verify from whom you are learning it (i.e. don't trust everyone, learn it from reliable one only)." (Muslim)

He also said:

"In earlier times if any one would narrate a Hadith, no body asked him about 'Sanad-’Chian of transmission’. Afterwards when 'Fitna' spread (i.e., when falsehood, innovations (Bid'ats) of Rwafiz, Khwarij, Marjia and Qadria groups started spreading), then people started asking for 'Sanad' to ascertain whether narrators were from Ahle-Sunnah, then they would accept the Hadith and if the narrators were Bida'ti, then they would reject it". (Muslim)

Abu Zinad (Abdullah bin Zakwan, an Imam of Hadith) says that:

"He knows around hundred people in Madinah who were all good, but no body would narrate Hadith from them, saying that they were not worth for it". (They were not fulfilling other preconditions necessary for narrating a Hadith like memory etc.) (Muslim)

Abdullah bin Mubarak used to say:

"Sanad is a part of Deen, if it was not there, then everybody would have said whatever he liked". (Muslim)

Abu Ishaq says that he asked Abdullah bin Mubarak:

"what do you say about the particular Hadith which says that second good deed after the good deed before Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is to offer Salaah for one's parents after offering his own Salaah and to observe fast for them fasting for his own self”.

Abdullah bin Mubarak asks Abu Ishaq as who was narrating this Hadith? Abu Ishaq said 'Shahab bin Kheresh '. Abdullah says that he is authentic. Then he again asked from whom was he narrating? Abu Ishaq said: "Hajjaz bin Deenar". Abdullah said, that he was also authentic. Then Abdullah again asked from whom was he narrating? Abu Ishaq said: "from Rasulullah” (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam)".

Abdullah said, O! Abu Ishaq, from Hajjaz to Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) there remain so many jungles that the neck of camels would tire in travelling through them and yes, there is no harm in charity or Sadqa." (Muslim)

This shows how Abdullah bin Mubarak first verifies Sanad and then rejects it after finding it defective.

Abdullah bin Mubarak used to says:

"Do not listen Hadith from Uthman bin Thabit as he uses to curse the earlier pious people." (Muslim)

Yahya bin Sayeed says:

"I asked Sufiyan Thouri, Shooba, Maalik and Ibne Uyainiya (who were great Imam of Hadith) that if a person is not reliable in Hadith and some one asks about him then should I reveal his defect or not? They all said "You should say that he is not reliable and it will not be Geebat as your intention is good." (Muslim)

Bashar bin Hakam narrates that:

"I heard Yahya bin Sayeed Aqtan, who was an Imam of Hadith that he declared Hakim bin Jubair, Abdul-Aala bin Aamir Thaulbi, Yahaya bin Musa bin Deenar, Musa bin Deenar and Esa bin Abu Eisa Nadwi as unauthentic or Dhaaef (weak). (Muslim)

Imam Tirmidhi writes:

Many Imams (great scholars) amongst the Taabaeen have written about Asmaa-i-Rijal. Out of these Hasan Bisri (110 Hijrah) and Ta’oos (105 Hijrah) objected to Ma'bad Juhni, Sayeed bin Jubair (95 H) to Talaq bin Habib and Ibrahim Nakhaee (95 H) and Aamir Shoobi (105 H) have objected to Haarith-al-Aur as being unreliable.

Similarly, Ayub Sakhtayabi, Abdullah bin Aun, Suleiman Timi, Shoaba bin Hajjaz, Sufiyan Thouri, Maalik bin Anas, Auzaaee, Abdullah bin Mubarak, Yahya bin Sayeed-Al-Qatan, Waki bin al-Jarah and Abdul Rehman bin al-Mehdi like great scholars have written about the reliability and the unreliability of those who narrated Hadith and have labelled the weak narrators as Dhaaef.

These people did it for Allah's sake and in the interest of Muslims with good intention and did not mean criticism or backbiting by it. We believe that their aim was to point out defects of these narrators so that people should recongnise them. Out of those whom they labelled weak (Dhaaef) some were Bid’atis, some were blamed for fabricating Hadith, some had problems with memory and were thus committing mistakes. So, these scholars thought that their condition should be stated and in this they were well wishers of Deen and intended steadfastness in Deen. It is more important to stand as a witness in Deen than in matters of rights and wealth.(Kitab-ul-Ilal-Li-Tirmidhi).

Similarly Imam Abu Haniefah talked about the unreliability of Tala bin Hasib and said that he didn't believe in Taqdeer. He also labelled Zayd bin Ayyash as Majhool, (whose status is not known, hence unreliable) and Jaffer Toefi he said that he has not seen anyone more liar than him.

Books written on Asmaa-i-Rijaal

1. Kitabul-u-Elal—Ali bin al-Madni (234 H), who was first to write on this topic.

2. Kitab-ul-Ilal-Wa-Marifat-u-Rijal—Imam Ahmad bin hambal (241 H).

3. Taarikh—Imam Bukhari (254 h)

4. Muqadama Muslim—Imam Muslim (261 H)

5. Imam Tirmidhi (279 H) Kitab-ul-Ilal

6. Imam Nasaaee (303 H) Kitab-Dhauf-wal-Matrukeen.

7. Kitab Jarah-wa-Ta'deel—Imam Abu Muhammad Abdul Rehman bin AbiHatim Raazi(327H)

8. Kitab-ul-Elal—Dhar-Qutni (385 H)

9. Rijaal—Yahya bin Sayeed Qatan (198 H)

10. Kaamil—Ibne Adi (365 H)

11. Taarikh Neeshapur—Abu Wayeen Asfahni (420 H)

12. Taarikh Baghdad—Khateeb Baghdadi (423 H)

13. Al-Isteeab—Ibne Abdul Bar (462 H)

14. Taarikh Damashiq—Ibne Asaker Demehqi (571 H)

15. Tabaqat Ibne Sa'd—Ibne Sayeed (230 H)

16. Tazeeeb-al-Tehzeeb—Shamsudeen Zehbi (848 H)

17. Tahzeeb-ul-Tehzeeb and Lisa-ul-Meezan—Abu Hajar Asqalani.