- May 12, 2019
It is a misconception to say that the first hadeeths were recorded by Bukahari (810-870 A.D.), and that to imply thereby, that Bukhari collated mere tittle-tattle or hearsay about the Prophet (peace be upon him), centuries afterward. In reality, the process of transmission and propagation of hadeeth was as rigorous as it was continuous. Muhammad warned of several things which established the importance of transmitting his teachings reliably, among them being: (1) that those who made up lies about him will take their seat in hell, (2) that it is a sin to horde knowledge, and to be reluctant in conveying it to others, (3) that he, the Prophet, did not speak except the truth, nor speak from his own inclination, but of he that sent him, and (4) that it is an obligation on every Muslim to seek knowledge.It is a historical fact that Mohammad Mustafa (peace be upon him) passed away in 632 A.D.
It is likewise a historic fact that Muhammad al Bukhari reportedly spent 16 years writing the Hadith and another 24 editing them, until his death in 870 A.D., over 200 years after the death of Mohammad Mustafa (peace be upon him).
Further, it is also a historical fact that this collection of writings not only contradicts itself in numerous places, but also contradicts the Koran (Quran) and the Bible, proving beyond ANY doubt that it is NOT from Allah.
Companions recorded hadeeth in the life of the Prophet (peace be upon him), and in some cases, the Prophet (570-632 A.D.) dictated hadeeth to them himself. The Prophet encouraged those who studied in his presence to convey knowledge learnt to those absent. Looking to those companions from whom hadeeth are often narrated, we will see that they each had several students, some of whom wrote and compiled these hadeeth in booklets. For instance, at least 9 students of Abu Huraira, one of the most prolific narrators of hadeeth, wrote down hadeeth from him. Students of such intimate companions and family members of the Prophet as Anas ibn Malik, Aisha, and Ibn Abbas, also transmitted the hadeeths they were taught by their teachers, in written form. Besides the writing of hadeeth, companions mainly 'transmitted' hadeeth in two other ways: through memorisation, and through practice.
Al Azami, a contemporary hadeeth scholar, details extensively the scholars resposible for the transmission of hadeeth in the first few centuries of Islam in his 'Studies in Early Hadeeth Literature':
- 50 companions, that were the contemporaries of the Prophet, recorded hadeeth.
- 87 scholars recorded hadeeth in the late first, and early second, centuries (dates given according to Hijri calendar, A.H.).
- In the early second century, 251 scholars collected and recorded hadeeth.
- In summation, this means that 437 scholars recorded hadeeth in the first three centuries of Islam (there are likely more who we do not know of), all of whom lived and died before 250 A.H.
Al-Azami said, "I have established in my doctoral thesis Studies in early Hadeeth Literature that even in the first century of the Hijra many hundreds of booklets of hadeeth were in circulation. If we add another hundred years, it would be difficult to enumerate the quantity of booklets and books, which were in circulation. Even by the most conservative estimate they were many thousands." [Studies in Hadeeth Methodology and Literature (p.64)]
“These books were not destroyed nor did they perish, but (they) were absorbed into the work of later authors. When the encyclopedia-type books were produced scholars did not feel the necessity to keep the early books or booklets and so slowly they disappeared." [Studies in Hadeeth Methodology and Literature, p.64]
Three important verses highlight the importance of following the sunnah:
And in no way have We sent any Messenger except that he should be obeyed, by the permission of Allah; and if, as they have done an injustice to themselves, they had come to you, so (had) asked forgiveness from Allah, and the Messenger (had) asked forgiveness for them, indeed they would have found Allah Superbly Relenting, Ever-Merciful.
-- Quran 4:64
But no, by the Lord, they can have no (real) Faith, until they make thee judge in all disputes between them, and find in their souls no resistance against Thy decisions, but accept them with the fullest conviction.
-- Quran 4:65
He who obeys the Messenger, obeys Allah: But if any turn away, We have not sent thee to watch over their (evil deeds).
-- Quran 4:80
The Messenger, refers, of course, to Muhammad. It does not refer to Jesus.
By the star when it descends, Your companion [Muhammad] has not strayed, nor has he erred, Nor does he speak from [his own] inclination. It is not but a revelation revealed,
-- Quran 53:1-4
The above is analogous to John 12:49. Messengers do not speak out of their own desires, but those of God.