Doubting one's understanding of Hadeeth
Fatwa No: 342916

  • Fatwa Date:16-2-2017 - Jumaadaa Al-Oula 20, 1438
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Question

Assalaamu alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuhu, Shaykh. Is it right or wrong if I read a hadith and act upon what I understand from it, if it is not something wrong? Like, for example, if I read a hadith about honey, but I do not know if the hadith is referring to only honey or to drink it while mixing it in water, if I do mix it in water and drink it, am I doing wrong as I did not ask a scholar and interpreted it such and did it? I am unable to understand to what extent a normal layperson is allowed to act on a hadith with an apparent meaning according to the understanding of that person and when one must ask a scholar about it or study their view? Please advice, Shaykh. May Allaah reward you.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger. 

If you doubt your correct understanding of the meaning of an Islamic text – either from the Quran or the Sunnah – then you should ask the scholars, as Allah says (what means): {So ask the people of the message if you do not know.} [Quran 16:43]

If you understand the meaning of an Islamic text and you do not doubt your understanding of it, then you should act according to it and you will be rewarded, Allah wiling, and you are not considered wrong.

We perceive, dear Sister, that you are afflicted with severe Waswaas (obsessive whispers) regarding the subject of understanding and acting upon Islamic texts. You asked us so many questions, and most of them are on the same subject. In our view, this is only due to being affected with Waswaas, so we recommend that you avoid it and do not pay any attention to it and try to seek knowledge in the proper way, and not by asking too many questions.

Allah knows best.

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