Weak ahaadeeth about virtuous deeds accepted
Fatwa No: 357949

  • Fatwa Date:1-1-2018 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 14, 1439
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Question

Scholars, I had some queries regarding weak hadiths: 1. Are weak hadiths acceptable in biographies or histories of the Companions for their merits? 2. If they are, then does that mean, in such instance, that the weak hadith is considered authentic/reliable?

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, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

Scholars of Hadeeth were less stringent regarding the authenticity of the narrations related to biographies, history, and virtuous deeds. Please, refer to fatwas 92679and 275296. However, this does not mean that they declared such narrations authentic or that religious rulings were deduced from them. Rather, they explicitly stated that if the Muslim reads a weak narration about a virtuous deed, then when he acts upon it, he must not believe that the narration is attributed to the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

As-Suyooti  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote:

"Scholars of Hadeeth and other fields of Islamic knowledge allowed flexibility in citing weak chains of narration and weak reports – other than fabricated ones – and acting upon them without underlining their weakness as long as they are not related to the attributes of Allah, what may be attributed to Him, what is inconceivable to be attributed to Him, and the religious rulings of halaal and haraam. Examples are the reports about stories, virtuous deeds, exhortation, and others that are not relevant to beliefs and rulings. This approach was adopted by the likes of Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Ibn Al-Mahdi, and ‘Abdullah ibn Al-Mubaraak. They said, 'When we narrate in regards to the lawful and unlawful, we are strict, and when we narrate in regards to virtues and the like, we are lenient.'" [Tadreeb Ar-Raawi]

As-Suyooti  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote:

"Some scholars held that it is allowable to narrate ahaadeeth and reports with weak chains of narration other than the fabricated ones without underlining their weakness as long as they are not pertinent to the Islamic creed and religious rulings, such as stories and reports about the righteous and good deeds and the like of the reports intended for encouragement or intimidation." He added, "The poem (of As-Suyooti) underlined two conditions for accepting the weak ahaadeeth and reports in this context: firstly, that they are about virtuous deeds and the like; and secondly, that they are not extremely weak. There are also two other conditions: firstly, that they have a basis in the Shariah; and secondly, when acting upon them, one should not believe that the action is well-founded; rather, he should do it on the basis of erring on the side of caution. These conditions were underlined by Al-ʻIzz ibn ʻAbd As-Salaam and Ibn Daqeeq Al-ʻEed." [Sharh Alfiyyat As-Suyooti]

Allah knows best.

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