Sunday, September 20, 2015

Q&A: “The Mutawatir Sunnah of Action”

Question:
As-Salaam Alaikum Wa  Rahmatullah Wa Barakaatuhu
I have two questions please, May Allah grant you success
1-In the book The Islamic Personality (ash-Shakhsiyah) Volume 3 (page 82, Arabic version) the following was mentioned:
“The Mutawatir Hadeeth is a definite text from the Prophet ﷺ, it is definite and therefore must be implemented in everything whether in Sunnah of action, speech, or consent. From the Mutawatir Sunnah of speech is the Hadeeth of the Prophet ﷺ:
«مَن كَذَب عليّ متعمداً فليتبوأ مقعده من النار»
“Whoever intentionally transmits falsely from me, he has reserved his seat in hellfire”
And from the Mutawatir Sunnah of Action is the five prayers and their number of Rak’as, and what is mentioned regarding the method of prayer, fasting, and Haj
The question is: what is ‘the Mutawatir Sunnah of Action’? Is it the Tawtur (recurrence of narrations) of actions carried out by the Prophet ﷺ? Or is it the recurrence of narrations of actions that were carried out by the people, generation after generation from his time ﷺ until today?
Some of the verifiers of Hadeeth considered what they call “tawatur of action” or “inherited tawatur” (Tawatur of Tawaruth) a section from the sections of Tawatur. For instance Sheikh Shabir Ahmad Al Othamni said in the introduction of “Fat’h ul Mulhim” page 18, “Third section: Tawtur of action and inherited Tawtur is to be practiced in every century from the time of the one who brought the Shariah until our day, by a large numbers of the workers, in a manner that make it impossible for them to come together  to  lie or make a mistake, like Siwak in Wudu for example, which is Sunnah; to believe that it is Sunnah is an obligation, because it is definite by Tawatur of action and denying it is Kufr. This includes the five prayers.
A believer does not differ with a kaffir and no one doubts that he lead his companions in the prayer every night and day, in its specific times” and all who followed his Deen prayed daily and until today no one doubts that the people of Sind prayed it, as did the people of Andalusia, and that the people of Armenia prayed it as did the people of Yemen”.
So is this what we call “The Mutawatir Sunnah of Action” the same thing? Or do they differ? And if they differ, do we accept what they call Tawatur of action or do we reject it?
2- The Verifiers of Hadeeth like Ibn Hajar, Nawawi, Siyouti, and others have divided the Approved Hadeeth into: “Sahih in of itself”, “Sahih for another”, “Hassan in of itself”, and “Hassan for another”. Yet in the book The Islamic Personality Shakhsiyah Volume 1 and Volume 3, we only mention “Sahih” and “Hassan”. Is the difference in the terminology only, while the meanings and names are the same, or is the difference is also in the meaning?
Barak Allah feekum.


Answer:
Wa Alaikum us Salaam Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakaatuhu
1-The Mutawatir Sunnah whether it was by action, speech, or consent, cannot be Mutawatir except if it was transmitted in Tawatur (many chains of narrations) from the Prophet ﷺ, as for the saying that the action becomes Mutawatir Sunnah of Action if it was carried out by a group at the time of the Prophet ﷺ and carried out by a group at the time of the Tabi’een and Tabi’i At Tabi’een without an evidence by tawatur that those actions were undertaken by the Prophet ﷺ or that He ﷺ consented to them, this is incorrect, the actions are not Mutawatir unless it is proven by Tawatur (many chains of narrations) that the Prophet ﷺ did them or consented to them.
Those who hold these sayings do so from a theoretical perspective; the evidence for this is what they mentioned of examples like the five prayers which are proven by Tawatur from the Prophet ﷺ, as for Siwak it is mentioned in Sahih Ahadeeth. Judging that these Ahadeeth are Mutawatir depends on the Sanad (chain of narration), if it was transmitted by Tawatur (many chains of narrations) then it is Mutawatir. But if it was transmitted by Ahad (single chain) then it is not Mutawatir. I.e. it depends on the Sanad (chain of narrations) from the Prophet ﷺ.
When they said that the five prayers are prayed in Sind, Andalusia, Yemen, and Armenia as five prayers and there is no dispute that they are five. This does not make it Mutawatir if it is not transmitted from the Prophet ﷺ by Tawatur, what makes it Mutawatir is the confirmation of its transmission from the Prophet ﷺ by Tawatur (many chains of narrations).
In conclusion, Tawatur depends on the Sanad (chain of narration), if it was Mutawatir transmission, then it is approved, if not, then its Sanad is assessed and a decision is taken accordingly, and as I said previously, that their statement is theoretical because they cannot mention one example which is not proven from the Prophet ﷺ and was taken as Tawatur only because of the actions of the Muslims.
2-As for the “Sahih in of itself” and the “Sahih for another” and the “Hassan in of itself” and the “Hassan for another”, this is a matter which involved studies and I will explain the issue briefly without discussing some of the areas of the dispute:
That the Sahih Hadith is transmitted from the Prophet ﷺ with the just transmission with full precision and linked Sanad which is not reasoned nor  is odd, this is theSahih hadeeth or what is called Hadeeth Sahih in of itself, and it has many levels according to its description, then Sahih Bukhari follows, then Muslim and then both their conditions…etc
If there is less accuracy with the rest of the mentioned conditions of the Sahih, then it is Hassan in of itself.
And if its correct methods increases, then the Hassan increases in accuracy and is called Sahih for another.
And if the Sanad did not meet the conditions of Sahih and Hassan, it is weak
If it contradicts other weak narrations with the same meaning, then it is calledHassan for another, by some. Under normal circumstances, we do not accept the weak with the weak with the weak as Hassan, but as weak.
This description of “Hassan for another” was not used in the first century of the science of Hadeeth. And the first who said this according to some sources, was Imam Al Baihaqi, May Allah’s mercy be on him, in sections of his books.
There was a dispute over the “Hassan for another”, i.e. to strengthen the weak by another weak one, in terms of working by it. Some of them have approved it while it was rejected by others and considered it as weak, and this is what is most probable as we said previously.
This does not make the division of Ahadeeth different to what we mentioned in our books because the Hadeeth that they call Hassan for another is a weak Hadeeth according to its Sanad, hence Hassan for another is not a new type.

Your brother,
Ata Bin Khalil Abu Al-Rashtah
26 Shawwal 1436 AH
11/08/2015 CE
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