Weak hadiths

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)


One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

What is zaheef hadith and which book has all the zaheef hadith. For e.g :- hannafi and shafi pray 4 rakat before asar farz namaz and they say that is zaheef hadith. Can we bring anything which is said as zaheef hadith into practice ? 

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Weak hadiths

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Your Question: What is zaheef hadith

The Arabic term ‘Daeef’ literally means ‘weak’; thus a ‘Daeef Hadith’ when used in Islamic terminology means that the narration attributed to the Prophet (saws) has a weak or broken chain of narrators and thus the hadith is ‘weak’ and not considered authentic.


Your Question: Can we bring anything which is said as zaheef hadith into practice ? 

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 33 Surah Ahzab verse 21: There is indeed the best example for you to follow,  in the Messenger of Allah, for every such person looks forward to Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much.


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter  4 Surah Nisa verse 79-80: We have sent you (O Mohamed) as a Messenger to mankind,  and Allah’s witness suffices for this.  Whoever obeys the Messenger, in fact obeys Allah,  and whoever turns away from him, he will be accountable for his deeds.  Anyhow,  we have not sent you (O Mohamed) to be a guardian over them.


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 3 Surah Ale Imran verse 31-32: O Prophet,  tell the people, “If you sincerely love Allah,  follow me.   Then Allah will love you and forgive you your sins,  for He is All Forgiving,  All Merciful.”  Also say to them, “Obey Allah and His Messenger.”  And if,  in spite of this,  they do not accept your invitation,  warn them that Allah does not love those,  who refuse to obey Him and His Messenger.


We have been commanded by Allah Subhanah to obey and follow the Messenger of Allah (saws).  If the Messenger of Allah (saws) was alive and amongst us, everything he said and did as witnessed by us would become absolutely obligatory upon us to follow unconditionally.  But since the Messenger of Allah (saws) is not amongst us today, we need to rely on the narration of his noble companions who were with the Prophet (saws) and witnessed his commands and actions.  These noble companions told their generation regarding what they witnessed of the commands and actions of the Prophet (saws), and they in turn their next generation, and they to their next generation, etc.  This chain of narration went on for a considerable period of time until some scholars collected the narrations in a text and book form and preserved of what they had heard for the benefit of the generations to come after them. 


Because the scholars who documented these narrations or hadiths in a book form did not see or witness the actions or commands of the Messenger of Allah (saws) themselves, they went through great lengths to verify that every word or deed attributed by the narrators to the Prophet Mohamed (saws) was indeed authentic or not.  They checked and double-checked whether the ‘chain’ of people who gave the information were truthful; then they checked and double-checked whether the person who claimed to have heard the hadith from the other were actually from the same generation and whether they had met or not; then they checked that the substance matter being related was indeed in absolute alignment of the guidance of the Quran and the established Sunnah; etc.  These eminent scholars did a lot of research, traveled long distances to confirm the hadiths, and basically dedicated their entire lives in their effort to collect and document only the absolutely authentic hadiths and preserve them for the benefit of future generations. 


Amongst the eminent scholars or collectors of hadiths, the ones most respected for their research and dedication to document only the authentic narrations are Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim, and after them the most respected are Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood, Imam Maalik, Ibn Maajah, etc. 


If these eminent scholars had even an iota of a doubt regarding the narrator, or the chain of narrators, or the substance of the hadith, etc. they did not include them in their compilations of ‘sahih’ or authentic hadiths.  The hadiths which were not included in their documentation of ‘sahih’ are today known as ‘daeef’ or weak hadiths!


Your Question: Can we bring anything which is said as zaheef hadith into practice ? 

If one stays focused and brings into practice or as evidence only the hadiths which are classified by these eminent scholars as ‘sahih’ or authentic; it would more than suffice to follow the deen.  ‘Daeef’ or weak hadiths are not completely reliable, and the believers must abstain from putting them into practice or bringing them forth as a proof or evidence of doing a deed in Islam.  It would be best and purest for the faith if the believers only practice and bring forth as evidence the hadiths which are classified as ‘sahih’ and authentic, and abstain from practicing or presenting any other hadiths not classified as ‘sahih’.


Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me.  Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.


Your Brother in Islam,






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