Definition of a mursal hadeeth

Discussion in 'Hadith' started by Abu Sarah, Jun 6, 2010.

  1. Abu Sarah
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    Abu Sarah Allahu Akbar Staff Member

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    Definition of a mursal hadeeth


    Praise be to Allaah.

    A hadeeth is called a “mursal hadeeth” if the one who narrated it from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is a Taabi’i and not a Sahaabi. It is possible to differentiate between a Sahaabi and a Taabi’i by referring to books of biography.

    Imam Abu ‘Abd-Allah al-Haakim (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

    There is no difference of opinion among the shaykhs of hadeeth that the mursal hadeeth is one which the muhaddith narrated with a complete isnaad back to the Taabi’i, and the Taabi’i says, “The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said.” End quote.

    Ma’rifah ‘Uloom al-Hadeeth, 67

    Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

    This name is given by consensus to the hadeeth of a senior Taabi’i from the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), such as when ‘Ubayd-Allah ibn ‘Adiyy ibn al-Khayyaar, or Abu Umaamah ibn Sahl ibn Haneef, or ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Aamir ibn Rabee’ah, and the like, say: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said…

    The same applies to those who are lower in status than these, such as Sa’eed ibn al-Musayyab, Saalim ibn ‘Abd-Allaah, Abu Salamah ibn ‘Abd al-Rahmaan, al-Qaasim ibn Muhammad, and others like them.

    The same applies to ‘Ilqimah ibn Qays, Masrooq ibn al-Ajda’, al-Hasan, Ibn Sireen, al-Sha’bi, Sa’eed ibn Jubayr, and others like them among the rest of the Taabi’een who it has been proven met a number of the Sahaabah and spent time with them. This is what is meant by mursal according to the scholars.

    It also applies to reports narrated from Taabi’een of lower status than those mentioned above, such as hadeeth narrated by Ibn Shihaab, Qataadah, Abu Haazim and Yahya ibn Sa’eed from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), which they call mursal, like the mursal reports of the senior Taabi’een. End quote.

    It is essential to point out that the muhadditheen -- especially the earlier ones among them -- called every report that had an interruption in its isnaad a mursal report.

    Al-Khateeb al-Baghdadi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

    Mursal refers to a report whose isnaad (chain of transmission) is interrupted, meaning that among its narrators is one who did not hear it from the one whose name comes before his. But in most cases, what is described as mursal is that which was narrated by the Taabi’i from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). End quote.

    Al-Kifaayah, p. 21.
  2. arzafar
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    ok so is it obligatory to follow mursal hadith?
  3. mezeren
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    mezeren Junior Member

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    i was going to ask the same question.Are mursal hadiths used as proof regarding the matters of belief and worship?
  4. Abu Sarah
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    Abu Sarah Allahu Akbar Staff Member

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    Assalam Alaykum Dear All

    1st of All you Should know

    the conditions of a saheeh hadeeth as follows:

    1 – Good character of all its narrators

    2 – Good memory and precision on the part of narrators with regard to what they are narrating.

    3 – Continuous isnaad from beginning to end, meaning that each narrator heard the hadeeth from the one before him.

    4 – The hadeeth is free from any oddness in its isnaad or text. What is meant by “odd” is anything in which the narrator narrates something that contradicts the narration of a sounder narrator.

    5 – The hadeeth is free from faults in its isnaad and text. A “fault” is a subtle problem that undermines the soundness of the hadeeth, which can be detected only by the well versed scholars of hadeeth.

    pls refer to:Conditions of a saheeh (sound) hadeeth


    and a mursal report is one which is narrated by a Taabi’i from the Prophet :saw: (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), with no narrator in between. This is one of the categories of da’eef (weak) hadeeth. i.e weak isnaad

    But Imam Maalik and Abu Haneefah accepted mursal hadeeth, which is compromising the condition of having a continuous isnaad all the way to the source of the hadeeth.

    then you should know that :

    The scholars of hadith, usul, and fiqh view mursal hadith differently.

    Even though scholars like Hakim, Ibn al-Salah, and Nawawi categorize mursal as a type of weak (da'eef) hadith, they differ about accepting or rejecting it.

    Common definition of mursal according to scholars of hadith is a report from whose isnad the Companion (Sahabi) is missing. Example: Nafi' (a tabe'i) saying the Prophet said so and so. In this example, Nafi' didn't mention the name of the Companion. Scholars of usul and fiqh define mursal to be a hadith from which one or more narrators are missing. Therefore, mo'dal and munqati would fall under it.

    Scholars divide mursal into different levels (in declining order):

    1. the highest quality of mursal report is from someone who is comfirmed to have heard hadith from a Companion.

    2. next is from someone who saw a Companion, but his hearing hadith from him is unconfirmed.

    3. Mukhadram.

    4. An exacting scholar like Sa'id ibn al-Musayyab.

    5. Someone like Shu'bi and Mujahid who were particular about choosing their teachers.

    6. Someone who would take mursal hadith from about everyone, like Hasan al-Basri.

    7. Mursal hadith of "junior" tabi'een like Qatada and Zuhri who for the most part reported mursal hadiths from "senior" tabi'een.

    Abu Daud wrote in his "Risala": 'Mursal reports were used as evidence by most scholars of the past like Sufyan al-Tahyri, Malik,, and Awza'i till Shafi'e came and discussed this issue and Ahmad and others followed him in it."

    As a result, scholars of usul and fiqh have laid rules to distinguish between acceptable and rejected mursal reports, in an attempt to preserve this portion of the Sunna from getting lost.

    Mursal Between Acceptance & Rejection

    Scholars are divided into following categories when it comes to accepting or rejecting mursal hadith:

    1. accept it unequivocally
    2. total rejection
    3. accept mursal of the first three generations
    4. accept mursal of one who only reports from a trustworthy scholar
    5. accept mursal of a Companion


    They differ about mursal hadith due to the following considerations:

    1. accepting report of an unknown reporter
    2. is mere reporting of a narrator from a scholar sufficient to say he considers that scholar to be reliable?
    3. is saying, 'one who is not accused reported to me,' considered sufficient even though he didn't directly hear the hadith
    4. is a reporter considered reliable in all cases or a reason has to be mentioned? Is there a minimum number for one to be considered reliable?

    Position of Imam Abu Hanifa, Malik ibn Anas, and most of the scholars of these madhabs is to accept mursal unequivocally. It is also reported from Imam Ahmad in one report. It's also the position of Ibn Qayyim and Ibn Kathir. There are more details, but a brief message is not the place to get into them.

    On the other hand, Abd ur-Rahman bin Mehdi, Yahya bin Ma'een, Bukhari, Muslim, and most of the scholars of hadith totally reject mursal reports.

    Lastly, Imam Shafi'e and most scholars of fiqh and usul accept certain mursal reports to the exclusion of others. Ex. they accept mursal reports of "senior" tabi'een, or a mursal report that agrees with the fatwa of a Companion, or a mursal report that most scholars give fatwa according to it. These scholars apply other conditions to accept mursal, but what has been written is enough to get an idea. A good eample is the mursal reports of Sa'id ibn al-Musayyab, perhaps the most "senior" of the tabi'een. Ibn Umar used to ask him about the judgements made by Umar, his father! Ibn Umar knew perfectly well that Sa'id didn't meet his father, yet no one differed about accepting Sai'd' mursal reports. No wonder, Imam Ahmad said, 'If Sa'id ibn al-Musayyab's mursal reports from Umar won't be accepted, then whose will?'

    The point is that the topic is complex and to say one position is stronger than the other is not an easy task, and even then, it should be taken with a healthy dose of humility.

    pls refer to:Authenticity of the Mursal Hadith

    And Allah knows best.

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