Kamis 02 Nov 2023 20:49 WIB

The Position of Hadith as the Explanator of the Quran

Hadith is the second source of Islamic law after the Quran.

Rep: Hasanul Rizqa/ Red: Fitriyan Zamzami
A child takes a selfie in front of a calligraphy mural in the Calligraphy Cultural Tourism Village, Kiaracondong District, Bandung City.
A child takes a selfie in front of a calligraphy mural in the Calligraphy Cultural Tourism Village, Kiaracondong District, Bandung City.

The hadith or sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad is the second source of Islamic law after the Quran. There is no denying this view. For the Qur'an contains not only verses whose meaning is clear (qath'i), but also vague (zhanni) so it requires detailed explanation.

One example is prayer. Many verses of the Quran reveal the commandment of prayer. However, how is the prayer performed? The answer to that question is not described in detail in the Kitabullah.

From here, we can see from the guidance shown by the Prophet Muhammad, as witnessed and explained by the companions. In fact, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Pray as you see me praying” (Bukhari).

The same goes for Hajj. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “Take the Hajj from all those whom I do.”

From this, it appears that the position of the hadith clarifies the content of the verses of the Qur'an. Because of this, scholars agreed to place it as the second source of Islamic law after the Quran.

In its later development, after the Prophet (pbuh), no more central figure could explain the contents of the Qur'an in more detail. Nevertheless, the Messenger of Allah (may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) has left a valuable 'legacy' for his people, in the form of words, deeds, or decrees of the law that he made during his life, including his attributes. That's the hadith.

When He appeared in the Field of Arafat, 9 Zulhijjah in the year 10 AH, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “I have left you two things, and you will not be lost forever if you stick to both, namely the Book of Allah and the Sunnah.”

Over the course of time, the words, deeds, decrees, or morals of the Messenger of Allah are translated differently by different people and from different generations. As a result, statements appeared that were attributed to the Messenger of Allah, although they were never revealed by him. The abuser of all these prophets once denounced those who wanted to interfere with him, while he never did it. “Whoever lies in my name, his place is hell.”

In its extreme, phrases that are claimed to be sayings of the Messenger of Allah (SAW), when they are not, are termed false hadiths. Its quality is low in the classification of hadith.

Quality of hadith

The low quality of the false hadith is due to the lack of knowledge, relating to how to recite or narrate the hadith of the Prophet (SAW). Both from the point of view of the messenger (the one who narrates the hadith) and the contained meaning of the hadith.

Therefore, scholars generally classify the hadiths into several groups. Some are called hadith mutawatir, ahad, sahih, hasan, dhaif, maudhu, matruk, marfu', and so on.

The way to know the quality of hadith is known as the science of musthalah al-hadith. This is the discipline that studies the narration of a hadith and the quality of the narrated hadith.

In this science, it is known by two terms, namely the science of divinity and the science of dirayah. The science of hadith is the science that studies the manner of proclaiming, maintaining, and narrating a hadith originating from the Messenger of Allah (SAW), whether in the form of sayings, deeds, decrees (taqrir), and its properties. By studying this knowledge, it is possible to know the origin of the hadith through narration, including the connection with the Messenger of Allah.

Meanwhile, the science of dirayah is the science of knowing the state of sanad; mati, both sahih, hasan, dhaif, rafa', mauquf, or 'uluw; its derivatives; the way of receiving and conveying the hadith; the properties of the hadith; the conditions of the messenger; and the like.

Science has become a tool for historical science. Although the science of divinity has been discussed by scholars since the second century of Hijri, it has not been specifically discussed in any particular book. However, in the time of Abu Muhammad ar-Ramahurmuzi, the discussion of this science was only discussed in a written work.

The discussion of the science of hadith has begun since the time of the Companions. Later, it developed in the time of tabiin and became a stand-alone science in the third century of Hijri. The study of the science of hadith is so extensive that it has many branches. Imam as-Suyuti said that the branches of science are so numerous that they are innumerable.

Ibn Salah, an expert on hadith, mentioned six kinds and each variety could develop into infinity. However, al-Hafiz ibn Qatsir, another hadith expert, commented that the division of Ibn Salah was reviewable.

What is the meaning of the Qudsi? Subhi As-Shalih in his Ulum al-Hadith wa Musthaluhu explains that the qudsi hadith is the word of Allah revealed by the Prophet Muhammad obtained from inspiration or dreams, but its meaning is directly from Allah (SWT), whereas the words come from the Messenger of Allah (SAW). 

Period of development of hadith

As a source of Islamic law, hadith has gone through a very long historical process. Experts say that until now the hadith has passed through at least seven periods of development.

First period. The period of revelation and the formation of the law and its foundations, namely the apostolic period, from 13 BC to 11 Hijri. At this time, the Prophet lived and socialized and talked with the general public and companions, both in mosques, at home, in the market, and when meeting with travelers. What was conveyed by the Prophet was always carefully observed by the companions who narrated the hadith even though it was still memorized.

Second period. This is called Zaman at-Tasabbut wa al-Iqlal min ar-Riwayah (Period of Delimitation of Hadith and Provision of History), that is, the time of the four caliphs (Abu Bakr as-Shiddiq, Umar ibn Khattab, Uthman ibn Affan, and Ali ibn Abi Thalib). It deals with the period of spread of Islam and the issue of statehood and leadership of the ummah.

Third period. It is called the Age of Intisyar ar-Riwayah ila al-Amtsar (Period of Dissemination of History to the Cities). This time took place in the days of little friends and big tabiin. The conquest by the Islamic armies of the territories of Syam (Syria) and Iraq (17 H), Egypt (20 H), Persia (21 H), Samarkand (56 H), and Spain (93 H) required the companions to switch places in spreading Islam.

Fourth period. It is called 'Asr al-Kitabat wa at-Tadwin (Period of Writing and Codifying Hadith). This era lasted from the time of Caliph Umar bin Abdul Aziz (99-102 H/717-720 AD) until the end of the 2nd century A.D. Caliph Umar bin Abdul Aziz was known as an honest leader and had a great interest in science. 

Fifth period. Called 'Asr at-Tajrid wa at-Tashhih wa at-Tanqih (Period of Purification, Refreshment, and Refinement), it began from the beginning of the 3rd century to the end of the 3rd century A.D. This period bore and sought solutions to the problems of hadith that had arisen and had not been resolved in the earlier period. In this period, there was a separation between the hadith of the Prophet and the fatwas of the companions. At this time, various books of hadith appeared, both called the book of sahih, sunnah, and musnad, written by hadith figures.

Sixth period. It is called 'Asr at-Tahzib wa at-Tartib wa al-Istidrak wa al-Jam' (Period of Maintenance, Order, Addition, and Settlement), which began from the 4th century AD until the fall of the City of Baghdad (656 H/1258 AD). Hadith scholars have established that experts who lived before the 4th century AD or this period are referred to as mutaqaddimin (former) and those after that muta'akhkhirin (later).

Seventh period. Called 'Ahd Asy-Sharh wa al-Jam' wa at-Takhrij (Period of Settlement, Association, Pen-takhrij-an or Historical Expansion, and Discussion), that is, from the fall of Baghdad as the rule of the Abbasid Dynasty by the forces of Hulagu Khan (656 H/1258 AD) to the present day. This period still continues some of the activities of the previous period, in addition to other activities.

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