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Sources - Hadith

Qur'an Hadith Science of sources

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Lesson 23
Narrators

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Main Points

Identification of narrators:

·      The science of Hadith criticizes the narrators according to: documentation: their names, surnames, nicknames, dates, generation, and Shaykhs, besides evaluation: judging the accuracy according to positive and negative factors.

·      The generations of narrators: These are groups of contemporary narrators who were similar in age and in their quoting of Shaykhs. They are divided into twelve generations, starting with the Companions, then the early successors to the six Imams of Hadith classification.

·      Knowing the generations of narrators is important in differentiating the narrators having similar names, and in discovering breaks in the chain of transmission.

·      Knowing the homeland of the narrators is important to investigate if the narrator met with the one from whom he transmitted the Hadith. Also their identities are thus verified.

·      Knowing the dates of birth and death of the narrators is important to make sure the continuity of the chain of narration and to uncover any fabrication.

·      Knowing and comparing the names, surnames, and nicknames helps in making sure of the narrator’s identity, avoiding ambiguity, and disclosing deception.

Reliability ratings (positive and negative personal factors):

·      The reliability of a narrator is realized if he meets two conditions :

a) Moral integrity: being a Muslim, mature, and sane, and being free from vice and all that is dishonorable.

b) Exactitude: to directly hear from the narrator, to completely understand the meaning, and to learn it by heart till the time he transmitted it to another, also, he should be known for his strong ability to learn by heart and possess good scrutiny.

        ·          According to these criteria,  narrators are ascribed different reliability or unreliability ratings.