Ijma' on the Use of Weak Ahadits

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

It is the ijma’, consensus, of the ‘ulama that weak ahadits can be narrated and put into practice in Islam provided certain conditions are met.  This is according to Imam al-Bayhaqi (r.a.), Imam ibn ‘Abd al-Barr (r.a.), Imam an-Nawawi (r.a.), Imam ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.), Mulla ‘Ali al-Qari (r.a.), and others.  Imam Muhammad ‘Alawi al-Maliki (r.a.), in al-Lathif fi ‘Ulum al-Hadits, mentioned these conditions.

At the bare minimum, the hadits must be related to good deeds, fadha’il al-‘amal, without bearing on legal rulings and doctrine and, the hadits not be found to be forged.  Imam ibn al-Mubarak provided certain conditions are met said, “One may narrate from him to a certain extent or those ahadits pertaining to adab, admonition, and zuhd.”

This conditional rule for narrating and practicing weak ahadits is in conformity with the unanimous view of the Salaf who permitted their use in fadha’il al-‘amal as well as manaqib, tafsir, and history including sirah, as opposed to ‘aqidah or the rulings pertaining to halal or haram.  This is stated or practiced by Imam Sufyan ats-Tsawri (r.a.), Imam ibn ‘Uyaynah (r.a.), Imam ‘Ali ibn al-Madini (r.a.), Imam Yahya ibn Ma’in (r.a.), Imam ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn Mahdi (r.a.), Imam Ahmad (r.a.), Imam ibn Abi Hatim (r.a.), Imam al-Bukhari (r.a.) in other than his Swahih, Imam at-Tirmidzi (r.a.) and many others.


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