Spreading Weak Hadeeths
In recent years we have – unfortunately – seen a serious spread of an abhorrent sin that is a major sin and one that dooms people to Hell, but many people are heedless of it, and thus their religious commitment is corrupted thereby, and they show a great deal of disrespect towards the Noble Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). This phenomenon is the spread of ahaadeeth that are falsely attributed to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and the grave audacity to narrate things from him (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) without checking or verifying them.
Hence we and every Muslim who feels a sense of pride in his religion must remind the people and tell them of the seriousness of what they take so lightly, and we must warn them of how bad the situation is, out of sincerity towards Allaah and to His Messenger and to the ordinary Muslims.
So we say:
Our duty is to support the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and to love him properly by following him properly and protecting the purity of his sharee’ah at a time when the fools and haters are showing a great deal of disrespect towards him (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Undoubtedly one of the greatest ways of supporting the faith and honouring the Messenger is being truthful in narrating his words and reports from him, and rejecting the lies that are attributed to him. If we know that no one would accept to have words attributed to him that he did not say, then what should we think about the Messenger who received Revelation from Allaah, may He be blessed and exalted, and his eternal sharee’ah which came to set the affairs of all people straight until the Day of Resurrection? Undoubtedly he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is the one who would most hate to have lies attributed to him. Hence al-Mugheerah ibn Shu’bah (may Allaah be pleased with him) narrated that he said: “Lying about me is not like lying about anyone else. Whoever tells a lie about me deliberately, let him take his place in Hell.” Narrated by Muslim in the Introduction to his Saheeh (no. 4). Al-Haafiz Ibn Hibbaan included a similar hadeeth from Abu Hurayrah under the heading: Chapter: Inevitability of entering Hell for one who attributes anything to al-Mustafa (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) when he does not know whether it is sound.
By Allaah, the Muslim is astounded when he sees people doing their utmost to avoid falling into blatant sin, such as cheating, backbiting, stealing or committing zina, then they treat this matter with such carelessness, thinking that it is insignificant when in fact it is very serious before Allaah. So you see them memorizing false ahaadeeth and narrating them in gatherings and on websites, and they do not take care to ask about that or to verify whether they are saheeh (sound).
Everyone who spreads a hadeeth without ascertaining whether it is saheeh – whether that is via a text message or in an internet forum or transferring it from one site to another or attaching it to an e-mail – should understand that he is deserving of that punishment in the Hereafter, both he and the one who fabricated the hadeeth in the first place. The crime of transmitting it without verifying it is like the crime of the liar who has the audacity to show disrespect towards the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever narrates a hadeeth from me thinking that it is false is one of the liars.” Narrated by Muslim in the Introduction to his Saheeh (p. 7).
Al-Nawawi said, commenting on this hadeeth in Sharh Muslim (1/65):
This is a stern warning against lying or taking part in narrating lies. The one who thinks that what he is narrating is mostly likely false but still narrates it is a liar; how can he not be a liar when he is narrating something that did not happen? End quote.
Shaykh al-Albaani (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Tamaam al-Minah (32-34):
Many writers – especially in the current era – regardless of their madhhabs and specialities, narrate ahaadeeth that are attributed to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) without pointing out which are da’eef (weak), either because they are ignorant of the Sunnah or they are too lazy to refer to the books of specialists. Abu Shaamah said in al-Baa’ith ‘ala Inkaar al-Bida’ wa’l-Hawaadith (p. 54): This, according to the scholars of hadeeth and of usool and fiqh is a mistake, and it should be pointed out if known, otherwise it comes under the warning in the hadeeth in which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever narrates a hadeeth from me thinking that it is false is one of the liars.” Narrated by Muslim. End quote.
This is the ruling of one who keeps quiet about da’eef (weak) ahaadeeth about righteous deeds! So how about if it has to do with rulings and the like?
It should be noted that the one who does that has to be one of two things:
1 – Either he knows that these ahaadeeth are weak but he does not point out their weakness, so he is deceiving the Muslims and he definitely is included in the warning mentioned. Ibn Hibbaan said in his book al-Du’afa’ (1/7-8): This report indicates that the one who narrates something that is not saheeh from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), which is something fabricated about him and he know that, then he is like one of the liars, but the apparent meaning of the report is stricter than that. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever narrates a hadeeth from me thinking that it is false ...” And he did not say ‘and he is certain that it is false’. So anyone who doubts whether what he is narrating is saheeh or not is included in the apparent meaning of this report.
2 – Or he does not know that it is weak, but he is also sinning because he is attributing it to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) without knowledge, and he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “It is sufficient lying for a man to speak of everything that he hears.” Narrated by Muslim in the Introduction to his Saheeh (no. 5)
So he has a share of the sin of the one who told the lie about the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) indicated that the one who speaks of everything that he hears – and the one who writes everything that he hears – will inevitably lie about him (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and thus he is one of the two liars, the first of whom is the one who fabricates it and the second of whom is the one who spreads it.
Ibn Hibbaan also said (1/9): The report also contains a rebuke to the one who speaks of everything that he hears, unless he knows that it is definitely sound. End quote.
Al-Nawawi stated that if a person does not know whether a hadeeth is weak, it is not permissible for him to quote it as evidence without examining it if he is knowledgeable, or asking scholars about it if he is not knowledgeable.
End quote from Shaykh al-Albaani (may Allaah have mercy on him).
What these people are falling into – when they spread ahaadeeth without checking or verifying – is very serious, as they spread what they fabricate far and wide and it is read by millions of people, and it is transmitted through many generations. The one who fabricated it and the one who helped him to spread it will bear that sin until the Day of Resurrection.
It was narrated from Samurah ibn Jundub (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“Last night I saw two men come to me … they said: ‘The one whom you saw with the side of his mouth being torn is the liar who tells lies that are conveyed from him until they reach the horizon; that will be done to him until the Day of Resurrection.’” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (6096).
All we can do – in the light of all these warnings – is to remind ourselves and our Muslim brothers to fear Allaah with regard to our religion and sharee’ah, and not to be the cause of doom and corruption. Propagating false ahaadeeth is one of the worst means of corrupting religion; the Jews and Christians were only doomed when they fabricated lies against Allaah and His Messengers, and they attributed things to their religions that the Messengers did not bring, thus they incurred the wrath and anger of Allaah.
Does these people who are so careless about fabricating ahaadeeth without verifying them want to be included with those with whom Allaah is angry and whom He has cursed?!
Would anyone want to be a tool for the propagation of corrupting material, or to help the heretics who tell lies against our sharee’ah and our Prophet?!
Or would he work to propagate ahaadeeth without checking them to imitate groups that follow misguidance such as the Raafidis who have filled the world with lies against the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and the members of his household?!
Do these people realize that their prayer, fasting and worship will not avail them anything before Allaah and will not ward off from them the shame and sin of that lie, if they take part in propagating these false ahaadeeth?!
There may be a sin that a person commits, taking it lightly, but it will cause him to fall into the Fire and be the cause of his doom.
Abu’l-Wafa’ ‘Ali ibn ‘Aqeel al-Hanbali said:
Our Shaykh Abu’l-Fadl al-Hamdaani said: Those who introduce innovations in Islam and fabricate ahaadeeth are worse than the heretics, because the heretics want to corrupt the religion from without, but these people want to corrupt it from within. They are like the people of a city who want to spread evil and corruption inside it, but the heretics are like those who are besieging it from without, and those evildoers within are able to open the gate to the enemy. They are more dangerous to Islam than those who do not claim to be Muslims. End quote.
Quoting from al-Mawdoo’aat by Ibn al-Jawzi (1/51).
After all of that there comes to you one who apologizes for his mischief and spreading false ahaadeeth by saying: The weak ahaadeeth may be quoted as evidence with regard to righteous deeds.
But he should understand that this is the deception of the shaytaan, and it is a sign of sophisticated ignorance; the one who says this will increase his burden of sin. This principle, which was mentioned by some scholars, is subject to a number of conditions, which must be followed by the one who wants to apply it. They are:
1- The hadeeth should have to do with righteous deeds for which there is a basis in sharee’ah, and not with matters of ‘aqeedah, rulings or reports on which fiqh and actions are based. It should not have to do with righteous deeds for which there is no basis in sharee’ah.
2- It should not be very weak (da’eef). It is not permissible to narrate or act upon mawdoo’ (fabricated) and munkar ahaadeeth, according to scholarly consensus.
3- It should not be believed that it can be attributed to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).
4- The one who narrates the hadeeth should state clearly that it is weak, or he should indicate its weakness by using phrases to indicate that it is weak: it was narrated, it was said, and so on.
These conditions are derived from the words of al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar in his book Tabyeen al-‘Ajab and some of them were narrated from al-‘Izz ibn ‘Abd al-Salaam ibn Daqeeq al-Eid.
For information on accepting weak ahaadeeth, please see the answer to question no. 44877 and 49675.
So those scholars who follow this principle do not say that it is permissible to do what these people are doing by publishing every hadeeth and every report in the chat rooms, whether it is saheeh or false or da’eef (weak).
Shaykh al-Albaani (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Tamaam al-Minah (36):
Unfortunately we see many of the scholars – let alone the common folk – neglecting these conditions, so they act on the basis of a hadeeth without knowing whether it is saheeh or da’eef, and if they know it is weak they do not know to what extent – is it slightly weak or is it so weak that it may not be accepted? Then they demonstrate that they are accepting it and acting upon it as if it were a saheeh hadeeth . Hence there are many acts of worship done by Muslims which are not valid, and which distract them from valid acts of worship which were narrated with sound isnaads. End quote.
If a person repents from propagating false ahaadeeth or he finds out that what he was doing is haraam after he was unaware of the ruling, then the door of repentance is open, but it is subject to the condition of disclosure after concealment, and correction after corruption.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Except those who repent and do righteous deeds, and openly declare (the truth which they concealed). These, I will accept their repentance. And I am the One Who accepts repentance, the Most Merciful”
Hence every Muslim should propagate saheeh hadeeth instead of false and fabricated ones. The books of the saheeh Sunnah are filled – by Allaah’s grace – with proven ahaadeeth which if a man were to spend his life memorizing and studying them, he would hardly be able to do it. It is sufficient to find a scholar of hadeeth who has judged a hadeeth to be saheeh and acceptable, so let him accept it from him and propagate the hadeeth along with the scholar’s ruling on it.
But if it so happens that he has propagated weak ahaadeeth, then he must publish the comments of the scholars concerning them. On our site there are a number of answers concerning weak ahaadeeth that are widespread on forums, and he can make use of these answers. That includes the hadeeth mentioned in the question, which has been explained as da’eef (weak) in the answer to question no. 98821.
And Allaah knows best.