The Use of Weak Hadiths in Issues of Morals + notes and references!
by GF Haddad – all credits goes to our teacher.
It is the Consensus of the Ulema that weak hadiths can be narrated and put into practice in Islam according to according to al-Bayhaqî, Ibn `Abd al-Barr, al-Nawawî, Ibn Taymiyya, al-Qârî, and `Alawî ibn `Abbâs al-Mâlikî in his manual al-Manhal al-Lat.îf fî Ma`rifat al-H.adîth, provided certain conditions are met. Ibn al-Sâlah, al-Nawawî and al-`Irâqî’s sole conditions were that(below):
- The hadith be related to good deeds (fad.â’il al-a`mâl)
without bearing on legal rulings and doctrine and
- the hadith not be forged.
After them, Ibn Daqîq al-`îd, al-Zarkashî, and Ibn H.ajar added three furhter conditions: that the h.adîth not be very weak; that it be subsumed under a principle already established in the Law; and that one not positively believe that the Prophet said or did it.
Ibn al-Mubârak said: “One may narrate from [a weak narrator] to a certain extent or those h.adîths pertaining to good conduct (adab), admonition (maw`iz.a), and simple living (zuhd).”
This conditional rule for narrating – and practicing – weak h.adîths is in conformity with the unanimous view of the Salaf who permitted their use in fad.â’il al-a`mâl as opposed to `aqîda or the rulings pertaining to h.alâl and h.arâm. This is stated or practiced by Sufyân al-Thawrî, Ibn `Uyayna, `Alî ibn al-Madînî, Yah.yâ ibn Ma`în, Ah.mad, `Abd al-Rah.mân ibn Mahdî, Ibn Abî H.âtim, al-Bukhârî in al-Adab al-Mufrad, al-Tirmidhî, and many others.
Ibn al-Sâlah said in his `Ulûm al-Hadîth:
This [above-cited] rule was mentioned by Ibn al-S.alâh. and others in Ma`rifat `Ulûm al-H.adîth and its commentaries.The dissents reported from Imâm Muslim, Ibn H.azm, and Ibn al-`Arabî are inaccurate. The correct position of Imâm Muslim in the introduction to his S.ah.îh. is that he forbade the use of forgers and other abandoned narrators, not of truthful weak ones, in conformity with the position of Ah.mad and the rest of the Salaf.
Muslim also says: “The sound reports from the trustworthy (thiqât)narrators and those whose reliability is convincing are more than that we should be forced to transmit reports from those who are not trustworthy and whose reliability is not convincing.” The difference is clear between saying we are not forced to use weak narrators and saying that one absolutely cannot transmit from them.
A proof of this is his use of the weak narration from `Â’isha: “Treat people according to their ranks” and the fact that his strictness in narrators drops a notch or two in the h.adîths of raqâ’iq or fad.â’il al-a`mâl in the S.ah.îh., as in the case of Shaddâd ibn Sa`îd Abû T.alhâ al-Râsibî or al-Walîd ibn Abî Walîd.
The correct position of Ibn al-`Arabî is as he states himself regarding a certain weak h.adîth: “Its chain is unknown, but it is preferable to put it into practice…” As for Ibn H.azm’s statement against the use of weak narrations in absolute terms: he elsewhere states preferring the use of weak h.adîth over the use of juridical opinion (ra’î), as does Ibn al-`Arabî himself.
 Narrated by Ibn Abî H.âtim in Muqaddimat al-Jarh. wal-Ta`dîl (2:30) and cited by Ibn Rajab in Sharh. `Ilal al-Tirmidhî (1:73).
 Cf. al-Khat.îb, al-Kifâya (p. 162-163=133-134), Ibn Abî H.âtim, Muqaddimat al-Jarh. wal-Ta`dîl (2:30-38), Ibn Rajab, Sharh. `Ilal al-Tirmidhî(1:73), Ibn H.ajar, end of al-Nukat `alâ Ibn al-S.alâh. (2:887-888), al-Suyût.î, Tadrîb al-Râwî, al-Lacknawî, al-Ajwiba al-Fâd.ila, etc.
 Al-Bayhaqî, Dalâ’il al-Nubuwwa (1:33-34); Ibn `Abd al-Barr, al-Tamhîd(1:127); al-Nawawî, al-Majmû` (5:63), Irshâd T.ullâb al-H.aqâ’iq (p. 107-108), Sharh. S.ah.îh. Muslim (introduction), and al-Adhkâr (introduction p. 5) cf. Ibn `Allân, al-Futûh.ât al-Rabbâniyya (1:84); Ibn Taymiyya, Sharh. al-`Umda (1:171), Majmû` al-Fatâwâ (18:26, 18:65-66), and Miswaddat âl Taymiyya (p. 233, 246, 461); al-Qârî, Sharh. al-Shifâ’ (2:91) and Mirqât al-Mafâtîh. (2:381); `Itr, Manhaj al-Naqd (p. 291-296) and Us.ûl al-Jarh. wal-Ta`dîl (p. 140-143).
 Even so, al-Sakhâwî said in al-Qawl al-Badî` (p. 432) of a certain h.adîth: “In sum, it is a very weak h.adîth (d.a`îf jiddan) that is written in meritorious deeds (yuktabu fî fad.â’il al-a`mâl), but as for its being forged, no, it is not [forged] .”
 Cf. al-Nawawî, Sharh. S.ah.îh. Muslim (introduction), Ibn al-Qayyim, I`lâm al-Muwaqqi`în (1:31), al-Sakhâwî, al-Qawl al-Badî` (p. 474), and `Itr, notes on Ibn Rajab’s Sharh. `Ilal al-Tirmidhî (1:75-76).
 The claim of a handful of authors such as al-Qâsimî in Qawâ`id al-Tah.dîth(p. 94) or `Ajâj al-Khat.îb in Us.ûl al-H.adîth (p. 231) that Ibn al-`Arabî and Ibn Ma`în were opposed to the use of weak h.adîths in absolute terms, stems from good faith in Ibn Sayyid al-Nâs, al-`Irâqî, al-Sakhâwî, and al-Suyût.î’s claims to that effect.