O our Shaykh the question is; was the Shaykh preceded by anyone in declaring some Hadith in Sahih Bukhari to be weak and collecting them in a book. And if this has occurred were you preceded by some of the scholars in that? We would appreciate references may Allah reward you with good.
Shaykh Al Albani:
Define the demonstrative, “in that”; in what? Because your question contains two things. Have you been preceded in classifying some Hadith in Bukhari as weak and did you collect this in a book? So in your question, “have I been preceded in that”, what do you mean? Have I been preceded in classifying some Hadith in Bukhari as weak or have I been preceded in authoring a book containing these weak Hadith?
(Laughs) Both? As for if I was preceded in classifying some Hadith found in Bukhari as weak then this is a reality which is obligatory to acknowledge and it is not permissible to deny it; and there are numerous reasons for this.
First of all; all the Muslims whether they are from the scholars, the students of knowledge or the ignorant Muslims; they are all in agreement that there is no one who is infallible in this religion except the Messenger of Allah peace and blessings are upon him.
And from this we also understand another undeniable conclusion and that is, any book that crosses the mind of a Muslim, or any book title that he hears of, even before he reads the manuscript, it is incumbent that he must have firmly established in his mind that this book will surely contain some errors in it. Because the aforementioned belief states that no one will obtain infallibility except for the Messenger of Allah peace and blessing are upon him.
And on this note it has been narrated that Imam Shafi’i, may Allah be pleased with him said, “Allah has refused to perfect any book except for His own.”
And this is the truth, it is not debatable. So this it the first affair, this is the principle.
As for the applied science concerning this matter; then we, due to the virtue of Allah upon us and upon the people, but most of the people do not know, but most of the people are not grateful. Allah the Exalted has given me firmness in the study of Hadith…its foundation matters, subsidiary matters, its criticisms and collections to the extent that I became grounded with a high level in this science due to the virtue of Allah and His mercy. Also I know the authentic hadiths from the weak, from the fabricated due to my studies of this science. I applied this study to some of the Hadiths that appear in Sahih Al Bukhari. Thus I found that the result of this study that there are some Hadiths that are not considered to be on the grade of Hasan much less the level of Sahih, in Sahih Al Bukhari not to mention Sahih Muslim.
This is my answer for that which relates to me, myself. As for that which relates to other than me, from that which came in your question; has anyone proceeded me? Then I say: All praises belong to Allah. I have been preceded by many people who are more grounded and more knowledgeable than me concerning this noble science; and preceding me by almost one thousand years.
Imam Daraqutni and others have scrutinized Sahih Al Bukhari and Sahih Muslim concerning dozens of Hadiths. As for me, then I did not reach the extent of criticizing dozens of Hadiths. That is because during this time I am not able to devote myself to criticizing the Hadiths in Al Bukhari then the Hadiths in Muslim, that is because we are in greater need to scrutinize the Hadiths found in the four Sunans not to mention the chains of narration, terminology and the like in order to ascertain the authentic from the weak. As for Al Bukhari and Muslim then they both performed the task of purifying the Hadiths that are collected in their two books, from the hundreds of thousands Hadiths. And this effort was extremely tremendous. For this reason, it is not from knowledge or wisdom that I focus on criticizing Sahih Al Bukhari and Sahih Muslim and leave alone the Hadiths found in the four Sunans and other than them, where it is not known if they are authentic or weak.
But during my knowledge based research I passed over some Hadiths in Sahih Al Bukhari and Sahih Muslim or in one of them and it was revealed to me that there are some Hadiths that are weak. But whoever is in doubt about what I judge concerning some Hadiths then return to the explanation of Sahih Al Bukhari and he will find a great deal of things criticized by Al Hafidh Ahmad ibn Hajr Al ‘Asqalaani; the one who is rightfully called the leader of the believers Hadith. The one who I believe; and I believe everyone who participates in the science will agree with me, that no woman gave birth to the likes of him after him. This is Imaam Ahmad ibn Hajr Al ‘Asqalaani, he clarifies during his explanation many mistakes in the Hadiths of Al Bukhari. He not only address that which is not found in the Hadiths of Sahih Muslim rather (he also addresses) what appears in some of the reports and some of the chain of narrations.
The criticism found in the Hadiths of Sahih Al Bukhari is sometimes related to the entire Hadith, meaning it is said; this Hadith is weak. And sometimes the criticism is concerning a portion of the Hadith. The origin of the Hadith is authentic but there is a part of it that is not authentic.
An example of the first type is the Hadith of ibn Abbass; he said: “The Prophet, prayers and peace are upon him, married Maimunah while in a state of Ihram.” This Hadith is not from the Hadiths which is only found in Sahih Al Bukhari and not Sahih Muslim, rather they both agreed upon the narration of the Hadith in their books. And the reason for this, is the report of this Hadith comes from the narrator and he is Abdullah ibn Abbass, and he is morally impeccable. Thus the chain of narration is authentic; no one is able to criticize its narrator. Whereas there are other Hadith where there is room to criticize the Hadith just from the standpoint of the narrator.
An example from the men of Al Bukhari, there is a man named: Fulaih bin Sulaiman. Ibn Hajr described him, in his book Al Taqreeeb, as Sadooq (one who is a level below reliable) with a bad memory. Therefore if this person narrates a Hadith in Sahih Al Bukari, as a lone narrator and it is not supported by a Mutabi’ah (Two or more Hadith which are the same, narrated by the same Companion, while the rest of the men in the chain are different) nor it is supported by a Shaahid (Two or more Hadith which are the same narrated by different Companions) then his Hadith remains at the level of weak, that which can be strengthen with a Mutabi’ah or a Shaahid.
As for the Hadith of Maimunah, that the Messenger of Allah prayers and peace are upon him, married her while he was in a state of Ihram, there is no room to criticize the chain of narration due to the lone narration as in the case of Fulaih bin Sulaiman for example. No, all of the people in the chain of narration are reliable and trustworthy. For that reason you do not find those who criticize this Hadith from the scholars, who preceded us by generations, that they found any angle to criticize this Hadith except concerning the first narrator in the Hadith, ibn Abbass and he is a noble Companion.
They said this was a surmise from ibn Abbass and that is because he was young; from one standpoint. And from another standpoint, in his narration his contradicted the person in the Hadith, meaning the wife of the Prophet prayers and peace are upon him, who was Maimunah. As it has been authentically narrated from her the Prophet prayers and peace are upon him, married her while neither of them was in a state of Ihram. Therefore this Hadith was the surmise of the first narrator, him being ibn Abbass. Thus this Hadith is weak. And it is as you see; a limited number of words. “He married Maimunah while while is a state of Ihram.” Four words (in the original Arabic) “He married Maimunah while while is a state of Ihram.”
Similar to this Hadith and perhaps it is longer, there is another example in Sahih Al Bukhari
The second category: The Hadith could be in its origin authentic, but one of the narrators erred by inserting in the text a sentence that was not from the Hadith of the Prophet, prayers and peace be upon him.
An example of that is the well-known Hadith in Sahih Al Bukhari that the Prophet, prayers and peace are upon him said: “Verily my nation will come on the Day of Judgment with bright streaks of light from the traces of wudu.”
Up until this point the Hadith is authentic, and it has many supporting Hadiths. One of the narrators in Sahih Al Bukhari added: “Thus whoever is able to extend his streaks then let him do so”. Al Hafidh bin Hajr Al Asqalaani, and Ibn Al Qayyim Al Jawziyah, and his Shaykh ibn Al Tamiyyah, and Al Hafidh Al Muntharee, and other scholars have said this addition was inserted and it is not from the speech of the Messenger of Allah, prayers and peace are upon him; rather it is from the speech of Abu Huraira.
Thus the answer is complete in reference to the first condition, meaning I criticized some Hadiths and I have been proceeded by many Imaams. As for did I or someone other than me author a book (surrounding this topic) then I did not author a book. As for other than me, then they have authored books, but we are not able to mention a book today in this regard. This is the answer to what you asked.
Translated by Rasheed ibn Estes Barbee