Col Klink:   No it’s not possible, General Mulendorf
Gestapo Captain Borman: With his arm around your shoulders.  
Col Klink: Yes we were friends
Gestapo Captain Borman: Close Friends, and very possibly associated in za plot to assassinate the Führer
Col Klink: I hardly knew the man, went to school together ten years, saw each other every day but what’s that?
Gestapo Captain Borman: You were also best man at his wedding
Col Klink:  Oh, Well I had nothing else to do that afternoon.

Hogan’s Heroes: The Big Picture 1970

In yesterday’s post on the Montreal Anti-Semitic Imam story I pointed out that the press in their writing seemed to miss that the outrage of the Muslim Community to invited guest Jordanian cleric Sheikh Muhammad bin Musa Al Nasr didn’t materialize until after the rest of the world saw the translation of his words in English months after he was invited, spoke and the words put online in arabic. Today’s piece touches on a more subtle but even more telling bit from the story is this quote from Imam Ziad Asali of the Association of Islamic Charitable Projects, presumably someone who knows a thing or two about his religion on the verse sited by the Jordanian Sheikh as reported by the CBC.

The hadith is one of more than 100,000 that are written in many books, some of which are considered authentic, while others are not, said Asali.

Now if your goal is to minimize the role of Islam as understood by Muslims you would do what the CBC did and move directly on, but if you were a reporter interesting is finding the truth, then Imam’s Asali’s quote leads to a rather obvious question:

Is the Hadith and the quote within it considered “Authentic” by Muslims?

Well to answer the question one would need to know what a Hadith is, which one this is and where it came from.

The encyclopedia Britannica defines a Hadith as:

Hadith, Arabic Ḥadīth (“News” or “Story”), also spelled Hadīt , record of the traditions or sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, revered and received as a major source of religious law and moral guidance, second only to the authority of the Qurʾān, the holy book of Islam. It might be defined as the biography of Muhammad perpetuated by the long memory of his community for their exemplification and obedience. The development of Hadith is a vital element during the first three centuries of Islamic history, and its study provides a broad index to the mind and ethos of Islam.

 

Hmmmm it would seem to me then that being a “major source of religious law and moral guidance” and “second only to the authority of the Qurʾān,” a Hadith is not something to be taken lightly and dismissed in the cavalier fashion. One would think Imam Asali would know this.

But even if this is true about Hadith’s in general, the question still remains, is this Hadith a valid one?

The Hadith in question is titled: The Book of Miscellaneous ahadith of Significant Values which in addition to the offending quote has gems such as:

وعنه رضي الله عنه أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال‏:‏ ‏ “‏يتبع الدجال من يهود أصبهان سبعون ألفا عليهم الطيالسة‏”‏ ‏(‏‏(‏رواه مسلم‏)‏‏)‏‏.‏

or in English

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Dajjal (the Antichrist) will be followed by seventy thousand Jews of Isfahan and will be dressed in robes of green coloured satin.”

So the question now on the floor would be: Is The Book of Miscellaneous ahadith of Significant Values an authentic book from a credible source?

Well a quick net search answers that question. It comes from a fellow by the name of Imam Al Nawawi. Here is some background:

Al-Imām Muhy al-Dīn Abū Zakariyyā Yahyā ibn Sharaf al-Nawawī, born in the village of Nawa on the Horan Plain of southern Syria in 631 H. He was the imām of the later Shāfiʿī School, the scholar of his time in knowledge, piety, and abstinence, a hadīth master (hāfiẓ), biographer, lexicologist, and Sufi.

So this is a guy who was an early Islamic scholar but we need more than that.  What kind of guy is he, is he a well known scholar credible scholar of Islam?:

His Character

The scholars, elite of his society, and the public greatly respected Imam Nawawi on account of his piety, learning, and excellent character. He dressed and ate simply and humbly. Devout scholars do not care about attaining worldly possessions, they give preference to religious and academic pursuits, and the dissemination and propagation of faith. They experience more heavenly delight and joy in such activities than those who seek satisfaction in luxurious life styles. He was God-fearing who had high ambitions and aims in the dissemination and propagation of faith.

His Works and Death

Imam Nawawi had a very short life (44 years) but even during this short period, he wrote a large number of books on various subjects. Nearly every work is a masterpiece and a treasure of knowledge. Hundreds of thousands of people have benefited from these works.

Some of the prestigious works of Imam Nawawi, apart from the compilation of the “40 Hadith” (al-Arbaʿīn) include:

Riyāḍ al-Ṣāliḥīn
Commentary on Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī
Commentary on Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim (Al-Minhāj fi Sharḥ Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim)
Sharḥ Sunan Abī Dāwūd
Mukhtaṣar Al-Tirmidhī
Kitāb al-Rawḍah
Kitāb al-Adhkār
Al-Taqrīb fī ʿIlm al-Ḥadīth wa al-Irshād fīhi
Al-Tibyān
Bustān al-ʿĀrifīn
After spending 28 years in scholarly pursuits away from home, Imam Nawawi returned to his hometown. Soon after his arrival in Nawā, he fell ill and died. His works are of everlasting value. May Allah bless him.

Emphasis mine.  That seems like a guy whose work is credible, but are they still sought after today?  Here is Kitaabun.com a site that sells Islamic books and items offering his works

The famous 5th Century Hijri, Ahadith compilation by Imam Al-Nawawi, The ahadith are predominantly from Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim (Other ahadith are from the reliable Books such as Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and Muwatta Imam Malik),
Considered by Many as the Most Important Book after the Qur’an Simply because it is a Summary of authentic Traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W).

1900 Ahadith compiled over 372 Chapters and 19 Sections which can be generalised as follows:
The Book of Good Manners – The Book about the Etiquette of Eating – The Book of Dress -The Book of the Etiquette of Sleeping, Lying and Sitting, etc.- The book of Greetings – The Book of Visiting the Sick – The Book of Etiquette of Traveling – The Book of Virtues – The Book of I’tikaf – The Book of Hajj – The Book of Jihad – The Book of Knowledge – The Book of Praise and Gratitude to Allah – The Book of Supplicating Allah to Exalt the Mention of Allah’s Messenger (phuh) – The Book of the Remembrance of Allah – The Book of Du’a (Supplications) – The Book of the Prohibited Actions – The Book of Miscellaneous Ahadith of Significant values – The Book of Forgiveness

About Imam al-Nawawi (d. 676/1277)

Imam Yahya ibn Sharaf al-Nawawi was Born in the village of Nawa in Southern Syria, Imam Nawawi spent most of his life in Damascus where he lived in a simple manner, devoted to Allah, engaging single-mindedly in worship, study, writing and teaching various Islamic sciences. .
Although best known for his works in hadith, Yahya ibn Sharaf al-Nawawi (d. 676/1277) was also the Imam of the later Shafi’i school of Jurisprudence, and widely acknowledged as the intellectual heir to Imam Shafi’i. He was a renowned scholar and jurist who dedicated his life to the pursuit of Islamic learning.

emphasis mine. You can see a screen shot here it case it mysteriously disappears tomorrow, but if so you can always go to Amazon.com and find not only his books

but scholarly commentaries on them

Now I don’t claim to be an Islamic scholar, but all this tells me that Imam Al Nawawi is a significant scholar in the History of Islam and that his Hadiths are considered authentic.

So lets get back to his original statement about the Hadith in question from Imam Ziad Asali of the Association of Islamic Charitable Projects

The hadith is one of more than 100,000 that are written in many books, some of which are considered authentic, while others are not, said Asali.

The statement is factually true, this is one of more that 100,000 Hadith, there are many books of them and some of those books are considered authentic and some are not.

However the Books of Miscellaneous Ahadith of Significant values isn’t just one of many books. It’s a historically significant book written by reputable and respected early scholar of Islam that is without a doubt considered authentic by Muslims to this day.

Now it’s of course theoretically  possible that all of these facts that I was able to discover in an hour or two on the net about Imam Al Nawawi and his place in Islamic Scholarship, and the Hadith The Book of Miscellaneous Ahadith of Significant Values are completely unknown to Imam Ziad Asali of the Association of Islamic Charitable Projects, but I suspect not. I suspect instead that he rightly assumed that the CBC had no interest in clarifying this question, and he was right.

Alas for Iman Asali, I don’t work for the CBC.


If you think this and all we do is worthwhile and would like to help us pay our writers and make our annual goal Consider subscribing and become (if you wish) a listed as a Friend of DaTechguy blog

Remember all subscribers get my weekly podcast emailed directly to you before it goes up anywhere else.


Choose a Subscription level



And of course if you want to give a one shot hit (and help pay DaWife’s medical bills) you can hit DaTipJar




Olimometer 2.52

If you are not in the position to kick in your funds we’ll always accept your prayers.