Preserving Hadees: Selfless efforts of early Scholars
The term, ‘Hadees’ is understood as the statements, actions, and silent approvals of the Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. A silent approval refers to when an action was performed in the presence of the Noble Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم and he صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم did not disapprove of it, remaining silent instead. Beginning with the Companions رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُم, who passionately memorised the Hadees, until today, the scholars of Islam faced unimaginable difficulties in their efforts to preserve prophetic Hadees. We often hear the names of celebrated pioneers such as Imam Al-Bukhari, Imam Hafs Bin Ghiyas, Imam Hayyaj Bin Bistam, and Imam Abu Haatim Al-Razi رَحِمَهُمُ الـلّٰـه, but often remain bereft of completely grasping the value and extent of their efforts. It is due to the services of these luminaries that today, compendiums of Hadees are readily available to us. In this article, we pay homage to these towering figures, with the hope that we will grow in appreciation for them and come to truly honour our tradition.
Imam Al-Bukhari رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه travelled to Khorasan, Iraq, Egypt, and Syria, and other isolated areas, (A’laam-lil-Zarqaali, vol. 6, p. 33) to learn Hadees. Imam Abdullah Bin Mubarak رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه was known to spend four months in pursuit of Hadees, four months in battle, and four months in carrying out trade. (Hadeesayn kaysay jama’ ho`iyn, p. 115) Al-Khateeb Al-Baghdadi wrote about Imam Yahya Bin Mu’een رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْهِمَا that, ‘He spent over one million pieces of silver in the pursuit of Hadees, until he did not even have shoes left on his feet,’ (Hadeesayn kaysay jama’ ho`iyn, p. 117). The son of Imam Abu Haatim Al-Razi رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه said: ‘My father used to say that when he began travelling to study Hadees, he spent a few years journeying, until he had walked three thousand miles. When the distance increased, he stopped counting the miles.’ (Hadeesayn kaysay jama’ ho`iyn, p. 121)
Haysam Bin Jameel was driven to bankruptcy twice as he spent all his wealth and possessions to cover the costs of his travels in pursuit of Hadees. (Hadeesayn kaysay jama’ ho`iyn, p. 122) It is narrated due to his extensive travels to learn Hadees, Imam Raabi’ah Bin Abi Abdur Rahman رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه was, ‘Driven to a point where he had to sell the support beams from the roof of his house.’ (Hadeesayn kaysay jama’ ho`iyn, p. 123)
We supplicate that Allah Almighty accepts the selfless efforts of these eminent scholars and that He grant us the wealth of loving Hadees.
اٰمِیْن بِجَاہِ النَّبِیِّ الْاَمِیْن صَلَّی اللہ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلہٖ وَسَلَّم
Muhammad Waqar Yunus Bin Muhammad Yunus
(Third year – Jami’ah-tul-Madinah Faizan-e-Abdullah Shah Ghazi, Clifton Karachi)