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Volume :16 Issue : 46 2001      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

The Authoritativeness of the Mursal (Incompletely Transmitted) Hadith in the View of Scholars of Usul and Hadith

Auther : Dr. Saber Nasr Mustafa ‘Uthman

  1. The Mursal Hadith, according to the terminology of Usulists and jurists is “a report (khabar) related to Prophet (PBUH) through an integrated transmitter with incomplete chain (Isnad)”. To Hadith scholars, this definition includes four categories: Mursal, Munqati’(interrupted), Mu’dil (problematic) and Mu‘allaq (hanging).
  2. Mursal is of two types: Mursal of Sahabi (Companion) and Mursal of non-Sahabi.
  3. In regard to the authoritativeness of Mursal of Sahabi, there are three opinions: The majority of scholars say that it is an authority. Dhahiri (literal) School of jurisprudence and the majority of Hadith scholars who lived after the 2nd century A.H say it is not an authority. The third opinion is that it is an authority if the Sahabi who transmitted it is known, through his direct declaration or his known habit, of receiving his Hadiths from other Sahabah (Companions) only, otherwise his Mursal is not an authority.
  4. The sound opinion among these three is the first one due to its powerful and irrefutable proofs, while the proofs of the other two opinions are easily refutable.
  5. As for Mursal of non-Sahabi, there are five opinions: The majority of scholars say that it could be generally taken as an authority if its transmitter was trustworthy. The second opinion is of Isa ibn Aban who says that such Mursal is an authority if its transmitter was belonging to the first three virtuous Hijri centuries, or being, after those centuries, one of the leading scholars of transmission who used to be trusted by people as a source of knowledge. The third is the opinion of Dhahiri (literal) School of jurisprudence and the majority of Hadith scholars who lived after the 2nd century A.H; they said that Mursal had no authority at all. Imam Shafi‘i said that Mursal had no authority unless it is confirmed with other reports. Finally, a group of late scholars, such as the Maliki Ibn Al-Hajib, and Kamal Al-Deen ibn Al-Humam of the Hanafi school, said that Mursal was an authority if its transmitter was one of transmission leaders, otherwise it must not be considered.

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