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Volume :9 Issue : 23 1994      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

The Basic Rules followed by Shaikh Ahmed Shakir in his Editing

Auther : Dr. Nihad “Abdel-Halim “Ubaid

The Basic Rules followed by Shaikh Ahmed Shakir in his Editing

Of “Al-Musnad of Imam”Ahmad ‘ibn Hanbal

Dr. Nihad “Abdel-Halim “Ubaid

Why this paper?

Through my intensive reading of Imam “Ahmad’s Al-Musnad- edited by Shaikh “Ahmad Shakir- and studying the (prophetic) Hadithes (Traditions) he had authenticated, I discovered that Shaikh Shakir had relied upon some week criteria accepted by some scholars or by himself, and according to them-authenticated some (Hadith) transmitters and raised some Hadithes in Al-Musnad to the level of Sahih (sound) or Hassan (fair0. In fact, these loose criteria are dangerous, because they may be exploited by the enemies of Islam and heretics in order to attack this religion.

I become afraid, if the matter would continue without warning and correction, that the Muslims may accept as Sahih those weak Hadithes which Sh. Shakir had authenticated, or they may follow his method.

In authenticating Hadithes, or ascribing to them the level “Sahih” or “Hassan”, we must follow only the scholarly procedures accepted and followed by the majority of scholars of Hadithology, otherwise we may authenticate some “Weak” or “Rejected” narrations.

Imam Ahmad Al-Musnad, in the edition of Sh. Shakir, remained up to now without any attempt to formulate the bases he adopted in his editing; this paper is trying to fill this gap with the goal of clarifying the matters for students and researchers so as to be aware of them and not to accept every thing without due investigation.

No doubt, our criticism of the work of Sh. Shakir is doen in the frame that all persons’ saying can be criticized. (The only exception is Prophet Mohammad (p.b.u.h.) because he does not say out of desire. It is only inspiration sent down to him.

Sh. Shakir followed certain rules, the most important among them are the following:


2. Authenticating every Tabi’I (follower of Companions) about whom there is neither authentication nor charge.

3. Accepting as authentic all the Transmitters whom lbn Hibban had authenticated in his book “Al-Thiqat” (the Authenticated) and, hence, taking as Sahih any Hadith transmitted by them.

4. Taking ‘lbn Lahi’ah as authentic in general.

5. Taking as authentic any transmitter mentioned by Al- Bukhari or “lbn “Abi Hatim in the case of absence of any statement of authentication or accusation about him.

Using these rules, Sh. Shakir raised some “Weak” hadithes to the level of “Sahih”. Such Hadithes are not few as the figures, that I have mentioned after every rule, indicate. It is well known that Sh. Shakir had edited only one third of Al-Musnad. How would the figure be would he had edited the whole book!.

In light of those rukes, Sh. Shakir had also considered as “Sahih” some weak “Isnads” (chaims of transmitters), just because the Hadithes were narrated through over “authentic” Isnads. The scientific method, in such a scase, is to say that such hadithes have weak Isnads but their “mutun: (texts) are “Sahih” or “Hassan”,. not say that their Isnads are “Sahih” or “Hassan”.

Following such method accepted by Sh. Shakir, is very destructive

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