While few people who call themselves Muslim would ever question the authenticity of the Quran, we find that many Muslims question hadith from different aspects and for various reasons. Hadith has always been under attack, especially in modern days despite the fact that most of the Islamic teachings and rulings are taken directly from the Hadith not the Quran. Many people and groups, faithfully or unfaithfully, questioned the authenticity of the Hadith with the pretext that Allah promised to preserve only the Quran while they did not accurately study the many scholarly efforts across Islamic history that were dedicated for the authentication & classification of the Hadith. As Hadith In a post-modern world has greater implications and consequences, now more than ever, it is important that the modern Muslim has a firm, basic and general understanding of the sciences of hadith, how to dispel the doubts around the hadith, and how to understand and address various controversial hadith.

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We will enter the KR with the following important presumption which help how to address the issue:

  • Hadith is the main source of Islamic knowledge & Shariah second to none but to the Quran.

  • No Muslim should ever reject something they know the Prophet (S) authentically said, did or approved. If the Prophet (S) was in front of them, they’d accept it.


  • The sciences of hadith are technical and can become very dry, and the goal of the KR is for the audience to have a general understanding of sciences of hadith, without getting bogged down by the minutia.

  • While discussing the sciences of hadith real-life scenarios will be covered as related case studies for lessons learnt.

  • We will discuss in two to three lectures the following basic hadith topics "Definition of hadith & its sciences, brief history of hadith compilation, classification of hadith".

  • Next lectures will focus on 3 sources of doubt related to hadith and how to dispel them:


    It’s coming from what they heard their family and friends say; for example, people might say things like “hadith are nonsense, shuyookh are trying to control things, all you need is the Quran, etc.” This rhetoric is often a tactic to escape certain fiqh issues that would problematize their own lifestyles. And they’ll attempt to bolster their argument by saying, “just follow the Quran,” when in reality they say this because they believe the Quran is more lenient than hadith, and they can ultimately do things they want to do either because Quran did not mention it or the Prophet (S) forbade it but they can question the authenticity of relating it to the Prophet.


    One of these doubts is to believe it’s simply not possible to accurately transmit hadith as it is transmitted by chain (e.g. I heard this person, who heard from this person, that the Prophet (S) said…). The teacher’s goal is to intellectually and factually reassure Muslims that the science of hadith is indeed a robust, credible science.


    They don’t doubt the sciences of hadith. Rather, there are some hadith that are controversial and this leads to doubting the hadith tradition as a whole. For example, they may assess a hadith that is difficult to reconcile. They will have trouble believing the Prophet (S), the most perfect human being, would ever say such a thing on various matters or do such a thing. The doubt in one hadith then causes doubt in several other hadith. And it leads to questioning the need for hadith. Therefore, it is important to have a session or two titled, “Did the Prophet (S) really say that?” It’s important for the speakers of the IKR to address the controversial hadith by quoting what classical scholars said centuries ago, because you will find differing opinions amongst scholars regarding such hadith. This will lead the audience members to realize that such hadith are in fact not controversial. And another lecture will address how to approach such controversial hadith. Ultimately, the goal is when Muslim says or feels, “I’m uncomfortable with this hadith,” the speaker can help the Muslim go from feelings of doubt to the affirmation of “we hear and we obey.”