The greatest Hadith of Aqeedah is an Ahad (single chain narration) Hadith. It is the Hadith in which Jibreel (as) came asking the Messenger of Allah (saw); where the Prophet said: Do you know who the questioner is? They said Allah and His Messenger know best. He said: This is Jibreel who came to teach you your Deen. This is Ahad Hadith (single chain narration) on the Aqeedah, so why do we reject it?
From: Anis Mejri
Wa Alaikum Assalam Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatuh
First: It seems that you did not understand the answer that we issued on 9/10/2022 regarding taking the Hadith as evidence for the Shariah rulings; you misunderstood it. We do not say that the Ahad (single chain narration) is rejected, rather we say that it must be acted upon, but it is not considered conclusive evidence (daleel qat’i) to be taken in Aqeedah. That is, the Ahad Hadith is not used as evidence for Aqeedah because Ahad Hadiths are indefinite. Not taking Aqeedah by conjecture is not an innovation, rather it is written in the Book of Allah, for there are many verses in which Allah (swt) condemns those who take the belief by conjecture. Allah (swt) says:
(إِنْ هِيَ إِلَّا أَسْمَاءٌ سَمَّيْتُمُوهَا أَنْتُمْ وَآبَاؤُكُمْ مَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ بِهَا مِنْ سُلْطَانٍ إِنْ يَتَّبِعُونَ إِلَّا الظَّنَّ وَمَا تَهْوَى الْأَنْفُسُ وَلَقَدْ جَاءَهُمْ مِنْ رَبِّهِمُ الْهُدَى)
“They are not but [mere] names you have named them – you and your forefathers – for which Allah has sent down no authority. They follow not except assumption and what [their] souls desire, and there has already come to them from their Lord guidance” [An-Najm: 23]. Allah (swt) says:
(إِنَّ الَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْآخِرَةِ لَيُسَمُّونَ الْمَلَائِكَةَ تَسْمِيَةَ الْأُنْثَى * وَمَا لَهُمْ بِهِ مِنْ عِلْمٍ إِنْ يَتَّبِعُونَ إِلَّا الظَّنَّ وَإِنَّ الظَّنَّ لَا يُغْنِي مِنَ الْحَقِّ شَيْئاً)
“Indeed, those who do not believe in the Hereafter name the angels female names * And they have thereof no knowledge. They follow not except assumption, and indeed, assumption avails not against the truth at all” [An-Najm: 27-28]. Allah (swt) says:
(وَمَا يَتَّبِعُ أَكْثَرُهُمْ إِلَّا ظَنّاً إِنَّ الظَّنَّ لَا يُغْنِي مِنَ الْحَقِّ شَيْئاً)
“And most of them follow not except assumption. Indeed, assumption avails not against the truth at all.” [Yunus: 36]. Allah (swt) says;
(الَّذِينَ يُجَادِلُونَ فِي آيَاتِ اللَّهِ بِغَيْرِ سُلْطَانٍ أَتَاهُمْ كَبُرَ مَقْتاً عِنْدَ اللَّهِ وَعِنْدَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا)
“Those who dispute concerning the signs of Allah without an authority having come to them – great is hatred [of them] in the sight of Allah and in the sight of those who have believed.” [Ghafir: 35].
Allah (swt) says;
(وَكَيْفَ أَخَافُ مَا أَشْرَكْتُمْ وَلَا تَخَافُونَ أَنَّكُمْ أَشْرَكْتُمْ بِاللَّهِ مَا لَمْ يُنَزِّلْ بِهِ عَلَيْكُمْ سُلْطَاناً)
“And how should I fear what you associate while you do not fear that you have associated with Allah that for which He has not sent down to you any authority?” [Al-An’am: 81]. And in many more verses.
These verses are clear in condemning those who follow conjecture, and in condemning those who follow without authority, i.e., without conclusive evidence, and their censure and denunciation is evidence of the definitive prohibition of following conjecture, and of the definitive prohibition of following what is not based on definitive evidence. And because these verses are regarding the creed (Aqeedah), they are specific to the creed. All of this indicates with definitive evidence that the creed (Aqeedah) must be based on definitive evidence; otherwise, it is not valid. It is not permissible for its evidence to be indefinite. What is indicated by the verses of conjecture indicates two things: one of them is the impermissibility of taking the creed (Aqeeda) based on indefinite evidence; this is indicated by the verses of conjecture. The second: the obligation to establish definitive evidence for the creed (Aqeeda) in order for it to be a creed, and that is indicated by the verses of the clear authority. This is with regard to creed.
As for Shariah rulings, it is permissible for its evidence to be indefinite, and it is not required that it is definite; rather, it may be speculative, as it has been proven in the text of the Noble Qur’an that the judgement can be by the testimony of two witnesses, and the Messenger of Allah (saw) judged by the testimony of one witness and the oath of the owner of the right, and he (saw) accepted the testimony of one woman in breastfeeding. All of this is Ahad (single chain of narration). Passing a judgement is obligatory, and this obligation is acting upon Ahad (a single chain narration). Using the Ahad (single chain narration) to issue the ruling is like accepting the testimony and ruling according to it; all of this is in action, i.e., in the Shariah ruling. The Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, accepted the saying of the one messenger in informing them of a Shariah ruling, such as the order to face the Kaaba. Muslim narrated, he said, Abdullah Bin Yusif said, he said, Malik Bin Anas from Abdullah Bin Dinar from Abdullah Bin Ummar, he said:
بَيْنَا النَّاسُ بِقُبَاءٍ فِي صَلَاةِ الصُّبْحِ إِذْ جَاءَهُمْ آتٍ فَقَالَ: إِنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ﷺ قَدْ أُنْزِلَ عَلَيْهِ اللَّيْلَةَ قُرْآنٌ، وَقَدْ أُمِرَ أَنْ يَسْتَقْبِلَ الْكَعْبَةَ فَاسْتَقْبِلُوهَا، وَكَانَتْ وُجُوهُهُمْ إِلَى الشَّأْمِ، فَاسْتَدَارُوا إِلَى الْكَعْبَةِ “While the people were offering the Fajr prayer at Quba’ (near Medina), someone came to them and said: “It has been revealed to Allah’s Messenger (saw) tonight, and he has been ordered to pray facing the Ka’ba.” So turn your faces to the Ka’ba. Those people were facing Sham (Jerusalem) so they turned their faces towards Ka’ba (at Mecca).”
This similar to the prohibition of alcohol, Bukhari narrated, he said:
(Yaqoub Bin Ibrahim said Ibn Uliya said Abdul Aziz Bin Suhaib said: Anas Bin Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, said:
مَا كَانَ لَنَا خَمْرٌ غَيْرُ فَضِيخِكُمْ هَذَا الَّذِي تُسَمُّونَهُ الْفَضِيخَ، فَإِنِّي لَقَائِمٌ أَسْقِي أَبَا طَلْحَةَ وَفُلَاناً وَفُلَاناً إِذْ جَاءَ رَجُلٌ فَقَالَ: وَهَلْ بَلَغَكُمْ الْخَبَرُ؟ فَقَالُوا: وَمَا ذَاكَ؟ قَالَ: حُرِّمَتْ الْخَمْرُ. قَالُوا: أَهْرِقْ هَذِهِ الْقِلَالَ يَا أَنَسُ. قَالَ: فَمَا سَأَلُوا عَنْهَا وَلَا رَاجَعُوهَا بَعْدَ خَبَرِ الرَّجُلِ “We had no alcoholic drink except that which was produced from dates and which you call Fadikh. While I was standing offering drinks to Abu Talh and so-and-so and so-and-so, a man came and said, “Has the news reached you? They said, “What is that?” He said. “Alcoholic drinks have been prohibited. They said, “Spill (the contents of these pots, O Anas! “Then they neither asked about it (alcoholic drinks) nor returned it after the news from that man”.
All of this does leave any suspicion that the indefinite evidence may be used for the Shariah ruling.
One of Allah’s blessings upon us is that He (swt) has forbidden us from taking the creed (Aqeeda) by conjecture; instead, to take it as definitive evidence so that the Ummah unites upon it without disagreement. This is so that the creed (Aqeeda) is pure and clear, without a Muslim calling his Muslim brother a kafir because of their differences are in an indefinite Hadith in the Aqeeda, because difference in Aqeeda is a way of disbelief; unlike the Shariah ruling which is based on Ahad (single chain) Hadith, so the difference in the Shariah ruling is not necessarily a path to disbelief.
Whoever says that sharecropping is permissible because he has authentic Ahad Hadiths does not classify the one who says that sharecropping is forbidden as kafir, because he has authentic Hadiths, and so on. Therefore, from this, it is permissible to work with the definitive and speculative in the Shariah ruling and not taking indefinite evidence in creed (Aqeeda) because creeds are taken with certainty.
Secondly: Then, the non-acceptance of the Ahad Hadith in beliefs was mentioned by the masters of jurists, as Imam Abd al-Rahim bin al-Hasan bin Ali al-Asnawi al-Shafi’i, Abu Muhammad, Jamal al-Din “died: 772 AH” mentioned in his book “Nihaayat al-Soul Sharh Minhaj al-Wasul”: (And know that expression with evidence is a way out for many of the principles of jurisprudence, such as Umumiyat (generalities), Ahad narrations, Qiyas and Istishab, and so on. The scholars of Jurisprudence, even if they accept acting upon them, do not have evidence for jurisprudence, but signs for it. To them the definite evidence is the only evidence considered) The scholars of Jurisprudence do not consider the fiqh evidences i.e., Shariah rulings evidence as evidences but rather they consider them signs of Shariah rulings, that is because the indefinite evidence is not considered evidence for them, but rather it is considered a sign, since the evidence to them is only applied to the one that is certain. The evidence for the fundamentals of the Deen must be definitive, and this is how Ibrahim ibn Musa ibn Muhammad al-Lakhmi al-Gharnati, famously known as al-Shatibi “deceased: 790 AH” said in his book “Al-Muwafaqat”: (The fundamentals of jurisprudence in the Deen are definitive, not presumptive, and the evidence for that is that they refer to the faculties of Shariah, and what It was like that, it is definitive… And if it is permissible to make the presumptive a principle in the principles of jurisprudence, it would have been permissible to make it an origin in the principles of the Deen, and it is not like that by agreement. So, the same is here, because the ratio of the principles of jurisprudence to the Shariah is like the ratio of the principles of religion), so he infers that the principles of jurisprudence are definitive, from its being as the fundamentals of the Deen, and the fundamentals of the Deen by agreement are definitive. The foundations of the Deen are the creeds, so the creeds are the foundations of the Deen…etc
Third: However, there is a matter that must be emphasized, which is that the meaning of not believing in indefinite (evidence) does not mean rejecting what is in these Hadiths and not believing what came in them, but rather not taking them as a belief that a Muslim considers his Muslim brother to be a disbeliever by conjecture, which leads to division. It came in the Kurrasa, page 12 Word file: […the prohibition of indecisive belief does not mean rejecting what is in these Hadiths and not believing what is stated in them. Rather, it only means not being certain of what is in these Hadiths, but they are accepted and believed, and what is stated in them is believed but an indefinite belief. What is forbidden is belief in them i.e., with assertion. On the authority of Abu Hurairah, he said: the Messenger of Allah (saw) said:
«إِذَا فَرَغَ أَحَدُكُمْ مِنَ التَّشَهُّدِ الأَخِيرِ فَلْيَتَعَوَّذْ بِاللَّهِ مِنْ أَرْبَع، مِنْ عَذَابِ جَهَنَّمَ، وَمِنْ عَذَابِ الْقَبْرِ، وَمِنْ فِتْنَةِ الْمَحْيَا وَالْمَمَاتِ، وَمِنْ فِتْنَةِ الْمَسِيحِ الدَّجَّالِ»
“When one of you finishes the last tashahhud he should seek refuge in Allah Irom four things: the punishment in jahannam, the punishment in the grave, the trial of life and death, and the evil of the antichrist.” Narrated by Ibn Majah, and on the authority of Aisha, that the Prophet (saw) used to supplicate during prayer with:
«اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ عَذَابِ الْقَبْرِ، وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ فِتْنَةِ الْمَسِيحِ الدَّجَّالِ، وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ فِتْنَةِ الْمَحْيَا وَفِتْنَةِ الْمَمَاتِ، اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ الْمَأْثَمِ وَالْمَغْرَمِ»
“O Allah, I seek refuge in You from the punishment of the grave, and I seek refuge in You from the trial of the False Messiah, and I seek refuge in You from the trials of life and death. O Allah, I seek refuge in You from sin and from debt.Reference” Narrated by Al-Bukhari. These two Hadiths are Ahad (single chain narrations), and in them there is a request for an action, i.e., a request to perform this supplication after completing the tashahhud, so to do this supplication is recommended after completing the tashahhud, and what is stated in them is believed and acted upon, but it is not taken in Aqeeda as long as it came in an Ahad Hadith, i.e., with speculative evidence. If it came through mutawatir (multiple chain narration), then it must be believed decisively…] End
Fourth: Now we come to the Hadith of Jibreel (as), mentioned in the question, and it is the Hadith that was narrated by Al-Bukhari on the authority of Abu Hurairah and narrated by Muslim and others on the authority of Abu Hurairah and on the authority of Umar bin Al-Khattab, in which Jibreel asks the Messenger of Allah (saw) about Islam, and the Messenger of Allah (saw), said:
«الْإِسْلَامُ أَنْ تَشْهَدَ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّداً رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ﷺ وَتُقِيمَ الصَّلَاةَ وَتُؤْتِيَ الزَّكَاةَ وَتَصُومَ رَمَضَانَ وَتَحُجَّ الْبَيْتَ إِنْ اسْتَطَعْتَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلاً» قَالَ: صَدَقْتَ، قَالَ: فَعَجِبْنَا لَهُ يَسْأَلُهُ وَيُصَدِّقُهُ! قَالَ: فَأَخْبِرْنِي عَنْ الْإِيمَانِ قَالَ: «أَنْ تُؤْمِنَ بِاللَّهِ وَمَلَائِكَتِهِ وَكُتُبِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ وَتُؤْمِنَ بِالْقَدَرِ خَيْرِهِ وَشَرِّهِ» قَالَ: صَدَقْتَ… قَالَ: ثُمَّ انْطَلَقَ فَلَبِثْتُ مَلِيّاً ثُمَّ قَالَ لِي: «يَا عُمَرُ أَتَدْرِي مَنِ السَّائِلُ» قُلْتُ: اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَعْلَمُ. قَالَ: «فَإِنَّهُ جِبْرِيلُ أَتَاكُمْ يُعَلِّمُكُمْ دِينَكُمْ».
“Umar bin Al-Khattab told me: ‘While we were with the Messenger of Allah (saw) one day, a man appeared before us whose clothes were exceedingly white and whose hair was exceedingly black. We could see no signs of travel on him, but none of us knew him. He came and sat before the Messenger of Allah (saw), putting his knees against his, and placing his hands on his thighs, then he said: “O Muhammad, tell me about Islam.” He said: “It is to bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah (swt) and that Muhammad (saw) is the Messenger of Allah, to establish the Salah, to give Zakah, to fast Ramadan, and to perform Hajj to the House if you are able to bear the journey.” He said: “You have spoken the truth.” And we were amazed by his asking him, and then saying, “You have spoken the truth”. Then he said: “Tell me about Faith.” He said: “It is to believe in Allah (swt), His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Last Day, and in the Divine Decree, its good and its bad.” He said: “You have spoken the truth.” …” ‘Umar said: ‘Three (days) passed, then the Messenger of Allah (saw) said to me: “O ‘Umar, do you know who the questioner was?” I said: “Allah and His Messenger know best.” He said: “That was Jibril, peace be upon him, who came to you to teach you your religion.”
This is an authentic Hadith that cannot be rejected; it does not contradict a definite text, but it is not sufficient evidence on its own to be taken as Aqeeda. Nevertheless, the totality of the doctrinal matters contained in it came in other conclusive evidence; the pillars of belief were mentioned in the noble Quranic verses, as well as the pillars of Islam. So, in general of what is mentioned in the Hadith are matters that are definite by conclusive evidences other than this Hadith, so it is taken in belief for its definitive evidences, such as the saying of Allah (swt):
(يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا آمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَالْكِتَابِ الَّذِي نَزَّلَ عَلَى رَسُولِهِ وَالْكِتَابِ الَّذِي أَنْزَلَ مِنْ قَبْلُ وَمَنْ يَكْفُرْ بِاللَّهِ وَمَلَائِكَتِهِ وَكُتُبِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلَالاً بَعِيداً)
“O you who have believed, believe in Allah and His Messenger and the Book that He sent down upon His Messenger and the Scripture which He sent down before. And whoever disbelieves in Allah, His angels, His books, His messengers, and the Last Day has certainly gone far astray” [An-Nisa: 136].
Like His saying (swt):
(آمَنَ الرَّسُولُ بِمَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ رَبِّهِ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ كُلٌّ آمَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَمَلَائِكَتِهِ وَكُتُبِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِنْ رُسُلِهِ وَقَالُوا سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا غُفْرَانَكَ رَبَّنَا وَإِلَيْكَ الْمَصِيرُ)
“The Messenger has believed in what was revealed to him from his Lord, and [so have] the believers. All of them have believed in Allah and His angels and His books and His messengers, [saying], “We make no distinction between any of His messengers.” And they say, “We hear and we obey. [We seek] Your forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the [final] destination.” [Al-Baqara: 285]
Likewise, belief in Qadar (destiny), in terms of Allah’s knowledge and writing in (Al-Lawh Al-Mahfoodh) the Preserved Tablet. Allah (swt) says:(وَكَانَ أَمْرُ اللَّهِ قَدَراً مَقْدُوراً) “And ever is the command of Allah accomplished” [Al-Ahzab: 37] (قَدْ جَعَلَ اللَّهُ لِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدْراً) “Allah has already set for everything a [decreed] extent” [At-Talaq: 3] (مَا فَرَّطْنَا فِي الْكِتَابِ مِنْ شَيْءٍ) “We have not neglected in the Register a thing” [Al-An’am: 38] (كَانَ ذَلِكَ فِي الْكِتَابِ مَسْطُوراً) “That has ever been in the Register inscribed” [Al-Isra: 58] There is nothing that happens except that it was predestined by Allah (swt), and recorded in the Book, that is, it did not precede Allah’s Knowledge, so Qadar (destiny) is a metaphor for Allah’s Knowledge, just as the Book is a metaphor for Allah’s Knowledge. Accordingly, Qadar in Shariah means what is previously predestined in the knowledge of Allah. This is its meaning as stated in the texts of the Qur’an and the texts of the Sunnah.
Likewise, the pillars of Islam are in the Book of Allah:
(فَاعْلَمْ أَنَّهُ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لِذَنْبِكَ وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مُتَقَلَّبَكُمْ وَمَثْوَاكُم)
“So know, [O Muhammad], that there is no deity except Allah and ask forgiveness for your sin and for the believing men and believing women. And Allah knows of your movement and your resting place” [Muhammad: 19]
(مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ أَشِدَّاءُ عَلَى الْكُفَّارِ رُحَمَاءُ بَيْنَهُمْ تَرَاهُمْ رُكَّعاً سُجَّداً يَبْتَغُونَ فَضْلاً مِنَ اللَّهِ وَرِضْوَاناً)
“Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; and those with him are forceful against the disbelievers, merciful among themselves. You see them bowing and prostrating [in prayer], seeking bounty from Allah and [His] pleasure.” [Al-Fath: 29]
(يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ)
“O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous” [Al-Baqara: 183]
(وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَارْكَعُوا مَعَ الرَّاكِعِينَ)
“And establish prayer and give zakah and bow with those who bow [in worship and obedience]” [Al-Baqara: 43].
(وَلِلَّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلاً)
“And [due] to Allah from the people is a pilgrimage to the House – for whoever is able to find thereto a way. But whoever disbelieves – then indeed, Allah is free from need of the worlds” [Aal-i-Imran: 97]
Thus, the Hadith is not rejected, rather it is understood in its accurate meaning as has been explained above. I hope that the matter is clarified.
Ata Bin Khalil Abu Al-Rashtah
11 Jumada Al-Awwal 1444 AH
The link to the answer from the Ameer’s Facebook page.