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The Sunnah

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    1. The Sunnah

    3. In the Usul al-Fiqh, Sunnah means the source of Shariah next to the Quran To the Ulama of Fiqh, Sunnah primarily refers to a Shariah value which is not obligatory but falls in the category of Mandub or recommended.

    4. But as a source, Sunnah can create obligation (wajib), Haram, Makruh, etc. In the technical usage Sunnah and Hadith have become synonymous to mean conduct of the Prophet (SM).

    5. In the Hadith literature, there are uses of the word Sunnah in the sense of sources of law, for instance, - in the Prophet's farewell Hajj address - at the time of sending Muadh (R.A.) to Yemen.

    6. Classification One is Qawli verbal Faili actions & Taqriri tacit approval Based on legal point of view Legal Sunnah & Non-legal Sunnah Based on collection Strong (sahih/hasan) Weak (daif) & Forged (Mawdu)

    7. Legal Sunnah (Sunnah tashriyyah) Prophetic activities and instructions of the Prophet (SM) as the Head of the State and as Judge

    8. Non-legal Sunnah (Sunnah Ghayr tashriyyah) Natural activities of the Prophet (Al-afal-al-jibilliyyah), e.g., The manner in which he ate, slept, dressed and such other activities, which do not form a part of Shariah. This is called adat (habit) of the Prophet Certain activities may fall in between legal and non-legal Sunnah

    9. Sunnah which partake of technical knowledge, e.g., medicine, agriculture is not part of Shariah, according to most scholars.

    10. As for the acts and sayings of the Prophet that related to particular circumstances, e.g., strategy of war, including such devices that misled the enemy forces, timing of attack, siege or withdrawal, these too are considered to be situational and not a part of the Shariah.

    11. Quran has priority over Sunnah, because of Its nature of revelation (wahy zahir over wahy Batin), Authenticity & Sunnah is basically & mostly an elaboration of the Quran. In case of real conflict, the Quran should prevail

    12. Sunnah in many instances confirms the Quran - there is no disagreement on this Sunnah explains & clarifies Quran, e.g., Salah, Zakah, Hajj, Riba & many other matters of transactions

    13. Sunnah al-Muassisah Another part of Sunnah which is called Sunnah al-Muassisah or founding Sunnah. These cant be traced in Quran & originated in the Sunnah. e.g., Prohibition of marrying paternal or maternal aunt Right of pre-emption in property (shuf)

    14. Based on chain or claim on transmission from Prophet to downward it is of strong (sahih/hasan), weak (daif) and forged (Mawdu). It is easy for an expert in Hadith to find out the status of Hadith

    15. Even now re-examination of Hadith literature is continuing. In current century, Nasiruddin Albani had good work on this subject.

    16. Mutawatir Hadith It is considered Qati (definitive) in concept/meaning (Mutawatir bil Ma'na) mostly There are only a few Hadith which are Mutawatir bil Lafz (Mutawatir word by word)

    17. Key conditions of Mutawatir Hadith Large number of reporters, Reports must be based on direct knowledge and through sense perception, Reporters must be upright, Reporters are free from sectarian or political bias of that time.

    18. Mashhur Hadith Reported by one or two companions, then become well known Majority of Ulama considered Mashhur as a kind of Ahad Hadith It gives speculative knowledge, not positive knowledge

    19. Another classification - Muttasil (connected) Hadith & - Ghair al-Muttasil (disconnected) Hadith

    20. Mutawatir, Mushhur and Ahad are kinds of Muttasil Hadith. Mursal, Mudal and Munqati are various types of Ghair al-Muttasil Hadith

    21. Mursal Mursal means that a successor (Tabii), narrates a Hadith without mentioning the name of companions. Majority do not accept the Mursal as evidence. Imam Ahmad and Imam Shafii do not rely on Mursal unless reported by famous successor, even then Mursal have to meet certain conditions as mentioned in books on Usul.

    22. Munqati Munqati refers to a Hadith whose chain of narrators has a single missing link somewhere of the middle of the chain.

    23. Mudal Mudal is a Hadith in which two consecutive links are missing

    24. Sahih Excellent in terms of quality of narrators - not in the sense of Qati or absolutely correct, if it is reported by Thiqat Sabitun (highly trustworthy) or by Thiqat (trustworthy) narrator.

    25. Hasan A Hadith is considered Hasan if among the narrators are included (apart from the categories of narrators of Sahih Hadith) some persons who are Sadiq (truthful), Sadiq Yahim (truthful but commits error) & Maqbul (accepted that is there is no proof that he is unreliable).

    26. Daif A Hadith is considered Daif, if among the reporters are any Majhul person (that is unknown person in terms of identity or conduct) or if there is any Fasiq (violator of any important practice) or any liar