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Abandoned hadith

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Abandoned hadith (hadith matruk) is a hadith narrated by a person who is accused of forgery and whose hadiths are against obvious or well-established principles. The term is also applied to hadiths whose transmitters would make many mistakes in hadith transmission or would commit many sins and misdeeds. Some scholars have used the term hadith munkar (unknown hadith) interchangeably with abandoned hadith; others have considered the term abandoned hadith synonymous with deserted hadith (hadith matruk), but most hadith scholars differentiate between the two.

Abandoned hadiths are a category of rejected hadiths (hadith mardud). Shiite rijal scholars have used this term less frequently than Sunni scholars.

The transmitters of this type of hadiths are categorized as matruk (abandoned) or matruk al-hadith (one whose hadith is abandoned).

Introduction

Hadith matruk (abandoned hadith) is a term in the science of diraya, which indicates a hadith narrated by a transmitter who is accused of forgery and which is not narrated by any other transmitters and its content is against obvious or well-established principles. The term is applied to the hadiths of those transmitters who were known as liars, even if there is no evidence of their lying in their hadiths. According to another definition, which is given mostly by Sunni hadith scholars, an abandoned hadith is a hadith whose transmitters often made mistakes or committed many sins.

The abandoned hadith is a subcategory of the rejected hadith, which jurists do not regard as authoritative.

Examples of abandoned hadiths include the hadiths transmitted by Umar b. Shamir from Jabir al-Ju'fi.

Similarities and Differences with Other Unreliable Hadiths

Abandoned (matruk) hadiths are sometimes called mahjur (deserted) or munkar (unknown). Although abandoned hadiths are similar to forged (mawdu’) hadiths, scholars do not consider them the same, because the fact that abandoned hadiths were narrated by people who were accused of lying or forgery does not necessarily mean that they were forged.

According to al-Mamaqani (1290-1351 AH), Ibn Hajar and Shaykh Tahir al-Jaza’iri considered “abandoned hadith’ (matruk) synonymous with thrown (matruh) hadith, but most scholars maintain that they are different.

According to some scholars, these confusions and disagreements are because rijal sources do not adequately explain their terminology, and there is almost no way for ascertaining the intended meanings of some of these terms.

Categorization and Usage

In rijal sources, some hadith transmitters are described as matruk (abandoned) or matruk al-hadith (one whose hadiths are abandoned). These terms, beside the terms liar (kadhdhab) and forger (wadda’) indicate the unreliability of the hadith transmitter in question. These two terms are mostly used in Sunni rijal sources.

However, in early Shiite rijal sources (e.g., Rijal of al-Najashi or the Rijal of al-Shaykh al-Tusi), the terms matruk or matruk al-hadith are not much used, and only in the Rijal of Ibn Ghada'iri they have been applied to a few hadith transmitters. However, although they rarely used these terms, early Shiite rijal scholars would use other expressions that conveyed the same meaning with other expressions such as “He was weak in his hadith” or “There is doubt in his hadiths.”

Some later scholars categorized abandoned hadiths under weak hadiths or under khabar al-wahid.

References