Al-Khabar al-Wāḥid (Arabic:الخَبَرُ الواحِد) is, according to hadith sciences, a narration of hadiths which is not regarded Mutawatir hadith which means the number of narrators in all generations of transition is not enough to accept the authenticity of Khabar.
Al-Khabar al-Wahid is categorized into three groups in the aspect of the number of narrators: Mustafid, 'Aziz and Gharib.
Sunni scholars did not accept categorizing hadiths into Wahid and Mutawatir, so they categorized them into three aforementioned groups, Mustafid, 'Aziz, and Gharib.
Lexical and Technical Meaning
Al-Khabar al-Wahid is a hadith narrated in a way that did not fulfill all the conditions necessary to be deemed Mutawatir Hadith. Then, it is not proved authentic itself and must be proved by means of other evidences. As a result, if a hadith has all the conditions of tawatur in several generations but one generation lacks them, it is regarded as al-Khabar al-Wahid.
Authenticity of al-Khabar al-Wahid is among the main topics of Usul al-fiqh (The Principles of Jurisprudence).
Al-Khabar al-Wahid is not certainly reported from the Infallibles, in addition they are not handy on their own in religious matters. In issuing fatwa on Furu' al-Din (branches of religion), religious scholars mostly accept verses of the Qur'an and Mutawatir hadiths first and al-Khabar al-Wahid is acceptable only in exceptional situations.
Under special circumstances, al-Khabar al-Wahid is proved to be narrated from the infallibles, which is useful for religious scholars and hadith narrators:
1) The hadith must have met several principles of Al-Usul al-arba'ami'a (the four hundred principles).
2) If a hadith is following one principle in different ways.
5) The hadith must be written in reliable Shi'a books.
6) The hadith must be according to logical reasoning, text of the Qur'an, confirmed tradition and Ijma' (consensus) of Shi'a scholars.
Most of hadiths and reports in narrative books are regarded al-Khabar al-Wahid.
In the aspect of the number of narrators, al-Khabar al-Wahid is categorized into three groups:
If a hadith is transmitted by at least three narrators in every generation, it is called "mustafid". Lexically Istifada means abundant and large number. As a result, if an account is transmitted with more than three narrators it will be mostly similar to Mutawatir Hadith. Al-hadith al-Mustafid are sometimes called "mashhur" (the famous), although they have different meanings; as in al-hadith al-mustafid the account is transmitted with at least three narrators in every generation and al-hadith al-mashhur (the famous hadith) is transmitted with at least three narrators in only some generations, not necessarily all of them. For instance, the hadith "deeds are by intentions." is regarded mashhur not mustafid.
If a hadith is transmitted with at least two narrators in every generation, it is called "'Aziz". Lexically 'Aziz means few number because such hadiths are few or it means solid because such narrations have two evidences or chains of transmitters each supporting each other.
If a hadith is transmitted with only one narrator in every generation or in the first generation it is called "gharib". It has different types such as:
Gharib in the chain of narrators: A hadith which is transmitted with only one narrator in all the generations.
Gharib in the text: A hadith which is transmitted with one narrator in the first generation and then it is narrated with a large number of narrators in the other generations; it is also called al-mashhur al-gharib. The hadith "deeds are by intentions" is regarded "mashhur" as it was narrated with only one companion of the Infallible.
- The material for this article is mainly taken from خبر واحد in Farsi WikiShia.