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Reliable Hadith

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Al-ḥadīth al-muwaththaq (Arabic: الحديث الموثق ) or reliable hadith is a hadith with a full continuous chain of transmitters up to the Infallible Imam (a), although one or more transmitters in the chain has deviated from Imamiyya, despite their reliability. For example, they might be Sunnis or of various Shiite sects other than Imamiyya, such as Fatahiyya and Waqifiyya, who do not believe in the Twelve Imams (a).

Kinds of Reliable Hadiths

Just like authentic hadiths (al-hadith al-sahih) and praised hadiths (al-hadith al-hasan), a reliable or muwaththaq hadith is divided into highest, middle, and lowest. Allama Mamaqani refers to other detailed classifications of reliable hadiths as well.

Al-Shahid al-Thani refers to muwaththaq hadiths as "qawi" or strong hadiths as well. However, [[Mamaqani] takes the latter terminology to be odd and rare. He says, a strong hadith, as usually understood, is different from sahih (authentic), hasan (praised), and muwaththaq (reliable) hadiths, but it is also different from a da'if hadith (weak or unreliable hadith) as well.

If transmitters of a hadith satisfy the conditions of both praised and reliable hadiths, then there is a disagreement as to whether, on balance, the hadith should count as praised or reliable. For example, consider a hadith with some Twelver Imami transmitters whose reliability is not made explicit, and other reliable transmitters who do not believe in the Twelve Imams or are Sunnis. Some scholars take such hadiths to be hasan or good overall, and others take them to be muwaththaq or reliable overall.

The Legitimacy of a Reliable Hadith

There is a disagreement over whether muwaththaq or reliable hadiths are unconditionally legitimate or whether they are unconditionally so merely if the majority of jurists act upon them.

See Also


  • The material for this article is mainly taken from حدیث موثق in Farsi WikiShia.