Rafed English

Attitude of Ulama’ toward Akhbar al-Ahad

In a comment on utterance of Ibn al-Salah,688 “The Ummah received al-Bukhari and Muslim with approval” al-Jaza’iri said: “He didn’t manifest what he meant by Ummah! Or what he intended by receiving them both with approval! And he had to elucidate that clearly so as not to let doubts and questions raised in the minds of people. If he meant by Ummah all the Ummah throughout all ages, he would prove his dishonesty, as these two books were only approved in the 3rd century after the time of al-Bukhari and leaders of known schools of Islamic Law (mudhahib). And if he meant some of it — who came on the scene after the two Sahihs and they truly constituted part of the Ummah — his proof cannot be established. But if he meant by it its ulama’ — which is apparently sensed — the ulama’ here are on three divisions: Mutakallimun, Fuqaha’ and Grammarians.

But the ulama’ to whom this description can be applied, being in fact those who emerged after coming out of these two books in the 3rd Hijrah century. Whereas those who came before them from among people of ancient centuries, in regard of whom a hadith ascribed to the Prophet was cited, that ‘they were the best of peoples of all centuries’! had never seen these two books so as to seek their opinion regarding them, nor the way they received them!

Let’s go back to the ulama’ who came after the appearance of these two books, to inquire about the way they viewed them and how they received them.

Notes:

688. Tawjih al-nazar, p.125.

Adapted from: "Lights on the Muhammadan Sunnah" by: "Mahmud Ali Riyyah"

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