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The Method of Shi'ism in Authenticating the Hadith

Shi'ism, in addition to seeking to authenticate the chain of transmission of hadith, considers the correlation of the text of the hadith with the Qur'an as a necessary condition for its validity. In Shi'ite sources, there are many hadiths of the Prophet and the Imams with authentic chains of transmission which themselves assert that a hadith contrary to the Qur'an has no value. Only that hadith can be considered valid which is in agreement with the Qur'an. 1

Basing itself on these hadiths, Shi'ism does not act upon those hadiths which are contrary to the text of the Qur'an. As for hadiths whose agreement or disagreement cannot be established, according to instructions received from the Imams, they are passed by in silence without being accepted or rejected. 2 Needless to say there are also within Shi ism those who, like a group among the Sunnis, act on any hadith whatsoever which they happen to find in different traditional sources.

1 Bihar al-Anwar, vol. I, pp. 139.

2 Bihar al-Anwar, vol. I, pp. 117.


Adapted from: "Shi'ah" by: "Allamah Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Tabataba'i"

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