Date: 29 Shaaban 1444   Tuesday 21 March 2023

  • Last Update: Monday 20 March 2023، 08:29:50.

Al-Qaradawi’s unique talent in Hadith

08:35 25 December 2022 Author :   Dr. Ahmed Taha Abdel Qader

•        His view of the Prophetic Sunnah reflects his deep belief in it as an original source of revelation and his defense of it.

•        Al-Qaradawi understood the Prophet’s Hadith from the perspective of the Hadith scholars, the jurists, and the scholars’ of the principles of jurisprudence

•        His knowledge of hadith stems from the rules that indicate his moderate approach in which he believes

•        He added two conditions to what the scholars wrote about the permissibility of inference from a weak Hadith

•        His knowledge of the texts, his memorization, and his probing of the narrations on the same subject indicates his unique talent in understanding the Hadiths of the Prophet 


Many scholars discussed the role of Imam al-Qaradawi and his various efforts in all fields.  Scholarly treatises and research studies emerged to discuss study and even criticize this effort. Among the last who wrote about him in this field is Dr. Muhammad Salim Al-Awa in research entitled “The Efforts of Dr. Yusuf Al-Qaradawi in Serving the Prophet’s Sunnah.”

However, I wanted this article to deepen the thought of the reader who is eager to know the treasures of this Imam and to open windows in his character to specialized researchers. The Sheikh, though known for his genius in many fields and arts, especially jurisprudence, principles of jurisprudence , Dawa, education and exerting efforts in the Islamic work, must also be known for his brilliance in the knowledge of the Prophetic hadith and his deep understanding of it and of its rules. This is not an allegation or a claim; as whoever reads some of his productions with fairness knows and understands that, and I will highlight this in the following points:

Firstly: His view of the Prophet’s Sunnah

His view of the Prophetic Sunnah is a comprehensive view in which he sees that the Sunnah is the light of the revelation that guides in the darkness. He believes that the Sunnah constitutes answers for the Muslim who is looking for a solution to the dilemmas of matters. Moreover, he believes that the Prophet's Hadith should reach the whole world because it is eternally valid due to the beautiful topics, directions and methods it carries.

This view reflects two important issues related to the Imam as a great scholar of the Prophet’s hadith. The first one is his deep belief in the Prophetic Sunnah as an original Source of Revelation, a person does not know his religion, acquire his legal knowledge, or walk in his life with righteousness and light except through it, along with the Holy Quran.

The second is the one that reflects his great interest and preoccupation with working with the Sunnah, spreading it and defending it, and this appears clearly and plainly in his writings,   dialogues and advocacy. I do not mean here by the dialogue the narrative writing that is stripped of the feelings of its owner, as we see in some writings, nor do I mean the proud lip service in the field of showing precedence.

But I mean the writing of the lover who adheres to his religion and seeks the breath of his prophet and his understanding. Therefore, you feel the heat of his heart before his pen when writing about the Sunnah or citing it. Look at his words about the status of the Sunnah in Islam in his book “How to Deal with the Sunnah of the Prophet” to understand clearly this matter

Second: Serving the Sunnah and the Noble Prophetic Hadith:

The Imam, may God have mercy on him, has a special character and a wonderful uniqueness in this aspect. His habit, which we are accustomed to in his writings, is not to burden the Islamic library with what was written and dealt with previously, but rather to study useful and new issues that add and enrich the Islamic library and complete the series of books in it. In this regard - he wrote his book "Towards an Encyclopedia of True Hadith, a Draft Suggested Approach" in the early 1980s.  This has been a source of inspiration for many scholar institutions and publishers to produce the first of these in digital or written forms.

There are other writings in the Prophetic Sunnah; including: “An introduction to the study of the Prophetic Sunnah”, “How do we deal with the Prophetic Sunnah? Milestones and Controls”, “The Sunnah is a source of knowledge and civilization”, “The Legislative aspect of the Prophetic Sunnah”, “The Selection of Encouragement and Intimidation”, “The Messenger and Science” .. and others. Each book is distinguished by its unparalleled creativity, and a real addition to the Islamic library in the service of the Prophet's Sunnah. Then he descends to a land for the purpose of the practical application that the Imam was known for and his life became famous for it. He contributed to the establishment of the Prophet’s Biography and Sunnah Research Center in Qatar, which is concerned with the quality of what it produced in terms of depth and quality, away from superficiality and empty abundance. Thus, he rendered a distinguished service to the Prophet's Sunnah, befitting it and highlighting its beauty in useful, mature and fruitful research.

Third: The Characteristics and the Talent of Al-Qaradawi in Understanding the Prophet’s Sunnah

Dr. Al-Qaradawi's talent in understanding the Hadith is evident in his many books, which are close to two hundred. Al-Qaradawi does not have a book without a large share of the Sunnah, which is presented in his books with knowledge and narration that explains its great role through the author’s original presentation of the issues. This shows his talent and deep knowledge of Hadith. I will outline this in the following points:

1-      What is related to his talent  and awareness in understanding the Hadith

His wonderful citations from the Sunnah of the Prophet in all fields through writing and broadcasting.

 Combining the proposed idea and the supporting rooting, so he never presents a single idea that has no roots in both the Quran and the Sunnah.

His noticeable comprehension of most of the recorded Sunnah, in print or in manuscript. He roams precisely between the elevated, stopped and the severed Hadiths in printed books or manuscripts. Whoever reads the resources of his book “The Jurisprudence of Zakat” and others will find many narrations that he adopted and extracted from the wombs of manuscripts that had not printed yet. These citations pleased the scholars who happily benefited from them, especially the books of “taxes and money” “al-khraj wal-amwal”.

- Familiarity with the methods and narrations of a single hadith, which confirms that there is no rapid or incomplete passage of the hadith without collecting its paths and carefully considering it.

- His full knowledge of the rules of hadith studying such as the terminology of hadith, “al-jarh wa atadil” “criticism and praise”, and the approaches of the scholars of Hadith, and others. This established his footing in the Hadith presentation and supported his opinion through this knowledge and understanding.

- His choice of the narration that supports his speech and his citation, which confirms his talent for accurate selection, weighting and investigation, may Allah have mercy on him.

- His selective explanation of the Hadith, the subject of research, among the commentators. This makes his knowledge of what was written about the Hadith and what was written about it powerfully present in the hands of the Sheikh. That is why you see him transmitting the words of Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar once, and again he cites Al-Badr Al-Aini, a third time by Al-Nawawi, a fourth by Al-Qurtubi, and a fifth by Ibn Battal.. and others. Thus, he reached a great stage of understanding what the scholars had written about the single hadith.

- Sometimes he argue with some of these commentators and criticizes their ideas and presentation, and occasionally he defends them rejecting what is not from their words because of his experience of their orientations and his knowledge of their methods. This makes the reader surprised by his presentation and insight in this regard.

The Imam invokes the rules laid down by all scholars, so his understanding of hadith, because of his deep information of these knowledges, is different from that of others, and is deep in understanding unlike the one who knows nothing but discipline and is absent from the rules of other branches.

Combining the reading of the hadith from the perspective of the scholar of the hadith, the jurist and the scholar of the principals of jurisprudence.  Thus, the Imam invokes the rules laid down by all scholars, so his understanding of hadith comes out because of his deep knowledge about all Islamic sciences, different from others, and deep in understanding, unlike the one who knows only one discipline and the rules of other branches are absent from him.

- Understand and digest the rules of understanding the Sunnah and how to deal with it. He wrote a book on matter proves that his knowledge of hadith derives from these rules and controls that indicate his approach in which he believes in moderation, moderation and guidance.

Seeing the organic unit of the hadith that confirms the origins of Islam and does not contradict its directives. This prompts the evidence and follow-ups of the Prophet’s hadith about the idea and the topic emanating from it in his writing. 

His full awareness of the purposes of the Prophetic Sunnah appears in his book “An Introduction to the Study of the Prophetic Sunnah.” This highlights the fact that the Sunnah is a source of legal judgment and fatwa, a source for guiding human behavior, and a drawing of a detailed approach to Islamic life, and other things that stand out in his writings on the hadiths of the Prophet and confirm the soundness of the starting point and the conclusion.

- His brilliance in dealing with the problematic and different hadiths which seem to contradict and how to combine and weight them. This is a great chapter, a few dealt with because of the lack of the ability to combine hadith, jurisprudence and principles together.

With his previous experience related to his deep insight into the text of hadiths and the study of the other directives of its narrator, the Prophet, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, in addition to comprehending the purposes of the pure Sharia, his proposals constituted   additions to the understanding of the hadith scholars who preceded him. This also affirmed the importance of reflection and a comprehensive view of each text separately.

He added some details to the science of hadith. Look at his words about the weak hadith in encouragement and intimidation. He added two conditions to the requirements of scholars regarding the permissibility of this, as in his book “How to Deal with the Prophetic Sunnah” when talking about the weak hadith narration in the virtues of deeds.

His talent in the science of the hadith narration:

Deep knowledge and complete memorization of the texts of the Prophetic hadiths

- Distinguishing between the elevated and the stopped hadith, and whoever reads his fatwas and his books will be amazed at his deep understanding of this distinction!

- The large presence of citations and follow-ups to one hadith that reinforce the idea and deepen the content.

- Probing the narrations on each topic that does not stop only at the limits of the elevated hadith, but supports it with the narrations of the companions and followers and those after them.

- Knowing the abbreviated and the lengthy hadiths that he cites sometimes in the circle of his researches and writings, showing the importance of narrating the hadith in its entirety in the context of its importance in understanding and warding off contradictions, and at other times abbreviated because it is limited to the context of citation.  This is one of the actions of the great people, and among them is Imam al-Bukhari, may Allah have mercy on him.

- His enumeration of the books of the Prophetic Sunnah and the method, presentation and degree of each hadith that they carry.

In fact, one article is not enough for this topic, but I think that each of the previous points deserves independent research. A research that researchers should plan to extract treasures from the books of the Imam, the scholar of prophetic hadith, through scientific theses and new research in its presentation and content, worthy of being presented. May Allah have mercy on the Sheikh, the scholar of prophetic hadith, and make what he presented to the Islamic nation in the balance of his good deeds a ladder and ascension in order to accompany the master of the Sunnahs, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, in the highest paradise of heaven, Amen.


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