Kathir ibn Qays said: I was sitting with Abud Darda in the masjid of Damascus. A man came to him and said: Abud Darda, I have come to you from the town of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) for a tradition that I have heard you relate from Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam). I have come for no other purpose.
He said: Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) say: ‘If anyone travels on a road in search of knowledge, Allah will cause him to travel on one of the roads of Jannah. The angels will lower their wings in their great pleasure with one who seeks knowledge, the inhabitants of the Heavens and the Earth and the fish in the deep waters will ask forgiveness for the learned man. The superiority of the learned man over the devout is like that of the moon, on the night when it is full, over the rest of the stars. The learned are the heirs of the Ambiya, and the Ambiya leave neither dinar nor dirham, leaving only knowledge, and he who takes it takes an abundant portion. (Sunan Abi Dawud 3641)
Grade: Shaykh Albani (rahimahullah) said it is sahih whereas Hafiz Abu Tahir Zubair ‘Ali Za’i (rahimahullah) classed it as weak Hadith.
Please Clarify how do we know which Muhaddith is right when there is ijtihadi difference in Hadith matters and which Muhaddith should I follow for the above Hadith?
In any field, one needs to follow and stick to the authentic, reliable Scholars. Once one is satisfied by the Scholar one is referring to, ‘shopping around’ for other rulings should be avoided.
This is what creates confusion!
If anyone objects to the view you are following, you should ignore it as long as you have selected the view of a qualified, reliable authority in the field.
When a matter is ijtihadi (based on analogy) there will always be difference of opinion, as Imam Shafi’i (rahimahullah) has pointed out. (Adabul Ikhtilaf, pg. 14)
Hence, there will always be conflicting views among the scholars. Even the high ranking authentic Hadith Masters differed among themselves in their rulings in certain Hadiths.
In short, to avoid confusion, one should stick to the views of one reliable Scholar or the views of a group of reliable Scholars who have the same approach and methodology (manhaj).
In Hadith, the verdicts of the earlier Hadith Masters have more credibility than the personal rulings of contemporaries.There are many qualified contemporaries who usually quote these rulings.
At Darul Hadith Research Centre, we support and encourage this approach.
We discourage relying upon the rulings of Shaykh Albani (rahimahullah). The reasons for this will be posted on our site at a later stage insha Allah.
We also differ with Hafiz Abu Tahir Za’i in fundamental principles.
See our view on the authenticity of the Hadith in question here.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best,
Answered by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar