What is meant by the following statement of Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) regarding Al Gharib:
من طلبها كذّب
Man talabaha kuddhiba
The basic definition of ‘Al Gharib’ is A Hadith which is transmitted by only one narrator in any particular era, regardless of their number in other eras. Many times these type of Hadiths turn out to be weak.
Therefore Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) said, “Whoever seeks these type of [unknown/uncommon] narrations, his information will be rejected/refuted” [i.e. Due to many of these Hadiths being weak, people will reject his narrations]
(Refer: Fathul Mugith, vol. 3 pg. 391)
This is what is meant by Imam Abu Hanifa’s (rahimahullah) statement.
Al Muhaddith Shaykh Muhammad ‘Awwamah (hafizahullah) states that in some manuscripts, the pronunciation of the word is كَذَبَ (kadhaba). In this case, the meaning will be, “Whoever seeks these type of [unknown/uncommon] narrations, will be a liar”
(Refer: Footnotes of Shaykh Muhammad ‘Awwamah on Tadribur Rawi, vol. 5 pg. 59)
Note: Some sources have attributed this statement to Imam Abu Yusuf; the student of Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahumallah).
(Refer: Tadrib, vol. 5 pg. 58/59)
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.
Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar