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The strict rules of the Hadith Masters

Question

I once heard in a lecture that the scholars of the past were very strict on grading the authenticity of the narrators of hadith.

The lecturer stated that there are some narrators who were graded as weak because they were seen eating while walking.

Also, some narrator was deemed weak because he was seen eating in public. Is this true? Would you be able to name the narrator who was deemed weak because of eating in public? Is there a reason for this other than it might make others desire the same food? Jazakallah.

 

Answer

The Muhaddithun were very thorough when vetting the narrators of Hadith.

Among the conditions that the Hadith Masters (Muhaddithun) have laid down for a narrator to be acceptable, is that he must refrain from sin as well as deeds that are considered shameful in the society he lived in.

 

The following are some examples of such shameful deeds:

1. Untidiness

2. Eating in Public

3. Standing and urinating

4. Being seen without a hat in public

5. Walking bare feet.

(Al-Kifayah fi ‘ilmir Riwayah, pgs.110-114 & Fathul Mughith, vol.2 pgs. 159-160)

The above references have a few examples of such narrators. In these examples, I haven’t seen the name of any specific narrator who may have been discredited because of eating in public.

Note: The above sources also state that deeming acts as shameful may differ from one society to another.

 

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best,

 

Answered by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar

 

Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar