Marginal Notes on Imaam adh-Dhahabee’s “al-Mawqidhaa”


Marginal Notes regarding Shaykh Saleem al-Hilaalee’s explanation of Imaam adh-Dhahabee’s “al-Mawqidha”

A Treatise on Hadeeth terminology and Classifications

Produced from the 2002 Luton Conference Seminar in the United Kingdom

Editing: Ali al-Boriqee




Hadeeth are of three types:


1. Saheeh (authentic)

2. Hasan (good)

3. Da’eef (weak)


Hadeeth Saheeh


What is Hadeeth Saheeh?  The 5 conditions for a Hadeeth to be classed as Saheeh are:


1) Al-ADAALAH – That all of it’s narrators are ‘adl (just): ie Muslim, of age (baaligh), sane (‘aaqil), not an open sinner (faasiq), and not having bad manners and habits (makhroomul maroo’ah)


2) DAABIT (Precise).  That all of it’s narrators are daabit, which is of two kinds:

a)       DABTUS-SADR (precision of heart)

b)       DABTUL-KITAAB (precision of writing)


3) ITTISAALUS-SANAD – That its isnaad (chain) is connected.  That every one of its narrators heard it directly from the person he is narrating from, from the start of the isnaad to the end.


4) ADAMUSH-SHUDHOODH – That it is not shaadh (odd).  The shaadh is where the reliable narrator contradicts one who is more reliable than him.


5) ADAMUL-’ILLAH – That it does not contain ‘illah (hidden weakness).  The ‘illah is a non-apparent factor which affects the authenticity of the Hadeeth, whilst the isnaad appears to be free from it, eg. a hidden gap in the isnaad.


If any of these five conditions are not fulfilled then the isnaad will not be Saheeh.  When all five are present the Hadeeth is Saheeh.  It is then obligatory to act upon it according to the consensus of the scholars of Hadeeth and all those whose word is counted from the scholars of usool and fiqh.  It is a proof in the Shari’ah and it is not permissible for anyone to leave off acting upon it.


The Qur’an and Hadeeth are both on the same level in terms of following.  The Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: “I have left you two things………”


A Saheeh Hadeeth is of different degrees.  They are in order:


1)       A Hadeeth reported in both Bukharee and Muslim

2)       A Hadeeth reported by Bukharee alone

3)       A Hadeeth reported by Muslim alone

4)       A Hadeeth with the conditions of Bukharee & Muslim but not reported by them

5)       A Hadeeth with the conditions of Bukharee but not reported by him

6)       A Hadeeth with the conditions of Muslim but not reported by him

7)       A Saheeh hadeeth found elsewhere


Then adh-Dhahabee mentioned the most authentic chains of narration.  To say about any single chain of narration is the most authentic is incorrect; rather it is to be specified by the companion or by the town or country.


Meaning Of Terms


a) Agreed upon: Bukharee and Muslim both agree upon this Hadeeth

b) Related by the two Shaykhs: related by Bukharee and Muslim

c) Related by the 6: Bukharee, Muslim, Abu Dawood, at-Tirmidhi, an-Nasai, Ibnu Majah

d) Related by the 7: same as related by 6 including Imaam Ahmad (Musnad)

e) Related by the People of the Sunan: Abu Dawood, Ibnu Majah, at-Tirmidhi, an-Nasaai



Hadeeth Hasan


A Hasan Hadeeth is of two types:


1)       Hasan bi dhaatihi (hasan by itself)

2)       Hasan li ghairihi (hasan due to support)


There is a difference with the scholars about it’s definition due to it falling in between Saheeh and Da’eef.


Imaam adh-Dhahabee (Rahimahu ‘Llah) defined it: “rises above the Da’eef but does not reach Saheeh”


This is because it has some authenticity that brings it above Da’eef but has some weakness which drops it below Saheeh.


Depending on the authenticity of Hadeeth, a Hadeeth is either accepted or rejected:


Saheeh & Hasan are accepted.

Da’eef (has different levels) are rejected


Ibnu Taymiyyah (Rahimahullah) said that at-Tirmidhi (Rahimahullah) divided the hadeeth into 3 types as before him they were only 2.


The only difference between Saheeh and Hasan is the precision of narrators are slightly less precise with Hasan.  All the other four conditions have to be present.  The slightly less precise narrator is called sadooq (truthful) and not thiqah (trustworthy or reliable).


The best definition for the Hasan Hadeeth is by Ibn Hajr (Rahimahullah).  He explains it to be that which fulfils the conditions of the ‘Saheeh’ except that the precision of one or more of it’s narrators is of a lesser standard, ie it fulfills all the conditions (1) to (5) above except that condition (2) is met to a lesser degree, therefore the isnaad falls from the standard of Saheeh to that of being Hasan.  This is the definition of Hasan li dhaatihi.


Adh-Dhahabee (Rahimahullah) talked about Hasan chains.  There are 2 chains:


1) Bahz bin Hakeem, from his father, from his grandfather

2) Amr bin Shuhayb, from his father, from his grandfather


The Hasan Hadeeth in itself constitutes proof in every aspect of Islam just as SaHeeH does.  It is never rejected.


The Ulama differed as to the terminology of at-Tirmidhi’s Sunan.  Generally his terminology is understood as follows:


At-Tirmidhi’s Terminology

Ulama’s Understanding

Hasan Saheeh ghareeb

Equivalent to Saheeh li dhaatihi

Hasan Saheeh

Saheeh li ghairihi

Hasan ghareeb

Hasan li dhaatihi


Hasan li ghairihi

ghareeb (strange)

Equivalent to weak


Hasan li dhaatihi (less precision than for SaHeeH)

Hasan li ghairihi (rises to Hasan due to support)



Hadeeth Da’eef


A Hadeeth that is slightly less in authenticity than a Hadeeth that is Hasan.  It does not possess the qualities of a Hadeeth that is Saheeh or Hasan.


The Da’eef is not acceptable, not used as a proof and cannot be attributed to the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam).


The Ulama differed in using Da’eef Hadeeth for fada’il al-amaal (virtues of actions).  [Note: this does not mean the Jama’atut-Tabligh book.].  The truth is it is not permissible, as it is knowledge and regarding recommended acts of worship.


When we want to mention a Da’eef, how do we present it?  We imply all things that imply it’s weakness ie. “it is said…” etc.  We present it in this way because it may be strengthened so we describe it in this way until it is strengthened.


Different types of Da’eef


Matrook (abandoned)in whose chain there is someone who is very weak (Da’eef jiddan)


Maudu (fabricated) – This is the worst type of weak Hadeeth.  It may be done intentionally or by mistake.


With regards intentionally fabricating aHadeeth there is the Hadeeth of the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam): “Whoever narrates a Hadeeth knowing that it is a lie then he is one of the people who has lied upon me.”


With regards mistakenly fabricating aHadeeth there is the Hadeeth of the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam): “My Ummah has been forgiven for it’s mistakes or forgetfulness or being forced.”


Kitaabu Mauduat by Ibnul Jawzi (Rahimahullah) is a famous book listing maudu aHadeeth.




Adh-Dhahabee (Rahimahu ‘Llah) defined the mursal Hadeeth as: “Hadeeth where a companion is omitted from the chain and a tabiee narrates it from the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam)”


The correct definition is: “a tabiee says ‘the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:….” but does not mention the Sahabah who told him.


We do not need to know the name of the SaHabi as all the SaHabah are trustworthy and reliable narrators.


Ulama differed on 3 opinions of Hadeeth mursal:


1) It is a Hadeeth narrated or attributed to the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) by a junior or senior tabiee.


2) It is a Hadeeth narrated or attributed to the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) by a senior tabiee only.


3) It is a Hadeeth narrated or attributed to the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) by a tabiee or generation after them.


We do not differentiate between a senior or junior tabiee.


Imaam Muslim and the majority of scholars (Rahimahu ‘Llahu ‘anhum) are of the position: “We do not use a Hadeeth that is mursal for a proof in anything.”


Note: There is something called maraseel (plural of mursal).  They are narrated by SaHabah.  A young Sahabah who could not have witnessed him/herself, such as Aaishah (Radiya ‘Llahu ‘anha) who narrated about the beginning of revelation, but she wasn’t born then, or Ibnu Abbass (Radiya ‘Llahu ‘anhu) who narrated something that happened in Makkah.  Ulama agreed we accept all of the maraseel.


Ulama differed with regards to a ‘mursal supported by a mursal.’  The correct opinion is that mursal always remains a mursal no matter how many.


A Hadeeth that is mursal but is supported by a Da’eef Hadeeth which is the same narration is strengthened to the level of hasan li ghairihi.


Hadeeth Saheeh

Hadeeth Hasan

Saheeh li dhatihi (Saheeh by itself)

Hasan li dhatihi (Hasan by itself)

Saheeh li ghairihi (Saheeh by support)

Hasan li ghairihi (Haan by support)



Hasan li dhatihi + 2 or more chains = Saheeh li ghairihi

Da’eef Hadeeth + 2 or more chains = Hasan li ghairihi



This is in the group of Da’eef Hadeeth.  2 or more narrators are missing in succession (one after the other).




This is a weak Hadeeth.  In it’s chain one or more narrators are omitted in the middle.  Does not have to be in succession.





Marfu’ (Elevated)A Hadeeth that goes back to the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam).


Mauqoof – A Hadeeth that goes back to the Companion (Radiya ‘llahu ‘anhu).


Al-Maqtu’ – A Hadeeth that goes back to the tabiee.


Muttassil or Mawsool (Connected) – Free from any missing links.


Musnad – Sanad is connected (Muttassil) throughout and goes back to the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam).  Combination of Mawsool and Marfu’.


Ash-Shaadh – When a certain narrator in some point in the chain differs with someone who is stronger than him in another chain either by number or quality.


Munkar – Where a weak narrator produces a different narration than that of someone who is stronger.


Gharib – Narrated on the authority of only one companion.  It may be authentic or it may be weak.  A famous authentic Hadeeth which is gharib is “Actions are by intentions”.


Aziz – 2 Companions narrate a Hadeeth.


Mash-hur – 3 or more companions narrate this Hadeeth but their number does not reach tawatur.


Mutkiq – Someone who is precise in narrating Ahadeeth.


Musalsal – The chain has a certain feature or description throughout the whole chain such as “I heard-I heard-I heard” etc.  The Hadeeth “Have mercy upon the ones on the earth and Allah will have Mercy upon you.” is of this type.


Muanan – In the chain, the narrators say: “‘An-‘An-‘An” (on the authority of – on the authority of – on the authority of).”  If it is free from tadlees (see below) then it is acceptable.


Mudallas – Where tadlees occurs.  A person has not met that person whom he narrates from but intentionally makes out that he did.


Mursal khafi (hidden mursal) is different from mudallas because:


1)       in mudallas a person says in such a way that he makes you believe that he heard it ie it is intended.

2)       In mursal khafi he has not met that person


Mubtarib (Confusion or not being clear) – People narrate on authority of one shaykh different ways.  This Hadeeth is not possible to reconcile.


Mudraj – An addition from one narrator of the Hadeeth and it looks like it is part of the Hadeeth such as Abu Hurairah (Radiya ‘Llahu ‘anhu) in the hadeeth: “They will come on the day of judgment with their parts of wudhu shining.” where he (Radiya ‘Llahu ‘anhu) says at the end: “So whoever can extend his ghuna then let him extend it.”