A Hadeeth meeting the criteria of Al-Bukhaari and /or Muslim
Fatwa No : 248722
Fatwa Date: JumaadaaAl-Aakhir 24, 1435 / 25–4–2014
Assalaamu alaykum. I want to ask a question regarding hadith In some books – such as Al-Haakims ‘al-Mustadrak’ – the compiler says that the hadeeth meets the criteria of al-Bukhaari or Muslim or them both. What is actually meant by this?
As far as I have understood, when it is according to their criteria, it means that the men of the chain are men they (Al-Bukhaari and/or Muslim) have included in their Saheeh books. Is this correct? And are there other factors that make the hadeeth according to the criteria of one or two of them? May Allaah reward you with goodness.
All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad , is His slave and Messenger.
Many of the Hadeeth scholars hold that the meaning of Al-Haakim’s statement, ‘meets the criteria of Al-Bukhaari or Muslim or both of them’ is that Imaam Al-Bukhaari and/or Muslim presented Ahaadeeth reported on the authority of the narrators in that chain of transmission. This is the opinion of Ibn As-Salaah, An-Nawawi, Ibn Daqeeq Al-‘Eed, and Ath-Thahabi.
Al-‘Iraaqi explained that statement as follows: “It means that the narrators in this chain of transmission are as trustworthy and accurate as the narrators on whose authority Al-Bukhaari and/or Muslim reported Ahaadeeth.”
The first opinion is more likely to be the correct one because it is supported by Al-Haakim’s commentary on the authenticity of the Ahaadeeth in his book, Al-Mustadrak.
Al-Haafith Ibn Hajar wrote, “When the Hadeeth narrators are accepted by Al-Bukhaari and/or Muslim (i.e. when they present Ahaadeeth reported on the authority of those narrators), he (Al-Haakim) would comment on the Hadeeth, ‘Saheeh (sound) according to the criteria of Al-Bukhaari and/or Muslim’.
If Al-Bukhaari and Muslim did not present a Hadeeth narrated on the authority of some of the narrators of the Hadeeth, he would comment, ‘Saheeh chain of transmission’.”
[An-Nukat ‘ala Muqaddimat Ibn As-Salaah]
What is the difference between Saheeh Al-Bukhaari and Saheeh Muslim, and the difference between them and the other books of Hadeeth (narration) in terms of judging the degree of authenticity of a Hadeeth?
All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.
Scholars of Hadeeth agreed that a Hadeeth is not judged as authentic except under certain conditions:
1. Uninterrupted chain of narration.
2. Uprightness of the narrator.
3. Veracity and accuracy of the narrator.
4. Lack of irregularities.
5. Lack of defects.
Differences in opinion among scholars occur in the manner of applying these conditions to a particular Hadeeth, not in the conditions themselves. Al-Bukhaari and Muslim, may Allaah have mercy upon them, are distinguished from other narrators by stipulating that they do not narrate a Hadeeth in their books except the ones of the highest degree of authenticity and whose narrators are known for their formidable memory and accuracy. Other scholars of Hadeeth did not stipulate these conditions.
Some scholars stipulated to narrate Saheeh Hadeeths regardless of being of the highest degree of authenticity, such as Ibn Khuzaymah and Ibn Hibbaan, may Allaah have mercy upon them; whereas, others collected the Saheeh and Hasan Hadeeths, such as the compilers of the Sunan (At-Tirmithi, Ibn Maajah, Abu Daawood, and An-Nasaa’i, may Allaah have mercy upon them).
Allaah Knows best.