Allah (swt) states in regards to the Prophet Muhammad (saw):
“And indeed, you are of a great moral character. ” (Surah Qalam Chapter 68 v. 4)
One of the most dangerous internal challenges we in the Muslim community face is the rise of “intellectuals” in the Muslim community who claim following the Qur’an by itself alone will enable anyone to have a significant relationship with Allah (swt).
On the surface, this may sound very reasonable to most Muslims, as the Qur’an is the word of Allah and should be enough to understand our religion. But when Allah (swt) orders us to establish prayer, how do we perform it? There are no instructions in the Qur’an that explicitly state how one is supposed to perform the prayer, what positions to take, what to say, etc.
These are detailed and explained when we study the life of the Prophet Muhammad (saw), his teachings and sayings.
The Qur’an is a living document – as Allah (swt) has chosen the Prophet (saw) to be an example of great moral character for the companions of his time, he should also remain an example to us to this day.
The only way this miracle could be achieved was from the tireless work of the sincere scholars of the past, the rigorous sciences adopted in preserving information from generation to generation, and the meticulous study of the transmitters of this information.
Or in other words, the science of Hadith (broadly: the actions and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (saw))
This is the exact science which people who cling only to the Qur’an try to discredit; they claim the hadith are “just the words of a man” or that they are unreliable due to being unfaithfully transmitted.
The fact of the matter is that the hadith are very reliable, and the sciences that guard its transmission is one of the most detailed and intense; such that it has been transmitted through generations in almost pristine condition.
In 2009, I had very little knowledge of the sciences of hadith. I did not realize its immense importance in the life of a Muslim until I sat with Sh. Abdul Bary Yahya in a class sponsored by Al-Maghrib institute entitled “Chain of Command: The Sciences of Hadith.”
What resulted was one of the greatest intellectual journeys I have embarked on from an Islamic perspective. Today, I would like to share a piece of that experience with all of you. 4 years ago I tried my best to capture the class onto my notes and faithfully transcribe them into PDF format so they could be available to my friends and family – and anyone else interested- to learn about this important subject. The link at the bottom of this article has all of the notes free for download.
DISCLAIMER: Notes cannot replace sitting in a class and learning directly from a teacher. This manual has a lot of information, but it is in no way an authority or complete; and is served as a basic overview in this large science. No one can claim that they are an expert in the subject matter over just a few pages of notes from a class; and I am no expert myself. My only intention is to share what little I have with all of you as is detailed in the introduction to the PDF file.
I ask Allah to guide us all to what is correct and increase our knowledge, ameen.
*Please leave a comment if there is difficulty with download.