A Historical Background of the Proscription of Writing Hadith and the Authenticity of Its Compilation

Shaykh Gibril Fouad Haddad

Concerning the Prophet’s prohibition of writing hadith, — Allah bless and greet him — it cannot be understood except in conjunction with his order to write it. The prohibition was general while the order was particular, each with several specific reasons. Jamiat’s post mentions most of them.

One correction:

2. In a tradition recorded in Mustadrak-e-Haakim, Hazrat Amr bin Aas (R.A.) reports, […] I abstained from writing. I mentioned this to the Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) and he indicated towards his tongue and said, ‘Write! By Him in whose hand is my life. Nothing except the truth comes out of it.’ (Mustadrak Vol.1 Page 104)

The name of the Companion in this authentic report is `Abd Allah ibn Amr ibn As, the son of Amr ibn As. May Allah be well-pleased with them.

3. In one Hadith recorded in Mustadrak-Hakim, an explicit and clear order of writing is given. The words are ‘Tie down knowledge’, the Sahaabi enquired, ‘What is tying down knowledge?’ The Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) replied, ‘It’s writing.’ (Mustadrak vol. 1 pg. 106)

In his book “The Tethering of Knowledge,” the hadith master al-Khatib al-Baghdadi compiled the numerous narrations on this topic, among other sources.

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