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Examples of Fabricated Traditions and of Authentic Ones labeled by Some Fabricated


Examples of fabricated Traditions

Abu Hanifa is, perhaps, the greatest of Muslim jurists, and still shines like a sun in the sky of Islamic jurisprudence. But, the saying attributed to the Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings, that Abu Hanifa is the lamp of my nation,87 is not a hadith. It must have been fabricated for sectarian considerations.

Have white cockerels88 must have been forged by a white cockerel seller, even though we like white cockerels.

Beware of the evil of one to whom you have done good,89 is another, illogical, saying wrongly attributed to the Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings. You can win the heart of somebody by doing him good. If it were permissible to attribute a saying to the Prophet, I would say: ‘Do good to the one whose evil you fear’, for it is said that ‘man is the slave of the good done to him’.

Rationality is a principle of Islam, but Islam does not depend on rationalism. No one has the right or authority to judge the Qur’an and the Prophet according to the dictates of his own individual reason. For Islam is the collection of the principles established by God, the Owner and Giver of all reasoning and intellect. Therefore, the saying, Discuss among you a saying attributed to me. If that saying is in accordance with truth, confirm it and adopt it as a religious principle. It does not matter whether I have uttered it or not, does not belong to God’s Messenger, it is simply a fabrication.

Another saying wrongly attributed to God’s Messenger is: I was born in the time of the just king.90 This was fabricated for the purpose of exalting the Persian king Anushirwan. No one can confer honor on God’s Messenger, who himself brought honor to the whole of creation, most particularly to the world we inhabit.

There is another beautiful saying which has a very wide circulation among people as a hadith, although it is really not: Cleanliness comes from belief. The meaning of this saying is true but it was not reported from God’s Messenger through a sound chain of transmission. Instead, God’s Messenger said: Purity (in body and mind and heart) is the half of belief, and ‘al-hamdu li-llah ’(All praise be to God) fills up the balance (where the good deeds of a man will be weighed).91

There is a place near Madina on the way to Makka, called Aqiq. During a journey, God’s Messenger ordered: ‘Set up your tents at Aqiq’. In Arabic, the word translated here as ‘set up your tents’ is takhayyamu. Since the points were not used in writing in the early days of Islam, this word was confused with takhattamu, meaning ‘wear a ring’. In addition, ‘Aqiq’ is, in Arabic, also the name of a precious stone which is cornelian. All this led to a false Tradition, namely, Wear a ring of cornelian, with the addition of because it removes poverty.92

Looking at a beautiful face is an act of worship, is another false Tradition, one plainly slanderous against God’s Messenger.

As was pointed above, the saying, Seek knowledge even if it is in China, is another of false Traditions. It may have been fabricated in order to encourage people to learn. However, the Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings, has many sayings, and there are several verses in the Qur’an, which urge Muslims to learn or to seek knowledge. For example, the Qur’an declares:

Only those of His servants fear God who have knowledge. (al-Fatir, 35.28)

Again, it declares:

Say: ‘Are they equal – those who know and those who know not?’ (al-Zumar, 39.9)

The Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings, says:

Angels spread their wings beneath the feet of those who seek knowledge because they are pleased (with them).93


87. Ajluni, Kashf al-Khafa’, 1.33.

88. Ibid., 1.36.

89. Ibid., 1.43.

90. Ibid., 2.340.

91. Muslim, “Tahara,” 1; Tirmidhi, “Da‘awat,” 86.

92. Ajluni, op. cit., 1.299; Daylami, Musnad al-Firdaws, 56.

93. Abu Dawud, “‘Ilm,” 1; Tirmidhi, “‘Ilm,” 19.


This article has been adapted from Risale- i Nur Collection.