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Characteristics of Divine (Sacred) Traditions

MIT
5/2/2016
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All the praises and thanks are due and belong to Allah Who sent the final Prophet Muhammad with best guidance and the standard of morals. I seek His special salutations and benedictions on the Prophet who speaks not of his whims except by a revelation from his Lord, our dear prophet Muhammad, his family and all companions.

The main sources of Islamic legislation basically are the Glorious Qur’an which is entirely Allah’s word in wordings and in meanings, and the other source is the authentically established traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (salla llaahu alaihi wasallam). The verbal traditions of the holy Prophet of Islam in terms of their origin are basically the noble tradition whose wordings and meanings are all from the prophet Muhammad and the divine or sacred traditions (Hadith Qudsi) whose wordings are the prophet’s with its meanings from Allah. These later category are referred to as Al-Hadith Qudsi in Arabic (Divine or sacred Traditions).

In this article, brief but concise characteristics shall be presented on the divine traditions, their status in Islamic theology and the definition offered by scholars on that.

As for the definition of the divine tradition, the most popular is that given by as-Sayyid ash-Sharif al-Jurjani (died in 816 A.H.) in his lexicon At-Tarifat where he says:

A Sacred Hadith is, as to the meaning, from Allah the Almighty; as to the wording, it is from the messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). It is that which Allah the Almighty has communicated to His Prophet through revelation or in dream, and he, peace be upon him, has communicated it in his own words.”

The Hadith Qudsi, or sacred hadith, have a particularly important status because their meaning is entirely from Allah (swt) while the wording is that of the Prophet Muhammad (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) himself.

The above definition by Al-Jurjaani(may Allah have mercy on him) clearly spelt out the characteristics of a sacred tradition. They basically are as follows:

1-. The wordings of a sacred tradition are from the Prophet Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)

2- The meanings of these traditions are entirely from Allah the Most High.

3- They are either revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) through revelation or dreams. Dreams of Allah’s prophets and Messengers are considered as revelation.

It must be noted that, though the divine traditions have their meanings emanating from Allah, they are not in the same status of the Glorious Qur’an and hence cannot be recited in prayers.

All knowledge belongs to Allah and may His salutations be upon the final Prophet and Messenger, his family and all companions and followers. Ameen

 






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