Fiqh of the Hadeeth
Dr. Muhammad Deeya ar-Rahman al-Azamee
Abbas Abu Yahya
Fiqhul- Hadeeth: After knowing the authenticity of a hadeeth or its weakness, then it becomes obligatory to busy yourself with its understanding since that is the fruit of this knowledge. Indeed a foundation without a building upon it is like a house which is demolished as Khateeb said in the introduction to his book ‘Muaalim’.
‘As for the Fuqaha (scholars of Sharia’) of Islaam, the people of Qiyaas (analogy), opinions, derivation, debate and reflection are well–known in every age and are people of every country. However we will mention here, in this place by Allaah’s permission, the Fiqh of hadeeth according to its people as evidence so that the people who work in and study this science thoroughly (Muhadditheen) are not ignorant of the Fiqh of hadeeth as it is a portion from the categories of this knowledge.’
Then he lists the names of these Muhadditheen al-Fuqaha with a brief mention of their Fiqh, so from them are:
Muhammad bin Sheehab az-Zuhri, Yahya bin Sa’eed al-Ansaari, AbdurRahman bin ‘Amr al-Awzaee, Sufyaan bin Uyaina al-Hilaalee, Abdullaah bin al-Mubarak, Yahya bin Sa’eed al-Qataan, AbdurRahman bin Mahdi, Yahya bin Yahya at-Tameemee.
Regarding Ahmad bin Hanbal, ash-Shafi’ee said:
‘I left Baghdad and I never left behind anyone who had more understanding of the Deen, was more abstinent from the Duniya, more pious or more knowledgeable than Ahmad bin Hanbal.’
(The list continues with:) ‘Alee bin Abdullaah bin Jafar al-Madeeni, Yahya bin Ma’een, Ishaaq bin Ibraheem al-Hanthaali, Muhammad bin Yahya ath-Thuaali, Muhammad bin Isma’eel al-Bukhari, Abu Zur’ah Ubaydillaah bin AbdulKareem, Abu Hatim Muhammad bin Idrees al-Hanthaali, Ibraheem ibn Ishaaq al-Hanthaali, Muslim bin al-Hajjaj al-Qushaayri, Abu Abdullaah Muhammad bin Ibraheem al-Abdi, ‘Uthmaan bin Sa’eed al-Darmi, Abu Abdullaah bin Muhammad bin Nasr al-Marwazi, Abu AbduRahman bin Shu’aib an-Nisaaee, Abu Bakr Muhammad bin Ishaaq bin Khuzaymah, Abu Daawood, Muhammad bin AbdulWahhab al-Abdi, Abu Bakr aj-Jaarudi, Ibraheem bin Abee Taalib, Abu ‘Isa at-Tirmidhi, Musa bin Haroon al-Bazaar, al-Hasan bin ‘Alee al-Ma’mari, ‘Alee bin al-Hussain bin al-Junaid, Muhammad bin Muslim bin Warah, Muhammad bin ‘Aqeel al-Balkhi and other than them.
From the Fuqaha of Ahl-ul-Hadeeth is Abu Bakr an-Neesaabooree of whom Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymeeyah – may Allaah have mercy on him – said:
‘Abu Bakr an-Neesaabooree was an Imaam in Fiqh and hadeeth, he was concerned with the Ahadeeth of Fiqh and with the variant wordings of the Ahadeeth. He was close to the way and knowledge of Ahl-ul-Hadeeth such that he was not biased towards the sayings of any of the Fuqaha, just as the famous Imaams of Hadeeth were not.’
Then he continues:
‘As for Bukhari and Abu Daawood, then they are two Imaams in Fiqh from the people of Ijtihaad. As for Muslim, Tirmidhee, Nisaaee, Ibn Maja, Abu Ya’ala, al-Bazaar and those similar to them then they were upon the madh-hab of Ahl-ul-Hadeeth. They were not blind-followers of any single individual from amongst the scholars, nor were they absolutely from the Imaams of Ijtihaad, but rather they were not inclined to take the sayings of the Imaams of hadeeth such as Shafi’ee, Ahmad, Ishaaq, Abu Ubayd and their likes.’
‘As for al-Bayhaqi then he was on the Madh-hab of ash-Shafi’ee, supporting it with its general statements. Daraqutnee also inclined towards the Madh-hab of Shafi’ee and the Imaams of the chains of narrations (asaaneed) and hadeeth, but he was not like al-Bayhaqi in blindly following Shafi’ee. So, even though al-Bayhaqi carried out Ijtihaad in many issues, the Ijtihaad of Daraqutnee was stronger than his as he was more knowledgeable and had a stronger comprehension than him (i.e. al-Bayhaqi).’
‘From them there were those who specialised with some of the scholars just as Abu Daawood specialised with Ahmad bin Hanbal so they are more inclined to the Madh-hab of Ahl-ul-Hijaaz – such as Maalik and his likes– than the Madh-hab of Ahl-ul-Iraq – the likes of Abu Hanifah and Thawree.’ The end of Shaykh ul-Islaam’s saying.
‘Knowledge of the Fiqh of hadeeth cannot be achieved except if the different paths of the hadeeth are gathered just as Imaam Ahmad said: ‘If the different paths (narrations) are not gathered, the hadeeth cannot be understood. The hadeeth are explained, some by others.’
Yahya bin Ma’een said: ‘If a hadeeth was not written with 30 different chains, we would not have understood it.’
Imaam Shafi’ee authored a booklet in ‘Ihktilaaf of hadeeth’, then Ibn Qutaybah followed him in that as did Abu Yahya Zakareeyah bin Yahya as-Saajee, Tahawee, Tabaree, Ibn Abdul Barr and Ibn al-Jawzi. All of this shows the importance of Fiqh ul-Hadeeth to the Muhadditheen, researchers and those who extrapolate rulings. This is what al-Khateeb indicated in his book ‘al-Kafaya’:
‘If it were not for the concern of As-haabul-Hadeeth (the companions of hadeeth) with the precision of the Sunnan, gathering them, extracting them from their sources and researching the different paths, the Sharia’ would have become void and its rulings would have been cancelled out because the rulings were extrapolated from preserved Athaar (narrations) and they took benefit from the transmitted Sunnan.’
* Taken from ‘Mu’jam Mustalah al-Hadeeth wa laataif al-Assaneed’ p. 296-300
 Ma’reefat ‘uloom al-hadeeth p.63
 Majmoo’al-Fatawa (24/146) & similarly Ibn Salah in ‘Mareefat az-Zeeyadat’ in al-Muqnaa’(1/191)
 Majmoo’al-Fatawa (20/40-41)
 Al-Jama’ by al-khateeb (2/212)
 Al-Jama’ by al-khateeb (2/212)