After the passing away of the holy Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him), forgery of the hadiths initiated by traitors of the faith, rumormongers and power-seekers became widely spread.
The effects of such actions obscured the true message of Islam and created numerous religious fractions, sects and parties.
This was despite the explicit criterion issued by the holy Prophet (peace be upon him), to identify the authentic hadiths from those fabricated. He declared that:
“Whatever statement is announced on my behalf which is not in accordance with the Qur’an is not by me.”1
This declaration signifies the fact that the holy Prophet referred to the holy Qur’an in order to verify the authenticity of the hadiths.
Tirmidhi in his book Sahih Muslim narrates a hadith (saying) known as Hadith al-Thaqalayn that refers to al-Thaqalayn, which translates to “the two weighty things.”
In this hadith Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) referred to the Quran and Ahl al-Bayt (‘people of the house’, his family) as the two weighty things.
It is accepted by all Muslims that in this hadith Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) said the following:
“I m leaving among you something which is very important and should be followed, you will not go astray if you get hold of it after I am gone, one part of it being more important than the other: Allah’s Book, which is a rope stretched from Heaven to Earth, and my descendants, people of my house. These two will not part from one another until they come to the reservoir – the day of resurrection, so consider how you act regarding them after my departure.” 2
Ibn Arafah known as Ibn Naftouyeh one of the renowned collectors of the hadiths and also an expert in the knowledge of hadiths, in his book expressed a statement which corresponds with the statement made by Madaeni.
“Many of the forged hadiths which depict the virtues of the Prophet’s companions were fabricated during the Bani Omayyah (Umayyad) dynasty. The intention was to gain popularity with and closeness to that dynasty.”3
However the consequences of such horrific struggle were the inheritance of thousands of forged hadiths by the Islamic world from those dark days, which in turn made it extremely difficult for true Islam to be known.
Multiple religious sects, parties and tribes which came into being from this period onwards were further causes of forged documentations. Since these groups who were allegedly working under the banner of Islam, were unable to corrupt the holy Qur’an, they began to interpret and explain the Qur’anic verses and forging hadiths, in order to gain popularity.
These conspiracies were intensified in the second century and continued into the centuries thereafter.
- Nahj-ol-Fasaha, introduction, p. 84.
- Alhaghaegh, p. 40. Ekmal-ol-Din, vol. 1, p. 237. ; Da’erat-ol-Ma’aref Tashayyo’a, vol. 6.
- The Role of Ayesheh in the History of Islam, vol. 3, p.p. 266-268.