The writing of hadith at the time of the prophet
Previous          Next

The questions to answer in this paper are the following: Was the Sunnah being written during the lifetime of the prophet and did he allow it? As you will in the next section, History testifies that Abu Bakr and Umar did not burn the collected Hadith because the prophet banned its writing, but because of personal reasons.

There are many logical reasons why it makes more sense to believe that the prophet encouraged and allowed the writing of his Sunnah rather than the contrary. There are also many authentic narrations that support this point of view.

Logically, you cannot rely on memorization to preserve the Sunnah, especially when it is meant for mankind and not for a small tribe. The companions are fallible. Therefore, they can make mistakes and forget. The narrations can get unintentionally or intentionally altered as they are transmited from one person to the next, thus losing their authentic language. This mechanism of preservation will certainly render the narrations unreliable, therefore useless. I don't believe that the prophet was a different Sunnah to reach other people and different generations. He certainly wants his original teachings to travel the world, and not his modified teachings.

Some say that the prophet disallowed the writing of hadith in order to avoid mixing it with the Quran, therefore altering the text of Allah. This excuse is invalid and is a lie. Allah has decreed the protection of the Quran from any form of alterations. No matter how hard the wrongdoers tried and keep trying, it would not and will not be altered because Allah is protecting it.

If the prophet truly disallowed the writing of hadiths, then why have al-Bukhari, Muslim, ibn Hanbal and all the other known scholars of the past and the present written volumes of hadith? Aren't they all disobeying the order of the prophet, thus disobeying Allah? Needless to say that no verse in the Quran ordered the prophet or anyone not to write the hadith of the prophet.

Imagine for a moment that the writting of Hadith and its narration were not banned. This means the companions would have written many of the Hadith of the prophet. Then someone decides to compile them all into one big volume. This person will have first hand narrations, either directly from the prophet or from his companions. So instead of having narration with a mile-long Isnad (chain of transmission), we would have Hadith with an Isnad such as: The prophet said or such companion narrated from the prophet that he said. Imagine how helpful this would have been to us today??? What is better? First or second hand narrations or narrations with 20 transmitters!!! Do you understand why the prophet could not have banned the writing of his Sunnah? Unfortunately, today's narrations are of the second type, making it too difficult to authenticate.

As explained in the previous paper, the Sunnah of the prophet is the Tafseer of the Quran. This is how the prophet explained every verse of the Quran and gave all the details. This is how he detailed how to perform all prayers, how to perform the Wudu' and Tayammum, how to recite the Adhan and Iqamat, how to conduct war and handle prisoners of war, how to conduct trade, etc. It is the Sunnah that explains all the intricate verses of the Quran (Mutashabihat). So do you really think the prophet would ban this knowledge, especially when it is supposed to travel through space and time?

After forbidding its writing throughout several reigns, the order was reversed at the time of the ruler Umar bin 'Abdul 'Aziz, according to the following authentic tradition:

Narrated Abu Huraira: ... And 'Umar bin 'Abdul 'Aziz wrote to Abu Bakr bin Hazm, "Look for the knowledge of Hadith and get it written, as I am afraid that religious knowledge will vanish and the religious learned men will pass away (die). Do not accept anything save the Hadiths of the Prophet. Circulate knowledge and teach the ignorant, for knowledge does not vanish except when it is kept secretly (to oneself)."
References:
     Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 3, Number 98, Book: Knowledge; Page 39, Number 99 (Arabic version)

It is clear that without the knowledge of the traditions of the prophet, religious knowledge will vanish. It is also clear that this was the purpose of the caliphs before 'Umar bin 'Abdul 'Aziz, starting with the first three caliphs. As far as the fourth caliph (Imam Ali) is concerned, he did not forbid this practice. He in fact had the collection of all the hadith of the prophet in what used to be called Sahifah al Jamia'a. This is explained below, although the reporters of this hadith did not report the complete content of this collection. So did Imam Ali disobey the prophet, knowing that he is from the purified members of Ahlul Bayt and about whom the prophet said:

The Messenger of Allah recited "Verily Allah intends to keep off from you every kind of uncleanness O' People of the House (Ahlul-Bayt), and purify you a perfect purification". (Quran, the last sentence of Verse 33:33) and then the Messenger of Allah said: "Thus Me and my Ahlul-Bayt are clear from the sins."

Ali is with Quran, and Quran is with Ali

O Allah! turn the haqq with Ali wherever he ('Ali) turns

You are from me and I am from you

Whoever obeys 'Ali, obeys me, whoever obeys me, obeys Allah, whoever disobeys 'Ali disobeys me, whoever disobeys me, disobeys Allah


Content:
The prophet permitted the companions to write his Hadith
The prophet ordered the reporting and writing of his Hadith
Some companions had their own Sahifa
The sahifat of Imam Ali
Contradictory narrations
 
The prophet permitted the companions to write his Hadith
Let's start with the following narration from the Shia'a sources:
Ali said: "Whenever I asked the prophet something, he would answer....There wasn't a verse that was revealed to him but he dictated it to me and I wrote it with my own hands, and taught me its interpretation and explanation, its general and particular meaning, how and why it was revealed and on whom it was revealed. The prophet supplicated Allah to give me the power of understanting memorization...
كنت إذا سألت رسول الله أجابني، وإن فنيت مسائلي ابتدأني، فما نزلت عليه آية في ليل ولا نهار ولا سماء ولا أرض، ولا دنيا ولا آخرة، ولا جنة ولا نار، ولا سهل ولا جبل، ولا ضياء ولا ظلمة، إلا أقرأنيها وأملاها علي وكتبتها بيدي، وعلمني تأويلها وتفسيرها ومحكمها ومتشابهها وخاصها وعامها، وكيف نزلت، وأين نزلت وفيمن أنزلت إلى يوم القيامة ودعا الله أن يعطيني فهما وحفظا، فما نسيت آية من كتاب الله ولا على من أنزلت إلا أملاها علي.

Let's remember what the prophet said on his first preach:

Who will support me in this matter and be my brother, my helper and fulfill my promises and be with me in Heaven and be my successor among you, and be executor?
فأيكم يؤازرني على أمري هذا؟
أيكم يتولاني في الدنيا والآخرة؟
من يبايعني على أن يكون أخي وصاحبي ووليكم من بعدي؟
أيكم يواليني في الدنيا والآخرة
من يضمن عني ديني ومواعيدي ويكون معي في الجنة ويكون خليفتي في أهلي،
من يضمن عني ديني ومواعيدي ويكون معي في الجنة ويكون خليفتي في أهلي ?
فأيكم يؤازرني على هذا الأمر على أن يكون أخي ووصيي وخليفتي فيكم

What about the Dua'a the prophet made to Allah in favor of Ali (similar to the Dua'a that Moses made to Allah in favor to Moses):

Thereupon the Holy Prophet implored Allah, saying: 'O Allah! My brother Musa begged You saying: My Lord, delight my heart and make my task easy and undo the knot in my tongue so that they may understand me, and appoint from among my kinsmen, Harun, my brother, as my vizier, and strengthen my back with him and make him participate in my mission so that we may glorify You and remember You more frequently.
اللهم إني اسألك مما سألك أخي موسى أن تشرح لي صدري وأن تيسر لي أمري وأن تحل عقدة من لساني يفقه قولي واجعل لي وزيراً من أهلي عليا أخي أشدد به أزري وأشركه في أمري كى نسبحك كثيراًً أو نذكرك كثيراًً انك كنت بنا بصيراً

Also, let's not forget that Ali is the brother of the prophet in this world and the Hereafter, he is from the prophet and the prophet is from him and he was created from the clay of the prophet. And most importantly, he is the first divinely appointed successor of the prophet. Therefore, it makes perfect sense for the prophet to choose Ali as the writer of his Hadith (revelation from Allah) and its protector. No wonder Ali is known to have inherited the knowledge of the prophet. In another narration from Muhammad al-Baqir, reported by al-Sudduq in al-Amali:

The prophet told Ali: "Write what I dictate to you." Ali asked: "Oh prophet, do you worry that I forget?" The prophet responded: "No, I am not worried that you forget. I have prayed to Allah that He makes you memorize and not forget, but write for your associates." And Ali asked who his associates were. The prophet responded: "The imams from your son....pointing to his son al-Hassan as the first of them, then to his son al-Hussein, then the imams from the son of Hussein."
أن رسول الله قد قال لعلي: أكتب ما أملي عليك، فقال علي: يا نبي الله أتخاف علي النسيان؟
فقال الرسول: لست أخاف عليك النسيان، وقد دعوت الله أن يحفظك ولا ينسيك، ولكن أكتب لشركائك! قال علي: قلت ومن شركائي يا نبي الله؟
قال الرسول: الأئمة من ولدك، بهم تسقى أمتي الغيث، وبهم يستجاب دعاؤهم، وبهم يصرف الله عنهم البلاء، وبهم تنزل الرحمة من السماء، وأشار الرسول إلى الحسن، وقال هذا أولهم وأومى إلى الحسين، وقال:
الأئمة من ولده.

So according to the books of the Shia'a, Ali was the main writer of the Sunnah of the prophet. He wrote all ot its details as dictated by the prophet. According to their sources, Imam Ali wrote three books: the Sahifa (or al-Jamia'a) containing all the dictations of the prophet to Ali (basically the Sunnah), the book of al-Jafr which contains knowledge of past and future events, the previous scriptures such as the Torah, Injil and the psalms of David (of course this is knowledge coming from the prophet, as revealed to him from Allah), and Mushaf Fatima, which is said to be three times larger than the Quran and does not contain a single Quranic verse.

Imam Ja'afar al-Sadiq said that if we (the imams of Ahlul Bayt) were directed people based on our opinions and desires, we would have perished. But our sayings and directions (our ways) are a legacy from the prophet, which we inherit from one another and we treasure it as people treasue their gold and silver:

إنا لو كنا نفتي الناس برأينا وهوانا لكنا من الهالكين، ولكنها آثار من رسول الله أصل علم نتوارثه كابر عن كابر، نكنزها كما يكنز الناس ذهبهم وفضتهم.

He also said:

If Allah had imposed our obedience, and our Wilaya and commanded you to love us, we would not have stopped you by our doors or asked to you come inside. By Allah we do not speak based of our desires or our opinions, but we only speak what Allah has spoken. These are our principles we treasure them just like those who treasure their gold and silver.
لولا أن الله فرض طاعتنا، وولايتنا، وأمر مودتنا، ما أوقفناكم على أبوابنا، ولا أدخلناكم بيوتنا، إنا والله ما نقول بأهوائنا، ولا نقول برأينا، ولا نقول إلا ما قال ربنا، أصول عندنا نكنزها كما يكنز هؤلاء ذهبهم وفضتهم

al-Muttaqi al-Hindi reported the following narration from Imam Ali:

Ali narrated from the prophet: "Write down this knowledge. You will benefit from it either in this world or on the Last Day. Knowledge will never deviate its owner."
قال الإمام علي عليه السلام قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم: (اكتبوا هذا العلم، فإنكم ستنتفعون به إما في دنياكم، وإما في آخرتكم، وأن العلم لا يضيع صاحبه)

al-Khateeb Baghdadi reported in his book Taqyeed al-I'ilm:

Ali used to say: "Mark down knowledge in writing."
وكان الإمام علي عليه السلام يقول: (قيدوا العلم بالكتابة)

Ibn Shahr Ashub reported in the book al-Ihtijaj:

The prophet addressed the Muslims and Jews: "Write what you have heard." They responded: "We heard, we understand and we will not forget." Then the prophet said: "the writing is the best way to remember."
قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم: (... يا معشر المسلمين واليهود اكتبوا ما سمعتم، فقالوا: يا رسول الله قد سمعنا ووعينا، ولا ننسى، فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم الكتابة أذكر لكم

al-Kafi reported in his book the following narration from Ja'afar al-Sadiqq:

Imam Ja'afar al-Sadiqq said: "Write. You will not memorize until you write."
قال الإمام جعفر الصادق عليه السلام: (اكتبوا فإنكم لا تحفظون حتى تكتبوا)

Imam al-Sadiqq also said in Tadween al-Qur'an:

Imam Ja'afar al-Sadiqq said: "Keep your books as you will need them"
قال الإمام الصادق عليه السلام أيضا: (احتفظوا بكتبكم فإنكم سوف تحتاجون إليها)

Clearly, the imams of Ahlul bayt had inherited the knowledge from the prophet from Ali to al-Hassan to al-Hussein and so on. This knowledge must have been written in great details and well-documented. They had all the details about the Sunnah of the prophet. Are these imams lying when they make such claim, especially, when they call say the same thing, even their household, without any contradiction?

Imam Ali's writing of everything the prophet dictated to him was particularly for the imams of Ahlul Bayt, because Ahlul Bayt were the second of the thaqalayn, to whom unconditional adherence, obedience and love was due. That is how they inherited the knowledge of the prophet and never needed the teachings of anyone, but they taught everyone.

At the same time of Ali's writing, the prophet had requested from others to also write his Hadith, as much as they could and needed. This is a fact reported by the Imams of Ahlul Bayt as well as the Sunni scholars. Those who could write fulfilled the prophetic request.

Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-A'ass said: "I used to write down whatever I heard from the Messenger of Allah, so Quraysh prohibited me from doing so saying, `Do you write everything you hear from the Messenger of Allah who is a human being talking in anger or when pleased?' So I stopped writing, then I told the Messenger of Allah about it, whereupon he pointed to his mouth and said, `Keep writing, for by the One Who holds my soul do I swear that nothing comes out of it except the truth.'"
حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى بْنُ سَعِيدٍ عَنْ عُبَيْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ الْأَخْنَسِ أَخْبَرَنَا الْوَلِيدُ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ عَنْ يُوسُفَ بْنِ مَاهَكَ عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عَمْرٍو قَالَ كُنْتُ أَكْتُبُ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ أَسْمَعُهُ مِنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أُرِيدُ حِفْظَهُ فَنَهَتْنِي قُرَيْشٌ فَقَالُوا إِنَّكَ تَكْتُبُ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ تَسْمَعُهُ مِنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَرَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ بَشَرٌ يَتَكَلَّمُ فِي الْغَضَبِ وَالرِّضَا فَأَمْسَكْتُ عَنْ الْكِتَابِ فَذَكَرْتُ ذَلِكَ لِرَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَقَالَ اكْتُبْ فَوَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ مَا خَرَجَ مِنِّي إِلَّا حَقٌّ
References:
     Mustadrak al-Hakim, volume 1, p105
     Sunan Abu Dawud, volume 2, p126
     Sunan al-Darimi, volume 1, p125
     Musnad Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, v2,p162 [entire book: p493,#6510]; v2,p192 [entire book: p515,#6802]

This first narration clearly shows who prohibited the writing of the Sunnah: Quraish and not the prophet. Abdullah was writing the Hadith of the prophet because that is what the prophet ordered his companions to do. But the people of Quraish were not happy about it for personal reasons! They even cast doubt on the sayings of the prophet, which are purely revelation from Allah. The prophet said it himself: "Keep writing, for by the One Who holds my soul do I swear that nothing comes out of it except the truth".

Bukhari reported the following narration:

A man from Yemen heard the prophet speaking, so he asked the prophet to write to him his Hadith. The prophet asked someone to write it for him."
أن رجلا من أهل اليمن سمع رسول الله، فقال: أكتب لي يا رسول الله فقال الرسول: أكتبوا لأبي فلان.

Bukhari reported another version of the narration, with a little more detail:

Abu Shah, a man from Yemen, said to the prophet: "Write to me, oh prophet of Allah". So the prophet asked the companions who were present: "Write to Abu Shah". The narrator said that he asked al-Uzai'i what the prophet meant when he asked to write, and he responded that the prophet asked the companions to write the Khutbah he had just given.
فقام أبو شاه - رجل من اليمن - فقال أكتبوا لي يا رسول الله فقال الرسول: اكتبوا لأبي شاه، قال الراوي قلت للأوزاعي ما قوله اكتبوا لي يا رسول الله؟ قال: هذه الخطبة التي سمعها من رسول الله.

Imam Ahmad reported the same narration, as above, in his Musnad:

عن أبي هريرة: (لما فتح الله على رسوله (صلى الله عليه وآله) مكة، قام الرسول (صلى الله عليه وآله) وخطب الناس، فقام رجل من أهل اليمن يقال له أبو شاه، فقال: يا رسول الله: اكتبوا لي. فقال: اكتبوا له. فقال أبو عبد الرحمن (عبد الله بن أحمد) ليس يروى في كتابه الحديث شيء أصح من هذا الحديث لأن النبي (صلى الله عليه وآله) قال: اكتبوا لأبي شاه

So clearly, the prophet allowed the writing of his Khutbah when someone asked him, because they could not remember it all. This is just what anyone would do in order to preserve the knowledge and wisdom of a prophet, realizing that we all tend to forget details, especially when not used! The writing of the Sunnah is just commonsense, just like the writing of the Quran.

al-Tirmidhi in his Sunan reported the following narration:

An Ansari was sitting next to the prophet and listening to the Hadith of the prophet and he liked it but did not or could not memorize it all. So he complained to the prophet: "I listen to your hadith and I enjoy it but I can't memorize it." The prophet then told him to start writing it with his right hand.
أن رجلاً من الأنصار كان يجلس إلى النبي فيسمع من النبي الحديث فيعجبه ولا يحفظه، فشكا ذلك إلى النبي، فقال: يا رسول الله، إني اسمع منك الحديث فيعجبني ولا احفظه، فقال له رسول الله استعن بيمينك، وأومأ بيده للخط

al-Khateeb al-Baghdadi reported the following 2 narrations, in Taqyeed al'I'ilm. The first one is similar to the above one from al-Tirmidhi. The second is about the companions Rafi'i ibn Khaddeej who asked the prophet if he could write his Hadith, and the prophet allowed it with no problem:

عن أبي هريرة: (أن رجلاً من الأنصار كان يشهد حديث رسول الله (صلّى الله عليه وآله) فلا يحفظه، فيسأل أبا هريرة فيحدّثه، ثم شكا قلَّة حفظه إلى رسول الله (صلّى الله عليه وآله). فقال له النبي: استعِن على حفظك بيمنك)

روى رافع بن خديج قال: مر علينا رسول الله (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) يوماً ونحن نتحدث، فقال: ما تحدثون ؟
فقلنا: ما سمعنا منك يا رسول الله.
قال: تحدثوا، وليتبوأ مقعده من كذب عليّ من جهنم ! ومضى لحاجته، وسكت القوم، فقال (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم): ما شأنهم لا يتحدثون ؟ !
قالوا: الذي سمعناه منك يا رسول الله !
قال: إني لم أُردْ ذلك، إنما أردت من تعمّد ذلك، فتحدثنا.
قال: قلت: يا رسول الله ! إنا نسمع منك أشياء، افنكتبها ؟
قال: اكتبوا، ولا حرج.

Ahmad reported the following narration in his Musnad:

The grand-father of Amru ibn Shua'ayb narrated: "I asked the prophet if I could write everything I heard and he replied Yes. I then asked him if I could write what he said when in an angry state, and he replied Yes because he spoke nothing but the truth." And in another narration he asked: "I hear Hadith from you. Can I write them?" The prophet replied: "Yes."

In another narration, The grand-father of Amru ibn Shua'ayb narrated: "Oh prophet of Allah. We hear from you lots of Hadith we can't memorize them. Can't we write them?" The prophet replied: "Yes, write them."

عن عمرو بن شعيب عن أبيه عن جده قال: (قلت يا رسول الله: أكتب كل ما أسمع منك؟ قال الرسول: نعم، قال: قلت: في الرضا والغضب؟ قال الرسول: نعم، فإني لا أقول في ذلك كله إلا حقا)، وفي رواية أخرى (إني أسمع منك أشياء أفأكتبها؟ قال الرسول نعم)

عن عمرو بن شعيب عن أبيه عن جده قال: (قلت يا رسول الله إنا نسمع منك أحاديثا لا نحفظها أفلا نكتبها؟ قال: بلى فاكتبوها)

al-Hadidh al-Haythami in Majma'ul Zawa'id reported the following narration, in which the prophet told his companions to write down knowledge:

Abdullah ibn A'amru narrated that the prophet said to note down the knowledge they hear. Abdullah asked what he meant by that and the prophet explained to write it. Anas said: "Note down the knowledge by writing it". This was reported by al-Tabarani in His book al-Kabeer and his narrators are all Sahih. Anas also said: "A man complained to the prophet about his inability to memorize the Hadith of the prophet, who then told him to write it down with his right hand." Abu Hurayra narrated a similar narration.
قال عبد الله بن عمرو قال رسول الله: (قيدوا العلم، قلت وما تقييده؟ قال الكتابة) قال أنس: قيدوا العلم بالكتابة رواه الطبراني في الكبير ورجاله رجال الصحيح وقال أنس: (شكا رجل إلى النبي سوء الحفظ فقال النبي استعن بيمينك، وروى أبو هريرة مثل ذلك.

Here is another narration from Abu Hurayra showing that Abdullah ibn Amru used to write the Hadith of the prophet. This was reported in Sahih al-Bukhari:

Abu Hurayra narrated: "No one among the companions of the prophet narrated more Hadith than me except Abdullah ibn Amru. He used to write it down and I did not."
عن أبي هريرة: (ما من أصحاب النبي (صلى الله عليه وآله) أحد أكثر حديثاً عنه مني، إلاَّ ما كان من عبد الله بن عمرو، فإنه كان يكتب ولا أكتب.

al-Dhahabi reported that Abu Bakr himself wrote with his own hands 500 hadith during the lifetime of the prophet. When the prophet passed away, pursuant to his directions and the directions of government of Quraish, he burnt the Hadiths that he heard from the prophet and wrote with his own hands:

إن الخليفة أبا بكر نفسه كتب بيده خمسمائة حديث أثناء حياة الرسول، وانتقل الرسول إلى جوار ربه وهذه الأحاديث مكتوبة عنده، وبعد وفاة الرسول وعملا بتوجهاته وتوجهات دولة بطون قريش قام الخليفة الأول بإحراق الأحاديث النبوية التي سمعها من الرسول وكتبها بخط يده)

al-Dhahabi, ibn Katheer and al-Muttaqi al-Hindi provided more details about Abu Bakr's writing of Hadith:

Narrated Aisha: My father gathered the ahadith of the Messenger of Allah, and they totalled five hundred, then he spent his night sleeplessly turning on his sides. I thought that he was upset because of someone's complaint, or because of some news which he had heard. The next morning, he said to me, `Daughter! Bring me the ahadith in your possession,' so I brought them to him, and he set them on fire."
جمع أبي الحديث عن رسول الله وكانت خمسمائة حديث، فبات ليلته يتقلب كثيراً.
قالت: فغمني، فقلت: أتتقلب لشكوى أو لشيء بلغك?
فلما أصبح قال: أي بنية، هلمّي الأحاديث التي عندك.
فجئته بها، فدعا بنار فأحرقها.
فقلت: لم أحرقتها ؟
قال: خشيت أن أموت وهي عندي فيكون فيها أحاديث عن رجل قد إتمنتهُ ووثقت به، ولم يكن كما حدثني فأكون نقلت ذلك.

ibn Sa'ad reported in his Tabaqat that during the reign of Umar, many people were transmitting the Hadith of the prophet. So he asked the people to bring to him all the written Hadith that they had. When they did, he burned them:

إن أحاديث رسول الله قد كثرت على عهد عمر بن الخطاب فناشد الناس أن يأتوه بها، فلما أتوه بها أمر بتحريقها

This proves that many companions had written the Hadith of the prophet during his lifetime and kept them. This further confirms that the prophet had not forbidden the writing of Hadith.

Ibn Sa'ad reported when he became caliph, Umar asked the people to bring to him all the written hadith they had so he can verify them and compile them in one book. And when they brought to him all they had, he ordered to burn them.

ناشد الناس أن يأتوه بسنة الرسول المكتوبة عندهم لأنه يريد أن يجمعها في كتاب، كما ناشدهم أن يأتوه بالكتب المحفوظة لديهم حتى ينظر فيها ويقوّمها، فلما أتوه بها أمر بحرقها، وحرقها فعلاً

al-Muttaqi al-Hindi wrote that after Umar burned the Hadith he collected from the people, he wrote to his governors to destroy all the copies of hadiths they can get their hands on:

أن من كان عنده شئ مكتوب من سنة الرسول فليمحه

The famous Calamity of Thursday is another proof that the prophet had ordered the people to write down his Sunnah and preserve it so they can learn from it and pass it on to others. I will provide one narration related to this calamity:

Ibn Abbas reported: When Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) was about to leave this world, there were persons (around him) in his house, 'Umar b. al-Kbattab being one of them. Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) said: Come, I may write for you a document; you would not go astray after that. Thereupon Umar said: Verily Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) is deeply afflicted with pain. You have the Qur'an with you. The Book of Allah is sufficient for us. Those who were present in the house differed. Some of them said: Bring him (the writing material) so that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) may write a document for you and you would never go astray after him And some among them said what 'Umar had (already) said. When they indulged in nonsense and began to dispute in the presence of Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him), he said: Get up (and go away) 'Ubaidullah said: Ibn Abbas used to say: There was a heavy loss, indeed a heavy loss, that, due to their dispute and noise. Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) could not write (or dictate) the document for them.
‏و حدثني ‏ ‏محمد بن رافع ‏ ‏وعبد بن حميد ‏ ‏قال ‏ ‏عبد ‏ ‏أخبرنا ‏ ‏و قال ‏ ‏ابن رافع ‏ ‏حدثنا ‏ ‏عبد الرزاق ‏ ‏أخبرنا ‏ ‏معمر ‏ ‏عن ‏ ‏الزهري ‏ ‏عن ‏ ‏عبيد الله بن عبد الله بن عتبة ‏ ‏عن ‏ ‏ابن عباس ‏ ‏قال ‏ ‏لما حضر رسول الله ‏ ‏صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ ‏وفي البيت رجال فيهم ‏ ‏عمر بن الخطاب ‏ ‏فقال النبي ‏ ‏صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ ‏هلم ‏ ‏أكتب لكم كتابا لا تضلون بعده فقال ‏ ‏عمر ‏ ‏إن رسول الله ‏ ‏صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ ‏قد غلب عليه الوجع وعندكم القرآن حسبنا كتاب الله فاختلف أهل البيت فاختصموا فمنهم من يقول قربوا يكتب لكم رسول الله ‏ ‏صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ ‏كتابا لن تضلوا بعده ومنهم من يقول ما قال ‏ ‏عمر ‏ ‏فلما أكثروا اللغو ‏ ‏والاختلاف عند رسول الله ‏ ‏صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ ‏قال رسول الله ‏ ‏صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ ‏قوموا ‏قال ‏ ‏عبيد الله ‏ ‏فكان ‏ ‏ابن عباس ‏ ‏يقولا ‏ ‏إن ‏ ‏الرزية ‏ ‏كل ‏ ‏الرزية ‏ ‏ما حال بين رسول الله ‏ ‏صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ ‏وبين أن يكتب لهم ذلك الكتاب من اختلافهم ‏ ‏ولغطهم

Clearly, the prophet wished to write a document to the companions that would protect them from straying off. What a wonderful document it would have been. This request by the prophet proves that the writing of Hadith was a method he approved of and ordered its execution.

But Umar ibn al-Khattab decided to intervene and prevent the prophet from writing this document because, as he claimed, the prophet is deeply afflicted with pain. Mr. Umar stopped the prophet from writing his will and alledged that the Book of Allah was sufficient for them. Do you see how Umar did not want the prophet to write his Hadith and in fact stated that they had no need of it! Yes, this is also what he said when he decided to burn all the written Hadith brought to him by the companions. He had told them that he wanted to compile them into one book, but then changed his mind and burned them because he was worried that the written Sunnah would make the Muslims forget the Book of Allah! That was his reason. So the Quran was all he needed and the Sunnah was not necessary!

So Umar worried that the people would get preoccupied with the Sunnah and forget the Book of Allah. To that, he said:

Umar said: "I was going to write them all but I remembered those people that went before you, they had books written and abandoned God’s Book. By Allah, I will not exchange any book for the Quran.
إني كنت أردت أن أكتب السنن، وإني ذكرت قوما كانوا قبلكم كتبوا كتبا، فأكبوا عليها، فتركوا كتاب الله وإني والله لا ألبس كتاب الله بشئ.

أمنية كأمنية أهل الكتاب رأي حتى لا ينشغل الناس بالسنة عن القرآن.

The Sunnah of the prophet is knowledge from Allah, revealed to him so he can make clear the verses of the Quran, which is our constitution. Is it possible that Allah will order His prophet to forbid the writing of such wonderful and enriching knowledge and become forgotten over time? Is not the Sunnah supposed serve the companions and those far away from them in different corners of the world? Is memorization by itself sufficient to preserve the Sunnah? If memorization by itself was enough, then the Quran would not have been written.

Allah in the Quran (verse 2:282) has asked us to write down whatever money we borrow from people:

O you who believe! when you deal with each other in contracting a debt for a fixed time, then write it down; and let a scribe write it down between you with fairness...and be not averse to writing it (whether it is) small or large, with the time of its falling due
يا أيها الذين آمنوا إذا تداينتم بدين إلى أجل مسمى فاكتبوه وليكتب بينكم كاتب بالعدل ولا يأب كاتب أن يكتب كما علمه الله فليكتب وليملل الذي عليه الحق...وَلاَ تَسْأَمُوْاْ أَن تَكْتُبُوْهُ صَغِيرًا أَو كَبِيرًا إِلَى أَجَلِهِ

Is it possible for Allah to forbid the writing of the Sunnah when he commanded the writing when contracting a debt, which is much less important comparing to the Sunnah?

al-Zubayr ibn Bakkar reported in his book al-Muwaffaqiyyat:

Sulayman ibn Abdel Malik passed by Medina after performing al-Hajj and asked Ibban ibn Uthman to write to him the Sirah of the prophet and his battles. Ibban told him that he already had it all written and authenticated by someone I trust. So Sulayman ordered 10 of his writers to make a copy of it. When he received the copy, Sulayman read it and found in it the story of the Ansar when they gave their first and second A'aqaba pledge, as well as their story at Badr.

Sulayman then said that he did not know that the Ansars had such merits. Either my household pretended not to know about it and they don't have merits...

Sulayman burnt the copy because he feared that his father would not approve of what he did. When Sulayman told his father about the Sirah, his father said: "What do you need from a book we have no merits in it, which will disclose to the people of al-Sham things they don't know." Sulayman told him that is why I burned it...

أن سليمان بن عبد الملك في زمان ولايته للعهد، مر بالمدينة حاجا، وأمر إبان بن عثمان أن يكتب له سيرة الرسول ومغازيه، فقال إبان: هي عندي، أخذتها مصححة ممن أثق به، فأمر عشرة من الكتاب بنسخها، فكتبوها في رق، فلما صارت إليه، نظر فإذا فيها ذكر الأنصار في العقبتين، يقصد فيها بيعة الأنصار في العقبة الأولى والثانية وذكر الأنصار في بدر.

فقال سليمان: ما كنت أرى لهؤلاء القوم هذا الفضل، فإما أن يكون أهل بيتي - أي الخلفاء الأمويين - غمضوا عليهم، وإما أن يكونوا ليسوا كذلك! فقال إبان بن عثمان: أيها الأمير: لا يمنعنا ما صنعوا بالشهيد المظلوم - يقصد الخليفة عثمان - من خذلانه أن نقول الحق هم على ما وصفنا لك في كتابنا هذا.

قال سليمان: ما حاجتي إلى أن أنسخ ذلك حتى أذكره لأمير المؤمنين - يقصد والده عبد الملك - لعله يخالفه، فأمر بذلك الكتاب فحرق (أي أحرقه) ولما رجع أخبر أباه بما كان فقال عبد الملك، وما حاجتك أن تقدم بكتاب ليس لنا فيه فضل، تعرف أهل الشام أمورا لا نريد أن يعرفوها، قال سليمان: فلذلك أمرت بتحريق نسخته، حتى أستطلع رأي أمير المؤمنين، فصوبه

This story unravels several points:

  1. The Sunnah of the prophet existed in written form. Ibban ibn Uthman took it from someone he trusted.
  2. This story proves how threatening the Sunnah of the prophet was to the despotic rulers. They desired to keep their people in the dark, because if they knew what was hidden from them, the people would revolt against these rulers.
  3. It is them who not want the Sunnah to be written, and not the prophet!!
  4. The reason these rulers did not want this Sunnah written is not because the prophet forbid it, but it is because it was a danger to their power.
al-Bayhaqi and Abdul Razzaq narrated the following story about Umar ibn Khattab. In short, Umar passed by man (a Jew) who was reading a book. So Umar listened to him for an hour then asked him to write him some of the things he was reading. The man complied and Umar headed to the prophet. When he arrived, Umar started reading the lines to the prophet, who face started changing color (he was getting angry). So an Ansari man came and hit the book away from Umar and told him: "Have you not seen the face of the prophet as you were reading??"...
عن أبي قلابة أن عمر بن الخطاب، قد مر برجل يقرأ كتابا، فاستمعه ساعة، فاستحسنه فقال للرجل أكتب لي من هذا الكتاب قال نعم، فاشترى عمر بن الخطاب أديما، فهيأه ثم جاء إليه فنسخ له من ظهره وبطنه، ثم أتى النبي، فجعل يقرؤه عليه، وجعل وجه رسول الله يتلون، فضرب رجل من الأنصار بيده الكتاب، وقال ثكلتك أمك يا بن الخطاب أما ترى وجه رسول الله منذ اليوم وأنت تقرأ عليه هذا الكتاب؟ فقال النبي إنما بعثت فاتحا وخاتما، وأعطيت جوامع الكلم، وفواتحه، واختصر لي الحديث اختصارا، فلا يهلكنكم المتهوكون.

Umar ibn al-Khattab loved hanging around the Jews to listen to them as he wanted to learn from them, as reported by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi in Kanz al-U'ummal:

ان الخليفة عمر نفسه كان يغشى اليهود في يوم دراستهم طلبا للعلم فقال له اليهود ما من اصحابك احد اكرم علينا منك لانك تاتينا قلت وما ذاك الا اني اعجب من كتب الله كيف يصدق بعضها بعضا.

al-Suyuti reported in al-Durr al-Manthur that Umar once told the prophet that the Jews were telling them (whoever was with Umar) beautiful hadith wanted to write them down...

يا رسول الله إن أهل الكتاب يحدثونا بأحاديث قد أخذت بقلوبنا، وقد هممنا أن نكتبها فقال الرسول: يا بن الخطاب أمتهوكون كما تهوكت اليهود والنصارى

Ahmad ibn Hanbal reported a similar narration in his Musnad:

قال عمر: (يا رسول الله إني مررت بأخ لي من بني قريظة فكتب لي جوامع من التوراة ألا أعرضها عليك، قال الراوي فتغير وجه رسول الله...)

Hafidh al-Haythami reports a similar narration in which Umar gatthered some Jewish writing and wanted to read it to the prophet.

جاء عمر بن الخطاب بجوامع من التوراة فقال: يا رسول الله جوامع من التوراة أخذتها من أخ لي من بني زريق، فتغير وجه الرسول، فقال عبد الله بن زيد: أمسخ الله عقلك ألا ترى الذي بوجه رسول الله... الخ

al-Muttaqi al-Hindi in Kanz al-U'ummal, reports another similar narration:

قال عمر بن الخطاب: انطلقت في حياة النبي حتى أتيت خيبرا، فوجدت يهوديا يقول قولا فأعجبني، فقلت له: هل أنت مكتبي بما تقول؟
قال نعم، فأتيته بأديم، فأخذ يملي علي، فلما رجعت قلت يا رسول الله لقيت يهوديا يقول قولا لم أسمع مثله بعدك، فقال النبي: لعلك كتبت منه؟
قال: نعم، قال: إئتني به فانطلقت، فلما أتيته قال: إجلس إقرأه، فقرأت ساعة، ونظرت إلى وجهه، فإذا هو يتلون، فصرت من الفرق لا أجيز حرفا منه، ثم رفعته إليه ثم جعل يتبعه...

Nowhere in these narrations does it say that the prophet ordered the burning of these Jewish writings and forbid their writing. How would he then forbid the writing of his own Sunnah, which is a revelation from Allah and more accurate than the lines of the Tawrat!! How could anyone say or believe that the prophet forbid the writing of his Sunnah when it is this Sunnah that is the basis of all our practices and creed. Without this Sunnah, we would not understand the Quran.

Did the prophet forbid Jews and Christians to write about their religion? Did he forbid the writing of poetry? Did he forbid anyone to write history or stories or anything at all that would benefit the society? Of course not. Then, how can it be said that the prophet forbid the writing of Hadith, when the hadith of the prophet is more important than the poetry, history, the Tawrat or Injeel of that time? Little logic and reasoning is all we need to refute this lie, and the different narrations from the Sunnis and Shia'a books confirm it.

The fact that the Imams of Ahlul Bayt have concurred that the prophet ordered and permitted the writing of Sunnah of the prophet and encouraged the people to do so, and that this fact is narrated in the Sunnis books, undisputably proves that the prophet did indeed permit the writing of his Sunnah so everyone near and far, in the present and the future can benefit from it.

So if the prophet did not forbid the writing of his Hadith, then why did Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman forbid its writing and ordered the burning of what was already written??? What were they afraid of? What were they trying to hide?

The prophet ordered the reporting of his Hadith
ibn Majah in his Sunan, Abu Dawud in his Sunan, al-Darami in his Sunan, Ahmad in his Musnad and al-Tirmidhi in his Sunan have all reported that in Hujjat al-Wida'a, the prophet said:
"Allah will flourish the person who hears my saying and understands it, and reported to those who did not hear it..."
قال رسول الأعظم صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم في حجة الوداع: (نضر الله عبدا سمع سمع مقالتي فوعاها، وبلغها من لم يسمعها فكم من حامل فقه إلى من هو أفقه منه.

al-Bukhari reported in his Sahih that the prophet said:

"Let the person who witnessed my sayings report them to the absent..."
ليبلغ الشاهد الغائب، عسى أن يبلغ منه هو أدعى له منه

In Ma'ani al-Akhbar, U'uyun al-Akhbar and Bihar al-Anwar, it is reported that the prophet said:

The prophet said: "Oh Allah, bless my successors. Oh Allah, bless my successors. Oh Allah, bless my successors." Someone asked him who his successors were and the prophet answered: "They are those who will come after me and will narrate my Hadith and my Sunnah."
اللهم ارحم خلفائي، اللهم ارحم خلفائي، اللهم ارحم خلفائي، قيل له يا رسول الله من خلفاؤك؟ قال:
الذين يأتون بعدي يروون حديثي وسنتي

al-Nisa'i in his Sunan and Ahmad in his Musnad have reported that the prophet commanded those who heard his Hadith to report to convey it to the absents:

إن ربي داعي وإنه لسائلي، هل بلغت عبادي، وأنا قائل له رب قد بلغتهم، ألا فليبلغ الشاهد منكم الغائب.

al-Haythami in his Majmau'ul Zawa'id, al-Tabarani in his Kabeer and al-Muttaqi al-Hindi have all reported:

The prophet told the people: "I am the one reports to you the Hadith. May those present report the Hadith to those absent."
عن عبادة بن الصامت ان رسول اللّه صلى اللّه عليه وسلم كان يقول اني محدثكم الحديث فليحدث الـحاضر منكم الغائب رواه الطبراني في الكبير ورجاله موثقون وفيه ( فرفع يديه صلى اللّه عليه وسـلـم الى السماء فقال : اللّه م اشهد ثم قال يا ايها الناس ليبلغ الشاهد منكم الغائب ( وقال الراوي ) فادنوا نبلغكم كما قال لنا رسول اللّه صلى اللّه عليه وسلم رواه البزار ورجاله موثقون.

al-Muttaqi al-Hindi reported the following narration in Kanz al-U'ummal:

The prophet said: "Whoever memorizes 40 hadith from my Sunnah will enter my intercession on the Day of Judgement."
من حفظ على أمتي أربعين حديثا من سنتي أدخلته يوم القيامة في شفاعتي.

All of these authentic narrations prove that the prophet commanded his companions to report his Hadith to those who were not present. He encouraged them to spread his Sunnah. He was not worried that the people would mix his Hadith with the verses of the Quran. He never even hinted to such worry! Then why would he worry the writing of the Hadith will make people mix between the two? In fact, will not the writing of the Hadith prevent people from making such mistakes?

Some companions had their own Sahifa
In the above section, we have encountered the many narrations that prove that the prophet condoned the writing of his Sunnah:
  1. The prophet dictated to Imam Ali his Hadith so he can write it. He dictated to Imam Ali every revealed Tafseer he received.
  2. Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-A'ass used to write the Hadith of the prophet and some people from Kuraish prohibited him to do so. However, when he complained about it to the prophet, the prophet told him to keep writing.
  3. Upon request from a Yemini, the prophet requested one of his companions to write his sermon.
  4. Upon request from a Ansari who liked the Hadith of the prophet, the latter requested one of his companions to write it for him.
  5. The prophet allowed Amru ibn Shua'ayb to write anything he heard from him.
  6. Abdullah ibn A'amru narrated that the prophet told his companions to write down the knowledge they hear from him.
  7. Abu Bakr himself wrote with his own hands about 500 hadith he heard from the prophet.
  8. The request by Umar from the companions to bring their written hadith proves that they used to write the hadith of the prophet during his lifetime.
  9. The event of calamity of Thursday proves the prophet condoned the writing of his Hadith.
  10. Abu Bakr and Umar never claimed that the prophet prohibited the writing of his hadith when decided to burn his Hadith.
The above was a summary of the previous section and they strongly prove that the prophet never prohibited the writing of his Sunnah. On top of this logic and reasoning have been used to prove the same point.

According to some narrations, some companions had what is called a Sahifa. However, it is not clear when they were written during the lifetime of the prophet and if they were the ones whoo wrote them.

al-Dhahabi in his Tadhkarat al-Huffadh, al-Muttaqi al-Hindi in Kanz al-Ummal and others have reported that Anas ibn Malik had in his possession a list of written Hadith:

روى يزيد الرقاشي، قال: كنّا إذا أكثرنا على أنس بن مالك القى إلينا بمخلاة أو أتانا بمخال، فألقاها إلينا، وقال: هذه أحاديث كتبتها عن رسول اللّه أو سمعتها من رسول اللّه وكتبتها وعرضتها.

Jabir ibn Abdullah is also known to have had a Sahifa, as reported by ibn Sa'ad in his Tabaqat:

قال... كانوا يرون أنَّ مجاهداً يحدّث عن صحيفة جابر.

قال معمر: وقال قتادة لسعيد بن أبي عروبة: يا أبا النضر خذ المصحف، قال: فعرض عليه سورة الــبــقرة فلم يخطئ فيها حـــرفــاً واحداً قال: فقال يا أبا النضر أحكمتُ، قال: نعم، قال: لأن بالصحيفة جابر بن عبد الله أحفظ مني لـــسورة البقرة، قال: وكانت قـــرئـــت عليه

In Tahdheeb al-Tahdheeb:

وقال أبو حاتم جالس - سليمان بن قيس اليشكري - جابراً وكتب عنه صحيفة

... وروى أبو الزبير وأبو السفيان والشعبي عن جابر وهم قد سمعوا من جابر، وأكثره من الصحيفة وكذلك قتادة

There are doubts that this Sahifa was written during the lifetime of the prophet and by Jabir himself. There is no narration in which Jabir claimed to have a Sahifa. However, whoever wrote it, why would he do that if the prophet prohibited this practice??

Rafi'i ibn Khaddeej also had a Sahifa, as it was reported in Sahih Muslim:

عن نافع بن جبير أن مروان بن الحكم قد خطب الناس فذكر مكة وأهلها وحرمتها، ولم يذكر المدينة وأهلها وحرمتها. فناداه رافع بن خديج وقال له: ما لي أسمعك ذكرت مكة وأهلها وحرمتها، ولم تذكر المدينة وأهلها وحرمتها، وقد حرم رسول الله ما بين لابتيها، وذلك عندي في أديم جولاني إن شئت أقرأتكه.

Sa'ad ibn I'ibada al-Ansari also had a Sahifa, as reported in Sunan al-Tirmidhi:

قال ربيعة: وأخبرني ابن لسعد بن عبادة، قال: وجدنا في كتاب ســعــد أن النبي (صلّى الله عليه وآله)، قضى باليمين والـــشــــــاهد.

Ahmad ibn Hanbal narrated the same thing in his Musnad:

حدثنا عبد الله حدثني أبي ثنا أبو مسلمة الخزاعي، ثنا سليمان بن بلال عن ربيعة بن أبي عبد الرحمن عن إسماعيل بن عمرو بن قيس بن سعد بن عبادة عن أبيه، أنهم وجدوا في كـــتــب أوفى، كتاب سعد بن عبادة أن رسول الله قضى باليمين ووالشــــــــاهــد

If these Sahifa were written during the lifetime of the prophet, then they show that the prophet did not prohibit this practice. If they were not written during his lifetime, they prove that the companions had the need to write the Hadith of the prophet for obvious reason.

The sahifah of Imam Ali
The sahifah of Ali is historically known to contain all the authentic hadith of the prophet as written by Ali ibn Abi Talib. This book contains more hadith than what al-Bukhari has reported. Neverthless, the narrations reported by al-Bukhari prove the point that hadith were written at the time of the prophet and that he never disallowed it.

In another narration, Muhammad al-Baqir said:

إن عندي لصحيفة فيها تسعة عشر صحيفة قد حباها رسول الله.

Imam Ja`far al-Sadiq has said, "We have the saheefa; it is seventy yards long: it is the dictation of the Messenger of Allah written down in the hand-writing of Ali. Nothing permissible or prohibitive the knowledge thereof is needed by people, nor any other issue, except that it is in it, even the penalty for inflicting an offense as minor as a tiny scratch on someone's cheek."
References:
     Usul al-Kafi, Vol. 1, p. 239, and also on p. 143 of Basair al-Darajat

Narrated Ash-Sha'bi: Abu Juhaifa said, "I asked Ali, 'Have you got any book (which has been revealed to the Prophet apart from the Qur'an)?' 'Ali replied, 'No, except Allah's Book or the power of understanding which has been bestowed (by Allah) upon a Muslim or what is (written) in this sheet of paper (sahifah).' Abu Juhaifa said, "I asked, 'What is (written) in this sheet of paper?' Ali replied, it deals with The Diyya (compensation (blood money) paid by the killer to the relatives of the victim), the ransom for the releasing of the captives from the hands of the enemies, and the law that no Muslim should be killed in Qisas (equality in punishment) for the killing of (a disbeliever).
References:
     Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 3, Number 111, Book: Knowledge (Kitab al-`Ilm) ; Page 32, Number 111 (Arabic version)

Narrated 'Ali: We have nothing except the Book of Allah and this written paper (sahifah) from the Prophet (where-in is written:) Medina is a sanctuary from the 'Air Mountain to such and such a place, and whoever innovates in it an heresy or commits a sin, or gives shelter to such an innovator in it will incur the curse of Allah, the angels, and all the people, none of his compulsory or optional good deeds of worship will be accepted. And the asylum (of protection) granted by any Muslim is to be secured (respected) by all the other Muslims; and whoever betrays a Muslim in this respect incurs the curse of Allah, the angels, and all the people, and none of his compulsory or optional good deeds of worship will be accepted, and whoever (freed slave) befriends (take as masters) other than his manumitters without their permission incurs the curse of Allah, the angels, and all the people, and none of his compulsory or optional good deeds of worship will be accepted.
References:
     Sahih Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 30, Number 94, Book: Fada'il al-Medinah; Page 390, Number 1870 (Arabic version)

Narrated Abu Juhaifa: I asked Ali, "Do you have the knowledge of any Divine Inspiration besides what is in Allah's Book?" 'Ali replied, "No, by Him Who splits the grain of corn and creates the soul. I don't think we have such knowledge, but we have the ability of understanding which Allah may endow a person with, so that he may understand the Qur'an, and we have what is written in this paper (sahifah) as well." I asked, "What is written in this paper?" He replied, "(The regulations of) blood-money, the freeing of captives, and the judgment that no Muslim should be killed for killing an infidel."
References:
     Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 283, Book: al-Jihad wal Sayr; Page 642, Number 3037 (Arabic version)
     Sahih Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 83, Number 50, Book: al-Diyat; Page 1457, Number 6903 (Arabic version)
     Sahih Bukhari, Book: al-Diyat; Page 1459, Number 6915 (Arabic version)

Narrated Ibrahim At-Tamimi's father: 'Ali delivered a sermon saying, "We have no book to read except the Book of Allah and what is written in this paper (sahifah) which contains verdicts regarding (retaliation for) wounds, the ages of the camels (given as Zakat or as blood money) and the fact that Medina is a sanctuary in between Air mountain to so-and-so (mountain). So, whoever innovates in it an heresy or commits a sin or gives shelter in it, to such an innovator will incur the Curse of Allah, the angels and all the people, and none of his compulsory or optional good deeds of worship will be accepted. And whoever (freed slave) takes as his master (i.e. befriends) other than his real masters will incur the same (Curse). And the asylum granted by any Muslim is to be secured by all the other Muslims, and whoever betrays a Muslim in this respect will incur the same (Curse)."
References:
     Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 53, Number 397, Book: al-Jaziya wal Muwada'at; Page 670, Number 3172 (Arabic version)

Narrated Ali: We did not, write anything from the Prophet except the Quran and what is written in this paper (sahifah), (wherein) the Prophet said, "Medina is a sanctuary from (the mountain of) Air to so and-so, therefore, whoever innovates (in it) an heresy or commits a sin, or gives shelter to such an innovator, will incur the Curse of Allah. the angels and all the people; and none of his compulsory or optional good deeds of worship will be accepted And the asylum granted by any Muslim Is to be secured by all the Muslims even if it is granted by one of the lowest social status among them. And whoever betrays a Muslim in this respect will incur the Curse of Allah, the angels and all the people, and his compulsory and optional good deeds of worship will not be accepted. And any freed slave will take as masters (befriends) people other than his own real masters who freed him without taking the permission of the latter, will incur the Curse of Allah, the angels and all the people, and his compulsory and optional good deeds of worship will not be accepted."
References:
     Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 53, Number 404, Book: al-Jaziya wal Muwada'at; Page 672, Number 3179 (Arabic version)

Narrated 'Ali: We have no Book to recite except the Book of Allah (Qur'an) and this paper. Then 'Ali took out the paper, and behold ! There was written in it, legal verdicts about the retaliation for wounds, the ages of the camels (to be paid as Zakat or as blood money). In it was also written: 'Medina is a sanctuary from Air (mountain) to Thaur (mountain). So whoever innovates in it an heresy (something new in religion) or commits a crime in it or gives shelter to such an innovator, will incur the curse of Allah, the angels and all the people, and none of his compulsory or optional good deeds will be accepted on the Day of Resurrection. And whoever (a freed slave) takes as his master (i.e. be-friends) some people other than hi real masters without the permission of his real masters, will incur the curse of Allah, the angels and all the people, and none of his compulsory, or optional good deeds will be accepted on the Day of Resurrection. And the asylum granted by any Muslim is to be secured by all the Muslims, even if it is granted by one of the lowest social status among them; and whoever betrays a Muslim, in this respect will incur the curse of Allah, the angels, and all the people, and none of his Compulsory or optional good deeds will be accepted on the Day of Resurrection."
References:
     Sahih Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 80, Number 747, Book: al-Fara'id; Page 1428, Number 6755 (Arabic version)

Narrated 'Ali: We have no Book to recite except the Book of Allah (Qur'an) and this paper. Then 'Ali took out the paper, and behold ! There was written in it, legal verdicts about the retaliation for wounds, the ages of the camels (to be paid as Zakat or as blood money). In it was also written: 'Medina is a sanctuary from Air (mountain) to Thaur (mountain). So whoever innovates in it an heresy (something new in religion) or commits a crime in it or gives shelter to such an innovator, will incur the curse of Allah, the angels and all the people, and none of his compulsory or optional good deeds will be accepted on the Day of Resurrection. And whoever (a freed slave) takes as his master (i.e. be-friends) some people other than hi real masters without the permission of his real masters, will incur the curse of Allah, the angels and all the people, and none of his compulsory, or optional good deeds will be accepted on the Day of Resurrection. And the asylum granted by any Muslim is to be secured by all the Muslims, even if it is granted by one of the lowest social status among them; and whoever betrays a Muslim, in this respect will incur the curse of Allah, the angels, and all the people, and none of his Compulsory or optional good deeds will be accepted on the Day of Resurrection."
References:
     Sahih Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 80, Number 747, Book: al-Fara'id; Page 1428, Number 6755 (Arabic version)

Narrated Ibrahim At Tamii's father: Ali addressed us while he was standing on a brick pulpit and carrying a sword from which was hanging a scroll He said "By Allah, we have no book to read except Allah's Book and whatever is on this scroll (sahifah)," And then he unrolled it, and behold, in it was written what sort of camels were to be given as blood money, and there was also written in it: 'Medina is a sanctuary form 'Air (mountain) to such and such place so whoever innovates in it an heresy or commits a sin therein, he will incur the curse of Allah, the angles, and all the people and Allah will not accept his compulsory or optional good deeds.' There was also written in it: 'The asylum (pledge of protection) granted by any Muslims is one and the same, (even a Muslim of the lowest status is to be secured and respected by all the other Muslims, and whoever betrays a Muslim in this respect (by violating the pledge) will incur the curse of Allah, the angels, and all the people, and Allah will not accept his compulsory or optional good deeds.' There was also written in it: 'Whoever (freed slave) befriends (takes as masters) other than his real masters (manumitters) without their permission will incur the curse of Allah, the angels, and all the people, and Allah will not accept his compulsory or optional good deeds. ' (See Hadith No. 94, Vol. 3)
References:
     Sahih Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 92, Number 403, Book: al-I'itissam bil Kitab wal Sunnah; Page 1534, Number 7300 (Arabic version)

Contradictory narrations
Using logical reasoning, authentic Sunnah of the prophet and historical records, I have proven that the writing of the Hadith and its narration were permitted and allowed by the prophet. However, there are are contradictory traditions suggesting that the prophet did not permit the writing of his Hadith. These are the kind of narrations several scholars use to support their argument about the prohibition of the writing of hadith by the prophet and the justification of the obliteration of the Sunnah by the first three caliphs. We have rationalized that prohibitting the writing of hadith was not a logical thing to do because of its importance in deriving Islamic laws and we have reported several hadith and historical records that supported this reasoning. The historical existence of the sahifa of Ali ibn Abi Talib is another proof for the legitimacy of the writing of Hadith.

Abu Sa'id Khudri reported that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: Do not take down anything from me, and he who took down anything from me except the Qur'an, he should efface that and narrate from me, for there is no harm in it and he who attributed any falsehood to me-and Hammam said: I think he also said:" deliberately" -he should in fact find his abode in the Hell-Fire.
لا تكتبوا عني شيئا سوي القرآن، فمن كتب عني غير القرآن فليمحه
References:
     Sahih Muslim, Book 042, Number 7147, Book: Kitab Al-Zuhd wa Al-Raqa'iq; Page 1145, Number 3004-72 (Arabic version)

al-Darami in his Sunnan reported from Sae'ed al-Khudri:

استأذنوا النبي في أن يكتبوا عنه شيئا فلم يأذن لهم

There is another narration in Musnad ibn Hanbal claiming that the companions burned the Hadith of the prophet in front of him:

إنهم قد حرقوا ما كتبوه من سنة الرسول أمامه

The supporters of the first three caliphs use these lies to say that all three caliphs banned the narration and writing of Hadith and burnt them because it was the prophet's practice! So all they were doing is following the steps of the prophet. What a lie they have concocted against the prophet! Yet, we have come to know that Ali did not follow this practice (more details). On the contrary, Ali encouraged the narration and writing of Hadith and never burned any Hadith. Knowing that Ali is from Ahlul Bayt and that the prophet commanded us to follow the Quran and Ahlul Bayt in order not to stray, we can logically make the following conclusions:

  1. Ali's practice is the correct one and is also the prophet's practice.
  2. Abu Bakr's, Umar's and Uthman's practices were all incorrect and contrary to the prophet's practice.
  3. All these contradictory narrations are fabrications.

Moreover, none of these three caliphs claimed that they obliterated the Sunnah of the prophet because they were following his path. This was not their excuses! This is the excuse of the scholars who will do anything to exonerate them and differ from Ahlul Bayt.

Furtheremore, if the prophet banned the writing of his Hadith, why did he not ban the Jews and the Christians from writing their Tafseers or history? Why did he not ban the poets from writing their poems? Was he not worried that these writings become part of the Quran?? It is amazing what they claim! The prophet was against the writing of his Sunnah but not against all the other writings?? Is not the Sunnah more important than all the other writings?? Is not the Sunnah the fundamentals of all our practices and beliefs? Is not the Sunnah that makes clear the verses of the Quran?? If there is anything to ban, it cannot be the Sunnah because it is far more important than all these other writings.

If Allah commanded the prophet not to write the Sunnah, why did the scholars started writing it later?? Are we not all disobeying the command of Allah then??? Has the prophet spent these 23 years of preaching and making clear what is in the Book of Allah so that they can be forgotten later??? How will Islam travel the world if nothing is written??? How will people interpret the Quran and understand its message if they don't get the Sunnah of the prophet???

Have you heard any prophet banning the writing of his message??? How did they come up with this ludicrous excuse??? Besides, has not Allah promised to protect His Book from corruption?? So why would anyone be worried about?? Has the Quran been corrupted since the scholars started writing the Sunnah of the prophet??

Clearly, these fabrications are just excuses to exonerate the wrongdoings of the illegitimate caliphs. They (despotic rulers) have concocted all the lies they needed to justify every wrongdoing they committed: the usurpation of the caliphate, the obliteration of the Sunnah, the attack and humiliation of Ahlul Bayt, their innovations, their disobediance of the prophet when he wanted to write that document to protect his companions from straying off and when he ordered them to join the army of Usama to battle the Romans in al-Sham. It is because of their wrongdoings that the Sunnah of the prophet got corrupted! Today, it is the Islam of Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Mu'awiya that the majority of the Muslims are following and not the Islam of the prophet!

Previous          Next