Fatwa ID: 04749
Answered by: Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
When the prophet of Islam prohibited writing Hadith then why they were written? All the four caliphs did not do so?
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
There are two things which you have got mixed up with. The collecting and gathering of hadith in a book format started during the time of Umar Bin Abdul Aziz (RA) which was approximately 100 years after the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam death. However, the writing of hadiths on leaves or slabs was prevalent during the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam time. (Durre Mandhuud p.18 v.1)
The Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam first forbade the writing of hadith so that people don’t confuse it with the Qur’an. Thereafter, he allowed it when there was no risk of confusion.
Imam Bukhari (RA) has formed a chapter entitled “The writing of knowledge, where he brings three hadiths. The first hadith tells us that Saaiduna Ali Radiallahu Anhu had a “Sahifa” (journal) on which the calculations of the blood money were written and also rules regarding prisoners of war. The second hadith tells us a speech (khutbah) which Abu Shaah wrote during the Conquest of Makkah. (Sahih Bukhari p.21 v.1)
Saaiduna Anas bin Malik used to dictate hadiths to his students until if the people overwhelmed him, he brought some journals of books and he laid them in front of them and then said, “These are hadiths that I have heard and written from the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam and I showed them to him.” (Tarikhul Baghdad p.258 v.8)
Saaiduna Samrah bin Jundub had a copy that had many hadiths. (Tabaqaat Ibn Saad p.115 v.7) Also, Saaiduna Muaz Bin Jabal Radiallahu Anhu had a book that contained hadith. (Musnad Ahmad p.228 v.5)
Saaiduna Umar Radiallahu Anhu also had a journal which he kept in the base of his sword regarding the amount of Zakat for animals like camels, cows, and sheep. (Al-Kifaayah fi Ilm ar-Riwaayah of Imam Khatib Baghdadi p.353)
Only Allah Knows Best
Written by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham