Is the statement “Isnad (chains of ...

Egypt's Dar Al-Ifta

Is the statement “Isnad (chains of transmission) is from the religion” a hadith, and what does it mean?


Is the statement “Isnad (chains of transmission) is from the religion” a hadith, and what does it mean?


The statement “Isnad (chains of transmission) is from the religion” is not a hadith of the Prophet, not even a hadith that is weak or any other kind of grade. Rather this statement is attributed to ‘‘Abd Allah ibn Mubarak who used to say, “isnad (chains of transmission) is part of the religion, and without them anyone would say whatever they wanted to say.” He used to also say, “between us and other peoples are the pillars (meaning chains of transmission).”

The second half of the first quote, i.e. “without them (chains of transmission) anyone would say what ever they wanted to say” sheds light on the meaning of the statement in the question above. The system used in transmitting religion is one based on veracity so that religious matters are not lost through legends and myths. This veracity is also an important makeup of the Muslim’s intellect as their entire religion has successfully passed rigorous tests of veracity throughout the ages starting with the Qur’an as not only was its text accurately transmitted, but so too its script and the method in which it is to be recited. The corpus of hadith literature also stood the test of verification as the chain of transmission of each hadith text served, and continues to serve, the most important method in verifying the authenticity of hadith.

In our present time, however, the chain of transmission is not used as the single most important method in verifying texts, be they Qur’an, hadith, or any other sort of religious text, as there are other methods by which the veracity of our religion is achieved. The various chains of transmission, however, have been largely preserved for their grace (baraka), as well as a method of knowing dates of people’s lives, and other uses different from the original role it played before the end of the age or narration.
We ask God to protect our religion and faith, and our final prayer is all praise is due to God.

Share this:

Related Fatwas