A Critical Study of Objections of Orientalists and Hadith-Deniers on Sense-Reporting of Hadith Text
Riwayat bil-ma’na (sense-reporting) means that a narrator narrates a hadith in his own words without uttering the actual words he listened. It is a method of narrating hadith which is, although opposed by some scholars and declared an illegal and unfair method, yet most of hadith-experts have conditionally allowed it. A narrator may not be allowed to report the sense/meaning of a hadith without abiding by some condi-tions. It is a fact that, on basis of sense-reporting, many orientalists have played the blame game on hadith. After having influenced by the orientalists, hadith-deniers, modernists and many so-called Muslim scholars have also made objections on this ground. The main reason of these objections, in their opinion, is that during the whole period before compilation of hadith, hadith narrating has been used to take place by the method of sense-reporting. It is a recognized fact that all people do not have the same level of reasoning, memorizing and understanding capability. It is not possible that ten people narrate the words of Prophet in the same wording. That’s why there are many narrations of Hadith on the same topic and different as well. This difference means that any change or fluctuation has been occurred in hadiths. So, these hadiths will no more be viable argument. Moreover all hadiths of books of hadith comprise sense-reporting. The deniers of hadith propagate such ambiguities and make denial and disregard of hadith. So, it is needed to review the objections of deniers of hadith on research point of view and to describe the conditions of hadith-experts clearly. Not mentioning these conditions is, no doubt, dishonesty. Besides this, it is to view different forms of sense-reporting which are present in hadith. So that the matter being discussed, may be made clear on all its aspects. This research article consists on this discussion.