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  • Sunnah Tawatur And Ijma

    Posted by Ahmad Shoaib on July 17, 2020 at 8:18 am

    How can we confirm if a sunnah is tawatur or not. If we take the case study of the Quraysh they had added bidah into the sunnah of Ibrahim عليه السلام . They had tawatur to their old ancestors. My question is isn’t tawatur sometimes subjective and also how can we confirm it without any textual references? Also Christians have an ijma and they would also say tawatur on Jesus being the son of God and rising from the grave. So why is their tawatur and ijma lesser than ours?

    Amjad Khan replied 2 years, 9 months ago 4 Members · 28 Replies
  • 28 Replies
  • Sunnah Tawatur And Ijma

    Amjad Khan updated 2 years, 9 months ago 4 Members · 28 Replies
  • Mohammad Yaseen

    Contributor July 17, 2020 at 2:05 pm
  • Mohammad Yaseen

    Contributor July 17, 2020 at 2:08 pm
  • Mohammad Yaseen

    Contributor July 17, 2020 at 2:08 pm
  • Mohammad Yaseen

    Contributor July 17, 2020 at 2:09 pm
  • Mohammad Yaseen

    Contributor July 17, 2020 at 2:10 pm
  • Mohammad Yaseen

    Contributor July 17, 2020 at 2:13 pm

    Also listen or read mabadi tadabure sunnah in meezan

  • Umer

    Moderator July 17, 2020 at 2:15 pm

    As far as Tawatur is concerned, hopefully this analogy will help understand the relationship of Tawatur with our practical lives:

    (It’s an excerpt from a long reply I posted a couple of months ago, just thought maybe it will prove helpful)

    “If I were to claim from today, that dictionary of any particular language is the only source of that language and without a dictionary, that language doesn’t exist at all. We all know that argument will be met with severe criticism. Why? Because we all know from our daily experiences that language didn’t originate from a dictionary. It is alive in a whole society, transferred from generation after generation without any written form. A kid doesn’t start speaking any particular language after reading from a dictionary. He/She learns from their surroundings, from a vast majority of people speaking it and will transfer it to the next generation in the same way and so on and so forth. Now suppose a linguist wants to pen down a dictionary of that particular language, what will he do? He’ll simply observe the people speaking a particular language and start writing the words they use, the sentence structures they use and other things as well. Same is the case with Sunnat, it is transferred from generation after generation, it doesn’t exist in any book, but it exists in ummat itself just like Quran exists in Ummat itself. If you take the Quran in the form of book away from the Ummat, the ummat can generate as any copies of it as they like. Sunnat is an independent source of religion and has the same authenticity as of Quran. All Faqih people ever did was to observe that Sunnat prevalent in Ummat and wrote it down just like how a linguist did with the dictionary.”

    As far as tawatur and ijma of Christians is concerned, theirs is less than that of Muslims, because of two reasons:

    1) Pre-historic era.

    2) We have Quran, the book of GOD, negating their ijma and Tawatur. Had it not been for Quran, the Ijma would’ve been that Jesus (AS) was crucified. But it is Quran which has clarified that they didn’t crucify Him, in fact the whole matter was made doubtful for them.

  • Ahmad Shoaib

    Contributor July 17, 2020 at 2:33 pm

    Yes bhai but therein lies the problem. Even with such a large population of people speaking a language one generation comes- they make up a new word or change the meaning of another and it spreads like wildfire. How could this not have happened with sunnah unless there is some sort of divine protection?

    Also the part of the question about tawatur. How can we trace back an action to the prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم if we don’t use a text? How can we verify an action knowing that these changes could take place?

    If it is simply a case of looking around for the majority of the people and what they do then unfortunately there is massive ikhtilaaf on some major issues such as movements in prayer and faraid of wudu and what breaks it. And there is agreement on things like beard. Now how do we know if their views are based on observation or they have taken it from a hadith book?

    • Umer

      Moderator July 17, 2020 at 2:53 pm

      Whenever new words are added or older words become obsolete, the same are documented and can be verified and traced back to their source. But language in general is not dependent on any book, neither is Sunnah. In case of any additions or changes, the same can be traced back to their source. Sometimes the source is undue influence of Ahadith (can be traced back), sometimes its just fiqh (can also be traced back to its source) and sometimes its only a biddah (whose time of initiation can also be easily known, for example, Eid Milad-un-Nabi as you mentioned somewhere else. Even the people celebrating it don’t disagree on it’s history). Sunnah being practiced among Muslims, just like analogy of language, doesn’t need to be looked at to be verified. If someone wants to look at the written history, they can refer to the books of fiqh (just like you refer to dictionary to look for obsolete and archaic words or sometimes for the etymology of any word). None of these activities challenge the authenticity of the original practice (i.e. Sunnah or language).

    • Ahmad Shoaib

      Contributor July 17, 2020 at 2:59 pm

      So how do we know whether the source of eg the beard issue was the sunnah or actually the sunnah was noted down in the Hadith?

      And the same way I need to confirm my understanding or verify the meaning of a word from a dictionary sometimes as it’s obsolete can’t some actions of sunnah become obsolete and then to revive them the only way is to refer to old text? Because their reciprocation has been stopped or adulterated so we have to go back to old history books as it’s not with the same ijma and tawatur as it once was coming with supposedly

    • Umer

      Moderator July 17, 2020 at 3:22 pm

      Ijma and tawatur contain Sunnah but all ijma and tawatur is not Sunnah. There are other factors that need to be considered in principle when establishing something as Deen. We need to first discuss principles of Sunnah because I am getting this feeling that we are considering all of ijma+Tawatur = Sunnah, which is not the case always.

      Please give it a read, just for a refresher and then we’ll talk about issue of beard.

      Discussion 56177

    • Ahmad Shoaib

      Contributor July 17, 2020 at 3:50 pm

      Ok bhai I have read the resources now. I still have the question of how can we trace back an action to a point in history (to prove it’s not an innovation) if we don’t use historical texts. If we need to use them to do this doesn’t it make sunnah in need of them?

      This question is purely about tawatur and not ijma

    • Umer

      Moderator July 18, 2020 at 1:16 am

      Taking Ijma out of equation would not be a fair assessment. Tawatur initiated after Ijma is what makes it valuable, also Ijma is an independent source of transmission of any historical fact. Since Sunnah mainly relates to practical matters and actions performed in daily life, therefore that Ijma has been in continuous tawatur since the time of its happening.

      We need to refer to fiqh to see if fiqh has introduced something in the amali twatur, not to see what amali tawatur actually is.

    • Ahmad Shoaib

      Contributor July 18, 2020 at 5:06 am

      Sorry bhai for so many questions but it doesn’t make sense. How can we know what tawatur is without any historical texts. How can we know if I’m 1200 they prayed 4 rakahs dhur also without any historical references?

    • Umer

      Moderator July 18, 2020 at 5:14 am

      Isn’t this what Ijma and Tawatur means? that it doesn’t rely on any books to be established as a fact.

    • Ahmad Shoaib

      Contributor July 18, 2020 at 5:15 am

      Sorry but I meant that the nature of tawatur seems to require that it rely on books. How can I know if this is coming from the prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم it started in 1500s unless I have data and books about both times?

    • Umer

      Moderator July 18, 2020 at 5:18 am

      The consensus of Ummah (generation after generation) is the source, not any book.

    • Ahmad Shoaib

      Contributor July 18, 2020 at 5:46 am

      So how is this consensus of the past documented? Surely people don’t remember any chnages in the consensus

    • Umer

      Moderator July 18, 2020 at 6:02 am

      What changes are you referring to?

    • Ahmad Shoaib

      Contributor July 18, 2020 at 6:03 am

      That’s what I’m saying- how do we know without documented proof of the past that there weren’t any changes?

    • Umer

      Moderator July 18, 2020 at 6:07 am

      On the same line of argumentation, shouldn’t you also ask for the same documented proof of Quran?

    • Ahmad Shoaib

      Contributor July 18, 2020 at 6:10 am

      But the Quran did have different Qiraat that people believed in and still do. The method for rejecting that was from the Quran itself and looking at the hadeeth and what they really meant. Also it was by looking at what the majority of people are actually reading (I think?). So there was a need for textual criticism and analysis

    • Umer

      Moderator July 18, 2020 at 6:15 am

      Qiraats aside, how do you even know that it’s the same Quran that was given by Prophet Muhammad (sws) and no changes have been made to it ever since? Where is the documented proof of original Quran? (Qiraat is a separate issue which I am not addressing at the moment). Why there is no demand for documented proof of Quran (the original words) just the way it is for documented Sunnah?

    • Ahmad Shoaib

      Contributor July 18, 2020 at 7:35 am

      Ok yes that makes sense- could you please put it in words through why it doesn’t make sense?

    • Umer

      Moderator July 19, 2020 at 3:41 am

      I would sum it up as follows:

      1) If we were to question the mode of transmission of Sunnah then logic suggests that Quran’s mode of transmission needs to be questioned as well. We can’t claim Ijma and Quoli Tawatur for Quran as reliable mode of transmission while completely dismissing the same modes for transmission of Sunnah. If we demand documented proof of Sunnah then documented proof of Quran deserves to be demanded as well.

      2) Just the way Quran in it’s original form is present and being followed by Ummah without any source documentation, similarly, Sunnah is present and being followed by Ummah without any dependence on any source documentation. They are both alive and present within Ummah.

  • Mohammad Yaseen

    Contributor July 17, 2020 at 6:17 pm

    Tawatur denotes two things.

    1. There has never been a time when a thing didn’t exist after it was started. It is continuous in nature. For example, prayer was performed by the prophet in a particular way then the sahaba and then tabi-een so on and so forth. It was seen and then taught from one generation to another. What ever was practiced by hundreds of thousands was documented in the books of fiqh.

    2. It is present in so many people that it will be illogical to imagine a falsehood in the practice. It is not transmitted via akhbaar-e-ahad. It is not reported by 1 or 2 or 15 people rather by hundreds.

    In short, there is a continuum and widespread presence!

    Next issue! The sunnat-i-rasool will be found in the texts of scholars and Faqih.

    The most crucial aspect is to analyze, what could be true and what couldn’t. One must know the definitions of each term and what it can teach and what it can’t. Proper understanding of the principles is crucial. I always keep emphasizing, know your principles, know your words and terms.

    The books documented what existed, so the oral and practical tradition superceded the written tradition. We can trace all practices to their time or person of origin through books. Like the issue of variant qira’a of quran. The issue is to place proper importance to everything, I.e oral, practical, written form of knowledge.

    Wa Allah ho ‘Alam.

    • Ahmad Shoaib

      Contributor July 17, 2020 at 11:06 pm

      Ji bhai. So what I’m saying is if the main preservation is oral and practical: there is no way to prove tawatur. Because to prove tawatur you need to prove as early as you can that this took place. Unless tawatur comes from ijma maybe?

  • Amjad Khan

    Member May 17, 2021 at 9:46 am

    The confusion stems from equating the Ijma and Tawatur of Christians with that of Muslims. For an Ijma/Tawatur to be held valid it is important that the transmission (from original source) is carried out by a population so overwhelming in numbers that the concept/idea/text they’re forwarding to forthcoming generation is rendered completely secure without any shred of doubt. In case of Christians, when Jesus (AS) left this world, he had but 12 followers (his apostles). It was not until 300 years later that Christianity gained a considerable number of followers (Roman Empire’s adoption of Christianity as state’s religion). Therefore, interpolation of Christian scripture became inevitable since there was a significant gap in history (between Jesus (AS)’s departure and the adoption of Christianity by a significant population). During this period there existed no consensus (by a significant population) who could verify what they’ve received is uncorrupted and whatever was passed on to forthcoming generations was done either by Christian individuals or small groups of Christians. This, however, was not the case with Muslims. Even when Prophet(pbuh) was alive whole of the Arabian peninsula had embraced Islam, his last sermon is estimated to have been attended by over 100,000 Muslims. It is due to this overwhelming amount of Muslims who transmitted the message directly from the source ( Prophet(pbuh) ) to the forthcoming generations, that there remains no doubt regarding the historicity of the message that we have received.

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