Ahaad is an (Arabic word (آحاد) meaning "singles" or "ones"; it is the plural for "wahid", meaning one. It is also a term used in the Islamic science pertaining to "
Linguistically, "hadith ahad" refers to a "hadith" narrated by only one narrator. In "hadith" terminology, it refers to a "hadith" not fulfilling all of the conditions necessary to be deemed "
mutawatir". [ "Nuzhah al-Nathr" by Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani as printed in: "Al-Nukat Ala Nuzhah al-Nathr", pgs. 70-1, by Ali ibn Hasan ibn Ali, Dar Ibn al-Jawzi, Dammam, Saudi Arabia, sixth edition, 1422. ] In "hadith" terminology, a "hadith" is divided into two categories based essentially upon the number of narrators mentioned in the or chains of a narration. The first category is "hadith mutawatir", or successive narration. A successive narration is one conveyed by narrators so numerous that it is not conceivable that they have agreed upon an untruth thus being accepted as unquestionable in its veracity. The number of narrators is unspecified. The second category, "hadith ahad", or singular narration, refers to any hadith not classified as "mutawatir", and consists of three sub-classifications also relating to the number of narrators in the chain or chains of narration. The first category is "mash-hur", and is a hadith conveyed by three or more narrators but is not considered "mutawatir". "Aziz" is any hadith conveyed by two narrators and "gharib" is conveyed by only one narrator. Consideration is given to the least number of narrators at any level of the chain of narration; thus if ten narrators convey a "hadith" from two others who have conveyed it from ten, it is considered "aziz", not "mash-hur". [ "Nuzhah al-Nathr" by Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani as printed in: "Al-Nukat Ala Nuzhah al-Nathr", pgs. 51-70, by Ali ibn Hasan ibn Ali, Dar Ibn al-Jawzi, Dammam, Saudi Arabia, sixth edition, 1422. ]
Impact of "Hadith Ahad" on Islamic Law
There are differing views as to the level of knowledge achieved by each of the two primary categories, "mutawatir" and "ahad". One view, expressed by
Ibn Hajrand others, is that a "hadith mutawatir" achieves certain knowledge while "ahad", unless corroborated, yields speculative knowledge upon which action is mandated. [ "Nuzhah al-Nathr" by Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani as printed in: "Al-Nukat Ala Nuzhah al-Nathr", pgs. 71-2, by Ali ibn Hasan ibn Ali, Dar Ibn al-Jawzi, Dammam, Saudi Arabia, sixth edition, 1422. ] A second view, held by Dawud al-Thahiri, ibn Hazm and others, and reportedly the position of Malik, is that a "hadith ahad" achieve certain knowledge as well. Ibn Hazm stated, “The narration conveyed by a singular, upright narrator conveying from another of a similar description until reaching the Prophet mandates both knowledge and action.” [ "Al-Ba’ith al-Hathith Sharh Ikhtisar Ulum Al-Hadith", Ahmad Muhammad Shakir, vol. 1, pg. 126, Maktabah al-Ma’arif, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, first edition, 1996. ]
List of notable Muslim reports
* [http://www.fatwaislam.com/fis/index.cfm?scn=fd&ID=171 Ahad hadith]
* [http://sunnah.org/fiqh/usul/lone.htm Lone narrator reports]
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