Definitions

Ahaad

Ahaad

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 hadith.

Hadith Ahad

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. 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.

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 Hajr and others, is that a hadith mutawatir achieves certain knowledge while ahad, unless corroborated, yields speculative knowledge upon which action is mandated. 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.”

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