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Weak and Fabricated Hadith in Ghazali’s Ihya ‘Ulum al-Din?

Answered by Mufti Abdur-Rahman ibn Yusuf

Question:

Is it true that Ihya’ Ulum al-Din by Imam Ghazali contains weak and some fabricated hadith? I read this on a website.

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

In the name of Allah, the Inspirer of truth.

Yes, it is correct that the book contains weak and some fabricated hadith. However, Imam Ghazali does not use them to establish an Islamic legal ruling. Although it may have been better for the fabricated hadith to have been left out, they are only used to give more clarity to the issue.

The site on which you found these comments seems to be a purely Salafi site. They have problems with most books that have not been written by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyya, Ibn al-Qayyim, and a few other Hanbali scholars. They basically reject most, if not all, of the literature of the Ahl al-Sunna wa ‘l-Jama’ah, unless it is from those few scholars.

They have a very restricted view and some refer to them as extreme Wahhabis.

In attempting to clamp down on bid’a, which was in itself a worthy cause, they exceed the boundaries in some issues. Their extreme is opposite to the extreme of certain deviant Sufi sects. Imam Ghazali does not fall in either group.

I would advise one to read the Ihya’, as it is very beneficial and Ghazali is a master in the reformation of the heart. You ask someone for clarification on the issues that are not clear since it is sometimes very deep.  I personally have benefited greatly from the book and use material from it often for Friday khutbas. I would also advise against relying on such websites, as they are not very helpful.

And Allah knows best.

Abdurrahman ibn Yusuf

Courtesy of ZamZam Academy. (Modified by the Editor.)

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