Rabee al-Madkhali vs. the Imams of Hadith
Rabee al-Madkhali, in his Master’s thesis, after differing with Bukhari, Abu Hatim, al-Nasa’i, and al-Daraqutni on the authenticity of a Hadith, comments:
ولو درس أبو حاتم وغيره من الأئمة حتى البخاري دراسة وافية لما تجاوزا في نظري النتائج التي وصلتُ إليها ، لأنني بحمد الله طبّقتُ قواعد المحدثين بكل دقّة ، ولم آل في ذلك جهداً
“If Abu Hatim and other Imams – even al-Bukhari – had studied (this hadith) thoroughly, I do not think they would have reached conclusions no different from my own, because – and all praise is to Allah – I have applied the principles of the muhaddithin with complete precision, and I spared no effort in doing so.”
The actual argument he made for the authenticity of the hadith can – in all honesty – be summarized as follows:
The narrators are very well-known reliable narrators, therefore there is no grounds to claim they erred.
Apparently, al-Bukhari, Abu Hatim, al-Nasa’i and al-Daraqutni were unable to recognize famous trustworthy narrators of hadith.
BTW, for those who don’t know, al-Madkhali’s master’s thesis is – to this day – his most significant contribution to the science of Hadith.
Years after al-Madkhali wrote his thesis, an Indian PhD student at Umm al-Qura by the name of Hamza al-Malibari (now a well-known hadith scholar in his own right) was researching the same hadith and came across al-Madkhali’s thesis in his research. On researching the hadith, he realized just how bad al-Madkhali had gotten it wrong, so he wrote him a polite letter explaining his error.
This, apparently, did not sit well with al-Madkhali, who turned around and tried to get him kicked out of Umm al-Qura. When this failed, he went on to write books against him and to declare him the head of a new evil sect, the Malibariyyah.