Posts tagged Hamza al-Malibari

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.

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Who is Rabi’ al-Madkhali?

He’s about 78 years old, graduated from Madinah University, then went on to Master’s and PhD in Hadith.

His master’s was an assessment of those hadiths of Sahih Muslim that were critiqued by al-Daraqutni. It is a decent work, but he has some blunders in there. [More on that later]

His PhD was to do tahqiq of al-Nukat Ala Kitab ibn al-Salah, by ibn Hajar. Again, a decent work, but it seems that he made a good share of mistakes in reading the manuscripts. That’s not that unusual though as this is common with Master’s/PhD students, especially as they are usually doing tahqiq of manuscripts for the first time. Again, nothing groundbreaking here except that the text itself is quite an important one.

The only other works related to hadith sciences that he’s actually written are, in fact, refutations, most of them quite lousy. Actually, come to think of it, in his refutation of al-Malibari, he actually declares that al-Malibari is seeking to destroy the Sunnah because he holds an opinion that Rabi’ himself endorsed in his Master’s thesis!

Otherwise, he has a good number of refutations on Syed Qutb, Abul-Hasan al-Ma’ribi, Abdur-Rahman Abdul-Khaliq, Salman al-Awdah, Adnan Ar’ur, al-Maghrawi, al-Malibari and others. In the case of al-Malibari, he published a refutation of a discussion that occurred in a private exchange of letters, effectively making him famous. At least something good came out of his refutations. In the case of Abu’l-Hasan and al-Malibari, both of them tore him to shreds in their responses to his attacks.

He was the head of the hadith department in Madinah University. Since that time, it has been known as a hotbed for Madkhali thinking. Non-Madkhali students generally avoid it now because of the bias of many of the instructors and students. This was particularly the case in the Golden Age of Madkhalism (circa the late ’90’s), although the environment has become toned down in recent years.

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