Methodology Of Al-Nawawi In Hadith And Its Influence In The Mufti Departments


Hadith has several status levels and among Islamic Scholars from madhhab muktabar have different thoughts in practicing hadith by the Prophet (PBUH) mainly involves da’if hadith when istinbat hukm . This makes every hukm issued in a fatwa is influenced by assessment and status of Hadith resource. In Malaysia, Shafi'i madhhab is the official madhhab of the country and administration. Shafi’i madhhab practice not only involves individual practice, even qawl muktamad Shafi'i madhhab is recognised as a priority in view of the Administration of Islamic law throughout Malaysia except in Perlis. It makes ulama muktabar view in Shafi'i madhhab used as references include assessing the strength of a hadith. Among ulama that are used as reference in Shafi'i madhhab in the country is al-Nawawi. Thus, this study will identify the methodology of al-Nawawi on the hadith sources when istinbat hukm . The study also reveals hadith reference practice in selected Departments of State Mufti either coincide with the views of al-Nawawi, or vice versa. This research was conducted qualitatively by refer to the debate on the books of hadith, interviews and related papers. The results showed that not all views of al-Nawawi followed in reference to the source of hadith. Al-Nawawi does not recognise the source of daif Hadith in the legal ruling. However, the study found that there are several Department of State Mufti practices different views with the methodology of al-Nawawi.

Keywords: Al-nawawihadithfatwa muftishafi'i madhhab


Since the beginning of Islam in the Nusantara, the Syafi'i madhhab was the earliest madhhab to be introduced and has been firmly established (Majid, 2012). The developments and influences of Shafi'i madhhab in the Nusantara in general and in particular in Malaysia are in line with the development of Islam in this region as a result of the preachers' efforts (Haji Abdullah & Jihatea, 2007). This makes the Syafi'i madhhab absorbed into all fields such as education, administration, legislation and practice throughout the Nusantara since the beginning of Islam until the Malacca Sultanate (Majid, 2012). This has indirectly made the Syafi'i madhhab as the official madhhab of the Muslim community in the Nusantara, including in Malaysia. Despite reforms of Islamic law in Malaysia, it still maintains the influence of the Syafi’i madhhab in Islamic administration and legislation at various levels, especially in the State Mufti Departments which are the main references of Islamic law. It is further confirmed that every state allocated to the Fatwa Committee shall follow qawl mu'tamad Mazhab Shafi'i , different to practice in the State of Perlis where the reference in the issue of fatwa is not tied to any four madhhabs. However, the vast majority is to allocate the Syafi'i madhhab as the main reference (Asni, 2016).

Problem Statement

According to Asni (2016), in his study found that the official fatwa makers in Malaysia differed in views when interacting with the hadith evidence where some accepted the da’if hadith when the instinbat hukm and some of them did not accept it.

Research Questions

What is al-Nawawi's methodology against hadith da’if in istinbat hukm ? Are the State Mufti Departments that make qawl muktamad as a main reference as in the enactments according to the methodology of hadith al-Nawawi in the istinbat hukm ?

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to examine how far the mufti departments in Malaysia follow the methodology of hadith al-Nawawi in the istinbat hukm . This study also examines al-Nawawi methodology in the da’if hadith. This study also examines the methodology of the mufti departments in interacting with the da’if hadith in the process of issuing the fatwa.

Research Methods

Through a library research, the researchers referred to al-Nawawi's writings on his methodology in the hadith during istinbat hukm . The researchers also referred to the writings of the al-Nawawi hadith methodology. In addition, researchers have also referred to relevant circulars, official fatwa, journals and books. Then, the collected data were analyzed using the content analysis method. According to Sgier (2012), document analysis is a method of obtaining relevant information from printed material in the form of documents. Hence, based on the analyzed data, the researchers conclude that there is a connection between al-Nawawi and qawl muktamad in the syafi'i mazhab , issuing the al-Nawawi methodology of hadith during the istinbat hukm and examining the fatwas issued either based on the sahih hadith or daif. Through the field research, researchers have interviewed unstructured to mufti and fatwa committee members to obtain information more clearly and deeply to achieve the objective of the study.


Hadis Maqbul and Mardud (Da’if)

The acceptance of a hadith depends on sanad . Sanad is a narrative genealogy of a hadith from the hadith collector till the Prophet (PBUH). Islamic scholars since the time of salaf have affirmed the importance of sanad in Islamic knowledge especially the hadith knowledge such as Sufiyan al-Thawri, Sufiyan bin 'Uyainah, al-Zuhri, Ibn al-Mubarak and Yazid bin Zurai' (al-Athir, 2013). Sanad serves to differentiate between the Sahih hadith and the other. As a result, the scholars have divided the hadith into two parts namely maqbul (accepted) and mardud (rejected) (Asni, Sulong, & Ismail, 2017).

The hadith of maqbul is a hadith that fulfils the conditions of acceptance without leave any of the narrators which are continuous sanad , the justice of the narrators, the accuracy of narrators, no syadh and 'illah (Muhammad, 2016; al-Salah, 2015). The sahih hadith is divided into two, i.e. the sahih lidhatihi and the sahih lighairihi . In addition, hadith hasan is the accepted hadith. The hadith of hasan is divided into two i.e. hasan lidhatihi hadith and hasan lighairihi hadith. Hasan hadith fulfils all the conditions of the authentic hadith, but only slightly different in terms of the accuracy of the hadith narrators in which the hasan hadith is slightly less accuracy of the narrator ( dabit ) (Muhammad, 2016; Abdullah, 2014). The scholars agree ( ijma ' ) that the sahih hadith and hasan are arguments and obliged to do so either mutawatir or ahad hadith (Al-Khudair, 1425H).

While the hadith of mardud occurs because of absent one of the conditions or some conditions from sahih hadith conditions such as unconnected chains, defects in the hadith or other (al-Salah, 2015). In general, the hadith is weak due to two major factors i.e. absent narrator from the sanad and there is criticism of the narrator (al-Tahhan, 2004). The meaning of the absent narrator is the cut off the chain of narrators from sanad whether intentionally or not. It occurs to some narrators either from the beginning of the sanad , the middle or the end and the absent can occur clearly or hidden (Al-Khudair, 1425H).

Absent occurred because the narrator did not meet the previous narrator either because the narrator was not at the same time or same time but could not meet (Muhammad, 2016). The break of the sanad is clearly divided into four categories namely al-Mu'allaq, al-Mursal, al-Mu'dal and al-Munqati' . Generally, the concept of mu'allaq is that the entire sanad is disposed, later Prophet (PBUH) or the entire sanad is thrown away except the companions ( sahabah ) or tabi’ tabi'in (al-Salah, 2015). The concept of mursal is the hadith that break from the chain of sanad receptors after tabi'in (al-Naisaburi, 2013). The concept of mu'dal is a hadith that break on the two narrators consecutively (Muhammad, 2016; al-Salah, 2015). The concept of munqati ' is the hadith which is not linked from any corner (al-Baghdadi, 2013). While for hidden break there are two categories namely mudallas and khafiy mursal . Generally, the concept of tadlis is to hide the shame in sanad by refining its zahir (al-Tahhan, 2004). The al-Mursal al-Khafiy concept is the hadith narrated from the narrator he met or in the same time by using the utterance as he heard from the narrator as 'have said' (Al-Suyuti, 2017).

While the meanings of criticisms in the narrators are criticisms of justice, religion or from the point of memory. There are ten criticisms of the narrators, five are related to justice, while the other five are related to the accuracy ( dabit ). Criticism of justice is a lie, accused of lying, fasiq , bid’a h and unknown ( jahalah ). While criticisms regarding accuracy are wrong in narrating the hadith, bad remembrance, negligence, confusion and contradiction with other narrators (al-Tahhan, 2004). Hadith's level of significance varies according to the weight or lightness of da’if character of a narrator. According to Ibn Salah, light da’if is bad memory, ikhtilat (ikhtilat because of old age, lost vision or his writing burned), munqati', mursal, tadlis, mu'dal, syadh, wahm , disability, mudtarib . Whereas the character of the severe da’if hadith is munkar, matruk, matruh and maudu' (al-Salah, 2015).

Al-Nawawi Methodology to Hadith Resources in Istinbat Hukm

Al-Nawawi made the source of the hadith as a second dalil during istinbat hukm especially involving hukm affairs after the Qur'anic dalil . When the legal process was related to the law, al-Nawawi only used the sahih hadith and hasan only. Al-Nawawi only recognizes da’if hadith in the affairs of the advantages, encouragement ( targhib ) and threat ( tarhib ) and is accompanied by strict conditions i.e. the hadith is not a heavy da'if hadith, the hadith is derived from the original law, does not assume that the hadith is confirmed from Prophet (PBUH), the hadith da'if is related to the advantages of practice, does not contradict the sahih hadith and not disseminated the hadith to the public so that it is not the cause of the people practising with the da'if hadith or the possibility some ignorant would consider it to be the sahih hadith (Al-Khudair, 1425H). It is also based on the view of al-Nawawi in the preface of al-Arba'in , he states, "The scholars have agreed that can practice with da’if hadith in the chapter of the advantages of practices (Al-Nawawi, 2013b)."

Similarly, he states in the preface of al-Azkar , "Say the ulama of fiqh and the hadiths and others: it is possible to practice the hadiths related to al-Fadha'il and al-Targhib wa al-Tarhib which the hadith is not maudu' . Whereas matters related to law such as halal and haram, sale, marriage, talaq and others cannot practice and argue with da’if hadith except with sahih hadith or hasan only (Al-Nawawi, 2018). "Likewise in the preface al-Tibyan Fi Adab Hamalat al-Qur'an , al-Nawawi mentions, "The hadith scholars and otherwise allow practising with the da’if hadith in matters relating to the advantage of practice (Al-Nawawi, 2013a)."

Among the examples put forward by al-Nawawi in this regard is, “Whoever spends the night of Eid in prayer, his heart will not die on the day when hearts die.” - (commentary of al-Nawawi): This da'if hadith narrated from Abu Umamah with a mawqoof isnaad and a marfoo’ isnaad , both isnaads are d a’if but hadith about the advantages of deeds is forgiven as we mentioned at the beginning of the book (Al-Nawawi, 2018). Among the other scholars who agree with al-Nawawi are al-Barr (2017), Ibn Qudamah (2015), Sufiyan al-Thauri, Abdullah bin Mubarak, Abd al-Rahman bin Mahdi, Sufiyan bin 'Uyainah and Abu Zakariyya al-Anbari (Al-Baghdadi, 2013; Al-Hanbali, 2019). In addition, there is a record that al-Nawawi criticised the scholars using the da'if hadith during the legalisation of the law. For example, al-Nawawi (2013a) rejects the views of al-Mawardi, Ahmad bin Hanbal, Ayyub al-Sakhtiyani, Malik, Abu Hanifah and others because they used da'if hadith.

Da’if Hadith References Analysis in Fatwa Legal Declaration by Fatwa Makers in Malaysia

Generally, the findings show that fatwa makers in Malaysia tend to be two opinions, the first one that can argue with da’if hadith which lesser weighted in the deal of law. This opinion comprises the Kelantan Mufti Department (Shukri, 2016), Federal Territory (Jaafar, 2015) and Terengganu (Muda, 2016). For example, in fatwa issues for heirs, the fatwa of the Terengganu Mufti Department in 1987 (Muda, 2016), Kelantan in 1989 (Shukri, 2016) and the Federal Territory (Jaafar, 2015) decided that the will to the beneficiary who had received the inheritance was invalid unless with the consent of the heirs who are entitled to receive the inheritance. Among the arguments they make is based on the two hadiths of the Prophet (PBUH), the first of which means, "Told us by Abu Sa'id Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Abi Uthman al-Ghazi, told us Tahir bin Yahya bin Qabisah, told us Sahl bin 'Ammar, told us al-Husain bin al-Walid, told us Hammad ibn Salamah from Habib bin al-Syahid bin' Amru bin Shu'aib from his father from his grandfather from the Prophet (PBUH) that he said in his khutbah on the day of slaughter, "There is no will for the heirs unless getting the consent of the heirs (al-Daruqutni, 2013)." The status of this hadith is da’if due to weak sanad as said by al-Syaukani (2013). According to Al-'Asqalani (2015), there is Sahl bin 'Ammar who is said to be a weak ( da’if ) person.

While the second hadith is weak, which means, "Announce to us by Abu Bakr al-Asbahani, I am 'Ali bin' Umar al-Hafiz, told us Abu 'Abdillah' Ubaid allah bin 'Abd Allah bin' Abd al- Samad bin al-Muhtadi bi Allah, told us Abu 'Ulathah Muhammad bin' Amru bin Khalid, told us by my father, told us Yunus bin Rasyid, from 'Ata' al-Khurasani, from 'Ikrimah, from Ibn ‘Abbas, he said, "The Prophet (PBUH) said cannot give will to the heirs unless other heirs wish it (al-Daruqutni, 2013). "This hadith is weak according to al-Barr (2017), Abu Daud (1986), al-Munawi (2013), Al-'Asqalani (2015) and al-Albani (1985). According to Ibn Hazm (2016), a will bound by the utterance "unless with the consent of the heirs" it is a hadith with mursal status. While according to al-Albani (1985), this hadith was munkar because contradict with another sanad which is more authentic sanad in which the utterance "unless gaining the consent of the heirs" is an added exclamation. Hence, it cannot use as argument to make the will must be with the consent of the heirs.

The second group says that the hadith should not be used to argue in the legal affairs. This opinion comprises the Perak Mufti Department (Adam, 2015), Penang (Mohd, 2015), Perlis (Johari, 2017) and Selangor (Kamos, 2015). The findings of this study show that although the State Mufti Departments have a strong influence on the al-Shafi'i madhhab until making it as a major reference in the issuance of fatwa as found in the respective Islamic state enactment except Perlis, for example in the Islamic Religion Administration Enactment (Negeri Sembilan) 2003 as set out in section 54 (1) said, "In issuing any fatwa under section 49, or recommend an opinion under section 53, the Fatwa Committee shall ordinarily follow qawl muktamad (accepted opinions) Syafie Madhhab. The qawl muktamad which is meant is the opinion that comes from Ashab Syafi'i. Whereas the most important Ashab Syafi'i is al-Nawawi. He was referenced in terms of method and law in the al-Syafi'i madhhab (Sulaiman, 2008).

However, some Mufti Departments did not follow the al-Nawawi methodology in the hadiths during istinbat hukm . The effect of this methodological reference neglect can lead to unstable legal findings as it relies on da’if dalil . This is because the scholars agree that the hadith is included in the category of hadith mardud (rejected) (Asni, Sulong, & Ismail, 2017). In addition, among other implications is that there is inconsistency in the decision of the fatwa between the states as it differs in the hadith reference methodology during the istinbat process (Asni, 2016). While the effect of the administrative aspect, it is also contrary to the requirements and claims of the official law enactment which has been allocated so that the qawl muktamad in the Shafi'i madhhab is used as the main reference. Hence, the study proposes that all State Mufti Departments should follow the methodology of the hadith referenced by al-Nawawi. This is because, in addition to his rajih and powerful methodology, he is also a scholar who became the main reference in the al-Shafi'i madhhab in terms of methodology and law (Ahmad, 2016).


The entire Mufti State Department in Malaysia except Perlis has provided in the enactment of the law that the qawl muktamad in the al-Syafii madhhab is the main reference when issuing a fatwa. Whereas the qawl muktamad according to the agreement of the scholars of al-Syafi’i is all the view and methodology of al-Nawawi. However, the findings show that part of the Mufti State Department does not follow the al-Nawawi methodology when making the da’if hadith as an argument in istinbat hukm , while al-Nawawi only recognises the authentic hadith and hasan when istinbat hukm .

This finding should not have been the case because in addition to it contrary to the provisions of the existing law, it also has another great impact that is not a strong fatwa decision because arguing with the da’if hadiths and leading to fatwa inconsistencies between states and causing conflict. The findings also show that even the Perlis State Mufti Department did not make the qawl muktamad of al-Syafi’i madhhab as an official reference, but the argument of the hadith was similar to the al-Nawawi methodology. Hence, in this case the study wishes to suggest that states which do not follow al-Nawawi methodology especially those that involve the hadith arguments need to follow it so that the fatwa issued is solid and uniform because based on the same methodology and coincide with the state administrative enactment claim.


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23 September 2019

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Asni*, F., Baharudin, A., & Sulong, J. (2019). Methodology Of Al-Nawawi In Hadith And Its Influence In The Mufti Departments. In N. S. Mat Akhir, J. Sulong, M. A. Wan Harun, S. Muhammad, A. L. Wei Lin, N. F. Low Abdullah, & M. Pourya Asl (Eds.), Role(s) and Relevance of Humanities for Sustainable Development, vol 68. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 353-359). Future Academy.