The Nasa'i Hadiths
July 2007 version

Importance of the Hadiths in Sunni Islam

While almost everyone knows that Muslims revere the Qur誕n (or Koran) as their holy book, many might not know that the hadiths, are considered by most Muslims almost as authoritative as the Qur誕n. In fact, the hadiths might even be more influential on Islam, just because of the large mass of many volumes of their teachings in six collections. (Some Sunni Muslims accept a seventh, Muwatta Malik, but most would go with six.)

Muslims have said that while it is OK for a Muslim to reject a particular hadith, or saying, if a Muslim rejects all of any of the six authoritative collections, then they are not a true Muslim. Nasa段 (or al Nasa) was a Shafi段te Muslim who lived from 830-915 A.D.) 215-303 A.D.) and compiled the fifth of the six authoritative collections of Sunni hadiths. It contains 5,764 hadiths, and is called the Suand, but people typically just call it by the name of the author, Nasa段.

Sunnah means precedent and custom", while the word hadith is a slightly narrower definition, "literally means a report". Sunan Nasa段 vol.1 p.50

Importance of the hadiths. Sunan Nasa段 vol.1 p.51

If one disobeys Allah or Mohammed, one goes to Hell (Sura 4:14) Sunan Nasa段 vol.1 p.53

The hadiths are important to understand some of the verses of the Qur誕n. Sunan Nasa段 vol.1 p.63

Sunnah is as binding as the Qur誕n. Sunan Nasa段 vol.1 p.64.

As an example, no plucking hair or making gaps in teeth is a command not in the Qur誕n, but it is Sunnah. Sunan Nasa段 vol.1 p.64-65

Reliability of the hadiths. Sunan Nasa段 vol.1 p.81

100,000 persons were involved in transmitting and collecting the hadiths. Sunan Nasa段 vol.1 p.83

Transmission of a hadith by a woman is not as good as by a man. Sunan Nasa段 vol.1 p.84. We will see more of possibly why this is true later in this article.

Mohammed痴 words and deeds are always sound. Sunan Nasa段 vol.1 p.74

Mohammed痴 Sins

Modern Islam considers Mohammed and all the prophets sinless, though it was not that way in early Islam. For a modern viewpoint, the translator of Sunan Nasa段 vol.1 p.63 says that Mohammed never made a mistake. Yet the following is in the books he translated.

Mohammed asked forgiveness for his faults. Sunan Nasa段 vol.1 no.61,62 p.155

Mohammed asked that his sins be washed with water and snow and hail. Sunan Nasa段 vol.1 no.336-337 p.273

Mohammed asked to be purified with water, snow, and hail. Sunan Nasa段 vol.1 no.404-405 p.301

Mohammed asked forgiveness. Sunan Nasa段 vol.1 no.171 p.202

Mohammed prayed for forgiveness for his sins. Sunan Nasa段 vol.2 no.898 p.10

Mohammed said" I have wronged myself, but I acknowledge my sins, so forgive me all my sins, Thou who alone canst forgive sins;" Sunan Nasa段 vol.2 no.900 p.12

At night Mohammed got up to ask forgiveness for his sins. Sunan Nasa段 vol.2 no.1127-1128 p.110

"但段sha (Allah be pleased with her) reported: One night I missed the messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and when I sought him I found him in prostration, and he was saying: O Lord, forgive all my sins, open and secret." Sunan Nasa段 vol.2 no.1128 p.110

Mohammed asked forgiveness of the evil he did and the evil he did not do. Sunan Nasa段 vol.2 no.1310 p.199

Prayer and Mohammed

Mohammed told people that Gabriel told him that every time a Muslim blesses Mohammed, Gabriel blesses the Muslim ten times. Sunan Nasa段 vol.2 no.1286 p.184-185; vol.2 no.1298 p.191

Pray peace upon Mohammed. Sunan Nasa段 vol.2 no.1282-1301 p.181-193

Sins from last Friday on are forgiven if a Muslim takes a bath, prays what was fixed for him, and then keeps silence until the imam finishes and prays along with the imam. Sunan Nasa段 vol.2 no.1406 p.246

Deficient Prayer

When you spit while praying, spit under your left foot (not the right). Sunan Nasa段 vol.1 no.728-729 p.454-455

Prayer without reciting Sura al-Fatiha [Sura 1] is deficient. Sunan Nasa段 vol.2 no.912 p.18

Prayer without reciting Sura al-Fatiha [Sura 1] is not even credited as prayer. Sunan Nasa段 vol.2 no.913-914 p.18-19 "He who does not recite Fatihat al-Kitab is not credited with having observed the prayer." (2:913) "The prayer is not valid if one does not recite Fatihat al-Kitab and something more." (2:914)

Prayer is not complete without elaborate formalism. Mohammed said, "The prayer of any of you is not complete until he performs ablution perfectly, as Allah, the Exalted, has order you. He should wash his face and hands up to the elbows, and wipe is head and wash his feet up to the ankles. Then he should exalt All (i.e. pronounce takbir) and praise him (i.e., recite Thana). Then he should recite the Qur誕n as much as it is convenient to him. Then he should utter takbir and perform ruku so that his joints return to their places and are loosened. Then he should say: Allah listens to him who praised him. Then he should stand erect so that his back is straightened. Then he should utter takbir and prostrate himself so that his face is at rest on the ground and his joint[s] return to their places and are loosened. Then he should say takbir and then sit right on his hips and erect his back. The prayer of any of you is not complete unless he does so." Sunan Nasa段 vol.2 no.1139 p.117

One must separate their feet a bit when praying. Sunan Nasa段 vol.2 no.895 p.9

You must make frequent prostrations when you pray. Sunan Nasa段 vol.2 no.1141,1142 p.118-119

Legalism on how to place your feet. Sunan Nasa段 vol.2 no.1160-1163 p.128-129

A person has not prayed unless he did the right positions. Sunan Nasa段 vol.2 no.1316-1317 p.202-203

Abandoning Prayer

Abandoning prayer makes one an infidel. Sunan Nasa段 vol.1 no.466-467 .336-337

Prayer was prohibited at certain times. Sunan Nasa段 vol.1 no.552-557 p.380-381

Three times were forbidden to pray. Sunan Nasa段 vol.1 no.568-572,574 p.382-385; vol.1 no.576-677; p.384-385; vol.1 no.587 p.388

Religious Practice

It was threatened that Allah would turn the heads of some Muslims into donkey heads if they raise their head before the imam. Sunan Nasa段 vol.1 no.831 p.501

Impurity of Women

Abandon prayer during menstruation. Sunan Nasa段 vol.1 no.355-361 p.281-284; vol.1 no.364-368 p.285-286

It is OK for a menstruating woman to briefly go into a mosque to get a garment. Sunan Nasa段 vol.1 no.385-386 p.295

A menstruating woman and a dog cut off prayer. Sunan Nasa段 vol.1 no.754 p.467

Kill all dogs except for hunting and herding. Sunan Nasa段 vol.1 no.68 p.157; vol.1 no.339-340 p.274; vol.1 no.384 p.294

It was during the eclipse that Mohammed said he saw Hell and most of its inhabitants were women. The women were ungrateful to their husbands and good deeds. Sunan Nasa段 vol.2 no.1496 p.293

Mohammed preached that most women were fuel for Hell. Sunan Nasa段 vol.2 no.1578 p.342

Women dwelling in Hell is also prominent in Sahih Muslim vol.1 book 1 no.143 p.47-48. See also Bukhari vol.2 no.161; vol.1 no.301, vol.1 no.28; vol.7 book 62 no.125,126 p.96 Sahih Muslim vol.2 book 4 no.1926 p.417; vol.4 no.9596-6600 p.1431.

Other Things on Women

A Muslim woman is not required to wear a veil before male servants. Sunan Nasa段 vol.1 no.101 p.173

Mohammed hit A段sha, causing her pain. Sunan Nasa段 vol.2 no.2041 p.526

Gravesites

Muslims generally do not want to disturb gravesites, at least of other Muslims. However, polytheist (i.e. non-Muslim) graves were dug up and the site used for a mosque. Sunan Nasa段 vol.1 no.705 p.444-445

Let there be a curse on Jews and Christians for they have taken the graves of their apostles as places of worship. Sunan Nasa段 vol.1 no.706 p.445

Shi段te Muslims have many prominent mosques on the graves of famous Muslims. Some see this last hadith as something put in Mohammed痴 mouth to condemn Shi段te Islam. The Nasa段 hadiths were written after the Sunni / Shi段te split, but we cannot tell whether Mohammed really said this, or the words were added later.

Torment of the Grave (not Hell)

A Jewess allegedly said people were tortured in the grave due to soiling themselves with urine. Sunan Nasa段 vol.2 no.1348 p.217

A Jewish woman told Mohammed "May Allah protect you from the torment of the grave. After that, Mohammed prayed for refuge from the torment of the grave. Sunan Nasa段 vol.2 no.1479 p.281-282

The torment of the grave is a fact. Sunan Nasa段 vol.2 no.1311 p.199

Muslims in their graves hear the sound of people walking. Sunan Nasa段 vol.2 no.2054-2055 p.531-532

All Muslims are tried in their graves like the trial of the anti-Christ [Dajjal] except martyrs. Sunan Nasa段 vol.2 no.2057 p.533

The Jews are being tortured in their graves. Sunan Nasa段 vol.2 no.2063 p.535

Mohammed sought refuge from the torment of the grave. Sunan Nasa段 vol.2 no.2065 p.535; vol.2 no.2069 p.537; vol.2 no.2071 p.538

There is some torment for Muslims in their graves. Sunan Nasa段 vol.2 no.2066 p.536

A Jewess told either Mohammed or a Muslim man they would be put to trial in the grave. Sunan Nasa段 vol.2 no.2068 p.537

Mohammed heard two dead people being tormented in their graves. Sunan Nasa段 vol.2 no.2072A, vol.2 no.2072B p.539

Angels, Devils, and Satan

Angels do not like garlic or onion. Sunan Nasa段 vol.1 no.710 p.447

Allah apparently hears prayers by having angels take them to Him. Sunan Nasa段 vol.2 no.888 p6; vol.2 no.904 p.13-14

Mohammed claimed he could see devils no one else could see. Sunan Nasa段 vol.1 no.818 p.496-497

Satan spends the night in a person痴 nose. Sunan Nasa段 vol.1 no.91 p.167

When the call to prayer is made, the devil breaks wind. Sunan Nasa段 vol.2 no.1256 p.169. It does not specify which time zone (Meccan or local), or if the devil continuously travels around the world.

The devil urinates in the ears of a person who does not pray at night. Sunan Nasa段 vol.2 no.1611,1612 p.360

The devil ties the back of a man痴 head in three knots at night. When a man wakes up and does ablution, etc. the knots are untied. Sunan Nasa段 vol.2 no.1610 p.360

Differences in the Qur誕n

Remembering: Abu Yunus the freed slave of 羨isha transcribed a copy of the Qur誕n for 羨isha. It was somewhat different in Sura 2:208. "Abu Yunus, the freed slave of 羨段sha said: 羨段sha (Allah be pleased with her) ordered me to transcribe a copy of the Qur誕n for her and said: When you reach this verse: 賎uard the prayers and the middle prayer (2:208) inform me; so when I reached it, I informed her and she gave me dictation (like this): Guard the prayer and the middle prayer and the afternoon prayer, and stand up truly obedient to Allah. 羨段sha (Allah be please with her) said: This is how I have heard from the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)" Sunan Nasa段 vol.1 no.475 p.340-341

Miscellaneous

Some Muslims were told to drink camel urine, they became apostates and killed the shepherd. Mohammed had their hands and feet cut off, and their eyes burned out. Sunan Nasa段 vol.1 no.308-309 p.255-256

Angels do not enter a house where there is a picture or a dog or a junubi (Someone who is unclean because of sex). Sunan Nasa段 vol.1 no.264 p.240

A Christian Perspective

While some western Muslims would think the preceding aspects of Sharia Law are somewhat strange, other Muslims would read this and see nothing strange at all. Christians would see the previous as quite strange, but perhaps for different reasons than Muslims might think.

Christians know that God is concerned first and foremost about our heart. If we sincerely pour out our heart to Him, God does not care how far apart our feet are! But if we are not sincerely seeking Him, then the most correct posture in the world makes no difference. Nasa段 is not alone is focusing on the minors and missing the majors. The other hadiths also have many, many pages on the mechanics on prayer, as if that is what mattered and not the heart. In Nasa段 Muslims are told to go to the mosque to get their sins forgiven, and warned that Allah would transform their heads into donkeys heads if they lifted their heads before the imam. But nowhere in Nas誕i did I see anything about loving God, and praying because you want to spend time with Him.

Another disturbing thing, not just in Nasa段 but also in the hadiths, is a disrespect for God as Creator. We are now sinful, yes, but God does not make junk, and God made us originally good, before the fall. Calling women impure, or their period impure, casts an insult on the One who created men and women and called them both good. God is not a sexual being, and women and men are both in the image of God.

There are three kinds of people: those who seek only this world, those (including many Muslims) who seek to follow a religion, and those who seek to follow God. Instead of seeing how many rules you can follow, as a substitute for following God, seek to follow God, and live your whole life to please Him as your Savior and Lord. Rules imply that you can do whatever you want, as long as you stay within the rules. But the Bible says we live in the new way of the Spirit, not the old way of the written code. Yes, we want to obey God痴 commands, but even when there are not hard and fast rules, because of the love of God, we want to please Him. We want to ask, "what would Jesus want me to do?" Do not go back to the old way of "do whatever I want, within the rules", but you will only know true joy by turning all of your life, including your rules, over to God.

References

The Holy Qur-an : English translation of the meanings and Commentary. Translated by 羨bdullah Yusuf 羨li. Revised and edited by The Presidency of Islamic Researches, IFTA, Call and Guidance. King Fahd Holy Qur-an Printing Complex. (no date)

Al-Bukhari Sahih Al-Bukhari. (translated by Muhammad Muhsin Khan published by al Maktabat Al Salafiat Al Madinato Al Monawart. (no date) (9 volumes)

Sahih Muslim by Imam Muslim. Rendered into English by 羨bdul Hamid Siddiqi. International Islamic Publishing House. (no date)

Sunan Nasa段 rendered into English by Muhammad Iqbal Siddiqi. Kazi Publications. 1999

The NIV Study Bible : New International Version Zondervan Bible Publishers. 1985.

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