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From the 'Discourses on Islamic Way of Life' - By Mufti Taqi Usmani (db)

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Two kinds of Holy Traditions

It may be noted carefully that there is a category of Traditions which we hear from someone or read in the books. They reach us through a long chain of authorities: giving us the names of the reporters in ascending order carrying to the Holy Prophet [sallallaahu alyhi wasallam]. The Traditions of this category are called Zanni because they reach us through a channel of reporters. It is obligatory to act upon the injunctions contained in such Traditions; and deviating from this is a sin. Traditions which the Companions heard direct from the Holy Prophet [sallallaahu alyhi wasallam] are not Zanni (conjectural), but are Qatie (confirmed). If any one denies such Traditions, not only will he be a sinner, but he will also become an unbeliever. According to the juristic ruling the denier of an order of the Holy Prophet [sallallaahu alyhi wasallam] at once turns to be an infidel.

Sometimes we entertain the foolish desire in our hearts to have lived at the blessed time of the Holy Prophet [sallallaahu alyhi wasallam], to reap the virtues and blessings of that blessed time. We should remember that whatever Almighty Allah does, He does it in His infinite wisdom and it is He who has raised us in this later age.

If He had raised us in the time of the Holy Prophet [sallallaahu alyhi wasallam], who knows what would have happened to us. There is no guarantee that we would not have fallen into the dare ditch of ignorance? May Allah save us. The question of Iman in those days was a very delicate issue. A slight turn from the right path could change the destiny of man.

The devotion with which the sacred Companions [radhiallaahu anhum] of the Holy Prophet rallied round him was exclusively their distinction. It was due to this that they reached the unique rank. Allah alone knows what would have been the fate of our selfish far-seeing and ease-loving persons as we are. It is indeed a great favour of Almighty Allah that He saved us from ruin and raised us up in an age in which we enjoy many facilities. We are in an age in which we have Zanni Traditions. If anyone denies it he will only be a sinner and not an unbeliever. As regards the sacred Companions, if anyone of them heard some Tradition from the Holy Prophet [sallallaahu alyhi wasallam] and denied it he would instantly become an unbeliever. May Allah save us from such a fate.

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