Changing the word (Messenger) to the word (Prophet) when narrating Hadeeth

(Shaykh Abu Abdillah Muhammad Rslan (may Allah preserve him


The only principle the scholar’s of Hadeeth  sited in regards to narrating hadeeth is  there must not be any additional words added or deleted from the speech of the Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wa salam) . However they have allowed conveying hadeeth by its meaning.

The scholar’s have discussed the permissibility to change (the Prophet) said to (the Messgener) said and vice versa.

Salih ibn Ahmed ibn Hanbal said: I asked my father is there a problem if a hadeeth states the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu alyahi wa salam) said, and then instead a person says, ” The Prophet (sallahu alayhi wa salam) said? Imam Ahmad replied, “It’s permissible.”

Ibn As-Salah held the position that it’s not permissible. “What’s apparent is it’s not permissible to change the word Prophet to Messenger (sallAllahu alayhi wa salam) and vice versa. Although it is permissible to narrate hadeeth by meaning, there is a condition that the meaning doesn’t change from the original text. Changing the word Prophet to Messenger is a difference in meaning.

Al-Iraqi commented on Ibn Salah’s speech criticizing it. He said: The issue needs to be examined more carefully with regard to the meaning being changed. Attributing the hadeeth to the  one saying it using different definitions or descriptions isn’t changing the meaning. i.e  Prophet or Messenger or so forth. And even though the words Prophet and Messenger are different in meaning, this isn’t what’s meant. Rather, what’s intended is defining the speaker by any traits or words that he is well- known by.

Imam An-Nawawi held it was permissible to change the word Prophet to Messenger. He said: What’s correct –Allah knows best- It permissible to change the word Messenger to Prophet , because in this context the meaning isn’t changed; although the meaning of Prophet and Messenger is different.

Translated by : Abu Aaliyah Abdullah ibn Dwight Battle

Doha, Qatar © 1434

 ** Taken from: Dawa bit Ar-Riwayah enda Muhadditheen (Vol 1 page  411-414) by Shaykh Muhammad Rslan (May Allah preserve him) **

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