Shaykh Hamza Yusuf “We only have 500 hadith that are of the status of the Qur’an!”

“Indeed,  the  Muslim  men  and  Muslim  women,  the  believing  men  and  believing  women, the  obedient  men  and  obedient  women,  the  truthful  men  and  truthful  women,  the patient  men  and  patient  women,  the  humble  men  and  humble  women,  the  charitable men  and  charitable  women,  the  fasting  men  and  fasting  women,  the  men  who  guard their  private  parts  and  the  women  who  do  so,  and  the  men  who  remember Allah often and  the  women  who  do  so  –   for  them Allah has  prepared  forgiveness  and  a  great  reward.” (Qur’an 33:35)

May Allah bless Shaykh Hamza Yusuf for his candid honesty before a  crowd of 10,000 at the Islamic Society of North America conference!

Please watch the video where he openly says, before 10,000 Muslims

“We ONLY have 500 hadiths that are of the status of the Qur’an” !!!

Please see here:

Now, if only more Muslims would take that statement from Hamza Yusuf and reflect upon it!

I wish more of my Muslim brothers who believe in giving primacy to the oral traditions alongside the Qur’an would go back over their notes taken during hadith classes, and/or lectures they recorded and take a look at two terminologies and really reflect upon it:

1) Hadiths that convey the certainty of knowledge or in Arabic  (al-`ilm al-yaqînî) and

2)  Hadiths that convey only the compelling assumption of truth or in Arabic (al-zann al-ghâlib).

Now, the truth of the matter is the bulk of the hadith collection especially for our brothers from among the  Ahl Sunnah falls under the category of al-zann al ghalib. Now, do you want your faith to be based upon 100% certainty or only a compelling assumption of truth?

Why is it that the Qur’an which is al -ilm al yaqini (certain knowledge)  is made to by the underling of al-zann al-ghalib (compelling assumption of truth) and worse yet, there are those who say that hadith of ( the category of compelling assumption of truth)  can abrogate certain knowledge.  i.e- (lone narrator reports can abrogate the Qur’an!  This is certainly a grave matter, and one should not place their faith into such usuli principles soo readily.

So there you have it.  Shaykh Hamza Yusuf  telling us “We only have 500 hadith that are of the status of the Qur’an!”  

What he means by this is that in all the years of his being a Muslim (36 years), studying, traveling, and being around scholars who are oceans of knowledge that only 500 hadith can be counted upon as being transmitted as faithfully as the Qur’an!


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9 responses to “Shaykh Hamza Yusuf “We only have 500 hadith that are of the status of the Qur’an!”

  1. Pingback: My position on the hadith. | primaquran

  2. Salaamun aleikum. Jazak’Allah khairun for your efforts at reasserting the primacy of The Qur’an. Are you aware that according to Wael Hallaq, there are in fact only 14 hadith that attain the status of tawwattur? In this regard, I refer you to the following article: “The authenticity of Prophetic Hadith:
    A Pseudo-problem” ( Also, Jonathan Brown’s article “Did the Prophet say it or not?” ( Fi amaan illah

    • Bismillah ir rahman ir raheem,

      walakum salaam wr wb, wa iyyakum. I am not aware of such research by the respected scholar Wael Hallaq. I am very grateful for the links. Prima-Qur’an is about all of us collectively sharing research and findings that are helpful for one and all. May Allah (swt) bless you and your Ramadan!

      I am aware however, that Dr. Jonathan Brown has said this,

      “The categories of mutawatir and ahad were similarly unsuitable for the hadith tradition, for essentially all hadiths were ahad. As Ibn Al Salah, the most famous scholar of hadith criticism in the later period, explained, at most one hadith (‘Whoever lies about me intentionally, let him prepare for himself a seat in the hell fire’) would meet the requirements of mutawatir. No hadiths could actually be described as being narrated by a larger number of narrators at every stage of their transmission.” (Dr. Jonathan Brown ‘Hadith: Muhammad’s Legacy in the Medieval and Modern World page 106)

      Insh’Allah, I will download and take time to read these over. Very much appreciative of this sharing.

  3. Pingback: Censorship: The signs of scholarship, truth and confidence? | primaquran

  4. allahisone

    Asalaam alaikum, is it ok to study sufism? Also is Allah everywhere or on the throne like salafis told me?

    • Bismillah,

      this is in response to allahisone.

      Your question:
      Asalaam alaikum, is it ok to study sufism? Also is Allah everywhere or on the throne like salafis told me?”

      My response:

      Walakum salaam wr wb. Sure it is absolutely fine to study Sufism. Just weigh what ever you find in it against your consciousness and your heart. If you find anything troubling than do not follow it. For example you may love dhikr but but be troubled by ‘tawassul’.

      Than you do not need to partake in ‘tawassul’. simple.

      As regards to your other question. ‘Is Allah every where, or on the throne like the salafis told me”

      Well there is a third possibility which is ‘Allah is neither every where nor on the throne’ so both of them would imply space.

      The question is no different than saying does Allah occupy a chair or that room? Even though the room is bigger than a chair it is still space.

      So if Allah (swt) created everything that would also mean space/time.

      However; you are encouraged to read their theological works. of the Ashari, Athari, Maturdi, Mutazliate etc and come to your conclusions.

  5. mahmooda lowe

    where could i find these 500 hadiths? Could u e-mail me?

    • Mahmooda lowe that is a very good question.

      To my knowledge Sheikh Hamza Yusuf has not identified these 500 hadith. There is also a dispute by one Sunni scholar (not a modernist btw) who says there is no such thing as mutawatir hadith.

      So I don’t know if Sheikh Hamza was giving us an actual number or a ball park figure.

      If I find out I will most certainly post it on here.

      Thank you!

  6. I recommend: for various works on analysis of hadith

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