The question arises in the minds of Muslims:
Why scholars narrated weak ahadeeth?,
Weren't authentic ahadeeth sufficient?
Below is the reply of this doubt INSHA'ALLAH (Taken from the magnificent work of Shaykh Zubair Ali Zai from his tahqiq of the book Fadal as-Salat an-Nabi of Imam Ismaieel bin Ishaq Qadhi page 151]
a) Al Hafidh Ibn e Hajar asqalani RA said
بل أكثر المحدثين في الأعصار الماضية من سنة مائتين وهلم جراً إذا ساقوا الحديث بإسناده اعتقدوا أنهم برئوا من عهدته
In fact most of the muhadditheen after the era of 200 h mentioned hadith with chains, according to them they were acquitted of the charge [Lisan al Meezan under the Tarjumah of Suleman bin Ahmad bin Ayyub Tabrani 3/75]
b) Sakhawi said
Most of the muhadditheen Specially Tabrani,Abu Nueeam and Ibn e Mundah narrated ahadith with chains, their stance was that (after quoting the chains) they are acquitted of the charge(of the hadith). [Fath Ul Mughees Sharah Al Fiyyatul Hadeeth vol 1 page 254]
c) Shaykh ul Islam Ibne Tamiyah said
(Abu Nuyeem) and muhadditheen like him narrated ahadeeth on some specific topic (no mattaer sahih or daeef) so that people may know (about the ahadeeth), we can not take evidence from some of them. [Minhaj us Sunnah vol 4 page 15]
d) Shaykh Zubair Ali Zai said
Except Sahihheen(Bukhari,Muslim) all the books of hadeeth like Al Adab wal Mufrad of Imam Bukhari and Musnad Ahmad etc have weak ahadeeth, Muhaditheen are free (from the accusation) when they narrated hadieeh with the chain of narrators, They never narrated to make them(ahadeeth) evidence but they narrated them due to muarifat [Al Hadith no:68 page 50](end quote from the work of Shaykh Zubair)
e) Shaykh Haitham Hamdan said in Multaqa Forum
Learn brother that there were many reason why the Salaf quoted weak Hadith in their books:
1. If there was no Da'eef Hadith, there would not have been any Hasan li Ghayrihi's around.
2. If there were no weak Hadith, students would not have been able to understand how Hadith is categorised as weak and what factors render Hadith as weak.
3. They narrated them to explain their weakness
4. They narrated them because they can be used as support, not as establishing
5. They narrated them because they knew which ones were authentic and which ones were weak, just like al-Thawri narrating from the weak al-Kalbi and said: "I know where he speaks the truth" (and obviously we cannot do this)
6. Because the narrator was not weak according to him
7. Because he made a mistake
8. Because the narrator was weak overall but an authentic source in one aspect, like narrating from one's father
9. The weak narration may also be narrated from an authentic chain, but the authentic chain is longer (Naazil), so the author sufficed with the shorter (Aali) weak chain
10. Because he compiled the book with weak narrations, then he intended to sieve out the weak narrations, like Malik, but died before that, like Hakim and Bayhaqi (last halves of their concerned book is weaker than the first half)
11. The author was not aware of the weakness when narrating
12. Because someone else caem and added narrations which were not in the original book of the author, like the Musnad of Imam Ahme4) They just intended to gather all of one particular person's narrations in one place
13. Some scholars allowed weak Hadith to be narrated (I stress: narrated, not practised) in non-law and non-theology.
14. And finally, because like Mizzi said: "Ibn Ma'een said: We wrote Hadith from liars, lit the fire with the papers containing them, and we baked fresh bread!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" (31/557, Tatheeb al-Kamaal)
After seeing the clear statements of scholars, Insha'Allah no one will have doubt. The criteria to judge the authenticity of the hadeeth is to see the authenticity of the chain. Muhadditheen quoted the chain of the ahadeeth in their great works so that hadeeth Masters. can judge the authenticity of the hadeeth.
Artilce compiled by: Asim ul Haq
Assalamualaikum Wa Rahamatullahi Wa Barkatahu (May Peace, Mercy & Blessings of Allah Be Upon You).