It pleased our bountiful Creator to make knowledge of Hadith and its ancillary sciences the exclusive characteristic of Muslim civilization. Alone among the nations that walked the face of the earth, this Umma received and kept this Divine trust together with the Last Testament – the Qur’an – to pass it on to subsequent generations unchanged with an ever-refined array of disciplines for verification and authentication.
Among those disciplines, Hadith methodology and criticism ensured that nothing alien crept into the pure Prophetic Sunna as conveyed by upright and precise transmitters under the strict perusal of their peers and subsequent experts. When Ibn al-Mubarak was asked about the forged hadiths he replied, “The giant scholars dispose of them!” Then he recited, “Lo! We, even We, have revealed the Reminder, and lo! We verily are its Guardian” (15:9) Thus he reiterated in the pithiest way that the Prophetic Sunna and authentic Hadith are part and parcel of the Final Revelation – which no Muslim denies! – and that the Lawgiver preserves His Dhikr through the surest human means imaginable.