Principles of Hadith Sciences: Explanatory Notes on Ibn Hajar’s Nukhbat al-Fikar

These are my complete notes on Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani’s famous book on principles of hadith sciences titled Nukhbat al-Fikar. The notes are based on Sh. Yusuf ibn Sadiq al-Hanbali’s classes over a period of few months. The classes were conducted in the English language. For the translation of the terms, I mainly relied on Sh. Musa Furber’s translation of Ibn Hajar’s book, however, there are instances where I substitute for a translation given by Sh. Yusuf ibn Sadiq.

The issue of hadith needs to be given extra attention in our times because those who reject the institution of hadith altogether are on the rise as well as the neo-Mu’tazilah, who accept/reject hadiths solely based on their intellect. Their arguments carry no merit whatsoever, however, due to the fact that there is mass ignorance over the sciences of hadith, the meticulous details, and rigorous research that is required before a hadith can be declared reliable or not, I hope these notes help bring to light some of those details. These notes are by no means an exhaustive representation of the subject, thus, further study is necessary to truly grasp the material for those wanting to delve deeper into this subject.

I ask Allah for sincerity in the publication of these notes and that He reward me for trying to help bring dignity to the blessed words of the chosen one, Muhammad peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and honor to the tiresome efforts of hadith scholars by sharing my small contribution with the general public free of any cost.

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