Shia Hadith VS Sunni Hadith

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Peace be upon our nation and our blessed Prophet and his family and followers,

May Allah benefit us from knowledge and guide us to what he loves and pleases and remove from our hearts arrogance and stubbornness and make us accept the truth wherever we find it

The difference of opinion between the Majority of Muslims and the Imami Twelver sect in our days mainly goes back to the difference in Hadithi sources, while all Muslims with all their various sects took narrations from the books of Ahlul-Sunnah such as the Zaydiyyah, the Mu`tazillah, the Khawarij, the Qadariyyah, the Zuhhad, the Ahlul-Hadith  etc… All the legitimate groups with their many views and opinions agreed on the books written by the popular and reliable Imams of Hadith.

We find that one sect isolated itself from the rest of the nation, they are the Ithna `Ashariyyah Imamiyyah or “Twelver Shia” as they like to call themselves, this sect rejected all books of the Imams of Hadith and claimed they only follow books containing strictly narrations from the descendants of al-Husayn bin `Ali bin abi Talib.

Both the Muslim nation and the sect of Imamiyyah claim to follow the Prophet (saw) and both claim they acquired his guidance through reliable means, yet their narrations conflict with one another, which can only mean one of two things:

A- The Prophet (saw) is contradicting himself.

B- The books of the Muslim nation are unreliable OR the books of this Imami sect are unreliable.

Before we dive into this research in detail, let us give examples of the differences and contradictions between the books of each group:

-It is not possible for any sane individual who believes in the religious authority and reliability of the four Shia main books (Kafi, Istibsar, Faqih, Tahdheeb), to NOT believe in Imamah and Raj`ah and `Ismah and that the Sahabah are apostates and that Ahlul-Bayt hated the Shaykhayn ect…

-On the other hand, It is not possible for any sane individual who believes in the religious authority and reliability of the six Sunni main books (al-Sahihayn and the four Sunan) to NOT believe that the Shaykhayn are in heaven, or that abu Talib is in fire, or that hating the Ansar is from the signs of hypocrisy, or that Ahlul-Bayt loved the Sahabah ect…

The difference is not in interpretation, the books of the Imams of Hadith adopted by Ahlul-Sunnah and the rest of the nation contain explicit narrations stating Abu Bakr is in heaven, while the books adopted by the sect of Imamiyyah Ithna `Ashariyyah contain narrations explicitly stating that Abu Bakr and the majority of Sahabah are out of the folds of Islam and are heretics. There is no room for interpretation or reconciliation.

So the question would now be,

Why would any unbiased individual, who embraced Islam and accepted Allah and his messenger (saw) and believed in his holy book, why would this individual decide to choose the books of one group over the other?

Obviously the matter cannot be left to desires and emotions, rather it should be based on evidence and proof, since Allah most high criticized those who only follow desires and those who follow guesswork when He (swt) said:

{Say, “Indeed, the guidance of Allah is the [only] guidance.” If you were to follow their desires after what has come to you of knowledge, you would have against Allah no protector or helper.} [2:120]

{So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just.} [4:135]

{But those who wrong follow their [own] desires without knowledge. Then who can guide one whom Allah has sent astray? And for them there are no helpers.} [30:29]

As for those who follow assumptions and guesswork, Allah has criticized them saying:

{They follow not except assumption, and they are not but falsifying.} [10:66]

{They follow not except assumption and what [their] souls desire, and there has already come to them from their Lord guidance.} [53:23]

{And they have thereof no knowledge. They follow not except assumption, and indeed, assumption avails not against the truth at all.} [53:28]

In summary, one should not follow a path just because it appeals to him if it contradicts clear evidence and truth, and one must not base his beliefs on hearsay and baseless assumptions unless he can back it with proof.

To achieve our aim in clarifying which of the two teams is closer to truth Insha’-Allah, we decided to compare the books of both Ahlul-Sunnah and the Twelver Imamiyyah to see with objectivity and without sectarian bias, which has the most reliable religious sources.

Since both teams have a couple of books, we decided in order to shorten the research and make it easier for us and the readers, we decided to compare the best book of each group, for Ahlul-Sunnah it is al-Sahih al-Jami` of al-Imam al-Bukhari and as for the Twelver Imamis it is their big book al-Kafi written by al-Shaykh al-Kulayni.

Below will be various researches and comparisons, not in any specific order, between both books, to see which is the better and more reliable source.

NOTES:

-Research will be updated regularly Insha’-Allah with more data and additional information, check the time of update next to each piece.

-Research will be conducted from the point of view of an objective individual, neither Sunni nor Shia, based on what any convert would understand from the book of Allah (swt).

In the name of Allah we begin,

1-Availability of prophetic narrations, orders, sayings and instructions. (6/2/2014)

2-The Teachers: Their reliability and variety. (6/5/2014)

3-Oral transmission: The declaration of hearing from the scholars. (7/20/2014)

4-Confusion of the narrator: Explanation and application. (8/26/2014)

5-Leniency of Al-Majlisi I in Authenticating Hadiths. (5/7/2015)

6-The elevated chain: Its definition and importance. (11/4/2015)

7-The Reliance of Shias upon Sunni Rijal books. (11/18/2015)

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Answering Objections & Criticisms on Bukhari vs Kulayni (4/5/2015)

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