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Reliability of Hadith
Hadith as source of Islamic history
Besides this, the Hadith is the source of the history of Islam. If we do not consider its reports to be reliable, we cannot believe with certainty that Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali -- may God be pleased with them -- were Companions of the Holy Prophet, who succeeded him in this order, and also died in this order. If Hadith is considered unreliable, then there is no evidence to definitely believe that these holy personages existed. It would be possible, in that case, that all these names were fictitious, and in fact there had not been an Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman or Ali, because according to Mr Ata Muhammad, the objector, all these traditions are isolated, and these names are not given in the Holy Quran. So according to this principle, they cannot be accepted as authentic. Similarly, the Holy Prophet Muhammad’s father having the name Abdullah, his mother having the name Amina, and his grandfather having the name Abdul Muttalib; one of his wives being called Khadija, one Aishah and one Hafsa, and his wet-nurse being called Halima; the Holy Prophet’s withdrawing to the cave of Hira for worship, the emigration of some of his Companions to Abyssinia, his staying in Makka for ten years after the Call, and then all those battles no mention of which is to be found in the Holy Quran -- all these facts are known only from Hadith. Should all of these be denied on the grounds that Hadith is not reliable? If this is true, Muslims would not be able to give any details of the life of the Holy Prophet, may peace and the blessings of God be upon him.