How did the Hadith of the Holy Prophet (s) get prohibited? What happened after the demise of the Holy Prophet (s) for this to happen?
Stages of Prohibition of Hadith
1. During the Time of the Prophet (P)
Al-Darami in the introduction of his ‘Sunan’ and al-Hakem in his ‘al-Mostadrak’ narrated from Abdullah the son of Amr Ibn ‘As: I used to write whatever I heard from the Messenger of Allah (P) until the Qoraysh prohibited me and said to me: Do you write anything you hear from the Prophet (P) whilst he is also a human who has rage and pleasure? I then stopped writing the Hadith until I informed the Prophet (P) about what the Qoraysh had told me. He pointed to his mouth with his finger and said: “Write. By the One my life is in His Mighty Hand, none other than truth has come out of this.”
2. In the last days of the life of the Prophet (P)
“Ibn Abbas said: when the Prophet (P) was at his dying bed there where some men around him, among them, Omar Ibn Khattab. The Messenger of Allah (P) said to them: Bring me a book to write something for you that you may never go astray. Omar said: Surely the pain has inflicted the Messenger of Allah and the Book of Allah is with you. The Book of Allah suffices us! Following his (Omar) words those who were at the house disputed amongst themselves. Some agreed with Omar and when the dispute and voices rose the Messenger of Allah (P) said: Stand up and leave me, for it is not appropriate to dispute at the presence of a Prophet (P).”
3. During the reign of Abu-Bakr
Al-Thahabi under the biography of Abu-Bakr narrated: “After the demise of the Prophet (P) Abu-Bakr called people and said: You have been narrating many Ahadith from the Prophet (P) yet you dispute among yourselves about them. People who come after you will dispute more about them. Thus, from now, do not narrate any more Ahadith from the Prophet (P). Whoever asked you anything tell them: Between us and you is the Book of Allah, thus accept its Halal as Halal and accept its Haraam as Haraam.”
Al-Thahabi also narrated the following event from Aiysha; the daughter of Abu-Bakr:
“My father has compiled 500 Ahadith from the Prophet (P). One night (during his caliphate) he was uneasy and did not sleep the whole night. In the morning he called me and said: My daughter bring me those Ahadith that I have with you. I brought them to him and he burnt them all. He then said: I am worried lest I die and there has been any Hadith that I have narrated it from the Prophet (P) through a person that I assumed him to be honest and trustworthy whereas he is not. I do not wish to carry the responsibility of a wrong narration on my neck!”
4. During the reign of Omar
Ibn Sa’d narrated from Orwa: Omar decided to write down the Ahadith of the Prophet (P). He sought the opinion of the Companions about the matter to which they positively consented. Nonetheless, Omar thought about it for a month and then announced: I had in mind to write down the Ahadith of the Prophet (P). Yet, I remembered the nations who were before you; those who wrote their books and abandoned the Book of Allah. By Allah! I will never mix the Book of Allah with anything else.” Ibn Sa’d continued: “Omar took an oath from people to bring all the books of Hadith that they had compiled. When the Companions brought their books he set them all on fire.”
5. During the reign of Othman
Othman sent Abu-Dhar on exile to Damascus for the so-called crime of narrating the Prophetic Hadith. Subsequently, Mo’awiyah; the then ruler of Damascus, boycotted Abu-Dhar and did not allow anyone to communicate with him. Eventually Abu-Dhar, the distinguished companion of the Prophet (P) died lonely in the wilderness of Rabatha.
6. During the reign of Mo’awiyah
“Mo’awiyah wrote an official letter with the same content to all his delegates announcing that whoever narrates anything in virtue of Abu-Torab (Imam Ali) or his family, he is not under the protection of the government.” Ibn Abil-Hadid furthered that during that time, the people of Kufa suffered the most.
Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei