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The ink of a scholar is better than the blood of a martyr - Source

Reader comment on item: What Are Islamic Schools Teaching?
in response to reader comment: Muhammad

Submitted by Fazhil (Proud Muslim) (South Africa), Jun 2, 2010 at 08:22

Dear Issac,

The words of this Hadith in question (Saying of the Prophet - SAW) as reported in "al-Jami al-Saghir" by Al Suyuti are as follows:

"The ink of scholars (used in writing) is weighed on the Day of Judgment with the blood of martyrs and the ink of scholars out-weighs the blood of martyrs (Shahadah)". It is also mentioned by Ibn Abd al-Bar in his book: "Jamie Bayan al-'Ilm wa Fadlu". As it was also mentioned by Ibn al-Jawzi in his book: "Al-Ilal".

Just so you know, each saying or Hadith is authenticated by tracing the source of transmitters (or chain of transmission), and there is a statistical accuracy when you have multiple chains of transmission that are independent but over about 200 years contains the same wording or message.

However, for this particular Hadith, it should be noted that it is not fully agreed upon (Mutaffakun Alayhee) by all scholars as authentic due to gaps in its chain of narrators and Al Suyuti himself grades it as 'weak'. This is discussed in detail by Dr. Abdullah Al-faqih of the Islamic Science University of Malaysia.

By the very nature of the process of collection of the Hadiths, it is possible something could have been said by the Prophet but because of lack of clarity as to the authenticity, it is left out of the authentic collections. This does not in any way mean that it is totally false – only Allah (SWT) knows the full truth.

Indeed Islam emphasizes knowledge and insists on it and the Qur'an praises the scholars and the knowledge. There are many sound Hadith. Also Allah Says (interpretation of meaning): {… Say: "Are those who know equal to those who know not?" …} [39: 9].

I wish you the best in your pursuit of the truth.


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