Science of Tabaqat-ul-Ruwah

Q 2: Are the Hadith related by Al-Bayhaqy, Al-Tabary, and Al-Daraqutny considered reliable? What is meant by ‘Ilm Tabaqat-ul-Ruwah (the science of the classification of Hadith narrators)?

A: If the Hadith is related by any of the above-quoted names of authors in their books, provided that its Sanad (chain of narrators) is correct, and it is not Shadh (narrated by a trustworthy narrator, which is not in line with the narration of another more trustworthy narrator in terms of wording, chain of narrators, or both) and it is free of any ‘Illah Qadihah (vitiating defect), then it is accepted. Otherwise, it is rejected. As for the science of Tabaqat-ul-Ruwah (classification of Hadith narrators in groups based on age, contemporariness, and receiving Hadith from a specific shaykh): the term “Tabaqat” according to the scholars of Hadith terminology means a group of narrators who have the same age and have acquired Hadith knowledge from the same shaykhs. This ‘Ilm (science) examines the conditions of the narrators while considering their classification according to their ages and acquisition of Hadith from shaykhs. Among the books written on this subject is “Al-Tabaqat” by Imam Muhammad ibn Sa`d, the student and scribe of Al-Waqidy.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.