Ways of identifying the Da`if Hadith

Q 2 and 3: How can we identify the Da‘if (weak) Hadith that are attributed to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him)? Are there sixty-four Da‘if Hadith attributed to the Prophet (peace be upon him) in “Sahih Al-Bukhari” and “Sahih Muslim”, and if so, how can we recognize them?

A: Hadith can be known whether they are Da‘if (a Hadith that fails to reach the status of Hasan due to a weakness in the chain of narration or one of the narrators) or Sahih (a Hadith that has been transmitted by people known for their uprightness and exactitude; free from eccentricity and blemish) through studying the science of Hadith terminology, knowing the Sanad (chains of narrators) of Hadith, and studying the narrators through the processes of Jarh (criticism of Hadith narrators) and Ta‘dil (validating the uprightness of Hadith narrators). The Hadith scholars left us a wealth of information about the science of Hadith that can help in this regard. As for the Two Sahih (authentic) Books of Hadith (i.e. Al-Bukhari and Muslim), the Ummah (nation) has unanimously approved them and consider them as the second source of legislation, after the Book of Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He).