Among all nations, Allah has honored the Muslim nation exclusively with "Isnad".
Furthermore, the precise hadeeth methodology developed by our scholars, is a firm basis for assessing the
validity of texts, and is also unparalleled in any academic disipline among other nations.
The classic Islamic texts have received the highest level of service in this respect.
Unfortunately, the publishing world has not always kept with those standards.
Many books in the Islamic sciences
have been published with insufficient or no information to help ascertain
the authenticity of texts. This problem is exacerbated when books are published
with purely commercial motives, and places readers in a dangerous state
Disparate efforts have been made to
authenticate various published editions. Except for a hazy feeling of confidence,
which depends on your prior experience with a particular publisher, there
seems to be no systematic information for assessing the authenticity of
published works. For example, one might find two versions of the same book
by different publishers, both claiming authentication work and copyrights,
only to discover later that both are offset copies of a third, unnamed
original (all containing the same errors), with only changes to a few initial
pages. This clearly violates the principle of Amanah (faithfulness) because
the reader has absolutely no true information on the actual institution
that originally published the work in question. What has therefore been
handed to us for free through the lifelong painstaking efforts of our predecessors,
is starting to erode under the "commercialization" of these works.
One of our main tasks in this expansion
plan - insha'a llaah – is to develop and adopt a systematic and sound textual
authentication process, such as to make this project extremely valuable
insha'a llaah, not only because it is comprehensive, easily searchable,
and practically costless, but also because of the reliability of its texts.
One might add that, being a non-profit
project, Al-Muhaddith is better positioned for success in this domain than
commercial programs. It is not easy to develop an authentication program
that can also be a very attractive commercial product.
Therefore, an integral facet of our
goal is to offer the Islamic works on the electronic media to the Muslim
nation, while doing our best to authenticate its texts, preserve the faithfulness
of transmission (amaanah), and facilitate its widespread use and
posession. This would be a great service to the Islamic community, which
we will be honored to try to perform with the support of Allaah.
Various degrees of authentication are under study:
Simple textual verification, to ascertain
that the electronic text corresponds to its printed or manuscript sources.
A selection, amongst all published
versions, of the most reliable one.
When no published version is reliable
or when none exists, a return to available manuscripts.
If possible, indications of textual
variations across different published versions or manuscripts.
Using Al Muhaddith to provide minor
footnoting by the authentication team: Adding brief explanations of difficult
words, authenticating some doubtful hadeeth or text, or clarifying potential
confusion by providing additional sources or brief discussions.
A clear, systematic methodology must
be adopted to decide, for each book, the degree of authentication to be
adopted. Everything else equal, a greater amount of work will have to be
done when a text is important and when existing published versions (if
any) are not reliable.
The project aims - insha'a llaah -
at continuing to expand Al Muhaddith's library, such as to offer the major
works from all Islamic Sciences.
Specific Results, insha'a llaah:
So far, our program provides information
on the methods used for verification, at the start of its search results
for each book.
Our goal is to describe the authentication
method in a more detailed and systematic manner, and to improve the quality
of the verification process and of the selection of our source books and
It is the duty of our teams to capitalize
on the gift of major success that Allaah has granted this project so far,
and build upon it by doing everything possible, with the great help of
Allaah, to implement this goal of "quality" improvement.
This project will obviously take a
lot of effort, but every long trip starts with a first step, and "whoever
relies on Allaah, He will be sufficient".
Wal hamdu lillahi rabil `aalameen.