There’s no purpose in seeking hadith without knowledge of Arabic

Khateeb al-Baghdaadi collects a narration that Shu’bah said,

من طلب الحديث فلم يبصر العربية فمثله مثل رجل عليه برنس و ليس له رأس

“Whoever seeks hadith and does not have insight of the Arabic [language] then his example is like a man who has a hooded thobe without a head [meaning the thobe serves no purpose].” 

Source: Al-Jaami’ 2/26, Muqaddamah ibn al-Salaah p. 400

Hammad bin Salamah said,

مثل الذي يطلب الحديث و لا يعرف النحو مثل الحمار عليه مخلاة لا شعير فيها

“The similitude of the one who seeks hadith without knowing [Arabic] grammar is like the donkey who has a feedbag without any food [barley] in it.”

Source: al-Jaami’ by al-Khateeb al-Baghdaadi (2/26)

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