Is it true that Ihya’ Ulum al-Din by Imam Ghazali contains weak and some fabricated ahadith? I read this on a website.
Answered by: Mufti Abdurrahman ibn Yusuf
In the name of Allah the Inspirer of truth
Yes, it is correct that the book contains weak and some fabricated ahadith. However, Imam Ghazali does not use them to establish any law of Islam and so forth. Although it may have been better for the fabricated ahadith to have been left out, they are only used to give more clarity to the issue.
The site on which you found these comments seems to be a purely salafi site. They have problems with most books that have not been written by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyya, Ibn al-Qayyim, and some other Hanbali scholars. They basically reject most if not all of the literature of the Ahl al-Sunna wa ‘l-jama’a, unless it is from those few scholars.
They have a very restricted view and some refer to them as extreme Wahabis.
They have basically transgressed the boundaries in some issues in attempting to clamp down on bid’a, which was in itself a worthy cause. They are on the opposite extreme of the degenerated Sufi sects. Imam Ghazali does not fall in either one.
I would advise one to read it since it is very beneficial and Ghazali is a master on the reformation of the heart. You ask someone for clarification on the issues that are not clear since it is sometimes very deep. I personally have benefited greatly from the book and use material from it often for the Friday Khutbas. The other point that I could make is such websites are not helpful.
Maybe you could try out the Hanafi groups list on Yahoo groups at the following. I answer questions for them from time to time. http://www.groups.yahoo.com/group/hanafi.
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Abdurrahman ibn Yusuf