After Albani and his Friends, I was a little hesitant to read another book by Sh. Gibril Haddad and this book sat on my shelf for about two years. ItAfter Albani and his Friends, I was a little hesitant to read another book by Sh. Gibril Haddad and this book sat on my shelf for about two years. It is not because Albani is bad per say, but because it is merely a collection of biographical summaries all of which I had already read in the past. I now regret that I waited so long to read this one. Sunna Notes: Volume 1, like his previous, is a collection of his articles, but what a collection!
Although a few (perhaps all) are already available online, they are well researched and masterfully written in the way that Sh. Gibril's has established his reputation on - most of which I have not come across. In respect to the subject matter, I have read discussions of the themes he addresses, but not in this much detail. His sourcing is so thorough that one can only be amazed at the depth of his research. Additionally, it is mostly devoid of critical and disparaging remarks that usually colors such refutational discussions and that was a refreshing change.
The content is not for beginners and one would have to be at least familiar with hadith methodology for one to fully appreciate and be able to digest the benefit (and purpose) of the work. It is in essence a topical refutation/clarification of the most frequent objections raised by Reformists in their assertion that they and they alone represent our true hadith heritage. However, even without knowing or caring for this motivation, the benefit of the book remains. And all this is concluded by a translation of Ibn Hajar's Nukhbat al-Fikar - his famous primer of the terminology and knowledges included in the process of hadith authentication by Sh. Musa Ferber. It alone desires its own commentary, but fits well as an appendix to remind the reader what the hadith scholar does when he "gets off the bus", with all that entails for our contemporary situation.
One is left after reading the book both in awe of those huffaz who lived for the three words "Qala Rasul Allah". And as a result, can only shake one's head at the absurdity of those hobbyists who are impressed by their own ignorance and the arrogance of would-be hadith specialists who have sought to "correct" peerless predecessors who deserve nothing but our admiration, supplication and pure gratitude for their brilliance and service to the Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) and his ummah.
I was hesitant to not give this 5 stars and the only reason I haven't is because it is not a book in the traditional sense of the word. But it is ordered so fluidly that one easily forgets that it is a collection of articles that were probably not written with "book" in mind. I give it 4.5 stars......more