By Dr. Muhammad Deeya ar-Rahman al-Azamee
Translated by Abbas Abu Yahya
Ahl-ul-Hadeeth: Shaykh ul-Islaam said: We do not mean to limit Ahl-ul-Hadeeth just to those who convey hadeeth, write them or narrate them but we mean by them: everyone who rightfully memorises the hadeeth, knowing them and understanding their apparent and hidden meanings and following them in what is apparent and hidden, and also the people of al-Quraan.
The least of their traits is: love of the Quraan and hadeeth, researching them, seeking their meanings and practising that which they know is binding upon them. The Fuqaha of hadeeth are better informed about the Messenger -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- than Fuqaha other than them.
Ahl-ul-Hadeeth are those about whom the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- said: What I am upon and my Companions. And in another narration: It is the Jamaah, The Hand of Allaah is over the Jamaah.
Ahl-ul-Hadeeth are the best people of the Duniya, as Hafs bin Ghayaath said.
Shafiee said: If I see a companion of Hadeeth then it is as if I see a man from the Companions of the Prophet, sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam, he is of that status.
He also said:
May Allaah reward them with goodness on our behalf, they preserved the foundation for us so they have an excellence over us.
Alee bin al-Madini said: There are no people better than the companions of Hadeeth. The rest of the people were in search of the Duniya while they were establishing the Deen. i.e. the Sunnah.
Hafidh Ibn Rajab said:
Ahl-ul-Hadeeth are an authority in knowing hadeeth and knowing the authentic from the weak hadeeth.
The Prophet, sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam, supplicated for illumination of the one who busies himself with the knowledge of hadeeth, memorizing it, conveying it and understanding it. He, sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam, said: May Allaah illuminate the person who hears a hadeeth from me and memorizes it until he conveys it. Perhaps a person who carries Fiqh conveys it to someone with more Fiqh than that person and perhaps the carrier of this Fiqh is not a Faqihi.
Hafidh Abu Bakr Ahmad bin Alee al-Khateeb al-Bagdadi specifically authored a book which he called Sharf Ashaabul-hadeeth (the nobility of the companions of hadeeth). In it mentions Ahadeeth and Athaar from the Companions, Tabieen, kings, ministers and others from those who followed them about the excellence of knowledge of hadeeth, being busy with it and the nobility of its people over those of Ahl-ul-Bida and those of misguidance from the Zinaadiqa (heretics) who concerned themselves with the knowledge of rhetoric and philosophy. This book is a masterpiece in this subject.
* Taken from Mujam Mustalah al-Hadeeth wa laataif al-Assaneed p.61-63
 Majmooal-Fatawa (4/95)
 Majmooal-Fatawa (3/345-347)
 Al-Ilma p.27
 Masalat al-Uloo wal Nazool p.45
 Masalat al-Uloo wal Nazool p.45
 Jama al-Aloom wal Hikam (2/105)
 Narrated by Abu Dawood (4/69), Tirmidhee (5/33) by way of Umar bin Sulayman from the son of Umar bin al-Khattab, on the authority of Abdurrahman bin Abaan, on the authority of his father, on the authority of Zayd bin Thabit, RadhiAllaahu anhu, Marfoo. It was also narrated by Ibn Majah (1/84) a different way on the authority of Zayd bin Thabit. Tirmidhee said it was Hasan and he also said: and in this chapter it is also narrated on the authority of Abdullaah bin Masood, Muadh bin Jabal, Jubayr bin Mutim, Abu Darda and Anas, RadhiAllaahu anhum Jameean.