Hadeeth literature contains a lot of material on the merits or otherwise of various towns, most of which is proved to be fabricated. Prejudice for a certain place was indeed a major factor behind such fabrication. Hadith’s on the merits of Jeddah, Basrah, Jordan, Khurasan, Oman, Asqalan, Qizwin, Nasibin, Antioch, Ibadan (Iraq) and condemning Constantinople,Tabriya and Sana, etc. comprise a large section in Ibn Iraqs work. Prejudice emither for or against a race was another factor behind the circulation of hadeeth such as the following: "The Zanjee (black) commits adultery when he is satisfied and steals when he hungry. But there is generosity and a helping spirit among them as well.(Tanzeeh ash-Shareeah)
"Love the Arabs for three reasons: I am Arab, the Quran is in Arabic and the people of Paradise will converse in Arabic."(Tanzeeh ash-Shareeah) Prejudice for one’s own Imam and hate for another is well depicted in the following invented hadeeth:"There shall be in my Ummah a man by the name Muhammad ibn Idrees (i.e.ash-Shafiee) who will be more dangerous to my Ummah than Iblees and there shall be a man in Ummah known as Abu Haneefah who is the lamp of my Ummah." (Tareekh al-Baghdad)
Similar factors seem to be at work in spurious hadeeth which support a legal issue held by one Imam or denounce it altogether. Inventions for personal motives Some people invented hadeeths to please their rulers. For example, there is a famous incident, credited to Ghayyath bn Ibraheem, a courtier of al-Mahdi, Abbasid Caliph. On one occasion, when he came to the court of al-Mahdi, who was fond of pigeons, he was asked to recite a hadeeth for the Caliph. He related: "So and so related to me that the Prophet said: "No competition is allowed except in archery, camel and horse racing and flying pigeons." Caliph Mahdi granted him a reward, but when he left, he said: "I bear witness that the back of your neck is that of a liar against the Prophet." Then he said: "But, I made him to do it." So he ordered that his pigeons be slaughtered and he abandoned the practice of keeping pigeons.
Another interesting incident is reported by al-Hakim on the authority of Sayf Ibn Umar at- Tameemi who said: "I was sitting by Saeed ibn Tareefwhen his son came from the Maktab crying. He asked, what made you cry? The child replied: The teacher beat me. Saeed said, Let me disgrace him today. Ikrimah reported to me on the authority of of ibn Abbas referring back to the Prophet who said: The teachers of your children are the worst among you. They have least mercy upon orphans and are the hardest among you towards the poor. (Tarikh Baghdad)
This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited