The label munkar is the passive participle derived from the verb: Ankara, which means to reject. The mawdoo' and matrook narrations were weak due to defects in 'adaalah (integrity). The munkar narration is weak due to defect in dabt (accuracy).
Technically, it refers to a weak hadith which contradicts an authentic hadith. This was the definition preferred by Ibn Hajar, The two most common definitions by other scholars are:
1.A narration containing a transmitter known for committing excessive mistakes
2. A narration containing a transmitter known for' indecent conduct
Al-Bayqooni defined it poetically as follows: "The munkar is only narrated by a single bad narrator who cannot stand alone with the responsibility of narration."
The difference between Munkar and Shadhdh
Both categories involve contradiction of stronger narrations. However, in the case of shadhdh narrations it is a reliable authentic chain which a reliable narrator is in contradiction to another or other narrators who are stronger. While, in the case of munkar narrations, it is a weak transmitter in contradiction to reliable narrators. The following are two examples of a munkar narration:
The first is found in Sunan at- Tirmidhi in the chapter on the merits of 'Ali (RA) Isma'eel ibn Moosa informed us (saying) that Muhammad ibn 'Umar ibn ar-Roomi informed us (saying) that Shareek informed us from Salamah ibn Kuhayl from Suwayd ibn Ghaflah from as-Sunabihi from 'Ali that he quoted the Messenger of Allah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) as saying:
"I am the abode of wisdom and 'Ali is its door." (Sunan at-Tirmidhi)
Abu 'Eesa said: "This hadith is ghareeb (unusual) munkar. Some of them narrate it from Shareek and do not mention "from as-Sunabihi" and we do not know of this hadith being narrated by any reliable narrator from Shareek.
The second is found in Sunan Ibn Majah in the chapter on foods: Abu Bish Bakr ibn Khalaf informed us (saying) that Yahya ibn Muhammad ibn Qays ai-Madani informed us (saying) that Hisham ibn 'Urwah informed us from his father from 'A'ishah that she quoted the Messenger of Allah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) as saying:
"Eat half ripe dates with dried dates. Eat the old with the new, for Satan gets angry and says, 'Adam's child has remained until he has eaten the old with the new." (Ibn Majah)
Ibn Ma'een and others rated Abu Zakariya Yahya ibn Muhammad as da'eef. On the other hand, Ibn 'Adi stated that his narrations were authentic except in four cases, this being one of them. An-Nasa'i said: "This hadith is munkar because it is the only narration on eating half ripe dates with dried dates, and Abu Zakariya has no corroboration for it.
Abu Zakariya is graded by hadith critics as shaykh saalih (a good man) on the fifth and sixth level. Therefore, his narrations can only be considered after corroboration by other narrations." Imam Muslim selected some of Abu Zakariya's narrations for his book on supporting narrations called al-Mutaba'at.
This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited