Via an obsolete comment flag, I ended up looking through an old answer (https://islam.stackexchange.com/a/29/22). However, I am very much at a loss to decide if this comment is in any way obsolete.

Obviously, it references a fact that is now absorbed into the answer, so would be obsolete in that sense. However, the edit which absorbed that fact is…questionable.

The comment itself is a simple request for clarification, a clarification which the OP never responded to. The edit simply absorbed the in-question claim into the answer with (a) no indication that the OP wanted it, (b) any explanation as to why it's included, or (c) anything at all to back it up.

What's even worse, this was done after the answer was accepted.

Some handful of research on the Internet (notably the Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hadith_terminology#Sahih, but also from links in the other positively-voted answers to the same question) confirms the original 5-point form of the post, without any references to the spurious sixth point.

This sixth point is mentioned in the post by the original commenter (which as of now doesn't even have a positive score), a claim which may or may not be referenced (I can't read Persian, in which the only link on the post is written).

Was this edit in any way appropriate? Should it be rolled back? By all appearances, it looks to me like nothing more than an attempt to hijack a highly-voted answer to push new information rather than any attempt to actually improve the post, much less to polish OP's original intent in writing it.


There are some separate questions in regards to your question:

First whether or not there are evidences from Quran, Hadith (or reason in case the latter is an accepted criteria and to which extend which depends on one's jurisprudential position) as to why a hadith coming or narrated by a fallible companion (unless belonging to the circle of the Infallible Successors of the Prophet, a doctrine not shared by all muslim sects) that is in clear, irreconcilable conflict with definite teachings of Quran should not be heeded.

Second, whether the edit was valid.

The sectarian more theological aspects of the first question would obviously affect the views of the sects in regards with their version of ilm-ul-hadith. While both prominent sects believe in existence of fabricated hadiths (and hence the importance of various authentication methods), Shias put much more emphasis on the principle of non-contradiction with Quran for at least the followings reasons (as far as I know): 1) that they can a) demonstrate their distinct beliefs by Quran, b) likewise to refute rival sectarian beliefs using Quran; 2) Shias believe in a much higher extent and more crucial instances of hadith fabrication than do the Sunnis (hence the importance of more strict authentication criteria). 3) Shia don't consider all companions to be righteous (much less to be infallible) to treat their words as of equal status with Quran. So it is crucial for them to verify the source (infallible or not ), transmission (sound, honest, accurate or not) and the content (consistent with definite teachings of Islam) of a hadith as to be valid according to Quranic doctrines.

However while the emphasis on non-contradiction seems to have more significance to and more strictly applied by Shias (the contrary being true for Sunnis schools as evidenced by the Wiki page you linked which clearly reflects the Sunni perspective), yet the Sunni schools can't also deny the validity and importance of such a principle for their shared belief in supreme authority of the Holy Quran, for Quran is believed by all muslims to be infallible words of Allah revealed to the Holy Apostle and preserved authentically thereafter. This alone elevates Holy Quran to the level of highest ultimate authority over any words of fallible men. So the very status of Quran as agreed by all sects, is sufficient to demonstrate why a hadith that could be affected by various fallible factors — the author when not being the Prophet himself or any other infallible with unquestionable authority; the narrators who may compromise faithful transmission of the hadith for various reasons; or the outright hadith forgers known to have existed by all muslim sects — and is in clear conflict with the Quran has to be dismissed.

This view is also further confirmed by an answer by a Sunni/Salafi user to exactly this very question.

For these reasons this principle should be considered vital in hadith verification but the answer failed to address such an important criteria. However if such negligence or failure of significance, as I said, is due to particular scholarly views among Sunni schools of jurisprudence, then the answer has to specifically mention that it is giving the Sunni view, for the question doesn't specify which school he expects answers from. Otherwise, with the explanation I provided above, the addition of the sixth principle helps (although just a little) towards an answer that reflects a more comprehensive view held by muslim schools.

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    If the answer was (a) written, (b) heavily upvoted and (c) accepted, all without demonstrating what is apparently a Shi'ite perspective, why would you think that either OP or the questioner even wanted the answer to reflect a Shi'ite perspective in the first place? Editing isn't intended for changing the fundamental meaning of a post without a good reason (and "Because I think it's wrong" really isn't a good reason). See also relevant meta discussion at meta.stackexchange.com/a/120583/132874. – goldPseudo Mar 25 '15 at 6:08
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    @goldPseudo Being heavily upvoted and accepted by some of the community members doesn't automatically require other members of the community to accept that answer or refuse to edit it to improve the accuracy and inclusion of a topic which is of importance to them as well. – infatuated Mar 25 '15 at 6:31
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    Also the content of the SE are public properties subject to the rights of all community members. And SE, AFAIK, allows indefinite improvement and edition of content for providing more useful and inclusive knowledge-sharing. So there's no reason to believe that an answer accepted by some community members in the past would be acceptable to endless number of new visitors who might have very different views on the same question. – infatuated Mar 25 '15 at 6:35
  • Also, your claim that my edit changed "the fundamental nature of the post" is arguable for reasons I already explained in my answer. However as I said there are certain ambiguities and questions that make the Q$A still lack accuracy and inclusiveness. – infatuated Mar 25 '15 at 6:37
  • Your answer explains no such thing. At best, you've made a case for the technical accuracy of your edit, but I wasn't asking at all about the technical accuracy; I was asking whether the edit was appropriate. Until you've made a compelling argument why fundamentally changing somebody else's "wrong" answer is a valid use for editing (compared to, say, posting what you consider to be the "right" answer and letting the community vote on it instead), all you're really saying here is that, yes, this is "nothing more than an attempt to hijack a highly-voted answer to push new information". – goldPseudo Mar 25 '15 at 6:54
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    @goldPseudo, It really depends on what you consider "fundamental" or "technical" etc which would be a matter of disagreement. However my answer here was clearly providing an argument why the edit or at least my rationale for it was valid. As for the edit I also said that otherwise the original answer still had to the very least mention that it is giving only the Sunni view for the OP doesn't specify the sect. So we either consider keeping the edit, or reverting it to the original form but specifying that it is not a shared scholarly view by all scholars. – infatuated Mar 25 '15 at 7:10
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    I don't believe the edit is appropriate, and thus rolled it back. If this becomes another sect war (which is why I left Islam.SE to begin with), I will fortify and clarify my position appropriately in my answer. – ashes999 Mar 25 '15 at 11:33
  • @ashes999, Not sect war at all! But please do specify you are representing only the Sunni view. Also specify the particular madhhab if other madhhabs differ with your madhhab on principles of hadith science. – infatuated Mar 25 '15 at 16:14
  • @infatuated, I red your response, so in my opinion it could be relatively a rational logical answer, well done mate. – اللهم صل علی محمد و آل محمد May 18 '15 at 6:55

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