Also, the narrations differ greatly; they have become pronouncements which contradict one another.
SECOND PRINCIPLE: There are various levels in the matters of Islam. If one requires certain proof, for another the prevailing opinion is sufficient. Others require merely assent and acceptance and not to be rejected. In which case, secondary matters or particular events in time which are not among the bases of belief do not require certain compliance and definite proof, just not to be rejected and to be submitted to, and not to be interfered with.
THIRD PRINCIPLE: In the time of the Companions of the Prophet (PBUH) most of the Jewish and Christian scholars entered Islam, and their former knowledge became Muslim along with them. Some of their former knowledge which was contrary to the truth was imagined to be a part of Islam.
FOURTH PRINCIPLE: Some of the words of the narrators of Hadith or the meanings they deduced were considered to be part of the texts of the Hadiths themselves. However, since man cannot be free of fault, some of their deductions or words which were contrary to the truth were supposed to be Hadiths and were pronounced to be weak.
FIFTH PRINCIPLE: According to the meaning of: “Among my community are transmitters of Hadiths,” that is, meaning, “who are inspired,”1 some of the meanings which were obtained through the inspirations of scholars of related Hadiths who followed the path of illumination and sainthood were supposed to be Hadiths. Whereas, due to certain obstructions, the inspiration of saints may be in error. Thus, some that are contrary to the truth may arise from this.
SIXTH PRINCIPLE: There are certain stories which, having become universally known, have become like proverbs. Their true meanings are not borne in mind. For whatever purpose they were spread, that is what is considered. Thus, some stories and fables which have become well-known among people in this way, God’s Noble Messenger (Peace and blessings be upon him) told in the form of comparisons and metaphors for the purpose of guidance. If there is any error in the true meanings of this sort of matters, it pertains to the customs and traditions of the people, and the way they have been passed among them.
SEVENTH PRINCIPLE: There are many similes and parables that with the passage of time or with passing from the hand of learning to the hand of ignorance have been supposed to be physical fact, and have become mistaken. For example, two angels of God in the World of Similitudes called ‘The Ox’ and ‘The Fish’,2 who are among the supervisors of the animals of
Bukhari, iii, 211; v, 15; Muslim, iv, 184; al-Hakim; al-Mustadrak, iii, 86; Ibn Hibban, ix, 21.
Suyuti, al-Durr al-Manthur, vi, 249; al-Hakim, al-Mustadrak, iii, 588; iv, 120, 203.