Who are the Ahle Hadiths and how are their practices different from the Sunni Muslims?

I remember that Dr. Zakir Nair mentions in his talks that we should label ourselves as Muslims and not to be divided into sects. Then why is there a new (I suppose) sect by the name of Ahle Hadith that are keen followers of Zakir Naik's bayaans.

Also, why do Dr. Zakir Naik and most of his followers sport a suit with a cap on top? Is this an attire that the Ahle Hadith follows?

Edit: I've found an answer to my question of "why do Dr. Zakir Naik and most of his followers sport a suit with a cap on top? Is this an attire that the Ahle Hadith follows?"

Please watch this video for more info.


1 Answer 1


Wa Alaikum As Salam.

Ahl Al Sunnah and Ahl Al Hadith are both synonymous descriptions that describe Muslims. They are just descriptions.. indicating that these people follow the Sunnah or follow the Hadith. If you are a Muslim with correct Aqeedah & following Islam properly as taught by the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), then either of these terms can apply to you.

IF there is any difference, then it is in that 'Ahl Al Hadith' studied hadith more extensively. But again, you don't have to be an hadith expert to fall into this category. Any Muslim who accepts hadith and follows them sincerely is of this group.

Note: Many classical scholars have commented on 'Ahl Al Hadith'. It's not a new term!!

These terms have been used to distinguish ourselves from those who claim to be Muslim yet don't follow Sunnah/Hadith and engage in innovations. Does this contradict the idea of 'just be Muslim'/'don't form sects'? No. Again, they are just description of what it means to be Muslim. - There is no problem in a description. It is of Islam to disassociate yourself from evildoers.

As for Dr. Zakir Naik, he is not a scholar but he's good in comparative religion. Some people from the Ahl Al Hadith movement especially in India may/do respect him a lot, but that doesn't make him the 'face' of Ahl Al Hadith in general. (In other words, whether you follow him or don't follow him doesn't affect your standing). He personally wears a suit and cap, but the hasn't told anyone else to imitate him nor should anyone else go to great lengths to do so.

  • This answer needs a lot of improvement as most of it is simply wrong or based on a wrong understanding. Note there's already a question about AHL al hadith and AHL ar ra'y which answers the given question to the same extent of your partly answer but hopefully with a correct answer. So what needs to be cleared is the issue of Zakir Naik.
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Dec 18, 2016 at 11:23
  • Don't just make claims. Explain what's wrong. It may be that you're the one with the incorrect understanding.
    – Muslimah
    Commented Dec 18, 2016 at 12:15
  • Ahl al hadith are only a part oft ahl sunnah. I'm not making claims i ve told you about a question that solves your incorrectness. You are messing a school of jursiprudence with a school oft aqeedah.
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Dec 19, 2016 at 11:00
  • @Medi1Saif could you please share the link to that question.
    – Data Shark
    Commented Dec 20, 2016 at 4:29
  • 1
    Calling Asharites and Maturidites kuffar is pretty much kufr. Who made this claim?
    – G. Bach
    Commented Jan 11, 2017 at 23:59

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