Defining the Nomenclature “Maqtūʿ” in Ḥadīth Terminology
By Mln. Saad Hussain (Takmīl Graduate, 2019)
One term that is imperative for a student of ḥadīth to know is the term “maqṭūʿ.” In this writing we shall elucidate its meaning and how the ḥadīth scholars use it.
Ibn al-Ṣalāḥ defined it:
النَّوْعُ الثَّامِنُ مَعْرِفَةُ الْمَقْطُوعِ وَهُوَ غَيْرُ الْمُنْقَطِعِ الَّذِي يَأْتِي ذِكْرُهُ إِنْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى وَيُقَالُ فِي جَمْعِهِ الْمَقَاطِعُ وَالْمَقَاطِيعُ وَهُوَ مَا جَاءَ عَنِ التَّابِعِينَ مَوْقُوفًا عَلَيْهِمْ مِنْ أَقْوَالِهِمْ أَوْ أَفْعَالِهِمْ
“The eighth type is knowing what is maqṭūʿ. The maqṭūʿ is not the same as the munqaṭiʿ, which we shall defined hereinafter. The maqṭūʿ is that which is sourced to the Followers, be it their statements or actions.”
And then he cited from Abū Bakr al-Khaṭīb al-Baghdādī the following:
قَالَ الْخَطِيبُ أَبُو بَكْرٍ الْحَافِظُ فِي جَامِعِهِ مِنَ الْحَدِيثِ الْمَقْطُوعُ وَقَالَ الْمَقَاطِعُ هِيَ الْمَوْقُوفَاتُ عَلَى التَّابِعِينَ وَاللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ
“The maqṭūʿ are the narrations sourced to the Followers.”
Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajar said:
الثَّالِثُ: الْمَقْطُوْعُ وَهُوَ مَا انْتَهَى إِلَى التَّابِعِيِّ وَمَنْ دُونَ التَّابِعِيِّ مِنْ أَتْبَاعِ التَّابِعِينَ، فَمَنْ بَعْدَهُمْ فِيهِ أَيْ فِي التَّسْمِيَةِ مِثْلُهُ أَيْ مِثْلُ مَا يَنْتَهِي إِلَى التَّابِعِيِّ فِي تَسْمِيَةِ جَمِيْعِ ذَلِكَ مَقْطُوعًا وَإِنْ شِئْتَ قُلْتَ مَوْقُوْفٌ عَلَى فُلَانٍ فَحَصَلَتِ التَّفْرِقَةُ فِي الاِصْطِلَاحِ بَيْنَ الْمَقْطُوْعِ وَالْمُنْقَطِعِ فَالْمُنْقَطِعُ مِنْ مَبَاحِثِ الإِسْنَادِ كَمَا تَقَدَّمَ وَالْمَقْطُوعُ مِنْ مَبَاحِثِ الْمَتْنِ كَمَا تَرَى وَقَدْ أَطْلَقَ بَعْضُهُمْ هَذَا فِي مَوضِعِ هَذَا، وَبِالْعَكْسِ تَجَوُّزًا عَنِ الاِصْطِلَاحِ
“The third type is the maqṭūʿ. This is when a narration is sourced to the Follower and others who came after, meaning it is called the same thing; that which is sourced to those who followed is termed maqṭūʿ. As well, one may say that it is ‘mawqūf ʿalā fulān.’ And there is a difference between the maqṭūʿ and the munqaṭiʿ. The munqaṭiʿ is specific to the quality of a narration’s chain. And the maqṭūʿ is specific to the quality of a narration’s source and text. Some do use the terms interchangeably in a way broader than the crystallized terminology.”
Ibn al-Ṣalāḥ mentioned that the word maqṭūʿ occurs in the writings of earlier authorities, those who wrote prior to the crystallization of ḥadīth terminology. For example, in passages from Imām Shāfiʿī, Abū al-Qāsim al-Ṭabarānī, and others it is used for that which is munqaṭiʿ. Furthermore, Ibn Ḥajar adds that the terms mawqūf and maqṭūʿ may both be indicated to in the term “athar.”
Sakhāwī also defined the term like what is mentioned above. He continued and said that the Follower’s statement or action is maqṭūʿ when there is not contextual indication that indicates to it being ascribable to the Prophet, like what was discussed when elucidating the term mawqūf.
It is important to be aware of the maqṭūʿ. One must distinguish between the opinions and schools of thought that were held by the scholars of these generations. Furthermore, knowing them for the purpose of corroborating evidence and expounding on texts is imperative. Some scholars consider reports from the generations after the Prophet (upon him be peace) to be admissible evidence that should be preferred prior to independent legal reasoning, and they have been included thereby in the ḥadīth scholars’ discussions following the marfūʿ.
 Muqaddimah, 47.
 Sharḥ al-Nukhbah, 145.
 Muqaddimah, 47.
 Fatḥ al-Mughīth, 1:139.