Tradition, in the Arabic language means way, direction and movement and was metaphorically applied to the customs and habits inherited from the predecessors.
In Arabia before Islam, the word “Tradition” was known as unwritten moral and legal instructions (common rights in the patriarch societies of Arabia). As the traces of classical society and the methods of Age of Ignorance were disappeared, the new Islamic Tradition replaced it, because the main content of Tradition is the same legal, social, financial and penal issues of Quran and society. Islamic Tradition is based on narrations. The primary meaning of the term “Tradition” is news, story or in a limited sense quotation, but its particular and idiomatic meaning is narration of speeches or actions of The Prophet (S.A.). The majority of narrators were Companions of The Prophet, who were his relatives, friends and co-fighters, most of whom lived in Mecca after his demise, like famous Companions such as, Ali Ebne Abitaleb A.
S., Omar Ebne Khattab, Talheh and Zobair. Their students were considered as narrators after them. As studying Quran formed Exegesis, the collection and studying narrations formed Science of Tradition, and two courses of religious compilations, Theology and Law, namely two branches of Islamic religious studies were established in Islam based on them. At the beginning of 8th century AD (second AH) three schools were founded in the field of science of traditions. One Medinite school (established by Orvat Ebne Zobair Alzahri), Iraqi school (in Kufai established by Alshaebi) and the other school is Shafeei (in Damascus). The Medinite School was more faithful to the traditions of Mohammad’s S.A.
and four orthodox caliphs in comparison to the other two schools, and showed more interest in the traditions related to Mohammad’s life and his battles. A tradition consists of two parts. One is the chain of narrators and the other is the content and text of tradition. The more narrators, especially the last one, are trustworthy, that tradition or traditions are more reliable and creditable. It should be explained that in case there is not any doubt and hesitation in the chain of narrators of a tradition, it is called genuine tradition.
But if there is any defect in the chain of narrators, or some of the narrators have doubt in accuracy of their speeches, it is called acceptable tradition. And finally if there are persons in the chain of narrators, whose belief and faith is not acceptable, it is called weak tradition. The tradition, whose chain of narrators is not disconnected, is called connected tradition, and if disconnected, it is called disconnected tradition. If the name of student or Tabee is mentioned in the documents of a tradition, but it is not clear that from which of the Companions he has heard the tradition, it is called loose tradition. All traditions are not relied on speeches or deeds of The Prophet S.A. Those that were informed to The Prophet, are called nominative traditions, and those which relied on the speeches and/or deeds of the Companions of Prophet are called restricted tradition, and the traditions which are narrated from Tabaeen, the first generation of students of the Companions, are called intersected tradition. So we can say that the basis, foundation and theories of legal schools require justice and cooperation.
The oppressors were seeking for establishing regulations for preserving their power, and the oppressed too were willing for establishment and observance of defending rights in order to be secure from the evil of the oppressors. However, the foundation and origin of legal schools is based on two principles of cooperation and justice. Cooperation is unity and mutual relation of the members of the society, not only in the private interests and personal life, but also concerning the common interests and beliefs with the other members of the society. Before knowing the meaning of justice and thinking about it, one should have a justice mentality and its regulations should be taken into consideration. Even in the Sadder Books of ancient Iranians, such as Avesta, the angle of justice (Rashan) is named, who is present in everywhere and supervises the people’s deeds.
People believed that their good or bad speech, action and thought were evaluated by them. Islam as the religion of justice has a special concern in the basis and origin of its regulations so that it could fulfil the mental and scientific requirements of the society, by observance and execution of two vital principles of cooperation and justice.