By Dr. Shadee Elmasry
How mistakes happened in Hadith, then were discovered and corrected. A pious young man named Thabit entered the hadith class of his teacher Sharik. Sharik began speaking: “We were informed by Al-A’mash from Abu Sufyan from Jabir that the Prophet ﷺ said...” Then he waited for the students to write the chain. Meanwhile, he glanced up and saw Thabit, then commented, “Whoever prays in the night, his face becomes handsome in the day.” From spending so much time with hadith, the speech of these master began to resemble that of the Prophet ﷺ, and so Thabit mistakenly thought this was the hadith, so he wrote it down. This is called IDRAJ, when the words of the teacher are mistaken for the words of the Prophet ﷺ.
Thabit went on to teach these words as if they were a hadith from the Prophet ﷺ. However, Sharik’s other students heard of this and then corrected it. (Suyuti, Tadrib al-Rawi)