Kawthari : He was of the Hanafi madhab and one of the leading proponents of the Asha'ree school of belief, and took a leading role and attacking, and abusing the belief, methodology and scholars of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama'ah. He was known for his extreme sectarianism, and partisan attitude to his madhab, which led him to play around with the ahaadeeth of the Messenger (), authenticating and weakening them at will, and abuse the great Imaams of the past for no greater reason then their differing with Abu Haneefah in fiqh issues!
Saqqaaf attacks al-Albaanee for declaring weak ahaadeeth of Bukhaaree and Muslim, but in these ahaadeeth al-Albaanee had precedents in the works of the likes of ibn Hazm, adh-Dhahabee, ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, and ibn Hajr al-Asqalaanee. What would Saqqaaf say about al-Kawthari who weakens ahaadeeth of Bukhaaree and Muslim, even those ahaadeeth that occur in both collections (and these are the most authentic type of ahaadeeth!), having none of the early Imaams agree with him in most cases?
Is this not a clear sign of sectarianism, that Saqqaaf attacks al-Albaanee for one thing, and yet overlooks that same thing in the shaikh of his shaikh?
al-Albaanee states in his introduction to his checking upon "Sharh Aqueedah at-Tahaawiyyah" (pg.32), after defending himself against one of the students of al-Kawthari - Abu al-Gudda - who abused him for weakening a hadeeth in Bukhaaree:
"So what would he say about the criticism of his shaikh al-Kawthari upon tens of authentic ahaadeeth that are related by the two Shaikhs in their respective Saheehs or by one of them, not to mention other ahaadeeth that are established according to the Ahlul Hadeeth? And this is found in his letters and ta'leeqs upon various works of the sunnah and others, and he has no precedents in his weakening for most of them! And there is no problem if on this occasion I mention what is easy for me (as examples)....:
1) The hadeeth 'Allaah created the dust....' related by Muslim - see his ta'leeq upon 'al-Asmaa was Sifaat' (pg. 26, 383)
2) The hadeeth in which Musa makes the Prophet () return (to Allaah) during the night of Israa over the issue of 50 prayers being made obligatory. Agreed upon (ie related by both Bukhaaree and Muslim!) - see the same work (pg. 189)
3) The hadeeth about the Sight of Allaah (on the Day of Judgement), and in it that Allaah will come to the Hypocrites in a form which is not His Form (Soorah). Related by Bukhaaree and Muslim - see the same work (pg.292)
4) The hadeeth that on the Day of Judgement the earth will be a white plane. Related by Bukhaaree and Muslim - see the same work (pg.320)
5) The hadeeth of his () laughing, thereby confirming what the Jew said. Related by Bukhaaree and Muslim - see the same work (pg.336)
6) The hadeeth about the resurrection/gathering and the Shin (of Allaah). Related by Bukharee and Muslim - (pg. 344)
7) The hadeeth of his saying, "Where is Allaah?" to the slave girl. Related by Muslim - (pg.421)
8) The hadeeth that the divorce with three statements (at the same time) was considered as one statement during the time of the Prophet (), and Abu Bakr and the first two years of the khilaafah of Umar. Related by Muslim - see his 'al-Ishfaaq alaa Ahkaam at-Talaaq' (pg 52-56 - Ha Meem Saad edition)
9) The hadeeth of Alee (RA) in which the Prophet () ordered him to level to the ground all raised graves. Related by Muslim - see 'Maqaalaat al-Kawthari' (pg.159)
10) The hadeeth of Jaabir that the Prophet () prohibited the whitewashing of graves. Related by Muslim - 'Maqaalaat al-Kawthari' (pg.159)
11) The hadeeth of Maalik bin al-Huwairith about raising hands at ruku' and when raising from it. Related by Bukharee and Muslim - see his 'Ta'neeb al-Khateeb' (pg.83)
12) The hadeeth of Waa'il bin Hujr, also about raising the hands. Related by Muslim - see same work (pg.83)
13) The hadeeth of Anas (RA) about ....(?)....related by Bukhaaree and Muslim - see same work (pg.23)
14) The hadeeth of ibn Abbas that the Prophet ().....(?)...related by Muslim - see the same work (pg.185)
All of these ahaadeeth are in the Two Saheehs or one of them as you have seen, and al-Kawthari declared all of them weak, along with the ahaadeeth like them, and if one of the People of Knowledge were to follow these up in his works they would make a volume! And as for the ahaadeeth which are not in the Two Saheehs...then you will find some examples of them in the refutation of him by Shaikh Abd ar-Rahmaan al-Mu'allamee al-Yamaanee (RH) in his startling book 'at-Tankeel bimaa fee Ta'neeb al-Kawthari min Abaateel'."
Then al-Albaanee states on (pg.45), "Zaahid al-Kawthari who was - and truth dictates - upon abundant knowledge of the Science of hadeeth and it's narrators, but, unfortunately, his knowledge became a proof against him and an affliction, because it did not increase him in guidance or light, not in the branches (of the religion) nor the foundations. For he is a Jahmee, denying the attributes of Allaah. A Hanafee, destroyed by his partisanship. Severe in his abuse against the Ahul Hadeeth, the early ones and the later ones.
And he, in aqueedah, labelled the Ahlul Hadeeth with tashbeeh and tajseem, and he labelled them in the introduction to his 'Sayf as-Saqueel' as "Stupid Hashawiyyah". And he said about 'Kitaab at-Tawheed' of ibn Khuzaimah, "that it is a book of shirk"! and he accused the Imaam himself of being a mujassim, being ignorant of the foundations of the religion!
And in fiqh he accused the Ahlul Hadeeth as being inflexible/indurable and having little understanding. And that they are carriers of books (upon their backs, as in the Qur'anic parable).
And in hadeeth he abused the likes of 300 narrators most of them trustworthy and precise, and amongst them were about 80 haafidh, and a group of the Imaams, like Imaam Maalik, ash-Shaafi'ee and Ahmad. And he made clear that he did not consider trustworthy Abu ash-Shaikh ibn Hayaan, and neither al-Khateeb al-Baghdaadee and the likes of these! And he declared Imaam Abdullaah bin al-Imaam Ahmad bin Hanbal who was alone in narrating the Musnad (of Ahmad) to be a liar. And it is as if he does not consider it as one of the Musnads that should be refered to and depended upon as in 'al-Ishfaaq alaa Ahkaam at-Talaaq' (pg. 23+)....
Then he depicted al-Haafidh al-Aqueelee as 'a depraved sectarian'.....
And he declared weak, ahaadeeth that are agreed upon as being authentic, even if they were related by Bukhaaree and Muslim having no blameworthy defect. And the mention of some of them has preceded. Then on the other side of the coin, he authenticated ahaadeeth to support his partisanship to his madhab, which every person knowledgeable of this science could bear witness to as being weak, nay fabricated. Like the hadeeth, 'Abu Haneefah is the lamp of this ummah'. And other matters of which it is not possible to list and expound upon now. And al-Allaama Abd -ar-Rahmaan al-Mu'allamee al-Yamaanee refuted him in a sound, scholarly manner, in his book 'Talee'at at-Tankeel' then in his important book, 'at-Tankeel bimaa fee Ta'neeb al-Kawtharee min al-Abaateel', so whosoever wishes to see the truth of what we have mentioned should refer to them, and he will find the matter more severe then what we have described."