Al-Imaam Muhammad bin ‘Alee Ash-Shawkaanee (d. 1250 Hijri) said:
With the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Giver of Mercy
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all that exists. I seek His help. May prayers of blessing and peace be upon His Messenger, the Trustworthy, and upon his pure family members.
Since it is so that distinguishing and pointing out what is fabricated from the hadeeths that are attributed to the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi wa sallam) is from the greatest of subjects, and the most tremendous of sciences, and the most noble of benefits from many different aspects – even if it were that nothing was gained from it except alerting those who are deficient in knowledge of the Sunnah to what is falsified upon the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalih wa sallam) so that they will avoid it, then that would be sufficient.
This is also so that they will beware of acting according to any false hadeeth, or believing in what it contains, or directing other people to it. This is just like what has occurred with many of the the Fiqh authors, and those who come forward to admonish the people (with speeches), and those who busy themselves with worship, and those who like to present literature about Zuhd (pious abstinence). Thus, there is for whoever clarifies for these people what is a lie from what is the Sunnah, the reward of whoever clarifies that which Allah has made obligatory due what that contains of saving the servants of Allah from the despicable matter of acting according to lies.
This matter of warning against false hadeeths also contains the reward of taking hold of the hand of those who come forward to present (i.e. speakers, etc.) since it is not usually their custom to author books, seek evidences, and study ‘what was said, and he said’ (i.e. narrations). And indeed the scholars, may Allah have mercy upon them, have made many clarifications regarding which hadeeths are fabricated, and they have torn down the curtains that hide the liars, and they have removed from the Hadeeths of the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalih wa sallam) the claims of the falsifiers, and the distortions of the exaggerators, and the fabrications of the fabricators, and the lies of the liars.
The works of the scholars in this regard are in two categories.
A category (1): Where they made their works specifically regarding the lying men and those who were weak, and what is more general than that. They clarified in their biographies what they narrated from the fabricated narrations and weak narrations. Examples of this include the “Musannaf” of Ibn Hibbaan, and Al-‘Uqaylee, and Al-Azadee in “Adh-Dhu’afaa,” and the “Afraad” of Ad-Daaraqutnee, and the “Taareekh” of Al-Khateeb, and Al-Haakim, and the “Kaamil” of Ibn ‘Adee, and the “Meezaan” of Adh-Dhahabee.
Another category (2): Where they made their works specific to the fabricated hadeeths. Examples of this include the “Mawdhoo’aat” of Ibn Al-Jawzee, and As-Saghaanee, and Al-Jawzaqaanee, and Al-Qazweenee. Also from these works is the “Mukhtasar” of Al-Majd, who is also the author of “Al-Qaamoos,” and the “Maqaasid” of As-Sakhaawee, “Tamyeez ut-Tayyib min al-Khabeeth” by Ad-Dayba’, and “Adh-Dhayl ‘alaa Mawdhoo’aat Ibn Al-Jawzee” by As-Suyootee, and likewise “Kitaab ul-Wajeez” by him as well. There is also “Al-Laalee’ ul-Masnoo’ah” by him (As-Suyootee), and “Takhreej ul-Ihyaa” by Al-‘Iraaqee, and “At-Tathkirah” by Ibn Taahir Al-Fattanee.
Thus here, with the help of Allah and His facilitation, I have gathered in this book all of what these works contain of fabricated hadeeths. (The Shaykh is referring to his book, “Al-Fawaa’id ul-Majmoo’ah fil-Ahaadeeth il-Mawdhoo’ah” – The gathered benefits regarding the fabricated hadeeths.)
An excerpt from Ash-Shawkaanee’s introduction to “Al-Fawaa’id ul-Majmoo’ah”, pp. 3-4.