Thread: 500 Ahadith
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Old Friday, June 09, 2006
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Post Introduction to Ahadith

It goes without saying that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has left us with two powerful sources for the improvement of the individual, the society and for the nations, those are: the Holy Quran and ahadith. The Quran was revealed to the Last Messenger (peace be upon him) through the angel Gabriel. The ahadith show us the diversities a single person can have, and the ways these diversities may be used to produce an optimal performance, where the performance is exemplary for future generations. This was one of the main tasks of the Last Messenger (peace be upon him), to guide humanity on the right path.
Muhammad (peace be upon him) was a son, a husband, a father, an advisor, a warrior, a leader, a judge and most important of all, he was the Seal of the Prophets - the last messenger of Allah. A man with such a character and such a vast field of responsibility is indeed deserving of biographical study, and through the ages, biographical researches have been carried out. The collection of ahadith is the result of these researchers. The study of ahadith is a science itself. To mention some branches within the study of ahadith, there is the science of Asma'ul Rijal (the science of study of the life-history of 500,000 narrators), the science of Mustalih al-Hadith (the science of classifying a hadith as authentic or weak), the science of Gharib al-hadith (the study of the linguistic origins of the difficult words used in ahadith). I have mentioned only three different sciences though this list can extend to over 100. This again indicates the immense importance of ahadith and the importance of understanding them.
The main source of ahadith can be found in six sahihs (NOTE C) These six sahihs are:
Sahih al-Bukhari (d. 256 A.H. = 870 C.E.)
Sahih Muslim (d. 261 A.H. = 875 C.E.)
Sunan Ibn Majah (d. 273 A.H. = 887 C.E.)
Sunan Abu Dawud (d. 275 A.H. = 888 C.E.)
Jami al-Tirmidhi (d. 279 A.H. = 892 C.E.)
Sunan al-Nisai (d. 303 A.H. = 915 C.E.)

A.H. = After Hegira C.E. = Christian Era
"In preparing their collections, these Traditions obviously used a critical technique to decide what they would include and what they should reject. Bukhari, for example, examined 600,000 traditions of which he accepted only 7,397. There purpose was to assemble a body of traditions which would serve as a rule of life for practising Muslims, so their primary interest was in selecting such traditions as would give clear guidance concerning what Muslims belief and practice should be, what things were permissible and approved, and what were not permissible and disapproved."
(Shariah: The Islamic Law. by Abdur Rahman I. Doi:54)
It should be quite evident from the above-cited paragraph that the task of compiling ahadith was by no means simple. Although the most painstaking techniques had been employed to decide which ahadith should be included and which should be rejected there were found grounds for classification of ahadith. The ahadith are therefore classified in the following manner:
1.Sahih: These are the genuine Traditions so declared after applying all tests.
2.Hasan: These are the fair Traditions although inferior in the matter of authenticity to the Sahih.
3. Daif: These are the weak traditions which are not so very reliable."
Before I proceed, I wish to explain the meanings of isnad and matn as the understanding of these words is considered profitable for the reader. A hadith consists of two parts. The chain of transmitters comprises one part while the message within the hadith completes it. The former is known as isnad while the latter is matn. Continuing with the classification of ahadith, the daif ahadith are divided further:
a The Mu'allaq Traditions: These are those Traditions in which one or two transmitters are omitted in the beginning of the Isnad.
b. The Maqtu Traditions: These are those Traditions which are reported by a Tabi'i, a man of second category after the Prophet.
c. The Munqati Traditions: These are the broken Traditions.
d. The Mursal Traditions: These are the incomplete Traditions in the Isnad of which a companion (Sahabi) is omitted, e.g. A Tabi'i says, the Prophet said....
e. The Musahhaf Traditions: These are the traditions which have a mistake in words or letters of the Isnad or the Matn e.g. Hasan is written as Hashan.
f. The Shadh Traditions: These are the traditions with a reliable chain of reporters but their meanings are contrary to other similarly attested Traditions narrated by the majority of the contemporary transmitters.
g. The Maudu Traditions: These are the fabricated and untrue Traditions."
I have now presented a very short introduction to the background of ahadith. I would most strongly recommend the interested reader to read the book "Shariah: The Islamic Law" by Abdur Rahman I. Doi. It is a book which I have used extensively and found most interesting and informative. The same author has also published a book which is titled "Non-Muslims under Shariah", another informative book which I would recommend.
Lastly I would like to thank the people concerned in providing me with the facility for distributing this collection. Without their help, time, and effort, I am quite certain that this work would not have come to the notice of so many people in so many places. May Allah give them peace and bless them all. Amen.
Comments or questions/queries can be forwarded to this email address and include the word "HADITHS" in the "Subject: " field of your email when using the above mentioned address. Thank you.
A Muslim and Pakistani student
Oslo, Norway
Wa akhiro dawaana unilhamdolillah Rabb-i-il alaamin.

God is dead! God remains dead! And we have killed him! How shall we console ourselves, the most murderous of all murderers? The holiest and the mightiest that the world has hitherto possessed, has bled to death under our knife....
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