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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.
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."
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:
These are the genuine Traditions so declared after applying all tests.
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Include the word "HADITHS" in the "Subject: " field of your email when using the above-mentioned address. Thank you.
see next page for explanation of sahih
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