CIF INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION

العقيدة الإسلامية الصحيحة

 

 

 

 

BOOKS OF AHADITH

 

Rendered in English

 

By

 

SHAIKH MIR ASEDULLAH QUADRI

 

 

 

بِسم الله الرحمنِ الرحيم  

 الحمد لله رب العالمين ، والصلاة والسلام على سيدنا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين

 
The words 'Sunnah' and 'Hadith' are synonymous. Sunnah means 'the way' or conduct of life'.  It refers to  statements, acts, approvals and character descriptions attributed to Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم).
 
During the life of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), the emphasis was more on recording, memorizing and preserving Quran. However, some Sahabah used to write whatever the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said or did in their presence. After the death of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) his actions and sayings became important since he was no longer available to consult whenever a problem arose.  It is reported that 1,060 Sahabah have related Ahadith from the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم).
 
During the time of Companions (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہم اجمعين) and their Successors  (تابعين), Islam spread to a large area in the world.  It was this time when it became necessary to record Ahadith in a systematic way. During the era of  the 'Successors of the successors' (تبه  تابعين), Ahadith were systematically collected and written in a text format.  The first such book was compiled by Imam Malik bin Anas titled 'Muatta' (موطأ).  The period that followed,  witnessed critical research by Hadith scholars.  Ahadith were compiled systematically and were grouped under various headings.  The history of collection of Ahadith can be summed up as follows.
 
(i) First period (1st century AH) was the age of companions and their successor.  This is known as the age of 'Saheefah' (صحيفه), like the collections of Hadhrat Abu Bakr, Abu Huraira (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہما) and others. 
 
(ii) The second period covers middle of second century AH that witnessed planned compilation of Ahadith, like  Imam Malik (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) compilation titled 'Muatta' (موطأ).
 
(iii) The third stage began towards the end of  second century AH, in which classified and organized work on Ahadith was carried out, like Musnad Imam Ahmad (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ).
 
(iv) The fourth and most important period is known as 'the period of Sahih'.   It began at the beginning of third century AH, in which books like Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim and others were compiled.  
       
Translations of the books of Ahadith
 
Hadith books were originally written in Arabic. Later these were translated into other languages.
 
The  need for an authentic Ahle Sunnah English translation of Ahadith books was felt for a longtime as the English translations available do not meet Ahle Sunnah (Sahih Iman) standards.
 
Shaikh Mir Asedullah Quadri has undertaken English translations of many Ahadith books which are being uploaded on this website gradually. Shaikh has also written a detailed commentary (تفسيرِ) of Quran titled 'Tafseer-e-Asadi' (تفسيرِ اَسَدی).  
 
Shaikh wrote many books in English.  In addition he has rendered into English  many books written by Ghousul Azam Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jeelani (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ), Hadhrat Mohammad Abdul Qadeer Siddiqui (رحمة الله عليه) and other important dignitaries. All these are being uploaded on CIFIA network websites gradually.
 
English translations of the following six authentic books of Ahadith, are being uploaded on this website.  
(i) Sahih al-Bukhari (صحيح البخاري
(ii) Sahih Muslim  (صحيح مسلم)
(iii) Sunan an-Nasa'i (سنن النسائي)
(iv) Sunan Abi Dawud (سنن أبي داود)
(v) Jami` at-Tirmidhi  (جامع الترمذي)
(vi) Sunan Ibn Majah  (سنن ابن ماجه)
 
Translations of other Ahadith books will be added later. We aim at creating an Ahle Sunnah, multilingual  database of Ahadith for our readers.
 
A brief account of the above six authentic Ahadith books is given below.
 
(i) Sahih Bukhari  (صحيح البخاري)

Sahih Bukhari was compiled by Imam Abū Abdullāh Muḥammad ibn Ismā‘īl ibn Ibrāhīm ibn al-Mughīrah ibn Bardizbah al-Ju‘fī al-Bukhārī (أبو عبد الله محمد بن اسماعيل بن ابراهيم بن المغيرة بن بردزبه الجعفي البخاري‎‎), 810–870/194-256 AH (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ). The book is titled "The Abridged Collection of Authentic Hadith with Connected Chains regarding Matters Pertaining to the Prophet , His practices and His Times" (الجامع المسند الصحيح المختصر من أمور رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وسننه وأيامه). 
 
Bukhari is accepted as the most reliable Hadith book.  It contains about 7275 Ahadith selected from over 600,000 Ahadith. This shows the care taken by the Imam.  It contains over 100 chapters, and 3450 sub-sections. The criteria used by Imam Bukhari, which was later followed by his student Imam Muslim, for Ahadith compilations is briefly described below.    
(i) The knowledge of Hadith (علم الحديث
In it, they studied the wording of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) used, its line of transmission and the original listener or recorder.
(ii) The knowledge about the credibility of narrator (علم الرجال الحديث) 
In it, they analyzed the narrator with certain mandatory requirements, like; (a) he should be a Muslim, (b) should have reached the age of puberty, (c) must be of stable mind, (d) should not deviate or stray. (e) should avoid sin, (f) Narrator's mannerism and actions should be good. 
(iii) Study of the background of the narrators (علم الجرح و التعديل). 
In it, they evaluated the  reliable sources, using details about the history of the narrator, his family background, strengths and weaknesses, consistency in good character, etc.  
(iv) Knowledge of the root of the Hadith (علم الى الحديث)
In it, they undertook detailed study of the life of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) to help them in evaluating the authenticity of the narration beyond any doubt.   

 

(ii) Sahih Muslim  (صحيح مسلم)

Sahih Muslim was compiled by Imam Abū al-Ḥusayn Asākir ad-Dīn Muslim ibn al-Ḥajjāj ibn Muslim ibn Ward ibn Kawshādh al-Qushayrī an-Naysābūrī ( أبو الحسين عساكر الدين مسلم بن الحجاج بن مسلم بن وَرْد بن كوشاذ القشيري النيسابوري‎), 815–875/206-261 AH (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ). 

Muslim is considered to be the second most reliable book of Ahadith. It contains around 12,000 Ahadith selected from over 3,00,000 Ahadith.  Sahi Muslim shares about 2,300 Ahadith from Bukhari.

Imam Muslim took great care in selecting Ahadith for his book.  We will not go into details here, except that he kept in view the difference between the two well known modes of narration, 'he narrated to us (Haddathana - حدثنا), and 'he informed us' (Akhbarana - اخبرنا ). The first mode is used when the teacher is narrating the Hadith and the student is listening to it, while the second mode of expression implies that the student is reading the Hadith before the teacher.  Imam Bukhari, while describing the chain of narrators, sometimes mentions their kunya (nick name) and sometimes gives their names. But Imam Muslim took particular care in according the exact words of the narrators and points out even the minutest difference in the wording of their reports with narrators names and kunya.


(iii) Sunan Abu Dawood 

Sunan Abu Dawood was compiled by  Imam Abu Dawood Sulaymān ibn al-Ash‘ath al-Azdi as-Sijistani ( أبو داود سليمان بن الأشعث الأزدي السجستاني‎), 816–889/202-275 AH (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ). It is  one of the six major collection of Ahadith books  containing 4,800 Ahadith, mostly related to Islamic Jurisprudence. It is reported that these  Ahadith were selected from over 500,000 Ahadith. 

It is reported that Abu Dawood was the first book among Sunan category that details the legal views held by Imam Malik, Sufyan Al-Thawri and Al-Awza'i, etc.    Imam abu Dawood heard Ahadith from over 300 teachers, including Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Ishaq ibn Rahawaiy, Yahya ibn Ma'in, etc.  His students include  Abu`Isa al-Tirmidhi, Abu Abdur-Rahman An Nasa'i, Imam Muslim, etc.  

(iv) Jami at-Tirmidhi 

Jami at-Tirmidhi was compiled by  Imam Abū Īsá Muḥammad ibn Īsá as-Sulamī aḍ-Ḍarīr al-Būghī at-Tirmidhi (أبو عيسى محمد بن عيسى السلمي الضرير البوغي الترمذي‎),  824–892/209-279 AH (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ). His teachers include, Imam Bukhari, Imam Muslim and Imam Abu Dawood.

Jami at-Thirmidhi is both Sunan and Jami. It contains about 4000 Ahadith.  The unique feature of At-Tirmidhi is that the author has mentioned the degree of authenticity of Ahadith. He mentions different versions of Ahadith, wherever required. After mentioning a weak hadith, he explains the state of its weakness. He accepted a Mursal Hadith if it is supported by an unbroken  chain of narrators. He categorized Ahadith as; (a) Hasan Sahih, (b) Sahih Hasan, (c) Sahih, (d) Sahih Gharib, (e) Gharib Sahih, (f) Hasan Gharib, (g) Gharib. 
 
Imam Tirmidhi mentions only that part of the Hadith which is related to the heading of the chapter he has made. He mentions narrators name and kunya (nick name) both.  Ahadith in Tirmidhi conform to the conditions of Bukhari, Muslim,  Abu Dawood and Nasai.
 

(v) Sunan an-Nisa'i 

Sunan an-Nasa'i was compiled by Imam Abū Abdur Raḥmān Aḥmad ibn Shu`ayb ibn Alī ibn Sīnān al-Nasā'ī (امام عبد الرحمن احمد ابنِ شعيب ابن علي  سنان النسائي),  303 915/214 -829 AH,  (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ). 

Imam An-Nasa'i has written two  books of Ahadith, (i) A large collection of Ahadith titled 'As-Sunan al-Kubra' (السنن الكبرا), and (ii) Small collection of Ahadith titled 'As-Sunan as-Sughra' (السنن الصغرا). Sunan al-Sughra (السنن الصغرا) is included in Six major collections of Ahadith.  His style is a combination of Bukhari and Muslim. He records different chains of Ahadith then explains the correct one. It is reported that many of his Ahadith are taken from Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal's works.

 

(vi) Sunan ibn Majah

Sunan Ibn Majah was compiled by Abū Abdillāh Muḥammad ibn Yazīd Ibn Mājah al-Rabʻī al-Qazwīnī (ابو عبد الله محمد بن يزيد بن ماجه الربعي القزويني‎), 824–887/209-273 AH (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ).  It contains 4341 Ahadith spread over thirty seven books and 1560 chapters.  It includes 1339 Aḥādīth, known as Zawā’id of Sunan Ibn Mājah that are not available in other five major Ahadith books.  

Among the six major collections of Ahadith, in order of status, Bukhari is followed by Muslim, Abu Dawood, Nasai, Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah respectively. 

 

 

RELATED READING

 

(i) Books of Ahadith

(ii) Imam Bukhari (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ)

 

 

السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

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