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Hadith: Some Observations.

Abu Hafsat

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As-Salaam alaikum,

After the Holy Qur'an, Hadith-Nabiy, Sallallahu alaihi Wasallam, is the second most important source of Law and Guidance in Islam. The universally acclaimed and accepted sources of Hadith are:--

1. Sahih of Muhammad Ibn Isma'il al-Bukhari (d.870)

2. Sahih of Muslim Ibn al-Hajj (d.875)

3. Abu Dawud al-Sijjistani (d.889)

4. Abu Isa al-Tirmidhi (d.892)

5. Ahmad Ibn Shu'ayb al-Nisa'i (d.915)

Even after these, Hadith compilation continued for over a century; for example, Abu Bakr al-Bayhaqi (d.1066), Imam al-Nawawi (Gardens of the Righteous) and Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (d.1449) among others.


It is not only the 3,000 or 4,000 ahadith that Imam Bukhari, may Allah be Merciful to him, mentioned/related and the other 5 authentic reporters that are known and/or accepted as the only ahadith of the Prophet, Sallallahu alaihi Wasallam.  Bukhari, Ahmad, Nisa'i and others only picked those ahadith they considered as most important and acceptable in their view-point.

This does not, however, mean that we throw away all what the Prophet, Sallallahu alaihi Wasallam, has said in his earthly life, consisting of hundreds/thousands of ahadeeth. There are over 40 different kinds of hadith. You cannot take one kind and and say, 'That is it'. For example, Muslim scholars do not base their fatwa only on Imam Bukhari's collection, but on hundreds of thousands ahadeeth.

Aftre 23 years of the Prophet's Mission of delivering his Lord's Message, do you/we think he (Sallallahu alaihi Wasallam), mentioned (said) only 4,000 ahadeeth only?  He sat with his companions at least 15-16 hours daily, guiding them, if you examine at an average hadith, it consists of 3, 4, 5 or may be 6 lines, some longer than that. Is that all that the Prophet taught all his life, 4,000 ahadeeth or 200 or even less per year?   No, that simply is not possible,as the Prophet, Sallallahu alaihi Wasallam said/mentioned hundreds of thousands of ahadeeth. One of the 4 illustrious Imams of the Ummah, Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, may Allah be Merciful to him, memorized more than 300,000 ahadeeth!!

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