From Oxford Dictionaries

Definitions of Hadith

a collection of traditions containing sayings of the prophet Muhammad which, with accounts of his daily practice (the Sunna), constitute the major source of guidance for Muslims apart from the Koran.
any of the sayings from the Hadith.

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From https://www.whyislam.org

What is Hadith?


Islam has two primary sources. First is the Qurʾān which is the direct word of God inspired to the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. The second source is the Prophet’s teachings. These teachings include his words, actions, and things he approved of. The Prophet’s teachings are called Sunna. The Sunna is found in texts called ḥadīth. A ḥadīth is a statement of the Prophet peace be upon him which was narrated by his companions and subsequently narrated to the next generation until these sayings were compiled in ḥadīth collections.

The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, was sent as the final messenger to mankind. With his death, the message of Islam was completed. The preservation of scripture is not limited to the text of the Qur’ān, but its meaning as well. If the Prophet’s explanation is needed in order to understand the Qur’ān, then it is necessary that his sayings be preserved as well, not only the words of the Qur’ān. In other words, without the Sunna the Quran is not preserved, what will only remain is the text without its meaning.

Imagine for instance trying to discover the manner of prayer based only the command to “establish prayer” with few references to bowing and prostration. The number of prayers, times per day, and what to recite would remain unknown. Therefore, the Sunna is part of the Qurʾān’s preservation. Without the Sunna the meaning of the Qurʾān would be lost and by extension not preserved.

Importance of Ḥadīth

All Muslims, be they Sunni or Shia, agree that ḥadīths are essential to understanding Islam. Ḥadīth are important because without them the Qurʾān does not make sense. They provide a context to the verses in the Qurʾān. The Qurʾān is a rather concise book and therefore contains many general statements. For instance, the Qurʾān commands Muslims to pray, but it does not provide the details of how one is to perform prayer.

The Qurʾān also commands Muslims to perform pilgrimage and give charity, but it does not provide the details. These details are found in the ḥadīth where the Prophet peace be upon him explained the details and mechanics of prayer. There are dozens of verses in the Qurʾān that command Muslims to follow the Prophet. Without knowing his teachings one cannot possibly fulfill this command.

Collection of Ḥadīth

The Companions of the Prophet peace be upon him memorized his statements and actions. In addition to memorization, many Companions wrote these ḥadīths down in their personal collections. These ḥadīths were passed down to the students of the Companions and subsequently down to their students. Several Muslim scholars collected these ḥadīths into compilations which have become widespread and are the main sources of ḥadīths until today.

Hadith are a Primary Source of Islamic Teachings

The verses concerning the authority of the Prophet’s teachings are abundant, for brevity we will only list four:

And Whatever the Messenger gives you, accept it, and from whatever he forbids you, abstain from it (Qurʾān 59: 7).

Say: If you love Allah then follow me and Allah will love you and forgive your sins (Q. 3: 31).

Whoever obeys the messenger has obeyed Allah (Qurʾān 4: 80).

O you who believe, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. If you differ in anything, then refer it to Allah and His Messenger if you believe in Allah and the last day; that is better and the best interpretation (Qurʾān 4: 59).

The Qurʼān establishes that the Prophet, peace be upon him, must be referred to when disputations occur. This is an example of how the Prophet peace be upon him is a legislator and does not speak out of whim. The Qurʾān cannot command Muslims to follow the Prophet without making a means for them to know and follow him. If his teachings are not preserved, then the Qurʾān would be commanding Muslims to follow something that does not exist. From this we understand that part of the preservation of the Qurʾān is the preservation of the Sunna itself.

Authentication of Ḥadīth

In order to ensure that ḥadīths were authentic and not fabricated, scholars developed a unique and critical method. This consisted of two components, first scholars scrutinized the people who were narrating the ḥadīth. They ensured that everyone in the chain of transmission met each other and was free from any disqualifying characteristics. These disqualifying characteristics include lying, indulging in major sins, or having a known or obvious motive to fabricate a ḥadīth.

The second criteria they used was to measure and grade the memory of the narrations. This was done empirically by comparing the narrations of different students to see who might have made a mistake. For instance, a Companion of the Prophet might have narrated ten sayings of the Prophet to 15 students. Ḥadīth scholars would then individually ask these students to recite the ḥadīth to them. If of those 15 students 13 students say that the ḥadīth says XYZ and 2 say it says ZYX then it is likely they made a mistake. They would then note that this narrator has a poor memory and their narrations are to be rejected or accepted with caution. Hadiths would then be classified as authentic, acceptable, weak, or fabricated. For more details on this process check out this article.

Examples of Prophet’s Statements Found in Ḥadīth

“Those people who show no mercy will receive no mercy from Allah” (Sahih Muslim).

“Not one of you can (truly) believe if you do not want for your (believing) brother what you want for yourself” (Bukhari).

“Do not have ill-will towards one another, do not be envious of one another, do not turn your back on one another; O, servants of Allah, be brothers (and sisters). It is not permissible for a Muslim to remain angry with their brother [in religion] for more than three days (Sahih Bukhari).

“When a human being dies all their actions and blessings come to an end, except for these three things: continuous charity, the knowledge from which they have benefited others, and a blessed child who prays for them” (Sahih Muslim).

“If someone conceals the mistake of another servant on the Day of Judgement Allah will cover their mistake” (Sahih Muslim).


The statements of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him are the second source of Islamic knowledge and law. Without these statements, the Qurʾān loses its context and meaning. Scholars have developed a science which they used to determine the different levels of each ḥadīths authenticity. Ḥadīth serve as a source of guidance for Muslims in their daily lives. They use ḥadīth to learn more about the Prophet peace be upon him and try to emulate his actions and character.

*source: https://www.whyislam.org/prophet-muhammad/hadith/


From http://www.quranreading.com

Different Types of Hadith And Their Meanings


The sole purpose behind sending Prophets by Allah SWT among different nations over the course of history of existence on planet earth has always been to educate them about His teachings and bring them towards morality and Monotheism. For this, the Almighty Lord also revealed His Instructions in the form of Divine Manuscripts proving as guiding principles for them. The Holy Quran is the last Sacred Book of the Creator of the universe that He sent upon His Final Messenger, Hazrat Muhammad ﷺ to be a source of enlightenment for the entire mankind. He also directed the believers to follow the footsteps of His Messenger ﷺ besides His Revelations in order to be successful.


Say, [O Muhammad], “If you should love Allah, then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” [Quran, 3: 31]

The above mentioned Ayah Kareema clearly shows that we cannot only take help from the Quranic Commands rather we are also required to pursue Sunnah of the Holy Prophet ﷺ. It is because of the fact that the entire life of Rasulullah ﷺ had been nothing but a never dying effort to perfect the Ultimate Rulings of the Most Merciful through His rightful actions. It means that we should not take help from one source only rather we have to combine both the Wisdom of Furqan e Hameed and Sunnah of the Apostle ﷺ of God together in order to benefit from them more fruitfully. Fortunately for us, with the Grace of the Gracious Lord, the righteous companions were awarded with tremendous amount of memory which made them able to learn Sayings of Prophet ﷺ by heart and record them for future generations to come.

Composition of Hadith

It is widely known among Muslims all over the world that any specific wording of the Messenger ﷺ of Allah SWT on a given topic or theme of subject is known as a “Hadith”. It is obligatory upon every disciple of Islam to know, act upon and spread the Proverbs of Rasulullah ﷺ as these are the words full of wisdom which result in one`s success both in this world and in the hereafter. Hadith, in general is composed of three basic components which are given below:

  1. Matn/Content: It is the main passage which is the actual centre of attraction for the reader. It normally tells about the right way of actions in different circumstances of life.
  2. Isnad/Sequence of Reporters: A series of correspondents through which Hadith has spread.
  3. Taraf/Introductory Text: The earlier portion of main substance which acts as a groundwork for further lesson present in the Saying. It usually acts as a reference towards the deeds or personality of the Holy Prophet ﷺ.

These are the necessary three constituents which need to be present in any text for naming it as a Hadith.

Categorization of Hadith

The taxonomy of the Prophetic (PBUH) axioms has been very carefully devised according to different sets of classifications along with their further kinds. Following are the five basic arrangements of Ahadiths on the basis of particular grounds:

  1. According to reference to a particular Authority
  2. According to the links of Isnad
  3. According to a number of reporters
  4. According to nature of Matn and Isnad
  5. According to Authenticity of Correspondents


Now let us briefly discuss these classes of Hadith one by one:

i)                    According to Reference to a Particular Authority

According to careful research, Hadith is divided into four additional kinds under this category:

  1. Qudsi: meaning “Divine”. It is a Heavenly text which was directly sent upon the Holy Prophet (PBUH), Who passed it on to His followers Himself.
  2. Marfu`: meaning “Elevated”. It has got very important status in Islam as it was directly heard from the Messenger (PBUH) of God Himself by His companions and was brought forward.
  3. Mauquf: meaning “Stopped”. It is a kind of command which was directly given by Rasulullah (PBUH) to His cohorts who forwarded it.
  4. Maqtu`: meaning “Severed”. It is a form of Instruction which is plainly described by Successor in his own words.

ii)                  According to the links of Isnad

Hadith is further divided into six groups under this category:

  1. Musnad: meaning “Supported”. Isnad being reported by a well known companion of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) although final narrator might not be with Him at that time.
  2. Muttasil: meaning “Continuous”. The one with undisturbed Isnad relating back to rightful friend or its heir.
  3.  Mursal: meaning “Hurried”. It missed a connection between the storyteller and the Messenger (PBUH).
  4. Munqati`: meaning “Broken”. Hadith with a link being absent before it reaches the Successor of the actual narrator.
  5. Mu`adal: meaning “Perplexing”. The one in which narrator misses multiple reported in an order in Isnad of the Hadith.
  6. Mu`allaq: meaning “Hanging”. It fails to spot the complete Isnad of the Hadith.

iii)                According to a number of reporters

It is divided into two more sub-groups:

  1. Mutawatir: meaning “Consecutive”. Hadith being reported such a large number of rightful companions that it is agreed upon as authentic.
  2. Ahad: meaning “Isolated”. The one which has been narrated by a countable number of people.

It has been further categorized into three sub-types:

  1. Mash’hur: meaning “Famous”. Hadith which is related by more than two individuals.
  2. Aziz: meaning “Rare yet Strong”. The one having only two reporters in its Isnad.
  3. Gharib: meaning “Strange”. Saying of Holy Prophet (PBUH) with only one narrator in its Isnad.

iv)                According to nature of Matn and Isnad

It is split into two major kinds:

  1. Munkar: meaning “Denounced”. A Hadith belonging to a weak reporter.
  2. Mudraj: meaning “Interpolated”. The one having some adding up of words to the authentic Hadith by its narrator.

v)                  According to Authenticity of Correspondents

It has the following three categories:

  1. Sahih: meaning “Sound”. A hadith reported by a trustworthy reporter known for his truthfulness, knowledge, correct way of narrations etc.
  2. Hasan: meaning “Good”. The one whose reporters are know and is clear-cut.
  3. Da`if: meaning “Weak”. A hadith ranking under that of Hasan because of failing to address the Isnad properly.
  4. Maudu`: meaning “Fabricated”. Hadith having wording opposite to the confirmed Prophetic (PBUH) traditions.

In short, Hadith is an integral part of Islamic teachings through which Muslims all over the world get insight about many aspects of life. Therefore, one must know about its different kinds so as to become able to distinguish the authentic ones from the rest which have weak links in its key constituents.


*source: http://www.quranreading.com/blog/types-of-hadith/


From https://www.islamic-awareness.org

The Science Of Hadith

In the Name of Allah, the Most Compassionate the Most Merciful

We have, Without doubt, sent down the message: and we will assuredly guard it (from corruption) (Qur'an 15:9)


(hadith components: Isnad, Matn and Taraf)


The Science Of Hadith

The promise made by Allah(SWT) in Qur'an 15:9 is obviously fulfilled in the undisputed purity of the Qur'anic text throughout the fourteen centuries since its revelation. However, what is often forgotten by many Muslims is that the divine promise also includes, by necessity, the Sunnah of the Prophet(P), because the Sunnah is the practical example of the implementation of the Qur'anic guidance, the wisdom taught to the Prophet(P) along with the scripture, and neither the Qur'an nor the Sunnah can be understood correctly without the other.

Allah(SWT) preserved the Sunnah by enabling the Companions and those after them to memorize, write down and pass on the statements of the Prophet(P), and the descriptions of his way, as well as to continue the blessings of practicing the Sunnah.

Later, as the purity of the knowledge of the Sunnah became threatened, Allah(SWT) caused the Muslim Ummah to produce individuals with exceptional memory skills and analytical expertise, who travelled tirelessly to collect thousands of narrations and distinguish the true words of prophetic wisdom from those corrupted by weak memories, from forgeries by unscrupulous liars, and from the statements of the large number of Ulama (scholars), the Companions and those who followed their way. All of this was achieved through precise attention to the words narrated, and detailed familiarity with the biographies of the thousands of reporters of hadith.

The methodology of the expert scholars of hadith in assessing the narrations and sorting out the genuine from the mistaken and fabricated, for ms the subject matter of the science of hadith. In this article a brief discussion is given of the terminology and classifications of hadith.


*source: https://www.islamic-awareness.org/hadith/ulum/hadsciences.html