The Hadith is frequently described as the foundation of Islam. Every religion demands its followers to adhere to a core set of beliefs, as well as certain rituals and guiding principles on how to live their lives.
Along with being a set of rules by which believers must live, the Hadith also serves as a source of motivation and wisdom. The sayings and deeds of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) have been preserved in the form of hadiths by various reliable witnesses.
The religious duties of Muslims and the proper technique to offer greetings are both discussed in detail in Hadith.
What is Hadith?
According to the majority of Muslims, Hadih are reliable accounts of the words, deeds, and implicit approval of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). What this means is that the Hadith are stories that have been passed down about things that Muslims believe Muhammad said or did.
Many Muslims believe that the hadith, rather than the Quran, provide the “great bulk” of the rules of Sharia (Islamic law), including guidance on everything from the details of religious obligations, such as the importance of benevolence to slaves to Ghusl or Wudu for salat prayer and the proper forms of salutations.
The authenticity of hadith has become a significant area of research in Islam as a result of the fact that several hadith contain assertions that are uncertain and even conflicting. Traditional hadiths consist of two sections: the isnad, or the report’s chain of transmitters, and the matn, or the main text written in the hadith.
Muslims jurists and clerics classify individual hadith into different categories such as “da’if or weak”, “hasan or good”, and “sahih or authentic”. On the other hand, a hadith may be placed in a different category by several groups and scholars.
Categories of Hadith
Taqrīr is the phrase used by scholars of hadith to refer to implicit approvals, while khabar is the term used to refer to statements and deeds attributed to Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). It’s almost as though there are a wide variety of levels of trustworthiness that a certain hadith might occupy.
- Maqlūb: It is that hadith, which has been narrated in two different ways, with the names of the narrators being different in each version.
- Mawḍūʻ: These refer to those hadith that are falsely attributed to Muhammad despite the fact that they were made up.
- Ḍaʻīf: Those hadith that have a flaw in the story (maybe the storyteller doesn’t remember everything correctly or the chain of witnesses is broken)
- Ḥasan: The story has been told from one reliable but forgetful person to the next without a break in the chain.
- Ṣaḥīḥ: Those hadith that have been passed down via a series of reliable witnesses without a break in the chain.
List of Hadith Books
Here is a list of the Hadith collections compiled by Muhaddiths, which contain the valid or invalid sayings, deeds, or tacit approvals attributed to Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).
- Sahih al-Bukhari: A compilation of hadiths and a guide to Islamic practise written by the Persian scholar Muhammad ibn Isma’il al-Bukhri (810-870) around the year 846. It is one of the two most revered works in Sunni Islam, alongside Sahih Muslim, and is considered a must-read by all devout Muslims.
- Sahih Muslim: A hadith compilation and book of sunnah by Persian scholar Muslim ibn al-ajjjj (9th century) (815–875). It ranks with Sahih al-Bukhari as one of the two most revered texts in Sunni Islam, just after the Quran.
- Sunan Abu Dawood: Sunan Abu Dawood was compiled by Abu Dawud al-Sijistani and is one of the Kutub al-Sittah (six important hadith collections) (d.889)
- Sunan al-Tirmidhi: The Hadith of Sunan at-Tirmidhi is considered one of the six major hadith collections). Al-Tirmidhi compiled it. Beginning after the year 250 A.H. (A.D. 864/5), he worked on it until the 10th of Dhu’al-Hijjah, 270 A.H.
- Sunan al-Nasa’i: When compared to the other six main hadith collections, this one is ranked third in importance by Sunnis. About 5,270 hadiths, including many retellings of the same event, were chosen by the author and compiled as Al-Mujtaba.
- Sunan ibn Majah: It has 32 books (kutub) and 1500 chapters (abwb), totaling 4341 Hadith. Only this book has some 1329 hadith that are not found in the other five authoritative collections.
Important Prophet Muhammad Quotes from the Hadith
The following are six of the Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) hadiths that are particularly well-known and have a significant position in the hearts and minds of Muslims today:
1. “No father has ever given a child a gift that is superior to good manners.” [Sunan al-Tirmidhi]
Good manners, according to the Prophet, are the best present parents can offer their children. All Muslims, young and old alike, should seek moral guidance from the Prophet Muhammad’s example. The Prophet stressed the importance of greeting someone with Salam upon first meeting them.
He was an honest man who valued the company of others and treated them with respect. The followers of Islam are urged to change their life by this renowned hadith by being charitable and by learning decent manners.
2. “It is one of the greatest sins that a man should curse his parents.” [Sahih al-Bukhari]
The Prophet considers it the greatest evil that people may so readily mistreat one another or their parents. It reveals nothing except a person’s vile anger and aggressiveness. Because violence and abuse are contrary to Islamic principles, the hadith urges Muslims to abandon such behaviors and make positive changes in their life.
3. “Those who are the means of good deeds are the same as those who perform good deeds.” [Sunan al-Tirmidhi]
Throughout his life, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) strove to convey the gravity of treating human beings as disposable resources, to be thrown away once their usefulness in life or a given goal has ended. He appeals to his devotees, asking them to join him in doing good.
Participating in or contributing to the completion of a good deed has the same value as actually carrying it out. It demonstrates the need of considering not just one’s acts, but also one’s motives. Muslims ought to develop compassion and choose to take part in whatever improves the quality of another person’s life.
4. “Religion is very easy and whoever overburdens himself in his religion will not be able to continue in that way. So you should not be extremists, but try to be near to perfection and receive the good tidings that you will be rewarded; and gain strength by worshiping in the mornings, the nights.” [Sahih al-Bukhari]
Followers of Islam are urged by the Prophet to avoid becoming bigots and instead adhere to the religion’s principles and customs. It cautions Muslims from placing an undue load on their shoulders by misusing the term “religion”.
Overburden and neglect both have consequences, and the Prophet has only outlined them here. A Muslim is hurt by both of these extremes. Because of this, one must make a deliberate decision and constantly evaluate it to avoid being swayed toward extremism or fanaticism.
5. “Wisdom and knowledge are things that the believer lacks. He should take them wherever he finds them.” [Sunan al-Tirmidhi]
The pursuit of knowledge is summarized by this well-known hadith. The Prophet was making an effort to stress the significance of learning and experience. In the absence of it, positive change in the world is impossible. He stressed the need of always seeking out new information and knowledge, no matter where it may be found.
6. “Those people who show no mercy will receive no mercy from Allah.” [Sahih Muslim]
Even though a person strictly adheres to the teachings of Islam, they are not truly religious if they are unable to show mercy and forgiveness to others around them. A merciful person has the power to alter one’s outlook on life and bring about dramatic transformations.
If the ultimate authority can overlook even the most severe of transgressions, then His human followers should be able to extend grace and forgiveness to those in their immediate vicinity.’
Essentially, the Hadiths are only snippets of the Prophet’s life story. Hadiths are written accounts of Prophet Muhammad’s sermons. They provide the ethical foundation on which Muslims carry out their daily activities.