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Overview of Shari’a, Sunnah and the Science of Hadith  - Part 4

 Famous Books of Hadiths .

Many papers and books on Hadith were lost due to ravages of time or destroyed in wars and feuds. It is not ascertainable if most of the material published in 19th and 20th century is based on authenticated copies of the original. as a quite a few inconsistencies have been pointed out. This has given rise to a school of thought that only Holy Quran is the actual source of Islamic doctrine but the majority of Ulemas and believers reject their views. 

Imam Malik's Muwatta ("the well-trodden path") is a collection of two items: the sayings and deeds of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) (also known as the sunnah). ‘Malik bin Anas bin Malik bin Abu Amir Al-Asbahi’was born in 93 A.H. (715 CE) and died in 179 A.H. (801 CE) at the age of 86.  He lived most of his life in Madinah. He is considered to be an eminent scholar and the originator of the Maliki judicial school of thought. He is reputed to have had over one thousand students. During Malik's lifetime, he steadily revised his Muwatta, so it reflects over forty years of his learning and knowledge But Imam Malik himself did not considered his work complete or free from doubt as to the accuracy of interpretation all the Hadiths 

Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for thy Lord knoweth best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance.

Sahih Bukhari is a collection of sayings and deeds of the Holy Prophet (SWS) compiled by Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Ismail bin Ibrahim bin al-Mughira al-Ja'fai – (popularly known as Bukhari was born in 194 A.H. (816 CE) and died in 256 A.H. (878 CE)) His collection of hadith is considered is one of most reliable. He spent sixteen years compiling it, and ended up with 2,602 hadith (9,082 with repetition). His criteria for acceptance into the collection were quite stringent. However, some people believe that in copying and printing processes some errors specially in dates and figures have arisen It is important to realize, however, that Bukhari's collection is not complete: there are other scholars who worked as Bukhari did and collected other authentic reports.

Sahih Muslim is a collection of Hadiths compiled after a couple of centuries after the Prophet's death by Abul Husain Muslim bin al-Hajjaj al-Nisapuri born in 202 A.H. (824 CE) who died in 261 A.H. (883 CE) He traveled widely to gather his collection of ahadith, including to Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Egypt. Out of 300,000 Hadith, which he collected and evaluated, only about 4,000 were included into his collection. Muslim was a student of Bukhari. Muslim's collection is recognized by the overwhelming majority of the Muslim world to be one of the ost authentic collections. 

Sunan Abu-Dawud is a collection of Hadith and articles on Sunnah compile by Abu-Dawud (full name Abu-Dawud Sulaiman bin Al-Aash'ath Al-Azdi as-Sijistani) who was born in 202 A.H (822 CE) and died in 275 AH (897 CE). Abu-Dawud worked extremely hard to collect his ahadith. Each report in his collection was checked for compatibility with the Qur'an, and the veracity of the chain of reporters. Abu-Dawud's collection is recognized by the overwhelming majority of the Muslim world to be one of the most authentic collections of the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh). However, he himself regarded his work inconclusive and indicated possibility of error in his collection.  He traveled extensively by going to different parts of Asudi Arabia, Iraq, Khurasahn, Egypt, Syria, Nishapur and other places for the sole purpose of collecting ahadith. His primary interest was in law. His collection focuses mainly on legal issues. He examined and collected over 50,000 ahadith for scrutiny and selected about 4,800 for inclusion with a prayer Allah may forgive him for any error. 

So if they dispute with thee, say: "I have submitted My whole self to Allah and so have those who follow me." And say to the People of the Book and to those who are unlearned: "Do ye (also) submit yourselves?" If they do, they are in right guidance, but if they turn back, Thy duty is to convey the Message; and in Allah's sight are (all) His servants. 

Al Kafi: Alkafi is a collection of Hadiths and articles about the Imams recognized by the Shia sect. Shia tend to give more credence, importance and reliability to this book than most other collections recognized by the Sunni Scholars. 

Praising  Al Kafi, the shia scholar AlHur Al'amily in his book writes " The authors of the Four Books of shia ( Alkafi , AlIstibsaar , AlTahzeeb , Mun La YahDuruHu Alfaqeeh ) have testified that the Hadiths of their books are accurate (saheeh) , firm and well conducted from the roots that all shia agreed on , and if you consider those scholars ( the authors of the four books ) are reliable then you must accept their sayings and their narrations . " (Alwasa'el)

There are many other books from which Muslims draw inspiration. Nehjatul Balagh containing the sayings and writings of Hazrat Ali (RA) is found inspiring by almost all the sects. The number of (seerat) biographies written about the life and mission of the Holy Prophet, the First Four Pious Caliph is great and a valuable source of Sunnah.






The Qur'an contains a large number of warnings regarding the evil of submission to personal desires. The following is just one instance of it: 

They follow nothing except conjecture, and what the self desires ... (53:25)

Mindless interpretation of allegories and similitude of the Holy verses might well be regarded as predigested thoughts.