Tuesday, April 18, 2006

What is Hadeeth?

What is Hadith?

Taken from Usool Al Hadeeth by Abu Ammaar Yasir Qadhi and Studies in Hadeeth Methodology and Literature by Dr. Muhammad Mustafa Azami

(Arabic: الحديث hadeeth, Arabic pl. ahādeeth "أحاديث")

Linguistically, the word hadeeth is the opposite of qadeem, so it means soemthing that is new[1] when used as an adjective. That is why a person's statements are called hadeeth, it is something that is originating form a persons mouth that wasnt there.The word hadeeth literally when used as a noun means communication, story, or conversation.[2] A hadeeth could be religious or secular, historic or recent. The word hadeeth has been used in the Qur'aan 23 times and multiple times in the statements of the Prophet (Sal Allahu alayhi Wa Sallam). It has been used in the Qur'aan and the statements of the Prophet Muhammad (Sal Allahu alayhi Wa Sallam) in all of the different meanings mentioned above. The different ways the word hadeeth has been used in the Qur'aan and the statements of the Prophet Muhammad (Sal Allahu alayhi Wa Sallam) are mentioned in Studies in Hadeeth Methodology and Literature by M. M. Azami, Pg. 1-2.

After the death of the Prophet (Sal Allahu alayhi Wa Sallam) the majority of the stories and conversations carried out by the Muslims were about the Prophet (Sal Allahu alayhi Wa Sallam) himself. Therefore the word hadeeth started to be used exclusively for the stories or communications that were from or about the Prophet (Sal Allahu alayhi Wa Sallam).[3]

There are many books that have numerous ahadeeth compiled in them, the most popular of them being Jaami' As Sahih (The Authentic Collection)[4] of Imaam Bukharee (d. 256 AH) or Sahih Al Bukharee. The history of compilation or preservation of hadeeth is a very fascinating and interesting subject in and of itself. Learning about this history does nothing but raise the eeman of a Muslim in the authenticity of the religion and trust in the words of the Prophet (Sal Allahu alayhi Wa Sallam). There is a consensus amongst the muslim schoalrs that the ahadeeth are an integral foundation of the religion of Islam and belief in the authentic ahadeeth is obligatory upon each and every Muslim.

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Footnotes
1. Usool Al Hadeeth by Yasir Qadhi, Part 1
2. Studies in Hadith Methodology and Literature by M. M. Azami, Pg. 1
3.
Studies in Hadith Methodology and Literature by M. M. Azami, Pg. 3
4. The actual name given by Bukharee to his collection of hadeeth was entitled by him Al Jaami' al musnad as sahih al mukhtasar min umur RasoolAllahi Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam wa sunanihi wa Ayyaamihi, which means An epitome containing all types of musnad ahadeeth corcerning the Messenger of Allah, May Allah's Peace and Blessings be upon him, his sunnah and his wars.
Studies in Hadith Methodology and Literature by M. M. Azami, Pg. 89

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