What is Hadith

The Arabic word Hadith means ‘statement' or ‘talk'. In the Shariah, the word Hadith means those things or action, which Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wassallam said or did. Sometimes ‘Sunnah' is also used for Hadith, but usually ‘Sunnah' is used to report a deed while Hadith is used for ‘talk'”.

Now Inshallah, I am going to mention some common terminology used in Hadith:

•  Athar: That statement or act which is attributed to the Sahaba.

•  Sanad: A group or chain of narrators who narrates a Hadith from Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wassallam.

•  Mutan: It is the text of the Hadith.

•  Rawy- Narrator of the Hadith.

•  Marwy- Same as Mutan.

•  Hadith-e-Qudsi: A Hadith which Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wassallam quotes from Allah Taa'la, which is not in the Quran.

•  Marfu'Hadith: A Hadith which is traced back to Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wassallam directly.

•  Mauu'qoof Hadith: That Hadith which the chain stops at a Sahaba, not to Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wassallam.

•  Maqtoo'Hadith: That statement which is attributed to some Tabieen.

•  Mutasil' Hadith: That Hadith which has successive narrators, and there are no gaps or omission in the chain.

•  Musnad'Hadith: That Marfu'Hadith which the chain is Mutasil.


Hadith has five types:

•  Mutawatir.

Mutawatir: Is that Hadith where there is a group or a large number of narrators, that it is impossible for them to agree to tell a lie.

•  Khabr-Wahid.

Khabr-Wahid: That Hadith which does not reach the status of Mutawatir.

•  Mashoor

Mashoor ‘Hadith: That Hadith which is handed down by at least three or more narrators and does not reach the state of Mutawatir

•  Aziz'Hadith.

Aziz'Hadith: That Hadith which is handed down by at least two or more narrators.

•  Gureeb Hadith.

Gureeb' Hadith: That Hadith which is handed down by only one narrator.


Next, I would like to mention those well-known books, which have Sahih Hadith in them:

•  Sahih Bukhari.

•  Sahih Muslim.

•  Sunnah Abu Dawood.

•  Sunnah Nasai.

•  Sunnah Tirmidhi.

•  Sunnah ibn Majah.


Some people say ‘Mota Imam Malik' instead of ibn Majah.

Shah Wali-ullah Delhvi (Rahmatullahe Alayh), a very well known Muhadith, has categorised the Sahih-books into three groups:

First group (1) Sahih Bukhari (2) Sahih Muslim (3) Mota Imam Malik

Second group (1) Abu Dawood (2) Nasai (3) Tirmidhi

Third group (1) Baihaqi (2) Tahawi etc.

The significance of Hadith

Some people nowadays incorrectly say that you do not need Hadith, and that Quran is enough for guidance to the straight path.

The correct view and understanding is that many times the Quran gives us the general principal of an order; but to understand the order clearly in its fullest sense Hadeeth is required.

For example- A teacher, whenever he is preparing for that ‘Sabak' which he is going to teach tomorrow. He will look into many number of “Sharah's” to get a very clear and comprehensive view. So similarly, the Quran tells you the principle, but to get a comprehensive view you will need Hadith. For example, in the Quran, it say's how many rakaats there are in Esha or Fajr, but Hadith tells you that there are two rakaats or four rakaats farz and two rakaats are Sunnah and so on and so forth.

I would like to finish my piece of writing to remind everyone that my purpose in writing this was that the learners of Hadith will have a brief view and explanation about Ilm Hadith and that the general public get motivated and have the desire to enter in the field of Ilm Hadith

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