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Book Title Divine Narratives
Total Pages315
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The Place of Hadith In Islam 

For a study of Islam, the Qur’an and Hadith are the two primary textual sources. The Qur’an is, of course, the paramount source, for IT IS THE BOOK OF CERTAINTY every word of which was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (570-361 A.D.) The Qur’an, therefore, is the Word of God. In its Arabic original the Qur’an is recited for prayers and is read for guidance and contemplation by millions of Muslims, 

Hadith literally means a narrative, and as the second primary source for Islam, it means prophetic narrative, that is, a report of what the Prophet Muhammad ()* said or did. His sayings and deeds were later narrated by his Companions to their disciples and then by them to their disciples until these narratives (Hadith pl. Ahadith) were asssembled and recorded in the second, third and fourth centuries of Islam by a number of scholars of Hadith. 

Unlike the Qur’an, Hadith is not the Word of God. It is nevertheless an expression of Divine revelation, for when Muhammad () spoke as the Prophet of God, “he did not speak from his own mind”. In fact Hadith narratives are essential for a fuller understanding of the Qur’anic Message, for they demonstrate through the daily life of the Prophet the authoritative living interpretation of the Message. 

Hadith, generally, is a narration of what the Prophet said or did. Hadith Qudsi, however, is a report of what God 

said, though not necesarily in His Words. The Divine authority, explicitly stated or implicit in the context of the Hadith Qudsi, gives this group of Hadith a special spiritual character and signifiance to Muslims and non-Muslims alike. 

Hadith Collections

As stated earlier, the Hadith were assembled and recorded by a number of scholars of Hadith and at different times. These collections range in size from one volume to a number of larger volumes. They also differ in their degree of acceptance by the susbsequent generation of Muslim scholars. Six of these collections have been accorded the status of the most authentic collections. By this declaration, the other collections are by no means rejected as unauthentic. Many of the prophetic narratives recorded in other collections may not have reached the six well-known collectors of Hadith or did not pass their vigorous test of authenticity and therefore were not included by them. Broadly speaking, these collections enjoy varying degrees of acceptance among Muslim scholars. In justice to the collectors and the effort of their compilations, we may say that the collectors of Hadith, after subjecting every individual Hadith to their specific tests of authenticity, have put before us the fruit of their research and passed on the “trust” (amanah) and the heritage for the following generations for their benefit and, where appropriate, invite further scrutiny from Muslim scholars of Hadith. 

The following scholars and collectors of Hadith are often quoted as sources from which the Hadith Qudsi has been gleaned. The six collections most relied upon are mentioned first in the listing: 

1 Al-Bukhari, Muhammad bin Isma’il (d. 256 AH): 

Sahih Al-Bukhari 


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