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  • In Arabic, the noun “hadith” means “report,” “account,” “narrative,” or “tradition.”1)
  • As a term, hadith is the narration that is attributed to the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, or to the Companions and the Successors related to a discourse, deed, confirmation, disposition, or habit.
  • The concept of hadith was first used in the words of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. When Abu Hurayra asked the God’s Messenger who would be the first to be honored with his intercession on the Day of Resurrection, the noble Prophet stated: “O Abu Hurayra! Knowing your curiosity about the hadith, I thought you would ask the first question about this hadith.”2)
  • The following statement used by the women Companions, who asked God’s Messenger for a special conversation day, is an evidence that the concept was used in the early period of Islam: “Only men benefit from your words (from your hadith).”3)
  • In later periods, the concept of hadith was discussed in a way that includes the Divine hadiths. The personal statements and fatwas of the Companions the Successors were also considered within the scope of the hadith. In this sense, they named the hadiths belonging to the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, as “marfu” (elevated), those belonging to the Companions “mawquf” (stopped), and those belonging to the Successors “maqtu” (severed).4)
  • “Moreover, history books and biographies of the Prophet record that the Companions, next to preserving the Qur’an and its verses, did their best to record and preserve the Messenger’s deeds and words, especially those concerning miracles and Divine Commands, and to confirm their authenticity. They never neglected even an apparently insignificant act or state of the Prophet, as confirmed by the books of Tradition. While the Prophet was alive, the miracles and Traditions forming the basis of religious injunctions were written down by many Companions, especially the “Seven ‘Abdullahs,” notably ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas (the “Interpreter of the Qur’an”) and ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-As. Some 30 or 40 years later, thousands of Tabi‘un researchers recorded these, and later on the four imams of Islamic jurisprudence and thousands of discerning Traditionists also would write them down and transmit them. Two centuries after the Prophet’s emigration, the compilers of the six esteemed and most authentic books of Traditions, at the head of whom are Imam al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim, shouldered the task of preserving the Traditions. In the meantime, meticulous critics identified false reports produced by unbelievers or careless and ignorant people. In later centuries, Traditions continued to be distinguished from fabrications and distortions by people of profound learning and such meticulous researchers as Ibn al-Jawzi and Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti, who was honored many times while awake with the presence and conversation of God’s Messenger, as confirmed by those of spiritual realization. Thus the miracles … come down to us through numerous safe and trustworthy hands, for which we thank God, since this is by His grace. No one has the right to doubt their authenticity.”5)

See Also

Other Languages


Sahih al-Bukhari, Ilm, 33; Riqaq, 51.
Sahih al-Bukhari, I’tisam, 9.
Ibn Hajar, Tahzibu’t-Tahzib, VII, 33.
Bediüzzaman Said Nursi, The Letters, New Jersey: The Light, 2014, pp. 140–141.
hadith.txt · Last modified: 2022/10/08 14:35 by Editor