Drawn from the Miskkat al Masabih, this collection of the Prophet Muhammed's sayings includes both the English and Arabic text and provides an intelligent introduction to Islam. Among the included topics are purification, prayer, remembering death, pilgrimage, jihad, clothing, visions, and words that soften the heart.
the book of hadith
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As the second main source of the true religion of Islam, hadith has a history full of ups and downs as far as the manner of its transmittal and the periods of its compilation and publication are concerned. Those who are acquainted with Islamic history have all acknowledged that from the time of transmittal up to now, hadith as been associated with many desirable as well as undesirable events, and its compilation and publication in some periods have had both faithful advocates and stern adversaries. For this reason, learning the “history of hadith” – though a piece of knowledge outside the different branches of the science of hadith – is essential for all those who want to benefit from the Sunnah and the corpus of hadith especially in view of the fact that the beginning of hadith compilation and its mechanism have not been the same for the proponents of the various Islamic schools of thought, each of them having a different opinion whose outcome may adversely affect the credibility and status of the existing traditions (ahadith). The present book, which has been written as a textbook in the tertiary level of Islamic studies, endeavors to present the general subjects relevant to hadith and its history as well as to acquaint the students of this field with the Sunni hadith collections and the Four Books (Kutub al-Arba‘ah) of the Shi‘ah in a simple and easy-to-understand approach.
Hadith are second only to the Qur’an in their importance in the Islamic tradition. The present book offers a comprehensive analysis of virtually all aspects of hadith. Both Sunni and Shi‘i hadith are discussed with respect to the Qur’an, including the role of hadith in Qur’anic exegesis. The hadith are also discussed with regards to various subjects, such as theology, ethics, philosophy, mysticism, and history. Both traditional and Western approaches to the question of the authoritativeness of hadith are examined. This book is part of a series of translations from the Encyclopaedia of the World of Islam (EWI) which was originally compiled in Persian. Other entries from this encyclopaedia which are available in English include Hawza-yi ‘Ilmiyya, History and Historiography, Muslim Organisations, Political Parties, Qur’anic Exegeses, Qur’anic Exegesis, and Education in the Islamic Civilisation.
Contrary to popular opinion, the bulk of Islamic law does not come from the Qur’an but rather from hadith, first-hand reports of the prophet Muhammad’s words and deeds, passed from generation to generation. However, with varying accounts often only committed to paper a century after the death of Muhammad, Islamic scholars, past and present, have been faced with complex questions of historical authenticity. Informative and accessible, this wide-ranging introduction provides a detailed exploration of the collection and criticism of hadith and examines the controversy surrounding its role in modern Islam. Complete with a glossary, extensive bibliography, and helpful diagrams, Hadith is perfectly suited to students, scholars, and the general reader interested in this critical element of Islam. Jonathan A.C. Brown is Assistant Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies, University of Washington, Seattle. He is the author of Muhammad: A Very Short Introduction.
Noted Indian writer and polymath Ram Swarup explores the meaning of Islam through the words of the Sahih Muslim, considered by Muslims to be one of the most authoritative of the collections of "traditions" (Arabic Hadith) about the life of the Prophet Muhammad. Like the Koran, these traditions are believed to be divinely revealed by Allah and they complement the verses of the Koran, in many cases expanding upon them and explaining the context of their revelation. As Swarup notes in his introduction, to Muslims the Hadith literature represents the Koran in action, stories of "revelation made concrete in the life of the Prophet." Among the orthodox they are considered as sacred as the Koran itself. Swarup is plainly skeptical of the claim that the Hadith literature is divinely inspired. In the introduction he says, "The Prophet is caught as it were in the ordinary acts of his life - sleeping, eating, mating, praying, hating, dispensing justice, planning expeditions and revenge against his enemies. The picture that emerges is hardly flattering. . . . One is . . . left to wonder how the believers, generation after generation, could have found this story so inspiring. The answer is that the believers are conditioned to look at the whole thing through the eyes of faith. To them morality derives from the Prophet's actions. . . .his actions determine and define morality." The Sahih Muslim, a massive work consisting of 7,190 traditions divided into 1,243 chapters, is hardly accessible to the average reader; so Swarup quotes representative selections that touch upon the main tenets of Islam: faith, purification, prayer, fasting, pilgrimage, marriage and divorce, crime and punishment, religious wars (jihad), paradise, hell, repentance, and many other features of the religion. To non-Muslims this work provides many insights into the mindset of the average Muslim who is raised on these traditions about Muhammad. It also underscores the gulf that exists between the sanctum of orthodox Islam and an increasingly secularized Westernized world.
The book covers hadith terminology, sources of Hadith chains of narration, categories of Hadith, the criteria for Hadith narrators, and transmission of hadith. It also includes a translation of a seminal work on Hadith studies, "Durriyat Al-Hadith" by the renowned sixteenth-century Shia scholar Al-Shahid Al-Thani, the work that paved the way for the modern Shia study of Hadith.