Monday, April 23, 2018
Assalam Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatahu

What is Hadith

Hadith is the collection of the Prophet Muhammad’s statements and actions coupled with the statements and actions of his companions. Hadith is believed to have been collected beginning 150 years after Muhammad’s death in 632 C.E. and it is the basis of jurisprudence for Islamic law, or Sharia law. To begin to understand Islam, one must understand what parts make up hadith, how hadith is classified, and how hadith is legitimized to mold Sharia.

Hadith has two parts. The first part is matn, which is the specific content or text of the statements and actions of Muhammad and his companions. The second part is isnad, which is the record of the chain of transmitters all the way back to Muhammad, similar to a family tree. Although an isnad containing Muhammad’s bloodline carries more weight, one does not have to be related to Muhammad to be a transmitter.

Muslims classify hadith in four different categories. The first three categories refer specifically to Muhammad. Awl are the transmissions of Muhammad’s statements, fi’liare the transmission of Muhammad’s deeds or actions, and taqrir are the actions or deeds of the Prophet’s companions or others that Muhammad has approved of. The fourth category of classification is qudsi which are the Prophet’s words, inspired by Allah, that are not recorded in the Koran.

Once hadith undergoes critical analysis, it becomes authenticated, lending legitimacy to Sharia by offering legal proof. The process begins when Muslim scholars complete a thorough examination of the isnad. They look for information about the transmitters and the transmissions and examine the matn in historical context. Once the analysis is complete, the hadith is given a rating as sahih (authentic), hasan (good), da’if (weak), and mawdu or batil (forged). If a hadith is found to be sahih or hasan, it is admissible as Sharia.

Muslims consider the Koran the Divine Word of Allah, and it is above all else in Islam. Hadith

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