Kutub al-Sittah

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The Kutub al-Sittah (Arabic: ٱلْكُتُب ٱلسِّتَّة‎, romanized: al-Kutub as-Sittah, lit. Kutub al-Sittah_sentence_0

'The six books') are six (originally five) books containing collections of hadith (sayings or acts of the Islamic prophet Muhammad) compiled by six Sunni Muslim scholars in the ninth century CE, approximately two centuries after the death of Muhammad. Kutub al-Sittah_sentence_1

They are sometimes referred to as al-Sahih al-Sittah, which translates as "The Authentic Six". Kutub al-Sittah_sentence_2

They were first formally grouped and defined by Ibn al-Qaisarani in the 11th century, who add Sunan ibn Majah to the list. Kutub al-Sittah_sentence_3

Since then, they have enjoyed near-universal acceptance as part of the official canon of Sunni Islam. Kutub al-Sittah_sentence_4

Not all Sunni Muslim jurisprudence scholars agree on the addition of Ibn Majah. Kutub al-Sittah_sentence_5

In particular, the Malikis and Ibn al-Athir consider al-Muwatta' to be the sixth book. Kutub al-Sittah_sentence_6

The reason for the addition of Ibn Majah's Sunan is that it contains many Hadiths which do not figure in the other five, whereas all the Hadiths in the Muwatta' figure in the other Sahih books. Kutub al-Sittah_sentence_7

Significance Kutub al-Sittah_section_0

Sunni Muslims view the six major hadith collections as their most important, though the order of authenticity varies between Madhhabs: Kutub al-Sittah_sentence_8

Kutub al-Sittah_ordered_list_0

  1. Sahih Bukhari, collected by Imam Bukhari (d. 256 AH, 870 CE), includes 7,563 ahadith (including repetitions, around 2,600 without repetitions)Kutub al-Sittah_item_0_0
  2. Sahih Muslim, collected by Muslim b. al-Hajjaj (d. 261 AH, 875 CE), includes 7,500 ahadith (including repetitions, around 3,033 without repetitions)Kutub al-Sittah_item_0_1
  3. Sunan al-Sughra, collected by al-Nasa'i (d. 303 AH, 915 CE), includes 5,270 ahadith (including repetitions)Kutub al-Sittah_item_0_2
  4. Sunan Abu Dawood, collected by Abu Dawood (d. 275 AH, 888 CE), includes 5,274 ahadith (including repetitions)Kutub al-Sittah_item_0_3
  5. Jami al-Tirmidhi, collected by al-Tirmidhi (d. 279 AH, 892 CE), includes 4,400 ahadith (including repetitions, only 83 are repeated)Kutub al-Sittah_item_0_4
  6. Either:Kutub al-Sittah_item_0_5

Kutub al-Sittah_unordered_list_1

The first two, commonly referred to as the Two Sahihs as an indication of their authenticity, contain approximately seven thousand hadiths altogether if repetitions are not counted, according to Ibn Hajar. Kutub al-Sittah_sentence_9

Authors Kutub al-Sittah_section_1

According to the Cambridge History of Iran: "After this period commences the age of the authors of the six canonical collections of Sunni hadith, all of whom were Persian, except Imam Malik. Kutub al-Sittah_sentence_10

The authors of the six collections are as follows: Kutub al-Sittah_sentence_11

Kutub al-Sittah_ordered_list_2

  1. Muhammad b. Isma'il al-Bukhari, the author of the Sahih Bukhari, which he composed over a period of sixteen years. Traditional sources quote Bukhari as saying that he did not record any hadith before performing ablution and praying. Bukhari died near Samarqand in 256/869–70Kutub al-Sittah_item_2_8
  2. Muslim b. Hajjaj al-Naishapuri, who died in Nishapur in 261/874–5 and whose Sahih Muslim is second in authenticity only to that of Bukhari. Some scholars rate the authenticity of Sahih Muslim more than Sahih BukhariKutub al-Sittah_item_2_9
  3. Abu Dawood Sulaiman b. Ash'ath al-Sijistani, a Persian but of Arab descent, who died in 275/888–9.Kutub al-Sittah_item_2_10
  4. Muhammad b. 'Isa al-Tirmidhi, the author of the well-known as Sunan al-Tirmidhi, who was a student of Bukhari and died in 279/892–3.Kutub al-Sittah_item_2_11
  5. Abu 'Abd al-Rahman al-Nasa'i, who was from Khurasan and died in 303/915–16.Kutub al-Sittah_item_2_12
  6. Ibn Majah al-Qazwini, who died in 273/886–7.Kutub al-Sittah_item_2_13
  7. Malik was born the son of Anas ibn Malik (not the Sahabi) and Aaliyah bint Shurayk al-Azdiyya in Medina circa 711. His family was originally from the al-Asbahi tribe of Yemen, but his great grandfather Abu 'Amir relocated the family to Medina after converting to Islam in the second year of the Hijri calendar, or 623 CE. According to Al-Muwatta, he was tall, heavyset, imposing of stature, very fair, with white hair and beard but bald, with a huge beard and blue eyes. In chronological order his work was compiled even earlier than Sahih Bukhari, therefore Al-Muwatta is highly regarded in Islamic literature.Kutub al-Sittah_item_2_14

See also Kutub al-Sittah_section_2

Kutub al-Sittah_unordered_list_3

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kutub al-Sittah.