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For other uses, see Hadith (disambiguation). Hadith_sentence_0

Ḥadīth (/ˈhædɪθ/ or /hɑːˈdiːθ/; Arabic: حديث‎ ʾḥadīṯ Arabic pronunciation: [ħadiːθ, pl. aḥādīth, أحاديث, ʾaḥādīṯ, Arabic pronunciation: [ʔaħadiːθ, literally means "talk" or "discourse") or Athar (Arabic: أثر‎, ʾAṯhar, literally means "tradition") in Islam refers to what Muslims believe to be a record of the words, actions, and the silent approval of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Hadith_sentence_1

Hadith have been called "the backbone" of Islamic civilization, and within that religion the authority of hadith as a source for religious law and moral guidance ranks second only to that of the Quran (which Muslims hold to be the word of God revealed to his messenger Muhammad). Hadith_sentence_2

Scriptural authority for hadith comes from the Quran which enjoins Muslims to emulate Muhammad and obey his judgments (in verses such as , ). Hadith_sentence_3

While the number of verses pertaining to law in the Quran is relatively few, hadith give direction on everything from details of religious obligations (such as Ghusl or Wudu, ablutions for salat prayer), to the correct forms of salutations and the importance of benevolence to slaves. Hadith_sentence_4

Thus the "great bulk" of the rules of Sharia (Islamic law) are derived from hadith, rather than the Quran. Hadith_sentence_5

Ḥadīth is the Arabic word for things like speech, report, account, narrative. Hadith_sentence_6

Unlike the Quran, not all Muslims believe that hadith accounts (or at least not all hadith accounts) are divine revelation. Hadith_sentence_7

Hadith were not written down by Muhammad's followers immediately after his death but many generations later when they were collected, collated and compiled into a great corpus of Islamic literature. Hadith_sentence_8

Different collections of hadīth would come to differentiate the different branches of the Islamic faith. Hadith_sentence_9

There are many modern Muslims (some of whom call themselves Quranists but many are also known as Submitters) who believe that most Hadiths are actually fabrications created in the 8th and 9th century CE, and which are falsely attributed to Muhammad. Hadith_sentence_10

Because some hadith include questionable and even contradictory statements, the authentication of hadith became a major field of study in Islam. Hadith_sentence_11

In its classic form a hadith has two parts—the chain of narrators who have transmitted the report (the isnad), and the main text of the report (the matn). Hadith_sentence_12

Individual hadith are classified by Muslim clerics and jurists into categories such as sahih ("authentic"), hasan ("good") or da'if ("weak"). Hadith_sentence_13

However, different groups and different scholars may classify a hadith differently. Hadith_sentence_14

Among scholars of Sunni Islam the term hadith may include not only the words, advice, practices, etc. of Muhammad, but also those of his companions. Hadith_sentence_15

In Shia Islam, hadīth are the embodiment of the sunnah, the words and actions of Muhammad and his family the Ahl al-Bayt (The Twelve Imams and Muhammad's daughter, Fatimah). Hadith_sentence_16

Etymology Hadith_section_0

In Arabic, the noun ḥadīth (حديث  IPA: [ħæˈdiːθ) means "report", "account", or "narrative". Hadith_sentence_17

Its Arabic plural is aḥādīth (أحاديث [ʔæħæːˈdiːθ). Hadith_sentence_18

Hadith also refers to the speech of a person. Hadith_sentence_19

Definition Hadith_section_1

In Islamic terminology, according to Juan Campo, the term hadith refers to reports of statements or actions of Muhammad, or of his tacit approval or criticism of something said or done in his presence. Hadith_sentence_20

Classical hadith specialist Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani says that the intended meaning of hadith in religious tradition is something attributed to Muhammad but that is not found in the Quran. Hadith_sentence_21

Scholar Patricia Crone includes reports by others than Muhammad in her definition of hadith: "short reports (sometimes just a line or two) recording what an early figure, such as a companion of the prophet or Muhammad himself, said or did on a particular occasion, prefixed by a chain of transmitters". Hadith_sentence_22

But she adds that "nowadays, hadith almost always means hadith from Muhammad himself." Hadith_sentence_23

However, according to the Shia Islam Ahlul Bayt Digital Library Project, "... when there is no clear Qur’anic statement, nor is there a Hadith upon which Muslim schools have agreed. Hadith_sentence_24

... Shi’a ... refer to Ahlul-Bayt [the family of Muhammad] for deriving the Sunnah of Prophet" — implying that while hadith is limited to the "Traditions" of Muhammad, the Shia Sunna draws on the sayings, etc. of the Ahlul-Bayt i.e. the Imams of Shia Islam. Hadith_sentence_25

Distinction from sunnah Hadith_section_2

The word sunnah is also used in reference to a normative custom of Muhammad or the early Muslim community. Hadith_sentence_26

Joseph Schacht describes hadith as providing "the documentation" of the sunnah. Hadith_sentence_27

Another source (Joseph A. Islam) distinguishes between the two saying: Hadith_sentence_28

Some sources (Khaled Abou El Fadl) limit hadith to verbal reports, with the deeds of Muhammad and reports about his companions being part of the sunnah, but not hadith. Hadith_sentence_29

Distinction from other literature Hadith_section_3

See also: Categories of Hadith Hadith_sentence_30

Islamic literary classifications similar to hadith (but not sunna) are maghazi and sira. Hadith_sentence_31

They differed from hadith in being organized "relatively chronologically" rather than by subject. Hadith_sentence_32


  • Sīrat (literally "way of going" or "conduct"), biographies of Muhammad, written since the middle of the eighth century. Similar writings called Maghazi (literally "raid") preceded the Sirat-literature, focusing on military actions of Muhammad, but also included non-military aspects of his life. So there is overlap in meaning of the terms, though maghazi suggests military aspects rather than general biographical ones.Hadith_item_0_0

Other "traditions" of Islam related to hadith including: Hadith_sentence_33


  • khabar (literally news, information, pl. akhbar) may be used as a synonym for hadith, but some scholars use it to refer to traditions about Muhammad's companions and their successors from the following generation, in contrast to hadith as defined as traditions about Muhammad himself. Another definition (by Ibn Warraq) describes them as "discrete anecdotes or reports" from early Islam which "include simple statements, utterances of authoritative scholars, saints, or statesmen, reports of events, and stories about historical events all varying in length from one line to several pages."Hadith_item_1_1
  • Conversely, athar (trace, vestige) usually refers to traditions about the companions and successors, though sometimes connotes traditions about Muhammad.Hadith_item_1_2

Non-prophetic hadith Hadith_section_4

Joseph Schacht quotes a hadith by Muhammad that is used "to justify reference" in Islamic law to the companions of Muhammad as religious authorities — "My companions are like lodestars." Hadith_sentence_34

According to Schacht, (and other scholars) in the very first generations after the death of Muhammad, use of hadith from Sahabah ("companions" of Muhammad) and Tabi‘un ("successors" of the companions) "was the rule", while use of hadith of Muhammad himself by Muslims was "the exception". Hadith_sentence_35

Schacht credits Al-Shafi‘i — founder of the Shafi'i school of fiqh (or madh'hab) — with establishing the principle of the use of the hadith of Muhammad for Islamic law, and emphasizing the inferiority of hadith of anyone else, saying hadiths Hadith_sentence_36

This led to "the almost complete neglect" of traditions from Companions and others. Hadith_sentence_37

Collections of hadith sometimes mix those of Muhammad with the reports of others. Hadith_sentence_38

Muwatta Imam Malik is usually described as "the earliest written collection of hadith" but sayings of Muhammad are “blended with the sayings of the companions”, (822 hadith from Muhammad and 898 from others, according to the count of one edition). Hadith_sentence_39

In Introduction to Hadith by Abd al-Hadi al-Fadli, Kitab Ali is referred to as "the first hadith book of the Ahl al-Bayt (family of Muhammad) to be written on the authority of the Prophet". Hadith_sentence_40

However, the acts, statements or approval of prophet Muhammad is called "Marfu hadith", the acts, statement or approval of companions are called "Maktu hadith", the acts, statement or approval of Tabi'un are called "Maokuf hadith". Hadith_sentence_41

Hadith and Quran Hadith_section_5

Importance of hadith complementing the Quran Hadith_section_6

Among the verses cited as proof that the Quran called on Muslims "to refrain from that which [Muhammad] forbade, to obey him and to accept his rulings" in addition to obeying the Quran, are: Hadith_sentence_42


  • "And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad (SAW)) gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it), and fear Allah. Verily, Allah is Severe in punishment" [al-Hashr 59:7]Hadith_item_2_3
  • "Say: "Obey Allah and obey the Messenger, but if you turn away, he (Messenger Muhammad (SAW)) is only responsible for the duty placed on him (i.e. to convey Allah’s Message) and you for that placed on you. If you obey him, you shall be on the right guidance. The Messengers duty is only to convey (the message) in a clear way (i.e. to preach in a plain way)" [an-Noor 24:54]Hadith_item_2_4
  • "We sent no Messenger, but to be obeyed by Allah's Leave" [an-Nisa’ 4:64]Hadith_item_2_5
  • "But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you (O Muhammad (SAW)) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission" [an-Nisa’ 4:65].Hadith_item_2_6

The hadith literature in use today is based on spoken reports in circulation after the death of Muhammad. Hadith_sentence_43

Unlike the Quran, hadith were not promptly written down during Muhammad's life or immediately after his death. Hadith_sentence_44

Hadith were evaluated and gathered into large collections during the 8th and 9th centuries, generations after the death of Muhammad, after the end of the era of the Rashidun Caliphate, over 1,000 km (620 mi) from where Muhammad lived. Hadith_sentence_45

"Many thousands of times" more numerous than Quranic verses, ahadith have been described as resembling layers surrounding the “core” of the Islamic belief (the Quran). Hadith_sentence_46

Well-known, widely accepted hadith make up the narrow inner layer, with a hadith becoming less reliable and accepted with each layer stretching outward. Hadith_sentence_47

The reports of Muhammad's (and sometimes companions) behavior collected by hadith compilers include details of ritual religious practice such as the five salat (obligatory Islamic prayers) that are not found in the Quran, but also everyday behavior such as table manners, dress, and posture. Hadith_sentence_48

Hadith are also regarded by Muslims as important tools for understanding things mentioned in the Quran but not explained, a source for tafsir (commentaries written on the Quran). Hadith_sentence_49

Some important elements, which are today taken to be a long-held part of Islamic practice and belief are not mentioned in the Quran, but are reported in hadiths. Hadith_sentence_50

Therefore, Muslims usually maintain that hadiths are a necessary requirement for the true and proper practice of Islam, as it gives Muslims the nuanced details of Islamic practice and belief in areas where the Quran is silent. Hadith_sentence_51

An example are the obligatory prayers, which are commanded in the Quran, but explained in hadith. Hadith_sentence_52

Details of prescribed movements and words of the prayer (known as rakat's) and how many times they are to be performed, are found in hadith. Hadith_sentence_53

However, hadiths differ on these details and consequently salat is performed differently by different hadithist Islamic sects. Hadith_sentence_54

Quranists, on the contrary, hold that if the Quran is silent on some matter, it is because God did not hold its detail to be of consequence; and that some hadith contradict the Quran, evidence that some hadith are a source of corruption and not a complement to the Quran. Hadith_sentence_55

(Quranists are greatly outnumbered by Sunni, Shia and other Muslims who follow the Sunna.) Hadith_sentence_56

Components, schools, types Hadith_section_7

Impact Hadith_section_8

The hadith had a profound and controversial influence on tafsir (commentaries of the Quran). Hadith_sentence_57

The earliest commentary of the Quran known as Tafsir Ibn Abbas is sometimes attributed to the companion Ibn Abbas. Hadith_sentence_58

The hadith were used in forming the basis of Sharia (the religious law system forming part of the Islamic tradition), and fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence). Hadith_sentence_59

The hadith are at the root of why there is no single fiqh system, but rather a collection of parallel systems within Islam. Hadith_sentence_60

Much of early Islamic history available today is also based on the hadith, although it has been challenged for its lack of basis in primary source material and the internal contradictions of the secondary material available. Hadith_sentence_61

Types Hadith_section_9

Hadith may be hadith qudsi (sacred hadith) — which some Muslims regard as the words of God (Arabic: Allah) — or hadith sharif (noble hadith), which are Muhammad's own utterances. Hadith_sentence_62

According to as-Sayyid ash-Sharif al-Jurjani, the hadith qudsi differ from the Quran in that the former are "expressed in Muhammad's words", whereas the latter are the "direct words of God". Hadith_sentence_63

A hadith qudsi need not be a sahih (sound hadith), but may be da‘if or even mawdu‘. Hadith_sentence_64

An example of a hadith qudsi is the hadith of Abu Hurairah who said that Muhammad said: Hadith_sentence_65

In the Shia school of thought, there are two fundamental viewpoints of hadith: The Usuli view and the Akhbari view. Hadith_sentence_66

The Usuli scholars stress the importance of scientific examination of hadiths using ijtihad while the Akhbari scholars take all hadiths from the four Shia books as authentic . Hadith_sentence_67

Components Hadith_section_10

The two major aspects of a hadith are the text of the report (the matn), which contains the actual narrative, and the chain of narrators (the isnad), which documents the route by which the report has been transmitted. Hadith_sentence_68

The isnad was an effort to document that a hadith had actually come from Muhammad, and Muslim scholars from the eighth century until today have never ceased repeating the mantra "The isnad is part of the religion — if not for the isnad, whoever wanted could say whatever they wanted." Hadith_sentence_69

The isnad means literally 'support', and it is so named due to the reliance of the hadith specialists upon it in determining the authenticity or weakness of a hadith. Hadith_sentence_70

The isnad consists of a chronological list of the narrators, each mentioning the one from whom they heard the hadith, until mentioning the originator of the matn along with the matn itself. Hadith_sentence_71

The first people to hear hadith were the companions who preserved it and then conveyed it to those after them. Hadith_sentence_72

Then the generation following them received it, thus conveying it to those after them and so on. Hadith_sentence_73

So a companion would say, "I heard the Prophet say such and such." Hadith_sentence_74

The Follower would then say, "I heard a companion say, 'I heard the Prophet.'" Hadith_sentence_75

The one after him would then say, "I heard someone say, 'I heard a Companion say, 'I heard the Prophet..." and so on. Hadith_sentence_76

Different schools Hadith_section_11

Different branches of Islam refer to different collections of hadith, though the same incident may be found in hadith in different collections: Hadith_sentence_77


In general, the difference between Shi'a and Sunni collections is that Shia give preference to hadiths credited to Muhammad's family and close associates (Ahl al-Bayt), while Sunnis do not consider family lineage in evaluating hadith and sunnah narrated by any of twelve thousand companions of Muhammad. Hadith_sentence_78

History, tradition and usage Hadith_section_12

History Hadith_section_13

Shia and Sunni textual traditions Hadith_section_14

Sunni and Shia hadith collections differ because scholars from the two traditions differ as to the reliability of the narrators and transmitters. Hadith_sentence_79

Narrators who took the side of Abu Bakr and Umar rather than Ali, in the disputes over leadership that followed the death of Muhammad, are seen as unreliable by the Shia; narrations sourced to Ali and the family of Muhammad, and to their supporters, are preferred. Hadith_sentence_80

Sunni scholars put trust in narrators such as Aisha, whom Shia reject. Hadith_sentence_81

Differences in hadith collections have contributed to differences in worship practices and shari'a law and have hardened the dividing line between the two traditions. Hadith_sentence_82

Extent and nature in the Sunni tradition Hadith_section_15

In the Sunni tradition, the number of such texts is somewhere between seven and thirteen thousand, but the number of hadiths is far greater because several isnad sharing the same text are each counted as individual hadith. Hadith_sentence_83

If, say, ten companions record a text reporting a single incident in the life of Muhammad, hadith scholars can count this as ten hadiths. Hadith_sentence_84

So Musnad Ahmad, for example, has over 30,000 hadiths—but this count includes texts that are repeated in order to record slight variations within the text or within the chains of narrations. Hadith_sentence_85

Identifying the narrators of the various texts, comparing their narrations of the same texts to identify both the soundest reporting of a text and the reporters who are most sound in their reporting occupied experts of hadith throughout the 2nd century. Hadith_sentence_86

In the 3rd century of Islam (from 225/840 to about 275/889), hadith experts composed brief works recording a selection of about two- to five-thousand such texts which they felt to have been most soundly documented or most widely referred to in the Muslim scholarly community. Hadith_sentence_87

The 4th and 5th century saw these six works being commented on quite widely. Hadith_sentence_88

This auxiliary literature has contributed to making their study the place of departure for any serious study of hadith. Hadith_sentence_89

In addition, Bukhari and Muslim in particular, claimed that they were collecting only the soundest of sound hadiths. Hadith_sentence_90

These later scholars tested their claims and agreed to them, so that today, they are considered the most reliable collections of hadith. Hadith_sentence_91

Toward the end of the 5th century, Ibn al-Qaisarani formally standardized the Sunni canon into six pivotal works, a delineation which remains to this day. Hadith_sentence_92

Over the centuries, several different categories of collections came into existence. Hadith_sentence_93

Some are more general, like the muṣannaf, the muʿjam, and the jāmiʿ, and some more specific, either characterized by the topics treated, like the sunan (restricted to legal-liturgical traditions), or by its composition, like the arbaʿīniyyāt (collections of forty hadiths). Hadith_sentence_94

Extent and nature in the Shia tradition Hadith_section_16

Shi'a Muslims seldom if ever use the six major hadith collections followed by the Sunni, as they do not trust many of the Sunni narrators and transmitters. Hadith_sentence_95

They have their own extensive hadith literature. Hadith_sentence_96

The best-known hadith collections are The Four Books, which were compiled by three authors who are known as the 'Three Muhammads'. Hadith_sentence_97

The Four Books are: Kitab al-Kafi by Muhammad ibn Ya'qub al-Kulayni al-Razi (329 AH), Man la yahduruhu al-Faqih by Muhammad ibn Babuya and Al-Tahdhib and Al-Istibsar both by Shaykh Muhammad Tusi. Hadith_sentence_98

Shi'a clerics also make use of extensive collections and commentaries by later authors. Hadith_sentence_99

Unlike Sunnis, the majority of Shia do not consider any of their hadith collections to be sahih (authentic) in their entirety. Hadith_sentence_100

Therefore, every individual hadith in a specific collection must be investigated separately to determine its authenticity. Hadith_sentence_101

However, the Akhbari school does take all hadith from the four books as authentic. Hadith_sentence_102

The importance of hadith in the Shia school of thought is well documented. Hadith_sentence_103

This can be captured by Ali ibn Abi Talib, cousin of Muhammad, when he narrated that "Whoever of our Shia (followers) knows our Shariah and takes out the weak of our followers from the darkness of ignorance to the light of knowledge (Hadith) which we (Ahl al-Bayt) have gifted to them, he on the day of judgement will come with a crown on his head. Hadith_sentence_104

It will shine among the people gathered on the plain of resurrection." Hadith_sentence_105

Hassan al-Askari, a descendant of Muhammad, gave support to this narration, stating "Whoever he had taken out in the worldly life from the darkness of ignorance can hold to his light to be taken out of the darkness of the plain of resurrection to the garden (paradise). Hadith_sentence_106

Then all those whomever he had taught in the worldly life anything of goodness, or had opened from his heart a lock of ignorance or had removed his doubts will come out." Hadith_sentence_107

Regarding the importance of maintaining accuracy in recording hadith, it has been documented that Muhammad al-Baqir, the great grandson of Muhammad, has said that "Holding back in a doubtful issue is better than entering destruction. Hadith_sentence_108

Your not narrating a Hadith is better than you narrating a Hadith in which you have not studied thoroughly. Hadith_sentence_109

On every truth, there is a reality. Hadith_sentence_110

Above every right thing, there is a light. Hadith_sentence_111

Whatever agrees with the book of Allah you must take it and whatever disagrees you must leave it alone." Hadith_sentence_112

Al-Baqir also emphasized the selfless devotion of Ahl al-Bayt to preserving the traditions of Muhammad through his conversation with Jabir ibn Abd Allah, an old companion of Muhammad. Hadith_sentence_113

He (Al-Baqir) said, "Oh Jabir, had we spoken to you from our opinions and desires, we would be counted among those who are destroyed. Hadith_sentence_114

We speak to you of the hadith which we treasure from the Messenger of Allah, Oh Allah grant compensation to Muhammad and his family worthy of their services to your cause, just as they treasure their gold and silver." Hadith_sentence_115

Further, it has been narrated that Ja'far al-Sadiq, the son of al-Baqir, has said the following regarding hadith: "You must write it down; you will not memorize until you write it down." Hadith_sentence_116

Modern usage Hadith_section_17

The mainstream sects consider hadith to be essential supplements to, and clarifications of, the Quran, Islam's holy book, as well as for clarifying issues pertaining to Islamic jurisprudence. Hadith_sentence_117

Ibn al-Salah, a hadith specialist, described the relationship between hadith and other aspect of the religion by saying: "It is the science most pervasive in respect to the other sciences in their various branches, in particular to jurisprudence being the most important of them." Hadith_sentence_118

"The intended meaning of 'other sciences' here are those pertaining to religion," explains Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, "Quranic exegesis, hadith, and jurisprudence. Hadith_sentence_119

The science of hadith became the most pervasive due to the need displayed by each of these three sciences. Hadith_sentence_120

The need hadith has of its science is apparent. Hadith_sentence_121

As for Quranic exegesis, then the preferred manner of explaining the speech of God is by means of what has been accepted as a statement of Muhammad. Hadith_sentence_122

The one looking to this is in need of distinguishing the acceptable from the unacceptable. Hadith_sentence_123

Regarding jurisprudence, then the jurist is in need of citing as an evidence the acceptable to the exception of the later, something only possible utilizing the science of hadith." Hadith_sentence_124

Studies and authentication Hadith_section_18

Main article: Hadith studies Hadith_sentence_125

According to Bernard Lewis, "in the early Islamic centuries there could be no better way of promoting a cause, an opinion, or a faction than to cite an appropriate action or utterance of the Prophet." Hadith_sentence_126

To fight these forgeries, the elaborate science of hadith studies was devised to authenticate hadith known as ilm al jarh or ilm al dirayah Hadith_sentence_127

Hadith studies use a number of methods of evaluation developed by early Muslim scholars in determining the veracity of reports attributed to Muhammad. Hadith_sentence_128

This is achieved by Hadith_sentence_129


  • the individual narrators involved in its transmission,Hadith_item_4_13
  • the scale of the report's transmission,Hadith_item_4_14
  • analyzing the text of the report, andHadith_item_4_15
  • the routes through which the report was transmitted.Hadith_item_4_16

On the basis of these criteria, various classifications were devised for hadith. Hadith_sentence_130

The earliest comprehensive work in hadith studies was Abu Muhammad al-Ramahurmuzi's al-Muhaddith al-Fasil, while another significant work was al-Hakim al-Naysaburi's Ma‘rifat ‘ulum al-hadith. Hadith_sentence_131

Ibn al-Salah's ʻUlum al-hadith is considered the standard classical reference on hadith studies. Hadith_sentence_132

Some schools of Hadith methodology apply as many as sixteen separate tests. Hadith_sentence_133

Biographical evaluation Hadith_section_19

Main article: Biographical evaluation Hadith_sentence_134

Biographical analysis (‘ilm al-rijāl, lit. Hadith_sentence_135

"science of people", also "science of Asma Al-Rijal or ‘ilm al-jarḥ wa al-taʻdīl ("science of discrediting and accrediting"), in which details about the transmitter are scrutinized. Hadith_sentence_136

This includes analyzing their date and place of birth; familial connections; teachers and students; religiosity; moral behaviour; literary output; their travels; as well as their date of death. Hadith_sentence_137

Based upon these criteria, the reliability (thiqāt) of the transmitter is assessed. Hadith_sentence_138

Also determined is whether the individual was actually able to transmit the report, which is deduced from their contemporaneity and geographical proximity with the other transmitters in the chain. Hadith_sentence_139

Examples of biographical dictionaries include: Abd al-Ghani al-Maqdisi's Al-Kamal fi Asma' al-Rijal, Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani's Tahdhīb al-Tahdhīb and al-Dhahabi's Tadhkirat al-huffaz. Hadith_sentence_140

Scale of transmission Hadith_section_20

Hadith on matters of importance needed to come through a number of independent chains, this was known as the scale of transmission. Hadith_sentence_141

Reports that passed through many reliable transmitters in many isnad up until their collection and transcription are known as mutawātir. Hadith_sentence_142

These reports are considered the most authoritative as they pass through so many different routes that collusion between all of the transmitters becomes an impossibility. Hadith_sentence_143

Reports not meeting this standard are known as aahad, and are of several different types. Hadith_sentence_144

Analyzing text Hadith_section_21

According to Muhammad Shafi, Hadith whose isnad has been scrutinized then have their text or matn examined for Hadith_sentence_145


  • contradiction of the QuranHadith_item_5_17
  • contradiction of reliable hadithHadith_item_5_18
  • making sense, being logicalHadith_item_5_19
  • being a report about the importance of an individual (or individuals) which is transmitted only through their supporters or family, and which is not supported by reports from other independent channels.Hadith_item_5_20

However, Joseph Schacht states that the "whole technical criticism of traditions ... is mainly based on criticism of isnads", which he (and others) believe to be ineffective in eliminating fraudulent hadith. Hadith_sentence_146

Terminology: admissible and inadmissible hadiths Hadith_section_22

Main article: Hadith terminology Hadith_sentence_147

Having been evaluated, hadith may be categorized. Hadith_sentence_148

Two categories are: Hadith_sentence_149


  • ṣaḥīḥ (sound, authentic),Hadith_item_6_21
  • ḍaʿīf (weak);Hadith_item_6_22

Other classifications include: Hadith_sentence_150


  • ḥasan (good), which refers to an otherwise ṣaḥīḥ report suffering from minor deficiency, or a weak report strengthened due to numerous other corroborating reports;Hadith_item_7_23
  • mawḍūʿ (fabricated),Hadith_item_7_24
  • munkar (denounced) which is a report that is rejected due to the presence of an unreliable transmitter contradicting another more reliable narrator.Hadith_item_7_25

Both sahīh and hasan reports are considered acceptable for usage in Islamic legal discourse. Hadith_sentence_151

Criticism Hadith_section_23

Critics have complained that, contrary to the description above where the matn is scrutinized, the process of authenticating hadith "was confined to a careful examination of the chain of transmitters who narrated the report and not report itself. Hadith_sentence_152

'Provided the chain was uninterrupted and its individual links deemed trustworthy persons, the Hadith was accepted as binding law. Hadith_sentence_153

There could, by the terms of the religious faith itself, be no questioning of the content of the report; for this was the substance of divine revelation and therefore not susceptible to any form of legal or historical criticism,'" according to scholar N.J. Coulson. Hadith_sentence_154

Criticism Hadith_section_24

Main article: Criticism of Hadith Hadith_sentence_155

See also: Goldziher Hadith_sentence_156

The major points of intra-Muslim criticism of the hadith literature is based in questions regarding its authenticity. Hadith_sentence_157

However, Muslim criticism of hadith is also based on theological and philosophical Islamic grounds of argument and critique. Hadith_sentence_158

With regard to clarity, Imam Ali al-Ridha has narrated that "In our Hadith there are Mutashabih (unclear ones) like those in al-Quran as well as Muhkam (clear ones) like those of al-Quran. Hadith_sentence_159

You must refer the unclear ones to the clear ones.”. Hadith_sentence_160

Muslim scholars have a long history of questioning the hadith literature throughout Islamic history. Hadith_sentence_161

Western academics also became active in the field later, starting in 1890, but much more often since 1950. Hadith_sentence_162

See also Hadith_section_25


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hadith.