Hadeeth (Prophetic Narrations)


The Objective of the Site:

The goal of this website (sunnah.com) is to provide the first online, authentic, searchable, and multilingual (English/Arabic at the individual hadith level) database of collections of hadith from our beloved Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him.

Therefore, you can search in English or Arabic. Not only will the Arabic come up, but the translation too.

Some of the books on the site:


صحيح البخاري
صحيح مسلم
سنن النسائي
سنن أبي داود
جامع الترمذي
سنن ابن ماجه
موطأ مالك
الأربعون النووية
رياض الصالحين
الأدب المفرد
الحديث القدسي
الشمائل المحمدية 

madinah88999Sunnah or Hadith is the second source from which the teachings of Islam are drawn. Hadith literally means a saying conveyed to man, but in Muhaditheen's terminology Hadith means sayings of the Prophet, his action or practice of his silent approval of the action or practice. Hadith and Sunnah are used interchangeably, but sometimes these are used for different meanings.

To deal with the topic it is necessary to know the position of the Prophet in Islam, because the indispensibility of Hadith depends upon the position of the Prophet.

Analyzing the problem we can visualize three possibilities:

1. The duty of the Prophet was only to convey the message and nothing more was required from him.

2. He had not only to convey the message but also to act upon it and to explain it. But all that was for the specified period and after his death Qur'an is sufficient to guide humanity.

3. No doubt he had to convey the Divine Message but it was also his duty to act upon it and to explain it to the people. His actions and explanations are a source of guidance forever. His sayings, actions, practices and explanations are a source of light for every Muslim in every age.

The learned men of the Muslim Ummah are of the unanimous view that only the third point is the correct assessment of the Prophet's position in Islam. The Qur'an contains dozens of reminders of the important position of the Prophet. For instance the Qur'an says:

"And verily in the messenger of Allah ye have a good example for him who looketh unto Allah and the last day and remembereth Allah much." [Al-Ahzab 31]

According to this verse, every Muslim is bound to have the good example of the Prophet as an ideal in life. In another verse he has been made a 'Hakam' for the Muslims by Allah Almighty. No one remains Muslim if he does not accept the Prophet's decisions and judgements:

"But no, by thy Lord, they can have no real faith until they make thee judge in all disputes between them and find in their souls no resistance against thy decisions but accept them with the fullest conviction." [An-Nisa: 65]

While explaining the qualities of Muslims the Qur'an says:

"The answer of the believers, when summoned to Allah and His apostle, in order that He may judge between them, is no other than this: They say: we hear and we obey." [An-Nur: 51]

In many places the Qur'an has given its verdict on this issue. The Qur'an says:

"Obey Allah and obey the Messenger." [An-Nisa 59]

And: "Whatever the Messenger giveth you take it and whatever he forbiddeth abstain from it." [Al-Hashr: 7]

Qur'an is very clear in expressing its view on the position of the Prophet. According to the Qur'an, the Prophet has four capacities and he must be obeyed in every capacity. He is Mu`allim wa Murabbee, he is a law-giver and judge, he is Shaari' one who explains the Book, and he is a ruler. In all these capacities he is an ideal example for the Muslims. I am quoting a few verses of the Holy Book just to give a hint of this topic.

"Allah did confer a great favour on the believers when He sentamong them an apostle from among themselves rehearsing untothem the signs of Allah, sanctifying them in scripture andwisdom while, before that, they had been in manifest error." [Al-Imran: 164]

"And We have sent down unto thee the Message that thou mayest explain clearly to men what is sent for them."[An-Nahl: 44]

"For he commands them what is just and forbids them what is evil; he allows them as lawful what is good and pure and prohibits them from what is bad and impure. He releases them from their heavy burdens and from the yokes that are upon them." [Al-Araf: 157]

"O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the apostle, and those charged with authority among you. If ye differ in anything amongst yourselves refer it to Allah and His Apostle, if you believe in Allah and the last day." [An-Nisa: 59]

"It is not fitting for a believer, man or woman when a matter has been decided by Allah and His apostle to have any option about their decision. If any one disobeys Allah and His apostle, he is indeed on a clearly wrong path." [Al-Ahzab: 36]

In all these verses, the Qur'an has explained various aspects of the Prophets personality. One can judge the importance of the Prophet from these verses. I am reminded of another important verse of the Qur'an, which is actually a verdict against those who do not believe in Hadith as an authentic source of law:

"If any one contends with the Prophet even after guidance has been plainly conveyed to him, and follows a path other than that becoming to men of faith, We shall leave him in the path he has chosen and land him in Hell, what an evil refuge." [An-Nisa: 110]

The Qur'an while pressing the Muslims to obey the Prophet, goes a step further when it announces that the Prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him) is above all the limitations of time and space. He is the last Prophet and is a Messenger of Allah for the whole of humanity for all time to come.

Hadith is nothing but a reflection of the personality of the Prophet, who is to be obeyed at every cost.

Any student of the Qur'an will see that the Holy Book generally deals with the broad principles or essentials of religion, going into details in very rare cases. The details were generously supplied by the Prophet himself, either by showing in his practice how an injunction shall be carried out, or by giving an explanation in words. The Sunnah or Hadith of the Holy Prophet was not, as is generally supposed, a thing of which the need may have been felt only after his death, for it was very much needed in his lifetime. The two most important religious institutions of Islam are Prayer and Zakat; yet when the injunction relating to Prayer and Zakat were delivered, and they were repeatedly revealed in both Mecca and Madinah, no details were supplied. Keep up Prayers (aqimoo as-salaah) the Qur'anic injunction and it was the Prophet himself who by his own actions gave details of the prayer and said: (Salloo kamaa ra'aytamoonee usaallee) "Pray as you see me praying."

Payment of Zakah is again an injunction frequently repeated in the Qur'an, yet it was the Prophet (peace be upon him) who gave the rules and regulations for its payment and collection. These are but two example; but since Islam covers the entire sphere of human activities, hundreds of points had to be explained by the Prophet (peace be upon him) by his example in action and in words.

The Scholars have discussed the question of Hadith in detail as a prophetic wisdom. I do not want to go into the details, but one thing must be stated clearly that there were cases when the Prophet, not having received a revelation, made a personal effort to formulate opinion through his own wisdom. Either it was corrected by revelation or it was approved. The importance of the Sunnah even as a second source of Islam was a settled issue for the Companions of the Prophet. I quote only one of the many examples: That of Mu'adh ibn Jabal, who said to the Prophet that he would decide according to the Sunnah if he did not find the solution to a problem in the Book. To quote Dr. Hamidullah:

"The importance of Hadith is increased for the Muslim by the fact that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) not only taught, but took the opportunity of putting his teachings into practice in all the important affairs of life. He lived for twenty three years after his appointment as the Messenger of Allah. He endowed his community with a religion, which he scrupulously practiced himself. He founded a state, which he administered as the supreme head, maintaining internal peace and order, heading armies for external defense, judging and deciding the litigations of his subjects, punishing the criminals and legislating in all walks of life. He married and left a model of family life. Another important fact is that he did not declare himself to be above the ordinary law which he imposed on others. His practice was not mere private conduct, but a detailed interpretation and application of his teachings." (Introduction to Islam, page 23)

The man, therefore, who embraced Islam stood in need of both the Qur'an and the Sunnah. Actually, Hadith is so important that without it one cannot fully understand the Qur'aan and Islam or be able to apply it in one's life.

madiinah67Sunnah in the Arabic language (without any religious context) means a way or method which can have two states, either a good Sunnah or a bad Sunnah.

As Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said in a hadith:

"Whosoever does a good Sunnah he will get the reward for it and the reward from other people doing the same thing until the day of judgment. And whosoever does a bad Sunnah he will have the punishment from doing it and the punishment of others who practice it." [Muslim]

The definition of Sunnah differs, however, depending on the area of Sharee'ah. For example, a scholar in the area of Usool (fundamental principles) will define Sunnah as whatever was reported that Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, did, or permitted to do. As an example of what he said, are the hadeeths which deal with the different Ahkaam (regulations) in different contexts, such as his (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) saying:

"The reward of deeds depends on intentions..." [Bukhari & Muslim]

An example of what he did is that which his Companions have reported of him (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) doing in the matters of 'Ibaadaat (acts of worship), such as: The way to perform Salaat (prayer), Hajj (pilgrimage) and Adab us-Siyaam (etiquette of fasting). An example of what he (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) permitted to do is whenever he kept silent upon seeing the Companions doing things; his (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) silence served as approval; or his acknowledgment to the Companions that they did the right thing. An example of his permission is when the Companions made Ijtihaad (decision by reasoning) during the battle of Bani Quraydha. He (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: "Do not pray 'Asr till you are at Bani Quraydha." [Bukhari & Muslim]

Some of the Companions understood that to mean that they should delay prayer till they reach the place. However, some Companions understood that to mean that they have to hurry, and so they did pray 'Asr on time. In neither case did the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) say anyone of them was wrong and he did not reject what they did. Another example where Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said something when he saw an action by a Companion is when Khalid ibn al-Waleed ate a lizard that Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) refused to eat. Some of the Companions wondered, and asked him "Is it haraam (unlawful) to eat it, O Messenger of Allah?" The Prophet replied:

"No, but it is not common in my area, and I don't feel to eat it." [Bukhari & Muslim]

Another familiar meaning of Sunnah is that of legal daleel (evidence, proof) whether it is in the Qur’aan, the Prophet's sayings, or Ijtihaad by the Companions, such as the collection of Qur’aan in one book and unifying the reading of the Qur’aan on one Harf (reading style). Opposite to this is Bid'ah (innovation); Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said clearly: "Follow my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the righteous Caliphs after me" and did not say follow my bid'ah which should not be taken to mean the same as Sunnah. This can be shown by the definition used in Fiqh where we say this is the "Sunnah" divorce and that is the "Bid'ah" divorce.

These differences in looking at Sunnah is dependent on the faculty of scholars, just like any area of science where definitions vary.

In general we can define the Sunnah as whatever Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said or did to be way of life for us.

madinahbirdsThe Companions of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) used to take the ruling on different matters in their lives from the Qur’aan, which they use to learn from Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam). In many instances, the aayaat (verses) of the Qur’aan treat a subject in a general manner without a specific condition. Sometimes the aayaat will come as an absolute ruling without any precondition or limitation required by time, place, etc. As an example of what came in a general way in the Qur’aan is the Salaat. The Qur’aan does not mention how many Rak'ahs (units of prayer) we should make, or how to physically move during prayer, or the time for prayer. Similarly, the Qur’aan does not mention the minimum amount of money to have before giving Zakaat (charity) or the conditions by which to pay it. Many of our 'Ibaadaat cannot be performed without stopping at the explanations related to the regulations, pillars, and conditions of nullification.

It is thus a must to return to Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) to know the rules in a comprehensive and clear manner.

Many times, the Companions faced incidents in which the Qur’aan didn't mention the ruling, and there was a need to return to the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) to know the ruling of such matters. It was the Prophet who was ordered by Allah (subhaanahu wa ta'aalaa) to teach humanity, and it is the Prophet who is the most knowledgeable of mankind about that which Allah (subhaanahu wa ta'aalaa) expects from us.

Allah (subhaanahu wa ta'aalaa) has told us about the duty of Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) with respect to the Qur’aan, where Allah (subhaanahu wa ta'aalaa) said:

"And We have sent down unto thee (also) the Message; that thou mayest explain clearly to men what is sent for them, and that they may give thought." [Qur’aan 16:44]

Allah also made it clear to us that the duty of Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) is to clarify the truth to people when there is a dispute:

"And We sent down the Book to thee for the express purpose, that thou shouldst make clear to them those things in which they differ, and that it should be a guide and a mercy to those who believe." [Qur’aan 16:64]

We are obligated to follow Rasoolullaah's (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) ruling in any dispute:

"But no, by the Lord, they can have no (real) Faith, until they make thee judge in all disputes between them, and find in their souls no resistance against Thy decisions, but accept them with the fullest conviction." [Qur’aan 4:65]

Allah also mentioned that Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) was given the Qur’aan and Wisdom to teach people the regulations of their religion:

"Allah did confer a great favour on the believers when He sent among them an apostle from among themselves, rehearsing unto them the Signs of Allah, sanctifying them, and instructing them in Scripture and Wisdom, while, before that, they had been in manifest error." [Qur’aan 3:164]

Regarding the last aayah, most scholars and those of great knowledge said that the wisdom mentioned in the aayah means another thing besides the Qur’aan. It is what Allah (subhaanahu wa ta'aalaa) has given Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) from the knowledge of matters and regulations that the rest of humanity can not attain. Imaam Ash-Shaafi`ee (rahimahullaah) has said that:

"Allah subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa has mentioned the scripture which is the Qur’aan, and he mentioned wisdom and I have learned from the people of knowledge that the wisdom here is the Sunnah of Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam). It is from the mercy of Allah (subhaanahu wa ta'aalaa) that He has sent to us a way to practice what is in the Qur’aan."

Allah (subhaanahu wa ta'aalaa) did not stop by saying scripture only, but the inclusion of the Sunnah with the Qur’aan is an indication of its important and the obligation on us to follow it as we have to follow the Qur’aan. Imaam Ash-Shaafi'ee goes on to saying that the letter 'wa' ('and' between Scripture and Wisdom in the aayah) is a letter of conjunctions in Arabic which requires that the two parts it joins must be different otherwise the sentence will be redundant, and Allah (subhaanahu wa ta' aalaa) is far away from that; na`oodhu billaah. And so when Allah (subhaanahu wa ta'aalaa) said that he has conferred a great favor on the believers, He does not confer anything that is not correct and truthful. Therefore, this wisdom must be followed as the Qur’aan, and Allah (subhaanahu wa ta'aalaa) has never ordered us to follow anything but Him and His Messenger (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam). Which must mean that this wisdom is what came from Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) in the form of rules and sayings regarding legislation.

To clarify the concept of Sunnah and our obligation to follow it, Allah (subhaanahu wa ta'aalaa) said:

"Those who follow the apostle, the unlettered Prophet, whom they find mentioned in their own (scriptures),- in the law and the Gospel;- for he commands them what is just and forbids them what is evil; he allows them as lawful what is good (and pure) and prohibits them from what is bad (and impure); He releases them from their heavy burdens and from the yokes that are upon them. So it is those who believe in him, honour him, help him, and follow the light which is sent down with him,- it is they who will prosper." [Qur’aan 7:157]

Because this teaching is mentioned in general in this aayah, then it must include the rules in the Qur’aan and Sunnah.

A very strong indicator of the obligation upon us to follow the Sunnah can be found in this aayah:

"...And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam)) gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it) , and fear Allah. Verily, Allah is severe in punishment." [Qur’aan 59:7] Allah has also made the obedience of Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) in conjunction with the obedience to Him:

"And obey Allah and the Messenger, that ye may obtain mercy." [Qur’aan 3:132]

We are asked by Allah (subhaanahu wa ta'aalaa) to answer any command by Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam):

"O ye who believe! give your response to Allah and His Messenger, when He calleth you to that which will give you life." [Qur’aan 8:24]

Allah made the obedience of Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) an obedience to Him, and following Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) an indication of the love of Allah, subhaanahu wa ta'aalaa:

"He who obeys the Messenger, obeys Allah." [Qur’aan 4:80]

"Say: If ye do love Allah, Follow me: Allah will love you and forgive your sins." [Qur’aan 3:31]

And Allah (subhaanahu wa ta'aalaa) warned us from not following the instructions of Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam):

"Then let those beware who withstand the Messenger’s order, lest some trial befall them, or a grievous penalty be inflicted on them." [Qur’aan 24:63]

Not only that, but Allah (subhaanahu wa ta'aalaa) told us that disobeying Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) is Kufr (disbelief):

"Say: Obey Allah and His Messenger. But if they turn back, Allah loveth not those who reject Faith." [Qur’aan 3:32]

It was never allowed by Allah (subhaanahu wa ta'aalaa) that a believer disobey Rasoolullaah's (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) order:

"It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision: if any one disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path." [Qur’aan 33:36]

To show that not following the ruling of Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) when a dispute occurs is a sign of hypocrisy, Allah (subhaanahu wa ta'aalaa) says:

"They say, 'We believe in Allah and in the apostle, and we obey'; but even after that, some of them turn away; they are not (really) Believers. When they are summoned to Allah and His apostle, in order that He may judge between them, behold some of them decline (to come)....The answer of the Believers, when summoned to Allah and His Messenger, in order that He may judge between them, is no other than this: they say, "We hear and we obey"; it is such as these that will attain felicity." [Qur’aan 24:47-51]


Abdullah ibn Al-Mubarak used to often stay at home, so he was asked, "Don’t you get lonely?" He replied,

"How can I get lonely when I am with the Prophet (salla Allahu alayhi wasallam, i.e. I read his hadith)?"

(Ibn ‘Asâkir, Târîkh Dimishq, Vol. 32, p.458.)


Even if I were to spend my whole life,

Fighting off the soul’s strife,

Completing the day-to-day chores of a wife,

But studying the Prophetic Narrations with a heartfelt drive,

By the Will of Allah, the Most Wise,

I’d surely have made the most of my life.


Each time the soul endures,

The painstaking hours by which to adore,

Each word from the ahaadeeth of the Prophet of our Lord,

Allowing each breath and heart beat to run with it in unison and flow,

Pushing away the sadness and worries deep inside below,

By walking into a door,

Not only travelled by me, but also by many of those who lived afore.


I wasn’t given the chance to live in his time,

Nor see the Prophetic seal, the Prophetic Sign,

But I will strive hard to go back in time,

And live those moments through the narrations passed down in line…

Regarding the man who was the last Prophet before the end of time.


Then, just maybe, maybe I will see him,

Allah is All Forgiving, although right now the chances seem dim,

For I have a lot yet to learn and win,

But I hope that I am on the path, even if it’s just virtually on the brim,

Of catching on to something great,

By studying about him and refuting those who hate

His Noble ways, before it’s too late.


O Allah make me not wait,

Till the hereafter to see him, make it in my fate,

That I see him in this life within my dreams,

Beams upon beams, light upon light,

To take away my heart’s plight,

And give me the drive to study, teach, write and cite,

Although I know I’ll never truly fulfil his blessed right.


Even if I were to spend my whole life on this path,

I ask Allah for sincerity, His Pleasure and to save me from His Wrath,

So that although I came from the last,

I hope to be among the first to run into Paradise

….at last.


It was once said to ‘Abdullah b. Al-Mubârak, “O Abû ‘Abd Al-Rahmân, you often sit alone at home.” He said,

“I am alone? I am with the Prophet – Allâh’s peace and blessings be upon him – and his Companions.” Meaning: reading hadîth. (Ibn ‘Asâkir, Târîkh Dimishq Vol. 32 p458.)

Shaqîq b. Ibrâhîm reports:

It was once said to ‘Abdullah b. Al-Mubârak, “After you have prayed with us you don’t sit with us?” He replied,

“I go and sit with the Sahâbah and the Tâbi’în.”

We said, “And how can you sit with the Sahâbah and Tâbi’în (when they have all passed away)?” He replied,

“I go and read the knowledge I have collected, I find their narrations and deeds. What would I do with you? You sit around backbiting people.” (Al-Dhahabî, Siyar A’lâm Al-Nubalâ` in his biography of ‘Abdullah b. Al-Mubârak)

booksreadIt is reported that once a heretic was brought to Harun al-Rashid (the ‘Abbasi Khalif) who subsequently ordered his execution.

The heretic said to him, ‘Why are you executing me?’

He said, ‘To relieve the worshippers of you (and your heresy).’

The heretic said, ‘And what can you do about the one thousand narrations that I attributed to the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) although he did not utter a single letter of them?’

Al-Rashid then said to him,

‘O enemy of Allah! And what can do you about Abu Ishaq al-Fazari and Ibn al-Mubarak who will sift through them and extract them one by one!’

Source: Tadhkirat al-Huffadh by Imam al-Dhahabi.


The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to teach the Sunnah to his companions in word and deed, and urged them to follow it, as he said in his hadeeth: “Adhere to my Sunnah” and “Whoever neglects my Sunnah does not belong to me.”

‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no Prophet whom Allaah sent to any nation before me, but he had disciples from among his nation, and companions who followed his Sunnah and obeyed his commands.” (Narrated by Muslim, no. 71). Some aspects of the Sunnah are waajib (obligatory) and some are mustahabb (encouraged). The Muslim should follow the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), whether it is waajib or mustahabb, as long as it is proven in sound reports.

The Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) used to spread the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) among people and they called people to follow it. Some examples follow:

The proper number of Takbeeraat during prayer is Sunnah

‘Ikrimah said: I prayed behind an old man in Makkah (i.e., Zuhr) and he said Takbeer twenty-two times. I said to Ibn ‘Abbaas that the man was a fool. He said,

“may your mother lose you! The Sunnah of Abu’l-Qaasim (saas) (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was to say Takbeer five times in each rak’ah, plus the Takbeer for ihraam and for standing up for the third rak’ah." (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, no. 746).

Sitting muftarishan in prayer is Sunnah

‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Abd-Allaah narrated: I used to see ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) sitting with his legs crossed when he sat (to recite Tashahhud during the prayer). I was a mere youngster, and I did the same, but ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar told me not to do that. He said the Sunnah is to put your right foot upright and to fold the left foot beneath you [this is what is meant by Iftiraash or “sitting muftarishan” – Translator]. I said to him, ‘You do not do that.’ He said,

‘My legs do not let me [i.e., because of old age or sickness].’” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, no. 784).

It is Sunnah for a traveller to shorten his prayers if he misses praying a prescribed prayer with an imaam

Moosaa ibn Salamah al-Hudhali said: I asked Ibn ‘Abbaas, "How should I pray if I am in Makkah and I do not pray with the imaam?" He said,

"Two rak’ahs is the Sunnah of Abu’l-Qaasim (saas) (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)." (Narrated by Muslim, no. 1111).

Hajj al-Tamattu’ is Sunnah

[Hajj al-Tamattu’: this is when the pilgrim enters ihraam for ‘Umrah only, performs ‘Umra, finishes ihraam and then later enters a new ihraam for Hajj – Translator].

Muhammad ibn al-Muthannaa and Ibn Bashshaar said, Muhammad ibn Ja’far told us, Shu’bah told us: I heard Abu Jamrah al-Duba’i say: “I wanted to do Hajj al-Tamattu’, and some people told me not to do that. I went to Ibn ‘Abbaas and asked him about it, and he told me to do it. Then I went home and slept, and someone came to me in my dream and said,

"An accepted ‘Umrah and Hajj Mabroor [Hajj done in accordance with the Sunnah of the Prophet (saas) (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and accepted by Allaah]."

I came to Ibn ‘Abbaas and told him about what I had seen (in my dream) and he said:

"Allaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar, the Sunnah of Abu’l-Qaasim (saas) (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)." (Narrated by Muslim, 2183, and by al-Bukhaari, no. 1465).

Praying two rak’ahs after each Tawaaf is Sunnah

Ismaa’eel ibn Umayyah said: I said to al-Zuhri that ‘Ataa’ was saying that the prescribed prayer was sufficient and there was no need to do two rak’ahs after Tawaaf. He said:

"The Sunnah is better. Abu’l-Qaasim never did Tawaaf seven times around the Ka’bah but he prayed two Rak’ahs afterwards." (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, Baab salaa al-Nabi (saas) (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) li suboo’ihi rak’atayn.)

Keeping the khutbah short and hastening to stand at ‘Arafaah is Sunnah

Saalim said: ‘Abd al-Malik wrote to al-Hajjaaj telling him not to differ from Ibn ‘Umar concerning the (rituals of) Hajj. Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) came at noon on the Day of ‘Arafaah, and I was with him. He called at the pavilion of al-Hajjaaj, who came out wearing a wrap dyed with safflower. He said, “What is the matter, O Abu ‘Abd al-Rahmaan?’ [Ibn ‘Umar] said, ‘Let us go, if you want to follow the Sunnah.’ [Al-Hajjaaj] said, ‘Now?’ [Ibn ‘Umar] said, ‘Yes.’ Al-Hajjaaj said, ‘Wait for me, while I pour water on my head, then I will come out.’ So Ibn ‘Umar waited until al-Hajjaaj came out, then he walked between me and my father. I said,

‘If you want to follow the Sunnah, keep the khutbah short and hasten to stand at ‘Arafaah.’

He looked at ‘Abd-Allaah and when ‘Abd-Allaah noticed that, he said, ‘he is telling the truth.’” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, no. 1550).

Going from Muzdalifah to Mina at daybreak is Sunnah

‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Yazeed said: “We went out with ‘Abd-Allaah (may Allaah be pleased with him) to Makkah, then we came to Muzdalifah and prayed the two prayers [Maghrib and ‘Ishaa’], each with its own Adhaan and Iqaamah, and we ate dinner between the two prayers. Then he prayed Fajr when dawn came and some were saying that dawn had come and others were saying that it had not come. Then he waited until the day got brighter, then he said:

if the Ameer al-Mu’mineen [‘Uthmaan] moves on towards Mina now, he will be following the Sunnah.

I am not sure which came first, ‘Abd-Allaah’s comment or ‘Uthmaan’s setting out for Mina. He kept reciting Talbiyah until he reached Jamrat al-‘Aqabah and threw the stones on the Day of Sacrifice (Yawm al-Nahr).” (al-Bukhaari, 1571).

Doing the prayer before the khutbah on Eid is Sunnah

Taariq ibn Shihaab said: the first person who put the khutbah before the prayer on Eid was Marwaan. A man stood up and said to Marwaan, ‘You have gone against the Sunnah.’ Abu Sa’eed said,

‘This man has done what he was supposed to, for I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say, “Whoever sees an evil action, let him change it with his hand [by taking action], and if he cannot, then with his tongue [by speaking out], and if he cannot, then with his heart [by feeling that it is wrong], and that is the weakest of faith.”’ (Abu ‘Eesaa said: a saheeh hasan hadeeth, 2098).

Sacrificing a camel whilst it is standing up and its left foreleg is tied is Sunnah

Ziyaad ibn Jubayr said: I saw Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) come to a man who had made his camel sit down so he could slaughter it. He said to him,

‘Make it stand up with its foreleg tied, for this is the Sunnah of Muhammad (saas) (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).’ (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1598).

When drinking, one should pass the vessel to one’s right

Anas ibn Maalik said: the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came to our house and asked for something to drink. We milked a ewe then added some water from this well of mine. We gave it to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and he drank. Abu Bakr and ‘Umar were to his left, and a bedouin was to his right. When the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) finished drinking, ‘Umar said, ‘Here is Abu Bakr, O Messenger of Allaah,’ pointing to him. But the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) gave the cup to the bedouin, not to Abu Bakr or ‘Umar. T

he Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “Those who are on the right, those who are on the right, those who are on the right.”

Anas said,

"This is Sunnah, this is Sunnah, this is Sunnah." (Agreed upon; this version narrated by Muslim, 3785).

Dividing one’s time equally among co-wives is Sunnah

Anas said:

"It is part of the Sunnah, if a man marries a virgin after having married a previously-married woman, he should spend seven nights with her, then divide his time equally (among the co-wives). And if he marries a previously-married woman after having married a virgin, he should spend three nights with her, then divide his time equally…” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4813).

In cases of divorce the Sunnah should be followed

Chapter: the words of Allaah (interpretation of the meaning): {O Prophet, when you divorce women, divorce them at their ‘Iddah (prescribed periods), and count (accurately) their ‘Iddah (periods)…} [al-Talaaq 65:1]. We should count the days and know how many days have passed at any given time. The way of divorcing according to the Sunnah is to divorce a woman when she is taahir (pure, i.e., not during her period or post-natal bleeding) and without having had intercourse with her since she became taahir, and the divorce should be witnessed by two witnesses. (Saheeh al-Bukhaari).

When departing this world

Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that when the deceased was placed in the grave [Abu Khaalid said on one occasion: when the deceased was placed in the lahd (niche) of his grave], the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “Bismillaah wa Billaahi wa ‘ala millati Rasool-illaah (in the name of Allaah and by the help of Allaah and on the religion of the Messenger of Allaah).” On another occasion, he said: “Bismillaah wa Billaahi wa ‘ala Sunnati Rasool-illaah (saas) (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) (in the name of Allaah and by the help of Allaah and on the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (saas) (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)).” (Abu ‘Eesa said: this is a ghareeb hasan hadeeth with this isnaad. 967).

Seeking permission to enter three times is part of the Sunnah

Abu Sa’eed said: Abu Moosa sought permission to enter upon ‘Umar. He said, "Assalaamu ‘alaykum, may I enter?" ‘Umar said, "That was once," then he kept silent for a while. Abu Moosa again said, "Assalaamu ‘alaykum, may I enter?" ‘Umar said, "That was twice", then he kept silent for a while. Abu Moosa again said, "Assalaamu ‘alaykum, may I enter?" ‘Umar said, "That was three times." Then Abu Moosa went away. ‘Umar asked the doorkeeper, "What happened?" The doorkeeper said, He went away. ‘Umar said, "Bring him back." When he came back, ‘Umar said, "What is this that you have done?" Abu Moosa said,

"It is the Sunnah."

‘Umar said: is it? Then he said, I did not know this… (Abu ‘Eesa said: a saheeh hasan hadeeth, 2614)

Ibn ‘Abbaas recited al-Faatihah aloud during a Janaazah (funeral) prayer in order to teach people the Sunnah

Talhah ibn ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Awf said: 'I prayed the Janaazah prayer behind Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him), and he recited the Opening of the Book (i.e., he recited al-Faatihah aloud). He said:

"(I did that) so that they might learn that this is Sunnah."' (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1249)

The Imaam denounced those who go against the Sunnah.

Al-Tirmidhi narrated in his Sunan that one of the scholars of the madhaahib said: Salaat al-istisqaa’ (prayer for rain) should not be done, but they should make du’aa’ and then leave, all of them.

Abu ‘Eesa said:

'This is against the Sunnah.'

Al-Bukhaari (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in his Saheeh:

Chapter on following the Sunnah of the Prophet (saas) (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him):

Ibn ‘Awn said: "There are three things which I love for myself and my brothers: this Sunnah, that they should learn about it and ask about it; the Qur’aan, that they should seek to understand it and ask about it; and that they should leave people alone unless it is for a good reason.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, Kitaab al-I’tisaam bi’l-Kitaab wa’s-Sunnah).

Let those people fear Allaah who think of the Sunnah as unimportant and say it is only the matter of externals and does not matter, and they go against it deliberately, thinking that this proves how moderate and reasonable they are, as they claim. They are doomed and lost, for the Sunnah of our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is most dear to us.

Even if a particular aspect of the Sunnah is mustahhab (encouraged) rather than waajib (obligatory), is there not a reward for us in following it? Do we have so much hasanah that we do not need to seek more?

O my brothers and sisters, may Allaah have mercy on me and on you, strive to follow every proven Sunnah that you learn from your Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and do not neglect it, for it will benefit you on a Day when neither wealth nor sons will be of any avail. Adhere to the Sunnah and teach it to your children. Revive it in the midst of those who are unaware of it, so that you may be among the most blessed of people through the intercession of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).

O Allaah, help us to follow the Sunnah. Cause us to live in accordance to the Sunnah and to die adhering to the Sunnah. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad. Aameen

ourbelovedRasoolSawsThe promise made by Allah (SWT) in Qur'an 15:9 is obviously fulfilled in the undisputed purity of the Qur'anic text throughout the fourteen centuries since its revelation. However, what is often forgotten by many Muslims is that the divine promise also includes, by necessity, the Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH), because the Sunnah is the practical example of the implementation of the Qur'anic guidance, the wisdom taught to the Prophet (PBUH) along with the scripture, and neither the Qur'an nor the Sunnah can be understood correctly without the other.

Allah (SWT) preserved the Sunnah by enabling the companions and those after them to memorize, write down and pass on the statements of the Prophet (PBUH), and the descriptions of his way, as well as to continue the blessings of practicing the Sunnah.

Later, as the purity of the knowledge of the Sunnah became threatened, Allah (SWT) caused the Muslim Ummah to produce individuals with exceptional memory skills and analytical expertise, who travelled tirelessly to collect thousands of narrations and distinguish the true words of prophetic wisdom from those corrupted by weak memories, from forgeries by unscrupulous liars, and from the statements of the large number of Ulama (scholars), the companions and those who followed their way. All of this was achieved through precise attention to the words narrated, and detailed familiarity with the biographies of the thousands of reporters of hadith.

The methodology of the expert scholars of hadith in assessing the narrations and sorting out the genuine from the mistaken and fabricated, for ms the subject matter of the science of hadith. In this article a brief discussion is given of the terminology and classifications of hadith.

Components of Hadith

A hadith is composed of three parts (see the figure [below]):


Matn (text), isnad (chain of reporters), and taraf (the part, or the beginning sentence, of the text which refers to the sayings, actions or characteristics of the Prophet (PBUH), or his concurrence with others action). The authenticity of the hadith depends on the reliability of its reporters, and the linkage among them.

Classifications of Hadith

A number of classifications of hadith have been made. Five of these classifications are shown in the figure [below], and are briefly described subsequently.


  1. According to the reference to a particular authority
    Four types of hadith can be identified.
    • Qudsi - Divine; a revelation from Allah (SWT); relayed with the words of the Prophet (PBUH).
    • Marfu - elevated; a narration from the Prophet (PBUH), e.g. I heard the Prophet (PBUH) saying ...
    • Mauquf- stopped: a narration from a companion only, e.g., we were commanded to ...
    • Maqtu' - severed: a narration from a successor.


  2. According to the links of Isnad - interrupted or uninterrupted
    Six categories can be identified.
    • Musnad - supported: a hadith which is reported by a traditionalist, based on what he learned from his teacher at a time of life suitable for learning; similarly - in turn - for each teacher until the isnad reaches a well known companion, who in turn, reports from the Prophet (PBUH).
    • Mutassil - continuous: a hadith with an uninterrupted isnad which goes back only to a companion or successor.
    • Mursal - hurried: if the link between the successor and the Prophet (PBUH) is missing, e.g. when a successor says "The Prophet said...".
    • Munqati - broken: is a hadith whose link anywhere before the successor (i.e., closer to the traditionalist recording the hadith) is missing.
    • Mu'adal - perplexing: is a hadith whose reporter omits two or more consecutive reporters in the isnad.
    • Mu'allaq - hanging: is a hadith whose reporter omits the whole isnad and quotes the Prophet (PBUH) directly (i.e., the link is missing at the beginning).
  3. According to the number of reporters involved in each stage of Isnad
    Five categories of hadith can be identified:
    • Mutawatir - Consecutive: is a hadith which is reported by such a large number of people that they cannot be expected to agree upon a lie, all of them together.
    • Ahad - isolated: is a hadith which is narrated by people whose number does not reach that of the mutawatir.
      It is further classified into:
    • Mash'hur - famous: hadith reported by more than two reporters.
    • Aziz - rare, strong: at any stage in the isnad, only two reporters are found to narrate the hadith.
    • Gharib - strange: At some stage of the Isnad, only one reporter is found relating it.
  4. According to the nature of the text and isnad
    • Munkar - denounced: is a hadith which is reported by a weak narrator, and whose narration goes against another authentic hadith.
    • Mudraj - interpolated: an addition by a reporter to the text of the hadith being narrated.
  5. According to the reliability and memory of the reporters
    This provides the final verdict on a hadith - four categories can be identified:
    • Sahih - sound. Imam Al-shafi'i states the following requiremetts for a hadith, which is not mutawatir, to be acceptable "each reporter should be trustworthy in his religion; he should be known to be truthtul in his narrating, to understand what he narrates, to know how a different expression can alter the meaning, and to report the wording of the hadith verbatim, not only its meaning".
    • Hasan - good: is the one where its source is known and its reporters are unambiguous.
    • Da'if - weak: a hadith which fails to reach the status of hasan. Usually, the weakness is: a) one of discontinuity in the isnad, in which case the hadith could be - according to the nature of the discontinuity - munqati (broken), mu'allaq (hanging), mu'dalmursal (hurried), or b) one of the reporters having a disparaged character, such as due to his telling lies, excessive mistakes, opposition to the narration of more reliable sources, involvement in innovation, or ambiguity surrounding his person. (perplexing), or
    • Maudu' - fabricated or forged: is a hadith whose text goes against the established norms of the Prophet's sayings, or its reporters include a liar. Fabricated hadith are also recognized by external evidence related to a discrepancy found in the dates or times of a particular incident.

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  • Silah ibn Ashyam a great narrator of hadeeth as well as from those who strived in worship.
  • 'Abdullah ibn Zubayr Al Humaydi (right click & "save target as") - Imaam Bukhari began his Saheeh with a hadeeth narrated throught this great Imaam. He was a great author and was the companion of Imaam ash-Shaafi'ee in seeking knowledge from Ibn 'Uyaynah. [PDF]


  • Abdullah ibn Yusuf At-Tanyisi (right click & "save target as") - He was the student of Imaam Maalik. Imaam Bukhari has narrated from him in his Saheeh. [PDF]

madinahimissHis Name: Malik bin Anas bin Malik bin Abi Aamir

His Kunyah: (Patronymic filial name) Abu ‘Abdillah

His Lineage: Malik bin Anas bin Malik bin Abi Aamir bin ‘Amr bin al-Harith bin Ainmaan (Uthmaan) bin Khuthail (AL-ASBAHEE-a royal tribe branch of Himyar in Yemen)

Imaam Suyooti (RA) says that Imaam Malik’s lineage goes to Ya’rab bin Yashjab bin Qahtaan. As some report in the following way: Zhu Asbah, al-Harith bin Malik bin Zaid bin Ghouth bin Sa’ad bin ‘Auoof bin ‘Adi bin Malik bin Zaid bin Sahl bin ‘Amr bin Qais bin Mu’awiya bin Jasham ibn ‘Abd Shams bin Daa’il bin al-Ghouth bin Qutn bin ‘Areeb bin Zhaheer bin Aiyman bin Humsee’ bin Himyar bin Saba bin Yashjab bin Ya’rab bin Qahtaan.

Imaam Malik’s Mother Name: ‘Aaliyah bint Shareek bin ‘Abdur Rahman al-Azdiyah

Titles related to Him: Imaam Darul-Hijrah and al-Madni (due to his remaining in al-Madinah the majority of his life.

His Birth: According to Hafidhh Adh-Dhahabi, Sam’aani ibn Farhoon, and others Imaam Malik was born in the year 93 A.H. due to the report of Yahya bin Bukair one of the elder students of the Imaam. Others have said he was born in 90 A.H. some say in 95 A.H. and Yaf’ee reports in Tabaqaatul-Fuqaha, 94 A.H. Extraordinarily, he remained in the womb on his mother for more than the usual 9 months. Some say two years while others say he remained in her womb for three years. He was born in Madinah.

His Appearance: Mutarraf bin ‘Abdullah al-Yasaari says that the Imaam was tall, well-built, fair complexion, blond-haired, large-eyes and nose, broad forehead with hardly any hair on it referred as (Asla’) in Arabic ) the same is said about Umar and Ali (Radhi Allahu Anhuma). He had a very profuse and thick beard that reached down to his chest. He used to trim his moustache near the corners of his lips and said it was disapproved to fully shave them. He followed the Sunnah of Umar bin Khattab (Radhi Allahu Anhu) who used to pull his moustaches hair near the lips when he was in deep thought of something. From this it is established that Umar (Radhi Allahu Anhu) had hair on both sides of the lips. He used to wear very elegent and expensive clothing, usually wearing white, and frequently changing them. He would put on Musk and other fragrances on his clothing. He would wear his turban and have part of it come down underneath his chin and the tail of it between his two shoulders. He would also wear a shawl-like garment that would cover the head and shoulders.

His Education and Knowledge: The Imaam’s Family was in itself a place of knowledge where his childhood was in the beautiful gardens and land of Madinah. He learned and memorized the Qur’an in his youth. He recited to Imaamul-Qurra’, Nafi’ bin Abdur-Rahman (whose recitation is the foundation of the entire Muslim Ummah today and he passed away in the year 169 A.H.) and also received his (Sanad) certification and permission to teach others from him. In the beginning of his quest for knowledge the Imaam did not have many means to acquire it properly so he sold the ceiling beams of his home to purchase books and papers for enabling him to do so. After some time Allah SWT bestowed him with a lot of wealth and money. The Imaam’s memory was also extraordinary. He himself would that anything I would record in my memory would never be forgotten again. It is reported about the Imaam that he had the best memory in all of Hijaz, likewise in the knowledge of Hadith and Fiqh. Imaam Shaf’iee (RA) says about him, “If Malik and Ibn Uyainah where not here, the knowledge of Hijaaz would be gone.” Imaam Zhahabi say, “There remains no scholar in Madinah after the Tabi’een comparable to Imaam Malik’s knowledge, jurisprudence, eminence, and memorization.”

He practiced extreme care in regards to narrating Hadith for just anyone. Imaam Malik says, “I do not accept knowledge from four types of people: (1) a person well-known to be foolish, even though all the other people narrate from him, (2) a person involved in committing heresy and calling others towards the innovation in Deen, (3) a person who lies in regular conversation with people, even though I do not accuse him as liar in regards to Hadith, (4) and a person who is pious worshipper or scholar, but does not properly and correctly memorize what he narrates.” It was said to Imaam Malik, “Why don’t you take narrations from ‘Amr bin Dinaar? He replied, “I went to him (‘Amr bin Dinaar and I found him narrating Hadith to others while in a standing position. So I thought to myself that the Hadith of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) is too great and majestic to take them in a standing position.” The Imaam remained his entire life al-Hijaaz and never traveled outside of it.

In Hadith, the Imaam was the leader of all of Madinah, where his chain of narrators were the most authentic and called “SILSILATUL-ZHAHAB” or “THE GOLDEN CHAIN OF NARRATORS” (ie. Narrated from Malik from Nafi’ from Ibn Umar (Radhi Allahu Anhu). The Imaam would not just narrate Hadith from anyone, rather he would take great caution and narrate only from authentic and reliable sources. Even other great scholars and companions of his time bear witness to that like, Imaam of Makkah, Sufyaan bin Uyainah, who says, “May Allah have mercy upon Malik, he is extremely critical of the men (in regards to the chain of narrators of a Hadith). He would also say, “Imaam Malik only used to narrate to others authentic Hadith, he would not report except from reliable narrators, I don’t see Madinah but in decrease (ie. in regards to the knowledge) after the death of Malik.” One of his most greatest pupils, Imaam Shaf’iee (RA) says about him, “That when Imaam Malik was in doubt over a Hadith he would totally disregard it.”

In Fiqh, the Imaam was on a higher level than all the rest. Bahlool bin Raashid says about him, “I have never seen someone with the knowledge of deducing from the Qur’an as Malik, along with his great recognition of strong and weak narrations.” Abdullah bin Luhay’ah says, “I asked al-Nadhr bin Abdul-Jabbar (Abul-Aswad) who has a saying after Rabi’ah in Madinah? He relpied, al-Ghulam al-Asbahi (ie. Imaam Malik). Imaam Ahmed bin Hanbal says about the great Imaam, “I compared Imaam Malik to Awzaa’eey, Thawri, Laith, Hammaad, and al-Hakam in knowledge, and he is the leader in Hadith and Fiqh.”

His Teachers and Instructors: Imaam Malik would only take knowledge from those men who were famous for their cleanliness, piety, and truthfulness, who were distinct in memorization and jurisprudence. The teachers mentioned in Muwatta from whom he narrated Hadith from are 95 in totol all of who were from Madinah. Thus making all of the various holders of knowledge who were scattered all around now brought together in one holder (Imaam Malik), this is why he earned the name of “IMAAM DARUL-HIJRAH.” From all of the Imaam’s teachers six of them were not from Madinah. So 95 teachers are only those mentioned in Muwatta. Otherwise, Allamah Zurqaani and Dulaqi have written that his teachers were over 900. Imaam Nawawi has written in Tahzeebul-Asmaa that of Imaam Malik’s 900 teachers 300 were from the Tabi’een and 600 from the Tabi Tabi’een. The Imaam’s greatest of all teachers was Nafi’ the slave of Ibn Umar (Radhi Allahu Anhu). Imaam Malik learned with him for twelve years and attained the knowledge of Hadith and Diraayah (Fiqh). It is for this reason that many narrations are from Nafi’ (RA). This was called the golden chain of narrators because it was the best chain in Muwatta. Shah Waliullah Dehlawi has written that Harun al-Rashid asked Imaam Malik, “You have mentioned Ali and Ibn Abbas (Radhi Allahu Anhuma) only a few time in your book, why?” He replied, “They were not here in Madinah, nor did I find any of their students or companions.” Shah Saheb writes on, “That this proud honor was given to Imaam Abu Hanifah (RA).” Also he says that Abdullah bin Masood narrations are even less than these two, Ali and Ibn Abbas (Radhi Allahu Anhuma).

Here is a list of some of Imaam Malik’s Shuyookh (Teachers):

1. Nafi’ (the servant of Abdullah bin Umar (Radhi Allahu Anhu)

2. Abul-Zanaad, Adbullah bin Zakwaan

3. Hishaam bin Urwah bin Zubair

4. Yahya bin Sa’eed al-Ansaari

5. Abdullah bin Dinaar

6. Zaid bin Aslam (servant of Umar bin Khattab(Radhi Allahu Anhu)

7. Muhammad bin Muslim bin Shihaab al-Zhuhri

8. Abdullah bin Abu Bakr bin Hazm

9. Sa’eed bin Abu Sa’eed al-Maqbari

10. Sumayy servant of Abu Bakr (Radhi Allahu Anhu)

11. Ayyub Sakhtiyaani

12. Abdur-Rahman bin al-Qasim bin Muhammad bin Abu Bakr (Radhi Allahu Anhu)

13. Thawr bin Zaid Dabli

14. Ibrahim bin Abi Ablah al-Maqdisi

15. Rabi’ah bin Abu Abdur-Rahman

16. Humayd Taweel

17. Aishah bint Sa’ad bin Abi Waqqas

In Qira’ah (recitation of Qur’an): Nafi’ bin Abu Nuaym al-Qaari

His Pupils and Students: Imaam Malik’s students reach to the thousands. Some have mentioned so many that they can not be counted, like Hafiz bin Katheer and Zhahabi. Qazi Iyyadh has mentioned over 1300 have narrated Hadith for the great Imaam. Hafiz Dar-Qutni has mentioned 1000. Hafiz Abu Bakr Khateeb al-Baghdadi has mentioned 993. Even some of the Imaam’s Teachers were his students, like:

1. Zhuhri Abul-Aswad 2. Ayyub Sakhtiyaani 3. Rabi’ah al-Ra’iee 4. Yahya bin Sa’eed al-Ansaari 5. Muhammad bin Abi Zi’ab 6. Ibn Jareeh 7. A’amash 8. Abu Suhail, Nafi’ bin Malik

Some eminent pupils were:

1. Imaam Muhammad 2. Imaam Shaf’iee 3. Abdullah bin Mubarak 4. Laith bin Sa’ad 5. Shu’bah 6. Sufyaan Thawri 7. Ibn Juraij 8. Ibn Uyainah 9. Yahya al-Qattaan 10. Ibn Mahdi 11. Abu Aasim al-nabeel 12. Abdur-Rahman Auwzaa’ee

Eminent narrators of Imaam Malik’s Muwatta:

1. Abdullah bin Yusuf al-Tunisi 2. Abdullah bin Muslimah al-Qa’nabi 3. Abdullah bin Wahab al-Misri 4. Yahya bin Yahya al-Laithi 5. Abu Mus’ab al-Zhuhri

His respect of Teaching of Hadith: After Abdullah bin Umar (Radhi Allahu Anhu) and his servant and pupil, Nafi’ (RA) the great Imaam narrated Hadith and taught from the age of 17 to about 79. He gave service to the teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam), giving lessons of Fiqh and issuing Fatawa for 62 years of his life. Before the Imaam would narrate any Hadith he would or dictate Hadith to others he would perform wudhu or take a bath, put on his best and most expensive clothing, groom himself, put on musk or another fragrance, then proceed to the gathering of Hadith with the utmost dignity and respect. In every gathering coal ambers of ‘Uood (a special and beautiful fragrance derived from a unique tree) would be burnt continuously until the lesson was over. In the Imaam’s gatherings there would always be plush and expensive mats or carpeting spread out on the floor and when he would arrive there would be pin-drop silence out of the respect for him the people would remain totally quiet. In the gatherings their would be the students all around the sitting place of the Imaam, just like how a king’s servants would gather around his throne. There would be Muftis, Ulama, and leaders present in the gathering. Such respect was present in these gatherings that anyone who pass by would think that a king must be delivering his message and one who sit down in it would be taken away with awe. Abdullah bin Mubarak reports that one time the Imaam was bitten by a scorpion under his garment over ten times while narrating Hadith. During the narration of the Hadith he did not stop in order to remove it, rather he continued to narrate until the end. I noticed the discoloration of his face when the Imaam was being bitten. Afterwards when all the people had left, I came to the Imaam and asked him what had happened. He replied, “A scorpion was biting me under my garment, I could not have kept my patience because of myself restraint, rather it was out of the respect of the Hadith of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) that I did not remove it. Subhanallah!!!

Some of His Aqeedah: Imaam Malik believed that the Qur’an, which is the last message of Allah, was Ghair Makhluq, not a creation. He also believed that Allah SWT is on His Throne just as he has described in the Qur’an. He believed that Allah SWT has the knowledge of everything and that the believers will see Him with their eyes on the Day of Judgment. He believed that Imaan (faith) is to declare it by mouth, and is manifested through actions that will increase by obedience and decrease by committing sins. He believed that anyone who uses abusive language against the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) should be given death and that repentance should not avail them. He believed that Hadhrat Abu Bakr and Umar (Radhi Allahu Anhuma) were the best in the Ummah after the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) and that those who follow the beliefs of the Qadriyyah Sect, prayer is not valid behind them and their women can not be married.

His love for Madinah: Even when the Imaam attained old age and became very weak he never rode on an animal in Madinah his entire life. He understood that it was against the respect of Madinah to ride on the very land that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) is buried in. Imaam Shaf’iee (RA) says, “I saw at the door of Imaam Malik’s home beautiful horses from Khurasaan and Egyptian Mules. So I said to him they were very nice. He said they are yours as a gift from me. I said that you should keep one for yourself. His reply was that I am embarrassed to do so! How can I ride on them when the body of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) is buried here in Madinah and the land is being rode on with the hooves of horses?

Some Saying about Him by Other Scholars

· Mus’ab Zubairi – Imaam Malik was reliable, safeguarded, trustworthy in Hadith, a great scholar, jurist, proof-bearer, and god-fearing man. · Yahya bin Mu’een – He is the Ameerul-Mumineen in Hadith.

· Yahya bin Sa’eed al-Qattan – He is the Ameerul-Mumineen in Hadith.

· Abdur-Rahman bin Mahdi – There is no more trustworthy in Hadith Nabawi on the face of this earth than Imaam Malik.

· Abdur-Rahman bin Mahdi – Sufyaan Thawri is the Imaam of Hadith not the Imaam of Sunnah whlie Auwzaa’ee is the Imaam of Sunnah not the Imaam of Hadith, but Imaam Malik in the Imaam of Hadith and the Imaam of Sunnah.

· Imaam Abu Hanifah – I have never seen anyone more fast understanding, correct answering, and test-taking than Imaam Malik.

· Imaam Shaf’iee – After the Tabi’een Imaam Malik is the Proof-Bearer on this entire earth for or against all of the people.

· Imaam Shaf’iee – Knowledge is encircled by three men: Malik bin Anas, Sufyaan bin Uyainah, and Laith bin Sa’ad.

· Imaam Ahmed bin Hanbal – I was asked whose Hadith should be memorized by heart if from anyone? I replied Malik bin Anas.

· Imaam Bukhaari – I was asked what is the most authentic chain of narrators. I replied from Malik from Nafi’ from Ibn Umar (Radhi Allahu Anhu).

· Imaam Nasai – After the Tabi’een the most understanding, reliable, trustworthy, man in Hadith is Imaam Malik. He has hardly never narrated from a weak narrator apart from Abu Umayyah Abdul-Kareem who is Matrook.

· Imaam Ahmed, Tirmizi, Nasai, and Haakim have all reported in a Hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah (Radhi Allahu Anhu) that he said, “The time has come near that people will travel by camels in search for religious knowledge and they will not find a greater scholar than who is in Madinah.” Sufyaan bin Uyainah says that the scholar of Madinah upon which the Hadith indicates is none other than Imaam Malik.

His Demise: The great Imaam reached the age of 84 or 86 or 87 or 90 years when he became ill on a Sunday and this illness continued to get worse for three weeks until on the 11th or 14th of Rabi-al-Awwal 179 A.H. he passed away. He was buried in the famous graveyard in Madinah called Jannatul-Baqee.

His Children: The great Imaam left behind three sons: Yayha, Muhammad, and Hammad. His remaining wealth that was inherited was 3300 dinaars. He also had a daughter by the name of Fatimah who narrated from him (read this interesting article about her).

Books Written by Imaam Malik: Imaam Malik wrote many books that can be referred to in the introduction of Oujasul-Masaalik (commentary of Muwatta Imaam Malik). Muwatta Imaam Malik is the first Hadith work after the Qur’an arranged into juristic Sections and organized accordingly. Imaam Bukhaari’s Saheeh is secondary to the work of Imaam Malik in this regards. Then after these two (Imaam Malik and Imaam Bukhaari) others followed, like Imaam Muslim and Imaam Tirmizi, who based there books upon theirs. (Allamah Abu Bakr ibn al-Arabi).


Related Links:

- Powerpoint Presentation on the life of Imaam Maalik (Download)
- Informative PDF on the life of Imaam Maalik (Download).

orangeHistory records few scholarly enterprises, at least before modern times, in which women have played an important and active role side by side with men. The science of hadith forms an outstanding exception in this respect.

Islam, as a religion which (unlike Christianity) refused to attribute gender to the Godhead,[1] and never appointed a male priestly elite to serve as an intermediary between creature and Creator, started life with the assurance that while men and women are equipped by nature for complementary rather than identical roles, no spiritual superiority inheres in the masculine principle.[2] As a result, the Muslim community was happy to entrust matters of equal worth in God's sight. Only this can explain why, uniquely among the classical Western religions, Islam produced a large number of outstanding female scholars, on whose testimony and sound judgment much of the edifice of Islam depends.

Since Islam's earliest days, women had been taking a prominent part in the preservation and cultivation of hadith, and this function continued down the centuries. At every period in Muslim history, there lived numerous eminent women-traditionists, treated by their brethren with reverence and respect. Biographical notices on very large numbers of them are to be found in the biographical dictionaries.

During the lifetime of the Prophet, many women had been not only the instance for the evolution of many traditions, but had also been their transmitters to their sisters and brethren in faith.[3] After the Prophet's death, many women Companions, particularly his wives, were looked upon as vital custodians of knowledge, and were approached for instruction by the other Companions, to whom they readily dispensed the rich store which they had gathered in the Prophet's company. The names of Hafsa, Umm Habiba, Maymuna, Umm Salama, and A'isha, are familiar to every student of hadith as being among its earliest and most distinguished transmitters.[4] In particular, A'isha is one of the most important figures in the whole history of hadith literature - not only as one of the earliest reporters of the largest number of hadith, but also as one of their most careful interpreters.

In the period of the Successors, too, women held important positions as traditionists. Hafsa, the daughter of Ibn Sirin,[5] Umm al-Darda the Younger (d.81/700), and 'Amra bin 'Abd al-Rahman, are only a few of the key women traditionists of this period. Umm al-Darda' was held by Iyas ibn Mu'awiya, an important traditionist of the time and a judge of undisputed ability and merit, to be superior to all the other traditionists of the period, including the celebrated masters of hadith like al-Hasan al-Basri and Ibn Sirin.[6] 'Amra was considered a great authority on traditions related by A'isha. Among her students, Abu Bakr ibn Hazm, the celebrated judge of Medina, was ordered by the caliph Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz to write down all the traditions known on her authority.[7]

After them, 'Abida al-Madaniyya, 'Abda bin Bishr, Umm Umar al-Thaqafiyya, Zaynab the granddaughter of Ali ibn Abd Allah ibn Abbas, Nafisa bint al-Hasan ibn Ziyad, Khadija Umm Muhammad, 'Abda bint Abd al-Rahman, and many other members of the fair sex excelled in delivering public lectures on hadith. These devout women came from the most diverse backgrounds, indicating that neither class nor gender were obstacles to rising through the ranks of Islamic scholarship. For example, Abida, who started life as a slave owned by Muhammad ibn Yazid, learnt a large number of hadiths with the teachers in Median. She was given by her master to Habib Dahhun, the great traditionist of Spain, when he visited the holy city on this way to the Hajj. Dahhun was so impressed by her learning that he freed her, married her, and brought her to Andalusia. It is said that she related ten thousand traditions on the authority of her Medinan teachers.[8]

Zaynab bint Sulayman (d. 142/759), by contrast, was princess by birth. Her father was a cousin of al-Saffah, the founder of the Abbasid dynasty, and had been a governor of Basra, Oman and Bahrayn during the caliphate of al-Mansur.[9] Zaynab, who received a fine education, acquired a mastery of hadith, gained a reputation as one of the most distinguished women traditionists of the time, and counted many important men among her pupils.[10]

This partnership of women with men in the cultivation of the Prophetic Tradition continued in the period when the great anthologies of hadith were compiled. A survey of the texts reveals that all the important compilers of traditions from the earliest period received many of them from women shuyukh: every major collection gives the names of many women as the immediate authorities of the author. And when these works had been compiled, the women traditionists themselves mastered them, and delivered lectures to large classes of pupils, to whom they would issue their own ijazas.

In the fourth century, we find Fatima bint Abd al-Rahman (d. 312/924), known as al-Sufiyya on account of her great piety; Fatima (granddaughter of Abu Daud of Sunan fame); Amat al-Wahid (d. 377/987), the daughter of distinguished jurist al-Muhamili; Umm al-Fath Amat as-Salam (d. 390/999), the daughter of the judge Abu Bakr Ahmad (d.350/961); Jumua bint Ahmad, and many other women, whose classes were always attended by reverential audiences.[11]

The Islamic tradition of female hadith scholarship continued in the fifth and sixth centuries of hijra. Fatima bin al-Hasan ibn Ali ibn al-Daqqaq al-Qushayri, was celebrated not only for her piety and her mastery of calligraphy, but also for her knowledge of hadith and the quality of the isnads she knew.[12] Even more distinguished was Karima al-Marwaziyya (d.463/1070), who was considered the best authority on the Sahih of al-Bukhari in her own time. Abu Dharr of Herat, one of the leading scholars of the period, attached such great importance to her authority that he advised his students to study the Sahih under no one else, because of the quality of her scholarship. She thus figures as a central point in the transmission of this seminal text of Islam.[13] As a matter of fact, writes Godziher,

'Her name occurs with extraordinary frequency of the ijazas for narrating the text of this book.'[14]

Among her students were al-Khatib al-Baghdadi[15] and al-Humaydi (428/1036-488/1095).[16]

Aside from Karima, a number of other women traditionists 'occupy an eminent place in the history of the transmission of the text of the Sahih.'[17] Among these, one might mention in particular Fatima bint Muhammad (d.539/1144; Shuhda 'the Writer' (d.574/1178), and Sitt al-Wuzara bint Umar (d.716/1316).[18] Fatima narrated the book on the authority of the great traditionist Said al-Ayyar; she received from the hadith specialists the proud tittle of Musnida Isfahan (the great hadith authority of Isfahan). Shuhda was a famous calligrapher and a traditionist of great repute; the biographers describe her as

'The calligrapher, the great authority on hadith, and the pride of womanhood.'

Her great-grandfather had been a dealer in needles, and thus acquired the sobriquet 'al-Ibri'. But her father, Abu Nasr (d. 506/1112) had acquired a passion for hadith, and managed to study it with several masters of the subject.[19] In obedience to the sunnah, he gave his daughter a sound academic education, ensuring that she studied under many traditionists of accepted reputation.

She married Ali ibn Muhammad, an important figure with some literary interests, who later became a boon companion of the caliph al-Muqtadi, and founded a college and a Sufi lodge, which he endowed most generously. His wife, however, was better known: she gained her reputation in the field of hadith scholarship, and was noted for the quality of her isnads.[20] Her lectures on Sahih al-Bukhari and other hadith collections were attended by large crowds of students; and on account of her great reputation, some people even falsely claimed to have been her disciples.[21]

Also known as an authority on Bukhari was Sitt al-Wuzara, who, besides her acclaimed mastery of Islamic law, was known as 'the musnida of her time', and delivered lectures on the Sahih and other works in Damascus and Egypt.[22] Classes on the Sahih were likewise given by Umm al-Khayr Amat al-Khaliq (811/1408-911/1505), who is regarded as the last great hadith scholar of the Hijaz.[23] Still another authority on Bukhari was A'isha bint Abd al-Hadi.[24]

Apart from these women, who seem to have specialized in the great Sahih of Imam al-Bukhari, there were others, whose expertise was centered on other texts. Umm al-Khayr Fatima bint Ali (d.532/1137), and Fatima al-Shahrazuriyya, delivered lectures on the Sahih of Muslim.[25] Fatima al-Jawzdaniyya (d.524/1129) narrated to her students the three Mu'jams of al-Tabarani.[26] Zaynab of Harran (d.68/1289), whose lectures attracted a large crowd of students, taught them the Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal, the largest known collection of hadiths.[27] Juwayriya bint Umar (d.783/1381), and Zaynab bint Ahmad ibn Umar (d.722/1322), who had travelled widely in pursuit of hadith and delivered lectures in Egypt as well as Medina, narrated to her students the collections of al-Darimi and Abd ibn Humayd; and we are told that students travelled from far and wide to attend her discourses.[28] Zaynab bint Ahmad (d.740/1339), usually known as Bint al-Kamal, acquired 'a camel load' of diplomas; she delivered lectures on the Musnad of Abu Hanifa, the Shamail of al-Tirmidhi, and the Sharh Ma'ani al-Athar of al-Tahawi, the last of which she read with another woman traditionist, Ajiba bin Abu Bakr (d.740/1339).[29]

'On her authority is based,' says Goldziher, 'the authenticity of the Gotha codex ... in the same isnad a large number of learned women are cited who had occupied themselves with this work.'[30]

With her, and various other women, the great traveller Ibn Battuta studied traditions during his stay at Damascus.[31] The famous historian of Damascus, Ibn Asakir, who tells us that he had studied under more than 1,200 men and 80 women, obtained the ijaza of Zaynab bint Abd al-Rahman for the Muwatta of Imam Malik.[32] Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti studied the Risala of Imam Shafii with Hajar bint Muhammad.[33] Afif al-Din Junayd, a traditionist of the ninth century AH, read the Sunan of al-Darimi with Fatima bin Ahmad ibn Qasim.[34]

Other important traditionists included Zaynab bint al-Sha'ri (d.524/615-1129/1218). She studied hadith under several important traditionists, and in turn lectured to many students - some of who gained great repute - including Ibn Khallikan, author of the well-known biographical dictionary Wafayat al-Ayan.[35] Another was Karima the Syrian (d.641/1218), described by the biographers as the greatest authority on hadith in Syria of her day. She delivered lectures on many works of hadith on the authority of numerous teachers.[36]

In his work al-Durar al-Karima,[37] Ibn Hajar gives short biographical notices of about 170 prominent women of the eighth century, most of whom are traditionists, and under many of whom the author himself had studied.[38] Some of these women were acknowledged as the best traditionists of the period. For instance, Juwayriya bint Ahmad, to whom we have already referred, studied a range of works on traditions, under scholars both male and female, who taught at the great colleges of the time, and then proceeded to give famous lectures on the Islamic disciplines.

'Some of my own teachers,' says Ibn Hajar, 'and many of my contemporaries, attended her discourses.'[39]

A'isha bin Abd al-Hadi (723-816), also mentioned above, who for a considerable time was one of Ibn Hajar's teachers, was considered to be the finest traditionist of her time, and many students undertook long journeys in order to sit at her feet and study the truths of religion.[40] Sitt al-Arab (d.760-1358) had been the teacher of the well-known traditionist al-Iraqi (d.742/1341), and of many others who derived a good proportion of their knowledge from her.[41] Daqiqa bint Murshid (d.746/1345), another celebrated woman traditionist, received instruction from a whole range of other woman.

Information on women traditionists of the ninth century is given in a work by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Rahman al-Sakhawi (830-897/1427-1489), called al-Daw al-Lami, which is a biographical dictionary of eminent persons of the ninth century.[42] A further source is the Mu'jam al-Shuyukh of Abd al-Aziz ibn Umar ibn Fahd (812-871/1409-1466), compiled in 861 AH and devoted to the biographical notices of more than 1,100 of the author's teachers, including over 130 women scholars under whom he had studied.[43] Some of these women were acclaimed as among the most precise and scholarly traditionists of their time, and trained many of the great scholars of the following generation. Umm Hani Maryam (778-871/1376-1466), for instance, learnt the Qur'an by heart when still a child, acquired all the Islamic sciences then being taught, including theology, law, history, and grammar, and then travelled to pursue hadith with the best traditionists of her time in Cairo and Mecca. She was also celebrated for her mastery of calligraphy, her command of the Arabic language, and her natural aptitude in poetry, as also her strict observance of the duties of religion (she performed the hajj no fewer than thirteen times). Her son, who became a noted scholar of the tenth century, showed the greatest veneration for her, and constantly waited on her towards the end of her life. She pursued an intensive program of learning in the great college of Cairo, giving ijazas to many scholars, Ibn Fahd himself studied several technical works on hadith under her.[44]

Her Syrian contemporary, Bai Khatun (d.864/1459), having studied traditions with Abu Bakr al-Mizzi and numerous other traditionalists, and having secured the ijazas of a large number of masters of hadith, both men and women, delivered lectures on the subject in Syria and Cairo. We are told that she took especial delight in teaching.[45] A'isha bin Ibrahim (760/1358-842/1438), known in academic circles as Ibnat al-Sharaihi, also studied traditions in Damascus and Cairo (and elsewhere), and delivered lectures which eminent scholars of the day spared no efforts to attend.[46] Umm al-Khayr Saida of Mecca (d.850/1446) received instruction in hadith from numerous traditionists in different cities, gaining an equally enviable reputation as a scholar.[47]

So far as may be gathered from the sources, the involvement of women in hadith scholarships, and in the Islamic disciplines generally, seems to have declined considerably from the tenth century of the hijra. Books such as al-Nur al-Safir of al-Aydarus, the Khulasat al-Akhbar of al-Muhibbi, and the al-Suluh al-Wabila of Muhammad ibn Abd Allah (which are biographical dictionaries of eminent persons of the tenth, eleventh and twelfth centuries of the hijra respectively) contain the names of barely a dozen eminent women traditionists. But it would be wrong to conclude from this that after the tenth century, women lost interest in the subject. Some women traditionists, who gained good reputations in the ninth century, lived well into the tenth, and continued their services to the sunna. Asma bint Kamal al-Din (d.904/1498) wielded great influence with the sultans and their officials, to whom she often made recommendations - which, we are told, they always accepted. She lectured on hadith, and trained women in various Islamic sciences.48 A'isha bint Muhammad (d.906/1500), who married the famous judge Muslih al-Din, taught traditions to many students, and was appointed professor at the Salihiyya College in Damascus.[49] Fatima bint Yusuf of Aleppo (870/1465-925/1519), was known as one of the excellent scholars of her time.[50] Umm al-Khayr granted an ijaza to a pilgrim at Mecca in the year 938/1531.[51]

The last woman traditionist of the first rank who is known to us was Fatima al-Fudayliya, also known as al-Shaykha al-Fudayliya. She was born before the end of the twelfth Islamic century, and soon excelled in the art of calligraphy and the various Islamic sciences. She had a special interest in hadith, read a good deal on the subject, received the diplomas of a good many scholars, and acquired a reputation as an important traditionist in her own right. Towards the end of her life, she settled at Mecca, where she founded a rich public library. In the Holy City she was attended by many eminent traditionists, who attended her lectures and received certificates from her. Among them, one could mention in particular Shaykh Umar al-Hanafi and Shaykh Muhammad Sali. She died in 1247/1831.[52]

Throughout the history of feminine scholarship in Islam it is clear that the women involved did not confine their study to a personal interest in traditions, or to the private coaching of a few individuals, but took their seats as students as well as teachers in pubic educational institutions, side by side with their brothers in faith. The colophons of many manuscripts show them both as students attending large general classes, and also as teachers, delivering regular courses of lectures. For instance, the certificate on folios 238-40 of the al-Mashikhat ma al-Tarikh of Ibn al-Bukhari, shows that numerous women attended a regular course of eleven lectures which was delivered before a class consisting of more than five hundred students in the Umar Mosque at Damascus in the year 687/1288. Another certificate, on folio 40 of the same manuscript, shows that many female students, whose names are specified, attended another course of six lectures on the book, which was delivered by Ibn al-Sayrafi to a class of more than two hundred students at Aleppo in the year 736/1336. And on folio 250, we discover that a famous woman traditionist, Umm Abd Allah, delivered a course of five lectures on the book to a mixed class of more than fifty students, at Damascus in the year 837/1433.[53]

Various notes on the manuscript of the Kitab al-Kifaya of al-Khatib al-Baghdadi, and of a collection of various treatises on hadith, show Ni'ma bin Ali, Umm Ahmad Zaynab bint al-Makki, and other women traditionists delivering lectures on these two books, sometimes independently, and sometimes jointly with male traditionists, in major colleges such as the Aziziyya Madrasa, and the Diyaiyya Madrasa, to regular classes of students. Some of these lectures were attended by Ahmad, son of the famous general Salah al-Din.[54]





[1] Maura O'Neill, Women Speaking, Women Listening (Maryknoll, 1990CE), 31: "Muslims do not use a masculine God as either a conscious or unconscious tool in the construction of gender roles."
[2] For a general overview of the question of women's status in Islam, see M. Boisers, L'Humanisme de l'Islam (3rd. ed., Paris, 1985CE), 104-10.
[3] al-Khatib, Sunna, 53-4, 69-70.
[4] See above, 18, 21.
[5] Ibn Sa'd, VIII, 355.
[6] Suyuti, Tadrib, 215.
[7] Ibn Sa'd, VIII, 353.
[8] Maqqari, Nafh, II, 96.
[9] Wustenfeld, Genealogische Tabellen, 403.
[10] al-Khatib al-Baghdadi, Tarikh Baghdad, XIV, 434f.
[11] Ibid., XIV, 441-44.
[12] Ibn al-Imad, Shsadharat al-Dhahah fi Akhbar man Dhahah (Cairo, 1351), V, 48; Ibn Khallikan, no. 413.
[13] Maqqari, Nafh, I, 876; cited in Goldziher, Muslim Studies, II, 366.
[14] Goldziher, Muslim Studies, II, 366. "It is in fact very common in the ijaza of the transmission of the Bukhari text to find as middle member of the long chain the name of Karima al-Marwaziyya," (ibid.).
[15] Yaqut, Mu'jam al-Udaba', I, 247.
[16] COPL, V/i, 98f.
[17] Goldziher, Muslim Studies, II, 366.
[18] Ibn al-Imad, IV, 123. Sitt al-Wuzara' was also an eminent jurist. She was once invited to Cairo to give her fatwa on a subject that had perplexed the jurists there.
[19] Ibn al-Athir, al-Kamil (Cairo, 1301), X, 346.
[20] Ibn Khallikan, no. 295.
[21] Goldziher, Muslim Studies, II, 367.
[22] Ibn al-Imad, VI. 40.
[23] Ibid., VIII, 14.
[24] Ibn Salim, al-Imdad (Hyderabad, 1327), 36.
[25] Ibn al-Imad, IV, 100.
[26] Ibn Salim, 16.
[27] Ibid., 28f.
[28] Ibn al-Imad, VI 56.
[29] ibid., 126; Ibn Salim, 14, 18; al-Umari, Qitf al-Thamar (Hyderabad, 1328), 73.
[30] Goldziher, Muslim Studies, II, 407.
[31] Ibn Battuta, Rihla, 253.
[32] Yaqut, Mu'jam al-Buldan, V, 140f.
[33] Yaqut, Mu'jam al-Udaba, 17f.
[34] COPL, V/i, 175f.
[35] Ibn Khallikan, no.250.
[36] Ibn al-Imad, V, 212, 404.
[37] Various manuscripts of this work have been preserved in libraries, and it has been published in Hyderabad in 1348-50. Volume VI of Ibn al-Imad's Shadharat al-Dhahab, a large biographical dictionary of prominent Muslim scholars from the first to the tenth centuries of the hijra, is largely based on this work.
[38] Goldziher, accustomed to the exclusively male environment of nineteenth-century European universities, was taken aback by the scene depicted by Ibn Hajar. Cf. Goldziher, Muslim Studies, II, 367: "When reading the great biographical work of Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani on the scholars of the eighth century, we may marvel at the number of women to whom the author has to dedicate articles."
[39] Ibn Hajar, al-Durar al-Karima fi Ayan al-Mi'a al-Thamina (Hyderabad, 1348-50), I, no. 1472.
[40] Ibn al-Imad, VIII, 120f.
[41] Ibid., VI, 208. We are told that al-Iraqi (the best know authority on the hadiths of Ghazali's Ihya Ulum al-Din) ensured that his son also studied under her.
[42] A summary by Abd al-Salam and Umar ibn al-Shamma' exists (C. Brockelmann, Geschichte der arabischen Litteratur, second ed. (Leiden, 1943-49CE), II, 34), and a defective manuscript of the work of the latter is preserved in the O.P. Library at Patna (COPL, XII, no.727).
[43] Ibid.
[44] Sakhawi, al-Saw al-Lami li-Ahl al-Qarn al-Tasi (Cairo, 1353-55), XII, no. 980.
[45] Ibid., no. 58.
[46] Ibid., no. 450.
[47] Ibid., no. 901.
[48] al-Aydarus, al-Nur al-Safir (Baghdad, 1353), 49.
[49] Ibn Abi Tahir, see COPL, XII, no. 665ff.
[50] Ibid.
[51] Goldziher, Muslim Studies, II, 407.
[52] al-Suhuh al-Wabila, see COPL, XII, no. 785.
[53] COPL, V/ii, 54.
[54] Ibid., V/ii, 155-9, 180-208. For some particularly instructive annotated manuscripts preserved at the Zahiriya Library at Damascus, see the article of Abd al-Aziz al-Maymani in al-Mabahith al-Ilmiyya (Hyderabad: Da'irat al-Ma'arif, 1358), 1-14.

Thaabit, the Firm Companion of Anas [ra]

flowersearthBefore we begin learning about the Great Companion of Anas [radhiallahu a’nhu]: Thaabit al-Bunaani, I would like to share with you two quotes which I recently came across:

Some of our righteous predecessors said: “The accounts [i.e. regarding the lives of the righteous] are an army from the armies of Allah, the Most High.

By it [the stories of the righteous] Allah makes firm the hearts of His awliyaa’ [friends].” [Muqaddamah ath-thaaniyyah, safahaat min sabr al-u’lama]

Also, the great faqeeh [scholar of Islamic Jurisprudence] and one of the imaams of the four famous madhaahib, Imaam Abu Hanifah [rahimahullah], said:

“The narratives regarding the scholars and their virtues are more beloved to me than a lot of fiqh [Islaamic jurisprudence], because it [contains] the a’adaab [manners/refinement] of a people.” [Muqaddamah ath-thaaniyyah, safahaat min sabr al-u’lama]

With this, let’s turn to the life of the worshipper, Thaabit al-Bunaani, the student and Companion of Anas [radhiallahu a’nhu].


Quotes taken from Imaam adh-Dhahabi’s A’alaam an-Nubalaa’, vol 5, pg 220.

Thaabit ibn Aslam [rahimahullah] was from Basrah; he was born in the time of Mua’wiyyah’s [ra] caliphate. Since he had met and narrated from the Sahaabah he is referred to as a ‘taabi’ee’. He was a leader in both knowledge and implementation.

Thaabit ibn Aslam [rahimahullah] said, “…I accompanied Anas ibnu Maalik for 40 years; I did not see anyone more constant in worshipping than him.”

Therefore he was a companion of the great Sahaabi Anas [ra], and not only did he learn knowledge from his teacher, but also ibaadah. Anas [ra] even did ruqyaa on him.

Narrated 'Abdul 'Aziz: Thaabit and I went to Anas bin Malik. Thaabit said, "O Abu Hamza! I am sick." On that Anas said, "Shall I treat you with the Ruqyaa of Allah's Apostle?" Thaabit said, "Yes." Anas recited, "O Allah! The Lord of the people, the Remover of trouble! (Please) Cure (heal) (this patient), for You are the Healer. None brings about healing but You; a healing that will leave behind no ailment." [Saheeh al- Bukhari, Book 7, Volume 71, Hadith 638]

His Knowledge

Great scholars such as Ahmad ibn Hanbal [rahimahullah] praised him. He said, “Thaabit was strong in hadeeth and used to narrate [ahaadeeth].”

Ahmad al-A’jalee [rahimahullah] said: “A trustworthy and righteous man.”

Imaam an-Nasaai [rahimahullah] said about him: “Trustworthy.”

Abu Haatim ar-Raazee [rahimahullah] said: “The most trustworthy companions of Anas bin Maalik were: Az-Zuhri, then Thaabit, then Qataadah.”

Ibn A’dee said: “He was from amongst the taabi’een [people who had met at least one Sahaabi] of the people of Basrah and their ascetics and their narrators; the a’immah [leaders of hadeeth] wrote from him. From [amongst] the people the most who narrated from him was Hammaad bin Salamah…”

He narrated from the following great Companions:

  • Anas ibn Maalik
  • Abdullah ibn Umar, as reported in Saheeh Muslim
  • Abdullah ibn Mughaffal reported in Sunan An-Nasaai
  • Abdullah ibn Zubayr, as reported in al-Bukhari
  • Abu Barzah al-Aslami
  • Amr bin Abee Salamah al-Makhzoomee, rabeeb [the foster father/foster son] of the Prophet [sallallahu a’lyhi wa sallam], which is reported in at-Tirmidhi, an-Nasaai

and many others.

Great personalities, such as Ataa’ bin Abee Rabaah and Qataadah, narrated from him. May Allah be pleased with them all. Ameen

A True A’aabid [Worshipper]

Anas ibnu Maalik said about him, “Indeed khair [goodness] has its people and certainly this Thaabit is from the keys of the khair [goodness].”

Bakr al-Maznee [rahimahullah] said, “Whosoever wants to look at the most avid worshipper from the people of his time, then let him look towards Thaabit al-Bunaani, for we did not know anyone more devoted to worshipping than him…”

Thaabit [rahimahullah], himself, said: “I endured Salaah for twenty years and enjoyed it for [the next] twenty years.”

Shu’bah [rahimahullah] said: “Thaabit al-Bunaani would read the Qur’aan every day and night, and would fast during the day.” [This has also been mentioned in Saheeh al-Bukhari and Muslim under the chapter pertaining to fasting.]

Hammaad ibn Salamah [rahimahullah] also said: Thaabit recited: "Dost Thou deny Him who created Thee out of dust, then out of sperm-drop, then fashioned Thee into a man?”[1] Then he would pray the night prayer crying and repeating it [this verse].

Hammaad ibn Zayd [rahimahullah] said: “I saw Thaabit crying until his ribs changed.”

Ja’far ibn Sulaymaan said [rahimahullah]: “Thaabit cried until his eyesight nearly went, then the eye-doctors prohibited him from crying. Then he said, ‘There is no good in them if they don’t cry…’”

Hammaad ibn Salamah [rahimahullah] said: “Thaabit used to say: ‘O Allah! If You have bestowed upon anyone salaah in his grave then give me Salaah in my grave.’ It is said that this supplication was answered for him, for certainly he was seen [in a dream] after his death praying in his grave.”

Some Famous Ahaadeeth narrated by Him

Narrated Ma'bad bin Hilal Al-'Anzi:  We, i.e. some people from Basra, gathered and went to Anas bin Malik, and we went in company with Thaabit Al-Bunaani so that he might ask him about the Hadeeth of Intercession on our behalf. Behold, Anas was in his place, and our arrival coincided with his Duhaa prayer. We asked permission to enter and he admitted us while he was sitting on his bed. We said to Thaabit, "Do not ask him first about anything else but the Hadeeth of Intercession." He said, "O Abu Hamza! These are your brethren from Basra coming to ask you about the Hadith of Intercession." [And then Anas [radhiallahu a’nhu] mentioned the long Hadeeth on intercession] [Bukhari :: Book 9 :: Volume 93 :: Hadith 601]


Narrated Thaabit Al-Bunaani: Anas bin Malik was asked whether they disliked the cupping for a fasting person. He replied in the negative and said, "Only if it causes weakness." [Bukhari, Book 3, Volume 31, Hadith 161]


Sayyar reported: I was walking with Thaabit al-Bunaani when he happened to pass by children and he greeted them. And Thaabit reported that he walked with Anas and he happened to pass by children and he greeted them. And Anas reported that he walked with Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) and he happened to pass by children and he greeted them. [Muslim, Book 26, Hadith 5392]


Narrated Thaabit Al-Bunaani: Anas bin Malik said to a woman of his family, "Do you know such-and-such a woman?" She replied, "Yes." He said, "The Prophet passed by her while she was weeping over a grave, and he said to her, 'Be afraid of Allah and have patience.' The woman said, 'Go away from me, for you do not know my calamity.'" Anas added, "The Prophet left her and proceeded. A man passed by her and asked her, 'What has Allah's Apostle said to you?' She replied, 'I did not recognize him.' The man said, 'He was Allah's Apostle.'" Anas added, "So that woman came to the gate of the Prophet and she did not find a gate-keeper there, and she said, 'O Allah's Apostle! By Allah, I did not recognize you!' The Prophet said, 'No doubt, patience is at the first stroke of a calamity.' [Bukhari, Book 9, Volume 89, Hadith 268]


Anas bin Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: “Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) gave no better wedding feast than the one he did (on the occasion of his marriage) with Zainab.” Thaabit al-Bunaani (one of the narrators) said: “What did he serve in the wedding feast?” He (Anas) said: “He fed them bread and meat (so lavishly) that they (the guests) abandoned it (of their own accord after having taken it to their hearts' content).” [Muslim, Book 8, Hadith 3332]


Thaabit reported on the authority of Anas: “The Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) came to us and there was none in our house but I, my mother and my aunt Umm Haram. He (the Holy Prophet) said: ‘Stand up so that I may lead you in prayer’ (and there was no time for prescribed prayer). He led us in prayer.” A person said to Thaabit: Where did Anas stand with him (the Holy Prophet)? He replied: He was on the right side. “He then blessed us, the members of the household, with every good of this world and the Hereafter. My mother said: ‘Messenger of Allah (and then, pointing towards Anas, said), here is your little servant, invoke the blessing of Allah upon him too.’ He then blessed me with every good, and he concluded his blessings for me (with these words): ‘Allah! Increase his wealth, and his children and make (them the source of) blessing for him.’” [Muslim :: Book 4 :: Hadith 1389] And it was said that Anas ibn Maalik had around 100 descendants from his sons and grandsons before he died, because the Prophet [peace be upon him] made this du’aa for Anas [may Allah be pleased with him]. Anas said: “From the Ansaar I have the most wealth and children”, and it was said he had 80 children, 78 males and 2 females and the daughters were called Hafsah and his second daughter is referred to as Umm ‘Amr.


Narrated Thaabit: He heard Anas saying, "A woman came to the Prophet offering herself to him in marriage, saying, "Have you got any interest in me (i.e. would you like to marry me)?" Anas's daughter said, "How shameless that woman was!" On that Anas said, "She is better than you, for she presented herself to Allah's Apostle (for marriage)." [Bukhari, Book 7, Volume 62, Hadith 53]


Narrated Isaa bin Tahman: Anas bin Malik brought out for us two sandals having two straps. Thaabit al-Bunaani said, "These were the sandals of the Prophet." [Bukhari, Book 7, Volume 72, Hadith 749]


Narrated Thaabit: Anas said, "The Prophet asked for water, so a tumbler with a broad base and not so deep, containing a small quantity of water, was brought to him whereby he put his fingers in it." Anas further said, 'I noticed the water springing out from amongst his fingers." Anas added, 'I estimated that the people who performed ablution with it numbered between seventy and eighty." [Bukhari, Book 1, Volume 4, Hadith 199]


I end with the following hadeeth reported by the Great A’abid [worshipper] Thaabit al-Bunaani, with the hope that our hearts will be moved and we will find a change in our i’baadah [worship]:

Thaabit reported it on the authority of Anas: “While leading you in prayer I do not shorten anything in the prayer. I pray as I saw the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) leading us.” He (Thaabit) said: Anas used to do that which I do not see you doing; when he lifted his head from bowing he stood up (for so long) that one would say: ‘He has forgotten (to bow down in prostration).’ And when he lifted his head from prostration, he stayed in that position, till someone would say: ‘He has forgotten (to bow down in prostration for the second sajdah).’ [Muslim, Book 4, Hadith 956]

SubhaanAllah, the likes of Thaabit [rahimahullah] carried in their chests such vast knowledge, the fruits of which could be seen in their actions.

In Arabic, ‘thaabit’ means firm; truly he was the firm companion of Anas [radhiallahu a’nhu].

madinahimissA Hadeeth must meet the following five criteria in order to be accepted in Islamic law as a source of legal ordinance:

1. Continuity of the chain of transmitters (ittisal assanad):

This chain of transmitters has to be unbroken in order for the Hadeeth to be acceptable. That is, none of the transmitters must be missing from the chain of narrators.

Furthermore, each transmitter must also have heard the Hadeeth in question directly from the transmitter before him. Knowledge of this is verified with the help of the biographical sciences of the science of Hadith.

2. The integrity ('adaalah) of the transmitters:

The integrity of the transmitters is established in terms of their outward observance of Islaam. In other words, it is ascertained that they practice what is required of them by Islaam and they are not known to engage in the doing of things which are forbidden. Again this precondition is verified through the biographical sciences of Hadeeth.

3. Soundness of memory of the transmitters:

It must be verified through the biographical sciences of Hadeeth that each transmitter has a sound memory or that his books were accurate and that he only transmitted directly from his books.

4. Conformity of the Hadeeth:

It is important that the Hadeeth conform with similar Hadiths on the same topics which are stronger than it. This conformity should be both in the chain of transmitters and the text. Non-conformity in the chain of transmitters for example, might be if one of the transmitters in the chain is different than in a stronger version of the same Hadith. Non-conformity in text would imply divergence in the meaning of this Hadeeth with one which is stronger.

5. The absence of defects ('illah) in the Hadeeth:

A defect ('illah) in Hadeeth is defined as a hidden defect in the Hadeeth which takes away from its authenticity. A Hadeeth which has such a defect is one which appears to be free from defect at first while after investigation it is discovered that it has a certain defect which would not be apparent without investigation. The defect can be in the chain of transmitters or in text or both.

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An Old Handwritten Copy of Shamaail

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Shamaail Al Tirmidhi is a classical book containing narrations pertaining to the noble character and virtues of the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) and infact is an indispensable collection of Hadeeth related to the Prophet’s (sallallahu a'lyhi wa sallam) blessed Seerah (biography).

It was compiled by the eminent Muhaddith, Imam al-Tirmidhi less than 3 centuries after the passing away of the Prophet Muhammed (salalahu alayhi wa salam).

Many scholars of Islam have indulged in uncountable attempts throughout history to collect hadiths on various religious issues. The most famous collection of 40 hadiths of all time is the one collected by Imam Abu Zakariyyah Muhyuddeen Yahya ibn Sharaf An-Nawawi who died in AH 676. The collection is known as Al-Arba`ain An-Nawawiah or An-Nawawi's 40 Hadiths.

These selected forty hadiths comprise the main essential and fundamental concepts of Islam which, in turn, construct the minimum level of required revealed knowledge for every single Muslim.Various principles are contained in these hadiths, such as belief, Muslim ethics and fiqh. The collection of Forty Hadith by Imam Nawawi has been known, accepted and appreciated by Muslim scholars for the last seven centuries.

Umdatul-Ahkaam by Ibn Qudaamah al-Maqdisee (d.600 A.H.) is a famous text that contains hadith pertaining to juristic rulings (ahkaam) from Bukhari & Muslim. Like Bulugh al Maram Ibn Hajar, the author leaves out the chains of narration and suffices with the name of the Sahabi.

There are very few hadeeths in this book which are only reported by Imaam Bukhaaree or only by Imaam Muslim. Therefore, all the hadeeths of “Umdatul-Ahkaam” are authentic hadeeths. It is divided into books and chapters of fiqh.