The Prophetic Sunnah
An Introduction to its
Preservation, Compilation,
Classification, and Application
Course Outline
Introduction to the Sunnah and Hadith
History of Hadith Compilation and Books
Hadith Terminology (Mustalah)
Fiqh of Hadith
Course Objectives
• Understanding the History of Hadith Narration
• Understanding the Major Books and
• Learn the Basics of Hadith Classification
• Understand the Application of Hadith in Islamic
Introduction to the Sunnah and Hadith
Understanding Mustalah
– Mustalah (Technical Term): The agreement
of a specific group of people with regards to
a specific thing.
What Does Sunnah Mean?
Depends Who you ask…
» customary action
» habitual practice
» norm
» Mustahab / Mandoob – Recommended Action.
» Anything to Do with the Prophet’s Life.
» A statement, an action, or confirmation given by the
Prophet. (Has ramifications in Islamic Law and Legal
» One of the four main sources of deriving laws.
» A statement, an action, or confirmation given by the
• The terms Sunnah and Hadith are
synonymous in the field of Hadith
• However, they may vary in other fields (i.e
The Prophet and His Sunnah
• Two Types of Wahi (Divine Revelation)
1. Quran
» Words of Allah (the Mushaf)
» Any recitation is an act of worship
2. Sunnah
» Words of the Prophet
» Some recitation is an act of worship
» Guided by Allah
Authority of the Sunnah
Proof that the Sunnah is from revelation
‫إن هو إال وحي يوحى‬.‫ وما ينطق عن الهوى‬-
Incidents from the Quran
1. Changing of the Qibla (al Baqara)
2. The Honey of Zainab (al Tahreem)
3. Command to marry Zainab (al Ahzaab)
‫‪Necessity of the Sunnah‬‬
‫‪Explaining the Quran‬‬
‫وأنزلنا إليك الذكر لتبين للناس ما نزل إليهم ولعلهم‬
‫هو الذي بعث في األميين رسوال منهم يتلو عليهم آياته ويزكيهم‬
‫ويعلمهم الكتاب والحكمة وإن كانوا من قبل لفي ضالل مبين‬
‫‪Verses in the Quran Commanding Adherence to the Sunnah‬‬
‫قل إن كنتم تحبون هللا فاتبعوني يحببكم هللا ويغفر لكم ذنوبكم وهللا غفور رحيم‬
‫قل أطيعوا هللا والرسول فإن تولوا فإن هللا ال يحب الكافرين‬
‫يا أيها الذين آمنوا ال تقدموا بين يدي هللا ورسوله واتقوا هللا إن هللا سميع عليم‬
‫يا أيها الذين آمنوا ال ترفعوا أصواتكم فوق صوت النبي وال تجهروا له بالقول كجهر‬
‫بعضكم لبعض أن تحبط أعمالكم وأنتم ال تشعرون‬
‫وما كان لمؤمن وال مؤمنة إذا قضى هللا ورسوله أمرا أن يكون لهم الخيرة من أمرهم ومن‬
‫يعص هللا ورسوله فقد ضل ضالال مبينا‬
‫من يطع الرسول فقد أطاع هللا ومن تولى فما أرسلناك عليهم حفيظا‬
‫فال وربك ال يؤمنون حتى يحكموك فيما شجر بينهم ثم ال يجدوا في أنفسهم حرجا مما‬
‫قضيت ويسلموا تسليما‬
The Sunnah Explains Islam
• Matters of Belief (Aqeedah)
– Details about the Day of Judgement
– About Paradise and Hell
– Understanding our Creator
• Legal Issues – Acts of Worship, Transactions
Hadith During the Life of the Prophet
• The Prophet taught the companions formally
– The Prophetic Academy of Scholars and Dawah
– Testing them on Hadith
– Commanding them to Convey his words
‫‪Ashaab al Suffa‬‬
‫وما كان المؤمنون لينفروا كافة فلوال نفر من كل فرقة منهم طائفة‬
‫ليتفقهوا في الدين ولينذروا قومهم إذا رجعوا إليهم لعلهم يحذرون‬
‫‪• 80 Companions studying full time‬‬
‫‪• Living in the Masjid‬‬
‫‪• Example of Abu Huraira‬‬
How Did the Companions Preserve
the Hadith?
1. The Arab Civilization and Importance of
2. Writing
3. Real Life Application
Memorizing the Hadith
• The Power of the Mind and Ability to Memorize
– Photographic Memory
– Arabs Used to memorize Hundreds of Poems in Jahiliya
• Modern Day Examples
– Andriy Slyusarchuk (Ukrainian professor) memorized the first 30
million places of pi, which were printed in 20 volumes of text.
– Sergei Rachmaninov (composer and pianist) recalls a musical
score after sight reading twice.
– Stephen Wiltshire was able to draw a skyline in detail after a
single helicopter ride.
– Philosopher Swami Vivekananda was able to memorize ten
volumes of the encyclopedia in only a few days.
– Case of Solomon Shereshevskii
Were the Hadith Written Down?
• Initial Prohibition…Why?
– Fear of Mixing Quran and Hadith
• Abrogation and Command to Write Hadith
– Example of Abdullah bin Amr bin Aas
Preservation through Application
• Results of Memorizing w/o application
– A look into our own lives
• Results of Memorizing w application
– A glimpse into the method of the companions
Permission to Write Hadith
“Seek help from your right hand,” and pointed to
something written. (Tirmidhi)
The Prophet told Rafi bin Khadij: “You may write.
There is no harm.” (Tadrib ar Rawi)
Anas narrated that the Prophet said, “Preserve
knowledge by writing it. (Jami’ al Bayan)
Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al Aas was commanded to write
hadith. “Shall I write everything you say? Yes.
“Whether you are content or angry?”…yes…
The Compilations of the
• Abdullah ibn Amr ibn Aas – 5000+
– The Sheets of Truth (al Saheefa al Sadiqa)
• Anas ibn Malik - 2000+
– He wrote and reviewed with the Prophet
• Jabir bin Abdullah – 1500+
– Used to write and teach his hadith in the Prophet’s masjid
– Book of Hajj (much of it found in Saheeh Muslim)
• Aisha– 2000+
– Urwa bin Zubair wrote her hadith
– Amra bint Abdillah – her hadith were written (command of the Khalifa)
• Abdullah ibn Abbas
– His hadeeth were written in his life (by the People of Taaif)
– Saeed ibn Musayyib wrote his hadeeth as well.
• Abdullah ibn Omar – 1500+
– Nafi’ used to write his hadith.

The Prophetic Sunnah - Summer Nights 2010 is here!