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What is Sunnah and Hadith?

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Category: Religion - Islam
Forum Name: Quran & Sunnah
Forum Discription: Understanding Quranic ayat and Sunnah
Printed Date: 20 May 2018 at 8:02pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 8.04 -

Topic: What is Sunnah and Hadith?
Posted By: niqab_ummi
Subject: What is Sunnah and Hadith?
Date Posted: 17 December 2006 at 5:02pm


Insha'Allah here is a very basic overview with informational links....If you have any others please post them as well....


Sunnah and Hadith

Qur'an 59:7
"And whatever the Messenger gives you, take it, and whatever he forbids you, leave it. And fear Allah: truly Allah is severe in punishment. " [ - Qur'an 59:7]

In Islam, the Arabic word sunnah has come to denote the way Prophet Muhammad (saas), the Messenger of Allah, lived his life. The Sunnah is the second source of Islamic jurisprudence, the first being the - Qur'an . Both sources are - indispensable ; one cannot practice Islam without consulting both of them. The Arabic word hadith (pl. ahadith) is very similar to Sunnah, but not identical. A hadith is a narration about the life of the Prophet (saas) or what he approved - as opposed to his life itself, which is the Sunnah as already mentioned.

In M. M. Azami's Studies in Hadith Methodology and Literature, the following precise definition of a hadith is given,

According to Muhaddithiin [scholars of hadith -ed.] it stands for 'what was transmitted on the authority of the Prophet, his deeds, sayings, tacit approval, or description of his sifaat (features) meaning his physical appearance. However, physical appearance of the Prophet is not included in the definition used by the jurists.'

Thus hadith literature means the literature which consists of the narrations of the life of the Prophet and the things approved by him. However, the term was used sometimes in much broader sense to cover the narrations about the Companions [of the Prophet -ed.] and Successors [to the Companions -ed.] as well.

The explosion of Islam in the 7th and 8th centuries confronted Islamic scholars with a daunting task: to preserve the knowledge of the Sunnah of the Prophet (saas). Hence the science of hadith evaluation was born. We recommend that you read the "Introduction to the Science of Hadith" below to understand the tremendous efforts that were required to sift the true reports from the false reports. The success of the early scholars is also captured below by some collections of hadith.

Science of Hadith

  • - An Introduction to the Science of Hadith

  • - A brief introduction to the classification of hadith (courtesy of - Perspectives )

  • A comparison between - modern historical methodology and hadeeth methodology.

Large Collections

  • - A collection of the ahadith in Sahih Bukhari

  • - A collection of the ahadith in Sahih Muslim

  • - A partial collection of the ahadith in Sunan Abu-Dawud

  • - A collection of the ahadith in Malik's Muwatta

  • - Search hadith database

Miscellaneous Collections

  • - A collection of 40 hadith qudsi

Other Articles on the Sunnah

  • - Adhering to the Sunnah of the Prophet (saas)

Umm Abdelkhalek

Posted By: amah
Date Posted: 17 December 2006 at 9:35pm


Jazakallahkhair, wassalaam.

Allah is Sufficient as a Walee (Protector) and Allah is Sufficient as a Naseer (Helper).
(Surah An-Nisa, Chapter #4, Verse #45)

Posted By: seekshidayath
Date Posted: 18 December 2006 at 9:21pm

As'salamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

Can u please explain us the slightest difference between Sunnah and Hadith ?

And Jazakallah khair for the links provided.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: ďAll the descendants of Adam are sinners, and the best of sinners are those who repent."

Posted By: niqab_ummi
Date Posted: 19 December 2006 at 7:54am


Insha'Allah this will help explain the differences of the Hadith from the Sunnah.


What is Hadith?

The Arabic word hadith means "reported speech." (1)  In Islam hadith refers specifically to the teachings, actions and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him), which were passed on verbally by his contemporaries and later collected and written down.

What is Sunnah?

The Arabic word sunnah means "a form, the customary practice of a person or group of people."(2) In Islam sunnah is used to 
refer to the practice of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), which other believers should try to live by and emulate. The Sunnah is the second source of Islamic law and compliments the laws put forth in the Quran.

 Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is reported to have said:  

"I have left two matters with you.  As long as youhold them, you will not go the wrong way.  They are the book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Prophet."(3)

The Quran also tells us (translation by Yusuf Ali):

O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you. If ye differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if ye do believe in Allah and the Last Day: That is best, and most suitable for final determination. (4:59)

Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern (of conduct) for any one whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day, and who engages much in the Praise of Allah. (33:21)

these exerpts were taken from a web page titled my road to Islam.

Umm Abdelkhalek

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