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The Classification of Hadeeth

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Foreword

All Praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. And may the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon Prophet Muhammed and upon his Family and his Companions.

“We have undoubtedly sent down the Reminder, and We will truly preserve it.”

[ Al-Qur'aan, Soorah al-Hijr (15):9 ]

Allah’s promise in the above verse will be fulfilled, and the pure religion will be available for all those who seek it until the last day, as Allah askes His Messenger to proclaim “...this Qur'aan has been revealed to me that I may therewith warn you and whoever it may reach.”

 Soorah al-An’am (6):19

The fulfillment of Allah’s promise is obvious by the undisputed purity of the Qur'aan. However, what is often forgotten by many Muslims is that, Allah has promised not only to protect the words of the Qur'aan, but also its explanation and understanding - the Sunnah. It being the perfect and divinely-guided lifestyle of the Prophet and the best example of the implementation of the Book of Allah. The Sunnah is the Wisdom that the Prophet taught along with the Scripture (the Qur'aan), as Allah says:
“And We sent to you a Messenger from among yourselves, reciting to you our signs, purifying you, and teaching you the Book and the Wisdom (Sunnah), and that which you did not know.”

Soorah al-Baqarah (2):151

Allah preserved the Qur'aan from being initially lost by the martyrdom of its memorisers, by guiding the Khulafaa Raashidoon and the other Companions to compile the ayat (verses) of the Qur'aan into one volume, since before they had been scattered in writing on various materials and in memory amongst many faithful hearts. Allah safeguarded it from corruption by its enemies: disbelievers, heretics and false prophets, by enabling millions of believers to commit it to memory with ease. He preserved its teachings by causing thousands of people of Knowledge to learn from its deep treasures and convey them to the masses, and by sending revivers of his Deen at the begining of every century.

Similarly, Allah preserved the Sunnah by enabling the Companions and those after them (may Allah be pleased with them all) to memorise, write down and pass on the statements of the Messenger and discriptions of his Way, as well as to continue the blessings of practising the Sunnah, as the Prophet said to his Companions, “You hear from me, and others will hear from you; and people will hear from them, who heard from you.”
Sunan Abu Dawood (english trans.) vol.3, no.3651 and authenticated by al-Albaanee in Saheeh Sunan Abu Dawood no. 3107

Later, as the purity of the Knowledge of the Sunnah became threatened, Allah caused the Muslim nation to produce outstanding individuals of incredible memory-skills and analytical expertise, who journeyed tirelessly to collect hundreds of thousands of narrations and distinguished the true words of precious wisdom of their Messenger from those that were forged by unscrupulous liers. The Companions and those who followed their way, the Muhadithoon (the Scholars of Hadeeth) worked hard to transmit the legacy of Muhammed. They paid precise attention to the words narrated and recorded minute biographies of the thousands of reporters of Hadeeth. Action being the best way to preserve teachings, the revivers of Islaam also revived the practice of the blessed authentic Sunnah.

Unfortunately however, statements will continue to be attributed to the Prophet although the person quoting them may have no idea what the people of Knowledge of Hadeeth have ruled regarding the fabricated Hadeeth. Quoting Hadeeths carelessly without checking for its authenticity is undoubtedly a grave sin punishable with hell-fire, as the Prophet said:

“Whoever lies about me will find his sitting place in the hell-fire.”
Sunan Abu Dawood (english trans.) vol.3, no.3643. A similar Hadeeth has been collected in Sahih al-Bukhari (english trans.) vol.1, no.109

This booklet is an effort to explain in breif the classification and preservation of Hadeeth. The Hadeeth are like pearls, in order to acquire them one has to dive deep, and the more you study them the more you appretiate their importance. The Prophet Muhammed  explained matters of great importance to the believers, both in this life and the hereafter, in very few and simple words. Those who understood the message of the Messenger, then this

Knowledge of theirs brought a revolution into their lives, for the Hadeeth have in them the Wisdom, that awaken sleeping minds, revive dead hearts and invigorate weak souls.

Then why should not a Muslim devote some of his time for the study of Hadeeth and become the beneficiary of the Duaa (supplication) of the Prophet Muhammed , who said:
“May Allah bless any man who hears a saying of mine, memorizes it and understands it, then conveys it just as he heard it.”
Sunan Abu Dawood (english trans.) vol.3, no.3652 and Sunan at-Tirmidhee. authenticated by al-Albaanee in Saheeh Sunan Abu Dawood no.3108

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