Introduction to Hadeeth

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Introduction to Hadith

An introductory course providing an overview of the Hadith sciences including discussions on mustalah al-hadith (hadith terminology), fundamentals of the science of narrator criticism and an extensive overview of the famous hadith collections such as Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim.

After initially establishing the authority of Hadith as a source of Islamic Law, we will briefly cover the period in which this science developed and how the Hadith were compiled and recorded.

In this course, we will also discuss the famous Hadith collections, the compilers and figures behind these works, such as Imam Malik, Imam Ahmad, Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim, and the special features of these works. We will dedicate the last portion of this course to covering the terminologies used in Hadith science at a basic level so that students can familiarize themselves with terms such as Mashhur, Mutawatir, Sahih, Hasan, Da’if, Mawdu’, etc. and what they really mean.

Note: This course is intended for beginners only. This is NOT an advanced course on Usul al-Hadith.


  • Understand the need for Hadith science
  • Learn the legal status of the Sunnah in Islam
  • Learn the proofs for the authority of Sunnah in the Shari’ah
  • Familiarize yourself with the early development stage of Hadith
  • Learn about the famous books and compilers of Hadith collections
  • Familiarize yourself with Hadith terminologies
  • Develop a firm understanding of the history of Hadith

Course Topics

Lesson 1: Introductory Concepts

  • Definition of Hadith: Statements, Actions and Consent of the Prophet
  • Hadith and Sunnah: Is there a difference?
  • Authority of the Sunnah as a Source of Islamic Law

Lesson 2: Development of Hadith

  • Overview of Hadith Documentation, Recording and Transmission
  • Understanding the Authentic Narration on the Prohibition of Writing Hadith
  • Hadith in the Era of the Sahabah
  • Major Transmitters of Hadith Among the Sahabah
  • Hadith in the Era of the Salaf
  • Major Transmitters of Hadith Among the Salaf

Lesson 3: Overview of Hadith Collections: I

  • Types of Hadith Books (Jami’, Sahih, Sunan, Musnad, Mu’jam, Mustakhraj, Mustadrak, etc.)
  • Muwatta of Imam Malik
  • Musannafs of Ibn Abi Shayba and Abd al-Razaq
  • Musnad of Imam Ahmad

Lesson 4: Overview of Hadith Collections: II (The Sihah Sittah)

  • Sahih al-Bukhari
  • Sahih Muslim
  • Sunan Abi Dawud
  • Sunan al-Nasa’i
  • Jami’ al-Tirmidhi
  • Sunan Ibn Majah

Lesson 5: Overview of Hadith Collections: III (Others)

  • Muwatta of Imam Muhammad
  • Works of Imam Tahawi (Sharh Ma’ani al-Athar, Sharh Mushkil al-Athar)
  • Mustadrak of Imam Hakim
  • Works of Imam Bayhaqi (Sunan al-Kubra, etc.)
  • Famous Hadith Commentaries (Fath al-Bari, etc.)

Lesson 6: Hadith Terminology: I

  • Hadith, Khabr and Athar
  • Matn and Sanad
  • Khabr Wahid and Mutawatir
  • 1st Classification: According to the Last Person in the Chain
    • Marfu’, Mawquf and Maqtu’
  • 2nd Classification: According to the Quantity of Narrators
    • Mashhur, ‘Aziz and Gharib

Lesson 7: Hadith Terminology: II

  • 3rd Classification: According to the Qualities of the Narrators
    • Sahih, Hasan, Da’if, Mawdu’, Matruk, Shadh, Mudtarib, etc.

Lesson 8: Hadith Terminology: III

  • 4th Classification: According to the Interruption (or lack thereof) of Narrators
    • Muttasil, Musnad, Munqati’, Mu’allaq, Mu’dal, Mudallas and Mursal
    • Discussion on the Status of Mursal Narrations in the Schools of Fiqh
  • 5th Classification: According to the Words of Narration
    • Mu’an’an and Musalsal

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