Sunnah and Ahadeeth      


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. "
[Quran 59:7]

The term Sunnah comes from the root word sanna, which means to pave the way or make a path easily passable. In Islam, the Arabic word Sunnah has come to denote the way Prophet Muhammad , lived his life. The Sunnah is the second source of Islamic jurisprudence, the first being the Quran. Both are like one, you cannot practice Islam without consulting both of them. The Arabic word hadeeth (plural ahadeeth) is very similar to Sunnah, but not identical. A hadeeth is a narration about the life of the Prophet or what he approved or disapproved.

The ahadeeth were transmitted down through the centuries having been memorized first by Muhammad's companions and then later by subsequent Muslims. a story in itself of what the prophet said and did.

The Quran is the absolute and infallible word of Allah .  The Hadeeth, however, though the words of the inspired prophet Muhammad , are not necessarily infallible.  The oldest collection to date dates from the 9th century.

The most famous and universally accepted among the collections of Hadeeth are those of Sahih Al-Bukhari (d. 870) -- -- and Abu al-Hajjaj (d. 875), which is usually called "Muslim." 

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The Hadeeth are important because they elucidate many areas not covered by or were not very clear in the Quran.  The Hadeeth is appealed to in legal decisions and consulted in debate among many Muslims.

Hadeeth as a discipline, consists of two branches, the first concerned with the validation of the individual traditions through the process of biographic examination of its chain of transmitters back to the Prophet and the second concentrating on the actual content of the validated traditions as a source of religious authority.


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page updated 17/11/11