Kinds of hadîths, and the savants of hadîth



Kinds of hadîth-i sherîfs are defined as follows in the one hundred and thirty-sixth page of the first chapter of the book entitled Makhzan-ul’ulûm,[1] which was printed in Istanbul in the hijrî year 1308, and in the third page of the book entitled Eshi’atul- lam’ât:[2]

1— Hadîth-i mursel: Hadîths that are quoted by one of the Tâbi’în directly in the name of Rasûlullah’s ‘sall-Allâhu alaihi wa sallam’ utterance without the name of any of the Sahâba ‘radiy- Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’ being mentioned.

2— Hadîth-i musnad: Hadîths that are quoted together with the name of the Sahabî ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’ who ascribes them to Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’. Musnad hadîths are either muttasil or munqati’:

3— Hadîth-i musnad-i muttasil: Hadîths that are ascribed to Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ by an unbroken chain of transmitters; that is, not even one of their transmitters is lacking. 4— Hadîth-i musnad-i munqati’: Hadîths whose one or more transmitters, except the Sahabî ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în, are not recorded.

5— Hadîth-i mawsûl: Is the kind of hadîth-i musnad-i muttasil which the Sahabî ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’ quoted by saying, “I have heard Rasûlullah say so.” Such hadîths are called Hadîth-i marfû’ in the thirty-fourth page of the translation of the second volume of Mawâhib-i ladunniyya[3] and in the forty-second hadîth in Imâm-i-Nawawî’s ‘rahmatullâhi ta’âlâ ’alaih’[4] Hadîth-i arba’în, translated by ’Ahmad Na’îm Bey ‘rahmatullâhi ta’âlâ ’alaih’ (1290 [1872 A.D.] – August 14th. 1352 [1934], Istanbul).

6— Hadîth-i mutawâtir: Hadîths which several Sahabîs heard from Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ and which several other people heard from them, and which were written in a book not before having been heard always from a number of people, so that it is not likely that they may have agreed on a lie. It is absolutely necessary to believe and to obey the hadîths that are mutawâtir; he who denies them becomes a kâfir.

7— Hadîth-i mashhûr: Hadîths that became well-known in the second century although they had been quoted by only one person in the first century (of Islam). That is, they are hadîths that were heard from Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ by one person; and from him several other people heard them later, and from them again, other people heard them; they were transmitted same-wise as was a mutawâtir hadîth until they were heard from the final transmitter. He who denies mashhûr hadîths becomes a kâfir, too. (See the book entitled Ibni ’Âbidîn, p.176)

8— Hadîth-i mawqûf: Hadîths of which all the transmitters are recorded up to a Sahabî ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’ and about which the Sahabî did not say, “I have heard Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ say so,” but said, “I have heard that Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ said so.”

9— Hadîth-i sahîh: Musnad-i muttasil, mutawâtir and mashhûr hadîths heard from people who are ’âdil[5] and who are learned in the science of Hadîth.

10— Khabar-i âhâd: Musnad-i muttasil hadîths that have always been transmitted by one person (to another).

11— Hadîth-i mu’allaq: Hadîths whose first transmitter is not known, or a few of whose transmitters are not known, or none of whose transmitters is known. Mursel and munqati’ hadîths are mu’allaq. A hadîth whose first transmitter only is not recorded is called Mudelles. Tedlîs (concealing the authority for a tradition in order to lead people to suppose it more dependable) is makrûh.

12— Hadîth-i qudsî: Hadîths whose meanings are from Allâhu ta’âlâ but which are uttered by Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’. Whenever our master the Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ uttered a hadîth-i qudsî he was nûr all over, and it would be known from his appearance.

13— Hadîth-i qawî: Any hadîth which the blessed Prophet uttered and thereafter recited an âyat-i-kerîma.

14— Hadîth-i nâsikh: Hadîths which he uttered towards the end of his life.

15— Hadîth-i mansûkh: Hadîths which he said during the early age (of Islam) but which were changed (by other hadîths) later.

16— Hadîth-i ’âm: Hadîths that were intended for all people.

17— Hadîth-i khâs: Hadîths that were said for one person only.

18— Hadîth-i hasan: Hadîths whose transmitters are faithful and trustworthy but without as strong a memory and understanding as those who transmit sahîh hadîths.

19— Hadîth-i maqtû’: They are the hadîths transmitted from the Tâbi’in-i kirâm ‘rahmatullâhi ta’âlâ ’alaihim ajma’în’, and their transmitters up to the Tâbi’ûn are known.

20— Hadîth-i shâdh: Hadîths which a person says he heard from a savant of Hadîth. They are accepted, but they cannot be documents or proofs. If the person who is said to be a savant is not well known, they will not be accepted.

21— Hadîth-i gharîb: Any hadîth-i sahîh that was transmitted by only one person. Or it is a hadîth of which one of the transmitters was repudiated by a Hadîth savant.

22— Hadîth-i da’if: Hadîths that are not sahîh or hasan. One of their transmitters had a slack memory or was not ’âdil, or there was doubt in his belief. Much worship is done in accordance with da’îf hadîths. But they are not relied on for ijtihâd.

23— Hadîth-i muhkam: Hadîths which do not need an interpretation.

24— Hadîth-i mutashâbih: Hadîths that need an interpretation.

25— Hadîth-i munfasil: Hadîths with more than one forgotten

transmitters in between.

26— Hadîth-i mustefîd: Any hadîth with more than three transmitters.

27— Hadîth-i muddarib: Hadîths that were reported to authors of books through various incongruous ways.

28— Hadîth-i merdûd: An expression that does not bear any meaning or any of the conditions of hadîth-transmitting.

29— Hadîth-i muftarî: Statements of Musaylamat-ul-kazzâb[6]. Or they are the concocted words of munâfiqs, zindiqs and irreligious people disguised as Muslims who succeeded him. Savants of Ahl as-sunnat found those hadîths that are merdûd or muftarî and discarded them. Books written by religious superiors do not contain such statements.

30— Hadîth-i mawdû’: Explained in the previous pages.

31— Ether: Means a mawqûf or maqtû’ hadîth, or a merfû’ hadîth teaching a prayer. Sened means a savant who transmits hadîths ‘rahmatullâhi ta’âlâ ’alaih’.

GREAT HADÎTH SAVANTS: Hadîth savants are highly valuable people. He who knows by heart a hundred thousand hadîths together with their transmitters is called a Hâfiz. He who has memorized the entire Qur’ân is not called a hâfiz, he is called a Qâri’. Because there is nobody today who knows hadîths by heart we erroneously say hâfiz instead of qâri’. He who knows two hundred thousand hadîths by heart is called a Shaikh-ulhadîth.

He who has memorized three hundred thousand is called a Hujjat-ul-Islâm. He who knows by heart more than three hundred thousand hadîths together with their transmitters and proofs is called an Imâm of hadîth or Mujtahid of hadîth. Of the hadîth books that have been unanimously confirmed to be correct by all Islamic savants, six have become famous all over the world. These six books are called Kutub-i sitta. [It has been stated (unanimously by Islamic scholars, i.e.) by ijmâ’ that the hadîth-i-sherîfs in these books are sahîh.] The six savants who wrote the Kutub-i sitta are:

1— Imâm-i Bukhâri ‘rahmatullâhi ta’âlâ ’alaih’. His name is Muhammad bin Ismâ’îl. He is briefly signified with the letter (H). There are seventy-two hundred and seventy-five hadîths in his book entitled Sahîh-i-Bukhârî. He selected these hadîths out of six hundred thousand hadîths. Before writing down each hadîth, he would perform ghusl, perform a namâz of two rak’ats, and then go to sleep for istikhâra. He wrote his Bukhârî-i sherîf in sixteen years. He was born in Bukhâra in 194 hijrî and died in Samarkand in 256, on the night before fitr bayram [’Iyd-i fitr].

2— Imâm-i ’Abd-ul-Huseyn Muslim Nishâpûrî ‘rahmatullâhi ta’âlâ ’alaih’. He is briefly signified with the letter (M). He wrote

his book entitled Jâmi’us-sahîh with selections from three hundred thousand hadîths. He was born in 206 and passed away in 261.

3— Imâm-i Mâlik bin Enes ‘rahmatullâhi ta’âlâ ’alaih’. He is signified with the letters (Mâ). His book entitled Muwattâ is the earliest hadîth book written. He was born in Medîna in 95, and passed away there in 179. It is written in the book Mawdû’âtul’ulûm [7] that when listing the names of the Kutub-i sitta some savants mentioned the book Sunan by Ibni Mâja instead of Muwattâ.

4— Imâm-i Tirmuzî ‘rahmatullâhi ta’âlâ ’alaih’. His name is Muhammad bin ’Îsâ. He is signified with the letter (T). His book entitled Jâmi’us-sahîh is so valuable. He was born in 209, and passed away in 279.

5— Abû Dâwûd Suleymân bin Esh’as Sijstânî ‘rahmatullâhi ta’âlâ ’alaih’. He is signified with the letter (D). There are fortyeight hundred hadîths in his book entitled Sunan. He selected them from among half a million hadîths. He was born in 202, and passed away in Basra in 275.

6— Imam-i Nesâî ‘rahmatullâhi ta’âlâ ’alaih’. His name is Abû ’Abdurrahmân Ahmad bin ’Alî. He is signified with the letter (S). His two books, one entitled Sunan-i kebîr and the other Sunan-i saghîr, are very valuable. Sunan-i saghîr is one of the Kutub-i sitta. He was born in 215, and passed away in 303.

It is written in the book Mawdû’ât-ul’ulûm that the Word Sunan, when used alone, is construed as one of the books of four

savants. These are Abû Dâwûd (D), Tirmuzî (T), Nesâî (S) and Ibni Mâja. Ibni Mâja is briefly signified with the letters (MJ).

When the word Sunan is mentioned in reference to books other than these four, it is used together with the name of its author. For example, Sunan-i Dâra Qutnî (QTin) and Sunan-i kebîr-i Beyhekî (Hek).

Of the famous and very valuable hadîth books, Musnad by Imâm-i ’Ahmad bin Hanbal is signified with (HD), Abû Ya’lâ’s Musnad is signified with (Ya’lâ), ’Abdullah Dârimî’s Musnad is signified with (DR), and ’Ahmad Bezzar’s Musnad is signified with (Z). These books are called Masânîd.


Eating, drinking, relishing are all from Razzâq,[8] an Attribute of His;

Taking a breath in freedom from anxiety is a Kindness of His;

Every goodness coming unto thee is again a Benefit of His;

Also (Îmân), the greatest of blessings, is again a Favour of His.

Would I knew: What am I here, and what belongs to me?

If not predistined, my food will not come to me from heavens or from earth;

Neither from grass nor from victuals; in short, from nowhere over the earth.

What has been prearranged will reach me, somehow, beyond my illusion’s worth;

Food will come to their owners, neither more nor less than destined before birth.

Would I knew: What am I here, and what belongs to me?

As I was nonexistent, my Rabb, in a breath, chose me;

Within my mother’s uterus He made my food ready;

Ordering His angels, He made them servants to me;

He made me come to the world, to cover His sovereignty.

Would I knew: What am I here, and what belongs to me?


[1] By Muhammad Tâhir.

[2] By ’Abd-ul-Haqq Dahlawî ‘rahmatullâhi ta’âlâ ’alaih’ of India (958 [1551 A.D.] – 1052 [1642].)

[3] By Imâm ’Ahmad bin Muhammad Shihâb-ud-dîn Qastalânî (821 [1418 A.D.] – 923 [1517], Egypt).

[4] Yahyâ bin Sheref Nawawî (631 [1233 A.D.] – 676 [1277], Damascus). Please see thirteenth through twenty-third paragraphs in the previous chapter.

[5] Lexical meaning of ’âdil is ‘just’, ‘even-handed’, ‘fair’. In the science of Fiqh it means ‘(a Muslim) who does not commit grave sins and who has not made it a habit to commit venial sins’. Please scan the second chapter of the fifth fascicle of Endless Bliss.

[6] A liar in Yemâma. He claimed to be a prophet. Formerly he had joined the Believers. It was during the second year of the caliphate of Abû Bakr as-Siddîq ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’, when he made an all-out war against an army of Believers under the command of Khâlid bin Walîd ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ (d. 21 h., Homs). Twenty thousand of the renegades were slain and two thousand of the Believers attained martyrdom. Eventually the accursed liar and his army suffered a crushing defeat and the liar himself met his death in the hands of Wahshî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’, who was wielding the very sword that had been used for the martyrdom of Hadrat Hamza ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’.

[7] Turkish version, rendered by Kamâl-ad-dîn Muhammad ‘rahmatullâhi ta’âlâ ’alaih’ (959 – 1032 [1623 A.D.], Istanbul), of the book entitled Miftâh-us-se’âda, which had been written by Tashkopruzâda ’Ahmad bin Mustafâ ‘rahmatullâhi ta’âlâ ’alaih’ (901 [1495 A.D.], Bursa – 968 [1561], Istanbul), an Ottoman scholar and the father of the former.

[8] (He) who creates and sends food.






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