Hadith:Introduction

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Hadith:Introduction

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Introduction

Orthodox Muslims belief that all of Muhammad’s sayings and actions were divinely guided by Allah.  Most of the sayings and actions of Muhammad are detailed in the written oral traditions called, hadiths (Arabic plural, ahadith).  So, after the Qur’an, the collection of hadiths occupy the second place in divine inspiration for Muslims.  Since these writings are vastly more extensive and detailed than the Qur’an, they provide the heart of Muslim culture and law.

The Sahih Al-Bukhari collection is considered the most authentic of the various collections of ahadith.  The Preface to this collection is given in the Sahih Bukhari section of this web site.

The Sahih Muslim collection of ahadith ranks second in the minds of the majority of Muslim believers.  The Introduction to the collection is available under the Sahih Muslim section of the web. 

The Weak Hadith article answers many Western Muslims who are embarrassed by many traditional hadiths and who seek to discredit these oral traditions.  For example, Muhammad believed that Satan stays in the upper part of the nose all night.  Muhammad said that it was necessary to wash the nose with water three times to cleanse where Satan resided during the night.

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, “If anyone of you rouses from sleep and performs the ablution, he should wash his nose by putting water in it and then blowing it out thrice, because Satan has stayed in the upper part of his nose all the night.”  
Sahih Bukhari Volume. 4, Book 54, Number 516.

Muhammad’s rationale for nose washing seems to be based upon a superstitious view of Satan’s nocturnal residence. Still, from an orthodox Muslim’s perspective, “the Prophet’s words and deeds are the timeless expression of the Will of Allah” for all of humankind.

In addition, Muhammad instructed his Muslim followers not to urinate in holes.  The rationale given for not urinating in a hole is that the jinn (genie) were inhabitants of holes.  

(29) ‘Abd Allah b. Sarjis reported: The Prophet (may peace be upon him) prohibited to urinate in a hole. 
Qatadah (a narrator) was asked about the reason for the disapproval of urinating in a hole.  He replied: It is said that these (holes) are the habitats of the jinn. 
Sunan Abu Dawud Volume 1 Chapter 14 Number 29.

Perhaps, Muhammad’s reason was that urine might extinguish a jinn’s flame, since they are supposedly composed of fire.  However, the hadithic record of Muhammad’s sayings and behavior goes far beyond superstitious bathing rituals and urinating locations.  Some hadiths raise serious questions about Muhammad’s moral instructions and behavior.  In fact, some hadiths would not be appropriate reading for young people.

Last edited 10/10/2000

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