Introduction to books of Hadith, its Matn, and principles

Q 4: What are the books of Hadith (Principles of the Science of Hadith)? What is meant by Matn of Hadith and Usul ‘Ilm Al-Hadith? Who is Amir Al-Mu’minin in Hadith (a title given to a person who has extensive knowledge of most Hadith such that only a few Hadith escape his cognition)?


A: The books of Hadith are the books which compile the Hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him), such as Sahih Al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, Sunan Abu Dawud, Sunan Al-Nasa’y, Musnad Imam Ahmad, Muwatta’ Malik, etc. Matn of Hadith refers to the verbal expressions, actions and approvals of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Usul Al-Hadith (Principles of the Science of Hadith) refers to the science of examining the features that distinguish the Sahih (a Hadith that has been transmitted by people known for their uprightness and exactitude; free from eccentricity and blemish) and Hasan (a Hadith whose chain of narration contains a narrator with weak exactitude, but is free from eccentricity or blemish) Hadith from the Da‘if (a Hadith that fails to reach the status of Hasan, due to a weakness in the chain of narration or one of the narrators) and Mawdu‘ (fabricated) ones and show their levels. It is also called Mustalah Al-Hadith (Hadith Terminology). The following are examples of the books of Usul Al-Hadith: Muqaddimah by Ibn Al-Salah, Alfiyyah al-Hadith by Al-‘Iraqy, Al-Taqrib by Al-Nawawy, Nukhbat Al-Fikr by Ibn Hajar, etc.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

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