The Executive Summary
Religious scholars of Islam, to determine whether or not a particular saying or action of the Prophet of Islam is genuine, use the science of hadith. Through a series of classifications the authenticity of the second largest source of guidance for Muslims isformed. By studying the science of
, a better understanding of Islam and itsfollowers can be reached.
Statement of Need
The religion of Islam has over 1.4 billion followers. After September 11, 2002,the demand for information regarding the religion grew steadily as people tried tounderstand its teachings and beliefs. Muslims, the followers of the Islamic religion, havetwo main sources of guidance on which they base their lives. The Holy Qur’an is believed to be the direct word of God and contains teachings that over 1.4 billion peopleworldwide use as a guideline in their lives.The second source of information is the sayings and actions of Muhammad, aman who is perceived to be mankind’s final Prophet. As mankind’s final Prophet, allcommentary on the Qur’an was recorded in great detail and preserved for accuracyduring his life and after his death. This collection is referred to as
and scholarswho collect the individual
go through a painstaking process to ensure their authenticity. The science of
is one of the most important scholarly works that can be done in Islam because of its role in the lives of Muslims.
There are three components in the science of
is the actual text of the
is the chain of reporters that lead back to the Prophet;
is the part of the text, which refers to the sayings, actions, or characteristics of the Prophet, or his body language in reference to his words. The authenticity of the
depends onthe reliability of its reporters, and the linkage among them.The hadith are put together by scholars and compiled in books; the most well knowncollections include Bukhari and Muslim. Hadith are categorized according to howreliable they are based on the
.Hadith can be categorized as being divine (directly from God), elevated (a sayingoverheard by another person), stopped (a narration from a companion of Muhammad), or severed (a narration from a teacher who heard the saying from Muhammad to a student).The
are very important in determining whether a
is valid. There are sixcategories ranging from one that is heard directly from Muhammad to one in which a portion of the
missing. The number of nattators must be more than one to beconsidered better than weak. The number of narrators is very important. If a largenumber of people convey the same message then it is considered to be accurate and valid.However, if only one person narrates a particular saying or action then that
isconsidered weak and unreliable.