Sahih Muslim (book)

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Sahih Muslim
Author Muslim b. Hajjaj al-Nishaburi
Original title صحیح مسلم
Language Arabic
Series 8 Vols.
Subject hadith
Genre Narrative
English translation
En. title English translation of Sahih Muslim
Translator Masiruddin al-Khattab (Canada)
En. publisher Maktaba Dar-us-Salam

Al-Jāmiʿ al-Ṣaḥīḥ known as Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, written by Muslim b. Hajjaj al-Nishaburi, is the most important Sunni collection of hadiths after Sahih al-Bukhari. The book contains 7275 hadiths from the Prophet (s), and ignoring the repetitive hadiths, it contains about 4000. Muslim himself claims that all the hadiths in his book are reliable and accurate. However, the accuracy of some of its hadiths has been questioned by some Sunni scholars, such as al-Nawawi, al-Hakim al-Nishaburi, and Ibn al-Hajar al-'Asqalani. The book has been subject to criticisms because of problems in its chains of transmissions (failure to mention some links thereof) and problems in contents like inclusion[Note 1], as well as unreliable transmitters of hadiths. The Shi'as believe that there are unreliable and fabricated hadiths in Sahih Muslim. In his Sahih, Muslim transmitted hadiths regarding the virtues of Ahl al-Bayt (a), which allegedly amount to 62.

Commentaries, supplements, summaries, and translations have been written for Sahih Muslim. One well-known commentary for the book is the one written by al-Nawawi.

The Author

Muslim b. Hajjaj al-Qushayri al-Nishaburi (204/815-261/875) was the author of books such as al-Tamyiz, Kitab al-mukhadramin, and Kitab al-'ilal in hadith. His best-known work is al-Jami' al-sahih, known as Sahih Muslim.[1] He was a student of Muhammad b. Isma'il al-Bukhari, the author of Sahih al-Bukhari, and some authors of al-Sihah al-Sitta, such as al-Tirmidhi, were his students.[2]

The Title of the Book

The most important hadith books
Shia
(The Four Books)
  1. Al-Kafi
  2. Man la yahduruh al-faqih
  3. Tahdhib al-ahkam
  4. Al-Istibsar
Sunni
(The Authentic Six)
  1. Sahih al-Bukhari
  2. Sahih Muslim
  3. Sunan Abu Dawud
  4. Sunan ibn Majah
  5. Jami' al-Tirmidhi
  6. Al-Sunan al-Sughra

Some people take the original title of the book to be al-Musnad al-sahih al-mukhtasar min al-sunan bi naql al-'adl 'an al-'adl 'an Rasul Allah salla Allah 'alayh wa sallam, which is shortly referred to as al-Musnad al-sahih.[3] However, the book is also known as al-Jami' al-sahih,[4] al-Musnad al-sahih and al-Musnad.[5]

The Structure and Content

Sahih Muslim contains 7275 hadiths from the Prophet (s).[6] Half of these hadiths are said to be repetitive, and so the book contains about 4000 unrepeated hadiths.[7] Shams al-Din al-'Amili said that the book contains 12000 hadiths.[8] Muslim was quoted as saying that he selected hadiths in his book from among 300,000 hadiths.[9]

Al-Musnad al-sahih contains 54 books. It opens with an introduction by Muslim, followed by "Kitab al-Iman" (Book of Faith). The book ends with Kitab al-Tafsir (Book of Exegesis). The book has 8 parts and 1205 chapters.[10]

In his introduction to the book, Muslim said that he transmits hadiths respectively from three classes of transmitters:

  • Transmitters characterized by "persistence and firmness"
  • Transmitters characterized by "truthfulness"
  • Weak transmitters.

Muslim sought to cite hadiths in this order.[11] However, he allegedly died before finishing the project.[12]

One feature of Sahih Muslim is that hadiths are organized into chapters and can be easily accessed.[13] However, Muslim only organized the book into chapters without giving titles to them. The chapters were later assigned with titles by others. [14]

Ahl al-Bayt in Sahih Muslim

Sahih Muslim contains hadiths regarding the virtues of Ahl al-Bayt (a). The number of such hadiths is said to be 62. He cited hadiths regarding the virtues of Ahl al-Bayt, Imam 'Ali (a), Fatima al-Zahra (a), Al-Hasanayn (a), Imam al-Sajjad (a), and Imam al-Mahdi (aj).[15]

Muslim cited Hadith al-Manzila, Hadith al-Kisa', Hadith of Twelve Caliphs, Hadith al-Raya, and the occasion of revelation of al-Mubahala Verse in his Sahih. He also cited hadiths that are in favor of some Shiite jurisprudential rulings, such as the validity of temporary marriage.[16]

Motivation and Purpose of Writing

Muslim wrote the book upon a request by a prominent scholar of hadith with the aim of organizing books of hadiths in which both accurate and inaccurate hadiths were collected.[17] He allegedly spent 15 years for the compilation of the book.[18] According to some scholars, he finished writing the book in 250/864. Thus, Muslim must have started writing the book in 235/849 when he was only 30 years old. This is why some others have cast doubts on the accuracy of the report that the book was written in 250/864.

In his Sahih, Muslim claims that he did not collect hadiths that were accurate in his view. Instead, he collected hadiths that were accurate in the view of all jurisprudents and scholars of the time.[19] In his al-Minhaj, al-Nawawi rejects Muslim's claim, explaining that there are many hadiths in Sahih Muslim that were subject to controversies with respect to their accuracy.[20] The only difference between Muslim and al-Bukhari is said to be that the latter only transmits hadiths in which the transmitter has seen the master (the person from whom he transmits the hadith), whereas Muslim does not require this, holding that the contemporaneity of the transmitter and the master suffices for the transmission of a hadith.[21]

Significance for Sunnis and Shi'as

Sunni Muslims take Sahih Muslim to be the second most important book from among al-Sihah al-Sitta. In fact, they think it is the most important book ever after the Qur'an and Sahih al-Bukhari.[22] They refer to Sahih Muslim and Sahih al-Bukhari as "Sahihayn" (the Authentic Two).[23] It is even said that some Sunnis prefer Sahih Muslim to Sahih al-Bukhari.[24]

The Shi'as object that Sahih Muslim was written in the period of Imam al-Hadi (a) and Imam al-Hasan al-'Askari (a) without citing any hadiths from them. However, they prefer it to Sahih al-Bukhari since it has cited hadiths regarding the virtues of Ahl al-Bayt (a).

Some Shi'as believe that some manuscripts of Sahih Muslim were subject to distortions.[25] For example, they believe that the hadith, "Mahdi is one of my households and a progeny of Fatima," and the hadith, "the best women in all the worlds were four," were cited in older prints of Sahih Muslim, and some other Sunni sources, such as al-Sawa'iq al-muhriqa, Kanz al-'ummal, and al-Mustadrak 'ala l-sahihayn, have cited these hadiths from Sahih Muslim, but in more recent versions of the book, the two hadiths cannot be found.[26]

Objections and Criticisms

  • Objections to its chains of transmitters and content: It is held that Sahih Muslim suffers from problems in its chains of transmitters and its content. For example, in some cases some links in the chains of transmitters are not mentioned, and in some cases, there is "inclusion", that is, the transmitter's words are included in the text of the hadith.[27] According to Najm al-Din al-Tabasi, there are about 14 cases of ta'liq (failure to mention a consecutive link in the chain of transmitters), tadlis (covering up a weakness in a hadith), and fabricated hadiths in Sahih Muslim. He says that Ibn al-Hajar al-'Asqalani wrote the book, Wuquf 'ala ma fi Sahih Muslim min al-mawquf about such problems in the book, collecting about 192 mawquf[Note 2] or maqtu'[Note 3] hadiths in Sahih Muslim.[28] Al-Nawawi[29] and al-Hakim al-Nishaburi have cast doubt over the accuracy of some hadiths in the book.[30] In his introduction to his book, Fath al-bari, ibn al-Hajar says, Muslim cited 32 hadiths from the 110 problematic and objectionable hadiths that had been cited in Sahih al-Bukhari.[31]
  • Failure to give titles to chapters of the book: Although Muslim organizes his book into chapters, he fails to give titles to them.[32] Titles were later given to the chapters by subsequent Sunni authors.[33]
  • Transmission of hadiths from transmitters whose reliability was not accepted: Some scholars of hadiths, such as Abu Mazra'a al-Razi and Ibn Wara al-Razi have objected to Sahih Muslim because it contains hadiths from Asbat b. Nasr, Qutn b. Nasir, and Ahmad b. 'Isa al-Misri. In his book concerning the transmitters of hadiths in Sahihayn,[34] Shaykh Yusuf al-Sabbaghi rejects the reliability of some transmitters whose hadiths were cited by al-Bukhari and Muslim, such as Mughira b. Shu'ba.[35] Also, the book, Riwayat al-mudallisin fi Sahih Muslim (Hadiths by people who covered up weaknesses in hadiths in Sahih Muslim), claims that there are 86 transmitters whose hadiths were cited in Sahih Muslim, but they were accused of "tadlis" or covering up weaknesses in hadiths.[36]

Books about Sahih Muslim

Sunni scholars wrote commentaries, supplements, and summaries for Sahih Muslim, including:

Commentaries

  • Al-Minhaj fi sharh al-jami' li l-Husayn b. al-Hajjaj; Abu Zakariya Muhyi l-Din Yahya b. al-Sharaf al-Nawawi al-Shafi'i (d. 676/1278). This book has an outstanding position in scientific academies.[37]
  • Minhaj al-Ibtihaj; Al-Qastallani
  • Al-Ikaml fi sharh Muslim; Qadi 'Ayad b. Musa al-Yahsibi al-Maliki (d. 788/1386)
  • Al-Mu'lim bi fawa'id kitab Muslim; Abu 'Abd Allah Muhammad b. 'Ali Maziri (d. 536/1141-1142)
  • Al-Mufhim li ma ushkil min talakhkhus kitab Muslim; Abu 'Abbas Ahmad b. 'Umar b. Ibrahim al-Qurtubi (d. 656/1258)
  • Al-Dibaj 'ala Sahih Muslim b. al-Hallaj; Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti (d. 911/1505-1506)
  • Sharh zawa'id Muslim 'ala l-Bukhari; Siraj al-Din 'Umar b. 'Ali b. al-Mulaqqin al-Shafi'i (d. 804/1402)[38]
  • Nur al-Haqq b. 'Abd al-Haqq Dihlawi (d. 1073/1663) has interpreted it in Persian.[39]

Supplements

Main article: Mustadrak

Some Sunni authors have published hadiths that were not cited by Muslim in his Sahih in separate books:

  • Al-Musnad al-Sahih; Abu Bakr Muhammad b. A'bd Allah al-Jawzaqi al-Niyshaburi al-Shafi'i (d. 388/988)
  • Al-Musnad al-Mustakhraj 'ala Muslim; Abu Na'im Isfahani (d. 430/1039)
  • Al-Istidrak wa l-Tatabbu'; Abu l-Hasan 'Ali b. 'Umar Darqutni (d. 385/995)[40]

Summaries

  • Mukhtasar al-Muslim by al-Mundhiri
  • Talkhis al-Muslim by al-Qurtubi
  • Mukhtasar al-Musnad al-sahih 'ala Muslim by Abu 'Awana Ya'qub b. Ishaq al-Isfarayini (d. 316/928)[41]

Criticisms

Some Shiite and Sunni scholars wrote books in Arabic and Persian to criticize Sahih Muslim.

  • 'Ilal al-ahadith fi kitab al-Sahih li Muslim; Abu l-Fadl Muhammad b. Abi l-Hasan b. Jarud, known as the Martyred Ibn 'Ammar
  • Al-Wuquf 'ala ma fi Sahih Muslim min al-wuquf
  • Riwayat al-mudallisin fi Sahih Muslim

Also, there are books written to criticize Sahihayn and al-Sihah al-Sitta, part of which is devoted to criticize Sahih Muslim.

  • Siyri dar Sahihayn; Muhammad Sadiq Najmi (d. 1361 sh/1982)
  • Sahih Bukhari wa Muslim dar tarazu-ya naqd; Sayyid 'Ali Husayni Milani
  • Al-Ifsah 'an ahwal ruwat al-Sihah; Muhammad Hasan Al Muzaffar (d. 1375sh/1996)
  • Al-Qawl al-sirah fi hawl al-Sihah; Shaykh al-shari'a Isfahani (d. 1339/1921)
  • Tuhfat al-'Ulama' fi man akhraj 'anh-u al-Bukhari wa Muslim min al-du'afa'; 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din
  • Al-Tanbih 'ala l-awham al-warida fi al-Sahihayn; Al-Husayn b. Muhammad Jiyani[42]

Publication

Sahih Muslim was frequently published in India, Turkey, and Egypt. For example, it was published by Dar al-Tiba'a al-'Amira in Istanbul from 1329/1911 to 1334/1915 as edited by Isma'il b. Ahmad al-Tirablusi.[43]

Notes

  1. Nawawī, al-Minhāj, vol. 1, p. 96-97.
  2. Nawawī, al-Minhāj, vol. 1, p. 75-76.
  3. Fāḍilī, Faḍāʾil-i Ahl al-Bayt, p. 73.
  4. Ḥājī Khalīfa, Kashf al-ḍunūn, vol. 1, p. 555.
  5. Nawawī, al-Minhāj, vol. 1, p. 81-82.
  6. Mudīr Shānachī, ʿIlm al-ḥadīth, p. 67.
  7. Mudīr Shānachī, ʿIlm al-ḥadīth, p. 68.
  8. Ṣabbāghī, Barrasī-yi rijāl-i ṣaḥīḥayn, vol. 1, p. 140.
  9. Khaṭīb al-Baghdādī, Tārīkh Baghdad, vol. 13, p. 103.
  10. Ṣabbāghī, Barrasī-yi rijāl-i ṣaḥīḥayn, vol. 1, p. 139-140.
  11. Nawawī, al-Minhāj, vol. 1, p. 11-17.
  12. Ḥājī Khalīfa, Kashf al-ḍunūn, vol. 1, p. 556.
  13. Mudīr Shānachī, ʿIlm al-ḥadīth, p. 68.
  14. Fāḍilī, Faḍāʾil-i Ahl al-Bayt, p. 82.
  15. Fāḍilī, Faḍāʾil-i Ahl al-Bayt, p. 300.
  16. Ṭabasī, Darsnāma-yi rijāl-i muqārin, p. 203.
  17. Naṣīrī, Āshnāyī bā jawāmiʿ-i ḥadīthī, p. 256.
  18. Naṣīrī, Āshnāyī bā jawāmiʿ-i ḥadīthī, p. 256.
  19. Nawawī, al-Minhāj, vol. 1, p. 130-131.
  20. Nawawī, al-Minhāj, vol. 1, p. 130-131.
  21. Mudīr Shānachī, ʿIlm al-ḥadīth, p. 66.
  22. Nawawī, al-Minhāj, vol. 1, p. 79.
  23. Ḥājī Khalīfa, Kashf al-ḍunūn, vol. 1, p. 555.
  24. Nawawī, al-Minhāj, vol. 1, p. 128; Ḥājī Khalīfa, Kashf al-ḍunūn, vol. 1, p. 555; Ibn Kathīr, al-Bidāya wa l-nihāya, vol. 11, p. 33.
  25. Ḥusaynī Mīlānī, al-Taḥrīfāt wa l-taṣrīfāt, p. 15-22.
  26. ʿAzīzī, Taḥrīf-i salafīyya dar mīrāth-i maktūb, p. 70-71.
  27. Ṭabasī, Darsnāma-yi rijāl-i muqārin, p. 200-201.
  28. Ṭabasī, Darsnāma-yi rijāl-i muqārin, p. 200-201.
  29. Nawawī, al-Minhāj, vol. 1, p. 130-131.
  30. Ṣabbāghī, Barrasī-yi rijāl-i ṣaḥīḥayn, vol. 1, p. 141.
  31. Ibn Ḥajar, Fatḥ al-bārī, p. 345.
  32. Ḥājī Khalīfa, Kashf al-ḍunūn, vol. 1, p. 556.
  33. Mudīr Shānachī, ʿIlm al-ḥadīth, p. 68.
  34. Pākatchī, Pazhūhishī pīrāmūn-i jawāmiʿ-i ḥadīthī-yi ahl-i sunnat, vol. 2, p. 179.
  35. Ṣabbāghī, Barrasī-yi rijāl-i ṣaḥīḥayn, vol. 1, p. 150.
  36. Khalaf, Riwāyat al-mudlasīn, p. 474.
  37. Ḥusaynī Mīlānī, Jawāhir al-kalām, p. 72.
  38. Nawawī, al-Minhāj, vol. 1, p. 82-90; Ḥājī Khalīfa, Kashf al-ḍunūn, vol. 1, p. 557-558.
  39. Fāḍilī, Faḍāʾil-i Ahl al-Bayt, p. 72.
  40. Nawawī, al-Minhāj, vol. 1, p. 90-93; Ḥājī Khalīfa, Kashf al-ḍunūn, vol. 1, p. 556-557.
  41. Nawawī, al-Minhāj, vol. 1, p. 90-92; Ḥājī Khalīfa, Kashf al-ḍunūn, vol. 1, p. 556-558.
  42. Pākatchī, Pazhūhishī pīrāmūn-i jawāmiʿ-i ḥadīthī-yi ahl-i sunnat, vol. 2, p. 178-200.
  43. Mudīr Shānachī, ʿIlm al-ḥadīth, p. 68.
  1. In hadith terminology, it is deliberate inclusion of a phrase by the transmitter of the hadith as though it is mistakenly regarded as the main part of the hadith
  2. A hadith that ends with a companion of the Prophet (s) or Imam (a) and is not authentic
  3. A hadith that ends with a "tabi'i" who is a Muslim who have met or talked to one or more of the Prophet Muhammad's (s) companion, but did not meet the Prophet (s) himself.

References

  • ʿAzīzī, Naṣr. Taḥrīf-i salafīyya dar mīrāth-i maktūb. Tehran: Nashr-i Mashʿar, 1395 Sh.
  • Fāḍilī, ʿAlī. Faḍāʾil-i Ahl al-Bayt dar ṣiḥāḥ-i sitta-yi ahl-i sunnat. Qom: Majmaʿ Jahānī-yi Shīʿa Shināsī, 1391 Sh.
  • Ḥājī Khalīfa, Muṣṭafā b. ʿAbd Allāh al-. Kashf al-ḍunūn ʿan asāmī l-kutub wa l-funūn. Beirut: Dār Iḥyāʾ al-Turāth al-ʿArabī, 1410 AH.
  • Ḥusaynī Mīlānī, Sayyid ʿAlī. Al-Taḥrīfāt wa l-taṣrīfāt fī l-kutub al-sunna. Qom: Markaz al-abḥāth al-iʿtiqādīyya, 1421 AH.
  • Ḥusaynī Mīlānī, Sayyid ʿAlī. Jawāhir al-kalām fī maʿrifat al-imāmat wa l-Imām. Qom: al-Ḥaqāʾiq, 1389 Sh.
  • Ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī, Aḥmad b. ʿAlī. Fatḥ al-bārī. Beirut: Dār Iḥyāʾ al-Turāth al-ʿArabī, 1408 AH.
  • Ibn Kathīr, Ismāʿīl b. ʿUmar. Al-Bidāya wa l-nihāya. Beirut: Dār al-Fikr, 1407 AH.
  • Khaṭīb al-Baghdādī, Aḥmad b. ʿAlī al-. Tārīkh Baghdad. Edited by Muṣṭafā ʿAbd al-Qādir ʿAṭāʾ. Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmīyya, [n.d].
  • Mudīr Shānachī, Kāẓim. ʿIlm al-ḥadīth. Qom: Daftar-i Intishārāt-i Islāmī, 1381 Sh.

Naṣīrī, Āshnāyī bā jawāmiʿ-i ḥadīthī, p. 256.

  • Nawawī, Yaḥya b. Sharaf al-. Al-Minhāj. Edited by Maʾmūn Shaḥyāʾ. Beirut: Dār al-Maʿrifa, 1423 AH.
  • Pākatchī, Aḥmad. Pazhūhishī pīrāmūn-i jawāmiʿ-i ḥadīthī-yi ahl-i sunnat. Tehran: Dānishgāh-i Imām Ṣādiq, 1391 Sh.
  • Ṣabbāghī, Yūsuf. Barrasī-yi rijāl-i ṣaḥīḥayn. Qom: Anṣārīyān, 1382 Sh.
  • Ṭabasī, Najm al-Dīn al-. Darsnāma-yi rijāl-i muqārin. Edited by Ḥamīd Riḍā Rūḥānī. Qom: Muʾassisa-yi Āmūzishī wa Pazhūhishī-yi Madhāhib-i Islāmī, 1385 Sh.