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Muslim Students

By: Amina Noormohamed

Muslims follow the Holy Qur’an and the Hadith Shareef. The Qur’an is Holy Scripture, Word of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala). ┬áHadith is what Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihi wa Sallam) said. Sunnah is what Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihi wa Sallam) said, did, or approved of. When we recite Hadith we learn about his Sunnah. We want to learn about his Hadith because we want to follow what he did and what he approved of, in detail. Hadith is mentioned in the Qur’an and it is referred to as Hikmah (Wisdom) in the following verse: 

And Allah has sent down to you the Book (the Qur’an) and the Wisdom and taught you what you knew not (before), and great is the Grace of Allah upon you. (4:113)

Hadith is next in importance to the Qur’an, because Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala) tells us in the Qur’an to obey Him and the beloved Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihi wa Sallam) as in the following verses: 

Say (O Beloved Prophet): If you do love Allah, then follow me; Allah will love you and forgive you your sins, and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. (3:31)

O you who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger and those in authority from amongst you, then if you have a dispute concerning any matter, refer it to Allah and the Messenger if you are (in truth) believers in Allah and the Last Day. That is better and very good in the end. (4:59)

Whoso obeys the Messenger, indeed obeys Allah and whoso turns away, We have not sent you as a warder over them. (4:80)

O people! The Messenger has come to you with the Truth from your Lord. Therefore believe, (it is) better for you. And if you disbelieve, still, surely! to Allah belongs whatsoever is in the heavens and the earth, and Allah is Ever-Knower, Wise. (4:170)

O you who believe! Obey Allah and His Messenger, and turn not away from him when you hear (him speak). (8:20)

O you who believe! Be not unfaithful to Allah and the Messenger, nor knowingly betray your trusts. (8:27)
You have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful example (of conduct) for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day and remembers Allah much. (33:21)

And it befits not a believing man or a believing woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter (for them), that they should (after that) claim any choice in their matter, and whoso disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he surely has gone astray in manifest error. (33:36)

O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and render not your deeds useless. (47:33)

The (true) believers are only those who believe in Allah and His Messenger and afterward doubt not, but strive with their wealth and their lives in the Way of Allah. It is they who are the truthful. (49:15)

And whatsoever the Messenger gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it). And fear Allah, surely! Allah is severe in retributing (evil). (59:7)

For this reason the Qur’an is the first source of Muslim law and Hadith is the second source of Muslim law.
Whatever Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihi wa Sallam) said, did or approved of was narrated by his Family members and Companions as Hadith. The man who narrated the most number of Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihi wa Sallam) was Hadrat Abu Huraira (Rady Allahu Anhu), and the lady who narrated the most Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihi wa Sallam) was Sayyidatina Aisha (Rady Allahu Anha).

There are six major books of Hadith. These books are: Sahih Bukhari by Imam Bukhari (194 A.H.-256 A.H.) containing 7275 Hadith, Sahih Muslim by Imam Muslim (206 A.H.-261 A.H.) containing 4000 Hadith, Jami by Imam Tirmizi (209 A.H-279 A.H.) containing 1600 Hadith, Sunan by Imam Abu Dawud (202 A.H.-275 A.H.) containing 4800 Hadith, Sunan by Imam Ibnu Maja (passed away 283 A.H.), and finally Sunan by Imam An-Nasaai (215 A.H.-303 A.H.).

Each Hadith is classified in a specific manner, for example: Sahih (sound), Hasan (good, approved), Da‘if (weak), Mutawatir (with a continuous chain of narrators), Mash-hur (well-known, handed down by at least three different reliable authorities), Muttafaqun Alaih (agreed upon by both Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim), Ghareeb (rare, unfamiliar), and Ma‘ruf (well-known). A Hadith is classified as sound if it has a solid chain of narrators, and is classified as weak if it has a weak chain of narrators.

Some of the things that we learn from Hadith are that the Kalimah Shahadah is the key to Paradise, how to pray our Salah, what is Zakah and how much to give in Zakah, the importance of fasting in the month of Ramadan, and how to perform Hajj. We also learn about Arkan al-Iman or the pillars of Faith, and how to be good Muslims by practicing Ihsan (goodness). We learn about the things that are prohibited in Islam such as stealing, cheating, lying, backbiting, fraud, alcohol and pork. The other thing that we learn from Hadith is what to do or recite on specific occasions for example: when giving in charity, say fee Sabilillah (in the Way of Allah); when getting married, say Amantu Billah (I believe in Allah); when parting from someone, say fee Amanillah (may you be in the protection of Allah); when participating in prayer, say Ameen; and when a death message is received say Inna Lillahi wa Inna Ilayhi Raaji‘un (we are for Allah and indeed to Him we shall return).

If we want to know the totality of Prophet Muhammad’s (Sallallahu alaihi wa Sallam) teachings on any subject (for example charity), we need to study all the Hadith on that subject.

Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihi wa Sallam) said, "Say your five prescribed Prayers, keep Ramadan fasts, give Zakat of your property, and believe in one God." The above topics will now be discussed with a few Hadiths from Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihi wa Sallam) to demonstrate the importance of each subject in a Muslim's life. Unfortunately, all the Hadith are not provided, due to the nature of this short essay.

For one thing, Salah is one of the most important aspects of being a Muslim, where one prays to Allah for forgiveness. The significance of Salah is seen in the Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihi wa Sallam). He used to pray Salah for so long in the night in standing posture that his feet got swollen up. Sayyidatina ‘Aisha (Rady Allahu Anha) asked him, “O Messenger of Allah! Why do you exert so much when Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala) has already forgiven you?” Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihi wa Sallam) replied, “Should I not be a grateful servant of Allah?”

Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihi wa Sallam) also said Salah was the best deed in the sight of Allah, followed by being good to your parents and to do Jihad in the way of Allah. (Bukhari, Muslim)

Sayyidatina Aisha (Rady Allahu Anha) said that Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihi wa Sallam) offered witr Prayers on different nights at various hours extending (from the Isha Prayers) up to the last hours of the night. (Bukhari)
This shows us the importance of Salah, from the above examples of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihi wa Sallam).
Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihi wa Sallam) believed that the month of Ramadan was the most blessed month of the year, and this can be seen in the following Hadith.

Hadrat Salman (Rady Allahu Anhu) reports that Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihi wa Sallam) said, “This is indeed the month of patience, and the reward for patience is Paradise. It is the month of sympathy with one’s fellow men. It is the month wherein a true believer’s sustenance is increased.” (Khuzaimah)

Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihi wa Sallam) believed that you should not fast until you have seen the moon and do not leave the fasts until you see it, and if there are clouds, complete thirty days. (Malik)

He also said that whoever forgets while he is fasting and eats or drinks, let him complete his fast because Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala) has fed him and has given him drink. (Bukhari)

Fasting is one of the pillars of Islam, and in order to practice Islam one needs to fast. The above Hadiths show us what fasting does for a person, and how important it is.

Zakah is also described in many of Prophet Muhammad’s (Sallallahu alaihi wa Sallam) Hadith. Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihi wa Sallam) said, “Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala) loves the pious rich man who (in spite of his piety and wealth) is obscure and unknown to fame.” (Muslim)

Hadrat Abu Huraira (Rady Allahu Anhu) reported that Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihi wa Sallam) said, “The generous man is near Allah, near Paradise, near men, and far from hell; but the miserly man is far from Allah, far from Paradise, far from men, and near hell. Indeed, an ignorant man who is generous is dearer to Allah than is a worshipper who is miserly.” (Tirmidhi)

Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihi wa Sallam) always gave away everything in charity, for example his mule on which he used to ride and a plot of land. (Tirmidhi) These narrations of the Prophet’s sayings and life, demonstrate the gravity of Zakah and Sadaqah (charity) in a Muslim’s life.

Finally, Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihi wa Sallam) believed that Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala) is dearer to him than everything on which the sun rises. (Muslim)

Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihi wa Sallam) used to say, “Glory be to Allah; Praise be to Allah; there is no one worthy of worship but Allah; and Allah in Most Great”, is dearer to me than everything on which the sun rises.” (Muslim)

The tasbih mentoned here is: SubhanAllah wa’l Hamdu Lillah wa laa ilaha Illallah Wallahu Akbar.
Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihi wa Sallam) said if anyone says this 100 times a day, his sins will be removed from him. (Muslim)

Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihi wa Sallam) taught us that there is no might and no power except with Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala).

Hadith is a very important aspect of being a Muslim because it develops love for Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala) and for Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihi wa Sallam). Following the Sayings of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihi wa Sallam) makes you follow the right path.

Iqra-The Islamic Journal. No 9. Iqra Publications, Nairobi, August 1986.
Hadyu Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Salaam). Iqra Publications, Nairobi, 1989.
Sayings Of Prophet Muhammad, (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Salaam), Iqra Publications, Nairobi, 1988

Rabi‘ Awwal 1420, July 1999

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