143. What are the Hadith and Sunnah?

The Hadith are a collection of traditions containing the sayings of the Prophet of Islâm, Muhammed of Medina. It gives accounts of the daily actions of the Prophet and it has become a major source of guidance for Muslims apart from the Qur’an. The hadith are ascribed to many compilers of these practices. The main hadith are are sourced fro the writings of Sahih Al Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, Maliks Muwatta, Shama-il-Tirmidhi, Fiqh-us Sunnah, Abu Dawud, Hadith Qudsi, and An Nawawi. In total there are about 5,000 hadith available to help the enquirer understand the actions of the Prophet of Islâm. These hadith are used to shoe an Islâmic Judges understanding of Shari’ah Law.

The Sunnah literally means ‘the path, method, way’ and it contains the religious practices that are established by the Prophet of Islâm among his companions and passed down through the generations by collective census. Alternatively the hadith has been derived from the narrations of the companions of the Prophet of Islâm who narrated a story or a statement about the Prophet of Islâm. The hadith has reached us today through a few narrators in every generation. The established Sunnah is regarded as reliable as the Qur’an because it has been transmitted in the same way. The Sunnah and Qur’an are regarded as primary sources of Islâm. Hadith is a secondary source. However it is a very rich source of understanding about Islâm.