The Compilation Of Hadith

Shaykh Abdul Ghaffar Hassan Rehmaanee

Translated by Abu Hibbaan and Abu Khuzaimah

Table Of Contents

The First Period

  • Famous Memorizers of  Hadeeth
  • – >The Sahaabah (Companions )
  • – >The Taabi’een (Successors)
  • The Written Works of the First Period

The protection and preservation of ahaadeeth came about in three ways :

  1. The Ummah acting upon the ahaadeeth
  2. Memorisation and writing.
  3. Narrating and teaching ahaadeeth in study circles.

Using these methods the gathering, compilation, classification, formation and writing of ahaadeeth over time can be classified into four periods.


This era extended from the lifetime of the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu alayhe wa sallam) up until the first century Hijrah. In this period ahaadeeth were gathered by memorisation, teaching and compilations. The details of this are:

Famous  Memorizers of Hadeeth

The Sahaabah (Companions)

  1. Abu Hurairah (Abdur-Rahmaan) (radi- Allaahu ‘anhu) d.59H at the age of 78; he narrated 5374 ahaadeeth. The number of his students reaches 800
  2. Abdullaah Ibn Abbaas (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu) d.68H at the age of 71; he narrated 2660 ahaadeeth
  3. Aa’ishah Siddeeqa (radi- Allaahu ‘anhaa) d.58H at the age of 67; she narrated 2210 ahaadeeth
  4. Abdullaah Ibn  Umar  (radi-Allaahu  ‘anhu)  d.73H  at  the  age  of  84;  he  narrated 630 ahaadeeth
  5. Jaabir Ibn  Abdullaah (radi- Allaahu  ‘anhu) d.78H  at  the  age  of  94;  he  narrated 1560 ahaadeeth
  6. Anas Ibn  Maalik  (radi- Allaahu  ‘anhu)  d.93H  at  the  age  of  103;   he  narrated 1286 ahaadeeth and
  7. Abu  Sa’eed   al-Khudree   (radi- Allaahu   ‘anhu)   d.74H   at   the   age   of   84;  he narrated 1170  ahaadeeth.

These Companions were amongst those who had memorised more than 1000 ahaadeeth.


  1. Abdullaah Ibn  Amr Ibn  al-Aas (radi- Allaahu ‘anhu) d.63H
  2. Alee Ibn  Abee Taalib  (radi-Allaahu  ‘anhu) d.40H and
  3. Umar Ibn  al-Khattaab  (radi- Allaahu ‘anhu) d.33H

Are amongst those Companions who narrated between 500 and 1000 ahaadeeth. Likewise:

  1. Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu) d.13H
  1. Uthmaan Ibn  Affaan  Dhun-Noorain (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu) d.36H
  1. Umm Salamah (radi- Allaahu ‘anhaa) d.59H
  1. Abu Moosaa al- Asha’aree (radi- Allaahu ‘anhu) d.52H
  1. Abu Dharr al-Ghaffaree (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu) d.32H
  1. Abu Ayyoob al- Ansaaree (radi- Allaahu ‘anhu) d.51H
  1. Ubayy Ibn Ka’ab (radi-Allaahu  ‘anhu) d.19H and
  1. Mu’aadh Ibn Jabal (radi-Allaahu  ‘anhu) d.81H

Are amongst those Companions who narrated more than 100 but less than 500 ahaadeeth.

The Taabi’een (Successors)

And we cannot forget the major Taabi’een (Successors) who, after endless striving, gathered the treasures of the Sunnah so the Ummah of Muha mmad (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) could become enriched with it forever; from amongst them are:

1)   Sa’eed Ibn al-Mussayab

He was born in the second year of the reign of Umar (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu) in Madeenah and died in 105H. He learnt ahaadeeth and its knowledge from Uthmaan, Aa’ishah, Abu Hurairah and Zaid Ibn Thaabit (radi-Allaahu ‘anhum).

2)   Urwah Ibn Zubair

He was counted from amongst the great people of knowledge from Madeenah and he was the nephew of Aa’ishah (radi-Allaahu ‘anhaa). He narrated mostly from his aunt. He had the pleasure of being the student of Abu Hurairah (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu) and Zaid Ibn Thaabit (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu). Saalih Ibn Kiysaan and Imaam az-Zuhree are counted from amongst his students. He died in the year 94H.

3)   Saalim Ibn Abdullaah Ibn Umar

He was from the 7 famous Jurists of Madeenah; he learnt ahaadeeth from his father Abdullaah Ibn Umar (radi- Allaahu ‘anhu) and other Companions. Naaf’i, az-Zuhree and other famous Successors were from his students. He died in 106H.

4)   Naaf’i

He was the servant of Abdullaah [i.e. Ibn Umar (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu)] . He was his special student and the teacher of Imaam Maalik (rahimahullaah). Maalik from Naaf’i from Abdullaah Ibn Umar from the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) is known amongst the scho lars of hadeeth as the golden chain. Naaf’i died in 117H.

The Written Works of the First Period

1.     Saaheefa Saadiqaa

This has been attributed to Abdullaah Ibn Amr al-Aas (d.63H at the age of 77). He had a great love for writing and making notes and whatever he heard from the Prophet Muhammad (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam), he would write down. He personally had permission from the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam).[See Mukhtasar Jaami Bayaan al -Ilm (pp.  36-37).] This treatise is composed of about 1000 ahaadeeth. It remained secure and preserved within his family for a long time. All of it can be found in the Musnad of Imaam Ahmad (rahimahullaah).

2.     Saaheefa Saheehaa

This is attributed to Humaam Ibn Munabbeh (rahimahullaah) (d.101H). He was from the famous students of Abu Hurairah (radi- Allaahu ‘anhu); he wrote all the ahaadeeth from his teacher. Copies of this manuscript are available from libraries in Berlin (Germany) and Damascus (Syria); Imaam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (rahimahullaah) has categorised all of this Saaheefa in his Musnad, under Abu Hurairah (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu). [For further details see Saaheefa Humaam of  Dr.  Hameedullaah  and Musnad Ahmad (2/312-318).] This treatise, after considerable effort by Dr. Hameedullaah, has been printed and distributed from Hyderabad (Deccan). It contains 138 narrations. This Saaheefa is a part of the ahaadeeth narrated from Abu Hurairah, most of its narration’s are in Bukhaaree and Muslim; the words of the ahaadeeth are extremely similar and there are no major differences between them.

3.     Saaheefa Basheer Ibn Naheek

He was the student of Abu Hurairah (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu). He also gathered and wrote a treatise of ahaadeeth which he read to Abu Hurairah (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu), before they departed, and he verified it.[See Jaami al-Bayaan (1/72) and Tahdheeb at-Tahdheeb (1/470)]

4.     Musnad Abu Hurairah (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu)

It was written during the time of the Companions. Its copy was with the father of Umar Ibn Abdul Azeez (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu), Abdul Azeez Ibn Marwaan, the Governor of Misr who died in 86H. He wrote to Katheer Ibn Murrah instructing him to write down all the hadeeth he heard from the Companions and to send them to him. Along with this command, he told him not to send the ahaadeeth of Abu Hurairah as he already had them.[See Saaheefa Humaam  (p.50) and Tabaqaat Ibn Sa’ad  (7/157)]

And the Musnad of Abu Hurairah (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu) was hand-written by Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah). It is available in a library in Germany.[Muqqadimah Tuhfatul-Ahwadhee Sharh Jaami Tirmidhee (p.165)]

5.     Saaheefa Alee (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu)

We find from Imaam Bukhaaree’s checking that this collection was quite voluminous and it had in it issues of zakah, and from the actions that were permissible or impermissible in Madeenah, the Khutbatul-Hajjah al-Widah and Islaamic guidelines.[Saheeh al-Bukhaaree, Kitaab al-Ei’tisaam bil-Kitaab was Sunnah (1/451)]

6.     The Final  Sermon of the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam)

On the conquest of Makkah the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) told Abu Shah Yamanee (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu) to write down the final sermon.[Saheeh al-Bukhaaree (1/20), Mukhtasar Jaami Bayaan al-Ilm (p. 36) and Saheeh Muslim (1/439)]

7.     Saaheefa Jaabir (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu)

His students, Wahb Ibn Munabbeh (d.110H) and Sulaymaan Ibn Qais Lashkaree, collected the narrations of Jaabir (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu). In it they wrote down issues of Hajj and the Khutbatul-Hajjah al-Widah.[Tahdheeb at-Tahdheeb (4/215)]

8.     Narrations of Aa’ishah Siddeeqa (radi-Allaahu ‘anhaa)

The narrations of  Aa’ishah Siddeeqa were written by her student, Urwah Ibn  Zubair.[Tahdheeb at-Tahdheeb (7/183)]

9.     Ahaadeeth of Ibn Abbaas (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu)

There were many compilations of the ahaadeeth of Ibn Abbaas (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu). Sa’eed Ibn Jubair would compile his ahaadeeth.[ad-Daarimee (p. 68)]

10.  The Saaheefa of Anas Ibn  Maalik (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu)

Sa’eed Ibn Hilaal narrates that Anas Ibn Maalik (radi- Allaahu ‘anhu) would mention everything he had written by memory; whilst showing us he would say:

“I heard this narration from the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu alayhe wa sallam) myself and I would write it down and repeat it to the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) so that he would affirm it.” [Saaheefa Ibn Humaam (p. 34) from Khateeb al-Baghdaadee and al-Haakim (3/574)]

11.  Amr Ibn Hazm (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu)

When he was made the Governor and sent to Yemen he was given written instructions and guidance. Not only did he protect the guidelines but he also added 21 commands of the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) and he made it into the form of a book.[al-Wathaiq as-Siyaasah (p.105), Tabaree (p.104)]

12.  Risaalah of Samurah Ibn Jundub (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu)

This was given to his son in the form of a will; this was a great treasure.[Tahdheeb at-Tahdheeb (4/236)]

13.  Sa’ad Ibn Ubaadah (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu)

He knew how to read and write from the time of Jahiliyyah.

14.  Maktoob Naaf’i (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu)

Sulaymaan Ibn Moosaa narrates that Abdullaah Ibn Umar (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu) would dictate and Naaf’i would write.[Ad-Daarimee (p.69) and Saaheefa Ibn Humaam ( p.45) from Tabaqaat Ibn Sa’ad]

15. Ma’an narrates that Abdur-Rahmaan Ibn Abdullaah Ibn Mas’ood took out a book and whilst raising the cover he would say: ‘My father wrote this.[Mukhtasar Jaami Bayaan al-Ilm (p.37)]

If the research were to continue the number of examples and occurrences would be too great. During this time the Companions (radi- Allaahu ‘anhum) and the major Successors concentrated on using their memories to write. During the second period the gathering of ahaadeeth started.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s