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All Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessings of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammad, and on his family and companions.

The methodology of the expert scholars of Islam in sorting out the analytic explanation and jurisprudence of hadith is a very important task in dealing with Hadith. In this article a brief discussion is given of the elements of analytical explanation of the Hadith and its resources .

An analytical explanation of Hadith is a process of explaining the hadith by taking its words one after the other in order to examine and comprehend its content. It clarifies the meaning of the hadith and determines the condition of the sanad of the hadith is.

Below are the elements of analytical explanation of the Hadith and its resources.

1 . Analysis of Isnad: The word Isnaad in Arabic means “support” and it is in effect a chain of narrations from the reporter back to the Prophet. Analysis of Isnad is the first element of analytical explanation of Hadith done by the scholars of Islam in filtering out useless traditions.

2 . Analytic Explanation of Matn: Matn is the text of the Hadeeth or what the Prophet (peace be upon him) actually said. There are two great methods usually applied by the scholars for analytic explanation of the text of the hadith.

A . Analysis of each word of the Hadith by explaining their literal meaning in the light of Arabic language and their terminology in Shariah.

B . Analysis of the general meaning of the Hadith in the light of Qur'an and Sunnah by gathering together all the Ahadith related to a particular topic of the Hadith.

3 . Elicitation of the derived lessons in the Hadith.

Since Islamic legal scholars were utilizing hadith as an adjunct to the Qur'an in their development of the Islamic legal system, it became critically important to have a reliable source of hadith. While the early collections of hadith often contained hadiths that were of questionable origin, gradual collections of authenticated hadiths called sahih (lit. true, correct) were compiled. Such collections were made possible by the development of the science of hadith . The most highly respected sources of hadith are the authenticated collections the Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, Sunan of Tirmidhi, Nasa'i, Ibn Majah, and Abu Da'ud. Two other important collections, in particular, are the Muwatta of Ibn Malik, the founder of the Maliki school of law, and the Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal, the founder of the Hanbali school of law.

The scholars of Islam through the ages of the intellectual and scholarly History of Islam made golden efforts to render the contents of these books into clear meanings that suit the interpretation of the pious predecessors from those who saw and took knowledge and training from Prophet Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) directly; known as the sahaaba (may Allah be pleased with all of them). Among the popular explanations of the books of hadith written by the great scholars of Islam who have reached the degree of ijtihad are:

1 . Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajar al-Asqalaani (died: 852, A.D) wrote a classic commentary on Sahih Bukhari, a unique commentary of its type. He named it Fathul-Baari; Sharh Sahih Al-Bukhari.  Al-Qaadi Badruddeen Al-Aini (died:855) also had a commentary on Sahih Al-Bukhari named as:” Umdatul-Qaari Sharh Sahih Al-Bukhari.

2 . Imam Muhyiddeen An-Nawawi (died:676.A.H) wrote his commentary on Sahih Muslim. His book is known as “Al-Minhaj Fi Sharh Sahih Muslim Ibn Al-Hajjaaj"

3 . Imam Abu Sulaiman Al-Khattaabi (died:338 A.H) wrote commentary on Sunan Abi Daawud in a book he called: “ Ma’aalim As-Sunan.

4 . Shaykh Saalih Al-Uthaymain; a renowned scholar of Saudi-Arabia (died:2010) wrote commentary on Riyad-s-Saliheen.

In summary, analytical explanation of Hadith requires a sound understanding and appreciation of the classics of Arabic literature of the Prophet's time and training in various disciplines necessary for understanding and analyzing any segment of the whole corpus of the sources of religious knowledge. In short, analysis, in the true sense of the word, of this historical record---the Hadith---is the job of a scholar.

 

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