By Omar K Neusser
الرَّاحِمُونَ يَرْحَمُهُمْ الرَّحْمَنُ ارْحَمُوا مَنْ فِي الْأَرْضِ يَرْحَمْكُمْ مَنْ فِي السَّمَاءِ
Those who are merciful have mercy shown them by the All-Merciful One (Ar-Rahîm):
"Show mercy to those who are on earth,
then He Who is in heaven will show mercy unto you."
Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi 1924, Sahih (authentic)
A hadith is a saying or narration of the Prophet's ﷺ speech, deed, or approval or disapproval - whether spoken or tacit - about something. The hadiths have been learned by heart by the Muslims, later recorded, authenticated and handed down to us through the centuries.
Next to the revelation of the Quran is this the greatest 'miracle' of Islam, for which there is no equivalent anywhere:
Authentic traditions with chains of transmissions, critically and thoroughly examined by Muslim scholars and experts of hadith science, preserved and taught to the present day.
To understand how the Companions, the best generation of humankind, cherished whatever the Prophet ﷺ brought them, read the story of the Prophetic Hadith, its origins, why and how hadith were collected and compiled. Then there is an important series of texts entitled: The Probativeness of the Sunna (Hujjiyya al-Sunna) which prove the fundamental importance of the Sunna in Islam.
Apart from presenting some hadith in English (1.) and other languages, the present articles deal with various issues of hadith (2.), such as their early compilation, about the main hadith collections, on the relationship of fiqh and hadith, about the difference of knowing the hadîth and practicing it, about the madhhabs of the Imams of hadith, on the validity of weak hadith and their use in morals, not in law; about the reliability and meaning of the hadith that 'the difference of opinion among the Companions of Muhammad is a mercy'; then questions of reliability and ethics, ulemas' comments on some sound (sahîh) hadiths, on two necessary conditions of the hadith narrator, or on the attributes of the masters of hadith, and on the ethics in hadith transmission, last but not least on the memorization of hadith.
Then (all pdf-files) about Strictness and Laxity in Hadith Criticism, about the Superiority Of Fiqh Over Hadith, and why the hadith "My Companions are like the stars" is admissible, or on the "Hidden Treasure" hadith, as well as other examples from al-Qârî's Dictionary of Hadîth Forgeries. Also a book review on the Science Of Hadîth and then about the Dâr al-Hadîth al-Ashrafiyya in Damascus, which at the time of al-Nawawî, had the Noble Sandal of the Prophet ﷺ in its possession.
The Sunna ( def: Sunna ) therefore is the standard practice, primarily of the Prophet ﷺ , including his sayings, deeds, tacit approvals or disapprovals. "The Sunna points to Allah's judgment, either as definitive knowledge (`ilm) or as assumed knowledge (zann), bringing it out and disclosing it for us. We understand Allah's rulings by means of the Sunna and it becomes binding upon us to put its content into practice."
GF Haddad in: Probativeness of Sunna (Hujjiyya al-Sunna)
See also An-Nawawi on sincerity towards the Messenger ﷺ above
Further check this treatise:
Studies In Hadith Methodology And Literature, by Muhammad Mustafa Azami
Have You Been Blackmailed With Bukhari Yet? Sahih Hadith and Fiqh
"Not anything (nothing) goes together with another thing,
as does science (of God and religion) and kindness (graciousness)."
Reported by Al-Tabâranî, RS-1038
“As for sincerity to His Messenger ﷺ may Allah bless him and grant him peace, it is:
affirmation of him for the message,
affirmation of everything that he brought [the hadith being a major part of it],
obeying him in his command and in his prohibition,
helping him in his life and after his death,
showing enmity to whoever shows enmity to him and friendship to**
exalting his right and showing respect for him,
bringing his way and his sunnah to life,
spreading his da'wah and his sunnah,
rejecting any suspicion about it and
spreading its sciences and becoming learned in the fiqh*,
calling others to it [his sunnah],
showing gentleness in learning and teaching it,
exalting it and acknowledging its majesty,
showing courtesy when reading about it,
avoiding talking about it without knowledge,
honouring its people because of their relationship to it,
taking on its qualities of character and its courtesies,
love for the people of his house and his companions, and
avoidance of whoever innovates in his sunnah or shows opposition to anyone of his companions and the like of that.”
* understanding of the legal implications.
** and showing friendship to whoever shows friendship to him
An-Nawawi on sincerity towards the Messenger ﷺ from:
Imam an-Nawawi; The Complete Forty Hadith, rev. ed. with the Arabic texts;
trnsl. Abdassamad Clarke; Ta-Ha Publishers Ltd. London