بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم

اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِيْن،وَالصَّلاۃ وَالسَّلامُ عَلَی النَّبِیِّ الْکَرِيم وَعَلیٰ آله وَاَصْحَابه اَجْمَعِيْن۔

Sahih Muslim and the Efforts of Scholars of Deoband

Firstly an introduction of author of Sahih Muslim Imam Muslim bin Hajjaj is presented.

Name and Genealogy:

His pet name (kunya) is Abul Hussain. His title was Asakiruddin and Muslim was his name. He belonged to a famous Arab tribe called Qushair. His father Hajjaj bin Muslim used to attend lectures on knowledge of Deen, regularly.

Birth and Demise:

He was born in a popular town of Khurasaan called Nishapur probably 202 or 204 or 206 Hijri. This beautiful town lies in the northeast of Iran bordering Turkmenistan. As he was born in Nishapur, he was also called Nishapuri. He passed away on the 25th of Rajab in the year 261 hijri in Nishapur and his last rites were held in his hometown. Imam Muslim’s age was between 55, 57 or 59 when he died....his passing away was also a strange incident. One day, he was asked about a hadith and he couldn’t recognise the hadith at the very moment and then he went onto search for this hadith in his books. There was a basket of dates placed nearby him, and as he was completely immersed in searching for this hadith that he ate all the dates and didn’t even realised it. Andeating of these dates excessively resulted in his death.

Education & Training:

He received the best training available under his parent’s guardianship. This training resulted in his leading a religious life from his childhood to the very last breath. His early education took place in Nishapur. Almighty Allah bestowed him with intelligence and amazing memory.

Learning of Hadith:

He travelled to Iraq, Hejaz, Egypt and Syria etc. several times in search of Hadith and also learnt from the scholars.

Imam Muslim’s Personality:

In all ages, Imam Muslim has been considered as an Imam of hadith, and his position among the scholars of hadith is considers so high that no one other than Imam Bukhari has reached this stature.

Imam Muslim’s Teachers:

Imam Mohammed bin Yahya Zohali, Imam Yahya bin yahya Nishapuri, Imam Ishaq bin Rahwe, Imam Abdullah Alqanabi, Imam Saeed bin Mansoor, Imam Ahmed bin Hanbali and Imam Bukhari are some scholars worth mentioning among his teachers. Imam Muslim started learning Hadith at the age of 12 from Imam YahyaTamimi.

Imam Muslim’s Students:

Imam Abu EesaTirmidhi, Imam Abu-Bakr bin Khuzaima and Imam Abu Hatim Raazi are worth mentioning.

Imam Muslim’s Works:

Some of Imam Muslim’s books are given below:

Kitabul Musnad Al-Kabeer Alar-Rijaal, Jame Kabeer, Kitabul Asma Wal Kuna, KitabulIlal, Kitabul Wuhudaan, Kitabu Hadithi Amar bin Shuaib, Kitabu Mashaaiqi Maalik, Kitabu Mashaaiq al Sauri, Kitabu Mashaaiqi Sho’ba, KitabuZikri Awhaamil Muhaddiseen, Kitabuth Tam’eez, Kitabul Afraad, Kitaabul Aqraan, Kitaabul Mukhdarmeen, Kitabu Awlaadis Sahabah, KitabulIntifabi Juloodis Sibaah, Kitabuth Tabaqaath, Kitaabu Afradish Shamiyyeen, Kitabu RuwatilIythebaat and Sahih Muslim.

Imam Muslim’s Most Important Book Sahih Muslim:

After visiting several countries, Imam Muslim collected four hundred thousand hadiths and among these he left the one hundred thousand repeated hadiths and started investigating the rest three hundred thousand hadith. The hadith which are authentic were selected and compiled in Sahih Muslim. After struggling for fifteen years and a lot hard work, this important book came to completion. It contains nearly seven thousand hadiths, among these several have been repeated. The number of hadiths which are not recurring is four thousand.

Name of Sahih Muslim:

The name of this book by Imam Muslim never became famous even though scholars of hadith have written its name as: Al-Sahih, Al-Musnad Al-Sahih, Al-Jame. Though this book is famously known as Sahih Muslim all over the world.

Sahih Muslim’s Rubaiyaat:

The most highly placed authentic hadiths among Sahih Muslim are those which have only four narrators in the chain from the Messenger, there are a few more than eighty such hadiths in Sahih Muslim. Sulaasiaat, in which there are three narrators in the chain, are not present in Sahih Muslim, but there are twenty two hadiths which are Sulaasiaath in Sahih-Bukhari, among which twenty were narrated from the students of Imam Abu Hanifa.

Muttafaq Alaih Hadith:

The hadith which is present in Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, is called Muttafaq Alaih.

Commentaries on Sahih Muslim:

There are a large number of commentaries written on Sahih Muslim. Among which, Sheikh Abu ZakariyyaYahya bin Sharaf Shafaee Damishqi (631-676H) who is also known as Imam Nawawi’s commentary Al-Minhaj Fi Sharhi Sahih Muslim bin Hajjaj is very popular among the scholars of the Ummah. This work is contained in 10 volumes.

Sahih Muslim and the Efforts of the Scholars of Deoband:

In the sub-continent, with the help of Islamic schools, a lot of effort has been made in the field of hadith that this is universally recognised, and over a period of 150 years, students acquired knowledge from the most popular books of hadith and spread it across the world.

In the sub-continent, Darululoom, Deoband and schools that are created in its fashion, where every year hundreds of thousands of students, after learning the quranic teachings, Sahih Muslim and other hadith texts, become busy in spreading the teachings of the Messenger among the Ummah.

Few Commentaries on Sahih Muslim by the Scholars of Deoband:

The scholars of the sub-continent and especially the scholars from Deoband have written several commentaries on Sahih Muslim, among which Sheikh Shabbir Ahmed Uthmani and Mufti Mohammed Taqi Uthmani’s commentaries are very popular over the world.

Mausua’ Fathil Mulhimbi Sharhi Sahih Imam Muslim: This is an important commentary written by Sheikh Shabbir Ahmed Uthmani in Arabic and is very popular. But he passed away before finishing this work. It contains six volumes and finishes on the Book of Marriage.

Takmilatu Fathil Mulhim: On being asked by his father, Mufti Mohammed Shafi, Mufti Mohammed Taqi Uthmani starting from the Book of Feeding, finished this in six volumes in Arabic. He also wrote his notes on the previous six volumes and with his effort this book came to be published. This is very popular among the Ummah and especially among the Arab scholars. Many publishers from Lebanon have printed this commentary. In this age, popular scholars from the Arab world, Dr.Yousuf Qardawi and Sheikh Abdul Fattah Abu Ghuddah Al Halawi has praised this commentary in its introduction. All the twelve volumes of this work can be downloaded from the following links:

http://www.waqfeya.com/book.php?bid=3939

http://www.almeshkat.net/book/open.php?cat=22&book=5268

Al-Hallul Mufhim Li Sahih Muslim: These are lectures of Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed Gangohi which were transcribed by Sheikh Mohammed Yahya Khandelvi and Sheikh Mohammed Zakariyya Khandelvi published it with his notes, it contains two volumes.

Ney’ Matul Munim Fi Sharhil Mujalladis Saani Li Muslim: This is written by Sheikh Neymatullah Azmi. He wrote this from the Book of Purchasing and Selling to the Book of Sharing Excessive Water to others is virtuous. One volume of this commentary is published in 383 pages.

Sahih Muslim Shareef (Translation from Arabic to Urdu): Sheikh Abidur Rahman Khaldevi has translated Sahih Muslim in Urdu in a very easy language. Mohammed Abdullah who attended Darululoom Karachi to study Ifta has written beneficial footnotes on this work. It is contained in three volumes. This writer has benefitted from this book to write a short biography of Imam Muslim.

Muqaddama Sahih Muslim:

The introduction to Sahih Muslim, for a few reasons, is very important. This book not only contains the reasons for writing but also includes benefits on the subject of narration. Imam Muslim by writing this introduction has laid foundation for the subject of rules of narration of hadith. Because of the importance of this introduction, several people have written commentaries on it. Below mentioned are some of the commentaries of the scholars of Deoband which are popular among students:

Umdatul Mufhim Fi Halli Muqaddamati Muslim: Sheikh Abdul Khader Mohammed Taher Rahimi.

FaizulMun’im Sharh Muqaddamatu Muslim: Sheikh Sayeed Ahmed Palanpuri.

Neymathul Mun’im Sharh Muqaddamatu Muslim: Sheikh Neymatullah Azimi.

Eedahul Muslim Sharh Muqaddamatu Muslim: Sheikh Mohammed GhaanamDeobandi.

Faizul Mulhim Sharh Muqaddamatu Muslim: Sheikh Islamul Haq Kopaganji.

Nusratul Mun’im Sharh Muqaddamatu Muslim: Sheikh Uthman Ghani.

Comparision of Sahih Muslim and Sahih Al-Bukhari:

There were many books written on hadith but the scholars of hadith have declared six books to be reliable and authentic and called it Siha’e Sitta. These are Sahih Al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, SunaneNisa’i, SunaneTirmidhi, Sunane Abu Dawood, Sunane IbneMaaja, and among these books Sahih Al-bukhari and Sahih Muslim are considered to be the most authentic. Which among Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahihmuslim is most authentic and has preferential status? Most scholars have preferred Sahih Al-bukhari over Sahih Muslim but some have preferred Sahih Muslim over Sahih Bukhari.

Hafiz Abdurrahman bin Ali Arrabi Yemeni Shafa’i wrote that a group was discussing which among Muslim and Bukhari is more preferred and I answered that for reliability it is Bukhari and for arrangement of hadith it is Muslim.

Sheikh Abu Omar bin Ahmed bin Hamdan states that he enquired with Sheikh Abul Abbas bin Uqda Which among Bukhari and Muslim has a preferential status? He answered that both of them are Muhaddis. Then I repeated myself, he stated that Imam Bukhari has confusion over the names and kunya of the narrators but Imam Muslim is free from it. Briefly, Muslim’s order of arrangement and the way in which the chain is narrated has preferential status over Bukhari. He has arranged the hadith in such a way that the meaning is clearly understood.

Shah Abdul Aziz writes that especially with Muslim the miracles of the subject of hadith have been explained and in this the order of arrangement is the best and the precautions he had taken for selecting the narration is well known. In short, there is no other example of the way how Muslim has arranged the hadith and the way he has narrated the chain.

Imam Muslim has put a condition in his book that he has compiled the hadiths which are taken from two reliable narrators who received these from two reliable Tabayeen.  This condition also applies to the groups of Tabayeen and Tabe-tabayeen, until it reaches Imam Muslim.

Imam Muslim not only considers the character of the narrator but also takes into consideration the conditions to be a reliable witness according to the Sharia. Imam Bukhari does not have these restrictions.

Imam Muslim has placed all the hadiths in their suitable place, the way in which it is narrated and also different words of the same narration are all placed together so that a student can easily access whereas this cannot be found in Bukhari.

Muslim has anotherdistinction over Bukhari that he has written very few notes whereas Bukhari has too many notes.

Mohammad Najeeb Qasmi (www.najeebqasmi.com)