The Hadith
Original Electronic Texts at the USC Muslim Students Association Islamic Server.

The Qur'an is the most important revelation in Islam, but it is supplemented by the sunna. The sunna means the "way" of the prophet Muhammad and consists of the prophecies, acts, and sayings of Muhammad not recorded in the Qur'an. The hadith, or "traditions," are written records of the sunna. Although written long after the death of Muhammad, the hadith narrate Muhammad's exact words and deeds, the person who witnessed them, and sometimes how they were transmitted to posterity. Every hadith thus consists of the isnad, or the "chain of guarantors," and the matn, or the actual text. Together the Qur'an and the hadith form the basis of the Shariah, or divine law. The following excerpts are taken from two hadith. The first very brief excerpt is from the hadith of Bukhari (full name Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Ismail bin Ibrahim bin al-Mughira al-Ja'fai), who lived two centuries after Muhammad. It describes the "five pillars" of Islam. The second, more extensive excerpt on government, is from the hadith of Muslim (full name Abul Husain Muslim bin al-Hajjaj al-Nisapuri), a student of Bukhari.

Sahih Bukhari: Volume 1, Book 2, Number 7: (Translator: M. Muhsin Khan)

Narrated Ibn 'Umar:

Allah's Apostle said: Islam is based on (the following) five (principles):

1. To testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and Muhammad is Allah's Apostle.

2. To offer the (compulsory congregational) prayers dutifully and perfectly.

3. To pay Zakat (i.e. obligatory charity) .

4. To perform Hajj. (i.e. Pilgrimage to Mecca)

5. To observe fast during the month of Ramadan.

Sahih Muslim, Book 19 On Government (Kitab Al-Imara)(Translator: Abdul Hamid Siddiqui)

Book 19, Number 4475:

Narrated Jabir ibn Abdullah:

The Messenger of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) said: People are the followers of Quraysh in good as well as evil (i.e. in the customs of Islamic as well as pre-Islamic times).

Book 19, Number 4483:

Narrated Jabir ibn Samurah:

It has been narrated on the authority of Amir ibn Sa'd ibn AbuWaqqas who said: I wrote (a letter) to Jabir ibn Samurah and sent it to him through my servant, Nafi', asking him to inform me of something he had heard from the Messenger of Allah (peace_be_upon_him). He wrote to me (in reply): I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) say on Friday, the day on which al-Aslami was stoned to death (for committing adultery): The Islamic religion will continue until the Hour has been established, or you have been ruled by twelve Caliphs, all of them being from the Quraysh. I also heard him say: A small force of the Muslims will capture the white palace, the palace of the Persian Emperor or his descendants. I also heard him say: Before the Day of Judgment there will appear (a number of) imposters. You are to guard against them. I also heard him say: When God grants wealth to any one of you, he should first spend it on himself and his family (and then give it in charity to the poor). I heard him (also) say: I shall be your forerunner at the Cistern (expecting your arrival).

Book 19, Number 4491:

Narrated AbuDharr:

I said to the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him): Messenger of Allah, will you not appoint me to a public office? He stroked my shoulder with his hand and said: AbuDharr, thou art weak and authority is a trust, and on the Day of Judgment it is a cause of humiliation and repentance except for one who fulfils its obligations and (properly) discharges the duties attendant thereon.

Book 19, Number 4492:

Narrated AbuDharr:

The Messenger of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) said: AbuDharr, I find that thou art weak and I like for thee what I like for myself. Do not rule over (even) two persons and do not manage the property of an orphan.

Book 19, Number 4493:

Narrated Abdullah ibn Umar:

The Messenger of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) said: Behold! the Dispensers of Justice will be seated on the pulpits of light beside God, on the right side of the Merciful, Exalted and Glorious. Either side of the Being is the right side both being equally meritorious. (The Dispensers of Justice are) those who do justice in their rules, in matters relating to their families and in all that they undertake to do.

Book 19, Number 4494:

Narrated Aisha:

It has been reported on the authority of AbdurRahman ibn Shumasah who said: I came to Aisha to inquire about something from her. She said: From which country are you ? I said: I am from the people of Egypt. She said: What was the behaviour of your governor towards you in this war of yours? I said: We did not experience anything bad from him. If the camel of one of our men, died, he would bestow on him another camel. If any one of us lost his slave, he would give him another slave. If anybody was in need of the basic necessities of life, he would provide them with provisions.

She said: Behold! The treatment that was meted out to my brother, Muhammad ibn AbuBakr, does not prevent me from telling you what I heard from the Messenger of Allah (peace_be_upon_him). He said in this house of mine: O God, he who (happens to) acquire some kind of control over the affairs of my people and is hard upon them--be Thou hard upon him, and he who (happens to) acquire some kind of control over the affairs of my people and is kind to them--be Thou kind to him.

Book 19, Number 4504:

Narrated A'idh ibn Amr:

A'idh ibn Amr, who was one of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (peace_be_upon_him), called on Ubaydullah ibn Ziyad and said (to him): O my son, I have heard the Messenger of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) say: The worst of guardians is the cruel ruler. Beware of being one of them.

Ubaydullah said (to him out of arrogance): Sit you down. You are from the chaff of the Companions of Muhammad (peace_be_upon_him). A'idh said: Was there worthless chaff among them ? Such worthless chaff appeared after them and among other people.

Book 19, Number 4514:

Narrated Adi ibn Amirah al-Kindi:

I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) say: Whoso from you is appointed by us to a position of authority and he conceals from us a needle or something smaller than that, it would be misappropriation (of public funds) and will (have to) produce it on the Day of Judgment.

The narrator says: A dark-complexioned man from the Ansar stood up - I can visualise him still - and said: Messenger of Allah, take back from me your assignment. He said: What has happened to you? The man said: I have heard you say so and so. He said: I say that (even) now: Whoso from you is appointed by us to a position of authority, he should bring everything, big or small, and whatever he is given therefrom he should take, and he should restrain himself from taking that which is forbidden.

Book 19, Number 4524:

Narrated AbuHurayrah:

The Messenger of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) said: It is obligatory for you to listen to the ruler and obey him in adversity and prosperity, in pleasure and displeasure, and even when another person is given (rather undue) preference over you.

Book 19, Number 4525:

Narrated AbuDharr:

My friend (i.e. the Prophet) advised me to listen (to the man in position of authority) and obey (him) even if he were a slave maimed (and disabled).

Book 19, Number 4528:

Narrated Umm al-Husayn al-Ahmasiyyah:

It has been narrated on the authority of Yahya ibn Husayn who learnt the tradition from his grandmother. She said that she heard the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) delivering his sermon on the occasion of the last Pilgrimage. He was saying: If a slave is appointed over you and he conducts your affairs according to the Book of Allah, you should listen to him and obey (his orders).

Book 19, Number 4542:

Narrated AbuHurayrah:

The Prophet of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) said: A commander (of the Muslims) is a shield for them. They fight behind him and they are protected by (him from tyrants and aggressors). If he enjoins fear of God, the Exalted and Glorious, and dispenses justice, there will be a (great) reward for him; and if he enjoins otherwise, it redounds on him.

Book 19, Number 4546:

Narrated Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-'As:

It has been narrated on the authority of AbdurRahman ibn Abdu Rabb al-Ka'ba who said: I entered the mosque when Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-'As was sitting in the shade of the Ka'bah and the people had gathered around him. I betook myself to them and sat near him.

(Now) Abdullah said: I accompanied the Messenger of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) on a journey. We halted at a place. Some of us began to erect their tents, others began to compete with one another in shooting, and others began to graze their beasts, when an announcer of the Messenger of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) announced that the people should gather together for prayer. So we gathered around the Messenger of Allah (peace_be_upon_him).

He said: It was the duty of every Prophet that has gone before me to guide his followers to what he knew was good for them and warn them against what he knew was bad for them. However, this Ummah of yours has its days of peace and (security) at the beginning of its career, and in the last phase of its existence it will be afflicted with trials and with things disagreeable to you.

(In this phase of the Ummah), there will be tremendous trials, one after the other, each making the previous one dwindle into insignificance. When they are afflicted with a trial, the believer will say: This is going to bring about my destruction. When (the trial) is over, they will be afflicted with another trial and the believer will say: This surely is going to be my end.

Whoever wishes to be delivered from the Fire and enter the Garden should die with faith in Allah and the Last Day and should treat the people as he wishes to be treated by them. He who swears allegiance to a Caliph should give him the pledge of his hand and the sincerity of his heart (i.e. submit to him both outwardly as well as inwardly). He should obey him to the best of his capacity. If another man comes forward (as a claimant to Caliphate), disputing his authority, they (the Muslims) should behead the latter.

The narrator says: I came close to him (Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-'As) and said to him: Can you say on oath that you heard it from the Messenger of Allah (peace_be_upon_him)? He pointed with his hands to his ears and his heart and said: My ears heard it and my mind retained it. I said to him: This cousin of yours, Mu'awiyah, orders us to consume our wealth unjustly among ourselves and to kill one another, while Allah says: "O ye who believe, do not consume your wealth among yourselves unjustly, unless it be trade based on mutual agreement, and do not kill yourselves. Verily, God is Merciful to you" (iv.29). The narrator says that (on hearing this) Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-'As kept quiet for a while and then said: Obey him in so far as he is obedient to God; and disobey him in matters involving disobedience to God.

Book 19, Number 4551:

Narrated Alqamah ibn Wa'il al-Hadrami:

It has been narrated on the authority of Alqamah ibn Wa'il al-Hadrami who learnt the tradition from his father. The latter said: Salamah ibn Yazid al-Ju'afi asked the Messenger of Allah (peace_be_upon_him): Prophet of Allah, what do you think if we have rulers who rule over us and demand that we discharge our obligations towards them, but they (themselves) do not discharge their own responsibilities towards us? What do you order us to do? The Messenger of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) avoided giving any answer. Salamah asked him again. He (again) avoided giving any answer. Then he asked again--it was the second time or the third time-- when Ash'ath ibn Qays (find that the Holy Prophet was being unnecessarily pressed for answer) pulled him aside and said: Listen to them and obey them, for on them will be their burden and on you will be your burden.

Book 19, Number 4553:

Narrated Hudhayfah ibn al-Yaman:

People used to ask the Messenger of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) about the good times, but I used to ask him about the bad times fearing lest they should overtake me. I said: Messenger of Allah, we were in the midst of ignorance and evil, and then God brought us this good (time through Islam). Is there any bad time after this good one? He said: Yes. I asked: Will there be a good time again after that bad time? He said: Yes, but in it will be a hidden evil. I asked: What will be the evil hidden therein? He said: (That time will witness the rise of) the people who will adopt ways other than mine and seek guidance other than mine. You will know good points as well as bad points. I asked: Will there be a bad time after this good one? He said: Yes. (A time will come) when there will be people standing and inviting at the gates of Hell. Whoever responds to their call will be thrown into the fire. I said: Messenger of Allah, describe them to us. He said: All right. They will be a people having the same complexion as ours and speaking our language. I said: Messenger of Allah, what do you suggest if I happen to live at that time? He said: You should stay with the main body of the Muslims and their leader. I said: If they have no (such thing as the) main body and have no leader? He said: Separate yourself from all these factions, though you may have to eat the roots of trees (in a jungle) until death comes to you when you are in this state.

Book 19, Number 4555:

Narrated AbuHurayrah:

The Messenger of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) said: One who defects from obedience (to the Amir) and separates from the main body of the Muslims--if he dies in that state--will die the death of one belonging to the days of Jahiliyyah (i.e. would not die as a Muslim).

One who fights under the banner of a people who are blind (to the cause for which they are fighting, i.e. do not know whether their cause is just or otherwise), who is puffed up with family pride, calls (people) to fight for their family honour, and supports his kith and kin (i.e. fights not for the cause of Allah but for the sake of his family or tribe)--if he is killed (in this fight), he dies as one belonging to the days of Jahiliyyah.

Whoever attacks my Ummah, (indiscriminately) killing the righteous and the wicked of them, sparing not (even) those staunch in faith, and not fulfilling his promise made with those who have been given a pledge of a security--he has nothing to do with me and I have nothing to do with him.

Book 19, Number 4561:

Narrated Jundub Ibn Abdullah al-Bajali:

The Messenger of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) said: One who is killed under the banner of a man who is blind (to his just cause), who raises the slogan of family or supports his own tribe, dies the death of one belonging to the days of Jahiliyyah.

Book 19, Number 4562:

Narrated Abdullah ibn Umar:

Nafi' said: Abdullah ibn Umar paid a visit to Abdullah ibn Muti' in the days (when atrocities were perpetrated on the people of Medina) at Harrah in the time of Yazid ibn Mu'awiyah. Ibn Muti' said: Place a pillow for AbuAbdurRahman (family name of Abdullah ibn Umar). But the latter said: I have not come to sit with you. I have come to you to tell you a tradition I heard from the Messenger of Allah (peace_be_upon_him). I heard him say: One who withdraws his hand from obedience (to the Amir) will find no argument (in his defence) when he stands before Allah on the Day of Judgment, and one who dies without having bound himself by an oath of allegiance (to an Amir) will die the death of one belonging to the days of Jahiliyyah.

Book 19, Number 4565:

Narrated Arfajah:

I have heard the Messenger of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) say: Different evils will make their appearance in the near future. Anyone who tries to disrupt the affairs of this Ummah while they are united you should strike him with the sword whoever he be. (If remonstrance does not prevail with him and he does not desist from his disruptive activities, he is to be killed).

Book 19, Number 4568:

Narrated AbuSa'id al-Khudri:

The Messenger of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) said: When oath of allegiance has been taken for two caliphs, kill the one for whom the oath was taken later.

Book 19, Number 4569:

Narrated Umm Salamah:

The Messenger of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) said: In the near future there will be Amirs and you will like their good deeds and dislike their bad deeds. One who sees through their bad deeds (and tries to prevent their repetition by his hand or through his speech), is absolved from blame, but one who hates their bad deeds (in the heart of his heart, being unable to prevent their recurrence by his hand or his tongue), is (also) safe (so far as God"s wrath is concerned). But one who approves of their bad deeds and imitates them is spiritually ruined. People asked (the Prophet): Shouldn't we fight against them? He replied: No, as long as they say their prayers.

Book 19, Number 4573:

Narrated Awf ibn Malik:

The Messenger of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) said: The best of your rulers are those whom you love and who love you, who invoke God's blessings upon you and you invoke His blessings upon them. And the worst of your rulers are those whom you hate and who hate you and whom you curse and who curse you. It was asked (by those present): Shouldn't we overthrow them with the help of the sword? He said: No, as long as they establish prayer among you. If you then find anything detestable in them, you should hate their administration, but do not withdraw yourselves from their obedience.

Book 19, Number 4576:

Narrated Jabir ibn Abdullah:

We were one thousand and four hundred on the Day of Hudaybiyyah. We swore fealty to him (the Prophet) and Umar was holding the latter's hand (when he was sitting) under the tree (called) Samurah (to administer the oath to the Companions). The narrator added: We took oath to the effect that we would not flee (from the battlefield if there was an encounter with the Meccans), but we did not take oath to fight to death.

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