The Qur’an is the Islamic Holy Scripture. Aside from the Qur’an, Muslims also turn to the Sunnah and the Hadith literature to guide their lives and practices.

After Muhammad passed, questions began to arise about personal conduct, legal decisions, and proper customs in the Islamic community.

To answer these questions, Muslims turn to the secondary and tertiary sources for Islamic law, the Sunnah and the Hadith. The Sunnah traditions record how Muhammad lived his life and the Hadith are narrative accounts of the sayings and actions of Muhammad.

The Hadith are written accounts by scribes who wrote letters, laws, and treaties dictated by Muhammad. Later, the narrations or notes (sahifas) by the Companions of Muhammad and their Successors were added as well.  Battle accounts (maghazi), Islamic laws (fiqh), and collections of traditions were all collected as Hadith.

Some of the more widely-used Hadith today include:

  • Sahih of al-Bukhari,
  • Sahih of Muslim,
  • Musnad of Ahmad Ibn Hanbal,
  • Sunan of Abu Da’ud,
  • Jami’ of al-Tirmidhi.