Century Hijrah : The Period of Taba Tabiens
In the 2nd century Hijrah, most of the scholars and students
devoted themselves mainly to the learning and teaching of
Islamic jurisprudence. But in the 3rd century, this got shifted
to complete set of Ahadith. The task of evaluation, classification
and compilation of Ahadith was mostly completed by the end
of this century. Following are a few significant contributions
of this period.
1. Much attention was focused on Ilm al-Hadith.
It was sub-divided into several branches and significant contributions
were made in each branch. Efforts were directed to evolve
comprehensive and strict criteria for evaluating the authenticity
of Ahadith. Specific terms such as Sahih, Hasan and Dhaief
were coined to reflect the relative authenticity of Ahadith.
2. Another significant contribution of this
age was the addition of the narrator's name to each Hadith
: technically known us "Isnad". Each Hadith was
prefixed with a continuous chain of narrators going back to
its original source, the Holy Messenger.
3. In this period, a new branch of 'llm al
Hadith' known as 'Asma al Rijaal (the names of men)
was evolved to study the credibility of narrators. Biographical
details were collected and documented for over 100,000 Hadith
narrators. These include such details as their piety, intelligence,
memory, profession, age and place of birth and death, etc.
The credibility of each narrator was evaluated based on a
set of very strict criteria. If a narrator failed to meet
these criteria, all Ahadith narrated by him were discarded.
Those who met this criterion were in turn classified according
to the relative level of their reliability. This branch helped
in getting the relative credibility of every Hadith.
4. The work undertaken during the second
century were not too exhaustive e.g. 'Moatta' the famous collection
of Imam Malik had only 1,700 Ahadih, which relate primarily
to acts of devotion. So several scholars undertook the task
for more comprehensive works on Hadith, encompassing all aspects
of personal and social life.
The most significant being the authors of Sihah al Sittah
(The six correct ones) :
(i) Mohammad Ismail al Bukhari (I 94 - 256 AH)
(ii) Abul Hussain Muslim Al Hajjaj (204 - 261 AH)
(iii) Abu Abdullah Mohammad b Yazid (Ibn Majah) (209 - 295
(iv) Abu Daud Suleiman b Ashath (202 - 275 AH)
(v) Abu Esa Mohammed al Trimidhi (209 - 279 AH)
(vi) Abu Abdul Rehman Nisai (264 - 303 AH)
this, the works of Imam Ahmed b. Hamal (1 64 - 241 AH) and
Imam Abdullah al Darim(181 - 225) are also considered as
reliable and authentic. The former, Musnad al Ahmed contains
30,000 Ahadith and latter Sunnah al Darimi contains 3,500
Ahadith and is regarded to be the earliest compilation under
the heading 'Sunnah'.
5. Another significant contribution of
this century was the classification of book of Hadith based
on their level of reliability. The 'Sihah al Sittah (The
six correct ones) are considered as reliable. Amongst these,
the works of Imam Bukhari and Muslim are considered to be
the most reliable and termed as 'Sihah' (The correct). Other
terms such as same, Musnad, etc. were introduced to classify
the book of Hadith.
Here only a short list of the famous Muhaddithean (compilers
of Hadith) is being presented who worked during fourth century
Hijrah and after