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All praise belongs to Allaah besides Whom there is no other diety. Peace and blessings of Allaah be upon his final Messenger Muhammad , upon his companions, and upon all those who follow his way, till the Day of Judgment.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude and sincere thanks to my sister in Islaam Abida Dost for recommending this work and for supplying the introduction to it, and also my very dear brother in Islaam Usama Hasan for painstakingly going through the entire work and weeding out whatever mistakes he could identify. I am also indebted to him for checking this work against the commentary of Imaam Nawawi (rahimhuAllaah) himself and then providing the additional points from it. Thanks are also due to Shaikh Suhaib Hasan for checking the work for errors.
The English text of the ahadeeth has been taken from the translations of Ezzedin Ibrahim and Denys Johnson-Davies with modifications in spelling.
The knowledge and study of Hadith is essential for our in-depth and correct understanding of Islaam. Like the Qur'aan, the Hadiths are from Allah too, but they are expressed in the person and language of Muhammad . Hence they are just as important to a Muslim as the Qur'aan. The Qur'aan gives us principles, instructions and various laws and the Hadiths show us how these things are to be carried out. Those things which are not clear and precise can also only be correctly and fully understood from the Hadith because they distinctly reveal the interpretation given to the Qur'aan by the Messenger himself, hence leaving no room for discord and disorder amongst the Muslim Ummah.
If we follow the Hadiths and mould our lives uncompromisingly to the truths, values and principles found in them, then we would be worshiping Allaah in the way that He wants us to. By doing so we would mirror the Islaam that was practiced by the Messenger of Allah and those who were able to establish it under his leadership. The first generation Muslims did exactly this and hence they became the best of Muslims alhumdulillaah.
I pray that we all do our best to follow the original Islaam, in its pristine purity and dazzling clarity, the is the Islaam of the Qur'an and the Sunnah.
This work establishes points which can be derived from the Hadith and do not attempt to go into explanations. A lot can probably be said concerning each point outlined by bringing in other Hadith, ayat from the Qur'aan and even sayings of the companions, their successors and scholars of various times, but that is not the aim of this exercise but to give the reader an insight into what is already clear in the Hadith and to encourage him to accept what he learns uncompromisingly. Later study of further Islaamic material will gradually add to his comprehension and conviction as well as fill in the details insha'Allah, but it is essential that he does not neglect what e has found since he knows it to be from the teachings of the Messenger and thus undeniably correct. Most if not all of the points are self-evident from the text of the Hadith itself, and the points are intended to mainly help the reader of the Hadith not to fail to notice them and clearly show him what are his duties regarding what he has just read.