What Is the Importance of Studying the Science of Hadith (Prophetic Traditions)?

Answered by Shaykh Abdurrahman al-Kharsa


What is the importance of studying the science of Hadith (Prophetic traditions)?


All praise is due to Allah.

Hadith: A Source of Legislation

The science of Hadith is one of the most significant Islamic sciences. Its study holds immense religious importance since the Prophetic traditions constitute the second source of Islamic legislation after the Quran. Allah, the Most High, said: “Say, ‘Obey Allah and obey the Messenger’” [Quran, 24:54]. Obeying Allah is manifestly evident in the glorious Quran, and obeying the Messenger is equally manifested in the noble Prophetic traditions.

Hence, distinguishing the accepted hadiths from the rejected, the abrogated hadiths from the others, and that which has been transmitted from that which has not is crucially necessary. This knowledge forms the basis for Islamic rulings, legislations, beliefs, and ethical conduct. For this very reason, many scholars of Islam dedicated their lives to serving the noble Prophetic traditions and studying its various sciences.

A Most Worthy Endeavor

Imam al-Badr al-‘Ayni, Allah have mercy on him, said: “The Sunnah (Prophetic tradition) is one of the conclusive proofs and the most potent evidence. Most rulings are based thereupon, and it is what the most renowned scholars depend on. How could it not be, as it comprises the sayings and actions of the chief of humankind, clarifying the lawful from the unlawful—the two rulings upon which the foundations of Islam are built? Dedicating one’s life to extracting its treasures is among the most important matters. Guiding minds to discovering its meanings is an impactful endeavor. It is the glimmering light of guidance and the path of knowledge. Without it, distinguishing right from wrong would not be evident, and the genuine from the deceptive would not be distinguishable.” [‘Umdah al-Qari, vol. 1, pg. 19]

We ask the Generous Lord to grant us the honor of studying Islamic sciences with trustworthy scholars whose chains of narration are linked to the eminent Imams among the jurists, reciters, and scholars of Hadith. And may He make us among them.