Answered by Sidi Tabraze Azam
Question: Apart from the 6 sunni hadith collections always mentioned, there are other authentic hadith collections. What other collections are authentic? For example imam bayhaqi, ibn hibban, imam malik’s muwatta etc?
Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
Apart from the two rigorously authentic (sahih) works of Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim (Allah be pleased with them both), there is no specific work of Prophetic narrations (hadith) which contains only authentic (sahih) narrations and is considered authentic (sahih) in and of itself. Rather, the works of Prophetic narrations (hadith) usually contain a mixture of authentic (sahih), sound (hasan) and weak (da`if) narrations.
The Reality of the Authentic Narrations (Hadith Sahih)
In reality, there are many authentic narrations (hadith) from the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) recorded in many different works of Prophetic narrations; and there is no single book which gathers all of these narrations.
I asked Shaykh Ahmad Snobar, a local Hadith expert, this very question and he mentioned a number of interesting points. The most important thing he mentioned was that the well-known six books, which you mention, are not the only place one can find authentic narrations. Rather, he continued to say that approximately eighty to ninety percent of the Prophetic narrations have been commented upon throughout the ages, by the scholars of Hadith, therefore one is able to find out, whether a narration (hadith) is considered authentic or not, by looking in the right place. Amongst the scholars who have commentated on the Prophetic narrations (hadith) is Imam Tirmidhi, the author of the Jami` al-Tirmidhi.
As for finding out such information oneself, he concluded that one would either have to, very tediously, search through a number of books, which would be a very long process and one would need to have a scholarly background; or one could rely on the scholars who have already done the hard work, such as Shaykh Shu`ayb Arna`ut.
And Allah knows best.