Sahih Muslim (Arabic: صحيح مسلم, romanized: Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim)[note 1] is a 9th-century hadith collection and a book of sunnah compiled by the Persian scholar Muslim ibn al-Ḥajjāj (815–875). It is one of the most valued books in Sunni Islam after the Quran, alongside Sahih al-Bukhari. Sahih Muslim is also one of the Kutub al-Sittah, the six major Sunni collections of hadith of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. The book is also revered by Zaydi Shias. It consists of approximately 7,500 hadith narrations across its introduction and 56 books.
|Author||Muslim ibn al-Ḥajjāj (822–875)|
|Country||Nishapur, Caliphal Persia|
Sahih Muslim contains approximately 5,500 - 7,500 hadith narrations in its introduction and 56 books. Kâtip Çelebi (d. 1657) and Siddiq Hasan Khan (d. 1890) both counted 7,275 narrations. Muhammad Fuad Abdul Baqi wrote that there are 3,033 narrations without considering repetitions. Mashhur ibn Hasan Al Salman, a student of Al-Albani (d. 1999), built upon this number, counting 7,385 total narrations, which, combined with the ten in the introduction, add up to a total of 7,395. Muslim wrote an introduction to his collection of hadith, wherein he clarified the reasoning behind choosing the hadith he chose to include in his Sahih.
According to Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi, Muslim began writing the Sahih for Ahmad ibn Salamah an-Naysaburi. He was also compelled to write the Sahih for what he observed to be the poor character of his contemporary hadith scholars, and their lack of reluctance to spread daʻīf (weak) narrations. Muslim collected 300,000 narrations and chose 4,000 to be included in his book.
He divided narrators of hadith into three tiers based on their memory and character:
- those who possessed authentic memory and were of perfect character, honest and trustworthy.
- those of slightly weaker memory and perfection, trustworthy, knowledgeable and honest.
- those whose honesty was disputed or was a subject of discussion.
Muslim did not include hadith which were narrated by those who belonged to the last tier. Moreover, Muslim only recorded hadith that were narrated to him by an unbroken isnad (chain) of narrators through two reliable tabi'un, each of which had to be narrated through two companions of Muhammad.
Sunni Muslims regard Sahih Muslim as the second most important book of the Kutub al-Sittah. Sahih Muslim and Sahih al-Bukhari are together referred to as the Sahihayn ('The Two Sahihs)'. In the Introduction to the Science of Hadith, Ibn al-Salah wrote: "The first to author a Sahih was Bukhari [...], followed by Abū al-Ḥusayn Muslim ibn al-Ḥajjāj an-Naysābūrī al-Qushayrī, who was his student, sharing many of the same teachers. These two books are the most authentic books after the Quran. As for the statement of Al-Shafi‘i, who said, "I do not know of a book containing knowledge more correct than Malik's book [Muwatta Imam Malik]," [...] he said this before the books of Bukhari and Muslim. The book of Bukhari is the more authentic of the two and more useful."
Al-Nawawi wrote about Sahih al-Bukhari, "The scholars, may God have mercy on them, have agreed that the most authentic book after the dear Quran are the two Sahihs of Bukhari and Muslim." Siddiq Hasan Khan (d. 1890) wrote, "All of the Salaf and Khalaf assert that the most authentic book after the book of Allah is Sahih al-Bukhari and then Sahih Muslim." This sentiment is echoed by both contemporary and past Islamic scholars, including Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 1328), Al-Maziri (d. 1141), and Al-Juwayni (d. 1085). Amin Ahsan Islahi praised the scientific arrangement of the narrations in Sahih Muslim. He also praised Muslim's particularity in highlighting differences in wording between two narrations, even when it came to a single letter that held no semantic significance, or if they differed about any facts relating to a narrator in the isnad.
Despite the book's reputation and the consensus of scholars that it is the second most authentic collection of hadith after Sahih al-Bukhari, it is agreed upon that this does not mean that every hadith in Sahih al-Bukhari is more valid than every hadith in Sahih Muslim, but that the total of what is contained in Sahih al-Bukhari is more valid than the total of what is contained in Sahih Muslim.
More than 60 commentaries have been written on Sahih Muslim, some of which are Siyānah Sahīh Muslim by Ibn al-Salah, of which only the beginning segment remains, Al-Mu'allim bi Fawā'id Muslim by Al-Maziri, Al Minhāj Sharḥ Sahīḥ Muslim by Al-Nawawi, Fath al-Mulhim by Shabbir Ahmad Usmani, Takmilat Fath al-Mulhim by Muhammad Taqi Usmani, and Tafsir al-Gharīb mā fi al-Sahīhayn by Al-Humaydī. Translations of commentaries of Sahih Muslims are available in numerous languages.
- Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj, author of Sahih Muslim
- Sahih al-Bukhari, another Sahih collection of hadith narrations and the other of the 'Sahihayn'
- Muhammad al-Bukhari, another hadith scholar, one of Muslim's teachers, and the author of Sahih al-Bukhari
- Kutub al-Sittah, six most highly-regarded collections of hadith in Sunni Islam, including Sahih al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, and:
- "About - Sahih Muslim - Sunnah.com - Sayings and Teachings of Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم)". sunnah.com. Retrieved 2022-08-13.
- Hadith and the Quran, Encyclopedia of the Quran, Brill
- al-Baghdadi, Abu Bakr. Tārīkh Baghdād (in Arabic). Dar al-Gharb al-Islami. p. 302.
- at-Tawaliba, Muhammad Abdurrahman. Al Imām Muslim wa Manhajuhu fī as-Sahīh (in Arabic). Dar Emaar. p. 104.
- A.C. Brown, Jonathan (2014). Misquoting Muhammad: The Challenge and Choices of Interpreting the Prophet's Legacy. Oneworld Publications. p. 257. ISBN 978-1780744209.
[...] the Sahihayn, the two authentic Hadith compilations of Bukhari and Muslim bin Hajjaj that Sunni Islam has long declared the most reliable books after the Qur'an.
- "Various Issues About Hadiths". Archived from the original on 2012-10-16. Retrieved 2006-03-14.
- Introduction to the Science of Hadith (Dar al-Ma’aarif ed.). Dar al-Ma’aarif. pp. 160–169.
- al-Nawawi, Abu Zakariyya Yahya ibn Sharaf (1972). Al Minhaj, Sharh Sahih Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj (in Arabic) (2nd ed.). Beirut: Dar Ihya' al-Turath al-Arabi. p. 14.
- Khan, Muhammad Siddiq. Al Hittah fi Dhikr al-Sihah al-Sittah (in Arabic). Dar al-Jeel. p. 225.
- al-Ḥarrānī, Taqī ad-Dīn. Majmu' al-Fatāwā (in Arabic). Vol. 20. Medina: King Fahd Complex for the Printing of the Holy Qur'an. p. 321.
- al-Maziri, Abu Abdullah. Al-Mu'allim bi Fawā'id Muslim. Tunis: Dar at-Tunisia lin-Nashr. p. 159.
- as-Suyuti, Jalāl ad-Dīn. Tadrīb ar-Rāwī fi Sharh Taqrīb an-Nawawī. p. 142.
- Mabadi Tadabbur-i-Hadith, Amin Ahsan Islahi, 1989
- al-Tawaliba, Muhammad Abdurrahman. Al Imām Muslim wa Manhajuhu fī as-Sahīh. Dar Emaar. p. 132.
- "Sahih Muslim - Translations and Explanations in multiple languages". AUSTRALIAN ISLAMIC LIBRARY. Archived from the original on 2021-10-05. Retrieved 2022-07-08.