Understanding the Hadith: The Sacred Traditions of Islam

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By Ram Swarup
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Pages: 258, Date: 2002-09
ISBN-10: 1591020174, Pdf
Size: Rar - 1.21 MB, Unzipped - 1.41 MB

Description:
Although the non-Muslim world is not as familiar with the Hadith as with the Quran, it is the Hadith that is the most important single source of Islamic laws, precepts, and practices. Ever since the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad, millions of Muslims have attempted to mimic his dress, diet, hairstyle, toilet mores, and sexual and marital habits in the hope of being more like the man who walked in the ways of Allah.

Whether one visits Saudi Arabia or Central Asia, India or Malaysia, Muslims by the millions can be found conforming to the Prophet's views on the veil, polygamy, and ablution.

The Hadith consistutes a voluminous literature. Every word from Muhammad's lips, every nod or shake of his head, every one of his gestures and mannerisms was important to his followers. They remembered these as best they could and passed these "traditions" on from generation to generation.

Using the Sahih Muslim, a massive work consisting of 7,190 traditions divided into 1,243 chapters, Ram Swarup quotes representative selections that touch upon the main tenets of Islamic faith: purification, prayer, fasting, pilgrimage, marriage and divorce, crime and punishment, religious wars (jihad), paradise, hell, repentance, and many others.

According to Muslim theologians, Islam is a "complete" and "completed" religion that deals not only with theological matters but also with all aspects of the believer's life. It is equally political and military. It has much to do with statecraft, and it has a very specific view of the world peopled by "infidels" or non-Muslims. Since most of the world is still "infidel," it is very important for those who are not Muslim to understand Islam. UNDERSTANDING THE HADITH provides many insights into the mind-set of the typical Muslim who is raised on these traditions.

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