The Six Sitta / ” Al-Sihah al-Sittah” -The Authentic Books on Hadeeth

six sitta

About the Six Sitta – The Six Authentic Books on Hadeeth

The Kutub al-Sittah are the six (originally five) books containing collections of hadith (sayings or acts of the  prophet Muhammad SAW ) compiled by six Sunni Muslim scholars in the ninth century CE. They are sometimes referred to as Al-Sihah al-Sittah, which translates as “The Authentic Six”. They were first formally grouped and defined by Ibn al-Qaisarani in the 11th century, who added Sunan ibn Majah to the list. Since then, they have enjoyed near-universal acceptance as part of the official canon of Sunni Islam.

They are (The order of authenticity varies between the Madhhabs):

  1. Sahih Bukhari, collected by Imam Bukhari (d. 256 AH, 870 CE), includes 7,275 ahadith
  2. Sahih Muslim, collected by Muslim b. al-Hajjaj (d. 261 AH, 875 CE), includes 9,200 ahadith
  3. Sunan Abu Dawood, collected by Abu Dawood (d. 275 AH, 888 CE), includes 4,800 ahadith
  4. Jami al-Tirmidhi, collected by al-Tirmidhi (d. 279 AH, 892 CE), includes 3,956 ahadith
  5. Sunan al-Sughra, collected by al-Nasa’i (d. 303 AH, 915 CE), includes 5,270 ahadith
  6. Either:
  • Sunan ibn Majah, collected by Ibn Majah (d. 273 AH, 887 CE), over 4,000 ahadith
  • Muwatta Malik, collected by Imam Malik (d. 179 AH, 795 CE), 1,720 ahadith

Sahih Bukhari

bukhari-6 sitta

This Book is written by Imam al-Bukhaari .His full name was Abu ‘Abd-Allaah Muhammad ibn Ismaa’eel ibn Ibraaheem ibn al-Mugheerah ibn Bardizbah al-Ja’fi al-Bukhaari. His grandfather al-Mugheerah was a freed slave of al-Yamaan al-Ja’fi, the governor of Bukhaarah, so he took his name after he became Muslim. Imam al-Bukhaari was born in Bukhara in 194 AH. He grew up an orphan and started to memorize ahadeeth before he was ten years old. When he was a young man he set out to travel to Makkah and perform the obligation of Hajj. He stayed in Makkah for a while, studying under the imams of fiqh, usool and hadeeth. Then he began to travel around, going from one Islamic region to another, for sixteen years in all. He visited many centers of knowledge where he collected ahaadeeth of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) until he had compiled more than 600,000 ahadeeth. He referred to one thousand scholars of hadeeth and discussed these reports with them. These scholars were people who were known for their sincerity, piety and sound belief. From this huge number of ahadeeth he compiled his book al-Saheeh, following the most precise scientific guidelines in his research as to their authenticity and in distinguishing the saheeh (sound) from the weak, and in finding out about the narrators, until he recorded in his book the most sound of the sound, although it does not contain all the saheeh ahaadeeth. The book’s full title is al-Jaami’ al-Saheeh al-Musnad min Hadeeth Rasool-Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) wa Sunanihi wa Ayaamihi.

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Sahih Muslim

sahih muslim

Sahih Muslim is written by Imam Muslim. His full name was Muslim ibn al-Hajjaaj ibn Muslim al-Qushayri al-Nisapoori Abu’l-Husayn. He is one of the leading scholars of hadeeth and one of the most knowledgeable. He was born in Nisapoor on the day that Imam al-Shaafa’i died in 204 AH. He studied in Nisapoor, and when he grew up he traveled to Iraq and the Hijaaz to learn hadeeth. He heard ahaadeeth from many shaykhs, and many scholars of hadeeth narrated from him. The most famous of his books is his Saheeh which is known as Saheeh Muslim. This is one of the six reliable books of hadeeth. He spent nearly fifteen years compiling this book, which is second only to Saheeh al-Bukhaari in status and in the strength of its ahaadeeth. Many scholars have written commentaries on his Saheeh.

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Sunan Abu Dawood

6 sitta -sunan abu dawood

Sunan Abu Dawood is written by Imam Abu Dawood .His full name was Sulaymaan ibn al-Ash’ath ibn Shaddaad ibn ‘Amr ibn Ishaaq ibn Basheer al-Azdi al-Sajistani, from Sajistan. Abu Dawood was the leading hadeeth scholar of his age. He is the author of al-Sunan, which is one of the six reliable books of hadeeth. He was born in 202 AH. He traveled to Baghdad where he met Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal and stayed with him; he also looked like him.  He also traveled to the Hijaz, Iraq, Khurasaan, Syria, Egypt and the borders of the Islamic world. Al-Nasaa’i, al-Tirmidhi and others narrated hadeeth from him. He attained the highest degree of piety and righteousness. His book al-Sunan includes more than 5300 ahaadeeth.

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Jami al Tirmidhi

Jami al Tirmidhi is written by Imam al-Tirmidhi. His full name was Muhammad ibn ‘Eesa ibn Soorah ibn Moosa ibn al-Dahhaak al-Salami al-Tirmidhi, Abu Eesa. He came from Tirmidh, once of the cities of Transoxiana, after which he was named. He was one of the leading scholars of hadeeth and memorization of hadeeth. He was born in 209 AH and studied under al-Bukhaari; they had some of the same teachers. He began to seek ahadeeth by travelling to Khurasaan, Iraq and the Hijaz. He became famous for his memorization of hadeeth, trustworthiness and knowledge.  His shaykhs included Ahmad ibn Hanbal and Abu Dawood al-Sajistani. He compiled al-Jaami’ which is counted as one of the six reliable books of hadeeth. In this book he examined the ahaadeeth in detail, which is of benefit to students of fiqh, because he mentions the ahadeeth and most of his ahaadeeth deal with rulings of fiqh. He mentions the isnaads and lists the Sahaabah who narrated the hadeeth, so what he believes is saheeh he says is saheeh, and what he believes is da’eef he says is da’eef. He explains who among the fuqaha’ accepted the hadeeth and who did not. His Jaami’ is the most comprehensive of the books of al-Sunan, and is the most useful to the muhaddith (hadeeth scholar) and faqeeh.

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Sunan Nisai

6 sitta- sunna an nisai

It is written by Imam al-Nasaa’i .His full name was Ahmad ibn Shu’ayb ibn ‘Ali ibn Sinaan ibn Bahr ibn Dinar al-Nasaa’i, Abu ‘Abd al-Rahmaan. He came from the city of Nasa in Khurasaan, after which he was named (Nasawi or Nasaa’i). He was born in 215 AH, and he was one of the leading scholars and muhaddiths of his time. His comments on al-jarh wa’l-ta’deel (the study of the soundness or otherwise of narrators of hadeeth) are highly esteemed by the scholars. Al-Haakim said: I heard Abu’l-Hasan al-Daaraqutni say more than once, “Abu ‘Abd al-Rahmaan is the foremost among all scholars of hadeeth, and he is the best evaluator of narrators of his time.”

He was extremely pious and righteous, and he used to regularly observe the best kind of fasting (the fasting of Dawood), he used to fast on alternate days. He lived in Egypt, where his books became famous and people learned from him. Then he moved to Damascus, where he died on Monday 13 Safar 300 AH, at the age of 85. May Allaah have mercy on him.

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Sunan Ibn Majah

sunan ibn majah

Sunan Ibn Majah  is written by Imam Ibn Maajah. His full name was Muhammad ibn Yazeed al-Rab’i al-Qazwayni, Abu ‘Abd-Allaah. His father Yazeed was known as Maajah, so he was known as Ibn Maajah. The name al-Rab’i refers to Rabee’ah, after whom he was named because his father was a freed slave of Rabee’ah . He was a famous hafiz and the author of the book of hadeeth called al-Sunan. He was born in Qazwayn, after which he was named, in 209 AH. He travelled to Iraq, Basrah, Kufa, Baghdad, Makkah, Syria, Egypt and al-Rai to write down hadeeth. He wrote three books during his travels: a book on Tafseer; a book on history, in which he compiled the reports of men who had written down reports of the Sunnah from the time of the Sahaabah until his own time; and his book al-Sunan.

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Keep me in Your Duas . JazakAllah Khair.


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About Aafia 307 Articles
Assalamu Alaikum. I am Aafia , a student of Deen. Our Prophet (Peace be upon him) has commanded us to Acquire knowledge and impart it to the people. Islam Hashtag is an endeavor to create a Positive Image of Islam and to impart the beautiful lessons learnt in the course of Studying Islam. If You found this post Interesting do leave a Comment below . JazakAllahu Khair

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