ABOUT SAHIH MUSLIM:
Sahih Muslim is one of the Kutub al-Sittah (six major hadith collections). It is highly acclaimed by Muslims and considered the second most authentic hadith collection after Sahih al-Bukhari. It was collected by Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj, also known as Imam Muslim. Sahih translates as authentic or correct.
The collector of the Sahih Muslim, Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj, was born into a Persian family in 204 AH (817/18 CE) in Nishapur (in modern-day Iran) and died in 261 AH (874/75 CE) in the city of his birth. He travelled widely to gather his collection of ahadith (plural of hadith), including to areas now in Iraq, the Arabian Peninsula, Syria and Egypt. Out of 300,000 hadith which he evaluated, approximately 4,000 were extracted for inclusion into his collection based on stringent acceptance criteria. Each report in his collection was checked and the veracity of the chain of reporters was painstakingly established. Sahih Muslim is divided into 43 books, containing a total of 7190 narrations. However, it is important to realize that Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj never claimed to collect all authentic traditions as his goal was to collect only traditions that all Muslims should agree on about accuracy.
According to Mundhiri, there are a total of 2,200 hadiths (without repetition) in Sahih Muslim. According to Muhammad Amin, there are 1,400 authentic hadiths that are reported in other books, mainly the six major hadith collections.
POPULAR COMMENTARIES ON SAHIH MUSLIM:
--- al-Mu'allim bi Fawa'id Muslim by al-Mazi (d. 536),
(المعلم بفوائد مسلم)
--- Ikmal al-Mu'allim by Qadi 'Iyad (d. 544);
--- Siyanat Sahih Muslim min al-Ikhlal wa'l Ghalat; by Imam Ibn al-Salah (d. 642),
(صيانة صحيح مسلم من الإخلال والغلط)
--- al-Mufham Sharh Sahih Muslim by Imam Abi al-'Abbas al-Qurtubi (d. 656),
(المفهم شرح تلخيص صحيح مسلم)
--- al-Minhaj Sharh Sahih Muslim Ibn al-Hajjaj by Imam al-Nawawi (d. 676),
(المنهاج شرح صحيح مسلم بن الحجاج)
--- Ikmal Ikmal al-Mu'allim by Imam al-Abbi (d. 728),
(إكمال إكمال المعلم)
--- Mukmil Ikmal al-Mu'allim by Imam al-Sanusi (d. 892),
(مكمل إكمال المعلم)
--- al-Dibaj 'ala Sahih Muslim Ibn al-Hajjaj by Imam al-Sayuti (d. 911),
(الديباج على صحيح مسلم بن الحجاج)
and many others.....
ABOUT IMAM AL-NAWAWI'S COMMENTARY:
This commentary is an extensive commentary that is classical and making use of others before him, and is considered one of the best commentaries on Sahih Muslim. Furthermore, there are several commentaries on Muslim’s Sahih written by imminent Muslim scholars. But this commentary is accepted as an authority as it relies on most of what has preceded it and many have followed his process afterwards.
ABOUT THIS TRANSLATION:
The purpose of the discipline of hadith is to verify the meanings of the texts [of hadith], scrutinize the isnad [chain of narration] of each, and unveil [hidden] defects.
“Thus, the purpose of this discipline is not merely centered on its oral transmission or accurate record, but rather on taking great care to verify it and deeply investigate the hidden meanings of its texts and chains of narrations. This in addition to consulting those who are knowledgeable of this discipline, and their words.
“Furthermore, it is necessary that [a student of hadith] records its gems so that he memorizes them by heart. Then he should review and verify the accuracy of his records, as this will be his source.
“Note that studying for one hour with an expert in any given discipline is more productive than studying and reviewing alone for hours or even days. The student should remain unbiased in his studies and aim to extract benefit others without harboring or expressing any feeling of superiority over any other student in his group…[to] increase his knowledge and refine what he memorized or recorded, and Allah knows best.”
ABOUT IMAM MUSLIM:
He is Abū al-Ḥusayn ‘Asākir ad-Dīn Muslim ibn al-Ḥajjāj ibn Muslim ibn Ward ibn Kawshādh al-Qushayrī an-Naysābūrī, commonly known as Imam Muslim, was a Persian Islamic scholar, particularly known as a muhaddith (scholar of hadith). His hadith collection, known as Sahih Muslim, is one of the six major hadith collections in Sunni Islam and is regarded as one of the two most authentic (sahih) collections, alongside Sahih al-Bukhari.
Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj was born in the town of Nishapur in the Abbasid province of Khurasan, in present-day north eastern Iran. Historians differ as to his date of birth, though it is usually given as 202 AH (817/818), 204 AH (819/820), or 206 AH (821/822). Adh-Dhahabi said, "It is said that he was born in the year 204 AH," though he also said, "But I think he was born before that." Ibn Khallikan says that he did not find Muslim's date of birth or age at death reported by any of the hafizes (referring to the hadith masters), though they all agree that he was born after 200 AH (815/816). He writes that Ibn as-Salah, citing Ibn al-Bayyi`'s Kitab `Ulama al-Amsar, states the date to be 206 AH (821/822). Ibn Khallikan writes that he acquired the work and found that Ibn as-Salah based the year of birth on Muslim's age (55 hijri years) and date of death (25 Rajab 261) reported by Ibn al-Bayyi`. He thus agrees that Muslim must have been born in 206 AH (821/822).
The nisbah of "al-Qushayri" signifies Muslim's belonging to the Arab tribe of Banu Qushayr, members of which migrated to the newly conquered Persian territory during the expansion of the Rashidun Caliphate. However, he was not of Arab descent; he was a mawla – attributed to the Qushayr tribe by way of wala' (alliance), according to As-Sam`ani. An ancestor of Muslim may have been a freed slave of a Qushayri, or may have accepted Islam at the hands of a Qushayri. Estimates on how many hadiths are in his books vary from 3,033 to 12,000, depending on whether duplicates are included, or whether the text only or the isnad is also counted. His Sahih is said to share about 2000 hadiths with Bukhari's Sahih.
Among the author's teachers were included Harmala ibn Yahya, Sa'id ibn Mansur, Abd-Allah ibn Maslamah al-Qa'nabi, al-Dhuhali, al-Bukhari, Ibn Ma'in, Yahya ibn Yahya al-Nishaburi al-Tamimi, and others. Among his students were al-Tirmidhi, Ibn Abi Hatim al-Razi, and Ibn Khuzaymah, each of which wrote works on hadith as well. After many studies throughout the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt, Iraq and Syria, he settled down in his hometown of Nishapur where he first met Bukhari, with whom he would have a friendship until his death.
He died on 25 Rajab 261 AH (May 875) at the age of 55 hijri years, according to Ibn al-Bayyi`, and was buried in Nasarabad, a suburb of Nishapur.
ABOUT IMAM AL-NAWAWI:
He is Abu Zakaria Muhiy ad-Din Yahya Ibn Sharaf al-Nawawi, popularly known as al-Nawawi, an-Nawawi or Imam Nawawi (631–676 A.H./1234–1277), was an influential Sunni Shafi'i jurist and hadith scholar. He authored numerous and lengthy works ranging from hadith, to theology, biography, and jurisprudence. His complete name is Abu Zakaria Muhyidin Yahya ibn Sharaf ibn Marri ibn Hassan ibn Hussain ibn Muhammad ibn Juma ibn Hazm An-Nawawi. He was born at Nawa near Damascus, Syria.
Shaikh Yasin bin Yusuf Marakashi, says: "I saw Imam Nawawi at Nawa when he was a youth of ten years of age. Other boys of his age used to force him to play with them, but Imam Nawawi would always avoid the play and would remain busy with the recitation of the Noble Qur'an. When they tried to domineer and insisted on his joining their games, he bewailed and expressed his no concern over their foolish action. On observing his sagacity and profundity, a special love and affection developed in my heart for young Nawawi. I approached his teacher and urged him to take exceptional care of this lad as he was to become a great religious scholar. His teacher asked whether I was a soothsayer or an astrologer. I told him I am neither soothsayer nor an astrologer but Allah caused me to utter these words." His teacher conveyed this incident to Imam's father and he keeping in view the learning quest of his son, decided to dedicate the life of his son for the service and promotion of the cause of Islam.
Imam Nawawi joined Madrasah Rawahiyah which was affiliated with the Ummi University. Imam Nawawi says; "I studied in this institution for two years. During my stay in Madrasah Rawahiyah, I never had complete rest and lived on the limited food supplied by the institution." As a routine he used to sleep very little at night. When it became irresistible as a human being, he would lean and slumber for a while against the support of books. After a short duration he would again be hard at his scholastic pursuits. He studied in Damascus from the age of 18 and after making the pilgrimage in 1253 he settled there as a private scholar. From a young age he showed signs of great intelligence, and so his father paid for a good education. As a judge, he was much sought after for advice and adjudication of disputes.
His teachers were regarded as masters and authority of their subject field and disciplines they taught. Imam Nawawi studied Hadith, Islamic Jurisprudence, its principles, syntax and Etymology from great scholars of his time. Abu Ibrahim Ishaq bin Ahmad AI-Maghribi, Abu Muhammad Abdur-Rahman bin Ibrahim Al-Fazari, Radiyuddin Abu Ishaq Ibrahim bin Abu Hafs Umar bin Mudar Al-Mudari, Abu Ishaq Ibrahim bin Isa Al-Muradi, Abul-Baqa Khalid bin Yusuf An-Nablusi, Abul-Abbas Ahmad bin Salim Al-Misri, Abu Abdullah Al-Jiyani, Abul-Fath Umar bin Bandar, Abu Muhammad At-Tanukhi, Sharafuddin Abdul-Aziz bin Muhammad Al-Ansari, Abul-Faraj Abdur-Rahman bin Muhammad bin Ahmad Al-Maqdisi, Abul-Fada'il Sallar bin Al-Hasan Al Arbali.
His students likewise became renowned and well sought after, some of whom were; 'Ala Uddin ibn al-'Attar, Ibn Abbas Ahmad bin Ibrahim, Abul-Abbas Al-Ja'fari, Abul-Abbas Ahmad bin Farah, Rashid Ismail bin Mu'allim Al-Hanafi, Abu Abdullah Al-Hanbali, AbulAbbas Al-Wasti, Jamaluddin Sulaiman bin Omar Az-Zar'i, AbulFaraj Abdur-Rahman bin Muhammad bin Abdul-Hamid AlMaqdisi, Badr Muhammad bin Ibrahim, Shamsuddin Muhammad bin Abu Bakr, Ash-Shihab Muhammad bin Abdul-Khaliq, Hibatullah Al-Barizi, Abul-Hajjaj Yusuf bin Az-Zaki.
His written works as well as published works are so many that almost all of them have been warmly received by scholars and students alike. Some of his well known and celebrated works are;
--- Al Minhaj bi Sharh Sahih Muslim شرح صحيح مسلم, making use of others before him, and is considered one of the best commentaries on Sahih Muslim. It is available online.
--- Riyadh as-Salihin رياض الصالحين, is a collection of hadith on ethics, manners, conduct, and is very popular in the Muslim world today.
--- al-Majmu' sharh al-Muhadhdhab المجموع شرح المهذب, is a comprehensive manual of Islamic law according to the Shafi'i school.
--- Minhaj al-Talibin منهاج الطالبين وعمدة المفتين في فقه الإمام الشافعي, a classical manual on Islamic Law according to Shafi'i fiqh.
--- Tahdhib al-Asma wal-Lughat تهذيب الأسماء,
--- Taqrib al-Taisir التقريب والتيسير لمعرفة سنن البشير النذير, an introduction to the study of hadith, it is an extension of Ibn al-Salah's Muqaddimah, with Suyuti's commentary "Tadrib al-Rawi" it is most popular,
--- Forty Hadiths (al-arba'in al-nawawiyya) الأربعون النووية, collection of forty (actually forty-two) fundamental traditions, frequently published along with numerous commentaries.
--- Ma Tamas ilayhi hajat al-Qari li Sahih al-Bukhari ما تمس إليه حاجة القاري لصـحيح البـخاري,
--- Tahrir al-Tanbih تحرير التنبيه,
--- Kitab al-Adhkar الأذكار المنتخبة من كلام سيد الأبرار, is a collection of supplications of prophet Muhammad.
--- al-Tibyan fi adab Hamalat al-Quran التبيان في آداب حملة القرآن,
--- Adab al-fatwa wa al-Mufti wa al-Mustafti آداب الفتوى والمفتي والمستفتي,
--- al-Tarkhis fi al-Qiyam الترخيص بالقيام لذوي الفضل والمزية من أهل الإسلام,
--- Manasik متن الإيضاح في المناسك, on Hajj rituals.
--- Sharh Sunan Abu Da'ud; الإيجاز في شرح سنن أبي داود السَّجِستاني
--- Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari
--- Mukhtasar at-Tirmidhi
--- Tabaqat ash-Shafi'iyah
--- Rawdhat al-Talibeen
--- Bustan al-`arifin
and many more works.
He died at Nawa at a relatively young age, having never married. An-Nawawi's lasting legacy is his contribution to hadith literature through his momentous works Forty Hadiths and Riyadh as-Saaliheen. According to Al-Dhahabi, Imam Nawawi's concentration and absorption in academic love gained proverbial fame. He had devoted all his time for learning and scholarship. Other than reading and writing, he spent his time contemplating on the interacted and complex issues and in finding their solutions. Shaykh Muhiyidin expresses his impression about Imam Nawawi as thus: "Imaam an-Nawawi had three distinctive commendable qualities in his person. If anybody has only one out of these three, people turn to him in abundance for guidance. First, having knowledge and its dissemination. Second, to evade completely from the worldly inclinations, and the third, inviting to all that is good (Islam) enjoining virtue and forbidding vice. Imaam an-Nawawi had all three in him."