This is a Level One course that opens the door to further hadith study in the future.
Every student of knowledge should at least be familiar with the 40 Hadiths, as part of connecting with the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), but moreover, to have a basic grasp of the most important facets of Islam. This is studied in Level One, yet can be revisited at higher levels to uncover more layers of meaning and application.
This text is considered one of the greatest compilation of forty hadiths in Islamic scholarship and each hadith is considered an axis on which the religion of Islam turns, conveying its most central tenants and values in each of the carefully selected narrations.
This course is important for any Muslim who wants to hear a summary of how the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) taught Islam through his sayings and wishes to connect with the field of hadiths more.
After this course, students can pursue studies in longer hadith compilations, as well as in technical hadith terminology to fully understand the importance of the second of the two main sources of Islam: the Quran and Sunna.
The practical issues this collection addresses are how to understand and practice the most fundamental and overarching teachings of Islam, in forty hadiths. The rest of practice can be said to be the details that fall under the umbrella of these forty hadiths, in many aspects
The 40 Hadiths compiled by Imam Nawawi, or “Al Araba’un al Nawawiyya” as they are popularly called (or even just the “Araba’een”) is not the first text to act on the hadith regarding the reward for preserving forty hadiths, but it certainly is the most famous and relied-upon collection of its kind.
The hadiths that were chosen by Imam Nawawi are all of an authentic grade and are hadiths around which the entire religion revolves in one aspect or another. One could say that Islam itself is summarized in these forty narrations, and its most important lessons are encapsulated therein. This is why it has been the most popular and famous text for teaching hadiths to Muslims of all levels of learning, and why it has been so widely accepted and celebrated. Each hadith adds a new dimension of Islam to the whole and educates the reader. The entire collection has also been considered among the first few texts that students in some parts of the world would memorize in its entirety, given how essential and foundational the hadiths are.
It is also an excellent introduction into the field of hadiths and to gain familiarity with the idea of hearing wisdom and knowledge from the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him). This is why it is often studied as a first step in actual hadith text study which looks at lessons and meanings derived from the content and language itself (as opposed to hadith technical sciences called Mustalah or Usul al-Hadith which focuses on preservation and authenticity).
Its commentaries are beyond count, and many have perhaps not reached us today or exist in manuscripts or even local Islamic languages. Those in Arabic that are the most well-known are commentaries by Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, Ibn Daqiq al-Eid, Ibn al-Mulaqqin, and others, including Imam Nawawi himself.
Imam Abu Zakariyya Muḥyi al-Din Yaḥya ibn Sharaf al-Nawawi was born at Nawa, a place near Damascus, in the suburb of the city of Howran, in 631 AH (1234 CE). Damascus was considered the center of learning and scholarship, and the students from across the Ummah gathered there for Islamic learning. During that period, there were more than three hundred institutes, colleges, and universities in Damascus.
He wrote many important works such as Al Majmu’ in Shafii fiqh, Kitab al Adhkar on prophetic invocations, Riyad al Salihin in hadith, Sharh Sahih Muslim in hadith commentary, and more. He passed away in his forties after having attained the highest level of scholarship for his time and was renowned for his piety and abstention from worldly life.
• This course is for all levels and ages.
• It is particularly beneficial for students of knowledge who want to further study the field of hadiths, as well as general seekers who would like to have one essential course in prophetic sayings.
• It is a Level One course. No prerequisites are required.
• This course can also be taken by anyone interested in learning from Prophetic wisdom and guidance.
Weekly hours recommended: 1.5 hours
Recommended reading/ Supplementary texts: A Portrait of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) as well as the Shama’il published by Imam Ghazali Institute.
Evaluation method: Quizzes, and memorization track.
• Connect with the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) deeply.
• Understand the higher purpose behind the words of the Hadith.
• Understand the spiritual dimensions of these comprehensive words.
• Increase in faith and love for the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).
• Reflect upon the lessons derived.
• Develop the ability to emulate the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and bring a change to one’s lifestyle.
Lesson 1: Introduction, Hadith 1-2
Lesson 2: Hadiths 3-5
Lesson 3: Hadiths 6-9
Lesson 4: Hadiths 10-13
Lesson 5: Hadiths 14-17
Lesson 6: Hadiths 18-21
Lesson 7: Hadiths 22-24
Lesson 8: Hadiths 25-28
Lesson 9: Hadiths 29-31
Lesson 10: Hadiths 32-34
Lesson 11: Hadiths 35-38
Lesson 12: Hadiths 39-42
Shaykh Abdullah Misra was born in Toronto, Canada in 1983. His family hails from India and he was raised in the Hindu tradition. He embraced Islam in 2001 while at the University of Toronto, from where he completed a Bachelor of Business Administration. He then traveled overseas in 2005 to study the Arabic language and Islamic sciences in Tarim, Yemen for some time, as well as Darul Uloom in Trinidad, West Indies.
He spent 12 years in Amman, Jordan where he focused on Islamic Law, Theology, Hadith Sciences, Prophetic Biography, and Islamic Spirituality while also working at the Qasid Arabic Institute as Director of Programs. He holds a BA in Islamic Studies (Alimiyya, Darul Uloom) and authorization in the six authentic books of Hadith, and is currently pursuing specialized training in issuing Islamic legal verdicts (ifta’).
He holds a certificate in Counselling and often works with new Muslims and those struggling with religious OCD. He is an instructor and researcher in Sacred Law and Theology at SeekersGuidance. His personal interests include Indian history, comparative religion, English singing, and poetry.
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