By Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr.


The objective of the study of hadith is personal development, tarbiyat al nafs, which includes encouragement of good acts, fadhail al a’amal, remembrance of Allah, dhikr al allah, softening the hearts, tarqiiq al quluub, encouraging hope for reward, rajaa,  and fear of chastisement, khawf, correct social etiquette, adab, and improving manners, tahdhiib al akhlaq. This study is not concerned with critique of the text, naqd al matn,  or chain of transmission, naqd al sanad, or any other academic aspect of hadith sciences, ulum al hadith.



This module is a study of hadith of Imaam Nawawi’s Garden of the Righteous, Riyadh al Salihin.



Follow the etiquette, adab, of reading and studying hadith. Ablution, wudhu, is recommended but is not obligatory. Take turns in reading the assigned hadiths in Arabic aloud making sure you pronounce each letter correctly. Correct one another in a polite way. Read the translation of the hadith. Make sure you understand all the words in the translation. Do not start any discussion before fully understanding the text, nass. Refer to the foot notes for: the chain of transmission, related Qur’anic verses and hadiths. Discuss the hadith using the given points as a guide. List lessons you have learned for your contemporary life as an individual and as a member of the community or society. Write down your conclusions.



The following general conceptual tools will be useful in your discussions: sunnat as a source of law, hujjiyat al sunnat, comprehensiveness of sunnat, shumuul al sunnat, sunnat as a basis for civilization, hadharat, and culture, thaqafat, the time and space dimension in the sunnat, al bu’ud al zamani wa al makani, sunnat and solution of social problems, sunnat mu’alajat mushkilaat al umma, sunnat as source of values, qiyam, sunnat as dawa, sunnat understood in the context of the Qur’an, fahm al sunnat fi dhaw’i al Qur’an, understanding sunnat in the context of the related historical circumstances and purposes, asbaab wa maqasid al sunnat, focus on the spirit, ruh, and not letter, lafdh,  of the sunnat,  focus on the higher purposes, maqasid, and not the externalities, dhawahir, focus on the whole and not the parts, juz’iyaat, appreciation that the purposes, maqasid,  are constant but the methods, wasail, are variable, avoiding allegorical interpretations, ta’awil majazi, avoiding esoteric interpretations, ta’awil batini, belief in the unseen, iman bi al ghaib, without asking why and how, ‘adam al su’al ‘an al kayfiyat,  because human intellect is limited, mahdudiyat al ‘aql al insani.

(c) Professor Omar Hasan Kasule, Sr. 2004