New book on Hadith: It tells what all you want to know about Islam

Hyderabad: At a time when everything Islamic is under focus, all for the wrong reasons, separating wheat from chaff will help. What exactly are the Islamic beliefs, principles and practices about which there is so much hue and cry? You can learn all this and more from a new book of Hadith, the collected traditions of the Prophet.

Next in importance to the Quran as a source of Islamic teaching is the Hadith. Technically speaking it consists of the sayings and deeds of Prophet Muhammad. Even his silence, in some matters, is construed as an important factor in Islamic law.

This book of Hadith being released on Sunday seeks to put everything in the context and answers doubts and questions that baffle many. As the name of the book suggests – Answers by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), A Ready Reckoner – is the best possible response to all that befuddles one about Islam. It makes Hadith reading a whole new experience as it adopts a question-answer approach in explaining things.

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Interestingly, the author, Mohammad Abdul Rahim, is not an Islamic scholar or a madrassa product. Rather he was a government servant, a broadcast engineer in Doordarshan, to be precise. “I always desired of compiling a book on the Prophet’s conclusive answers covering the entire range and scope of answers,” he says.
His single minded devotion and diligent effort has paid off. His book, the labour of more than 12 years of research involving 90 books, is finally out to quench the thirst of all those who want to know about Islam and the Prophet of Islam.

What makes the book different from the existing Hadith literature is that it raises the curiosity of readers through questions put by Sahaba (male Companions), Sahabiyat (female Companions), Jews, Christians, Bedouins and others. It also includes answers to queries on Quranic verses along with use of hypophora  ie – questions raised and answered by the Prophet himself.

The book also brings out the pedagogical dimension of the Prophet (pbuh), an aspect not much explored. The author tries to portray the Messenger of Allah as a teacher and leader. Readers learn the teaching methodology of the Prophet, who was unlettered himself. For this the author explains the analogies, similes, anecdotes, diagrams, gestures, humour, interactive dialogue, repetition, physical contact and continuous evaluation adopted by the Prophet to drive home the message. The comprehensive commentary at the end of each Hadith puts the whole thing in perspective. In fact it serves as the icing on the cake.

Apart from faith, prayer, fasting, Haj, zakat, charity and behaviour there are interesting and probing questions and answers on different aspects of life. For instance there are questions pertaining to women’s issues like hijab, purification, widowhood, inheritance.

Islam allows women to live ‘on their own terms’ as is clear from the account of Barira, a manumitted female slave. The Prophet did not force her to accept his advice.
Through all this one comes to know the accommodating nature of the Prophet (pbuh) who treated people according to their ranks and intellectual capacity. While advising he also took into account their psychological status, strengths, weaknesses and needs. One also learns how the Prophet’s advice was always personalised – based on the individual’s circumstances.

The 778-page book contains 1100 Hadiths – each one with its chain of transmission going back to the Prophet and complete with the referencing of the texts, authentication of Hadiths and search indexes. Priced Rs. 1200, the book is available at Huda Book Depot, Purani Haveli and the chain of Himalaya Book Stores. Besides, it is also available on Amazon and Kindle.

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