Six major Hadith collections

The six major Hadith collections (Arabic: "Al-Sihah al-Sittah") are the works of some individuals from Islamic scholars who by their own initiative started collecting sayings that people attributed to Muhammad approximately 200 years after his death.


The name "Al-Sihah al-Sittah" translates literally to "The Authentic Six", even though they are not all considered authentic ("sahih"), except for the first two collections.

According to the Cambridge History of Iran [S. H. Nasr(1975), “The religious sciences”, in R.N.Frye, the Cambridge History of Iran, Cambridge University Press] :cquote|After this period commences the age of the authors of the six canonical collections of Sunni hadith (al-sihah al-sitta), all of whom were Persian. The authors of the six collections are as follows:

1. Muhammad b. Isma'il al-Bukhari, the author of the best known of the Sahih, which he composed over a period of sixteen years. Traditional sources quote Bukhari as saying that he did not record any hadith before performing his ablutions and praying. Bukhari died near Samarqand in 256/869-70.

2. Muslim b. Hajjaj al-Naishapuri, who died in Nishapur in 261/ 874-5 and whose Sahih is second in fame only to that of Bukhari.

3. Abu Da'ud Sulaiman b. Ash'ath al-Sijistani, a Persian but of Arab descent, who died in 275/888-9.

4. Muhammad b. 'Isa al-Tirmidhi, author of the well-known Jdmi’ al-Tirmidhi, who was a student of Bukhari and died in 279/892-3.

5. Abu 'Abd al-Rahman al-Nisa'i, who was from Khurasan and died in 303/915-16.

6. Ibn Maja al-Qazwini, who died in 273/886-7.

Muslim view

Sunni Muslims view the Six major Hadith collections as their most important. They are, in order of importance [ [ Various Issues About Hadiths ] ] :

# Sahih Bukhari, collected by al-Bukhari (d. 870), included 7275 hadiths
# Sahih Muslim, collected by Muslim b. al-Hajjaj (d. 875), included 9200
# Sunan al-Sughra, collected by al-Nasa'i (d. 915)
# Sunan Abi Da'ud, collected by Abu Da'ud (d. 888)
# Sunan al-Tirmidhi, collected by al-Tirmidhi (d. 892)
# This one is disputed. Sometimes its referred to Al-Muwatta, collected by Imam Malik (d. 796) and sometimes it is referred to Sunan Ibn Majah, collected by Ibn Majah (d. 886). Some people even consider Sunan al-Darami to be the sixth one.

The two first are referred to as the Two Sahihs which indicates that they are authentic.

ee also

*List of Sunni books
*Hadith of Persians and knowledge


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