At the beginning of Abu Dawud Sharif, before Kitabut Taharah in the Pakistani print, the following appears:
Akhbarana Alimam Alhafiz Abu Bakr…
Whose words are these ?
These are the words of the student of Imam Abu Bakr, Khatib Baghdadi who transmits this version of the Sunan from him all the way up to Imam Abu Dawud (rahimahumullah).
The name of this student could be Abul Badr, Ibrahim ibn Muhammad Al-Karkhi (rahimahullah) – as appears in the footnotes of Shaykh Muhammad ‘Awwamah’s copy of Sunan Abi Dawud, before Hadith: 1.
Manuscripts of Islamic books generally also state the chain through which that particular copy was passed on.
This serves to authenticate that copy of the book.
No other civilisation can match the level of care and attention to the details of accuracy that the scholars of Islam have provided.
May Allah Ta’ala reward them abundantly for this supreme service to the latter generations.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best,
Answered by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar