Are there any books that specifically gather the sayings and anecdotes of the Sahabah (radiyallahu ‘anhum) Tabi’un in relation to encouraging good deeds, zuhd (asceticism) and riqaq (narrations that soften the heart)?
Which are the best and most reliable books to use for this purpose?
The following books are great primary sources for narrations of this nature:
Books on Zuhd:
- Kitabuz Zuhd and Kitabur Raqaiq of Imam ‘Abdullah ibnul Mubarak
- Kitabuz Zuhd of Imam Waki’ ibn Jarrah
- Az Zuhd of Imam Ahmad ibn Hambal
- Az Zuhd of Imam Hannad ibn Sariy
- Kitabuz Zuhd Al Kabir of Imam Bayhaqi
- Musannaf ‘Abdur Razzaq
- Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah
- Shu’abul Iman of Imam Bayhaqi
The Hadith collections (rasail) of Imam Abu Bakr ibn Abid Dunya are also filled with narrations of this nature. Many of these Hadith collections have been printed together, under the name ‘Mawsu’atul Imam Ibn Abid Dunya’. Similarly, you could refer to Hilyatul Awliya of Imam Abu Nu’aym (rahimahumullah).
The sources I have cited above are all primary sources. i.e. The author quotes with his chain. These chains will have to be inspected individually before ascertaining the authenticity. However, the Muhaddithun have relaxed the strict conditions when it comes to narrations of this nature.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.
Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar