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Question regarding the chapters in Sahih Muslim

Question

I read a book that mentions that it was the habit of early Muhaddithun to write very little of their own commentary and usually their books were filled with mainly the wordings of the Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam). So much so that Imam Muslim (rahimahullah)  did not even write a muqaddimah (introduction) and did not even mention any headings of the chapters (tarajim). 

But the copies which we have today do have both; the muqaddimah (intro) as well as the Titles of the chapters (tarajimul abwab).

Could you kindly clarify and exhibit some light on this issue?

Answer

Imam Muslim (rahimahullah) has indeed written an introduction (muqaddimah) to his Sahih, for which he is quite famous too. This is found in all copies of Sahih Muslim as you have noticed.

Besides Imam Muslim, most of the other Muhaddithun have not written introductions to their books. Like that book says, they avoided including their explanations in to the Hadith books.

As for the titles of the chapters, these have been omitted by Imam Muslim (rahimahullah) as he wanted his book to consist of only the words of Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam).

What you find in the current copies were actually added by the commentators later on. These are not part of the original book, but do assist in focusing on the Hadiths at hand. Over time, various commentators had worded these chapters according to what they felt fitted the discussion best. The most popular of these endeavors is the one provided by ‘Allamah Nawawi (rahimahullah) in his commentary on Sahih Muslim.

 

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best,

 

Answered by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar

 

Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar