How many types and categories of hadith are there?
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How many types and categories of hadith are there?

What is hadith, and what are the types of hadith?

Hadith is the sayings and teachings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The companions, their families, religious scholars, and their followers worked tirelessly to form collections of ahadith. There are various categories of hadith, based on different attributes. A true Muslim’s life revolves around the hadith and sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

A hadith consists of three components: –

  • Isnad: –

This refers to the chain of reporting as to who heard from whom, tracing back to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), where possible.

  • Taraf: –

Also known as an introductory text, this sheds light on the actions of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in the situation or context in which he said the hadith.

  • Matn: –

This is the main content or saying of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Importance of hadith:-

Allah entrusted Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) with the responsibility to complete the religion of Allah and teach Islam to the world. When he departed from this world, he left behind the Holy Quran and hadith for the guidance of mankind till the Day of Judgement. Holy Quran is the world of Allah while hadith is the implementation of Allah’s words by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). There is no subject matter, whether worldly or religious, regarding which hadith does not give information. While Allah commands us, hadith tells us how to accomplish those commands. For example, Allah commands us to perform Hajj and Umrah in the Quran. Hadith sheds light on minute details and exceptions of the religious obligation. It is best to choose Umrah packages that teach the pilgrims correctly about the sunnah of worship.

What are the different types of hadith, and how is each hadith classified into different types?

When it comes to how many times types of hadith, there are five basic categories of hadith. These are as follows.

Categories of hadith based on reference to a particular authority: –

This basis divides hadith into the following categories: –


These are the divine instructions that Allah revealed directly to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and he told the people as it is.

A strong category of hadith, these are the elevated ones that Prophet Muhammad’s companions directly heard him saying.


These are the commands that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) directly gave to his companions.


These are the instructions given by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to his companions which do not trace back to him, but to his companions.

  1. Categories of hadith based on the links of Isnad: –

Isnad is the plural of sanad which refers to a sequence of reporting. When it comes to how many times of hadith according to sanad/nisbat, here are the categories: –


It means supported as Prophet Muhammad’s well-known companion reports these ahadith, irrespective of the presence of the final narrator.


This means continuous as the sequence of reporting uninterruptedly goes back to a companion or a successor.


Meaning hurried, one of the following generations of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) quotes these ahadith without mentioning any companion.


Meaning broken, these hadith miss one or more narrators, however not consecutively.


Meaning perplexing, these hadith miss two or more narrators successively.


Meaning hanging, these hadith have either one or more unknown narrators at the start of the sequence, or all of the narrators are unknown.

  1. Categories of hadith based on the number of narrators: –

There are two categories according to this division: –


Meaning consecutive, many rightful companions authenticate the hadith.


Meaning isolated, only a handful of people authenticate the hadith.

Ahad further breaks into three categories: –


Meaning famous, these hadith relate to more than two people from each generation.


These are rare but strong hadith having only two reporters in sequence.


This means strange and scarce as these hadith have only one narrator in the sequence of reporting.

  1. Categories of hadith based on the nature of matn and isnad: –

According to this basis, there are two categories of hadith: –


Meaning denounced, this hadith links to a weak narrator and negates a strong hadith.


Meaning interpolated, these hadith support an authentic hadith of a narrator.

  1. Categories of hadith based on authenticity: –

There are four categories of hadith according to the authenticity of correspondents: –


Meaning sound, these are the most authentic ahadith narrated by reliable resources in the most accurate sequence of narrations.


Meaning good, these hadith have strong reporters with good character.


Meaning weak, these hadith do not qualify for the Hasan category due to lack of Isnad.


Meaning fabricated, these hadith contradict the authentic hadith.

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