In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Most Merciful
Etiquettes of the Student of Hadith
By Shaykh Dr. Mahmood at-Tahhaan (teacher and principle of Hadith and its sciences program in the University of Kuwait)
These etiquettes can be found in the shaykh’s book entitled, “Tayseer Mustalah al-Hadith” under Fasl Thaani: Adaab ar-Riwaayah. The shaykh said,
What is intended by the etiquettes of the student of hadith is, what characteristics are required for the student to adorn. Meaning, what are the exalted and noble etiquettes one should have when seeking the hadith of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him)? From among these etiquettes are those which are adorned both by the Muhaddith and student and those etiquettes which are specifically for the student.
Etiquettes which are adorned by both the Muhaddith and Student
1. Rectifying his intention and making it sincerely for Allah the Most High in his search (for knowledge).
2. Preventing his intent of seeking hadith to be a means of attaining something from the worldly life.
Abu Dawud and Ibn Maajah collects a hadith from Abu Hurayrah that he said the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said,
من تعلم علمًا مما يبتغى به وجه الله عز وجل لا يتعلمه إلا ليصيب به عرضًا من الدنيا، لم يجد عَرف الجنة يوم القيامة
“A person who acquires (religious) knowledge, which is (normally) acquired to gain the Pleasure of Allah, (for the sole reason) to secure worldly comforts will not even smell the fragrance of Jannah on the Day of Resurrection (i.e., will not enter Jannah).”
3. To act upon what he hears from the Ahadith.
Etiquettes which are specifically for the student
1. To ask Allah, the Most High, for success, ease, understanding, and aid in being precise in (memorizing) hadith.
2. Exert all of his efforts in obtaining hadith.
3. Begin listening to hadith from the scholars in his land who are the most correct in their chain (of narrators), knowledge, and religion.
4. Honor and respect his shaykh.
Whoever listens and venerates his shaykh then that is respecting/honoring knowledge and is a means of (the student) benefiting from knowledge. The student must find out what pleases his shaykh and be patient if he is harsh.
5. Direct his colleagues and brothers where they can attain benefit from.
He should not hide knowledge for hiding beneficial knowledge is evil. (Only) those who are ignorant fall into this, because the intent of seeking knowledge is to spread it.
6. He should not allow shyness or arrogance prevent him from striving to listen, obtain, and taking knowledge. Even if it is from someone who is younger than him or lower in status.
7. He should not limit himself to only listening and writing hadith without understanding it. For he will tire himself out without attaining anything.
8. He should give preference to listening, memorizing, and understanding the two Sahih (Bukhari and Muslim).
Then Sunan Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, and an-Nisaa’ee.
Then Sunan al-Kubraa by al-Bayhaqi.
Then whatever is needed from the Masaanid (plural for Musnad) and Jawaami’ (plural for Jaami’), like the Musnad of Ahmad, the Muwatta of Maalik, and the books of ‘Ilall like ‘Ilalla ad-Daaraqutni.
Then the books regarding the names (of narrators) like at-Taareekh al-Kabir by Bukhari, al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel by ibn Abi Haatim, and Ibn Maakulaa’s book.
Then about the definition of the words used in hadith (Ghareeb Hadith) like an-Nihaayah by Ibn Al-Atheer.
Translated by: Abu Awzaa’ee AbdusSalaam
الفقير الى الله