Hadrat Aqdas Maulānā Arshad Madanī Sāhib dāmat barakātuhum
Ustādh Hadīth, Dār al-‛Ulūm Deoband
The science of Hadīth is the most honourable of all sciences. It is an important pillar of Dīn. Its theme centres around the being and attributes of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‛alayhi wa sallam. Hadīth is defined as the words, actions and tacit approvals of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‛alayhi wa sallam. This means that the science of Hadīth is connected to the pure life of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‛alayhi wa sallam from beginning to end. Without this science, neither is the tafsīr (exegesis) of the Qur’ān possible, nor the codification of fiqh (jurisprudence). This is why the ‛ulamā’ of every era considered service to this science and attachment to it to be a means of success for them in both worlds. From the very early centuries of Islam, certain principles and rules were laid down for the preservation of Hadīth, and through which the rank of each Hadīth could be delineated, and the status of the rules of the Sharī‛ah which were derived from it could be established.
Allāh ta‛ālā willed the termination of the chain of prophet-hood with our master, Hadrat Muhammad sallallāhu ‛alayhi wa sallam, and no Prophet was to come after him until the day of Resurrection. This is
why the preservation of this science of Hadīth was undertaken in a very distinguished manner. We will not be exaggerating in the least if we said that no other nation could preserve the words, actions and tacit approvals of the Prophet which was commissioned to it. Allāh ta‛ālā enabled this important task to be undertaken and fulfilled only by the followers of Muhammad sallallāhu ‛alayhi wa sallam so that this Dīn may be preserved until the day of Resurrection.
From the above explanation, the importance of the science of Hadīth and its need for the continued existence of this final Dīn can be clearly gauged. It is therefore most important for the students who are studying this science, and who are also the inheritors of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‛alayhi wa sallam, to be fully aware of the etiquette of the science of Hadīth, and to observe its etiquette. As the saying goes: “The one who has manners and etiquette is most fortunate. The one who is deprived of this is most unfortunate.”
It has also been witnessed that the more devoted and sincere a person is with this science, and the more respect he shows to it, the stronger his spiritual bond with Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‛alayhi wa sallam.
The associates of Hadrat Maulānā Muhammad Salīm Dhorāt Sāhib mudda zilluhu transcribe a lesson which he had delivered. They then published it as a short but beneficial booklet titled, Ādāb-e-Hadīth (The Etiquette of Studying Hadīth). I had the opportunity of perusing through it in the course of my journey and found it most beneficial especially for students.
I make du‛ā’ to Allāh ta‛ālā to bestow this blessed work with acceptance, and to enable the students of Hadīth to take maximum benefit from it. Āmīn.
(Hadrat Aqdas Maulānā) Arshad Madanī (Sāhib dāmat barakātuhum)
Servant of Dār al-‛Ulūm Deoband
29 Rabī‛ al-Ākhir 1430 A.H.