Life of Imaam Abu Dawood Sajistaani  رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ

Life of Imaam Abu Dawood Sajistaani رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ

By  Mufti Saeed Ahmed Palanpuri رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ

About the Author

Hadhrat Moulana Hafiz Mufti Saeed Ahmed Palanpuri رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ studied in the renowned Darul Uloom Deoband – India. Taught in Jamia Ashrafia – Gujuraat for 9 years and lectured in Darul Uloom Deoband for the last 47 years. He has tutored in every science of the Dars Nizaami and has become world famous for his discources and deliberations on Tirmidhi. An average of 1000 students attend these dynamic presentations daily. Students acknowledging his vast intense depths of knowledge generally refer to him as “Allamah” and “Bahr ulUloom”. Besides his tours of U.S.A, U.K, Canada, Zambia, Zimbabwe,Malawi, South Africa and Turkey, he has written extensively especially for the scholars.

He had full command over 5 languages i.e Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Gujuraatiand English.

Five of his works are used as standard text books in higher Institutes of Learning. He has penned works of reputable level on Tafseer, Ahadeeth, Principles of Tafseer, Principles of Ahadeeth, History of Ahadeeth compities, Syntax, Grammar, Etermology, Jurisprudence, Philosophy and logic.

His master piece is the 5 volume commentary of the magnum opus of Hadhrat Shah Waliullaah Dehlevi (A.R) “Hujjatullaah Baligha” –called Rahmatutalllah ul Wasiyah” each volume extending over 850 pages. He has accolades from most of academic sources of the world for these sterling services.

Hayaat (life) Imaam Abu Dawood Sajistaani رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ

202 A.H.- 275 A.H. / 817C.E.- 889C.E.


Imaam Abu Dawood’s (R.A) name is Sulaymaan Ibn Al-Ash’ath ibn Ishaaq ibn Basheer ibn shaddaad in Amr ibn Imraan. He was born in Sajistaan and is thus known as Sajistani and Sajzee.


He is of the famous tribe of Azd of Yemen. His clan, a branch of the Azd tribe, settled at the foot of Kirmaan range at a place called Qafs.

It is not known precisely which of his ancestors had accepted Islaam. It is however established that his fore-father Imraan had fought on the side of Hadhrat Ali τ in the battle of Siffeen.


The Historian Ibn Khalliqah says that he is from Sajistan. Shah Abdul Aziz says that he is from Sayastaan which is a province between Sind and Herat in present day Afghan. Yaqoot Hamawi says that Sajistan is a vast province in southern Khuraasaan on the banks of the lake Batieera Zarrah. This third view is most correct. For this reason he is known as Abu Dawood Sajistani and as Abu Dawood Sijzee. In any case, he was born in Sajstan. His son Abdullaah was born here in 230 A.H. Some time after this he moved to Basrah. He frequently traveled to Baghdad. His last trip to Baghdad was in 271 A.H. He returned to Basrah where he lived till his end.

On his final return to Basrah, Abu Ahmad Muwaffaq, the govenor, requested him to permanently settle there so that Basrah may become a center of Ilm for students from all over the Muslim lands, and to teach Kitaab-us-Sunan to his sons. He further requested the noble Imaam to teach his sons privately since they were princes. Imaam Saheb acceded to the first two conditions but rejected the third saying: “In the matter of Ilm all are equal.” Consequently the princes would sit with the rest of the students while studying under him.

Birth and Demise

He was born in Sajistan in 202 A.H. and passed away on Friday 16th Shawwaal 275A.H. in Basrah at the age of 73. He was buried there alongside Sufyan Thauri. According to his wish, he was bathed and shrouded by Hasn ibn Muthannah. Abbas ibn Abdul Waahid led his janaazah salaat.

Asaatidhah [Teachers]

Dhahabi R.A. says that he studied under many great Ulamaa. Ibn Hajar puts the number at three hundred. Among his more famed Asaatidhah are:
1. Musaddad ibn Musarhad
2. Yahya ibn Ma’een
3. Qutaibah ibn Sa’eed
4. Uthmaan ibn Abi Shaibah
5. Ahmad ibn Hanbal
6. Qa’naby
7. Abul Waleed Tayaalisi
8. Muhammad ibn Katheer Abdi
9. Muslim ibn Ibraaheem
10. Abu Ja’far Nufaily

He undertook a special journey to meet Amr ibn Hafs ibn Ghayyaath but was unable to meet him. He met Khaalid ibn Khaddaash but did not narrate from him. He did not meet Yusuf Saffaar, Ibn Isbahaani, Ibn Hammaad or Makhool ibn Ibraaheem despite them all passing away after 220A.H. He did not narrate any Ahaadeeth from Ibn Hamaani; Suwaid; Ibn Kaasib; and Sufyaan ibn Wakee’. He did not listen to any Hadeeth from Khalaf ibn Moosa; Abu Humaam Dalaal or Raqqaahi.


It is not possible to put an accurate figure in the number of his students. In those days, the number of students ran into thousands. Regarding his ustaad Sulaimaan ibn Harb, Abu Dawood says: “I was present in his majlis (gathering) in Baghdaad. There were over 40 000 students at one time. Even the Khalifah Ma’moon was present. He listened to the lesson while seated behind a curtain.”

Among his more noted students are Lu’lu’i; Ibn Arabi; Ibn Daastah; Abu Hasan Ansaary; Abu Teeb Ashnaani; Abu Amr Basri; Abu Eesa Ramli (to whom he gave his hand written copy of Kitaabsu Sunan); Abu Usamah Ruwaas (who is a narrator of 8 Sunan Kitaabs); Abu Abdullaah(the narrator of Kitaabur Radd Alaa Ahlil Qadr); Abu Bakr Najjaar (narrator of Naasikh wal Mansookh); Abu Ubaid Aajurri (narrator of Kitaabul Masa’il); Isma’eel Saffaar (narrator of Musnad Maalik); Abu Bakr Abdullaah (son of Imaam Tirmidhi); Imaam Nasa’ii; Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal.

He also benefited from Abu Amr Dhareer and Aasim ibn Ali who are counted among the senior Ulamaa of the time. He studied under many of Imaam Bukhaari’s Shuyookh. Ibn Hajar has counted him together with Bukhaari among the 11th generation of Muhadditheen.

Imaam Tirmidhi’s narrating from Abu Dawood

Among abu Dawood’s accolades is that two of the great Muhadditheen and one of the four Imaams are counted among his students, Imaam Tirmidhi has Narrated Two Ahaadeeth from him. One in Kitaabud Da’waat [vol.2 pg.200] and one in Kitaabus Saum [vol.1 pg.90]

Imaam Nasaii

He has narrated one Hadeeth from Abu Dawood in Sunan as Sughraa and many times in his Amal al Yowm wal Laylah.

Imaam Ahmad

Imaam Ahmad is the Ustaad of Abu Dawood, but has narrated one Hadeeth from him, thus making him his student as well. Abu Dawood once narrated a Hadeeth to Imaam Ahmad who said; “This is a strange Hadeeth (I have not come across it)” So saying he went into his house and emerged a little later with a pen saying: “Please repeat it for me” In this way he accepted a Hadeeth through the Sanad of Abu Dawood. After this once the great scholar Ibn Abi Sameenah visited Imaam Ahmad, who said to him: “Abu Jafar! Abu Dawood has a strange Hadeeth! Why don’t you write it from him?”

Virtues and Rank [Fadhaa’il and Maqaam]

Imaam Nawawi states “All the Ulamaa are unanimous on the rank and virtue of Abu Dawood. He has been praised for his perfect memory and deep knowledge. He possessed a sound mind and perfect intellect. Together with this, he was an Imaam in the varios sciences. All of this added to his piety and abstinence made him one of the greatest Ulamaa of his time. [‘aunul Ma’bood vol.4 pg. 546]

Ibn Khalliqaan says: “He was on the highest rank of Taqwa and Ibaadah”

Moosa ibn Haroon says: “Abu Dawoods existence in this world was for Hadeeth and his existence in the Aakhirah is for Jannah. I have not seen anyone like him!”

Ibn Hibbaan says: “Abu Dawood is among the Imaams of the Muslimsin Ilm, Fiqh’Hadeeth’ Hifz and Taqwa”

Juloodi has written a complete volume on his excellences and virtues named Akhbaar Abi Dawood.

Piety and Abstinence / Taqwa and Zuhd

Taqwa and Tahaarah are the inborn traits of the Muhadditheen. The immediate effect of the Noor of Hadeeth is that those associated with it are imbibed with sublime qualities. Their lives are an embodiment of simplicity, humility, kindness and abstinence.

His student Ibn Daastah says: “One of his sleeves used to be extra wide and the other normal. On being asked the reason he said I keep my notes in the wide sleeve and the other has no purpose so I keep it narrow.”

Once while on a ship (which was docked) he heard a person sneeze. He hired a smaller boat for one dirham and rowed all the way to the shore just to reply to the persons sneeze. People were surprised at this. On returning he said: “It is possible that the person was a Mustajaabud Da’waat (one whose duas are readily accepted) thus I sought his reply of ‘Yahdeekumullaah’ (may Allaah guide you) to my reply. That night, all on the ship heard a voice calling out “Abu Dawood has purchased his Jannah for one Dirham”

His contemporaries have said that he was a carbon copy of his Ustaad Ahmad ibn Hanbal who resembled Wakee’ in every way, who in turn was a replica of Sufyaan who was the same to Mansoor who was a duplicate of Ibraaheem Nakha’ee who was an echo of Alqamah who was a mirror image of Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood, and Abdullaah bin Mas’ood was similar to Rasulullaah ﷺ”

Maqaam (Rank) among Ulamaa

Muhammad Harawi says: “Abu Dawood is among the Huffaaz of Hadeeth. He was an expert in the text [matn] and chains [asaaneed] as well as an Imaam in Ilal and Rijaal.

When he presented his Kitaab-us-Sunan to the Ulama, Ibraaheem Harbi said: “Allah has ‘softened’ Hadeeth for Abu Dawood just as he softened steel for Dawood”.

Hafiz Dhahabi R.A. has written: “He is a leader in Hadeeth and Fiqh. All the Ulama of his time have praised him. He holds a rank of grandeor and honour among the great scholars on account of his piety and ability. He is the Imaam Ahmad of his generation. Haakim Abu Abdullah says: “He was the Imaam of the Muhadditheen of his time. None could match him”.

Ibn Hajar says: “When he recited the Sunan to the people, they were taken aback at his memory! His Kitaab was accepted everywhere!”

Ibn Mundah (R.A) says: “There are four Muhadditheen who are able to separate Thaabit [established] Ahaadeeth fromMa’lool Ahaadeeth [i.e. Ahaadeeth that are not accepted because of a subtle clsuse]Bukhaari, Muslim, Abu Dawood, Nasai.

Imaam Abu Dawood R.A. was an Imaam in Hadeeth and Fiqh. From among the authors of the Sihaah Sittah, only Abu Dawood has been counted among the fuqahaa in Tabaayaatul Fuqahaa!!


There are four opinions regarding his Maslak of Fiqh.

1. He was Shaafi’ee. Nawaab Bophali has counted Bukhaari, Nasai, and Abu Dawood in his list of Shaafi’ee Ulamaa. Subki R.A. has also included him in his Tabaqaat Shaafi’iyyah.However this opinion is not supported by any daleel [proof] and there is no indication in any of his kitaab towards this view.

2. Hanbali. Allaamah Anwar Shah Kashmiri is of this view. He stated in Arfush-Shadhee: “The correct view is that Abu Dawood and Nasai are both Hanbali.

The books of the Hanaabilah are full of the narrations of AbuDawood from Ahmad!”

And in Faidhul-Bari he says: “both of them are among the Hanbali scholars. Ibn Taimiyyah has clarified this!”

Ibnul Qayyim has also listed him among the Hanaabilah in I’laamul Muwaqqi’een.

Abu Ishaaq Shiraazi has mentioned him among Ashaab Ahmad. Isma’eel Pasha Baghdaadi has done the same. Shaikh Muhammad Zakariyyah Khandhlawi has also supported this view. He writes: Whoever has studied the Sunan Abu Dawood carefully will come to this conclusion. In fact, at times he has given Tarjeeh (preferance) to the view of Imaam Ahmad despite Ma’roof Ahaadeeth contrary to it. E.g. despite the availability of several Ma’roof (well known) Ahaadeeth establishing sitting while urinating as being Sunnah, he has brought Ahaadeeth under the chapter of standing and has not included any of sitting. Similarly, after the chapter on wudhu with the left over water of a woman, he brings the chapter on its impermissibility. Generally Muhadditheen indicate towards their Raajih Qowl (preferred view) in the last chapter of any Mas’alah. In this way, he brings the chapter on wudhu after eating something cooked on a fire and then brings another chapter in emphasis thereof. [Wudhu Mimmaa Massatin Naar and Baabut Tashdeed fee Dhaalik] All of this indicates to his being a Mutashaddid (firm) Hanbali.” Ref. Laami’ud Daraari pg.15-18

3. He is a Mujtahide Mutlaqand not a Muqallid. Shaikh Taahir Jazaa’iri (1328a.h.) while quoting this view says: “Bukhaari and Abu Dawood were Imaams in Fiqh and are among the Mujtahideen according to some …” but he then refutes this view saying: “but this cannot be so, for had they been Mujtahids, then their views would have been recorded in the kitaabs of Fiqh, yet we find none of this. Even Tirmidhi has not recorded the views of Bukhaari in this way.”

4. He is a Mujtahide Muntasab. This is the view of Shah Waliullaah who states: “Abu Dawood and Tirmidhi are both Mujtahideen on the Madh-hab of Ahmad and Ishaaq.” Ref. Al Insaaf fee Bayaan Sababil Ikhtilaaf. Jazaa’iri has supported this view saying:

“Bukhaari and Tirmidhi are not Muqallid of any one Imaam but are Mujtahids with inclinations to their Imaams.” Ref. Laami’

NOTE: A Mujtahide Mutlaq is an Imaam who devises his own Usools of Istimbaat (laws for formulating Masaa’il) while a Mujtahide Muntasab does Ijtihaad in extracting Masaa’il according to the Usols of a Mujtahide Mutlaq.

It is my opinion that this last qowl is most Saheeh because while many of the chapters in the Sunan are according to Imaam Ahmad’s view, he has differed with him on several occasions. Here are a few examples:

1. According to Ahmad, a virgin girl cannot get married on her own, she must marry through her guardian or with their consent, and they have Wilaayatul Ijbaar over her i.e. they can get her married against her will. Abu Dawood has brought the Hadeeth of Ibn Abbaas as a proof against this type of Nikaah that a girl complained of this to Rasulullaah ﷺ upon which she was given the option of annulling the Nikaah. Commenting on this, Allaamah Kashmeeri has said: “In this mas’alah, Abu Dawood, like Bukhaari has sided with the Hanafis.”

2. According to Ahmad and Shaafi’ee, if a person touches his private parts, wudhu will break. Abu Dawood after quoting their proofs, brings the chapter contrary to it. In this Mas’alah also, he has gone against Ahmad’s view and supports the view of the Ahnaaf.

3. Similarly in the mas’alah of wudhu after eating something cooked on a fire, according to all four Madh-habs, wudhu is not necessary while according to Abu Dawood wudhu will break.

There are several other examples of this type. Thus it would be most correct to accept Abu Dawood as a Mujtahid on the Hanbali Madhhab. He holds a position in the Hanbali Madh-hab similar to that of Abu Yusuf and Muhammad among the Hanafis.

We can also accept the view of Shah Waliullaah that he was inclined to the Madh-habs of Ahmad and Ishaaq since there are many similarities between the two and on many occasions, he has sided with one or both of them.

Malfoozaat – Advices/Sayings

Muhadditheen usually make an attempt to kep their Kitaabs clear of anything besides the Mubaarak (blessed) words of Rasulullah ﷺ. They include very little of their own in their Kitaabs, to the extent that Imaam Muslim R.A. did not even write a Muqaddamah [introduction] to his Kitaab and did not even include any Taraajim [Chapters or Sub-Headings]. Consequently, Imaam Abu Dawood R.A. dedicated his life to his two great compilations i.e. Sunan and Maraaseel and included almost nothing from his side therein. Anyhow we present hereunder a few of his very valuable sayings:

1. He said: I have written 500 000 Ahaadeeth of Rasulullah ﷺ with these hands of mine! I included only the highest of Saheeh narrations in this Kitaab of mine amounting to 4800. Of these, four Ahaadeeth are sufficient for the
Hifaazat [protection] of Islaam.
a. Actions are judged according to intentions.
b. Of the beauty of a person’s Islaam is his leaving out that which is of no benefit.
c. None of you can be a perfect Believer until he likes for his brother that which he likes for himself.
d. Halaal is clear cut and Haraam is clear cut and between these two are unclear matters [Mustahaabihaat]. Whoever saves himself from these has saved his Deen.

Commenting on this saying of Imaam Abu Dawood, Shah Abdul Aziz R.A. explains: If a person learns the general usools [principles] and Qawaa’id Kulliyyah [absolute laws] of Fiqh and Sharee’at and thereafter, he uses these four Ahaadeeth as a guide, then these will suffice him completely.

The first hadeeth is sufficient for the reformation of all his Ibaadaat [Acts of worship]; the second is sufficient for the Hifaazat [protection] of time and life; the third Hadeeth is a complete guide pertaining to the rights of people at large; while the fourth Hadeeth shows the way out of every doubtful or controversial matter. In this way, these four Ahaadeeth act as a complete guide for any, wise intelligent person. In fact the fourth Hadeeth in itself is a very deep and comprehensive one! – Halaal is clear like daylight and Haraam is also. Both these have been clearly expounded in Islaam. There are however some things between the two which in itself may be permissible but they could lead to Haraam, and a person who indulges himself will soon fall prey to more serious matters. In another Hadeeth, an example has been given of a royal pasture. A person who grazes his animals on the border of it will soon land himseif in trouble, and the further he stays away from it the better for him. Similarly a person who involves himself in Mushtabihaat is treading on very thin ice. The opposite of this also holds true i.e. a person who guards his Nawaafil will be ever watchful over the Sunan and who guards his Sunan will never let a Waajib go and the person who guards his Waajibaat will never miss a Fardh.

2. He also said: “If there is an apparent contradiction between two Marfoo’ Ahaadeeth then whichever of the two the Sahaabah made Amal upon will be given preferance over the other.
3. The best word is that which one comes upon without asking for it.
4. To seek greatness and position is the hidden desire of the Nafs.
5. Hadeeth is Rizq from Allaah i.e. just as Rizq is preordained, so too is this Ilm. [This was said after he undertook a long arduous journey to meet Amr Ibn Hafs Ibn Ghayyaath to listen to Ahaadeeth from him but Allaah had destined for them never to meet.]

His works/ writings

Imaam Abu Dawood RA has many great works to his credit. Unfortunately only a few of them have been published to date. A few of his writings are listed hereunder:

1. Risaalah Tasmiyah Al-Ikhwah – wal – Akhwaat

In this Kitaab, all the narrators of Ahaadeeth from his Asaatidhah right upto Sahaabah τ who are brothers and sisters to each other are gathered e.g. Aa’ishah τ, Asmaa τ and Abdurrahmaan τ are all the children of Abu Bakr τ. This is a special branch of Ilm-ul-Hadeeth through which Muhadditheen identify the narrators of Hadeeth without confusing them [since all of them are Ibn or Bint Abi Bakr τ].

2. Rissaalatul Ba’th

In this kitaab, he gathered all the Ahaadeeth regarding Ba’th [Resurrection / Life after death].

3. Kitaab–ur–Radd–Alaa Ahlil qadr

In which he refuted the beliefs of the rejectors of Taqdeer [predestination].

4. An Naasikh wal Mansookh

In which he gathered all those Ahaadeeth, which arrogated others.

5. Musnad Imaam Maalik

In which he gathered all the Ahaadeeth of Imaam Maalik.

6. Kitaab ul Masaa’il Allatee Su’ila Anhaa Imaam Ahmad

In this Kitaab Imaam Abu Dawood R.A. gathered all the questions presented to Imaam Ahmad R.A. on various matters together with their answers.

7. Fadhaa’il Al-Ansaar

Regarding the virtues of the Ansaar.

8. Maa Tafrradha Bihi Ahlul Ansaar

In this Kitaab Imaam Saahib R.A. gathered all the Ahaadeeth reported only by the people of one city under one chapter e.g after the Hadeeth of Najjaashi presenting a pair of black leather socks to Rasulullah ﷺ. Imaam said that narration is from Buraidah bin Hasib τ and writes, this is from these Ahaadeeth narrated solely by the people of Basrah.

9. Kitaab – Baa’dil Wahy [The beginning of revelation]

10. Kitaab Dalaai’l – un – Nubuwwah [The proofs of prophethood]

11. Risaalatu Abi Dawood Ilaa Ahli Makkah

On completion of his Sunan, when Imaam Abu Dawood reached Makkah, The Ulamaa of Makkah presented a list of questions to him regarding it. Imaam Saahib wrote a detailed answer to their query in which he fully satisfied their queries.

Allaamah Zaahid Kauthari R.A. researched it a few years ago and had it published together with his notes.

Many editions of Kitaab-us-Sunan have been printed together with this Risaalah since.

12. Kitaabul Maraaseel

According to Mata’akh-Khireen [Latter scholars]; Mursal is that Hadeeth in whose Sanad (chain) a Sahaabi is not mentioned. [i.e. a Taabi’ee says that Rasulullah ﷺ said ].

The rest of the Sanad, from the Musannif (compiler) till the Taabi,ee is Muttasil i.e continous with no one left out. If on the other hand, any narrator between the author and the Taabi’ee is left out, then that Hadeeth will be termed Munqati’.

However, according to the Mutaqaddimeen [the old scholars] both the above Hadeeth are termed as Mursal.

Imaam Abu Dawood R.A. is counted among the Mutaqaddimeen. Consequently, he has included both types of Ahaadeeth in his Kitaabul-Maraaseel.

Some Fuqahaa accept both Mursal and Munqati’ Ahaadeeth as Hujjat. Some only accept Mursal while others reject both.

Since Imaam Abu Dawoods intention while compiling his Sunan was to gather all the proofs of the various Fuqahaa [jurists], he only included Marfoo’ Ahaadeeth therein, since Marfoo Ahaadeeth are accepted as proofs unanimously.

[Marfoo’ Ahaadeeth are those narrations whose Sanad from the authour until Rasulullah ﷺ are intact.]

He then gathered all the Mursal and Munqati’ Ahaadeeth in a separate Kitaab [because of the difference in accepting them] as an addendum to Kitaab-us- Sunan.

He then wrote to the Ulamaa of Makkah:

“In the past, all our Ulamaa unanimously accepted Maraaseel as Hujjat. Great Imaams like Maalik, Sufyaan Thauri and Auzaa’ee were of this opinion. The first person to make Kalaam [voice an opinion] in this regard was Shaafi’ee. After him Ahmad and others followed suite. However, it is my opinion that if any Mas’alaa there has no Musnad or Marfoo’ Hadeeth, than a Mursal or Munqati’ Hadeeth may be accepted as a Hujjat even though they are not equal to the former.”

He further elaborated that “all thee Ahaadeeth are Mursal according to my findings. It is possible that others may have the sme Riwaayat with a Muttasil Sanad.”

Imaam Saahib gathered 600 Maraaseel as a part of his Kitaab-usSunan. Later, some people, for the sake of brevity published it separately without the Asaaneed [chains of narrators]. This became known as Mukhtasar Kitaab-ul-Maraaseel, however, its content is same as the original, only the Asaaneed have been cut out.

13. Kitaab-us-Sunan

This is his Magnum Opus on account of which he became a household name.

Imaam Khattaabi R.A. has written in Ma’aalim-us-Sunan “Prior to Abu Dawood, Muhadditheens Kitaabs were Jaami and Musnad i.e. all types of Ahaadeeth were gathered therein: Ahaadeeth regarding Sunan, Ahkaam [laws], Qisas [stories], Mawaa’iz [advices] and Adaab [ettiquetts].

Abu Dawood R.A. is the first of the great Muhadditheen to gather only Ahaadeeth pertaining to Ahkaam [laws] in his Kitaab then, to gather the Mustadallaat [proofs] of all the Fuqahaa is no ordinary task! Hence the work of Abu Dawood is considered an unprecedented master piece in its own right! The work of Abu Dawood speaks volumes about his deep insight and vast knowledge in the field of Hadeeth. To gather the proofs of various Fuqahaa from various sources, and to be the first to attempt such a task is certainly something extraordinary!!

Allamah Kauthari has written:

Abu Dawood attained mastery in Fiqh from the Fuqahaa of Iraaq and is counted among the Imaams of Fiqh! From among the famed Muhadditheen Bukhaari and Abu Dawood stand out as the greatest Fuqahaa!

Allaamah Kaurthari further writes in “Shuroot-ul-a’immah,”Abu Dawood has gathered in his Kitaab the proofs of various Imaams. His Kitaab can thus be called a source book of Fiqh! Keeping this in mind, he gathered Saheeh, Hassan and Layyin Ahaadeeth in his Kitaab. He formed chapters according to the verdicts of the Imaams and gathered their proofs thereunder. At another place he writes:

“Abu Dawood took into consideration the Matn [texts] of Ahaadeeth thus he brought several versions of a Hadeeth through various chains to bring out the narrations in wordings while proving Masaa’il. In short, he paid more attention to Fiqh-ul-Hadeeth than Sanada of Hadeeth.”

Duration of Compilation

Imaam Saahib had completed his Kitaab before the year 241A.H. On completing it, he presented it to his Ustaadh Ahmad Bin Hanbal [164 – 241A.H] who praised it very greatly.

After its compilation, as is usual, the author goes through it several times, proof reads it, makes any necessary amendments etc. All the while he teaches it to his students, who then narrate the Kitaab as they learnt it. These are called Nuskhas [copies or versions with slight variation]. The Nuskha [version] narrated by his student Lu’lu’ee is considered as the final Nuskha because he studied the Kitaab from Imaam Saahib in 275A.H. which is the year of his demise.

Nuskha’s [versions] of the Kitaab

Thousands of students studied the Kitaab and narrated it from him. However, there are nine of his more renowned students who relayed from him. Of the nine, the Nuskha’s of four of them are available today. Hereunder is a brief life-sketch of the four Raawi’s [narrators]

Abu Ali Muhammad ibn Amr Lu’lu’ee Basri [d 333A.H]

He was Abu Dawoods outstanding student. He stayed with his Sheikh for a long period. He used to read the Kitaab during lessons.

For a living, he used to deal in pearls, which is why he was called Lu’lu’ee. He studied the Kitaab from Imaam Saahib several times, the last being in 275A.H. [the year of Imaam Saahibs demise]. For this reason, his narration is counted as As-Sah [most Saheeh (authentic)].

Generally, throughout the Indian subcontinent and the East Arab countries his Nuskha is studied.

Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Abdur Razzaak ibn Daastah Tammaar Basri [d 346A.H.]

He was also among the Imaam Saahib’s outstanding students. His edition is counted as Akmal-ur-Riwaayaat [the most complete edition ]. In the West Arab countries his edition is studied [i.e. in Northern and N.Western Africa]. His and Lu’lu’ee’s Nuskha’s are almost identical. The only difference is in the Taqdeem and Ta’kheer [order] of Abwaab [chapters]. Khattaabi who was the first person to write a Sharah [commentary] on the Kitaab studied it from Ibn Daastah in 345A.H. Ibn Hazam Zaahiri is also his student

Abu Sa’eed Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Ziyaad ibn Bishr [born: 246a.h. demise: 304a.h.]

He is famously known as Ibnul A’raabi. In his Nuskha, Kitaabul Fitan and Kitaabul Malaahim are not included. Half of Kitaabul Libaas and parts from Kitaabul Wudhu, Salaat and Nikaah are excluded.

Ibn Hazam also narrated Kitaabus Sunan from him. Note: This Ibnul A’raabi should not be confused with Ibnul A’raabi the linguist; he is Muhammad ibn Ziyaad who passed away in 231a.h.

Abu Eesa Ishaaq ibn Moosa ibn Sa’eed Ramli [demise: 317a.h.]

He was also Abu Dawoods dedicated student. He was his Shaikh’s ‘Warraaq’ [Researcher and proof reader]. His Nuskha is very similar to Ibn Daastah’s.

The Sanad of these 4 Raawi’s are Muttasil.

The remaining five Nuskha’s are narrated by:
1. Abul Hasan Ansaari
2. Abu Saalim Jaloodi
3. Abu Amr Basri
4. Abu Usaamah Rawwaas
5. Abu Teeb Ashnaani

The isnaad of these five are not muttasil.

Number of Riwaayaat [Narrations]

Ibn Daastah R.A. narraes his Ustaadh’s saying:

“I have written 500 000Ahaadeeth from Rasulullah ﷺ Of these I have selected 4800 which I have included in this Kitaab!”

A question and its answer!

At this point a question should come to mind that where are these 500 000 Ahaadeeth? Today we don’t even have one tenth before us!

The answer is that Mutaqaddimeen would not only count Marfoo’ Ahaadeeth as Hadeeth. Rather the sayings of Sahaabah [Mauqoof Riwaayaat] and Taabi’een were all counted as Hadeeth. In fact, if they had one Matn [text] with several Isnaad [chains] they would count it as several Riwaayaat.

Imaam Ahmad said regarding Abu Zar’ah that he knew 700 000 Ahaadeeth! Of these 140 000 were regarding tafseer alone!

Then they would even include Maudhoo’ [fabricated] narrations in this number.

In this way Abu Dawood wrote 50 000 Ahaadeeth from his Ustaadh Muhammad ibn Bashaar Basri alone!

Anyhow the Sunan of Abu Dawood contains 4800 Ahaadeeth and his Maraaseel a further 600 totaling 5400 between them.

Shuroohaat [commentaries] of Kitaab-us-Sunan.

Due to the great position of the Kitaab, in every era, Ulamaa have paid great service to it in the form of Shuroohaat [commentaries]. Below is a detailed list of these.

1. Ma’aalim-us-Sunan

This is the Sharah of Imaam Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem ibn Khattaab, Abu Sulaimaan Khattaabi Basti who was born in Rajab 319A.H. and passed away in Rabee’ul Awwal 388A.H.

He was a resident of Bast which is a city between Heart, Ghazna and Saajistaan in the vicinity of Kabul.

He first studied the Kitaab-us-Sunan from Ibnul A’raabi [the student of Abu Dawood] in Makkah Mu’azzamah. He then studied it in Basrah from Ibn Daastah. In this way, he has two Sanads to Abu Dawood with one Waastah [link] in between.

He has the honor of being the first Shaarih [commentator] of Kitaabus-Sunan.

The author of Al-Mustadrak alas Saheehain – Imaam Haakim; and Imaam Abu Haamid Isfaraa’ini are among his students.

His Sharaah consists of four volumes and is written in the style of the Mutaqaddimeen i.e. they only make Kalaam where necessary and do not go into intricate details. The speciality of this Sharah is that it is considered an authority in the explanation of Ghareebul Hadeeth [i.e. difficult / uncommon words].

All commentators after him, despite there differences, have accepted his view in this regard as final. He was an Imaam in Adab [fine literature] and Lughat [Lexicology / Language].

Yaqoot Hamawi has written of him in Mu’jamul Udabaa, “Khattaabi was an Adeeb, Shaa’ir and Lughawi [i.e. an expert in all branches of Arabic literature, poetry and lexicology]. He studied these fields under the great scholars of Iraaq: Abu Umar Zaahid, Ismaa’eel Saffaar, Abu Ja’far Razaar and others.”

He has also written a special Kitaab – ‘Ghareebul Hadeeth’ in the explanation of difficult words and their correct meanings in various instances which Ulamaa have hailed as one of its kind.

He was an Imaam in ‘Jarah and Ta’deel’ [the science of scrutinizing the various narrators of Ahaadeeth] and he had a great hand in explaining the Illats of Ahkaam, Nukaat and Lataa’if [that is the subtle causes and finer points of Ahkaam].

Shah Waliullah has written: “After the age of the great Mujtahideen came the likes of Ghazaali, Khattabi and Ibn Abus Salaam who explained the deepest and finest points of Ilm in the most amazing manner! May Allaah reward them fully for their services” [Hujjatullah volume 1, page 10]. In fact Allaamah Teeb R.A. has said that his Sharah is not a Sharah of Hadeeth but it is a deep work on Fiqh-ul-Hadeeth!

In this Sharah, he has not explained every Hadeeth separately. Instead where in one Baab [chapter] there are several Ahaadeeth all proving one thing, then he has written a consise commentary covering all these at once, and if there are several Ahaadeeth with varying meanings, then he would explain each one separately.

He was a Shaafi’ee, but he was not blinded by Asabiyyat [prejudice]. For this reason his Sharah has been widely accepted in all circles after him. Allamah Muhammad Raaghib Tabbaagh has published it in Halab [Syria] after making the necessary Tasheehaat [corrections]. It is available in four volumes consisting of about 1400 pages.

Abu Mahmood Jamaaluddeen Maqdis Shaafi’ee [714 – 765 A.H.] has made a Talkhees [Abridged version] of it and has named it Ujaalatul Ma’aalim. Haji Khaleefah hs made mention of it in Kashfuz-Zunaan.

2. Sharh-us- Sunan [incomplete]

Muhaddithe Kabeer Waliud Deen Abu Zar’a Ahmad Ibn Hafiz Abul Fadhl Zainud-Deen Iraaqi [762 – 826 A.H.] has written this detailed Sharah.

Allaamah Suyooti has written in Husnul Muhaadharah:
“This is a Mabsoot [very detailed] Sharah. No Sharah has been written like it! He has covered until the chapter of Sajdah Sahw in seven volumes! The chapters on Saum, Haj and Jihaad fill a volume each. Had he completed this Sharah, it would have been in excess of 40 volumes!”

3. Sharh-us-Sunan [incomplete]

Written by Haafiz Abu Abdullah Alaa’ud-Deen Mughaltaai ibn Qulaij ibn Abdullah Turki Hanafi [689 – 762 A.H.]. He was a renowned Muhaqqiq [research scholar] who wrote commentaries on Bukhaari, Abu Dawood and Ibn Maajah. The commentary on Bukhaari is in 20 volumes, while the commentaries on Abu Dawood and Ibn Maajah are both incomplete.

4. Sharh- us-Sunan

Written by Shihaab-ud-Deen Abu Abbaas Ahmad ibn Husain ibn Hasan ibn Ali ibn Raslaan ibn Ramalli, Shaafi’ee [773 – 844 A.H.].

He was born in Ramallah and passed away in Baitul Muqaddas.For this reason he is also known as Maqdisi. He wrote a Sharah on Bukhaari until Kitaabul Hajj in three volumes.

Kaatib Chalapi has made mention of it in Kashfuz-Zunoonand Zarkali has mentioned it in I’laam. Allaamah Shamsul Haq AzeemAbaadi has written: “This is a Jaami’ [consise / encompassing] Sharah. I have not seen any like it. He has quoted his Shaikh [Ibn Hajar Asqalaani] extensively.”

Suyooti says: “I have not seen this Sharah.” – but Azeem Abaadi has written that his Ustaadh Husain ibn Muhsin Ansaari had seen it. It consists of 8 thick volumes.

5. Intihaa us Sunan wa Iqtifaa ul Hasan

Written by Shihaabud Deen Abu Muhammad Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem ibn Hilaal Maqdisi (714-765a.h.) who was the student of Imaam Mizzi.

Haafiz has mentioned it in Durarul Kaaminah and Chalapi has mentioned it in Kashfuz Zunoon.

6. Sharhus Sunan

Written by Mahmood ibn Ahmad ibn Moosa ibn Ahmad ibn Hussain Qaadhi ul Qudhaat Allaamah Badrud Deen ‘Aini (762-855 a.h.) who also authored three other great Sharhs:
1] Umdatul Qari on Bukhaari
2] Binaayah on Hidaayah
3] Nukhabul Afkaar on Tahaawi

A rare copy of the 3rd is in the library of Mazaahirul Uloom in Sahaaranpur.

He wrote a partial commentary on Abu Dawood. In the Muqaddimah of Umdatul Qaari he wrote: “After writing Nukhabul Afkaar, I began writing a Sharh on Abu Dawood but was forced to suspend this work. At the time, I was engulfed in distress with clouds of sorrow and grief hanging over me. When Allaah cleared my way, I began this work on Bukhaari, leaving the work on Abu Dawood incomplete.”

7. Sharhus Sunan (incomplete)

Written by Muhyud Deen Abu Zakariyyah Yahya ibn Sharaf An Nawawi (631-676).
Both his works on Abu Dawood and Bukhaari are incomplete. His Sharh on Muslim is complete and widely available.

8. Sharhus Sunan

Written by Qutbud-Deen Abu Bakr ibn Ahmad ibn Ali Qurashi. He was given the title [Laqab] of Da’sayn [demise 752]. Dr. Mustafaa Sabbaa’ has made mention of it in his “As-Sunnah wa Makaanatiha fit Tashree’ Al-Islaami” and Mubaarakpuri in his Tuhfatul Ahwazee.

Zarkali says: “He wrote a Sharah on Abu Dawood in four thick parts.”

9. Sharhus Zawaa’idis Sunan Li Abi Alas Saheehain

Written by Siraajud Deen Abu Hafs Umar ibn Ali ibn Ahmad [723 – 804 A.H.]. He was known as Ibnul Mulaqqin. He however disliked this title and never used it for himself. He used the title Ibnul Nahwi for himself. People nevertheless used the former title for him. Just as the great Ustaadh Imaam Bukhaari and Muslim Ismaa’eel ibn Ulayya never liked to be addressed as Ibn Ulayya, yet people persisted on it.

Anyhow he first wrote a Sharah on Bukhaari named ‘At-Taudeeh’. Then he wrote ‘Zawaaid ul Muslim alal Bukhaari’ [i.e. a commentary on all the extra Ahaadeeth in Muslim not contained in Bukhaari].

Then he wrote the ‘Zawaa’id of Abu Dawood alas Saheehain’ [The Ahaadeeth of Dawood not contained in Saheehain].

This Sharah is in two Volumes.

10. Ghayyatul Maqsood fee Halli Sunan Abi Dawood

Written by Allaamah Shamsul Haq Abu Teeb Muhammad ibn Ameer ibn Ali ibn Haydar Azeemabadi [1273 – 1329 A.H.].

Sayyid Muhammad Ameenul-Ihsaan has written in the Muqaddimah of Ta’leeqaat Sambhaliyya that this Sharah is in 30 volumes. In fact this Sharah consists of 32 volumes. Khateeb Baghdadi divided the Sunan into 32 Ajzaa [parts] and the author wrote the Sharah of each pat in a separate volume. To date only the first part of this Sharah has been published, together with Imaam Mundhiris ‘Talkhees’ [summary] and ibn Qayyims Tahzeebus Sunan.’ Moulana Khaleel Ahmad R.A has written about it in Bazlul Majhood: I found it very authoritive in unveiling the secret treasures of Abu Dawood. The Author has fully encompassed the vast and valuable treasures related to the Kitaab. May Allaah reward him fully for his effort.

The author however, has at times been criticized for his Ta’assub [bias] against Imaam Abu Haneefa. In this Sharah the author has compared the eleven Nuskhas of Abu Dawood and has prepared a complete and Saheeh Nuskha. The author of Bazl has taken extensively from this Musahha [authenticated] Nuskha. Another outstanding feature of this Sharah is that the Author has gathered many various viewpoints, some Muwaafiq [corresponding] and others Mukhaalif [conflicting] and in this way gathered a priceless treasure. Only his Ta’assub has blemished a otherwise wonderful work.

11. Aunul Ma’bood fee Sharhis Sunan li Abee Dawood

Authored by Abu Abdurrahmaan Sharaful-Haq Muhammad Ashraf AzeemAbadi [1275 – 1326 A.H.] in four volumes.

Regarding Ghaayah and Aunul Ma’bood, the story is that Allaamah Sayyid Nazeer Husain had Shah Abdul Azeez’s copy of Abu Dawood whih Shah Saahib had prepared after comparing various Nuskhas of the kitaab. Shah Saahibs Haashiyahs (marginal notes) were also on this Nuskha. During the turmoil of 1847 A.C. This Nuskha was lost. Sayyid Saahib was deeply grieved by this. Just on the mention of this Nuskha, his eyes would become wet. To make up for its loss he instructed his student Shamsul-Haq to write Ghaayatul Maqsood. Sayyid Saahib desired to see its completion within his lifetime. He therefore ordered the writing of a shorter Sharah which he hoped to have completed before Ghaayah; Ghaayah being as it was an exhaustive work. Shamsul-Haq in accordance with the desire of his Shaikh requested his younger brother to carry out this task.

Shamul-Haq, together with Allaamah Mubaarakpuri [demise 1353 A.H.]. Idrees the son of Shamsul-Haq, his cousin Abdul Jabbaar [1297 – 1319 A.H.] and A few other Ulamaa began collectively working on Aunul Ma’bood. For this reason the beginning of Aun seems to be written in Muhammad Ashrafs style, while the second part of the first volume is written in Allaamah Shamsul-Haqs style. Volume two seems to have been written by someone else, while its end portion seems to be written in Muhammad Ashrafs style.

Volume three and four seems to have been written largely by Shamsul-haq. This Sharah was first printed by Ansaari Press in Delhi. For quite a while it was hard to get hold of. It was recently published bin Beirut by Daarul-Kutub-Al’Arabiyyah by Shaikh Hasan Iraani who also published Mubaarakpuris ‘Tuhfatul Ahwazi’ at the same time.

12. Al-Manhalul-Adhbul-Maurood [Incomplete]

Written by Allaamah Abu Muhammad Mahmood ibn Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Khattaab Subki Maaliki [1274 – 1352]. This is an extremely detailed and encompassing Sharah. Just the commentary from Kitaabul-Manaasik until Kitaabul Talbeed has covered 10 Volumes alone; totaling about 3500 pages!!

When he began teaching Abu Dawood in Al Azhar there was a great shortage of Kitaabs. He then decided to have a few copies printed. Some people requested him to write a Sharah and then print the Kitaab with its commentary. In this way they began writing this Sharah. Six volumes were published in his lifetime and the remainder after he passed away in 1352 A.H. The first volume was published in 1351 A.H. His son Ameen Mahmood Subki published the remainder. He also expressed the intention to complete it. Abul Qaasim Ibraaheem [mudarris (teacher)] in Cairo University wrote that only half of Allaamah Subkis Kitaab has been published. Perhaps his Manuscripts of the remainder are languishing somewhere.

Ibraaheem also wrote: “this work is an all-encompassing encyclopedia of all the commentaries of As-Sunan.” Mustafa ibn Ali ibn Muhammad ibn Mustafa prepared an extensive index for all the volumes of the Kitaab. This index alone covers 300 pages and is an invaluable gift to researchers and for referencing.

13. Bazlul Majhood fee Halli Sunan Abi Dawood

Written by thegreat Muhaddith Abu Ibraaheem Allaamah Khaleel Ahmad Sahaaranpuri [1269 – 1346 A.H]. It is available in five volumes. The first four were written in India and the fifth in Madeenah Munawwarah. It was completed on 21st Sha’baan 1345 A.H. in the city of Rasulullah ﷺ .

The specialities of this Sharah are as follows

1. Most of the Mubaahith [discussions] have been taken from the Kalaam (comments) of the Mutaqaddimeen (scholars of old). In some instances the Hawaalah [reference] has been given and at times not. However in the Sharah of ‘Qaala Abu Dawood’ the author has shown the miracle of his pen and has explained it in a most eloquent manner unlike anyone before him.

2. Wherever a Raawis (narrators) name comes for the first time, he has written his Mufassal Haalaa (detailed condition). He only gives reference to this thereafter.

3. He has explained the Hanafi Madh-hab in a very fair way in the light of Hadeeth. Wherever the Baab or Hadeeth is in their favour then well and good, or else he brings the Hanafi Daleel and explains their answers to the opposing Riwaayaat.

a. Wherever the Rabt (link) between chapters is unclear, he explains it in detail.
b. He has clearly mentioned the errors of the authors of Ghaayah and Aun together with the corrections.
c. Important discussions have been repeated if and when deemed necessary.
d. He has included the complete Riwaayah together with its Hawaalah (referance) wherever Abu Dawood has narrated in Ikhtisaar (brief).
e. He has mentioned the viewpoints of the Mujtahideen, and especially the four Imaams with reference from Shaukaani.
f. He has attempted to prove the Ahaadeeth which have been brought with Mursal and Mu’allaq Sanads as being Mausool through other chains.
g. A great portion of Allaamah Gangohi’s Amaali (lectures) are included therein.

(The lectures of Hadhrat Gangohi on the Sihaah Sittah were recorded by his student Moulana Muhammad Yahya Kandhelwi. From among these, the lectures on Tirmidhi and Bukhaari have been published by Shaikh Zakariyya under the names Al Kaukabud Durree and Laami’ ud Daraari respectively. Those on Abu Dawood named Ad Durarul Mandhood have not yet been published. Those on Muslim named Al Hallul Mufhim and the first part of Nasa’i named Al Fathus Samaai’I have been published recently. The last two were checked and published by Moulaana Muhammad Aaqil Sahaaranpuri)

The reason for writing this Sharh in the author’s own words are as follows: “I came across the first part of Ghaayatul Maqsood and found it to be extremely useful and more than sufficient for studying Abu Dawood. Unfortunately the entire Kitaab was not published. Instead, Aunul Ma’bood came into circulation. On studying it, I found it far short of requirements. In fact, it is not even worth being called a Sharh. Then to top it, the author has unjustly criticized Imaam Abu Haneefa throughout his Kitaab.

These types of prejudices severely undermine the value of a Kitaab. so the thought came to mind of completing a Sharh on the style of Ghaayah. In this way by the grace of Allaah the work on Badhlul Majhood began.”

Shaikh Zakariyyah was the Kaatib (scribe) for his Shaikh. He also assisted in the research of the Kitaab. In this way, he attained a mastery in Tasneef (writing) in the field of Hadeeth and later went on to write commentaries on Muatta, Bukhaari, Tirmidhi etc.

Generally, among the Hanafi scholars, Badhl is counted in second place after Umdatul Qaari in establishing the Hanafi Madh-hab from Hadeeth.

Among the salient features of the kitaab is that it is free of bias and extremities. It is written in a clear and simple way. The result is a fair and balanced work that is to-the-point and user-friendly. The Hanafi viewpoint has been supported throughout with solid proofs. For these reasons, the kitaab has been widely acceptedin all circles by Ulamaa of various Madhaa-hib.

Ta’leeqaat- (explanatory notes)

Sharahs are of two types:

Mamzooj i.e. Those Sharahs which explain the entire Matan (text) of the Kitaab in detail. The list of these has passed above.

Sharah bil Qowl i.e. Those Sharahs which do not explain the entire Kitaab. The Shaarih makes a few notes wherever necessary. These are known as Ta’leeqaat or Haashiyahs.

14. Mirqaatus Sa’ood ilaa Sunan Abi Dawood

Written by Haafiz Jalaalud Deen Suyooti Shaafi’ee (849-911a.h.) who was a Mujtahid in seven branches of Ilm viz.Hadeeth, Fiqh, Nahw, Ma’aani, Bayaan, Badee’, Adab. He has written extensively in all these fields. He has written Haashiyahs on all the Sihaah Sittah and three commentaries on the Mu’atta Imaam Maalik:

a) Kashful Mughatta

b) Tanweerul Hawaalik

c) As’aaful Mubatta

On Bukhaari he has written At-Tauseeh; on Muslim: Ad-Deebaaj; on Abu Dawood: Mirqaatus Sa’ood; on Tirmidhi: Qootul Mughtadhee. Then he wrote Zahrur- Rubaa on Nasa’i and Misbaahuz-Zujaajah on Ibn Maajah.

Zahrur-Rubaa was printed a long time ago in India and Egypt. The rest have not been published. He writes in the style of the Mutaqaddimeen i.e. he only makes kalaam (comments) where necessary, but as is with all of his works, he does a sterling job!

15. Darajaatu Mirqaatis Sa’ood ilaa Sunan Abi Dawood

Written by Abul Hasan Ali ibn Sulaimaan Dimnaati Maghribi Maaliki (1234-1306a.h.)

He did a Talkhees (abridgement) of all six of Suyootis aforementioned works. All six were then published and printed in Egypt in 1298a.h. He supervised the publishing and printing personally. The names of the six works are: Roohut-Tausheeh; Washyud-Deebaaj; Darajaatu Mirqaatis Sa’ood; Arfu Zahrur Rubaa; Naf’u Qootul Mughtadhee; Nooru Mibaahiz Zujaajah.

16. Fathul Wadood Alaa Sunan Abi Dawood

Written by Allaamah Abul Hasan Noorud Deen Muhammad ibn Abdul Haadee Sindhee Al-Kabeer Madani Hanafi (1339a.h.)

He wrote Haashiyahs on the Sihaah Sittah and on the Musnad of Imaam Ahmad. The Haashiyahs on Bukhaari, Abu Dawood, Ibn Maajah and Nasa’i have been published.

The work on Abu Dawood is very comprehensive and user friendly.

17. At-Ta’leeq Alaa Sunan Abi Dawood

Written by Abul Wafaa Burhaanud Deen Ibraaheem ibn Muhammad ibn Khaleel Taraablusi Halabi Shaafi’ee (753-84a.h.). He is famously known as Burhaan Halabi.

His most famous work is ‘At Talqeeh fee Sharh Saheehil Bukhaari’ in four volumes. His notes on Muslim, Abu Dawood and Ibn Maajah have not been published.

18. Ta’leeqaatul Azeeziyyah

Written by the great Muhaddith Siraajul Hind Shah Abdul Azeez ibn Ahmad Waliullaah Umari Faarooqi Dehlawi (1159-1239a.h.)

He compared all the Nuskhas and Abu Dawood and then prepared a complete edited version. He then wrote a very valuable Haashiya on it. This manuscript was in the possession of Sayyid Nazee Hussain Dehlawi who wrote regarding it: “this is a complete Haashiyah from start to end. He hasn’t left any difficult matter unsolved. This is a priceless gift to the Ulamaa.” This Kitaab unfortunately was lost by Sayyid Nazeer as was a large portion of Shah Saahibs Tafseer ‘Fathul Azeez’

19. Ta’leeqaat Alas Sunan

Written by Hussain ibn Muhsin Ansaari Yamaani(1245-1327a.h.)

20. At-Ta’leequl Mahmood Alaa Sunan Abi Dawood

Written by Allaamah Fakhrul Hasan Gangohi (1315) who was the special student of Hadhrat Naanotwi and Hadhrat Gangohi. This is an intermediate Haashiyah which has been published several times in India.

21. Ta’leeqaatus Sambhaliyyah

Written by Muhammad Hayaat Sambhal. It was published after his demise. The manuscripts were almost lost during the violent riots of 1947. Moulana Zahoor Ahmad Deobandi recompiled it and had it published.

22. Haashiyah Alas Sunan

Written by Muhammad ibn Taalib ibn Ali Taa’oodee(1111-1209a.h.) He also wrote a Haashiyah on Bukhaari named Zaadul Majdus Saari. His works on Muslim and Abu Dawood have not been published. Zarkali has made mention of his works in I’laamul Muwaqqi’een vol.7 pg.40.

Talkheesaat (abridged versions)

23. Mukhtasarus Sunan

Written by Zaki ud Deen Abu Muhammad Abdul Azeem ibn Abdul Qawi ibn Abdullaah ibn Salaamah Mundhiri Misri Shaafi’ee (581656a.h.)

He first abridged Saheeh Muslim, then Abu Dawood. His method of Talkhees is that he omits the Sanad, leaving only the Sahaabi’s name and the text of the Hadeeth. He then mentions which of the A’immah also narrated the same Hadeeth and whether their Muwaafaqat (narration) is Bil Lafz (word for word) or Bil Ma’na (having the same meaning with different wording) then if any Hadeeth is Dhaeef (weak) or has any Illat (cause) he makes note of it.

In some kitaabs the words ‘Sahhahahu Mundhiri’ and ‘Sakata Anhu Mundhiri’ appear (meaning Mundhiri declared it Saheeh and Mundhiri remained silent about it).

Wherever any of the other five Imaams have narrated in Muwaafaqat (accordance) to Abu Dawood and the Hadeeth is not Dha’eef, then Mundhiri in his Talkhees simply wrote ‘Akhrajahu Fulaan wa Fulaan’ i.e so and so also narrated this Hadeeth. This indicates that the Hadeeth is Saheeh or at the very least Hasan. While indicating to this classification, Ulamaa use the above mentioned two terms. [Sahhahahu or Sakata Anhu]

Ibnul Qayyim has written in Tahdheebus Sunan: “Mundhiri has done a fine job in his Talkhees in abridging, formatting, commenting, in his Takhreej (sourcing and referencing) and in his classifying Ahaadeeth and explaining Illats (clauses)”

This Kitaab was published by the Ansaari Press in Delhi as a haashiyah to Ghaayatul was published upto ‘Baab man Qaala Taghtasilu Min Tuhrin ilaa Tuhrin’.

Haji Khalifah has mentioned that Mundhiri named his Kitaab ‘Mujtaba’ (Kashfuz- zunoon). He also wrote that Suyootis Zahrur Rubaa is a Haashiya on Mundhiris Mujtaba but this is an error on his part. Suyootis Zahr is a Haashiya on Nasai’s Sunan as Sughra which was in fact named Mujtaba.

24. Tahdheebus Sunan li Abi Dawood

Written by Haafiz Abu Abdullaah Shamsud Deen Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr Ibnul Qayyim Al Jawzi Dimashqee (691-751a.h.)

Keeping the Talkhees of Mundhiri in front of him, he made the following additions:

1. He completed the Bayaan (comments) of Dhaeef and Ma’lool Ahaadeeth.
2. He completed the Bayaan of Tasheeh of Ahaadeth.
3. He explained the difficult words in the text.
4. He added some Ahaadeeh where he deemed necessary.
5. At times he went into detailed Mabaahith (discussions) regarding which he says that such points cannot be found in any other Kitaab.

This Talkhees has also only been published partly until ‘Baabul Wudhu min Luhoomil Ibil’ (Wudhu after eating the meat of a camel)


In the terminology of the Muhadditheen, Mustakhraj is that Kitaab which is written to lend strength to another, in that the author of the Mustakhraj brings various Isnaad of the Hadeeth in the original Kitaab other than the sanad of the Author himself. In this way the various Turuq (Sanads) lend strength to each other and any accusations of mistakes or weakness on the Author are removed

There are three known Mustakhrajaat of Abu Dawood

25. The Mustakhraj of Haafiz Ahmad ibn Ali ibn Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem Abu Bakr Isfahaani, the renowned Muhaddith of Nishapur (demise: 428a.h./1037a.c.)

26. The Mustakhraj of Imaam Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Abdul Malik Qurtubi who is the Musnid (Musnid is the person who takes the Ilm of Hadeeth to a certain place in a way that all the Isnaad of the Ulamaa of that place go through him. Shah Waliullaah in this way is the Musnid of Hind)  of Andalusia (demise: 330a.h.)

27. The Mustakhraj of Abu Muhammad ibn Asbagh ibn Muhammad ibn Yusuf Isfahaani Qurtubi the grand Muhaddith of Andalusia (247340a.h.)

Amaali – Narrations/ Narrated Lectures

Among the Mutaqaddimeen, the students would ask questions to the Shaikh. They would then write down his answers.

Nowadays the students write down the lectures of the Shaikh. These are known as Amaali.

28. Ad Durrul Mandhood

These are the lectures of Imaam Rabbaani Allaamah Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi (6 Dhul Qa’dah 1244 – 8 Jumaadal Ukhraa 1323a.h.) who had given his entire life in the service of Fiqh and Hadeeth. Towards the last part of his life he was forced to give up teaching due to ill health and poor eyesight. On the request of several prominent Ulamaa and Mashaaikh, he agreed to teach Daurah Hadeeth one more time to Moulaana Muhammad Yahya Kandhelwi (1287-1334).

So in the year 1312 he taught Daurah one more time. Moulaana Muhammad Yahya wrote all of his lectures in Arabic. The Dars (lecturers) of Abu Dawood began on 22 Dhul Hijjah and was completed on Thursday 7 Rabee’ul Awwal 1313a.h.(approximately 3 months).

These notes on Abu Dawood were named Ad Durrul Mandhood. Mention of these Amaali has passed in the introduction to Badhlul Majhood.

Regarding these Amaali Shaikh Zakariyya writes: “It is quite astonishing that despite teaching Abu Dawood in only 3 months, he has not left any of the Ghawaamidh (difficult sections) but that he explained it in detail with the most wonderful Tahqeeq (research) and finest of details” [Muqaddamah of Laami’]

Shaikh Zakariyya had the amaali on Tirmidhi published with his own very useful notes and the Amaali on Bukhaari published with very extensive notes. Some of his students are presently working on the rest of them.

When Shaikh Ali Muttaqi wrote ‘Kanzul Ummaal’ someone said:

“Suyooti has done great service to Shaafi’ee and Ali Muttaqee did a service to both of them.”

The same can be said in this instance: “Moulaana Yahya did a great service to his Shaikh and Shaikh Zakariyyah did a great service to both of them.”

29. Amaali Alas Sunan

These are the recorded lectures of Allaamah Anwar Shah Kashmeeri (1292-1352)

These Amaali are in Arabic until half the Kitaab and have not been named. This is a priceless treasure stored in the library of Jaami’ah Hussainiyyah in Rander. The writer of these lines has taken great benefit from it.

30. Anware Mahmood

Abul Ateeq Abdul Haadee Muhammad Siddeeq Najeebabadi has gathered the Amaali of Allaamah Kashmeeri, Hadhrat Shaikhul Hind, Allaamah Shabbeer Ahmad Uthmaani and Allaamah Khaleel Ahmad Sahaaranpuri. It was published in 1352a.h. in two volumes by Tajalli Press in Delhi. It is very hard to come by these days. It consists of 1200 pages and was completed in 1344a.h. The author was Sadr Mudarris (principle lecturer) in Jaamiah Siddeeqiyyah in one of the suburbs of Delhi.

Taraajim (translations)

31. Hadyul Mahmood (urdu)

This is the translation of Waheeduz Zamaan ibn Maseehuz Zamaan Lukhnowi Hyderabadi (1258-1338a.h.) who had translated all the Sihaah Sittah and added some notes of his own. The translation of Abu Dawood is in three volumes. All these were carried out on the instruction of Nawwab Siddeeq Hasan Khan who paid him a salary of 50 rupees monthly (a stupendous sum at the time: Moulaana Qaasim Naanotwi’s salary in Deoband was 2 rupees!) He was a ghair Muqallid (not conforming to any Madhhab) and his notes were according to his opinion. Receently all his translations were published with additional notes by the Ghair Muqallids in Karachi. Sayyid Mahboob Rizwi writes: “His translation of Abu Dawood is very brief. It was published in two parts. The authors notes are very sparce, most of which have been taken from the famous Sharhs of Nawawi, Mundhiri, Ibnul Qayyim, Iraaqi, Ma’aalimus Sunan, Mirqaatus Sa’ood and Mughaltaa’ee. It was published in 1301 in Lahore for the first time.”

32. Tarjamah Sunan Abu Dawood

Translated by Shaikh Abdul Awwal (1284-1339) Sayyid Rizwi writes: “This is a plain translation in a good clear language. It is quite well known but has been out of print for some time now.”

Mutafarriqaat – Miscellaneous works on Abu Dawood

33. Bazlul Majhood li Khatmis Sunan Li Abi Dawood

Isma’eel Pasha Baghdaadi has only made a mention of this Kitaab written by Haafiz Shamsud Deen Muhamad ibn Abdurrahmaan Sakhaawi (902a.h.)

34. Rijaalus Sunan li Abi Dawood

Mubaarakpuri has mentioned this Kitaab written by Haafiz Abu Ali Hussain ibn Muhammad ibn Ahmad Ghassaani Andalusi Maaliki (427-498a.h.)

35. Muhammad ibn Sa’eed ibn Ahmad Abu Abdullaah Ansaari ibn Zarqaan Maaliki (502-586a.h.) gathered all the Ahaadeeth of Tirmidhi and Abu Dawood.

36. Muhammad ibn Taahir ibn Ali ibn Ahmad Maqdisi Ibnul Qaysaraani (448-507a.h.) gathered the Atraaf of Sihaah Sittah.

37. Abu Muhammad ibn Hootullaah Ansaari Andalusi (549-612a.h.) began writing ‘Kitaabu Tasmiyati Shuyookhil A’immah AlKhamsah’ but did not complete it.

38. Abu Muhammad Abdul Haq Ibn Abdurrahmaan ibn Abdullaah ibn Hussain ibn Sa’eed Azdi Ashbeeli Maaliki ‘Ibnul Kharraat’ (510581a.h.) wrote “Al Jama’ baynal Kutubis Sittah.”

39. Abul Hasan Razeen ibn Mu’aawiyah ibn Ammaar Abdari Maaliki Sarqasri Andalusi Imaamul Haramain (581a.h.) gathered Bukhaari, Muslim, Muatta, and the three Sunans (Abu Dawood, Nasa’ii, Tirmidhi) and named it Tajreedus Sihaahis Sittah.

40. Fathul Malikil Ma’bood Takmilatil Adhbil Maurood
Ameen Mahmood Khittab Subki published part of it. I have seen two two volumes which cover till the end of Kitabul Hajj. I could not trace it any further.

41. Aunul Wadood
Abul Hasanaat Muhammad ibn Abdillaah ibn Nooruddeen, known as ‘Jeewan ibn Noorudeen’ Panjaabi Hazaarwi wrote this Haashiyah. It was published in 1318a.h. in two volumes by Ahsanul Mataabi’ in Lukhnow.

42. Tajziyah Khateeb Baghdaadi

Abu Bakr Ahmad ibn Ali ibn Thaabit ‘Khateeb Baghdaadi’ is the student of Lu’lu’ee by one Waastah. He narrates Abu Dawood from Qaadhi Abu Amr Qaasim ibn Ja’far ibn Abdul Waahid Haashmi who is the student of Lu’lu’ee. Khateeb divided the Kitaab into 32 Ajzaa (parts) The famous Nuskha printed in India in two volumes is according to this Tajziya of Khateeb, whith 16 parts in each volume. The 16th part ends with Kitaabul Jihad.

43. Muhammad Muhiyuddeen Abdul Hameed, a lecturer in Al Azhar, edited the Kitaab and published it in four volumes with short footnotes. This is a very neat and well set Nuskha. A copy of this is available in the library of Daarul Uloom Deoband in the Hadeeth section Number 296 and 297.

44. Tasheeh Shaikhul Hind
Hadhrat Shaikhul Hind had prepared a Nuskha of Abu Dawood after comparing the nuskhas of the various Ruwaat. It was printed in the Mujtabaai Press in Delhi. The Ta’leeqaat (notes) however are someone elses.

45. Ad Durrul Mandhood Alaa Sunan Abi Dawood

These are the Amaali of Moulaana Muhammad Aaqil Sahaaranpuri (Sadrul Mudarriseen Mazaahirul Uloom) who was blessed to have had the opportunity of teaching Abu Dawood from a very young age. He was the special student of Shaikhul Hadeth Moulaana Muhammad Zakariyya (demise 1402) His Dars (lessons) in Sahaaranpur is very well accepted and is known to be deeply researched. Moulaana Thanaaullaah HazaarBaaghi had recorded these lectures which Moulaana Aaqil then edited and published. This kitaab was completed in 1425/1426a.h and is extremely beneficial for students. It is researched in great detail and its discussions are well substantiated. (mudallal)


Edited by Mufti Afzal Hoosen Elias 1426/ 2005.