Transmission and Preservation during the Prophet’s PBUH Life. The Holy Quran elaborates upon major issues but often deals with subjects briefly also, leaving the details to be explained by the Holy Prophet PBUH, It says:
And We have sent down unto thee (also) the Message; that thou mayest explain clearly to send what we sent for them…” (16: 44)
The Quran frequently commands the believers to pray and pay Zakat, but no details are supplied. “Keep up prayer” is the Quranic injunction. The Prophet PBUH provided the details of the prayer. “Pay Zakat” is also-mentioned in the Quran. The Prophet PBUH gave the rules and regulation for its collection and payment.
Similarly, many verses of the Quran deal with questions of law but not all the injunctions are clearly stated in it. Also, there are many statements in the Quran which needed explanation and clarification. This was provided by the Holy Prophet PBUH.
These are just a few examples and since Islam covers the whole of human activity, many issues had to be explained by the Prophetp either by action or by word.. Therefore, the need for Ahadis and its transmission from one person to another became necessary even during the lifetime of the Prophet PBUH.
In fact, the Prophet” himself would give instructions about the transmission of what he taught: Preach what you hear me say. Also let those who see and hear me, take upon themselves to communicate my words to others and preach To their children, relatives and friends.
There is another report according to which, on the occasion of the Farewell Pilgrimage, the Prophet PBUH said: “He who is present here should carry this message to him who is absent.” (Bukhari).
The companions, therefore, considered it their duty to preach the ahadis to those who had not seen or listened to him. A party of students called Ashab-e-Suffah lived in the mosque itself and were especially entrusted with the teaching of religion to tribes outside Madinah. From this group the most famous was Abu Hurairah, who would remain in the. Prophet’s company at all times and store up in his memory everything-that the Prophet PBUH said or did. His efforts were, from the very beginning, directed towards the preservation of Ahadis.
It is related from Abu Hurairah that once one of the companions told the Prophet PBUH of his inability to remember what he heard from him. His reply was that he should seek help of his right hand i.e., write it down. (Tirmizi)
When Abdullah bin Amr, Who was keenly devoted to learning, heard this, he began to write down whatever he heard from the Holy Prophet PBUH, Some accounts Suggest that his collections contained around 10,000 ahadis. (The Emergence of Islam, Muhammad Hamiduliah)
Abduliah bin Amr, himself said: ” used to write everything that I heard from the-Hophetintending-to commit it to memory. I spoké about it to the Prophet PBUH who said: Write down, for 1 only speak the truth.” (Abu Daud)
Yet, another report is from Abu Hurairah: None of the companions Preserved more traditions than myself, but Abdullah bin Amr is an exception, for he used to write and I did not.” (Bukhari)
Hazral Ali used to write down ahadis mainly concerned with the orders and Instrctions issued from time to time by the Holy Prophet PBUH Hazrat Aisha, the Prophet’s pbuh wife has excellent memory, by virtue of which she sought to preserve the sayings of the. Prophet PBUH. She refused to accept anything until she was fully satisfied as to its meaning.
Abdullah bin Umar and Abdullah bin Abbas are two other companions who Were especially engaged in preserving and transmitting the Ahadis. The compilaion of Abdullah bin Umar was known as Sadika.
Hazrat Umar who resided about three miles from Madinah, had made arrangements with a neighbour from Madinah so that each remained in the company of the Prophet PBUH on alternate days, in order to report to the other what had happened in his absence.
In addition to this, every companion did his utmost to preserve the words and deeds of the Prophet PBUH as came to his knowledge. The process of collection of ahadis had started during the life of the Prophet pbuh and special importance was attached from the very beginning to his sayings and deeds which were looked upon as a source of guidance by his followers.