Structure Of The Hadith

1) Each Hadith consists of two parts:

Isnad-chain of its transmitters and the matn, its text. Each of these parts is of equal importance to the traditionists, who treat and consider traditions with one and the same isnad and different texts as well as traditions with identical texts and different isnads as entirely independent traditions.

2) The first part of the Hadis consists of a chain of names. These are the series of authorities who are called narrators or transmitters of hadis or Muhaddisin. This is called Sanad (plural Isnad) which means support because it is the authority for the genuineness of hadis. These authorities can be as few as one, two, three or even four, five and six depending on how far the compiler’s time was from the Holy Prophetpu Imam Malik. for example, in some ahadis related from his teacher Nafi, who related from his teacher Abdullah bin Umar, who heard it from the Holy Prophet PBUH.

3) The traditionists attached great importance to isnad and considered it an indispensable part of every tradition. In order to ascertain the value of the various isnad, they even produced a vast literature on the biographies of the transmitters.

4) To check the isnad, it is essential to know the life and career as well as the character and scholarship of all the individuals named.

5) In order to reduce the risk of forgery, every teacher on every b0ok of hadis, gave his students the names of the teachers through whom he had received it from the original author, each of them stating that he had read the whole or a part of it which had to be specified with his own teacher.

6) The second part of the hadis consists of the words of the Prophet himself.

This is called matn or the text of the hadis, for example: “Pray as you see me offering prayers is called the matn of the hadis.

The matn, as the report of an act or statement of the Prophet, helps to build up a picture of his teachings and, thus a basis for Muslim beliefs and rites.