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Hadith Reading List

I hope that the brevity of this post will be compensated by its great benefit. The Hadith is a vast body of literature within the Islamic sciences and it is all too easy for a student/scholar to become overwhelmed by the sheer volume. For some, unfortunately, this means that they don’t approach it all. For others, tragically, they reject the importance of it all together. However, we know that the two primary sources of our religion are the Quran and the Hadith traditions of the Prophet (God bless him and give him peace), and therefore we need a roadmap to access them. The list below is such a map produced by one of the Hadith’s greatest servants of the 20th century, Shaykh Abdullah Bin Siddīq al-Ghumārī (d. 1993). This list is not 100% exhaustive, there are other collections of hadith that one could add, but this list as close as you can get to “reading it all.” Even though it might take upward of 4-5 years to get through, reading this list at least once a lifetime should be the goal of every student and every scholar. This is the greatest connection we can have to the sayings of our beloved Prophet (God bless him and give him peace).

Abdullah Bin Siddiq al-Ghumari in traditional Azhar garb

To begin the journey of reading the entire hadith corpus, Shaykh Abdullah Bin Siddīq al-Ghumāri ordered the collections accordingly:

1. The Collection of al-Tirmidhi
2. The Collection of Abi Dawūd
3. The Collection of Muslim
4. The Collection of al-Bukhārī
5. The Collection of al-Nisā’ī
6. The Collection of Ibn Māja
7. The Collection of al-Dārimī
8. The Musnad of Imam Ahmad
9. The Muwata of Imam Malik
10. The Collection of Al-Dār al-Quṭnī
11. The Musnad of Ibn Ḥumayd
12. The Muṣannaf of Ibn Abi Shayba
13. The Collection of Abd al-Razzāq
14. Majma’ al-Zawā’id of al-Haythami
15. Al-Maṭālb al-‘Āliyya of Ibn Ḥajjar al-‘Asqalānī