1,001 Sayings and Deeds of the Prophet
Any study beside that of the Quran is a distraction, except the Hadith and jurisprudence in the religion. Knowledge is what He narrated to us, and anything other than that is the whispering of the Satan.
Al-Qaeda's credo as stated in the December 2000 edition of the Taliban's English-language magazine The Islamic Emirate.
Within the house of Islam, the penalty for learning too much about the world—so as to call the tenets of the faith into question—is death. While the Koran merely describes the punishment that awaits the apostate in the next world, the hadith is emphatic about the justice that must be meted out in this one: “Whoever changes his religion, kill him.”
Given the fact that [hadiths are] often used as the lens through which to interpret the Koran, many Muslim jurists consider [them] to be even a greater authority on the practice of Islam.
Sam Harris, The End of Faith - Religion, Terror and the Future of Reason, 2004, W. W. Norton & Company.
Islam is not so much a religion as a way of life with thousands of indelible rules which instruct every waking moment of a believer’s existence.
First, there are the Koran’s more than six thousand revealed truths, i.e., immutable facts communicated to a mortal by a god which we have talked about in Pain, Pleasure and Prejudice; and then there are the even more numerous hadiths (or Hadith, in English academic usage hadith is often both singular and plural), the sayings and example of the Prophet Muhammad.
The hadiths of the Sunni canon and the Shia collection are meant to fill in the blanks left by Allah, to amplify and to add to what is written in the Koran, and, last but not least, provide a living example in the person of Muhammad, the embodiment of the perfect human being, as to how to worship God and to live as He intended.
Karen Armstrong, former nun and unabashed fan of the Prophet, in Islam, A Short History, explains why hadiths were made necessary and how they transformed Islam..
The Quran contains very little legislation, and what laws there were had been designed for a much simpler society. So some of the jurists began to collect reports about the Prophet and his companions to find out how they had behaved in a given situation … Thus they believed they would gain true ilm, knowledge of what was right and how to behave. (p.49)
... the Prophet, the Perfect Man, became the person to imitate. By imitating the smallest details of his external life and by reproducing the way he ate, washed, loved, spoke and prayed, Muslims hoped to acquire his interior attitude of perfect surrender to God. (p. 60)
If you are the Taliban, Al-Qaeda or Islamic State, the Koran and the hadiths define Islamic law, i.e., the Sharia as in "jurisprudence in the religion", and comprise all you need to know about the nature of your existence and how to lead a God-fearing life.
Except for a few dozen hadiths, from Sahih Muslim mostly, it is mainly those of the greatest collector of them all, Bukhari, that you will find here. Like in the Koran, but to an even greater degree, there is a tremendous amount of duplication in the hadiths, with mostly minor variations. My collection of 1,001 sayings and deeds, i.e., example of Muhammad are more than representative of what he said and did.
As you read the hadiths in 1,001 Sayings and Deeds of the Prophet Muhammad keep in mind that it is normally a capital offence, that of heresy under the Sharia, i.e. God’s Law not to believe that whatever Muhammad said or did in authenticated hadiths ̶ which are the only kind you will find in this book ̶ is the truth and nothing but the truth! In reading and learning about the hadiths, you will also get acquainted with the real Muhammad as his closest friends and his child bride Aisha remember him.
The late Ayatollah Khomeini is quoted as saying, “There is no humor in Islam. There is no fun in Islam. There can be no fun and joy in whatever is serious.”
What you are about to read, like Allah’s revelations, is serious stuff. Any humour in a hadith is undoubtedly unintended and may only bring a smile to your lips and no one else.
Narrated Imran bin Husain:
I went to the Prophet and tied my she-camel at the gate. The people of Bani Tamim came to the Prophet who said "O Bani Tamim! Accept the good tidings."
They said twice, “You have given us the good tidings, now give us something"
Then some Yemenites came to him and he said, "Accept the good tidings, O people of Yemen, for Bani Tamim refused them."
They said, "We accept it, O Allah's Apostle! We have come to ask you about this matter (i.e. the start of creations)."
He said, "First of all, there was nothing but Allah, and (then He created His Throne). His throne was over the water , and He wrote everything in the Book (in the Heaven) and created the Heavens and the Earth."
Then a man shouted, "O Ibn Husain! Your she-camel has gone away!"
So, I went away and could not see the she-camel because of the mirage. By Allah, I wished I had left that she-camel (but not that gathering).