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Commentary on Sunan Abu Dawud

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Sunan Abū Dāwūd is considered to be one of the foremost ḥadīth source books in the Muslim world today. Prepared by the renowned third century Persian scholar, Abū Dāwūd, Sulaymān ibn Ashʿath al-Sijistānī, this book is one of the richest books of Islamic scholarship in Islam’s history.  It encompasses the subject matters of Islamic law in a well organized manner. No other book of ḥadīth really compares to it.

In this book Imām Abū Dāwūd committed to compiling the references and proofs used by the renowned jurists of the four schools of Islamic law.  The work turned out to be so comprehensive and captivating that Imām al-Ghazālī went as far as to say, “This is the one book of ḥadīth literature that fulfills the needs of a mujtahid.”

In order to allow people to appreciate and benefit from this formidable piece of work, this commentary has been compiled and prepared. It helps readers to accurately comprehend the intent and inferences of the great imam. This commentary primarily focuses on the issues that are relevant to our social context today, but without neglecting all associated technical discussions. It has been drawn from the following classical sources:

  • Badhl al Majhūd
  • ʿAun al-Maʿbūd
  • al-Durr al-Manḍūd

This book is a must for hadīth enthusiasts among Anglophones. It’ll give exposure to dimensions of Islamic scholarship you may never have been introduced to before.

About the Author

Imām Abū Dāwūd, Sulaymān ibn al-Ashʿath ibn Is’ḥāq ibn Bashīr ibn Shaddād ibn ʿAmr al-Azdī al-Sajistānī was born in Sajistān, a town near Khurasan. His roots go back to the Yemeni tribe of al-Azd.

He learnt ḥadīth from the teachers of Imām al-Bukhārī and Imām Muslim and was among the top students of Imām Aḥmad ibn al-Ḥanbal. Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajar has mentioned the number of his teachers to be 300.

Imām Abū Dāwūd had thousands of students but the most notable of them were Imām al-Tirmidhī and Imām al-Nasaʾī. He had a son named Abū Bakr ʿAbdullāh ibn Abū Dāwūd who was also a great ḥadīth scholar. He had written a book named al- Bʿath, which was a collection of ḥadīth on death, the affairs of the grave and reckoning.

Imām Abū Dāwūd travelled to Egypt, Greater Syria, Hijaz, Iraq and Khurasan in the pursuit of knowledge. He visited Baghdad on a number of occasions and eventually settled there. There he wrote his famous Sunan.  Apart from the Sunan he wrote several other works such as his Marāsīl, al-Radd ʿalá al-Qadarīyah and al-Nāsikh wa al-Mansūkh.

Mūsá ibn Hārūn said, “Abū Dāwūd was created for ḥadīth in this world and for the Garden of Paradise in the Hereafter. I have not seen anyone better than him.” It is well known that Ibrāhīm al-Ḥarbī said about Imām Abū Dāwūd that Allah had softened the science of ḥadīth for Abū Dāwūd just as He softened metal for Prophet Dāwūd (peace be upon him).”

Upon the request of the local ruler Imām Abū Dāwūd moved to Basra and later passed away there on Friday, 16th of Shawwal, 275 A.H.

About the Translator

Ustadh Tamseel Ahmed was born in Karachi, Pakistan, and moved to Canada in his early teens. He completed his secondary and post-secondary education in the Greater Toronto Area. He holds a bachelor in Engineering from Ryerson University, and has been working in Engineering for the last several years. In 2008, Ustadh Tamseel took up traditional Islamic studies at the Islamic Society of Peel, where he studied the dars-i niẓāmī curriculum under Shaykh Omar Subedar. He graduated with a certificate of Scholar of Islamic Sciences and Arabic Literature in 2016. Ustadh Tamseel has a tremendous passion for teaching Arabic grammar. His charisma has appealed to many young people within the Peel Region, and he continues to inspire a growing number of people through the programs he holds in the community.