al-Baghawi’s Sharh al-Sunnah

11 Jun

Shaykh Shu’ayb al-Arna’ut is one of the greatest living hadith scholars and editors of the classical hadith collections. Of all the works he has edited, he has a special regard for Sharh al-Sunnah by al-Baghawi (d.516/1122), which he has also edited and refined in a critical edition. Another major contemporary editor of classical works, Dr. Abdullah al-Turki, ranks it in his introduction to his edition of al-Bayhaqi’s Sunan al-Kabir alongside al-Dhahabi’s list of the four ‘Books of Islam’ that all scholars need: al-Muhalla by Ibn Hazm, al-Mughni by Ibn Qudama, al-Tamhid by Ibn Abd al-Barr, and al-Sunan al-Kabir by al-Bayhaqi.

Whilst reading al-Dhahabi’s entry on al-Baghawi in Siyar (v. 19, p. 439), I found the following footnote by Shaykh Shu’ayb on Sharh al-Sunnah:

‘It is a magnificent book in its field, without which no seeker of knowledge can suffice, for it is from the most esteemed books of the Prophetic model that have reached us from the heritage of the predecessors in terms of arrangement and refinement, harmonization and precision… It demonstrates the expertise of its author, may God have mercy on him, in the noble Prophetic traditions and their criticism, his knowledge of chains of transmission and their hidden defects, erudition in the schools of thought of the Companions and their Followers, the leaders of the various lands and independent jurists. I do not know of another book on the Sunnah that enriches one in the way that it does.’



Posted by on June 11, 2015 in Books, Hadith/Sunnah


21 responses to “al-Baghawi’s Sharh al-Sunnah

  1. m7ia

    June 11, 2015 at 8:36 am

    Jazakum Allahu khayra for the beneficial post. I always hear about the work but have never actually read any of it. Insha Allah I will start.

    • Al-Asiri

      June 11, 2015 at 8:44 am

      Wa jazakum. It’s always a joy to share points of benefit by posting things that we would like to have known earlier in our studies.

      Sharh al-Sunnah really is a fantastic work and shaykh Shu’ayb has done an excellent job editing it. Go for the version titled ‘Tahdhib Sharh al-Sunnah’ if you can find it. It is the most recent edit.

      • m7ia

        June 11, 2015 at 10:56 pm

        Barak Allahu fikum, insha Allah I will look for that edition!

      • Waleed

        July 5, 2015 at 5:17 am

        So he abridged it?

      • Al-Asiri

        July 5, 2015 at 10:24 am

        He seems to only have removed the chains and added some of his own commentary.

      • Waleed

        July 6, 2015 at 8:46 pm

        So in earlier editions the chains are still there? and did he add notes on authenticity along with removing thh chains?

      • Al-Asiri

        July 6, 2015 at 8:49 pm

        Yes the earlier edition lists the complete chains. Shaykh Shu’ayb comments on both the authenticity, when necessary, as well as the content of the hadith. I have both editions but prefer the tahdhib.

      • Waleed

        July 6, 2015 at 10:00 pm

        Is there a reason you prefer the later, despite the fact that it is almost half the size of the original sixteen vols

      • Waleed

        July 6, 2015 at 10:00 pm

      • Al-Asiri

        July 7, 2015 at 12:32 am

        Yes but the description is obviously wrong.

      • Waleed

        July 7, 2015 at 2:01 am

        Haha yeah.

      • m7ia

        August 25, 2015 at 4:36 am

        Looks like they corrected their description and used your post as the description now, much better 🙂

      • Al-Asiri

        August 25, 2015 at 9:21 am

        In sha Allah it will help in convincing someone to purchase it 🙂

      • m7ia

        August 25, 2015 at 4:12 pm

        As a matter of fact, I just ordered it, and your blog post was the impetus that made it happen 🙂
        Jazakum Allahu khayra

      • Al-Asiri

        August 26, 2015 at 5:06 am

        Wa jazakum! That’s great to hear. I really do hope that you put time and effort in to it so that you may taste the fruits of the Sunnah.

      • Waleed

        September 1, 2015 at 4:50 pm

        Is there a reason you prefer the tahdheeb?

      • Al-Asiri

        September 2, 2015 at 2:12 pm

        Yes there is – shaykh Shu’ayb refined the work by furnishing it with his own valuable observations and commentary.

  2. Me ThatsWho

    November 1, 2015 at 11:38 pm

    Interesting that the total number of sahih ahadith is 4’400 according to a number of the early scholars (such as Imam Ahmad and Yahya Ibn Ma’in) and that the number of ahadith in Sharh As Sunnah is just over 4’400. Seems that this blessed book covers everything a person would need from the Sunnah.

    • Al-Asiri

      November 5, 2015 at 10:23 am

      It’s selection is an excellent overview of the Sunnah, covering everything the layman many need.

      I do hope more people take to studying it. It is a joy to read.

  3. Waleed

    November 25, 2015 at 11:25 pm

    I’m sorry but what exactly is this book about? A comprehensive overview of the hadith of RasuluLLAH? Or is it focused on fiqh al Hadeeth? Both?

    • Al-Asiri

      March 23, 2016 at 6:43 am

      It’s an overview of the main hadiths used by scholars.


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