Introduction to Partial Translation of Sunan Abu-Dawud
Translator: Prof. Ahmad Hasan
Sunan Abu-Dawud is a collection of sayings and deeds of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) (also known as the sunnah). The reports of the Prophet's sayings and deeds are called ahadith. Abu-Dawud lived a couple of centuries after the Prophet's death and worked extremely hard to collect his ahadith. Each report in his collection was checked for compatibility with the Qur'an, and the veracity of the chain of reporters had to be painstakingly established. Abu-Dawud's collection is recognized by the overwhelming majority of the Muslim world to be one of the most authentic collections of the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh), however it is also known to contain some weak ahadith (some of which he pointed out, others which he did not).
Abu-Dawud (full name Abu-Dawud Sulaiman bin Al-Aash'ath Al-Azdi as-Sijistani) was born in 202 A.H. and died in 275 A.H. He was one of the most widely travelled of the scholars of ahadith, going to Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Khurasahn, Egypt, Syria, Nishapur, Marv, and other places for the sole purpose of collecting ahadith. His primary interest was in law, hence his collection focuses purely on legal ahadith. From about 50,000 ahadith, he chose 4,800 for inclusion in his work based on their superior authenticity.
It is important to realize, however, that Abu-Dawud's collection is not complete: there are other scholars who worked as Abu-Dawud did and collected other reports.
The translation of Sunan Abu-Dawud found here is not complete! Roughly half of the collection is missing; please take this into account if you cannot find a specific hadith.
Note for WWW Developers
Sunan Abu-Dawud is divided into 41 books on different subjects, each book containing many ahadith. The numbering system used by Abu-Dawud is consecutive and uninterrupted for the entire collection.
MSA-USC has placed anchors (hyperlinks) for all the ahadith in the translations presented here. Prospective developers of Islamic sites may find it useful to refer to these anchors. For example, one could use the anchors to create an 'active' subject index into Sunan Abu-Dawud.
The format of the anchor names for the translated ahadith in Sunan Abu-Dawud is very simple:
D stands for a digit, and
[A] means an optional letter. The first three digits identify the book, and the remaining digits and letters identify the report number. The format of the file names (one per book) is:
The three digits are the book number, and
sat stands for Sunan Abu-Dawud Translation. Given the anchor, you can tell which file it is found in (e.g. 038.4148 is found in 038.sat.html).