Kutub al Sittah means “The Six Books“. It is a term used to refer to the top 6 hadith books that were collected by Six Sunni Muslim scholars in the ninth century; which is almost two centuries after the death of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
Kutub al Sittah includes the best hadith books that all common Muslims, scholars and jurists greatly accept to understand different aspects of Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) life. These 6 hadith books have sayings, actions and quotes from the life of Prophet of Islam.
Don’t Confuse the Two:
Kutub-al-Sittah is also known as Sahih-al-Sittah – “The Authentic Six“. However, it is not the right term to use because these 6 hadith books do not have a hundred per cent Sahih/ Authentic collection of hadith except the two – Sahih al Bukhari and Sahih Muslim. Therefore, Kutab ul Sittah is the only accurate term to use.
The 6 Books of Kutub al Sittah:
- Sahih al Bukhari
- Sahih Muslim
- Sunan abu Dawood
- Sunan al Tirmidhi
- Sunan Ibn Majah
- Sunan al Nisai
The Authors of Kutub al Sittah:
- Muhammad ibn Ismail al Bukhari wrote and complied Sahih al Bukhari
- Muslim ibn al Hijjaj (206-261 A.H/821-875 C.E) wrote and complied Sahih Muslim
- Sulaiman ibn Asyas al Sajistani (202-275 A.H/817-889 C.E) wrote and compiled Sunan abu Dawood
- Muhammad ibn Isa al Tirmidhi (209-279 A.H/824-892 C.E) wrote and compiled Jami al Tirmidhi.
- Muhammad ibn Yazid ibn Majah (209-273 A.H/824-887 C.E) wrote and compiled Sunan ibn Majah
- Ahmad ibn Shuaib al Nisai (214-303 AH/ 829-995 C.E)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
1: What is Kutub al Sittah?
Kutub al Sittah is a term used for the six most famous and widely known hadith books that were collected and compiled by six great Sunni Muslim scholars after two centuries of Prophet Muhammad’s (s.a.w) demise.
2. Is Kutub al Sittah and Sahih al Sittah the same?
Generally, people call Kitab ul Sittah with the title of Sahih ul Sittah but there is a big problem with this understanding as all six hadith books don’t have an entire authentic hadith collection, there are some weak, sound and other types of hadith too. Therefore, Yes Kutub al Sittah and Sahih al Sittah are the same names of the top 6 hadith books but they cannot be classified as the 6 authentic hadith books.
3. What is the Meaning of Sahih al Sittah?
Sahih al Sittah means “The Authentic Six”, which is a term used to know about the famous 6 authentic hadith books. But it’s a misconception as there are no 6 authentic books that have the perfect and accurate collection of hadiths.
4. How Many Authentic Books of Hadith are There?
There are only two authentic books of hadith that cannot be doubted for their accuracy: Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim. They have the most authentic collection of hadith whose chain goes back to Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w). The authors, Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim showed genuine efforts that are possible within human capacity to compile these hadith books.
5. What is the Single Most Authentic Hadith Book?
Sahih Bukhari is the single authentic hadith book which was compiled after 16 years of heavy research work by Muhammad ibn Ismail al Bukhari. It is a hadith book which is agreed upon for its authenticity by all Sunni Muslim sects.
Kutub al Sittah is a term used to refer to the 6 highly famous hadith books; Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, Sunan Abu Dawoud, Jamia at Tirmidhi, Sunan ibn Majah, Sunan Nisai. While all of these six books are not entirely accurate in their authenticity of scale given by hadith specialists/scholars, they are widely read and accepted in all sects of Sunni Muslims.