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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"collected Islamic tradition," 1817, from Arabic, literally "tradition," related to hadith "new, young," hadatha "it happened, occurred," and Hebrew hadash "new."


Etymology 1 n. (label en uncountable religion Islam) The entire collection of hadiths (sayings and deeds) of Muhammad with a particular branch of Islam or Islamic jurisprudence. Etymology 2

n. m (context Islam German) hadith


A hadith ( or ; , plural: ahadith, , ) is one of various reports describing the words, actions, or habits of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. The term comes from Arabic meaning a "report", "account" or "narrative". Hadith are second only to the Quran in developing Islamic jurisprudence, and regarded as important tools for understanding the Quran and commentaries ( tafsir) written on it. Some important elements of traditional Islam, such as the five salat prayers, are mentioned in hadith.

The hadith literature is based on spoken reports that were in circulation in society after the death of Muhammad. Unlike the Qur'an the hadiths were not quickly and concisely compiled during and immediately after Muhammad's life. Hadith were evaluated and gathered into large collections during the 8th and 9th centuries, generations after the death of Muhammad, after the end of the era of the "rightful" Rashidun Caliphate, over from where Muhammad lived.

Each hadith consists of two parts, the isnad (Arabic: 'support'), or the chain of transmitters through which a scholar traced the matn, or text, of a hadith back to the Prophet. Individual hadith are classified by Muslim clerics and jurists as sahih ("authentic"), hasan ("good") or da'if ("weak"). However, there is no overall agreement: different groups and different individual scholars may classify a hadith differently.

Different branches of Islam ( Sunni, Shia, Ibadi, Ahmadiyya) refer to different collections of hadith, and the relatively small sect of Quranists reject the authority of any of the hadith collections.

Usage examples of "hadith".

But the old Kurd declared the ancestors of Hadith, the Nubian, were of a mystic sect.

I am convinced that this Hadith has it in his power to produce changes in weather.

The Nubian known as Hadith, slave to the sheik of sheiks, is reported to have revived the shadows of death and caused them to resume walking across the desert.

Doc knew there was aboard the dirigible one object that the mysterious chief behind both Hadith and Whitey Jano wanted greatly to get into his own possession.

Only it was quickly apparent that this was ruled over by Hadith, the powerful black who had been a Nubian slave.

Balked of his desire to spill their blood on the desert, Hadith was using a device which was rapidly appeasing his bloodthirsty soul.

You will rest in the tent of Hadith, and the guard will be only for your protection.

A group of half a dozen Bedouins, commanded by Hadith, were moving on foot.

Basheer Alawamleh and Saraji Umma Zaid gave advice on Muslim practices, suitable hadith, and the kalima shahada.

But the Neo-Hadithians claim that the Hadith, the traditional tales of the life of the First Prophet, are as sacred as the words of the Books.

I will swear on this copy of the Holy Hadith themselves, authenticated by Moulay Suheil, and most sacred to me and to all true believers.

But he knew the words of the Koran, and especially of the Hadiths, by heart.

  Now, as they rode the worm onward, he told his comrade about the raid on the desecrated Sietch Hadith.