Author: Abu Zakaria Yahya Ibn Sharaf An Nawawi
Category: Hadith Collection
Review of Riyad As Saliheen
According to the instruction of the Almighty Allah, the best and greatest example for us is in the character (life) of the Messenger Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH). So, to search for that ideal is the absolute duty of every human being. The study of Hadith is essential to know about the ideals of life of the great man and the final prophet, Hazrat Muhammad SAW, and to build our lives according to that great ideal. The scope of hadith is a vast ocean of knowledge. And for the purpose of collecting necessary knowledge from that vast ocean, various wise men and scholars who are rich in Islamic knowledge have worked tirelessly throughout the ages. Riyad as-Saliheen, written by Imam Al Nawawi is also a collection of hadiths that supports various verses of the Holy Qur’an in different aspects and is well known and accepted by all Muslims all over the world.
We are familiar with Abu Zakaria Yahya Ibn Sharaf An Nawawi as Imam Al Nawawi. This great scholar of Hadith was born on October 1233 at Nawa in Syria. He was a Sunni jurist of the Shafi’i school of thought. He studied Hadith, Jurisprudence, Syntex, and Etymology in his student life. This great scholar of Islam wrote at least 50 books in his short life of just 45 years. Riyad as-Saliheen is one of the most famous and popular of all his books. On December 21, 1277, this great servant of Islam died in Nawa of Mamluk Sultanate.
The Holy Qur’an is the path of mercy and guidance for mankind from Allah Almighty. This divine book revealed to the greatest human being and the final prophet and messenger, Hazrat Muhammad SAW, is a compilation of various necessary information, instructions, regulations, and commandments or prohibitions of the Almighty Allah. The words of the Qur’an have been revealed separately for 23 long years in the course of time. The ultimate success of man lies in understanding the words of this Qur’an correctly and understanding them and leading his life accordingly. Riyad as-Saliheen (The Meadows of the Righteous) is a work that compiles these precious sayings of the Holy Qur’an through narrations of various hadiths.
Riyad as-Saliheen is an excellent work composed of 1896 Hadiths on ethics, manners, worship, knowledge, and many other topics and divided into 372 important chapters. The main theme of the book is to translate the underlying teachings of various verses of the Holy Qur’an into the form of Sunnah or Islamic law and ethics and to study Hadiths for that purpose. The great book has defined each chapter by a specific topic and brought out the related verses of the Qur’an and discussed them with various relevant Hadiths. To show the deep connection of Hadith with the Holy Qur’an, the author has attached relevant Qur’anic verses at the beginning of chapters and paragraphs. He also provided a clear explanation and analysis of some important issues.
The book has discussed in detail in various separate arrangements of the necessary elements for the entire life of a Muslim and the guidance and teachings of the Qur’an and Hadith relating to it. The author has addressed All the necessary 372 chapters of Riyad as-Saliheen in a total of twenty sections. Let’s have a glance at these-
The book of Miscellany
In this section, the author has presented a total of 679 hadiths in 83 chapters. Here he has discussed various issues such as a sense of responsibility, repentance, truthfulness, firmness of faith in Allah, moderation in worship, the obligation of obedience, nepotism, discrimination, etc. in the light of various verses of the Qur’an and relevant hadiths.
The Book of Good Manners
This section of Riyad as-Saliheen contains a total of 47 hadiths in 16 chapters. The excellence of conveying Glad tidings and congratulations, honoring the guest, brevity in preaching, fulfillment of the promise, the exaltation of modesty, etc are discussed in this section.
The Book About the Etiquette of Eating
The important discussion of Expressing gratitude before and after eating, the prohibition of criticizing food, responding to an invitation, the merit of sharing food, permission to drink while standing, etc. has been arranged in this section. A total of 17 chapters contain 51 hadiths in this section.
The Book of Dress
This section of Riyad as-Saliheen discussed all the important instructions regarding our dress codes such as the excellence of adopting moderation in dress, the prohibition of wearing silk for men and its permissibility for women, the prohibition of using the skin of the Leopard, the excellence of the Qamees, etc. A total of 9 chapters presented a total of 35 hadiths in this section.
The Book of the Etiquette Sleeping, Liying, and Sitting, etc.
A total of 34 valuable hadiths are presented in 4 chapters of this section. The author highlighted Our food, eating habits, and instructions for eating, sleeping, sitting, etc. important issues in this section.
The Book of Greetings
This section contains a total of 50 important hadiths in 14 chapters. This section has discussed the etiquette of offering greetings, the excellence of greeting upon arrival and departure, greeting non-Muslims, the excellence of greeting upon entering the house, etc. important topics.
The Book of Visiting the Sick
This section of Riyad as-Saliheen included a total of 62 hadiths that describe the topic of visiting the sick, supplication for the sick, the ruling of crying and wailing over a dead person, supplication in funeral prayers, and many other important issues in a total of 22 chapters.
The Book of Etiquette of Travelling
Total 35 hadiths describing various topics such as helping a companion, supplication at the time of riding, the desirability of supplications during the journey, supplication on alighting at a halt, etc in a total of 14 valuable chapters.
The Book of Virtues
This great section of Riyad as-Saliheen contains a total of 227 valuable hadiths that are arranged in a total of 52 chapters. In this valuable section, the author has included various discussions on Qur’anic virtues, various directions for Salat, and the importance of different Fasting according to the Qur’anic calls with the great narration of Hadith.
The Book of I’tikaf
The book of I’tikaf contains only one important chapter named “I’tikaf in the Month of Ramadan”. The author has submitted a total of 3 hadiths here in support of the instructions given by the Holy Prophet (PBUH) to perform I’tikaf in the last ten days of Ramadan.
The Book of Hajj
In this only chapter of Riyad as-Salheen named “The Obligation of Hajj (Pilgrimage) and its Excellence”, the instructions, importance, and rules of Hajj are discussed in the light of a total of 14 hadiths related to Hajj.
The Book of Jihad
A total of 91 hadiths related to the Obligation of Jihad, Martyrdom without Fighting, The Excellence of Kind Attitude towards Slaves, etc are arranged in a total of 7 valuable chapters in this section.
The Book of Knowledge
“ Virtues of Knowledge which is Learnt and Taught for the Sake of Allah”, the only chapter of this section includes a total of 17 relevant hadiths that describes the importance of learning knowledge of Islam.
The Book of Praise and Gratitude to Allah
“ The Obligation of Gratitude” is the only chapter of Riyad as-Saliheen in this section that contains a total of 4 relevant hadiths.
The Book of Supplicating Allah to Exalt the Mention of Allah’s Messenger
Chapter number 243 “the obligation of Supplicating Allah o Exalt the Mention of Allah’s Messenger” is included in the book Riyad as-Saliheen which is discussed by a total of 11 valuable hadiths.
The Book of the Remembrance of Allah
“ The excellence of the Remembrance of Allah”, “Remembrance of Allah in all Condition”, “ The Book of the Etiquette of Sleeping, Lying, and Sitting, etc.”, “ The Excellence of Gathering in which Allah is Remembered”, “ Remembrance of Allah in the Morning and in the Evening”, “ Supplication before Going to Bed”, – these 6 chapters are arranged in this section with the discussions of a total of 57 valuable hadiths.
The Book of Du’a
This section of Riyad as-Saliheen has a total of four valuable chapters that discuss various aspects of dua in the light of 46 important hadiths included in it.
The Book of the Prohibited Actions
A total of 297 hadiths are spread over 115 chapters in this huge section of Riyad as-Salihin. This section discusses in detail the various prohibitions of Almighty Allah to His servants.
The Book of Miscellaneous Ahadith of Significant Values
Chapter number 370 named ” About Dajjal and Portents of the Hour” is a very significant chapter of this section which consists of 61 hadiths. Here the hadiths discuss in detail Dajjal, the greatest fitna of the world, and the various signs of doomsday.
The Book of Asking Forgiveness
“ Seeking Forgiveness” and “ Some of the Bounties which Allah Prepared for the Believers in Paradise” are the last two chapters of Riyad as-Saliheen in this section. The Book of Asking Forgiveness consists of a total of 28 hadiths that describes the importance and instruction for asking forgiveness, and the rewards which Allah Ta’ala has prepared for the believers in Paradise.
According to all the Islamic scholars around the world, Imam Yahya Nawabi’s book Riyad as-Saliheen is a great collection of Sahih Ahadith in support of various verses of the Qur’an in different aspects for a righteous believer. In the book, the author has given directions for almost all actions required of an ideal believer according to the light of the Holy Qur’an and relevant hadiths. At the beginning of the discussion on the topic, he cited various related verses from the Qur’an and quoted various hadiths in support of these. At the end of each hadith, he attached its source. In short, this book is a unique and very important book for an ideal Muslim believer. In my opinion, this is a must-read book for every thoughtful and Sunnah-seeking Muslim.
Islam is the complete code of life. In every stage of life, every task requires proper guidance. And these guidelines have been provided by Allah Almighty for us in the Holy Qur’an and the example of the life of the Prophet. Therefore, there is no alternative to studying the Qur’an and Hadith in order to guide our lives according to the commandments and divine guidance of Almighty God. Imam Yahya Nawabi’s book Riad as-Saliheen has made this path much easier for us. Let’s read the book as a believer and try to build a life according to the orders of Almighty Allah. Because, therein lies the means of worldly success and salvation in the hereafter.