Sunan Abi Dawud

Sunan Abi Dawud is one of the authentic books of Hadith and a part of the Kutub al-Sittah, the 6 most authentic collects of the ahadith and sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ). Sunan Abi Dawud was compiled by Abu Dawud Sulayman ibn Al-Ash'ath al-Azdi in the 9th century to provide the Muslims with guidance and wisdom from the life of our Prophet (ﷺ). 

Hadith is essential to interpret the commandments of Allah in the Quran in the best way. Therefore, the work of Muhadditin (those who compile ahadith) is crucial to Islamic jurisprudence. Enter into the insightful book of knowledge, wisdom, and guidance and learn the attributes of our Prophet (ﷺ). Let's explore how Sunan Abi Dawud illuminates the path of this Ummah and anyone who seeks guidance from the Sunnah of Muhammad (ﷺ).

Sunan Abi Dawud

سنن أبي داود

Sunan Abi Dawud is a collection of hadith compiled by Abu Dawud al-Sijistani. It is widely considered to be among the six canonical collections of hadith (Kutub as-Sittah) of the Sunnah of the Prophet (ﷺ). It consists of 5274 ahadith in 43 books.

Search Hadith

Current Location: Islamabad, Pakistan

About Sunan Abi Dawud

Sunan Abi Dawud is one of the Sihah Sitta, the 6 authentic ahadith collections. It records ahadith that highlight the life, lifestyle, and characteristics of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ). The book consists of sahih and weak Ahadith and an explanation for the weakness of the Hadith is also stated by Abu Dawood. For any Hadith to be part of the compilation, it needs to fulfill the conditions imposed by Imam Bukhari or Imam Muslim.

Sunan Abi Dawood consists of around 5274 Hadiths divided into 43 chapters or books. It covers every aspect of the Islamic way of living, worship, ethics, moral values, social life, and everything that guides us to live life according to Allah and His Prophet (ﷺ).

About Abu Dawud

Abu Dawud Sulayman ibn Al-Ash'ath ibn Ishaq ibn Bashir ibn Shaddad ibn' Amr ibn Imran Al-Azdi as Sijistani was born in the year 202 AH or 889 AD in Sijistan, a region that is now part of modern Afghanistan and Iran. His search for knowledge began at an early age, and by the time he was 18 years old, he reached Baghdad in 220 AH to study Hadiths more deeply and check their reliability. Along with being a Muhaddith, he was a faqih and was the student of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal. He traveled to Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Hijaz, Tihamah, Nishapur, and Merv to seek knowledge of the Hadiths.

He had deep knowledge of Hadiths and an incomparable memory. Adh-Dhahabi said: "Abu Dawud was among the greatest of scholars. It has been said that Abu Dawud resembled Ahmad ibn Hanbal in manner, conduct, and habits…" He studied under 300 big scholars of his time, including Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Qutaibah ibn Sai'id, Abu Bakr ibn Abi Shaibah, and Ali ibn al-Madini. Imam Abu Dawud was buried in Basrah alongside Sufyan at-Thawri.

Structure of Sunan Abi Dawud

Sunan Abi Dawud includes Hadiths that fulfill the customs mentioned by Bukhari or Muslim and fulfill the conditions of Bukhari or Muslim. He has included weak and sahih Hadith and has provided explanations for weak Hadith about the reason for its weakness. The book is divided into 43 books/chapters, each chapter with a title that states the content inside. The first chapter is Kitab Al-Taharah – Purification, then Kitab Al-Salat, Kitab al-Istisqa, and so on. The last chapter is on General behavior – Kitab AL-Adab. When Imam Abu Dawood completed his compilation, Ibrahim al-Harbi stated: "Hadith was made supple for Abu Dawood just as hadid (Steel or Iron) was made supple for the Prophet Dawood (A.S). Imam Abu Dawood included only a few Hadith in each chapter to make his collection brief and easy to extract.

Methods of Classification and Annotation

Abu Dawud studied 500,000 Hadiths to collect 5274 Hadiths in his book, which he divided into 43 chapters. He included long Hadiths, but most of the time, he summarized the long one, preserving its meaning for easier interpretation. He has included many mursal ahadith but did not consider matrul al-hadith. Munkar ahadith are included only where it's the only Hadith under a topic, and no other Hadith was found. Weak Hadiths are also included with a clear indication and the reason for their weakness.

According to Al-Hafiz Abdullah ibn Mandah: "Abu Dawood narrated weak chains of narration when he did not find anything else for the topic because, to him, weak Ahadith were stronger than the opinions of men." According to Ibn Dasah, Abu Dawood said that he has compiled 500,000 Hadiths, out of which 4800 are the most authentic ones, and only 4 Hadiths are enough for a person to preserve their deen;

  1. Actions are judged according to intentions.
  2. The beauty of a person's Islam is his leaving out that which does not concern him.
  3. None of you can be a perfect believer until he loves for his brother that which he loves for himself.
  4. The halal is clear and the haram is clear, and between these two are unclear matters. Whoever saves himself from these has saved his Deen.

Abu Dawud wrote a letter to the people of Makkah, where he said: "I have disclosed wherever there was too much weakness in regard to any tradition in my collection. But if I happen to leave a Hadith without any comment, it should be considered sound, albeit some of them are more authentic than others. He also stated: "If a Musnad Hadith is not contrary to a Mursal Hadith, or a Musnad Hadith is not found, then the Mursal Hadith will be accepted though it would not be considered as strong as a muttasil Hadith (uninterrupted chain)."

Explanation of Terms

Every book has its special terms. The book of Hadiths has its own terms that might not be easily understandable for everyone. Here are a few of it that you might need to understand Hadith books, including Sunan Abi Dawood, better;

Fiqh: Fiqh includes topics that are based on Islamic laws and values and are part of a Muslim life. They might include prayers, ethics, moral values, social interactions, charity, and everything that brings our life on the straight path taught by our beloved Prophet (ﷺ).

  • Mursal Hadith: A Hadith in which a narrator is missing in the chain and links the Hadith directly to the Prophet (ﷺ) without mentioning the narrator who transmitted it to the Tabi'i is a Mursal Hadith.
  • Matrul Hadith: When there is a gap in the chain of narrators, and the chain is not complete, the Hadith is referred to as Matrul Hadith and is considered weak.
  • Munkar Hadith: Hadith transmitted by an unreliable source of a narrator and differs from the authentic Hadiths is called Munkar.
  • Musnad Hadith: Hadiths that are backed by a chain of narrators liking back to the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) are called Musnad Hadith.
  • Dai'f Hadith: A Hadith that is not authentic and is derived from unreliable sources is called Dai'f Hadith.

Search and Navigation Tools

Our website, is your ultimate source to access the world of authentic Hadith. We have a complete collection of Sahih Sitta, the six most authentic books of Hadith. Use the drop-down button at the top of the page to access the collection of all Hadith, including Sunan Abi Dawud. Access all 43 chapters with a single click.

Alternatively, you can get all the Islamic resources, including Sahih Hadiths, at your fingertips by downloading our app from the App Store or Play Store on your smartphone. Find all the icons for the resources on the homepage or use the drop-down button to access them.

Click on Sunan Abi Dawud and get access to around 5000 Hadith that will guide you to live your life according to the Sunnah of the Prophet (ﷺ). You can easily navigate through the chapter to see the content inside the 43 books available for your spiritual guidance.

Legal and Ethical Considerations

Sunan Abi Dawud is considered the third most authentic hadith collection after Sahih Bukhari and Muslim. It has dai'f Hadith and sahih Hadith, which brings it to number three among the six authentic books. Each narration's authenticity has been cross-checked by big Islamic scholars. You can always use the Hadiths from the book, and it's best to always use the correct form of reference when quoting the Hadith from the book.