Due to the untiring efforts of our past scholars, we are in possession of vast collections of hadith literature, some of which have been systematically arranged subject wise, mostly in sections pertaining to different legal topics, while other compilations tackle only one subject or make up the hadith that were narrated from one particular person, infallible or otherwise. This book falls in the latter category.
Though it cannot be said that everything contained in this book is recommended practice, it does serve a two-fold purpose. One is that, indeed, many of the actions practiced by our great Prophet (S), as highlighted in the traditions, should be emulated by us and this cannot be overlooked. However, the second and more important purpose served by this book is to give us a better and more complete picture about the life of our beloved Prophet (S).
As has been noted by many, translating classical texts is always a daunting task. Many times I would come across a hadith that was simply incomprehensible. It was at these moments that I realized the true value of my teachers in the hawza. I would take the source to them and at times have lengthy sittings in an effort to break down the meanings of some hadith. The common classical dictionaries and lexicons had also become an invaluable asset for me during the translation.
I have tried to make this translation as simple as possible in order to benefit a wider audience. I have, admittedly, not paid due attention to the names of different narrators as I felt this was secondary to the purpose. It would therefore be likely to come across a mis transliterated name. Unfortunately, even in the hawza, there is no set standard when it comes to names and it is common to find scholars disagreeing between ‘Qatada’ and ‘Qutada’, for example.
At this juncture, I would like to express my appreciation firstly to Allah (SWT) (who always comes before all else), for giving me the ability to complete this translation, then to my beloved Prophet, for being such a wonderful role model for all of humanity. I also wish to thank my parents, without whom I would not be where I am today. Lastly, but most importantly, I wish to thank Shaykh Saleem Bhimji for adding the ‘Arabic text and transliteration characters, proofreading, typesetting and including a brief biography of the late ‘Allamah Taba’taba’i.
In conclusion, I pray to Allah to grant us all the ability to follow in the footsteps of our great Prophet – May Allah send His unending blessings on him and his progeny.
Tahir Ridha Jaffer
12th of May, 2006 ce