Translated by Hani al-Tarabulsi al-Shafi'i
Edited and presented by 'Abdullah bin Rashid Ahmad al-Afriqui
We present to you the first part of the translation of a chapter from the two volume book, Dirasat fi 'l-Hadith al-Nabawi wa Tarikh Tadwinihi by the great hadith scholar and researcher, Shaykh Dr. Muhammad Mustafa al-A'zami (Allah lengthen his life). The chapter being translated is entitled: Companions رضي الله عنهم who wrote Hadith and those who wrote from them. We have divided the translation into different parts and we hope that this series of articles will create the zeal within us to study the blessed hadith and to follow upon the Sunnah of Allah's Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace). - The Editor
In the days of the Companions (Sahabah) رضي الله عنهم of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace), writing wasn't as famous as it is today, because they still relied mainly on their memory in transmitting narrations and religious knowledge. However, many of them wrote or started writing during the days of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) and even after him. I have translated a short summary of a chapter from the book Dirasat fi 'l-Hadith al-Nabawi wa Tarikh Tadwinihi by Shaykh Dr. Muhammad Mustafa al-A'zami. This summarised translation contains the names of the Companions who wrote the hadith of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) according to the research of the author. I recommend that readers acquire and read the entire book in two volumes to gain great benefit and learn many matters related to the Sunnah.
* Wherever the word sahifa appears, this means the book or message or couple of papers or animal skin or palm leaves or tablets that were used to write on at that time, and the plural of sahifa is suhuf.
* The date of birth and date of death of each companion will be mentioned after his name, if the date of birth is unknown then the date of death will only be mentioned. "BH" means before the Hijrah and "AH" means after the Hijrah.
1. Abu Umamah al-Bahili (10BH - 81AH) رضي الله عنه: Used to go and write knowledge (religion), was asked about writing it by al-Hassan bin Jabir and replied: "No harm in that". al-Qasim al-Shami most probably wrote from him the Prophetic narrations.
2. Abu Ayyub al-Ansari (52 AH) رضي الله عنه: Wrote to his brother's son some Prophetic narrations. Ayyub bin Khalid bin Ayyub al-Ansari narrated from his father, from his grandfather 112 narrations and they were most probably from a Sahifa.
3. Abu Bakr al-Siddiq (50BH - 13AH) رضي الله عنه: It was reported in a weak narration from his daughter that he wrote Prophetic narrations but burned them before he died, because he feared that he may transmit knowledge from a trustworthy source but it has mistakes in it. The narration was dropped because it has two unknown narrators and one heavily criticised narrator.
Abu Bakr رضي الله عنه was the closest man to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) and he wouldn't take Prophetic narrations from "trustworthy men" as that narration stated simply because he accompanied the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) at all times and knew his narrations and opinions in all matters. Also, the narration above, even if by chance we consider it authentic for the sake of argument, then it proves that writing narrations was permissible because if the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) had forbade this then Abu Bakr رضي الله عنه wouldn't have written them in the first place.
Abu Bakr رضي الله عنه wrote to Anas ibn Malik رضي الله عنه whom he had appointed in Bahrain, he wrote him the narrations about the Sadaqat.
Abu Bakr رضي الله عنه sent a written sermon to 'Amr ibn al-'As رضي الله عنه and it contained Prophetic narrations.
4. Abu Bakr al-Thaqafi (51 AH) رضي الله عنه: Wrote a sermon to his son who was a judge in Sajistan and included in it Prophetic narrations related to passing judgements.
5. Abu Rafi' (died before 40 AH) رضي الله عنه: Abu Bakr bin 'Abd al-Rahman bin Hashim رحمه الله said that Abu Rafi' رضي الله عنه wrote him a book about how to begin the prayer.
'Abdullah ibn 'Abbas رضي الله عنهما was seen writing on tablets what Abu Rafi' رضي الله عنه told him from the Sunnah and conduct of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace).
6. Abu Sa'id al-Khudri (74 AH) رضي الله عنه: He was famous for telling his students not to write his sayings and he narrated from the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) in this regard. al-Khatib al-Baghdadi رحمه الله reported that Abu Sa'id رضي الله عنه appears to have written some narrations for himself. Abu 'l-Nadir رحمه الله also reported from him that he wrote narrations in his letters to Ibn 'Abbas رضي الله عنهما
7. Abu Shah, the man from Yemen رضي الله عنه: After the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) finished his sermon Abu Shah رضي الله عنه asked him to have it written for him and he (Allah bless him and grant him peace) ordered his Companions رضي الله عنهم to write it for him.
8. Abu Musa al-Ash'ari (42 AH) رضي الله عنه: It is said that he opposed the writing of Prophetic narrations, and that he even erased what his student wrote. It was reported from him that after Ibn 'Abbas رضي الله عنهما came to Basrah, Abu Musa رضي الله عنه wrote him a book and included in it some Prophetic narrations.
9. Abu Hurayra (19 BH - 59 AH) رضي الله عنه: It appears he had no books at first because he narrated: "No one knew more about the sayings of Allah's Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace) than me except for Ibn 'Umar because he wrote with his hand and his heart understood it. I used to understand it with my heart but I didn't write it." In his last days however, it was reported by al-Fadl bin al-Hassan bin 'Amr bin Umayyah رحمه الله from his father that Abu Hurayra رضي الله عنه showed him many books of hadith in his house.
Bashir bin Nuhayk رحمه الله also reported that he used to take these books from Abu Hurayra رضي الله عنه to copy them and then he would recite them to him.
Abu Salih al-Samman رحمه الله wrote a Sahifa from Abu Hurayra رضي الله عنه with Prophetic narrations, al-A'mash رحمه الله then wrote from Abu Salih 1,000 narrations from Abu Hurayra رضي الله عنه.
Sa'id al-Maqbari wrote a Sahifa from Abu Hurayra رضي الله عنه.
'Abd al-'Aziz bin Marwan رحمه الله wrote to Kathir bin Murrah رحمه الله that: "Write to us the narrations of the Companions رضي الله عنهم of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace), except the narrations of Abu Hurayra رضي الله عنه because we already have them."
'Abdullah bin Hurmuz رحمه الله wrote to Tamim al-Jayyashi رحمه الله some of the narrations of Abu Hurayra رضي الله عنه.
Yahya ibn 'Ubaydullah bin Mawhib al-Qurayshi رحمه الله narrated from his father from what he had written from Abu Hurayra رضي الله عنه.
'Uqbah bin Abi Hasna رحمه الله narrated what he had received from the copy of the written narrations of Abu Hurayra رضي الله عنه.
Muhammad ibn Sirin رحمه الله wrote a book of thin pages from Abu Hurayra رضي الله عنه, and his followers narrated from it.
Marwan ibn al-Hakam رحمه الله, ordered his writer to write the narrations from Abu Hurayra رضي الله عنه.
Hammam bin Munabbah رحمه الله wrote a Sahifa from Abu Hurayra رضي الله عنه which was printed several times and researched by Dr. Muhammad Hamidullah.
10. Abu Hind al-Dari رضي الله عنه: Makhoul wrote his hadith.
11. Ubay ibn Ka'b bin Qays al-Ansari (22 AH) رضي الله عنه: Abu 'l-'Aliyah Rufay' bin Mahran wrote hadith from him.
12. Asma' bint 'Umays (died after 40 AH) رضي الله عنها: Married several of the senior Companions رضي الله عنهم, she had a Sahifa with hadith written in it.
13. Usayd bin Hudayr al-Ansari (died during the Caliphate of Marwan) رضي الله عنه: Wrote some Prophetic narrations and the rulings of Abu Bakr رضي الله عنه and 'Umar رضي الله عنه and 'Uthman رضي الله عنه and sent them to Marwan.