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Did you know that hadiths - the reports of the sayings and deeds of the Prophet Muhammad - form the backbone of Islamic religious, legal and ethical thought? Although the Qur'an was always considered to be the most authoritative source, it is in fact the hadith that had the largest impact on what Muslims considered to be desirable behaviour and thought.
This book provides a comprehensive introduction to the field of hadith. It explains how hadiths emerged, how they were transmitted, and how Islamic thought and hadith influenced each other. It explores the roles of hadith as a normative source for Muslims as well as a historical source for the history of early Islam and early Islamic thought.