After the Holy Quran, Hadith is considered as the most reliable source of guidance. There are mainly six authentic books of hadith which are followed by all the Muslims. These are called Sihahe Sitta as well which means Six right books. On their authentication, there is Ijma of all the Muslims. Names and a brief introduction of these six books are given below:
• Sahih Al Bukhari
• Sahi Muslim
• Abu Dawud
• Sunan Tirmidhi
• Sunan Al Nasa’i
• Ibn Majah
Sahih Al Bukhari
Imam Abu Abdullah Muhamad bin Ismail Bukhari was born in Bukhara, Uzbekistan in the 194th year of Hijri. He was the first person who came up with an idea to compile the hadith. E was just 16 years old when he had completed all the traditional studies in Bukhara. He traveled in different countries like Iran, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Mecca, and Medina. The main aim of his traveling was to collect the hadith. He took 16 years to compile his work of hadith. Now Sahi al Bukhari is considered as the most authentic book after the Holy Quran. He collected about 600000 hadith from more than 1000 different masters of hadith from which he accepted only 7397 hadith and rejected rest all of them. He traveled for miles and miles to collect even a single hadith. He is considered one of the greatest traditional transmitters of his time.
He followed scientific and precise guidelines in his research to collect sound and authentic hadith.
Beside Sahi al Bukhar, the two books At-Tariqah and Ad-Du’afah are also written by him.
Sahih Muslim was written by Imam Abdul Hussain Muslim ibn Al-Hajjaj who was born in Neshapur, Iran. He went to Hijaz, Egypt, Syria, and Iraq. He recorded only 12000 hadith from about 300000. He also followed strict guidelines to authenticate the hadith. His book is considered as the most authentic one after Sahi al Bukhari. These two books are considered as Muttafaqun Alaihi which means as one agreed upon. Al Musnad, Al Kabir, and Al Jami were also written by Imam Abdul Hussain Muslim ibn Al-Hajjaj.
Abu Dawud was born in Afghanistan in the 202nd year of Hijri. He visited Baghdad, Basra, Syria, Hijaz, and Egypt in search of hadith. He met with Imam Ahmad bin Hambal in Baghdad. He compiled Abu Dawud with 4800 authentic hadith which he selected from about 500000. He also wrote Kitab Az Zuhd and Al Mural.
Imam Muhammad Ibn Isa Tirmizi was born in Tirmez, Uzbekistan in the 209th year of Hijri. He received his religious education from Imam Bukhari. He compiled about 3956 hadith.
Sunan Al Nasa’i
Imam Nasa’i compiled his work in his book named Sunan Al Nasa’i. this book contains about 5662 hadith and also divided into different chapters.
Imam Isn Majah compiled his work which consists of about 4000 hadith. His work consists of 4000 hadith in 32 books and about 1500 chapters.