The following is my Isnad till Prophet Muhammed  of the first prophetic statement in Bukhari:

  1. Nazim Mangera
  2. I narrate from my beloved teacher: Shaykh Muhammed Izharul Hasan Kandhalwi
    (birth: November 03, 1919, death: 9:30 AM, Tuesday, August 13, 1996)
    He passed away in Nizamuddin, New Delhi, India, and I was present there on that day.  That day was one of the saddest days of my life. 
  3. Who narrates from: Shaykhul Hadith Mohammed Zakariyya Kandhalwi (b.1898, d.1982) 
  4. Who narrates from: Khalil Ahmed Saharanpuri (b.1852, d.1927) 
  5. Who narrates from: Shah Abdul Ghani Dehlawi (b.1819, d.1878)
  6. Who narrates from: Shah Muhammad Ishaq Dehlawi (b.1783, d.1846) 
  7. Who narrates from: Shah Abdul Aziz Dehlawi (b.1746, d.1823)
  8. Who narrates from: Shah Waliyullah Dehlawi (b.1702, d.1760)
  9. Who narrates from: Abu Tahir Kurdi (b.1670, d.1732)
  10. Who narrates from his father: Ibrahim Kurdi (b.1616, d.1689)
  11. Who narrates from: Ahmad al Qushashi (d.1660)
  12. Who narrates from: Ahmad ibn Quoddous Shinnawi (b.1567, d.1618)
  13. Who narrates from: Shams ad Din Ramli (b.1513, d.1595)
  14. Who narrates from: Zainu’d-Din Zakariyya Ansari (b.1420, d.1520)
  15. Who narrates from: Hafidh ibn Hajar Asqalani (b.1371, d.1448)
  16. Details included in the book.
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  30. Who narrates from: Prophet Muhammed (b.570, d.632)

              Who said, “Actions will be rewarded according to intentions.” (Bukhari)

A prophetic statement consists of two aspects: The text of the report (Arabic: Matn) containing the actual narrative; and the chain of narrators (Arabic: Isnad or Sanad) which documents the route by which the report has been transmitted.  The Sanad consists of a chain of the transmitters each mentioning the name of the person from whom they heard the prophetic statement until mentioning the originator of the matn along with the matn itself. 

The Isnad precedes the actual text (matn) and looks like the following: “It has been related to me by A on the authority of B on the authority of C on the authority of D (usually a Companion of the Prophet) that Prophet Muhammed  said…”

Isnad is a unique feature of the religion of Islam. Early Muslim scholars examined and analyzed each and every statement that came to them, whether it was the statement of Prophet Muhammed, his companions or anyone else. They studied the life and character, in the strictest way possible, of those who were part of the transmitting chain (Isnad).

Thus, Muslims witnessed an amazing introduction of the science of studying the reporters of Hadith which was unprecedented and is unrivalled. The recording of the names, dates of demise, qualities and characteristics of thousands and thousands of people is something that is unique to Islam.

“Dr. Aloys Sprenger (1813-1893), the celebrated Austrian scholar, acknowledged in his introduction to the Isabah the unsurpassable feat of Muslim historiography in these words:

‘The glory of the literature of the Mohammedans is its literary biography. There is no nation, nor has there been any which like them has during twelve centuries recorded the life of every man of letters. If the biographical records of the Mohammedans were collected, we should probably have accounts of the lives of half a million of distinguished persons, and it would be found that there is not a decennium of their history, nor a place of importance which has not its representatives.’" [Page #40, Muhammad: The Ideal Prophet, Sulayman Nadwi (d.1953)]

The above chain of transmission is so inspiring and every time I read it, I feel so honoured to be a part of that chain of transmission! You will notice that some narrators were very young when they heard the above prophetic statement. But that is not surprising because the Hadith books were already compiled by then. Also, I know a Muslim boy in Toronto, Canada, who memorized the full Quran from cover to cover by the tender age of seven. So there is no need to be surprised if some of the above narrators were very young when their teachers passed away. 

The younger the transmitters, the shorter the chain is to Prophet Muhammed. Islamic scholars have discussed about the minimum age requirement for the transmitters of Hadith. Since, the discussion is not relevant to this book, I will leave it out. 
I have not seen the Isnad compiled like the above, with the dates, in the English language, or as a matter of fact in any other language.  I am happy that I am the first person to compile it in such a unique manner. 



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