Ḥadīth (/ or /; Arabic: حديث ḥadīth Arabic pronunciation: [ħadiːθ], pl. Aḥādīth, أحاديث, ʼaḥādīth Arabic pronunciation: [ʔaħadiːθ], also "Traditions") in Islam refers to the record of the words, actions, and the silent approval, of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Within Islam the authority of Ḥadīth as a source for religious law and moral guidance ranks second only to that of the Qur'an (which Muslims hold to be the word of Allah revealed to his messenger Muhammad). Quranic verses (such as 24:54, 33:21) enjoin Muslims to emulate Muhammad and obey his judgements, providing scriptural authority for ahadith. While the number of verses pertaining to law in the Quran is relatively few, ahadith give direction on everything from details of religious obligations (such as Ghusl or Wudu, ablutions for salat prayer), to the correct forms of salutations and the importance of benevolence to slaves. Thus the "great bulk" of the rules of Sharia (Islamic law) are derived from ahadith, rather than the Qur'an.
Ḥadīth is the Arabic word for speech, report, account, narrative.:471 Unlike the Qur'an, not all Muslim believe Ahadith accounts (or at least not all ahadith accounts) are divine revelation. Ahadith were not written down by Muhammad's followers immediately after his death but several generations later when they were collected, collated and compiled into a great corpus of Islamic literature. Different collections of Aḥādīth would come to differentiate the different branches of the Islamic faith. A small minority of Muslims called Quranists reject all Ḥadīth.
Because some ahadith include questionable and even contradictory statements, the authentication of ahadith became a major field of study in Islam. In its classic form a hadith has two parts — the chain of narrators who have transmitted the report (the isnad), and the main text of the report (the matn). Individual hadith are classified by Muslim clerics and jurists into categories such as sahih ("authentic"), hasan ("good") or da'if ("weak"). However, different groups and different scholars may classify a hadith differently.
Among some scholars of Sunni Islam the term hadith may include not only the words, advice, practices, etc. of Muhammad, but also those of his companions. In Shia Islam, Ḥadīth is the embodiment of the sunnah, the words and actions of the Prophet and his family the Ahl al-Bayt (The Twelve Imams and the Prophet's daughter, Fatimah).