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A hadith (Arabic: حديث) is a report of the words or actions of the Prophet, his daughter Fatima, and the Twelve Imams. It usually consists of two parts: the chain of narrators, which consists of the names of the people who report the narration. The chain is usually vertical, with "so-and-so" reporting from "so-and-so" reporting from "so-and-so" back to the original source. The actual text of the hadith is referred to as the matn (متن).

After the Qur'an, the ahadith (plural of hadith) are seen as the source of Islamic religious law. Most of the times, the ahadith supplement the Qur'an



Hadith literally means an event. Sometimes narrations are also referred to as a khabr (خبر) in the singular or as akhbar (أخبار) in the plural, which literally means a report. They are also sometimes referred to as a riwayah (رواية) in the singular or riwayaat (روايات) in the plural, which means a narration.

There are a number of levels of classifying narrations.

Scholars of the Usuli school of Shi'ite jurisprudence primarily classify single-narration reports in terms of their narrators. A hadith that has a complete chain of narrators is called musnad (مسند). A hadith that does not have a complete chain of narrators, or lacks any chain at all, is referred to as mursal (مرسل).

Musnad Narrations

Musnad narrations are given four, broad categories:

Collection of Hadith

Main article: Collection of Hadith

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