A Survey of Compiling Gharib al-Hadith Books

Abd al-Hadi Masudi

The science of gharib al-hadith is concerned with explaining the difficult words found in the body of hadiths. It emerged in the early third century AH, right after the prevalence of the science of gharib al-Quran. In this article, the history of gharib al-hadith is divided into three main periods. The first period is that of monographs. The second period is that of writing musnads of gharib al-hadith, i.e. the writing of difficult and unfamiliar words found in the hadiths of the Prophet and his companions, together with their chain of documents. The prominent figure in this period is ’Abu Ubayd al-Hirawi I; other people such as Ibn Qutayba, al-Khattabi, and al-Harbi continued his efforts. The third period is that of compilation of gharib al-hadith books in alphabetical order of the roots which was initiated by ’Abu Ubayd al-Hirawi II; his efforts were later continued by Ibn ’Athir and Turayhi, to name a few. In the final section of the article, a bibliography of books on gharib al-hadith is rendered.

Key Words: difficult words, Hadith, Gharib al-Hadith, Gharib al-Quran.

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