I am learning about Islam and have noticed people mentioning Hadith and Qur'an, I am not entirely sure what if any difference there is between them, for example. Is the Qur'an like the Bible and a Hadith a proverb within the Qur'an or is a Hadith an entire book within the Qur'an like the Torah is within the Bible. Or is the Hadith a separate set of scripture/book to the Qur'an.

Also, I have heard that the Qur'an is considered superior than Hadith, as in, if you read a verse in Hadith that contradicts the Quran then the Quran is considered the authority.

Can I have some help understanding this, please?


5 Answers 5


There are differences between Hadith and Quran. The Quran is:

  1. The Words of God
  2. Revealed in Arabic
  3. In Rhythmical form
  4. To Prophet {May Allah's Blessings and peace be upon him)
  5. It's recitation is used in forms of worship such as salat
  6. It's smallest chapter is a miracle in it of itself

Now there are two kinds of Ahadith,

  1. Hadith Qudsi
  2. Hadith Nabawi

Hadith Qudsi is:

  1. The words of God in the words of the Prophet (May Allah's Blessings and Peace be upon Him)
  2. In Arabic
  3. It is not used in forms of worship

Here is a collection of Hadith Qudsi by Imam Annawawi:

40 Hadith Qudsi

Hadith Nabawi is:

  1. The words of the Prophet (May Allah's blessings and peace be upon Him)
  2. In Arabic
  3. Gives us extra details about the forms of worship we are to do that is not in the Quran.

There are six major collections or books of Hadith:

Sahih Bukhari - صحيح بخاري, collected by Imam Bukhari (d. 870), includes 7275 ahadith

Sahih Muslim صحيح مسلم, collected by Muslim b. al-Hajjaj (d. 875), includes 9200 ahadith

Sunan An-Nasa'i سنن النسائي, collected by An-Nasa'i (d. 915)

Sunan Abu Dawood سنن أبي داود, collected by Abu Dawood (d. 888)

Jami al-Tirmidhi جامع الترمذي, collected by al-Tirmidhi (d. 892)

Sunan ibn Majah سنن إبن ماجه, collected by Ibn Majah (d. 887)

So these are the main differences between the Quran, Hadith Qudsi, and Hadith Nabawi.

Source: The foundations of Islamic studies by Dr.Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips, Module 2 Tafseer

  1. In the Quran,Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) was given the actual words of Almighty Allah;in the Hadith the words used were his own,but were uttered under divine guidance.

  2. Only the Quran can be recited while performing prayer,not the Hadith

  3. Quran is the first source of islamic law while Hadith is second source of islamic law


First see here. Hadeeth (حدیث) is an Arabic world, its plorual form is Ahadeeth (احادیث), and it means statements narrated from someone whose authority is obvious in the first place, like the holy prophet himself, peace be upon him, or a report given from his behavior in different situations. Even there are Ahadeeth narrated by the prophet himself from God, this class of Ahadeeth are called the divine Ahadeeth (Hadeeth Qudsi). Also e.g. Shia Muslims treat the Ahadeeth narrated from all The Fourteen Infallibles in the same way that they treat the Ahadeeth narrated from the holy prophet --peace be upon him--, and interestingly almost never there is found a contradiction between any of the authentic Ahadeeth. Also there is to be no contradiction between authentic Ahadeeth and Quran, but anyway, human errors are always expectable in narrating a saying or a report of behavior in time spans of the order of a thousand year, so that if a contradiction is found Quran will be regarded as more authentic.

See here and here to understand better why we use Hadeeth at all, also there is a hadith that states the holy prophet told us not to lose our way by adhering to the Book of Allah and to his Etrat (people of the house) / Sunnah (traditions).


Quran is the revelation, revealed to Prophet Muhammed(P.B.U.H). It was revealed in small bits i.e. few ayats at a time and completely it took over a period of 23 years (approx.). The Quran today is as it was revealed to Prophet Muhammed(P.B.U.H).

Hadith is a collection of the talks, behavior and commands of Prohphet Muhammed(P.B.U.H) said by himself and testified by Sahaba which was collected later after him. These were collected by respected Scholar's and Imams like

  • Sahih Bukhari collected by Imam Bukhari
  • Sahih Muslim collected by Muslim b. al-Hajjaj
  • Sunan Abu Dawood, collected by Abu Dawood

Here is a collection of 4 main hadith books.



Quran is the most Authentic Hadith itself..as it is stated in Quran... It is Allah's word and superior to all other kind of Hadith forms

ٱللَّهُ نَزَّلَ أَحۡسَنَ ٱلۡحَدِيثِ كِتَـٰبً۬ا مُّتَشَـٰبِهً۬ا مَّثَانِىَ تَقۡشَعِرُّ مِنۡهُ جُلُودُ ٱلَّذِينَ يَخۡشَوۡنَ رَبَّہُمۡ ثُمَّ تَلِينُ جُلُودُهُمۡ وَقُلُوبُهُمۡ إِلَىٰ ذِكۡرِ ٱللَّهِ‌ۚ ذَٲلِكَ هُدَى ٱللَّهِ يَہۡدِى بِهِۦ مَن يَشَآءُ‌ۚ وَمَن يُضۡلِلِ ٱللَّهُ فَمَا لَهُ ۥ مِنۡ هَادٍ (٢٣)

ALLAH has sent down the Best Discourse - a Book, whose verses are mutually supporting and repeated in diverse forms. The skins of those, who fear their Lord, do creep at its recital, then their skins and their hearts soften to the remembrance of ALLAH. Such is the guidance of ALLAH. HE guides therewith whom HE pleases. And he whom ALLAH adjudges astray - he shall have no guide.

If something associated to the sayings of Prophet Muhammad S. seems offending or contradictory to Quran... it should not be accepted..because the Quran itself does not contradict and needs to be understood in the light of its own verses.

Here's a good article about Hadith.



  • Assalaamu Alaikum, welcome to Islam.StackExchange.com. Thanks for posting an answer here. But, I strongly recommend you to learn how to add references in your answer. Jazaakallah. Commented Dec 24, 2012 at 5:07
  • Can you please post the reference number for the verse quoted from the Holy Quran?
    – Prakash K
    Commented Dec 30, 2016 at 11:22

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