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I often find myself struggling to find a hadith in, say Bukhari, or some other book. Mostly I am interested in finding them in the seven books available here. I know an acceptable insight is that how am I sure that what I am looking for is even a valid hadith and exists? To answer this question, I want you to assume that it is valid and exists and I want to know the best resources, way or a method to look for it's reference under my circumstances which are as follows,

Obviously knowing the Arabic of what I need will help. However, I don't speak arabic natively. My Arabi comes from knowing Urdu. Similarly, I can do with Farsi. My reading is just fine but I have difficulty parsing the vocabulary. Suffice to say that I can not have a conversation in Arabic but can read arabic and the Quran just fine.

An instance of me trying to find such a hadith is Sahih al-Bukhari Book 64, Hadith 472 when I was trying to answer this question.

“...'To proceed, if anyone amongst you used to worship Muhammad , then Muhammad is dead, but if (anyone of) you used to worship Allah, then Allah is Alive and shall never die ...” Sahih al-Bukhari Book 64, Hadith 472

I was certain that Abu Bakr (RA) spoke in regards to Prophet Muhammad and I found it on sites like this but could not seem to have found the book number and hadith number until some user helped me out.

Another example is when I wanted to find a reference to the hadith from the farewell sermon of Prophet Muhammad where he (SAW) says that no Arab is superior to non-Arab and vice versa. I had a really hard time and was disheartened that reference for such a well known hadith is so hard to find. Fortunately, I found this question here which partially prompted my current question. The answer points you to Musnad al-Imam Ahmad. So I started wondering, maybe the search process other people take is better than mine. I usually just google or search for keywords (arabic and english) that are likely to be in that hadith and hope that someone has cited the hadith. But often that does not work, as in if you search for "farewell address" on sunnah.com you get these results. I could not find what I wanted in there. I also could not find a complete English translation of Musnad al-Imam Ahmad. So my question is, what are some steps I should take to look for a hadith reference. Are there any resources which are better or easier? What do you do when you have to find a hadith and you know it exists but don't know where? I am not looking for a bulletproof method but just some insight and tips towards a better search process.

  • I'm not sure whether this question is answerable and on-topic on the main site. – Medi1Saif Jun 2 at 9:24
  • I am new here, should I move it elsewhere? How? Where? And I just want to learn about different ways people approach finding ahadith. Should I edit the question to make it more on-topic? Do you suggest any edits? – scribe Jun 2 at 9:50
  • Well I'd say wait and see or try to give your question a certain focus. As is written it seems to me that we may get subjective answers. I could easily answer it according my own opinion. See How to Ask. – Medi1Saif Jun 2 at 10:58
  • I am not asking for anyone's opinion per se, but, what are some initial steps, or some preliminary gotos one would follow to look for a hadith. Maybe someone has a well-defined process which works better than brute-force on google or someone knows a site which implements search better. This question can also serve people who are new and want to know how to look and where to look and learning to prioritise the citation of actual hadith out of one of the classical books than citing a website which says a hadith exists in a book somewhere, i.e., promoting rigour. – scribe Jun 2 at 22:18

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