In Qur'an the words qasas and hadith are at times used in meanings that are close to each other. For example: the use of qasas as in story-narration:

We narrate to you, [O Muhammad], the best of stories (qasas) in what We have revealed to you of this Qur'an although you were, before it, among the unaware. —12:3

versus the use of hadith as in story-narration:

Has not there come to you the story (hadith) of Moses?

Following the theory that Allah would never use words randomly, has the scholars explained difference between these two words when they are used in the above sense? What is the difference exactly?

  • Almost all terms have a linguistic and a technical (shari'a use) definition. Salat in Arabic for example means du'a. But as a worship it refers to prayer.
    – Medi1Saif
    Jan 3, 2021 at 13:41
  • @ Medi1Saif I am aware of your general comment. My question is simple: Why did Allah use qasas in one place and hadith in other when both words are translated as “story”? Did any scholar make a comment about that or not?
    – blackened
    Jan 3, 2021 at 15:50

1 Answer 1


This might be elaborated later

قصص qasas

In Arabic usually tells or is reffered to in case of a long story (as is the case in the surah of Yussuf) or fairy tale etc.


حديث hadith

Means a narrartive an information shared which is in best case a rather small story.

Only the translation creates some confusion as both words are about stories of different length and (detailed) content.

  • Thanks. So the difference is the length only? Also, do those connotations you mention come from the root meaning?
    – blackened
    Jan 3, 2021 at 16:26
  • Interesting that "hadith" was used to refer to one of the longest mentions of the story of Musa (AS) in the Quran.
    – The Z
    Jan 28, 2022 at 20:12

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