This hadith book currently bears the crown of being the "earliest extant hadith book" so its important to verify if what we have today it is actually authentically traced to Imam Ibn Munabbih. In general, I think verifying the authentic transmission of a document is done by two:

1.) Analysing all of the current manuscripts and their chains of transmission

2.) Analysing other documents that mention the document of interest. (i think Imam Ibn Abi Shaybah mentioned the sahifah hammam. I read that somewhere)

beyond that, I am not sure what else we can even do.

To that end, what are the current manuscripts of the Sahifah Hammam we have available to us today? (and where are they and mention their chains of transmissions etc please)

1 Answer 1


The sahifah and the author

Hammam ibn Munabbih was a tabi'y and a narrator of abu Hurairah. In his sahifah he has collected 138 ahadith on the authority of this single narrator (the sahabi abu Hurairah). His sahifah has been narrated via his student Ma'amar ibn Rashid and the student of the later 'Abdurrazzaq as-San'ani.

The orientalist G.H.A. Juynboll claims that 'Abdurrazzaq is the author of this sahifah in his Encyclopedia of Canonical Hadith (Brill, Leiden, 2007).
What may support this opinion -from my perspective- are the following points:

  • that almost all people who narrated the "same narratives" have narrated it via 'Abdurazaq.
  • 'Abdurrazzaq himself is known not to have cited hadith nor teaching it out of his memory than rather reading from a book (his Mosannaf or his al-Jami' al-Kabir).

Muslims say one of the backups for the authenticity of this book is the fact that all 138 ahadith are also reported by imam Ahmad in his Musnad. This actually is strictly speaking incorrect since some of these ahadith might have differences in wording (so its more safe to say that its mainly reported in the Musnad maybe with a difference in the attraf/parts of the hadith content).Ahmad was a student of 'Abdurrazzaq and he himself expressed his displeasure with his teacher's way of teaching from a book. Further a rough check of the 30-40 first ahadith in this book shows that almost all of them are either mentioned in one or both sahih's either as a hadith with full sanad or a shahid ("voucher" for another hadith). So the hadith is backed up in other authentic references in the same or similar or partial wording (see also some conclusions of the reviewers later).
Further abu Hurairah was not known for writing especially hadith (was he illiterate?) as he claimed:

There is none among the companions of the Prophet (ﷺ) who has narrated more Hadiths than I except 'Abdullah bin 'Amr (bin Al-'As) who used to write them and I never did the same.
(See for example in Sahih al-Bukhari)

On the other hand we know from earlier discussions (for example in Who wrote the Tafsir Mujahid Ibn Jabr that we have today? or Who wrote the book "al umm al Shafi'i") that many books attributed to authors have been written by their students or even students students, while others have even been written much later, so that the attribution is incorrect and inauthentic.
Further some of these books authorship have a further backup "eye witnesses" like as-Sahifa as-Sadiqah which Mujahid ibn Jabr has seen in the hands of 'Amr ibn al-'Aas, and the later didn't allow him to take it, saying he wants none to be in between him and the words of the prophet().
As for Hammam we know -from historical reports- that he used to write and he was as we'll see not the exclusive scribe for abu Hurrairah's hadith and he used to teach/read from his written reports too. I couldn't find any more specific statement in historical reports or books addressing the topic of early hadith collection and compilation that I've checked during this inquiry.


One of the reviewed manuscripts which was reviewed by 'Ali Hassan 'Ali 'Abd al-Hamid al-Halabi علي حسن علي عبد الحميد الحلبي and edited/printed in 1987/1407 a.H. (Including introductions and a biography of the author 72 pages -see here-) is based on a copy written by the sheikh Ibraheem ibn Sulayman ibn Muhammad ibn 'Abdal'aziz al-Hanafi al-Jeeni (died 1108 a.H.) in Rabi' al-'Awal the 17th in 1100 a.H., from a hand written copy written in Rabi' al-Awal 16th 857 a.H. by Isma'il ibn Ibraheem ibn Jama'a who died 861 a.H. a shafi'i scholar. This edition has the following narrator chain which is referred to only once in the book, afterwards you may only read the hadith contents (text reduced to essential parts):

حَدَّثَنَا الشَّيْخُ ... أَبُو عَبْدِ اللَّهِ مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ مَسْعُودٍ الْبَنْدَهِيُّ بِقِرَاءَتِهِ عَلَيْنَا مِنْ أَصْلِ سَمَاعِهِ الْمَنْقُولِ مِنْهُ فِي الْمَدْرَسَةِ النَّاصِرِيَّةِ الصَّلَاحِيَّةِ ...فِي السَّادِسِ وَالْعِشْرِينَ مِنْ ذِي الْقِعْدَةِ سَنَةَ سَبْعٍ وَسَبْعِينَ وَخَمْسِمِائَةٍ، قَالَ:
Sheikh ... abu 'Abdillah Muhammad ibn 'Abdurrahman ibn Muhammad ibn Maso'ud al-Bandahi told us by reading it from the original of what he heard transmitted from him in the Nasiriyah Salahiyah School... on the 26th of Dhul-Qi'dah in the year 577 a.H., he said:

أَخْبَرَنَا الشَّيْخُ الثِّقَةُ الصَّالِحُ أَبُو الْخَيْرِ مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ أَحْمَدَ بْنِ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ عُمَرَ المقدر الْأَصْبَهَانِيُّ قِرَاءَةً عَلَيْهِ وَأَنَا أَسْمَعُ قَالَ:
the trustworthy sheikh, the righteous, abu al-Khair, Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn 'Umar, al-Muqaddir al-Asbahani, informed us a reading in his presence (This means that a student reads from the teachers manuscript, while the teacher and other students are listening) while I was listening he said:

أَخْبَرَنَا الشَّيْخُ أَبُو عَمْرٍو عَبْدُ الْوَهَّابِ بْنُ أَبِي عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ إِسْحَاقَ بْنِ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ يَحْيَى بْنِ مَنْدَةَ الْأَصْبَهَانِيُّ قَالَ: Sheikh abu 'Amr 'Abd al-Wahhab ibn Abi 'Abdillah ibn Ishaq ibn Muhammad ibn Yahya ivn Mandah al-Asbahani told us he said:

أَخْبَرَنَا وَالِدِي الْإِمَامُ أَبُو عَبْدِ اللَّهِ مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ إِسْحَاقَ قَالَ:
My father, the imam, Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Ishaq, told us. He said:

أَخْبَرَنَا أَبُو بَكْرٍ مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ الْحُسَيْنِ بْنِ الْحَسَنِ بْنِ الْخَلِيلِ الْقَطَّانُ قَالَ:
Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Al-Hussein ibn Al-Hassan ibn Al-Khalil Al-Qattan informed us, he said:

حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو الْحَسَنِ أَحْمَدُ بْنُ يُوسُفَ السُّلَمِيُّ قَالَ:
Abu al-Hasan Ahmad ibn Yusuf al-Salami informed us, he said:

حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الرَّزَّاقِ بْنُ هَمَّامِ بْنِ نَافِعٍ الْحِمْيَرِيُّ،
Abdurrazzaq ibn Hammam ibn Nafi' al-Himyari informed us

عَنْ مَعْمَرٍ،
from Ma'mar
عَنْ هَمَّامِ بْنِ مُنَبِّهٍ قَالَ: هَذَا مَا حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو هُرَيْرَةَ، عَنْ مُحَمَّدٍ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ،
From Hammam ibn Munabbih who said: This is what abu Hurrairah told us, from Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah.

Another reviewed copy was transmitted by the same chain of narration and reviewed including an extensive takhrij and interpretation/explanation of hadith by Rif'at Fawzi 'Abdalmuttalib (edition has 808 pages and was printed in 1985/1406 a.H. see also here). Note that this copy added a hadith (hadith #13)which appears in imam Ahmad's al-Musnad which was not quoted in the copy and has a somewhat different order so it has 139 ahadith instead of 138. This hadith was quoted in Sahih Muslim via al-'Araj (see here) another student of abu Hurrairah, which the author of this review assumes was a mate of Hammam who mainly visited the same lessons since both have more or less narrated exactly the same narratives according his conclusion (See picture below): enter image description here

This copy was photographed by the Jordan University Library from a copy of the Library in Berlin.

Rif'at Fawzi 'Abdalmuttalib also mentioned two other copies which seem to meet in the sanad above one from the Egyptian Library (get's connected to this chain at abu Bakr ibn Muhammad ibn al-Hussain al-Qattan (narrated by his student abu Tahir Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Mahmash a-Ziyaadi born 317 a.H. a teacher of imam al-Bayhaqi) and one from a-Dhahriyah Library (Damascus). He also checked the mentioned narrators of these copies and their qualification.

Note that both Arabic and English Wikipedia articles only reports of the existence of two manuscripts the copy of Berlin and that of Damascus since both were the basis of the first printed version published by Muhammad Hamidullah in the 20th century.

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