Hadith: Islam and Islamic Community

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The Islamic faith began with one man and his spiritual encounters with god and his angel Gabriel. Muhammad, the Prophet, as he is referred to by his followers, is considered to be the last prophet sent by god to interact with human beings on earth. Due to his importance and his influence over the people of his time his words and actions have been collected, over a mass number of years into a book referred to as, The Hadith.

The Hadith, is second in line of importance in the Islamic community only behind the Qur’an. The term, Hadith, has been interpreted to mean talk or speech due to the innards of the book being collections of the words and actions of Muhammad (Bentley, 211). During its creation years numerous pieces, referred to as canons, were collected and studied by scholars to prove legitimacy. As it grew the canons were proved either to be accurate or false of authenticity. However, with its completion the Hadith serves as more than just religious guidelines as it sheds light upon social, political, economical, and cultural aspects of the Islamic community similar to works of other faiths and philosophical views.

In the early years of many religions government seemed to be greatly influenced by the beliefs and traditions of its people. In the Islamic community Muhammad paved a path for Muslims that not only constructed the foundation of the faith, but also called the attention of government officials to follow and practice the ways of Islam. Before Muhammad’s death he chose no successor to take the role of a religious leader. This may be due to the fact that he was deemed “the seal of the prophets,” no other human being would have the role of a prophet bequeathed upon them. Within a year after his death the Islamic community saw it important, to at the very least, place one person in as somewhat of a substitute for Muhammad. This person was dubbed a caliph (deputy).

The role of a caliph besides being the head of the Islamic state...
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