The muhaddithin says, after the Holy Quran, Bukhari’s Sahih is the most reliable book of Islamic Shariah. Muslim’s Sahih comes next to it. However, in certain respects the latter is considered superior to the former. Imam Muslim رحمة الله strictly observed many principles of the science of Hadith. Imam Muslim رحمة اللهconsidered only such traditions to be genuine and authentic as had been transmitted to him by an unbroken chain of reliable authorities and were in perfect harmony with that has been related by other narrators whose trustworthiness was unanimously accepted and who were free from all defect.
Imam Muslim رحمة الله takes particular care in according the exact words of the narrators and points out even the minutest difference in the wording of their reports.
Imam Muslim رحمة الله has recorded the Ahadith in their integrated forms. This is quite essential and highly useful for those who have a meager knowledge of the Hadith or who have just started its study.
He wrote many books and treatises on Hadith, but the most important of his works is the collection (Jami’) or his Sahih. Some of the commentators of Ahadith are of the opinion that in certain respects it is the best and most authentic work on the subject. Imam Muslim رحمة الله took great pains in collecting 300,000 Traditions, and then after a through examination of them retained only 4000, the genuineness of which is fully established.
Translation is itself a very difficult task, and it becomes still more difficult when difference in the genius of two languages is immeasurably vast. The Arabic language is rich, colourful and vigorous, and is best fitted to express thoughts and concepts with more conciseness than the Aryan languages, because of the extraordinary flexibility of its verbs and nouns. English, on the other hand, is essentially a language of under-statement. Moreover, every language is a framework of symbols expressing its people’s particular sense of life-values and the particular way of their perception of reality.
We do not claim for our self competence in either of the two languages, Arabic or English, the one translated from and the other translated into. The lamentable fact that not even one complete book out of the whole lot of Sihah Sittah has been translated into English tempted us to take great responsibility on our not-competent shoulders, with the hope that more competent scholars would take the lead and, with their better knowledge and acumen, render into English other Hadith collections, and thus wash the blame of gross negligence on the part of the Muslim society.