There are so many titles to choose from but what’s one book that every Muslim should have in their own library? It goes without saying that this one book would be OTHER than the Quran, which is THE most important book for everyone to have.
This is a question we get a lot at Darussalam, but over the 20 years that we have been around, the answer has always been the same.
Riyadus Saliheen by Imam Yayha Bin Sharaf An Nawawi, may Allah (The Most High) be pleased with him.
A book that is both classical, written before 676 Hijri, but still extremely relevant to today. A book that was written by a great scholar and regarded by the scholars, as one of the greatest works of Islamic literature.
What makes this book so special?
Firstly, the author. Imaam An Nawawi, is a scholar that really does not need any introduction. It is surprising how many great books this Author has written, but maybe the most famous, is the 40 Hadith.
The second reason that makes this book so amazing, is that the field of hadith is huge! Books that we all have heard of like Sahih Al Bukhari and Sahih Muslim to more obscure works like Al Muntaqa of Abil Barakat Ibn Taymiyyah. What Riyadus Saliheen does, is that it basically collects the most important Ahadith from the classical collections, relating to encouraging good deeds and warning against evil deeds.
So, what this makes Riyadus Saliheen, is a beautiful entry point into the books of Hadith. Some people use it as a summary of the things they NEED to know from the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and others use it as a stepping stone to read the bigger books like Bukhari and Muslim.
Now, Imam An Nawawi brings you certain important verses of the Quran and the most important hadiths under various chapters, but does not explain the verses, nor the hadiths.
This is where Darussalam comes in.
Darussalam has printed two beautiful commentaries of Riyadus Saliheen.
The first is the commentary of Hafiz Salahuddin Yusuf (Rahimahullah). This commentary is presented in 2 volumes, and the commentary is really brief, but really good at giving you an understanding of the chapters presented by Imam An Nawawi.
This is very widespread in most parts of the English speaking world in mosques, schools and homes all over.
Darussalam has also recently published a six volume commentary of the great scholar, Sheikh Muhammad bin Salih Al Uthaimeen, may Allah be pleased with him. Now, this is the in depth break down of the Hadiths whilst keeping it simple for everyone to understand.
Both commentaries are important in every home. I do think that anyone who just read a chapter a day with his or her family would benefit immensely.
We all need reminders to encourage us to do good, and to help ward us from evil. Allah (The Most High) states in Surat Ath Thariat, verse 55: “And Remind, for indeed, the reminders benefit the believers.”
And perhaps, this is one of the best books to help constantly remind all of us.
Farhan Bin Rafee