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Understanding the Hadith
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Noted Indian writer and polymath Ram Swarup explores the meaning of Islam through the words of the Sahih Muslim, considered by Muslims to be one of the most authoritative of the collections of 'traditions' (Arabic Hadith) about the life of the Prophet Muhammad. Like the Koran, these traditions are believed to be divinely revealed by Allah and they complement the verses of the Koran, in many cases expanding upon them and explaining the context of their revelation. As Swarup notes in his introduction, to Muslims the Hadith literature represents the Koran in action, stories of 'revelation made concrete in the life of the Prophet'. Among the orthodox they are considered as sacred as the Koran itself. To non-Muslims this work provides many insights into the mindset of the average Muslim who is raised on these traditions about Muhammad. It also underscores the gulf that exists between the sanctum of orthodox Islam and an increasingly secularised Westernised world.
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About the Author

Ram Swarup was one of India's leading intellectuals and a distinguished representative of renascent Hinduism. He wrote on many topics, not only comparative religion but on Gandhian economics, Maoism, and communism.

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