In Islam, Sunnah is the second source of Shari`ah, after the Glorious Qur’an. There is no difference amongst Muslim scholars on this point. Therefore, a Muslim has to follow the authentic Hadith of the Prophet in the same way he follows the Qur’an. A Muslim abides by the Prophet’s instructions in all aspects of his life. This comes in tune with Allah’s command: “And whatsoever the Messenger giveth you, take it, and whatsoever he forbiddeth, abstain (from it),” (Al-Hashr: 7) and “Whoso obeyeth the Messenger obeyeth Allah, and whoso turneth away: We have not sent thee as a warder over them.” (An-Nisa’: 80)
Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states: “One should remember that everything that is recorded is not per se the words of the Prophet, peace and blessings be on him. Our scholars have recorded everything – they did not burn the evidence. But at the same time they were very careful to scrutinize Hadiths. They established the criteria for scrutinizing the evidence in order to sift the authentic ones from those which were false or spurious. Hundreds of scholars gave their lives to this noble task.
Thanks to their efforts, all Hadiths have been sorted out and labeled according to their degrees of authenticity and non-authenticity.
Therefore, if you hear a speaker quoting a certain Hadith that sounds strange, ask for sources. Chances are that it could be one of the many Hadiths labelled as weak or outright fabrication, and therefore, should never be used by speakers or writers.
One of the most disheartening things about some speakers today is that they are not careful in using Hadiths. For general information we give below three of the most common categories of Hadith.
1. Sahih: A Hadith that is of unquestionable authenticity.
2. Da`if: A Hadith that has weakness in its chain or text.
3. Mawdu`: A Hadith that is undoubtedly an outright fabrication.
All Hadiths of the famous collection of Al-Bukhari, known as Sahih Al-Bukhari are considered authentic. If, however, a Hadith in Sahih Al-Bukhari does not sound rational to you, please check with a scholar of Islam who should be able to explain and interpret it for you.”