Riyad-us-Saliheen is possibly the most popular collection of hadiths ever complied, and truly deserves it place as one of the true classics in Islamic literature. It is the work of Yahiya ibn Sharaf al-Nawawi, or Imam Nawawi as he is more commonly known as, and is a compilation of verses from both the Quran and Hadith.
If one seeks advise on a good book of hadith to purchase, Riyad-us-Saliheen is often the collection recommended. It is also sometimes referred to by its English translation, Gardens of the Righteous. Apart from its popularity as a source of hadith, it is also one of the more useful compilations , since many of the hadith cover areas such as etiquettes, supplications, and moral conduct and can directly lead to an improvement in ones islamic lifestyle.
Imam Nawawi has selected approximately 2000 hadith from the six major collections: Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi, An-Nisai and Ibn Majah. They have then been divided into 19 sections, which each section covering a different topic. The full list of topics contained in Riyad-us-Saliheen are:
Book One- The Book of Good Manners
Book Two- The Book about the Etiquette of Eating
Book Three- The Book of Dress
Book Four- The Book of the Etiquette of Sleeping, Lying and Sitting, etc.
Book Five- The book of Greetings
Book Six- The Book of Visiting the Sick
Book Seven- The Book of Etiquette of Traveling
Book Eight- The Book of Virtues
Book Nine- The Book of I’tikaf
Book Ten- The Book of Hajj
Book Eleven- The Book of Jihad
Book Twelve- The Book of Knowledge
Book Thirteen- The Book of Praise and Gratitude to Allah
Book Fourteen- The Book of Supplicating Allah to Exalt the Mention of Allah’s Messenger
Book Fifteen- The Book of the Remembrance of Allah
Book Sixteen- The Book of Du’a (Supplications)
Book Seventeen- The Book of the Prohibited Actions
Book Eighteen- The Book of Miscellaneous Ahadith of Significant values
Book Nineteen- The Book of Forgiveness
Each book is also divided into sub-categories, and this makes it easy for daily reading. The vast majority of hadith are classified as strong, and it is very well regarded by scholars as a source of hadith. In saying that, there are a small number weak hadith, but weak hadith are found in every collection. Most of the weak hadiths have been edited out in modern versions of Riyad-us-Saliheen.
The different categories of hadith are often preceeded by verses in the Quran when it is relevant to the topic. Riyad-us-Saliheen also features the arabic text alongside the English translation, and has useful commentaries to help the reader better understand the meaning of the associated hadith. Split into two separate hard -cover books, Riyad-us-Saliheen is presented in a neat and attractive package.
Riyad-us-Saliheen is highly recommended to all Muslims. It is an enjoyable collection to read, and will definitely increase you in islamic knowledge. It is also a book that you will keep returning to, as reading Riyad-us-Saliheen just the once is not enough. If you are considering purchasing any book of hadith, then Riyad-us-Saliheen should definitely be at the top of your list.