Era of the Sahabah After the death of the Prophet (salallaahu alayhi wa sallam) , his saying and action took of a new importance because he was no longer there to consult when problems arose. The practice of narration on a large scale started during this period. For example, when the Prophet (salallaahu alayhi wa sallam) died, the Sahabah debated about where to bury him. This debate ended when AbuBakar (RA) told them, "I heard the Messenger (salallaahu alayhi wa sallam) say, No Prophet dies but he is buried where he died." Thus a grave was dug immediately below the bed on which he died in the house of Aishah (RA).
In this period a number of the leading sahabah wrote down hadeeths of the Prophet (salallaahu alayhi wa sallam). The following are just a few of the leading narrators of the Prophets traditions who were known to have recorded them in writing. Abu Hurayrah (RA) to whom 5374 channels of hadeeth narrations are attributed actually narrated 1236 hadeeth. Hasan ibn Amr ad-Damari saw many books in his possession. (Fath al-Bari) Abdullaah bn Abbaas (RA) to whom 1660 channels of narrations are attributed used to write whatever he heard and even employed his slaves to record for him.(Tara.teeb by al- Kattani)
Abdullaah bn Amr bn ai-As (RA) to whom 700 channels are attributed was known to record hadeeths in a book during the Prophets lifetime which he titled as-Saheefah as-Saheehah. Abu Bakr was reported to have written down over 500 different sayings of the Prophet. Ibn al-Jawzi, who provides a list of all the Companions who related traditions, gives the names of about 1,060 together with the number of hadith s related by each. 500 related only one hadeeth each, 132 related only two each, 80 related three; 52 related four; 32 related five; 26 related six; 27 related seven; 18 related 8; I I related nine; 60 related between I0 and 20; 84 related between 20 and I00; 27 related between 100 and 500 and only 11 related more than 500 of which only six related more than 1000 ahadeeth and they are commonly referred to as the Mukathiroon (the reporters of many traditions ).
Today, a graduate of the college of hadeeth in the Islamic University of Madeenah is required to memo rise 250 ahadeeth during each of the four of his study (i.e. a total of I,000 ahadeeth) from the above, it can readily be seen that fewer than 300 Companions related .the vast majority of traditions.
This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited