The Words of God to the Prophet Muhammad: Forty Sacred Sayings
by Dr. John Andrew Morrow & Charles Upton
“Whoever memorizes and preserves forty hadith relating to religion,” said the Prophet Muhammad, “God will resurrect that person on the Day of Judgment as a jurist and religious scholar.” Inspired by this and similar sayings, early Muslims endeavored to organize and publish prophetic traditions in sets of forties on specific subject matters. If most traditions consist of sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, the current compilation, which was drawn from Ayatullah Hasan Shirazi’s Kalimat Allah, brings together a special sort of tradition, the sacred saying or hadith qudsi, in which the Messenger of God reports extra-Quranic revelation, namely, the Word of God, that was shared with him directly by the Divinity or via the intermediary of the Angel Gabriel. The compilation in question has been transmitted consecutively through spiritual and scholarly lines since the early days of Islam and treated as trustworthy by many specialists of tradition. Translated idiomatically, accurately, and elegantly by Dr. John Andrew Morrow, and commented upon by Charles Upton with depth and concision, The Words of God to Prophet Muhammad: Forty Sacred Sayings is a priceless gem of Islamic spirituality and a masterpiece of Arabic eloquence that should find its place in every Muslim and non-Muslim home.
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