The narrators(محدثين) have written numerous books of hadith, but six of them have become very popular among the Muslims. Those are called Sihah Sittah (صحاح ستّه). Sunan Abu Dawood is one of them.

Hafiz Muhammad ibn Ibrahim says: Imam Abu Dawood’s book “Sunan Abu Dawood” is the best in terms of Sunan.

Sunan Abu Dawood is the first book of its kind. “Sunan” means the books of Hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon Him) in which the hadiths are listed in jurisprudential order. Imam Abu Dawood (may God have mercy on him) started this style which was very popular among the Muslim Ummah. After Sunan Abu Dawood, many narrators wrote about it.

Sunan Abu Dawood is considered to be the source of Islamic injunctions. A large number of scholars agree that “Sunan Abu Dawood” is sufficient to understand the injunctions of the Qur’an and Sunnah. 

In Sunan Abu Dawood, there are hadiths of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) regarding the rules. Ibn al-‘Arabi says, “If a person has this book with the Qur’an, he does not need any other knowledge after it.”

Author of Sunan Abu Dawud

The author of Sunan Abu  Dawood is Imam Abu Dawood Sulaiman bin Ash’ath bin Ishaq bin Bashir bin Shaddad bin Amr Azdi Sijistani.

Abu Dawood has paid more attention to the hadith from which the jurists argue, and on which the jurisprudential rulings are based.

He wrote in one of his journals on behalf of the people of Makkah: “These hadith of Sunan belong to all the rules, and many of these ahadith are related to asceticism and virtues, etc., which I have not expounded.
Learn more Islamic scholars : ibn majah

Compilation of Sunan Abu Dawood

Imam Abu Dawood (may Allah have mercy on him) lived in Tartus (Southern Turkey) for about twenty years. However, he wrote this book during this period.

After the completion of Sunan Abu Dawood, he (may Allah have mercy on him) presented its draft in the service of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal. He liked Sunan Abu Dawood immensely and appreciated its contents.

Sunan Abu Dawood compiled by Imam Abu Dawood gained public acceptance in the ummah. Imam al-Ghazali even said: The book “Sunan Abu Dawood” compiled by Imam Abu Dawood is enough for a mujtahid. That is why this book has a very important place in Sahih Sittah (صحاح سته).

Sunan Abu Dawood is considered to be the source of Islamic injunctions. A large number of scholars agree that “Sunan Abu Dawood” is sufficient to understand the injunctions of the Qur’an and Sunnah. 

Importance of Sunan Abu Dawud

Sunan Abu Dawood is an important book in Kitab-e-Sittah and Sunan-al-Arba’ah. This book has an important place among Ahl-e-Sunnat and Jamaat.

The name of Imam Abu Dawood is known among the Muslim Ummah as a very authoritative narrator. He collected the hadiths of the benefactor of humanity and compiled them in his book “Sunan Abu Dawood Sharif“. His writings also require a long list. 

The “Kitab al-Sunan” is the main reason for his fame, which the Muslim Ummah knows as “Sunan Abu Dawood“. Imam Abu Dawood in his book “Sunan Abu Dawood” has collected such hadiths of the Prophet (PBUH) which are related to the commandments. That is why this book became very popular among the jurists.

Imam Abu Dawood has tried in this collection to collect the authentic hadiths related to the rules of jurisprudence.

 Imam al-Nawawi says: It is necessary to study Sunan Abu Dawood for one who is skilled in the science of jurisprudence. Because it mentions many Asian traditions, which become sources in jurisprudential issues

He has tried not to narrate from a narrator who is an obsolete hadith (that is one who agrees to be weak). Besides, he has narrated in Sunan Abu Dawood most of the traditions which are well known to the narrators. However, he has also narrated some narrations in Sunan Abu Dawood which are not connected. Either they are messengers or they are tadlis (تدليس).

Distinctive features of Sunan Abu Dawood

In the terminology of the scholars of hadith, “Sunan” is the book in which the hadiths of Ahkam from Kitab al-Taharat to Kitab al-Wasaya have been compiled in a jurisprudential order.

One of the features of this book is that the names of the narrators of the hadith, their surnames, and their titles are also mentioned.

  • The book is compiled on jurisprudential chapters. The titles of the chapters are short, concise, and clear.
  • The hadiths are usually narrated in two or more isnads (اسناد). Each sanad(سند) contains a definite point or special words, which are of useful knowledge to the scholars and jurists. And these rules and issues are inferred.
  • For the sake of brevity, the word “meaning” or “like” (بمعناه/مثله) is usually used in another document.
  • In the narration of hadith, where one feels the need to introduce oneself and remove a mistake, he introduces the narrators briefly.
  • They also introduce such unknown places.
  • The meanings of difficult words are given occasionally.
  • The background of the hadith is also given as required.
  • Explain the very weak hadiths.
  • In important matters, the names of the Companions and followers and other Imams are counted among the jurisprudential powers.

Series of Sunan Abu Dawud

Abu Dawood has divided his book into 36 books and divided each book into several chapters with a total of 1871 chapters. Each hadith has a translation based on the inferences of the scholars

Khatib al-Baghdadi has quoted the words of Imam Abu Dawood as follows:

I have mentioned in Sahih Sunan Abu Dawood the authentic, similar to it, close traditions. I have described the traditions in which there is an extreme weakness. And those who are not mentioned are sahih (صحيح).

Most of the ahadith in the book are complete, as well as some hadith are paused and there are traces of some scholars.

According to Abu Dawood, “some of the hadiths in this collection are weak, which is why this book is different from Sahih (Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim).”

 Abu Dawood collected 50,000 hadiths, of which only 4,800 hadiths were included in this book.
Learn more Islamic scholars : sahih bukhari

Hadiths of Sunan Abu Dawood according to degrees

Imam Dhahabi (may Allah have mercy on him) writes in Seer A’lam al-Nubla’ (سير أعلام النبلاء) that the hadiths of Sunan Abu Dawood are on six levels:

  1. The highest ones are those that have been narrated in Sahih (Bukhari and Muslim) and they are equal to about half a book.
  2. Hadiths that are in one of the sahih (صحیحين) and not in the other.
  3. The hadiths which they have not narrated but are strong in terms of authenticity.
  4. The hadiths of which Asanid is Saleh and the scholars have accepted them.
  5. Traditions have been described as weak because their narrators were weak in their memorization and very weak traditions. 
  6. Imam Abu Dawud also explains the weakness of this type.

Explanations (شروحات) of Sunan Abu Dawud 

Four thousand eight hundred narrations have been recorded in Sunan Abu Dawood. The popularity of this book can be gauged from the fact that many commentaries have been written on it. 

Due to the merits of the Sunnan compiled by Imam Abu Dawood, many scholars performed its services in the form of “Sharh“. The following is an introduction to some of them.

• Ma’alim u-Sunan (معالم السنن)

Its author is Imam Abu Sulaiman Khattabi. This book could not be completed but Sunan is considered to be the best rate of Abu Dawood.

• Sharh Qurashi (شرح قريشي)

Its author is Qutbuddin Abu Bakr bin, Ahmad. 

• Sharh-e-Aini (شرح عيني)

Hafiz Badruddin Mahmood Aini is the author of the famous book “Umdat-ul-Qari Sharh Sahih Al-Bukhari“. This explanation of Sunan Abu Dawood is also incomplete.

• Sharh Sunan Abu Dawood (شرح سنن أبي داود)

 by Qutb Ud Din Abu Bakr.

• Sharh Sunan Abu Dawood (شرح سنن أبي داود)

 by Mullah, Allauddin is commentaries that make it easier to understand issues.  

• Tahzeeb al-Sunan (تهذيب السنن)

And Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawzi has also written a summary of Sunan Abu Dawood under the name of Tahzeeb al-Sunan

 •  بذل المجهود في حل أبي داود

 In this, Maulana Khalil Ahmad Sahib Saharanpuri has solved Sunan Abu Dawood with great skill. The position of Hanafi scholars on various issues has been explained in detail.

• درجات مرقاة الصعود إلى سنن أبي داود 

Compiled by Sheikh Ali bin Sulaiman Damanti Bajmawi. This is a summary of Imam Suyuti’s rate. Which was printed in 1298 AH.

• مختصر سنن أبو داود

Compiled by Imam Zaki-ud-Din Abdul Azim bin Abdul Qawi Al-Mundari. Suppositions (اسانيد) have been deleted in this book. The rest of the chapters have been extracted from Khumsa (خمسه). And brief benefits are also written.

Hafiz-ud-Din has also written a summary of Sunan Abu Dawood. And at present, there are many Urdu and English translations of Sunan Abu Dawood in the market.

Sunan Abu Dawood in Urdu

This holy book has been translated into many languages. Many Urdu translations have been done of this book Sunan Abu Dawood (سنن أبو داود). 

  • Urdu Translation: From Allama Nawab Waheed u-Zaman Khan (may God have mercy on him)
  • Urdu Translation: Maulana Khurshid Hassan Qasmi.


Imam Abu Dawud, the sun of the sky of Hadith, passed away on 14 Shawwal, 275 AH. He (may God have mercy on him) has passed away due to his natural death, but his book “Sunan Abu Dawood” will keep him alive till the Day of Judgment. And future generations will continue to satisfy their thirst by this spring of grace. 

Hafiz Abu Tahir al-Salafi narrated from Hasan ibn Muhammad ibn Ibrahim that “he saw the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in a dream. He wants to read Sunan Abu Dawood.

You can download the Sunan Abu Dawood pdf here.

  1. Sunan Abu Dawud volume 1 pdf
  2. Sunan Abu Dawud volume 2 pdf
  3. Sunan Abu Dawud volume 3 pdf
  4. Sunan Abu Dawud volume 4 pdf
  5. Sunan Abu Dawud volume 5 pdf