This book is one of the Islamic Surveys series which aims to give students and general readers authoritative introductions to particular aspects of Islamic culture. Covering history, theology, architecture, language, philosophy and literature, the Surveys extend from the origins of Islam to the modern day. The Hadith are traditionally believed to be the words of the Prophet, Mohammed, memorized by his followers and written down in the second century. Western scholars have argued over their validity and even deunced tham as second-century forgeries, saying their link with the Qur'an is tenuous. This book is an introduction to the arguments surrounding the Hadith and to the documents themselves. It concentrates on the origins of the views put forward in the Hadith and compares them with those of the Qur'an. Looking in particular at the areas of fasting, prayer and marriage, it examines the nature of their treatment in exegitical literature before they passed into legal and ritual writings. This book reconsiders the interpretations of the Qur'an by Muslim scholars, and so frames Muslim attitudes. It argues that the interpretations of the Qur'an and the Hadith are very similar.