NOTICE: This article is a reproduction from Submitters Perspective No 28, May 1987.
Mr. Azami in his doctorate thesis on Hadith literature Studies in early Hadith literature records the following information: According to Ibn Hanbal, over 7,000,000 traditions were sound, of which 6,000,000 were memorized by Abu Zur’ah” (Ibid pg 301, 1978, American Trust Publications). If this 7 million sound hadiths were spread over 23 years and the Prophet used 18 hours a day continually to disseminate these hadiths, he must have done this at the rate of one hadith every 77 seconds! IN PRACTICAL TERMS, HE COULD NOT HAVE DONE ANYTHING ELSE!
Each compiler of hadith had collected hundreds of thousands of hadiths from which only a small fraction was accepted; e.g. Bukhari found only 7397 hadiths (mere 2602 when repetitions are eliminated) as worth recording from 600,000 hadiths he had collected. This means that by this standard of quality control nearly 99% of them were rejected and the higher the rejection rate, the more genuine the selected hadiths were!!! Yet in all other matters, we go for the Kuffar QC standards which demand the exact opposite: the lower the rejection rate, the better is the quality of the accepted items!