After the Quran, Muslims turn to the great volume of hadiths as a source of law, inspiration, and guidance. Essentially, hadiths comprise the authentic statements and deeds of the Prophet Muhammad. Muslims view the Prophet’s role as more than merely receiving the Quran and conveying it. He was also charged to explain and show how to live according to the Book’s message. Therefore, he expounded on the teachings of the Quran and showed practically how one fulfills the duties of worship mentioned in the Quran only in brief. These teachings and details are contained in thousands of hadiths, which are separate from the Quran but alike in what they teach. The hadiths, or Prophetic traditions, elaborate on what the Quran mentions in a general manner. While the Quran is the literal word of God revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, the hadiths are inspired statements spoken by the Prophet during his 23 years of teaching, but spoken in his own words. Often they were answers to questions his followers and guests would ask him.

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