The following are just some examples and not everything that was recording during that time.
A- What has been written by the command of the Prophet peace be upon him
1- The books of the Prophet peace be upon that were written to the kings and rulers of his era.
The Prophet peace be upon him sent numerous books to the kings of the Arabs and non Arabs of his era, inviting them to Islam and showing them the foundations of the creed of this new religion, and the texts of these books have been discovered in several hadith records and historical books. And the most famous of these books are:
His book to Heraclius, Emperor of Byzantine
His book to Chosroes, King of Persia
His book to Muqawqas, the king of Egypt
His book to Negus, the king of Abyssinia
His book to the King of Oman
His book to ‘Eyaahala, King of Humayr
His book to Hilal, Governor of Bahrain
His book to Al Haarith ibn Abi Shamar, King of the Ghassanids
2. The Treaties, Covenants, and Agreements
The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, ordered a number of these treaties to be written according to need, and among those are:
– The agreement with the tribe of Dhamrah upon their security and the safety of their individuals and property in return for their assistance in repelling the enemies from Madeenah, and that is in the 1st year Hijri (abbreviated as. H.)
– The treaty with the tribe of Ghatfaan during the course of the battle of Khandaq (the trench) in year 8 H.
– The treaty of Hudaibiyah between the Muslims and the Kuffaar of Quraish, the year 6 H.
– The treaty between the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessings be upon him, and the ruler of Doomat Al-Jandal, the year 9 H.
– A peace treaty with the people of Aylah during the course of The Battle of Tabook.
– The peace treaty with the tribe of Baariq when they visited the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him.
– The peace treaty with the tribe of Aslam regarding cooperation against the external enemies of both sides.
– A treaty of alliance with the tribe of Juhainah.
– A peace agreement with Bani Habeebah.
– The treaty with Thaqeef.
– The treaty with Bani Ghaffaar.
– The treaty sent to the people of Jarbaa’ and Athrah and some of them came and visited the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, the year 9 H.
– The treaty with the Christians of Najraan regarding protecting them and their obligation of paying the Jizyah (taxes).
– The paper of treaty between the Jews in Madeenah in the beginning of the Hijrah.
3. The Agreements, the Decisions of Pardoning, and Giving Lands
A number of documents have been written by the order of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, among them are:
– The pardoning of Suraqah Bin Maalik
– His agreement with Al-Azraq bin `Umar regarding his residence in Makkah and his right of marriage to Quraish.
– The contract of giving Zaid Al-Khair some lands.
– The contract of giving Tameem Ad-Daari some lands.
– The contract of giving some land to `Abbaas As-Sulami (or Silmee?)
– The contract of giving some lands that have water springs and trees and palm trees to `Aqeel bin Ka`b.
– The contract of giving a farm to Riqaad bin Rabee`ah in Yemen.
– The contract of giving the tribe of Bani Qushair some lands.
– The contract that has the righst and obligations of Wafd bin Qais.
– The contract of giving Bilaal bin Al-Haarith Al-Mazani some farms of the tribe.
4. The writing of speeches and varying Ahadeeth, such as:
– The writing of Khutbah (speech of) Al-Wadaa` by Abee Shaah, and it is narrated in the Saheehain (Bukhari and Muslim).
– The writing of a Hadeeth by `Utbaan bin Maalik,as in Musnad Ahmad (a collection of hadiths) and others.
B. the writers of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him (1).
The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, had a group of writers that reached sixty writers, and they had different specialization:
1. The writers of the Holy Qur’an when it was revealed unto the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him.
2. The writers of what the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, orders.
3. The writers of the letters to the kings and leaders.
4. The writers of treaties, pacts, trusts and other than that.
5. The writers of correspondence with the Arabs.
6. The writers of the religious matters.
7. The writers of the records of battles and war-spoils.
8. The writers who write what is between the people from agreements and actions.
9. The writers who replace the regular writers of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, once they are absent.
C. What the Sahabah (companions of the Prophet) wrote during the time of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him:A number of Sahaabah have recorded hadeeths from the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, with the purpose of memorization or taking benefit from it, and among those:1. The genuine journal of `Abdullaah bin `Amr bin Al-`Aass, and it contained one-thousand Hadeeths.
2. The books of Sa`d bin `Ubaadah.
3. The book of Mu`aath bin Jabal.
4. The book of Abee Raafi`, the supporter of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him.
5. The journal of `Ali bin Abee Taalib.
6. The journal of Jaabir bin `Abdullaah Al-Ansaari.__________________________________________________ ______________
(1) Kuttaab Al-Wahi by Dr. Ahmad `Abdur-Rahmaan `Eesa, and Kuttaab An-Nabi, Salla-llaahu `alaihi wa sallam, by Al-A`dhami.
Examples of the writings of the Sahaabah
1. The book of Abu Bakr, may Allaah be pleased with him, to Anas bin Maalik, his worker in Bahrain, which begins with, “In the name of Allaah, the most merciful, the giver of mercy: This is the obligation of charity that the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessings be upon him, ordered with, and what Allaah ordered His slave with”, and it is a long Hadeeth that was collected by al-Bukhari and others.
2. The book of `Umar, may Allaah be pleased with him, to `Utbah bin Farqad, his worker on Bahrain, Imaam Ahmad narrated from Abi `Uthmaan an-Nuhdi, who said, “We were with `Utbah bin Farqad, so `Umar wrote to him things narrating from the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him..
And it was found in the base of `Umar’s sword a journal about the charity of as-Sawaa’im (1).
3. and al-Baraa’ bin `Aazib used to narrate Hadiths to the Taabi`een and they used to write his Hadeeth from the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him; for on the authority of `Abdullaah bin Khanees he said, “I saw them with al-Baraa’ writing on their hands with cane.” (2)
4. And Anas bin Maalik used to dictate the Hadeeths to his students, until if the people overwhelmed him, he brought some journals of books and he layed them, and then he said, “These are hadeeths that I have heard and written from the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessings be upon him, and I showed them to him.” (3)
5. And `Abdullaah bin Mas`ood had a book that has hadeeths, and it was with his son after that, for on the authority of Ma`n he said, “`Abdur-Rahmaan bin `Abdullaah bin Mas`ood brought out a book and he swore that it was the handwriting of his father.” (4)
6. And Mu`aawiyah bin Abee Sufyaan wrote to al-Mugheerah bin Shu`bah and said, “Write to me with something that you heard from the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessings be upon him, so al-Mugheerah wrote to him [and mentioned], ‘That he (the Prophet, salla-llaahu `alaihi wa sallam) used to forbid Qeel and Qaal (gossip), asking many questions, and wasting money.” (5)
7. And al-Hasan bin `Ali used to tell his children and his brother’s children, “Learn, Learn, for indeed you are the youngsters of today’s people, and tomorrow you will be their elders, so whoever from among you does not memorize then let him write and keep it (meaning the writing) in his house.” (7)
8. And Ibn `Abbaas had some boards that he used to write on Hadeeths from the Sahaabah, and he ended up with a collection of many books and journals, and Salmaa, the wife of Abee Raafi`, the supporter of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said : “I have seen `Abdullaah Ibn `Abbaas come to my husband, Abee Raafi`, carrying wooden boards to write [on them] the hadeeths of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him.” (8) 9. Ibn `Umar had some books; he would not come out of his house before looking at them. (9)10. Samrah bin Jundub had a copy that had many hadeeths, that arrived with his son, Sulaimaan, and [as well as] al-Hasan al-Basree, and both of them narrated from it. (10)11. Sa`d bin `Ubaadah was one of those who obtained the nickname of “Kaamil” (complete man) in Madeenah before Islaam because of his knowledge in writing, and he had recorded many hadeeths in a book, and his son narrated from it. (11)12. Mu`aath bin Jabal had a book that contained some hadeeths, it ended up in the possession of Ibn `Aa’ith, and he had another book that went to Musa bin Talhah” (12)13. And Abee Raafi`, the supporter of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, had a book that had hadeeths, he gave it to Abi Bakr bin `Abdur-Rahmaan bin Hishaam. (13) 14. And Ka`b bin `Amr had a collection of Hadeeth journals. (14)
15. The books of Abu Hurairah, may Allaah be pleased with him:
Abu Hurairah passed through two phases with regards to writing Sunnah, for he was abstaining in the beginning, and later he began writing, and in his house were many books; a number of his students narrated from him, such as Hammaam bin Munabbih and Muhammad bin Sireen and Sa`eed al-Maqbaree, and others. (15)
16. And Jaabir bin `Abdullaah had a journal that `Abdur-Razzaaq benefited from in his Musannaf . (16)
17. And Raafi` bin Khadeej had a collection of written Ahadeeth. (18)
18. And Sham`oon al-Azdee had journals that had his Hadeeths in them, and it is said that he is the first one who wrote on the surface of paper. (19)
These are examples from eighteen Sahaabis who wrote Ahadeeth, and it is enough proof of the many writings of the Sahaabah, and whoever wanted to examine he would find many [examples] other than these.
1. al-Kifaayah, 353
2. Jaami` Bayaan al-`Ilm, 1/81
3. Taareekh Baghdaad, 8/258
4. Jaami` Bayaan al-`Ilm, 1/42
5. Al-Bukhari Ma` al-Fat-h, 4/104, Hadeeth number (abbr. Ha.), 1477
7. Al-Kifaayah, 229, Taqyeed al-`Ilm, 1/91
8. Tabaqaat Ibn Sa`d, 2/123, and look to Saheeh Muslim, 1/7, and al-Kifaayah, 384
9. Al-Aadaab Ash-Shar`iyyah, 2/125
10. Tabaqaat Ibn Sa`d, 7/115, and, Tathkirah al-Huffaadh, 2/268, 4/236
11. Al-Umm, 7/112, and, Mashaaheer `Ulamaa’ al-Amsaar, 130
12. Musnad Ahmad, 5/228, and, Seerah Ibn Hishaam, 886, 956
13. Al-Kifaayah, 39
14. Look to: Dalaa’il at-Tawtheeq al-Mubkir, 425
15. Look to: Saheefat Hammaam, 27, and, Dalaa’il at-Tawtheeq, 436
16. Look to: Saheefat Hammaam, 27, and, Sunan At-Tirmithee, 6/52
18. Dalaa’il at-Tawtheeq, 452
19. Al-Isaabah, 2/156
Translated from “Hujjiyat as Sunnah” by Dr Houcine Chouat, with slight editing.