Masabih al-Sunnah is a collection of hadith by Al Baghawi. Mishkat al Masabih is an improved version of the Masabih al Sunnah by Al-Tabrizi.
Mishkat al-Masabih which means A Niche for Lamps is an expanded version of Masabih al-Sunnah by Abu Muammad ibn Abdullah Khatib Al-Tabrizi (d. 741H) who was known as Muhyi As-Sunnah (Reviver of the Sunnah). Al-Tabrizi added to it the chains of transmission, the narrators and the authenticity of the Hadith. Thus making it more beneficial to those not having an advanced knowledge of the science of hadith.
Al Baghawi was born in 435 AH or 436 AH in Iraq. He was a favourite pupil of Qadi al-Husayn ibn Muhammad al-Marwa al-Rudi (d. 462/1069) he also studied under some other prominent scholars of his time such as Abu al-Hasan Da'udi (d.465 A.H.), 'Abd al-Rahman ibn Muhammad Ya'qub ibn Ahmad Sayrifi. He died at the age of 81 in 516/1122 in Baghshur, and was buried in the graveyard of Qadi al-Husayn in Herat, 'Iraq.
In the introduction of Masabih al-Sunnah, al-Baghawi outlines the aims and objectives for his compiling this work. He was particularly interested in compiling a work that would include such Ahadith that could serve as a guide for Muslims in those matters of which the Qur'an is silent upon. The reason for his omitting to mention the chain of narrators of the Ahadith may be attributed to the trust he had in the muhaddithun (scholars of Hadith) from whose works he extrapolated these selected Ahadith. Omission of the isnad meant the saving of space and that could have been another plausible factor.
Every book (kitab) in this compilation is divided into a number of different chapters (abwab). Every chapter consists of two sections (fasl). The first section contains Sahih Ahadith (i.e. the authentic ones) which have been taken from the Sahihayn (i.e. the compilations of Imaams al-Bukhari and Muslim). The second section (fasl) contains the Ahadith which are classified as Hasan (i.e. fair or good). These Ahadith have been taken from the compilations of al-Tirmidhi, Abu Da'ud and others.
In preparing this work, al-Baghawi did not indicate the source of each Hadith, but one ought to note that in the first section the Ahadith in every chapter have been taken either from Sahih al-Bukhari or Sahih Muslim or from both. As far as the Ahadith which are to be found in the second section, al-Baghawi had taken them from a number of different compilations and does not make any mention of their sources. This shortcoming in the second section makes it difficult to trace the source of any of the Hadith therein. However, after careful investigations one may finally come to know that the Ahadith in the second section have been taken from the works of Abu Da'ud, al-Tirmidhi, al-Nasa'i, ibn Majah, al-Darimi (d.255). Thus, these five works are the sources of the Ahadith in the second section of Masabih al-Sunnah. It is perplexing that al-Baghawi, in the introduction of this compilation, restricted himself to mentioning that the Ahadith in the second section are from the works of Abu Da'ud, al-Tirmidhi and others, without citing the other three works.
Contains a grand total of 4434 ahadeeth. 2434 are from Sahih section: