Are we to only follow Hadiths from the sihah sittah?
Or are the Hadiths in other books, like Musnad Ahmad etc also acceptable?
In matters of jurisprudence (fiqh) we should follow whatever our Fuqaha have deduced from the Hadiths.
One should never endeavour to follow Hadith directly without the guidance of the Fuqaha.
THE PERIL OF STUDYING HADITH WITHOUT THE GUIDANCE OF THE FUQAHA
(Kitabul Jami’, pg. 118. Also see Atharul Hadith of Shaykh Muhammad ‘Awwamah -hafizahullah- pg. 63)
The Arabic text is as follows:
الحديث مضلّة إلا للفقهاء
Hadith is a source of deviation except for the Jurists [As they only know the interpretation and which Hadiths are suitable for practice]
Imam Malik and Imam ‘Abdullah ibn Wahb Al Misri (rahimahumallah) have also said a similar statement.
(See: Atharul Hadith of Shaykh Muhammad ‘Awwamah, pg. 63, 83)
However in principle, there are many authentic Hadiths outside the sihah sittah (the six famous books) as well.
This is an undeniable reality.
The Muhaddithun (Hadith experts) throughout time have been declaring Hadiths as authentic, as long they fulfill the criterion for acceptance, irrespective of the book in which the Hadith is found.
Refer to Muqaddimah Ibnus Salah, pg.32 At-Taqyidu wal Idah & Tadribur Rawi, vol.2 pg.372, for a discussion on this particular issue.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best,
Answered by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar