I just finished reading this volume of Hadith selected by Charles Le Gai Eaton. It is a real treasure! A great book for readers of English or Arabic (this volume is bi-lingual) to enter into studying the enormous body of collected oral traditions in Islam. The twenty page introduction by Jeremy Henzell-Thomas is excellent, and well-suited to preparing those who wish to endeavor in studying Hadith to proceed with necessary discernment. Here is a passage from his introduction, reprinted on the back cover:
"In the process of discovering and exploring the profound utility of these Prophetic sayings, we discover many levels. They show the deep humanity, kindness, and beneficence of the Prophet at a time when there is a pressing need to correct not only the many distortions about him, whether motivated by ignorance or malice, but also the widespread misconceptions about the intrinsically beautiful Islam which he revealed to us. We also find that the Hadith enunciate and clarify doctrine and offer commentary upon it. They offer guidance for the deepening of knowledge, the improvement of conduct and character, and the strengthening of faith. Finally, and above all, they remain a luminous spiritual source of inspirational material for the transformation of Hearts, for without the Heart no injunction can ever be fully internalized, lived and embodied."
The selections of Hadith are very well chosen and arranged. The English translations are clear and beautiful. Topical groups included are as follows:
On Islam, Iman (Faith), and Ihsan (Righteousness)
Afflictions and Death
Generosity, Kindness & Zakat (Charity)
The Station of the Qur'an
Matters of Dress and Appearance
Dreams and Divination
Character, Behavior, and Adab (Courtesy)
The Mi'raj (Night Journey)
The Death of the Messenger of God
Highly recommended for anyone who is interested increasing their knowledge and understanding of Islam.