Imam Abu Dawud began the learning of hadith while he was less than 20 years old. He gained a wide reputation in his lifetime. At that time, Basra was deserted due to disturbance of Zanj (in 257 A.H.). The Governor Abu Ahmad visited Imam Abu Dawud in his house in Baghdad and requested that he move to Basra so that the deserted city may be rehabilitated by his presence and gathering of the scholars and students. The scholars are unanimous about his great ability, trustworthiness and accuracy. He was not only a good narrator of hadith but also a good lawyer. Sometimes he checked written material, papers, and ink to discover their age.

Imam Abu Dawud was married and had children.

Imam Abu Dawud's literary works includes the following:

  • Al Marasil.
  • Masail al Iman Ahmad.
  • An Nasikh wal Mansukh.
  • Risalah fi wasf kitab as sunan.
  • Az Zuhd.
  • Ijabatan Sawalat Al Ajurri.
  • Asilahan Ahmad b Hanbal.
  • Tasmiyat al Akhwan.
  • Kitab al Qadr.
  • Al Bath wan Nushur.
  • Al Masail allati halafa alaiha al Imam Ahmad.
  • Dalail an Nubuwat.
  • Fadail al Ansar.
  • Musnad Malik.
  • Ad Dua.
  • Ibtida al wahy.
  • At Tafarrud fus sunan.
  • Akhbar al Khawarij.
  • Alam an Nubuwat.
  • Sunan.