In the early days of islam, Hadith had gained an important status, but it was presecured in written form.
During the early days of Islam , there were very few literate people, and as per the directives of Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) they concentrated more on memorizing Quran and inscribing it.
It is verified through some statements and incidences that later on when education became common and the Sahaba got familier with the Holy Quran, the Holy Prophet (PBUH) consented to inscribe Ahadith. Among the Sahabas Hazrat Abu Hurerah (R.A) narrated the maximum number of Ahadith (5374). Followed by Hazrat Abdullah Bin Umar, Hazrat Anas Bin Malik, Hazrat Ali (R.A) and others. Among the Tabeen Imam Shabi compiled the book titled "Al Abwab". Hazrat Umar Bin Abdul Aziz (R.A) formally started the compilation of Ahadith in 101 Hijrah, which proceeded in an organized way and a number of books of Hadith were compiled.