Hadith

Hadith

Overview
The term Hadīth (plural: hadith, hadiths, or ahadith) is used to denote a saying or an act or tacit approval or criticism ascribed either validly or invalidly to the Islamic prophet
Prophets of Islam
Muslims identify the Prophets of Islam as those humans chosen by God and given revelation to deliver to mankind. Muslims believe that every prophet was given a belief to worship God and their respective followers believed it as well...

 Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

.

Hadith are regarded by traditional Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

ic schools of jurisprudence as important tools for understanding the Quran and in matters of jurisprudence
Fiqh
Fiqh is Islamic jurisprudence. Fiqh is an expansion of the code of conduct expounded in the Quran, often supplemented by tradition and implemented by the rulings and interpretations of Islamic jurists....

. Hadith were evaluated
Science of hadith
Hadith studies are a number of religious disciplines used in the study and evaluation of the Islamic hadith by Muslim scholars. It has been described by one hadith specialist, Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti, as the science of the principles by which the conditions of both the sanad, the chain of...

 and gathered into large collections during the 8th and 9th centuries.
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Encyclopedia
The term Hadīth (plural: hadith, hadiths, or ahadith) is used to denote a saying or an act or tacit approval or criticism ascribed either validly or invalidly to the Islamic prophet
Prophets of Islam
Muslims identify the Prophets of Islam as those humans chosen by God and given revelation to deliver to mankind. Muslims believe that every prophet was given a belief to worship God and their respective followers believed it as well...

 Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

.

Hadith are regarded by traditional Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

ic schools of jurisprudence as important tools for understanding the Quran and in matters of jurisprudence
Fiqh
Fiqh is Islamic jurisprudence. Fiqh is an expansion of the code of conduct expounded in the Quran, often supplemented by tradition and implemented by the rulings and interpretations of Islamic jurists....

. Hadith were evaluated
Science of hadith
Hadith studies are a number of religious disciplines used in the study and evaluation of the Islamic hadith by Muslim scholars. It has been described by one hadith specialist, Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti, as the science of the principles by which the conditions of both the sanad, the chain of...

 and gathered into large collections during the 8th and 9th centuries. These works are referred to in matters of Islamic law
Sharia
Sharia law, is the moral code and religious law of Islam. Sharia is derived from two primary sources of Islamic law: the precepts set forth in the Quran, and the example set by the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the Sunnah. Fiqh jurisprudence interprets and extends the application of sharia to...

 and history
Muslim history
Muslim history is the history of Muslim people. In the history of Islam the followers of the religion of Islam have impacted political history, economic history, and military history...

 to this day. The two main denominations of Islam, Shiʻism and Sunnism
Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam is the largest branch of Islam. Sunni Muslims are referred to in Arabic as ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah wa āl-Ǧamāʿah or ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah for short; in English, they are known as Sunni Muslims, Sunnis or Sunnites....

, have different sets of Hadith collections.

Etymology


In Arabic the word (   ħaˈdiːθ) means 'a piece of information conveyed either in a small quantity or large'. The Arabic plural is / (ʔaħaːˈdiːθ). Hadith also refers to the speech of a person. As / is the infinitive, or verbal noun, of the original verb form; hadith is, therefore, not the infinitive, rather it is a noun.

Definition


In Islamic terminology, the term hadith refers to reports of statements or actions of Muhammad, or of his tacit approval or criticism of something said or done in his presence. Classical hadith specialist Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani
Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani
Al-Haafidh Shihabuddin Abu'l-Fadl Ahmad ibn Ali ibn Muhammad, better known as Ibn Hajar due to the fame of his forefathers, al-Asqalani due to his family origin , was a medieval Shafiite Sunni scholar of Islam who represents the entire realm of the Sunni world in the field of Hadith...

 says that the intended meaning of hadith in religious tradition is something attributed to Muhammad, as opposed to the Quran. Other associated words possess similar meanings including: khabar (news, information) often refers to reports about Muhammad, but sometimes refers to traditions about his companions
Sahaba
In Islam, the ' were the companions, disciples, scribes and family of the Islamic prophet...

 and their successors from the following generation; conversely, athar (trace, vestige) usually refers to traditions about the companions and successors, though sometimes connotes traditions about Muhammad. The word sunnah
Sunnah
The word literally means a clear, well trodden, busy and plain surfaced road. In the discussion of the sources of religion, Sunnah denotes the practice of Prophet Muhammad that he taught and practically instituted as a teacher of the sharī‘ah and the best exemplar...

(custom) is also used in reference to a normative custom of Muhammad or the early Muslim community
Ummah
Ummah is an Arabic word meaning "community" or "nation." It is commonly used to mean either the collective nation of states, or the whole Arab world...

.

Hadith Qudsi


Hadith Qudsi (or Sacred Hadith) is a sub-category of hadith, which are sayings of Muhammad. Muslims regard the Hadith Qudsi as the words of God
God in Islam
In Islamic theology, God is the all-powerful and all-knowing creator, sustainer, ordainer, and judge of the universe. Islam puts a heavy emphasis on the conceptualization of God as strictly singular . God is unique and inherently One , all-merciful and omnipotent. According to the Islamic...

 (Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

: Allah
Allah
Allah is a word for God used in the context of Islam. In Arabic, the word means simply "God". It is used primarily by Muslims and Bahá'ís, and often, albeit not exclusively, used by Arabic-speaking Eastern Catholic Christians, Maltese Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Mizrahi Jews and...

), repeated by Muhammad and recorded on the condition of an isnad. According to as-Sayyid ash-Sharif al-Jurjani, the Hadith Qudsi differ from the Quran in that the former were revealed in a dream or through revelation and are "expressed in Muhammad's words", whereas the latter are the "direct words of God
Revelation
In religion and theology, revelation is the revealing or disclosing, through active or passive communication with a supernatural or a divine entity...

".

An example of a Hadith Qudsi is the hadith of Abu Hurairah
Abu Hurairah
Abu Hurairah , was a companion of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and the narrator of Hadith most quoted in the isnad by Sunnis.-Early life:...

 who said that Muhammad said:
"When God decreed the Creation He pledged Himself by writing in His book which is laid down with Him: My mercy prevails over My wrath."

Components


The two major aspects of a hadith are the text of the report (the matn), which contains the actual narrative, and the chain of narrators (the isnad), which documents the route by which the report has been transmitted. The sanad, literally 'support', is so named due to the reliance of the hadith specialists upon it in determining the authenticity or weakness of a hadith
Hadith terminology
Hadith terminology is the body of terminology which specify the acceptability of the narrations, hadith, attributed to the Islamic Prophet, Muhammad, as well as other early figures of religious significance...

. The isnad consists of a chronological list of the narrators, each mentioning the one from whom they heard the hadith, until mentioning the originator of the matn along with the matn itself.

The first people to hear hadith were the companions who preserved it and then conveyed it to those after them. Then the generation following them received it, thus conveying it to those after them and so on. So a companion would say, "I heard the Prophet say such and such." The Follower would then say, "I heard a companion say, 'I heard the Prophet.'" The one after him would then say, "I heard someone say, 'I heard a Companion say, 'I heard the Prophet..." and so on.

Usage


The overwhelming majority of Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

s consider hadith to be essential supplements to and clarifications of the Quran, Islam's holy book, as well as in clarifying issues pertaining to Islamic jurisprudence. Ibn al-Salah
Ibn al-Salah
Abū `Amr `Uthmān ibn `Abd al-Raḥmān Ṣalāḥ al-Dīn al-Kurdī al-Shahrazūrī , commonly known as Ibn al-Ṣalāḥ, was a Shafi'i hadith specialist and the author of the seminal Introduction to the Science of Hadith...

, a hadith specialist, described the relationship between hadith and other aspect of the religion by saying: "It is the science most pervasive in respect to the other sciences in their various branches, in particular to jurisprudence being the most important of them." "The intended meaning of 'other sciences' here are those pertaining to religion," explains Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, "Quranic exegesis
Tafsir
Tafseer is the Arabic word for exegesis or commentary, usually of the Qur'an. Ta'wīl is a subset of tafsir and refers to esoteric or mystical interpretation. An author of tafsir is a mufassir .- Etymology :...

, hadith, and jurisprudence. The science of hadith became the most pervasive due to the need displayed by each of these three sciences. The need hadith has of its science is apparent. As for Quranic exegesis
Exegesis
Exegesis is a critical explanation or interpretation of a text, especially a religious text. Traditionally the term was used primarily for exegesis of the Bible; however, in contemporary usage it has broadened to mean a critical explanation of any text, and the term "Biblical exegesis" is used...

, then the preferred manner of explaining the speech of God is by means of what has been accepted as a statement of Muhammad. The one looking to this is in need of distinguishing the acceptable from the unacceptable. Regarding jurisprudence, then the jurist is in need of citing as an evidence the acceptable to the exception of the later, something only possible utilizing the science of hadith."

History


Traditions of the life of Muhammad and the early history of Islam were passed down mostly orally for more than a hundred years after Muhammad's death in AD 632. Muslim historians say that Caliph
Caliph
The Caliph is the head of state in a Caliphate, and the title for the ruler of the Islamic Ummah, an Islamic community ruled by the Shari'ah. It is a transcribed version of the Arabic word   which means "successor" or "representative"...

 Uthman ibn Affan (the third khalifa (caliph)
Caliphate
The term caliphate, "dominion of a caliph " , refers to the first system of government established in Islam and represented the political unity of the Muslim Ummah...

 of the Rashidun Empire
Rashidun Caliphate
The Rashidun Caliphate , comprising the first four caliphs in Islam's history, was founded after Muhammad's death in 632, Year 10 A.H.. At its height, the Caliphate extended from the Arabian Peninsula, to the Levant, Caucasus and North Africa in the west, to the Iranian highlands and Central Asia...

, or third successor of Muhammad, who had formerly been Muhammad's secretary), is generally believed to urge Muslims to record the hadith just as Muhammad suggested to some of his followers to write down his words and actions.

Uthman's labours were cut short by his assassination, at the hands of aggrieved soldiers, in 656. No sources survive directly from this period so we are dependent on what later writers tell us about this period.

By the 9th century the number of hadiths had grown exponentially. Islamic scholars of the Abbasid period were faced with a huge corpus of miscellaneous traditions, some of them flatly contradicting each other. Many of these traditions supported differing views on a variety of controversial matters. Scholars had to decide which hadith were to be trusted as authentic and which had been invented for political or theological purposes. To do this, they used a number of techniques which Muslims now call the science of hadith.

Shia and Sunni differences


Sunni and Shia hadith collections differ because scholars from the two traditions differ as to the reliability of the narrators and transmitters. Narrators who took the side of Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr was a senior companion and the father-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He ruled over the Rashidun Caliphate from 632-634 CE when he became the first Muslim Caliph following Muhammad's death...

 and Umar
Umar
`Umar ibn al-Khattāb c. 2 November , was a leading companion and adviser to the Islamic prophet Muhammad who later became the second Muslim Caliph after Muhammad's death....

 rather than Ali
Ali
' |Ramaḍān]], 40 AH; approximately October 23, 598 or 600 or March 17, 599 – January 27, 661).His father's name was Abu Talib. Ali was also the cousin and son-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, and ruled over the Islamic Caliphate from 656 to 661, and was the first male convert to Islam...

, in the disputes over leadership that followed the death of Muhammad, are seen as unreliable by the Shia; narrations sourced to Ali and the family of Muhammad, and to their supporters, are preferred. Sunni scholars put trust in narrators, such as Aisha
Aisha
Aisha bint Abu Bakr also transcribed as was Muhammad's favorite wife...

, whom Shia reject. Differences in hadith collections have contributed to differences in worship practices and shari'a law and have hardened the dividing line between the two traditions.

Extent and nature of the textual corpus in the Sunni tradition


In the Sunni tradition, the number of such texts is ten thousand plus or minus a few thousand. But if, say, ten Companions record a text reporting a single incident in the life of Prophet, hadith scholars can count this as ten hadiths. So Musnad Ahmad, for example, has over 30,000 hadiths—but this count includes texts that are repeated in order to record slight variations within the text or within the chains of narrations. Identifying the narrators of the various texts, comparing their narrations of the same texts to identify both the soundest reporting of a text and the reporters who are most sound in their reporting occupied experts of hadith throughout the 2nd century. In the 3rd century of Islam (from 225/840 to about 275/889), six hadith experts composed brief works recording a selection of about two- to five-thousand such texts which they felt to have been most soundly documented or most widely referred to in the Muslim scholarly community. The 4th and 5th century saw these six works being commented on quite widely. This auxiliary literature has contributed to making their study the place of departure for any serious study of hadith. In addition, Bukhari and Muslim in particular, claimed that they were collecting only the soundest of sound hadiths. These later scholars tested their claims and agreed to them, so that today, they are considered the most reliable collections of hadith.

Extent and nature of the textual corpus in the Shia tradition


In Shia hadith one often finds sermons attributed to Ali
Ali
' |Ramaḍān]], 40 AH; approximately October 23, 598 or 600 or March 17, 599 – January 27, 661).His father's name was Abu Talib. Ali was also the cousin and son-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, and ruled over the Islamic Caliphate from 656 to 661, and was the first male convert to Islam...

 in The Four Books
The Four Books
The Four Books is a Twelver Shiʿa term referring to their four best known hadith collections.The books are:Shi'a Muslims use different books of ahadith than Ahl al-Sunnah's Six major Hadith collections...

 or in the Nahj al-Balagha. Shi'a Muslims do not use the six major Hadith collections followed by the Sunni. Instead, their primary hadith collections are written by three authors who are known as the 'Three Muhammads'. They are: Kitab al-Kafi
Kitab al-Kafi
The Kitāb al-Kāfī is a Twelver Shī‘ah hadīth collection compiled by Muhammad Ya‘qūb Kulaynī. It is divided into three sections: Usūl al-Kāfī, which is concerned with the principle of religion, Furū al-Kāfī, which is concerned with the details of religious law, and Rawdat al-Kāfī, which is...

by Muhammad ibn Ya'qub al-Kulayni al-Razi (329 AH
Hijri year
The Hijri year is year numbering system used in the Islamic calendar. It commemorates the Hijra , or emigration of Muhammad and his followers to the city of Medina in 622 CE. In Arabic, AH is symbolized by the letter هـ...

),
Man la yahduruhu al-Faqih
Man la yahduruhu al-Faqih
Man lā yahduruhu al-Faqīh is a hadith collection, by the famous Twelver Shi'a hadith scolar Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn 'Ali ibn Babawaih al-Qummi, commonly known as Ibn Babawaih or Al-Shaykh al-Saduq. This work is included among The Four Books of Twelver Shia Islam. Like all other Twelver Shi'a books...

by Muhammad ibn Babuya
Al-Shaykh al-Saduq
Al-Shaykh al-Saduq is the title given to Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn 'Ali ibn Babawaih al-Qummi. He was the leading traditionist of his time and one of the most outstanding traditionists of Shi'ite Islam. He earned the title of al-Shaykh al-Saduq on account of his great learning and his reputation for...

 and
Al-Tahdhib
Tahdhib al-Ahkam
Tahdhib al-Ahkam is a hadith collection, by the famous Twelver Shi'a hadith scholar Abu Jafar Muhammad Ibn Hassan Tusi, commonly known as Shaykh Tusi...

and Al-Istibsar
Al-Istibsar
Al-Istibsar is the fourth important book of Shi'a Islamic Hadith. It was written by Abu Ja'far al-Tusi....

 both by Shaykh Muhammad Tusi
Shaykh Tusi
Shaykh Tusi , full name: Abu Jafar Muhammad Ibn Hassan Tusi , known as Shaykh al-Taʾifah was a prominent Persian scholar of the Shi'a Twelver Islamic belief.-Birth:...

. Unlike Akhbari
Akhbari
The Akhbārīs are Twelver Shī‘a Muslims who reject the use of reasoning in deriving verdicts, and believe only the Qur'an, aḥadīth, and consensus should be used as sources to derive verdicts . The term Akhbārī is used in contrast to Usūlī...

 Twelver Shi'a, Usuli Twelver Shi'a scholars do not believe that everything in the four major books is authentic.

Studies



Hadith studies are a number of methods of evaluation developed by early Muslim scholars in determining the veracity of reports attributed to Muhammad. This is achieved by analyzing the text of the report, the scale of the report's transmission, the routes through which the report was transmitted, and the individual narrators involved in its transmission. On the basis of these criteria, various classifications were devised for hadith. The earliest comprehensive work in hadith studies was Abu Muhammad al-Ramahurmuzi's
Ramahurmuzi
Abū Muḥammad al-Ḥasan ibn ʻAbd al-Raḥmān ibn Khallād al-Rāmahurmuzī , commonly referred to in medieval literature as Ibn al-Khallād, was a hadith specialist and author who wrote one of the first comprehensive books compiled in hadith terminology literature, al-Muḥaddith al-Fāṣil bayn al-Rāwī wa...

 al-Muhaddith al-Fasil, while another significant work was al-Hakim al-Naysaburi
Hakim al-Nishaburi
Abu Abd-Allah Muhammad ibn Abd-Allah al-Hakim al-Nishaburi , and also known as Ibn Al-Baiyi.) was a Sunni scholar and the leading traditionist of his age, frequently referred to as the "Imam of the Muhaddithin" or the "Muhaddith of Khorasan."-Biography:Al-Hakim, who hailed from Nishapur, had vast...

's
Ma‘rifat ‘ulum al-hadith. Ibn al-Salah's ''ʻUlum al-hadith
Introduction to the Science of Hadith
Introduction to the Science of Hadith is a 13th-century book written by `Abd al-Raḥmān ibn `Uthmān al-Shahrazūrī, better known as Ibn al-Ṣalāḥ, which describes the Islamic discipline of the science of hadith, its terminology and the principals of biographical evaluation...

is considered the standard classical reference on hadith studies.

Terminology



By means of Hadith terminology, hadith are categorized as ṣaḥīḥ (sound, authentic), ḍaʿīf (weak), or mawḍūʿ (fabricated). Other classifications used also include: ḥasan (good), which refers to an otherwise ṣaḥīḥ report suffering from minor deficiency, or a weak report strengthened due to numerous other corroborating reports; and munkar (denounced) which is a report that is rejected due to the presence of an unreliable transmitter contradicting another more reliable narrator. Both sahīh and hasan reports are considered acceptable for usage in Islamic legal discourse. Classifications of hadith may also be based upon the scale of transmission. Reports that pass through many reliable transmitters at each point in the isnad up until their collection and transcription are known as mutawātir. These reports are considered the most authoritative as they pass through so many different routes that collusion between all of the transmitters becomes an impossibility. Reports not meeting this standard are known as aahad, and are of several different types.

Biographical evaluation



Another area of focus in the study of hadith is biographical analysis (‘ilm al-rijāl, lit. "science of people"), in which details about the transmitter are scrutinized. This includes analyzing their date and place of birth; familial connections; teachers and students; religiosity; moral behaviour; literary output; their travels; as well as their date of death. Based upon these criteria, the reliability (thiqāt) of the transmitter is assessed. Also determined is whether the individual was actually able to transmit the report, which is deduced from their contemporaneity and geographical proximity with the other transmitters in the chain. Examples of biographical dictionaries include: Abd al-Ghani al-Maqdisi
Abd al-Ghani al-Maqdisi
Abd al-Ghani al-Maqdisi is a classical Sunni Islamic scholar and a prominent Hadith master.-Works:He is the author of many famous works, including :*al-Kamal fi Asma' al-Rijal *Umdat al-Ahkam -References:...

's Al-Kamal fi Asma' al-Rijal
Al-Kamal fi Asma' al-Rijal
Al-Kamal fi Asma' al-Rijal is a collection of biographies of hadith narrators within the Islamic discipline of biographical evaluation by the 12th-century Islamic scholar Abd al-Ghani al-Maqdisi.-Overview:...

, Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani's Tahdhīb al-Tahdhīb and al-Dhahabi
Al-Dhahabi
Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn `Uthman ibn Qaymaz ibn `Abd Allah, Shams al-Din Abu `Abd Allah al-Turkmani al-Diyarbakri al-Fariqi al-Dimashqi al-Dhahabi al-Shafi`i , known as Al-Dhahabi , a Shafi'i Muhaddith and historian of Islam.-Biography:...

's Tadhkirat al-huffaz.

Quranists or Qur'an alone Muslims view of hadith



Qur'an alone Muslims, also known as Quranists, are Muslims who follow the Qur'an and consider it to be the only sacred text in Islam. They reject the religious authority of Hadith and Sunnah.

Western academic scholarship


Early Western exploration of Islam consisted primarily of translation of the Qur'an and a few histories, often supplemented with disparaging commentary . In the 19th century, scholars made greater attempts at impartiality, and translated and commented upon a greater variety of texts. By the beginning of the 20th century, Western scholars of Islam started to critically engage with the Islamic texts, subjecting them to the same agnostic, searching scrutiny that had previously been applied to Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 texts (see higher criticism). Ignaz Goldziher is the best known of these turn-of-the-century critics, who also included D. S. Margoliuth
David Samuel Margoliouth
David Samuel Margoliouth was an orientalist. He was briefly active as a priest in the Church of England...

, Henri Lammens
Henri Lammens
Henri Lammens was a prominent Belgian-born Jesuit and Orientalist.Born in Ghent, Belgium of Catholic Flemish stock, Henri Lammens joined the Society of Jesus in Beirut at the age of fifteen, and settled permanently in Lebanon. During his first eight years there Lammens mastered the Arabic...

, and Leone Caetani
Leone Caetani
Leone Caetani , Duke of Sermoneta , was an Italian scholar, politician and historian of the Middle-East....

. Goldziher writes, in his Muslim Studies: "... it is not surprising that, among the hotly debated controversial issues of Islam, whether political or doctrinal, there is not one in which the champions of the various views are unable to cite a number of traditions, all equipped with imposing isnads". John Esposito
John Esposito
John Louis Esposito is a professor of International Affairs and Islamic Studies at Georgetown University...

 notes that "Modern Western scholarship has seriously questioned the historicity and authenticity of the hadith", maintaining that "the bulk of traditions attributed to the Prophet Muhammad were actually written much later." He mentions Joseph Schacht
Joseph Schacht
Joseph Schacht, born in Ratibor, 15 March 1902, died in Englewood, 1 August 1969, was a British-German professor of Arabic and Islam at Columbia University in New York. He was the leading Western scholar on Islamic law, whose Origins of Muhammadan Jurisprudence is still considered a centrally...

 as one scholar who argues this, claiming that Schacht "found no evidence of legal traditions before 722," from which Schacht concluded that "the Sunna of the Prophet is not the words and deeds of the Prophet, but apocryphal material" dating from later.

Contemporary Western scholars of hadith include: Herbert Berg, Fred M. Donner
Fred Donner
Fred McGraw Donner is an Islamic scholar and Professor of Near Eastern History at the University of Chicago.-Early life:Donner was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, where he attended public schools...

 and Wilferd Madelung
Wilferd Madelung
Wilferd Ferdinand Madelung is a scholar of Islam. He was born in Stuttgart, Germany, where he completed his early education at Eberhard-Ludwigs-Gymnasium....

. Madelung has immersed himself in the hadith literature and has made his own selection and evaluation of tradition. Having done this, he is much more willing to trust hadith than many of his contemporaries. Madelung said of hadith: "Work with the narrative sources, both those that have been available to historians for a long time and others which have been published recently, made it plain that their wholesale rejection as late fiction is unjustified and that with [not without] a judicious use of them, a much more reliable and accurate portrait of the period can be drawn than has been realized so far."

Harald Motzki
Harald Motzki
-Bibliography:*Hadith: Origins and Developments ISBN 0860787044*The Origins of Islamic Jurisprudence ISBN 900412131 5...

 said: "The mere fact that ahadith and asanid were forged must not lead us to conclude that all of them are fictitious or that the genuine and the spurious cannot be distinguished with some degree of certainty."

Some Muslim scholars have undergone Western academic training and attempted to mediate between the traditional Muslim and the secular Western view. Notable among these was Fazlur Rahman Malik (1919–1988) who argued that while the chain of transmission of the hadith may often be spurious, the matn can still be used to understand how Islam can be lived in the modern world. Liberal movements within Islam
Liberal movements within Islam
Progressive Muslims have produced a considerable body of liberal thought within Islam or "progressive Islam" ; but some consider progressive Islam and liberal Islam as two distinct movements)...

 tend to agree with Rahman's views to varying degrees.

Further reading

  • Brown, J. (2007). The Canonization of al-Bukhari and Muslim: The Formation and Function of the Sunni Hadith Canon. Leiden: Brill, 2007.
  • Juynboll, G. H. A. (2007). Encyclopedia of Canonical Hadith. Leiden: Brill, 2007.
  • Musa, A. Y. Hadith as Scripture: Discussions on The Authority Of Prophetic Traditions in Islam, New York: Palgrave, 2008. ISBN 0-230-60535-4
  • Fred M. Donner
    Fred Donner
    Fred McGraw Donner is an Islamic scholar and Professor of Near Eastern History at the University of Chicago.-Early life:Donner was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, where he attended public schools...

    , Narratives of Islamic Origins (1998)
  • Wilferd Madelung
    Wilferd Madelung
    Wilferd Ferdinand Madelung is a scholar of Islam. He was born in Stuttgart, Germany, where he completed his early education at Eberhard-Ludwigs-Gymnasium....

    , Succession to Muhammad (1997)

External links