Toward a Methodology of Understanding the Nature and Scope of the Concept of Sunnah

in Arab Law Quarterly
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This article outlines several features of a new methodology of the

nature

and

scope

of the concept of Sunnah. The proposed methodology would permit us to better understand the

nature

and

scope

of the Sunnah and its inter-relationship with the body of Quranic and

Hadīth

texts. It will do so by outlining some salient features of a new methodology that will allow for the conceptual differentiation between Sunnah and

Hadīth

beyond those proposed so far. The article will argue that the way the

nature

and

scope

of the concept of Sunnah is understood or defined is inextricably linked with the way the

nature

,

objectives

, and

character

of Quranic Revelation is conceptualized. Additionally, the paper will argue on the basis of several examples that apart from its

amal

or practice based component, the Sunnah comprises of

akhlāq

,

fiqh

,

aqīdah

, and

ibādah

elements which are epistemologically and methodologically independent of

Hadīth

but organically linked to a particular type of Quranic hermeneutic. The article concludes with a brief discussion on the status of

Hadīth

literature in relation to the Quranic and Sunnah bodies of knowledge.

Toward a Methodology of Understanding the Nature and Scope of the Concept of Sunnah

in Arab Law Quarterly

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