HADĪTH IN THE RESPONSES OF ISHĀQ B. RĀHWAYH

in Islamic Law and Society
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Abstract

The Khorasanian scholar Ibn Rāhwayh (d. 238/853) is known mainly as a traditionist. His teachers were prominent traditionists, he was a colleague of Ibn Hanbal's, he is the author of a Musnad, and his students include Bukharī, Muslim, Abū Dāwūd, Nasā'ī and Tirmidhī. However, he was also a jurist, and his jurisprudence can be studied in a masā'il collection compiled by Ishāq b. Ibrāhīm al-Kawsaj (251/865) who was a younger contemporary of Ibn Rāhwayh's and also one of his students. Below, I analyze a number of Ibn Rāhwayh's responses to show how he actually uses hadīths in his jurisprudence. It turns out that despite his reputation as a traditionist, he does not use hadīths methodically. Although he uses them in his discussion of issues concerning which a body of ikhtilāf had grown up, he depends more on the authority of the Successors and the scholarly community than he does on hadīths from the Prophet.

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