The Prayers of Abū Muslim and al-Maʾmūn. An Exercise in Dating Ḥadīth

In: Journal of Abbasid Studies
Stijn Aerts University of Leuven Belgium

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In using ḥadīth narratives as historical sources, the challenge is to determine their origin. Different methods have been devised to trace the provenance of ḥadīth reports, but all these approaches lack an external frame of reference. Data retrieved from other sources, such as the historiographical genres, can be used to validate the results of ḥadīth-analysis under certain conditions. The method proposed here is exclusively applicable to traditions that describe events or support a rule that can be linked to a historical event described in the chronicles. Two case studies — concerning the festival prayer and the pronouncement of a final takbīr in the regular prayers — demonstrate that the results of the proposed method of dating ḥadīths correspond to the dates ascribed to the events in the chronicles.

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