Carrying on the Tradition: A Social and Intellectual History of Hadith Transmission across a Thousand Years


In Carrying on the Tradition Garrett Davidson employs a variety of largely unutilized print, as well as archival sources collected from the Near East, North Africa, India, Europe, and North America. He analyses these sources to excavate the fundamental reinvention of the conceptions and practices of hadith transmission that resulted from the establishment of the hadith canon. Further, the book examines how hadith scholars reimagined the transmission of hadith, not as a scholarly tool, as it had originally been, but instead as, among other things, an act of pious emulation of the forefathers. It demonstrates the emergence of new genres and subgenres of hadith literature, as a result of this shift, examining them as artefacts of the cultural, social, and intellectual history of Muslim religiosity from the tenth to twentieth centuries.

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Garrett A. Davidson, Ph.D. (2014) University of Chicago, is Assistant Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the College of Charleston. His research focuses on hadith and the Arabic manuscript tradition.
List of Figures


1 Reimagining Hadith Transmission in the Shadow of the Canon
 1 The Ideology of Hadith Transmission
 2 The Social Logic of Hadith Transmission
 3 “Nothing Gold Can Stay:” The End of the ‘Golden Age’ of Hadith Transmission
 4 Elevation and Decline
 5 Degrees of Separation
 6 Supernatural Elevation
 7 Conclusion

2 The Post-canonical Evolution of Oral Hadith Transmission
 1 The Audition Notice
 2 The Evolving Function of Oral Transmission
 3 The Age Structure of Oral Transmission
 4 Hadith Speed Reading
 5 Further Liberalization of Oral Transmission
 6 The Ritualization of Oral Hadith Transmission
 7 Locations of Oral Hadith Transmission
 8 Musalsalāt: Ritual and Mimesis in Oral Hadith Transmission
 9 A Shifting Culture of Oral Hadith Transmission

3 Non-oral Transmission in the Oral Idiom: The Development and Function of the Ijāza
 1 Confusion in the Secondary Literature
 2 The Origins and Early Development of the Ijāza
 3 The Earliest Attestations of the Ijāza
 4 The Tide Begins to Turn: The Increasing Acceptance of the Ijāza in the Fourth/Tenth Century
 5 Al-Khaṭīb and the Expansion of the Ijāza
 6 The ijāza as a Means of Preserving the Chain of Transmission
 7 Permission for the Unspecified
 8 Who Can Receive an Ijāza?
 9 The Ijāza and the Short Chain of Transmission
 10 The Ijāza and the Unborn
 11 Ijāzas for All: The Development and Function of the al-Ijāza al-ʿĀmma
 12 Conclusion

4 The High and the Low: Men, Women and the Social Aspect of Elevation
 1 The Laity and the Randomness of Longevity and Elevation
 2 A Medieval Hadith Rock Star: The Extraordinary Case of Abū ʿAbbās al-Ḥajjār
 3 The Elevated Chain of Transmission and Women Hadith Transmitters
 4 The Exceptional Case of Karīma al-Marwaziyya
 5 The Question of Learning among Women Hadith Transmission
 6 The Case of Women Hadith Transmitters in al-Sakhāwī’s al-Ḍawʾ al-lāmiʿ
 7 Longevity, Elevation and Women Transmitters
 8 The View of Women’s Hadith Transmission from the Documentary Evidence
 9 Women and Hadith Transmission beyond the Tenth/Sixteenth Century
 10 Conclusion

5 Brevity, Breadth and Elevation: The Forty Hadith and ʿAwālī Genres
 1 The Prophet’s Promise: The Forty-Hadith Genres and Elevation
 2 The Forty-Hadith Genre as a Tool for the Cultivation of Elevation
 3 The Forty-Hadith Genre and Elevation
 4 Forty Hadith, Forty Shaykhs, Forty Towns
 5 The ʿAwālī Genre: Compiling and Presenting Elevation
 6 Thulāthiyyāt al-Bukhārī: al-Bukhārī’s Threes
 7 Degrees of Separation: Link-Themed ʿAwālī Collections
 8 Categories of Elevation: Muwāfaqāt, Abdāl, ʿAwālī
 9 Conclusion

6 Men of Books and Books of Men: The Muʿjam/Mashyakha and Fihrist/Thabat Catalog Genres
 1 The Mashyakha and Muʿjam al-Shuyūkh Genre
 2 The Muʿjam/Mashyakha Genre as s Vehicle for Cultivating Elevated Hadith
 3 The Reception of Mashyakha and Muʿjam al-Shuyūkh Works
 4 The Fihrist/Thabat Genres
 5 The Thabat: The Development of the Catalog Genre in the Central and Eastern Islamic Lands
 6 Conclusion

7 Hadith Transmission in an Age of Transformation and Reform
 1 The Last of the Mohicans: Al-Kattānī and the State of Hadith Transmission in the Early-Twentieth Century
 2 Hadith Transmission and Reform
 3 Reformers and the Irrationality of Post-Canonical Hadith Transmission
 4 Transmitting Hadith in the Shifting Political and Cultural Terrain of the Twentieth Century
 5 Hadith Transmission as a Feature of Late Sunni Traditionalism

All interested in Islamic Studies, Islamic Intellectual History, the Islamic Scholarly Tradition and hadith.
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