Since its inception, the study of Ḥadīth conducted by scholars trained in the Western academic tradition has been marked by sharp methodological debates. A focal issue is the origin and development of traditions on the advent of Islam. Scholars' verdicts on these traditions have ranged from “late fabrications without any historical value for the time concerning which the narrations purport to give information” to “early, accurately transmitted texts that allow one to reconstruct Islamic origins”. Starting from previous contributions to the debate, the studies collected in this volume show that, by careful analysis of their texts and chains of transmission, the history of Muslim traditions can be reconstructed with a high degree of probability and their historicity assessed afresh.
Harald Motzki, Ph.D. (1978) in Islamic Studies, University of Bonn, is Professor of Islamic Studies at Radboud University Nijmegen. He has published extensively on Muslim traditions and Islamic social and legal history.
Nicolet Boekhoff-van der Voort, MA (1996) in Arabic and Islamic Studies, Radboud University Nijmegen. She has nearly completed her Ph.D. thesis on the biography of the Prophet Muḥammad compiled by Ibn Shihāb al-Zuhrī.
Sean W. Anthony, Ph.D. (2009) in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago, is currently revising his Ph.D. thesis on Ibn Sabaʾ and the origins of Shīʿism for publication.
World Prize for the Book of the Year of the Islamic Republic of Iran, February 2012.
"The thesis of the volume [...] is that a careful analysis if
isnād (chain of transmittars) and
matn (text) will afford a fairer reconstruction of the history of
ḥadīth and indeed its probative value as a historical source [...] Overall, this is a significant work which has succesfully challenged and thrown into relief many of the erroneous and inaccurate postulations that have held sway [...] in
ḥadīth, exegetical and jurisprudential studies."
Amidu Olekan Sami in
JOAS 22 (2013), 366-368.
Table of contents
1. THE JURISPRUDENCE OF IBN SHIHĀB AL-ZUHRĪ. A SOURCE-CRITICAL STUDY, Harald Motzki
ḤADĪTH STUDIES?, Harald Motzki
3. THE PROPHET AND THE DEBTORS. A
ḤADĪTH ANALYSIS UNDER SCRUTINY, Harald Motzki
AL-RADD ʿALĀ L-RADD: CONCERNING THE METHOD OF
ḤADĪTH ANALYSIS, Harald Motzki
5. THE ORIGINS OF MUSLIM EXEGESIS. A DEBATE, Harald Motzki
6. THE RAID OF THE HUDHAYL: IBN SHIHĀB AL-ZUHRĪ’S VERSION OF THE EVENT, Nicolet Boekhoff-van der Voort
7. CRIME AND PUNISHMENT IN EARLY MEDINA: THE ORIGINS OF A
MAGHĀZĪ-TRADITION, Sean W. Anthony
All those interested in history and culture of Islam and the Middle East, students and scholars of Islamic Studies and Comparative Religion as well as historians.