Studies in Hadith and Islamic Law
Author

Muntasir Zaman

M

Consulting Primary Sources: A Biographical Note by al-Suyūṭī

Jalāl al-Dīn al-Suyūṭī (d. 911 AH) shares a remarkable exchange with his teacher Taqī al-Dīn al-Shumunnī (d. 872 AH). In al-Shifā, Qāḍī ʿIyāḍ (d. 544 AH) mentions a particular hadith about the Prophet’s ascension on the authority of Abū al-Ḥamrāʾ, for which he cites the Baghdadi judge Ibn Qāniʿ (d. 351 AH).[1] In his gloss on al-Shifā titled Muzīl al-khafā, al-Shumunnī adds that the hadith is...

From Khurasan to al-Andalus: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī in the Maghreb in Light of Two Early Manuscripts

Students of hadith are well aware that many Maghrebi scholars preferred Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim over Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī for aesthetic and structural reasons. This preference, however, should not detract from their laudable efforts in studying, explicating, and transmitting the latter. Despite being geographically distant from the hadith networks of “the long fourth century AH,” Maghrebi scholars from the...

An Ottoman Proposal to Reform al-Azhar’s Hadith Curriculum

An Ottoman Proposal to Reform al-Azhar’s Hadith Curriculum: Kawtharī’s Letter to the Shaykh al-Azhar Though he is widely recognized for his remarkable grasp of didactic theology, Shaykh Muḥammad Zāhid al-Kawtharī (d. 1952), the last deputy of the Ottoman Shaykh al-Islam, was a master of many sciences, particularly hadith. His annotations on ʿAbd al-Ḥayy al-Kattānī’s acclaimed catalogue of hadith...

When Less is More: On the Chapter Headings and Organization of Ḥadīths in Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim

The Ṣaḥīḥs of Imām al-Bukhārī (d. 256 AH) and Imām Muslim (d. 261 AH) occupy a sacrosanct space in the hearts of Muslims and are justifiably considered the most reliable collections after the Qurʾān. While each of these two works possesses features that have persuaded scholars over the centuries to prefer one over the other, al-Bukhārī’s literary genius truly shines in his chapter headings...

Shaykh ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-Kattānī, the Living Legend of Morocco

“I am from the partisans of Ḥadīth, and they are the best party. I hope to reach a hundred, having already passed the age of ninety.”  – Abū Ṭāhir al-Silafī (d. 576 AH) The epithet ruḥla is an interesting designation coined for someone who is considered a destination for academic travel. At the turn of the 8th century AH, when news spread that the Damascene Abū al-ʿAbbās al-Ḥajjār (d. 730...

Prophetic Medicine Between Revelation and Traditional Knowledge

By Dr. Jamīl Farīd Translated by Muntasir Zaman [Translator’s preface: In today’s intellectually turbulent climate, many Muslims are increasingly finding it difficult to reconcile ḥadīths that conflict with modern sensibilities and are consequently dismissing them summarily. This crisis of faith is nothing new. As early as the second century AH, scholars like al-Shāfiʿī (d. 204 AH) and later al...

An Overview of Ten Manuscripts of Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī

With at least 400 scholarly works and 2000 extant manuscripts written over a millennium to its name, there is hardly a book in history that has received as much scholarly attention as Imām Muḥammad ibn Ismāʿil al-Bukhārī’s magnum opus, Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī. To acquaint readers with some of the most authoritative surviving manuscripts of the Ṣaḥīḥ, Markaz al-Sunnah wa al-Turāth al-Nabawī published a...

A Gem Among Stones: al-Ṣaghānī’s Manuscript of Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī

Modern concerns surrounding the disappearance of al-Bukhārī’s exemplar stem from a failure to grasp the nuances of Ḥadīth transmission. Consequently, Alphonse Mingana (d. 1937 CE), for one, has erroneously criticized the authorship of Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī.[1] In general, Ḥadīth scholars deemed oral transmission as the most authoritative method of establishing ḥadīths and were, therefore, not as...

A Timeless Tale of Erudition: al-Yūnīnī and his Proverbial Manuscript of Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī

While mapping out his genealogy of Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, Ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī (d. 852 AH) identifies nine routes of transmission from Muḥammad ibn Yūsuf al-Firabrī (d. 320 AH), the primary transmitter of the Ṣaḥīḥ from its author. These routes further multiply as the transmission spreads out in every successive generation.[1] [ref] [/ref]The invention of the printing press has allowed for the...

On the Manuscripts of Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī: Discrepancies and Disappearance of the Original Copy

On the Manuscripts of Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī: Discrepancies and Disappearance of the Original Copy By ʿAbd al-Qādir Jalāl Translated by Muntasir Zaman Translator’s Preface Orientalist studies on Ḥadīth were part of a broader investigation into Islamic history. Their criticism on the reliability of Ḥadīth started as early as the nineteenth century; by 1848, Gustav Weil (d. 1889) had already criticized a...

Studies in Hadith and Islamic Law

Subscribe

Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email.

Recent Posts