Studies in Hadith and Islamic Law
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Hadith

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On the Retention of the Companions

On the Retention of the Companions By Muntasir Zaman To evaluate the reliability of a narrator, Ḥadīth scholars examined two integral characteristics: probity (ʿadālah) and retention (ḍabṭ).[1] After studying the probity of the Companions (Allah be pleased with them), a person is left with the following question: companionship with the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) does not enhance...

The Preservation of the Ḥadīth Literature

The Preservation of the Ḥadīth Literature By Muntasir Zaman “Marks of ink on one’s mouth and clothes are emblems of honor.”[1] – Ibrāhīm al-Nakha‘ī Introduction How has the Islamic civilization maintained the rich literary heritage of Ḥadīth developed by early Muslim scholars? What guarantee is there that the collections of ḥadīths in our possession have reached us accurately or that they...

Guidelines on Evaluating Historical Reports

Guidelines on Evaluating Historical Reports By Shaykh Sharīf Hātim al-‘Awnī Translated by Muntasir Zaman [Translator’s preface: The following paper outlines an approach to evaluating the authenticity of historical reports. The author begins by emphasizing the merits of the Hadīth methodology, but makes sure to point out that not every science is obliged to adopt such a rigorous method. Drawing on...

The Life and Works of Hāfiẓ al-Zayla‘ī, Author of Nasb al-Rāyah

The Life and Works of Hāfiẓ al-Zayla‘ī, Author of Nasb al-Rāyah By Shaykh Muhammad ‘Awwāmah Translated by Muntasir Zaman Name and lineage He is the Imām, prolific Hadith memorizer, and authority, Jamāl al-Dīn Abū Muhammad ‘Abd Allāh ibn Yūsuf ibn Yūnus Ibn Muhammad al-Zayla‘ī[1] al-Hanafī, one of the leading Hadīth experts of the 8th century, which brimmed with experts of Hadīth who revived the...

The Science of al-Jarh wa al-Ta‘dīl: Separating Wheat from Chaff

The Science of al-Jarh wa al-Ta‘dīl: Separating Wheat from Chaff By Muntasir Zaman “And true virtue is what critics cannot help but acknowledge” goes the popular adage.[1] A case in point is where the renowned Orientalist Aloys Sprenger (d. 1893 CE) humbles his pen to write, “There is no nation, nor has there been any which like them [Muslims] has during twelve centuries recorded the life of...

The Isnād System: An Unbroken Link to The Prophet

Pause for a moment, and ask yourself: what are the greatest accomplishments of the Muslim civilization? At first thought, a number of things will probably come to mind, ranging from mathematics to medicine to architecture—perhaps even coffee.[1] But unfortunately we tend to overlook one of the greatest accomplishments, if not the greatest: the isnād system. That a person, till this day, can...

Sixty Years in The Making: A Closer Look at Shaykh ‘Awwāmah’s Edition of Tadrīb al-Rāwī fī Sharh Taqrīb al-Nawāwī

Sixty Years in The Making: A Closer Look at Shaykh ‘Awwāmah’s Edition of Tadrīb al-Rāwī fī Sharh Taqrīb al-Nawāwī By Muntasir Zaman When an expert assures you that he invested sixty years of experience in a given project, it should come as no surprise that such a work deserves undivided attention. That is the case with the latest edition of Imām Jalāl al-Dīn al-Suyūtī’s (d. 911 AH) magnum opus...

On the Reward of Performing Two Sajdahs after the Witr Prayer Followed by the Recitation of “Subbūh Quddūs Rabb al-Malā’ikah wa al-Rūh” and Ayāt al-Kursī

On the Reward of Performing Two Sajdahs after the Witr Prayer Followed by the Recitation of “Subbūh Quddūs Rabb al-Malā’ikah wa al-Rūh” and Ayāt al-Kursī By Ibrāhim ibn Muhammad al-Halabī Translated by Muntasir Zaman [Translator’s Preface: The following is an analysis of a hadith concerning the supposed virtue of performing two sajdahs after the Witr prayer followed by the recitation of “subbūh...

A Chronological List of Prominent Hadith Scholars – English

A Chronological List of Prominent Hadīth Scholars The importance of knowing the dates of birth/death of the scholars cannot be stressed enough, for it holds a high status in Islāmic knowledge in general and in the science of Hadīth in particular. Thus, Imām ‘Alī ibn al-Madīnī mentions, “Comprehension of the meaning of Hadīth is half of knowledge and knowing the transmitters is the other half.” To...

A Chronological List of Prominent Hadīth Scholars – Arabic

جَدوَل لأسماء أعلام المحدثين ومواليدهم ووفياتهم مع ذكر بعض مؤلفاتهم بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم :الحمد لله رب العالمين والصلاة والسلام علي سيد المرسلين أما بعد فإن لمعرفة مواليد ووفيات الأعلام مكانة عظيمة في العلوم الشرعية لا سيّما في علوم الحديث الشريف. ومن ثَمّ قال الإمام علي بن المديني: “التفقّه في معاني الحديث نصف العلم، ومعرفة الرجال نصف العلم” (المحدث الفاصل ص 320) وقال الامام سفيان...

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