How to Approach and Understand Hadith – Dr Jonathan Brown

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Categories: Hadith

4 replies

  1. I look forward to hearing all of this when I can…I like the first statement in this video….”…because the vast majority of controversial issues the Muslims encounter is in the Hadith tradition.”

    I follow the hadith but it is travesty that Muslims have like countless religious groups before them became more attached to human constructions of secondary literature instead of the primary source revealed to them by God Almighty.

    This is not to say that the Prophet was not inspired outside of the Qur’an.

    It is reasonable to expect him to be the best of people since the final revelation of mankind was sent to him (pbuh).

    So we should study hadith but under the light of God’s words and not the other way around. God defines Qur’an as the Al-Furqan, the criterion.

    Let’s hold fast to that definition of Al-Furqan and uphold it regardless of tradition of the past twelve hundred years after Al-Shafie.

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  2. One beautiful aspect of Muslims is their final scripture (the Qur’an) has been preserved. The scriptures of previous religions has not been perserved.

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  3. I heard up to about 34 minutes…when Professor Brown was speaking about hyperbolic hadiths and how he said the Prophet spoke often in hyperbole.

    This is his assumption and he may be true…there are reasons as he says where hyperbole can be the rhetorical tool that is useful… but I am not convinced…hyperbole can also be the result of the original statement becoming embellished over the several narrators across the decades or century or so until it was written down..

    I assume that if the original statement was not preserved, then, historically people across all cultures and lands have tended to embellish rather than diminish the original statement.

    Of course, I am sure that at times original statements were also passed on accurately over time but it is usually not within our capacity to know with adequate certainty when they were and when they weren’t.

    Also, people who want to fabricate for whatever reasons wanted to push an idea strongly and thus also used hyperbole.

    I am not saying the hyperbolic hadiths graded as sahih are not authentic…for sure, it appears that at least some substantial percentage of sahih hadith are authentic (at least authentic in the gist of what the hadith says) but with respect to many sahih hadiths, only Allah knows, especially if we don’t have more than one narrator at every level…and unfortunately for the case for the majority of sahih hadiths, we don’t have more than two people at every stage of transmission.

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