Dr Jonathan AC Brown – Is Sahih Bukhari 100% Correct?

A sober and informative discussion

 

 

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Categories: Hadith, Islam, Islamophobia

38 replies

  1. Very nice comments by Dr. Jonathan Brown….sober according to medieval standards but not sober enough according to the much higher standards in academia today.

    Below is a though provoking book review on problems in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim.

    http://www.mohammedamin.com/Reviews/Authentication-of-Hadith-Redefining-the-Criteria.html

    The author of the book identifies some hadith that he says are false based on some criteria that is widely accepted by scholars.

    Although the criteria is accepted, it is not applied often, especially not to Bukhari and Muslim.

    He applies it and identifies some problematic hadith…I think around 50.

    However, most hadith cannot be empirically identified….purported hadith dealing with history, etc. can be judged against empirical facts but most hadith are not on such topics that can be verified.

    But if among the small subset of hadith that can be verified, if a substantial number, even if not a large percentage, are known to be false as the book above shows, then that reasonably implies that a substantial percentage of hadith that cannot be checked by empirical means (although not necessarily same proportion) may very well be also false.

    Thus, much more hadith of Bukhari may very well be false outright and even more hadith to be distorted to some degree than Dr. Brown is indicating.

    Sahih Bukhari is nevertheless a useful book but it is still problematic and if it continues to be indirectly attributed to God Almighty and becomes the lens though which the Quran is interpreted, instead of identifying it as Dr. Brown described it as a work of a man who died 256 years after the Prophet (pbuh), then in a reflective society, Sahih Bukhari can even become harmful to promoting and sustaining Islam among some truth seekers (the problem in hadiths is generally even worse when applied to Shia hadith books apart from the intellectually and spiritually stimulating Nahj al-Balagha, which is technically not a hadith book).

    And Dr. Brown’s thesis of the sensitivity of not criticizing Bukhari is being just a reaction to Western attacks on Islam is simplistic…today’s age is intellectually vastly more rigorous than the 800s or 1000s or 1200s…the rigor of today has identified physical characteristics of the universe a microsecond after it was created….requiring people to vastly lower the rigor of investigation for hadith from the standards that millions are used to dealing with in their university work or in their work environment is very problematic and promoting a schizophrenic approach….it will become less and less tenable as education of masses in the Muslim world increases.

    Allah (swt) tells us to study history….the one constant throughout history, especially religious history, is that most people will resist change from paradigms they have become accustomed to and have become comfortable with no matter how much evidence is brought forth.

    Again, the book review above is very enlightening.

    Allahu ‘alam.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good observations.

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    • Omer are you an adherent to Quran only view?

      Which hadith in Bukhari do you accept?

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    • Salam Omar,

      I am absolutely not Qur’an Only…I reject Qur’an Only teachings but they have many good insights…I am Qur’an First….Islam as practiced by most Muslims today is not Qur’an First but Qur’an as interpreted through the lens of the hadith. Deeply offensive to the Qur’an which God Himself made easy to understand and He told us to ponder on it using our intelligence and did not say to interpret it through the lens of works that were compiled over centuries by medieval men who had biases just like Christians and Jews have biases as Abdullah mentioned.

      I accept a large number of hadiths in Bukhari….I did not study each hadith systematically and I did not even read all of them…I do have a beard, I do role up my pant to my ankle when I pray, etc (there were much less motivations for distortions in rituals)….but I would accept many hadiths that are in non-ritual issues too

      I don’t know…perhaps, I probably would accept the majority of them.

      But there are multiple hadiths that to me clearly violate the Allah’s teachings in the Qur’an.

      And then many hadiths have been shown to be simply false based on other objective evidence and many more with distortions crept into them. It is not at all surprising with the fulan to fulan and so on for 6 people from the Prophet until we read it. Even the ancients whose standards were far lower than now had problems…Darqutni was a hadith master…he was one of the few hadith masters of all time….and he had problems with 80 but there would be much, much more than 80 if we examined with keeping the Quranic spirit as the criterion.

      Moreover, another key question apart from all that, is to ask how would the Prophet want us to act in our time and place and given the information he would have had if he had lived amongst us…that is a more probative search for who follows the Prophet and not some attachment to this narration process that took a long time within broad geography and through tumultuous movements. And this question can only be asked if kept in mind that the Prophet by definition would be the most attached to the Qur’anic spirit in all his actions.

      Omar, the Prophet’s ministry was not for three years or so like Jesus but substantially longer…20 years longer….and he (pbuh) had many followers…did the Prophet compile the hadiths to transmit it to future generations if his sayings were as important to him as it is to you?

      I don’t have time to engage further on this topic but all the best to you and all those close to you.

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    • Omar,

      I said I was too busy to continue to engage with you on this topic but I want to ask your candid thoughts on what I found from a Quranist website.

      The website is https://lampofislam.wordpress.com

      The full article is at https://lampofislam.wordpress.com/2016/03/24/hadith-prohibited-hadith/

      I am not saying that everything in the above article tells the full story…it doesn’t.

      And I don’t agree with everything on this website for some is quite speculative but many articles are very insightful.

      Moreover, I am not a Quranist. I believe it is very important to read hadiths but only under the light of the Qur’an and reason and not backwards (reading the Quran and reason in the light of hadith).

      Here is an excerpt of one article.

      What do you genuinely think about after trying to abstract out and remove for some time your own conditioning which I assume is supportive of the Ahl al hadith view.

      (Please note that the hadith further below mentioning “Amir Muawiyyah” indicates that it was after the death of the Prophet (pbuh) and thus can arguably indicate what Zayd ibn Thabit reportedly stated about the final view of the Prophet regarding hadith “:

      ” THE PROPHET PROHIBITED HADITH

      It is documented in several hadith books that the Prophet had prohibited the scribing of anything from him except the Quran:

      Abu Said al-Khudri said, Ishaq ibn Isa told me that Abdul Rahman ibn Zaid told us that his father said about Ata ibn Yasar who said that Abu Hurayrah said: We were sitting down writing what we heard from the prophet. He entered the room and asked us: What are you writing? We said: We are writing what we hear from you. He said: Another book next to the book of Allah? We said: It is what we hear from you. He said: Then write the book of Allah, uphold the book of Allah, no other books but the book of Allah, uphold the book of Allah. Abu Hurayrah said: So we collected all that we wrote and burnt it. Then we asked the prophet: Can we talk about you? He said: Yes you can and feel no shame of it, and whoever lies about me deliberately his seat in hell will be secured. Abu Hurayrah said: Can we talk about Bani Israel? He said: Yes you can and feel no shame of it… (Musnad Ahmad, Number 10611)

      The Prophet said: Do not write down anything of me except the Quran. Whoever writes other than that should destroy it. (La taktabu anni ghair-al-Quran; wa mun kataba anni ghair-al-Quran falyamhah). (Saheeh Muslim)

      The Prophet said: Do not write from me anything except the Quran and whosoever has written anything from me other than the Quran should erase it. (Saheeh Bukhari, reported by Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri)

      The Prophet said: I leave for you the Quran alone; you shall uphold it. (Muslim 15/19, nu 1218; ibn Majah 25/84, Abu dawud 11/56)

      The Prophet said: Do not write down anything of me except the Quran. Let whoever writes other than that destroy it. (Musnad by Ahmed ibn Hanbal)

      The companions of the Prophet asked him permission to take down his sayings. They were refused. (Tirmizi; Es-Sunen, quoted by Darimi)

      While we were engrossed copying the hadiths, the Prophet came and asked what we were doing. “We are copying your sayings”, we replied. “Is your intention to create a book other than God’s Book? People that preceded you swerved from the straight path because they dared write books other than God’s Book.” (Takyid, reported by Hatib)

      When Zaid bin Sabit had to go to Amir Mua’wiyya, he asked him for a hadith which Zaid explained. The Amir asked a person to write it. Zaid took it from the person who had written the hadith and erased it. He said, it was Messenger’s order not to write anything about him. (Abu Daweed, kitabb ul Ilm)

      One may ask: If all hadiths are unreliable hearsays, then why do we cite or rely on the above hadiths in support of rejecting all hadiths?

      In other words, why try to build the case against rumours on the strength of rumours?

      Here is the answer:

      Hadiths are prohibiting hadiths. Hearsays are convicting hearsays. This is such an irony! And this clearly makes a serious case against Hadith. “

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    • Is there anyone who has a comment on these multiple hadith above of the Prophet (pbuh) forbidding his companions in preserving of his sayings in the latter years of his ministry?

      What is your reaction Abdullah? It would be refreshing if you can take the high road and of at least some adjustment of your view in light of this strong evidence.

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    • It should be expected that almost all who do not want to question the status of hadiths (partly for their sectarian and identity desires) will not want to confront his evidence (of narrations of the Prophet prohibiting hadith) in a genuine and consistently rational way.

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    • Brother Omar, I think it’s waste for time to write a long essay for someone who just want to bring his objections and not interested to listen. Why would someone who is not ” Quranist” bring their objections and their absurdity here!?
      Those satanic people who claim to be Quranists while the Quran has nothing to do with them are just a new cultic movement with no base in Quran to begin with.
      Why would they use hadiths against us while they don’t believe in hadiths in the first place? The challange for them is to bring a verse in Quran saying we shouldn’t obey the prophet pbuh.
      Quran itself obligates us to follow the explanations and the guidance that the prophet pbuh said.
      However, some of those satanic people are arguing that there’s no authority of the prophet pbuh which means if the prophet pbuh were still alive, we would not be obligated to obey his orderes and instructions.
      The ” prophet” Schacht has already concluded in ” his scripture” that the prophet was not interested to teach his people about Salah or Zakah, for example. It’s all lies upon lies accordnf to his “academic scripture”

      BTW, these hadiths are not new in the field. They have been discussed by Islamic scolars before America was even discovered.

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    • The response by Abdullah is a nice example of Ignoration Elenchi (the fallacy of irrelevance).

      It is also a straw man argument and Ad hominem and a lie as I am not a Quranist and I am quite firm about that.

      He does nothing to address these multiple hadiths by the Prophet, some of which if true are from internal evidence of the his latter decision on this issue.

      Let me restate the excerpt for those who do not want to cover up the evidence.

      *******

      Please note that the hadith further below mentioning “Amir Muawiyyah” indicates that it was after the death of the Prophet (pbuh) and thus can arguably indicate what Zayd ibn Thabit reportedly stated about the final view of the Prophet regarding hadith

      *******

      ” THE PROPHET PROHIBITED HADITH

      It is documented in several hadith books that the Prophet had prohibited the scribing of anything from him except the Quran:

      Abu Said al-Khudri said, Ishaq ibn Isa told me that Abdul Rahman ibn Zaid told us that his father said about Ata ibn Yasar who said that Abu Hurayrah said: We were sitting down writing what we heard from the prophet. He entered the room and asked us: What are you writing? We said: We are writing what we hear from you. He said: Another book next to the book of Allah? We said: It is what we hear from you. He said: Then write the book of Allah, uphold the book of Allah, no other books but the book of Allah, uphold the book of Allah. Abu Hurayrah said: So we collected all that we wrote and burnt it. Then we asked the prophet: Can we talk about you? He said: Yes you can and feel no shame of it, and whoever lies about me deliberately his seat in hell will be secured. Abu Hurayrah said: Can we talk about Bani Israel? He said: Yes you can and feel no shame of it… (Musnad Ahmad, Number 10611)

      The Prophet said: Do not write down anything of me except the Quran. Whoever writes other than that should destroy it. (La taktabu anni ghair-al-Quran; wa mun kataba anni ghair-al-Quran falyamhah). (Saheeh Muslim)

      The Prophet said: Do not write from me anything except the Quran and whosoever has written anything from me other than the Quran should erase it. (Saheeh Bukhari, reported by Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri)

      The Prophet said: I leave for you the Quran alone; you shall uphold it. (Muslim 15/19, nu 1218; ibn Majah 25/84, Abu dawud 11/56)

      The Prophet said: Do not write down anything of me except the Quran. Let whoever writes other than that destroy it. (Musnad by Ahmed ibn Hanbal)

      The companions of the Prophet asked him permission to take down his sayings. They were refused. (Tirmizi; Es-Sunen, quoted by Darimi)

      While we were engrossed copying the hadiths, the Prophet came and asked what we were doing. “We are copying your sayings”, we replied. “Is your intention to create a book other than God’s Book? People that preceded you swerved from the straight path because they dared write books other than God’s Book.” (Takyid, reported by Hatib)

      When Zaid bin Sabit had to go to Amir Mua’wiyya, he asked him for a hadith which Zaid explained. The Amir asked a person to write it. Zaid took it from the person who had written the hadith and erased it. He said, it was Messenger’s order not to write anything about him. (Abu Daweed, kitabb ul Ilm)

      One may ask: If all hadiths are unreliable hearsays, then why do we cite or rely on the above hadiths in support of rejecting all hadiths?

      In other words, why try to build the case against rumours on the strength of rumours?

      Here is the answer:

      Hadiths are prohibiting hadiths. Hearsays are convicting hearsays. This is such an irony! And this clearly makes a serious case against Hadith. “

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    • I didn’t say that you are from those stanc people!
      What I said basically is If you are not Quranist, why would you want to see a response for those satanic people? Or why wuold you bring their absurdity here?
      Reagrding those hadiths, I affirm that they have been discussed before the grandfather of your grandfather was even born.
      Islamic scholars have discussed this issue point by point, and why the prophet pbuh ordered that , and you have to know that’s only in case if we assumed that the forbidden writting means that we should not deliver what the prophet said or acted which is not the case.
      Those cultic people don’t differ for any opponent against Islam and its teaching. I’ve countered many: jews, christians,and twelvers, they almost all use the sama satanic way to make a point. It’s pathetic.
      Again, the challange for them is to bring a verse in Quran saying we shouldn’t obey the prophet pbuh. The challenge for them is to describe the rule of the prophet pbuh. Was he just a machine reciting Quran? That’s it?

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    • Abdullah,

      Thanks for clarifying you did not mean me as a Quranist.

      Sorry for misunderstanding your harsh outbursts.

      It is not correct for you to call them satanic. There are many different type so people in any group. It is not good to generalize.

      There may be some who are just liberal and do not want the inconvenience of hadiths. But then there are some who are acting out of pure conscience as what they perceive as correct. So they may be more pure in goodness than you are.

      It is does not matter if this was discussed before the grandfather of my grandfather’s grandfather.

      The trinity was also discussed a long time ago. It does not make it true. Hindu issues were discussed way before the trinity. That does not make them true either.

      Your repeated references to verses about obeying the messenger are not fool proof.

      Of course, the Qur’an will say that…what is the alternative for the Qur’an to say “Oh you who believe, do not follow the messenger,”

      But, correct me if I am wrong, but I think whenever it uses the term obey, the word messenger is used.

      God is very deliberate in what He could have said…He could have said, Obey the Prophet or Obey Muhammad or Obey this Hashimi.

      If hypothetically you are a doctor, and someone says Obey Doctor Abdullah, then obviously the implied order is to obey him in his medical advice.

      What is role of messenger? To deliver the message. What message was Prophet Muhammad delivering?

      Answer: The Qur’an.

      So the PRIMARY effect of the verse can reasonably be interpreted as “You need to not only give obey God in your conscience but also the message that God has sent through his messenger.”

      The SECONDARY effect can reasonably be referring to making the requisite sacrifices to preserve the nascent and vulnerable to extinction monotheist group and spread the message that were required when such verses as Obey God and Obey the messenger were being revealed.

      The TERTIARY effect is regarding the many do’s and don’t’s….that are not spelled out in the Qur’an.

      So I agree with you that the Quranists are wrong and that hadiths are useful so we can fulfill this TERTIARY obligation given all the efforts, albeit quite demonstrably fallible, of medieval scholars to make the system somewhat informative.

      However, how much confidence can we put in the hadith system as a whole?

      I don’t know exactly but substantially less than the medieval scholars thought.

      The Prophet may have been concerned….And no, in general you cannot say they were revelations, although of course some may be inspirations….the onus is on you to prove that there is another revelation apart from the Qur’an and that the whole set of 10-30 or so thousand hadiths are in general revelations.

      The danger is that in addition to the sayings attributed to the Prophet that is helpful (many could be derived from pondering on the Qur’an and striving to live righteously), false doctrines and practices and mindsets and laws can ALSO enter in through the hadith.

      And there are many doctrines, practices, mindsets, laws that come from some of the 10- 30 thousand or so Sahih or Hasan hadiths…( I assume that there are much less than 30 thousand sahih hadiths but who knows maybe there are a lot hadiths that can be hasan in addition to the 10 000 or so Sahih hadiths).

      Is it worth it to have even one false doctrine, practice, mindset, law to be introduced into Islam.

      May be it is not worth it and that may have been a major concern of the Prophet.

      Allah (swt) specifies one and only one complaint that the Prophet will have on his ummah:

      That they left the Qur’an (25:30).

      And letting thousands of hadith eclipse to some extent the Qur’an is no doubt a form of abandoning the Qur’an to some extent.

      So stop with demonizing Quranists and try not to twist evidence to fit your convenient and sectarian desires.

      Salam

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    • Let me put “Quranists” who have nothing to do with Quran, and those who like them under a small test.

      You said
      “What is role of messenger? To deliver the message. What message was Prophet Muhammad delivering?
      Answer: The Qur’an.”
      Although this answer is so offensive, and it affirms that the prophet peace be upon him was just a machine reciting Quran and most important it contradicts Quran itself (16:44) , yet I’m going with them with this statement. BTW, this answer makes your teacher who taught you the Quran be more important than the rule of the prophet ﷺ.

      This is my small test for those satanic people.
      Quran in Surah 5:38 stated that we must amputate the thief’s hand.
      If my friend took a thin thread for flossing which belongs to me without notifying me, then I’ve the right to cut his hand by myself according to that verse since he stole me. What now? Could those satanic people object? I’m following Quran.

      “So stop with demonizing Quranists and try not to twist evidence to fit your convenient and sectarian desires”
      I find this very sarcastic! What are “sectarian desires” that you’re talking about? So Each time a crazy man bringing a satanic idea would become a sect which is opponent to Muslims(Sunni)?
      Muslims(Sunni) have been the ones who transmitted the Quran & Sunnah generation after generation.
      Sunni are not sect, they are the Ummah.

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    • Abdullah,

      Your response exemplifies your goal of being a strawman factory. I did not say that delivering the Qur’an was the only message of the Qur’an. Actually there are multiple verses of Allah saying this:

      Surah 5:92

      Obey God, and obey the Apostle, and beware (of evil): if ye do turn back, know ye that it is Our Apostle’s duty to proclaim (the message) in the clearest manner.

      Surah 24:54

      Say: “Obey God, and obey the Apostle: but if ye turn away, he is only responsible for the duty placed on him and ye for that placed on you. If ye obey him, ye shall be on right guidance. The Apostle’s duty is only to preach the clear (Message).

      Surah 64:12

      And obey ALLAH and obey the Messenger. But if you turn away, then Our Messenger is responsible only for conveying the Message clearly.

      But I don’t interpret the verses out of context with other verses….I don’t like creating strawmen.

      There are also other verses that demonstrate the Prophet’s role in reforming society although those verses are not so direct, emphatic, and clear as the verses above.

      But the Prophet’s main objective, goal, purpose was by far, by very far, outstretching anything else by a huge amount to deliver the Qur’an just like Allah (swt) says.

      Your point on 5:38 does is not correct. Only an imbecile will think he can cut someone’s hand out. Only an imbecile will think he can be the jury, judge, and executioner.

      Surah 4:59 indicates that society cannot have vigilantes but it must work according to a system.

      It’s interesting that it is not written in those hadiths that the Prophet forbade the writing of hadiths so as to not cause confusion in the transcription of the Qur’an as is the usual answer by those trying to minimize this.

      And in the following hadith in Musnad Ahmad, the Prophet actually does not a book next to the book of God.

      Forget about a book just next to the Qur’an…we even have hadiths used to abrogate the words of God!

      Abu Said al-Khudri said, Ishaq ibn Isa told me that Abdul Rahman ibn Zaid told us that his father said about Ata ibn Yasar who said that Abu Hurayrah said: We were sitting down writing what we heard from the prophet. He entered the room and asked us: What are you writing? We said: We are writing what we hear from you. He said: Another book next to the book of Allah? We said: It is what we hear from you. He said: Then write the book of Allah, uphold the book of Allah, no other books but the book of Allah, uphold the book of Allah. Abu Hurayrah said: So we collected all that we wrote and burnt it. Then we asked the prophet: Can we talk about you? He said: Yes you can and feel no shame of it, and whoever lies about me deliberately his seat in hell will be secured. Abu Hurayrah said: Can we talk about Bani Israel? He said: Yes you can and feel no shame of it… (Musnad Ahmad, Number 10611)

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    • I know already that you will flee as others before you although I don’t see why would you get an angry while the question was for satanic people who call themselves “Quranists” .
      As you bring their absurdity, let them answer the question as it’s stated.
      😏

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    • Abdullah,

      I am for hadiths but in a secondary role as opposed to the excessively exaggerated role that has undermined the Qur’an and reason

      You bring the of quoted verse of 16:44 which is used often to silence rational debate.

      How do you know that litubayinnu does not mean to make clear in terms of conveying the message clearly as opposed your characterization of it as interpretation.

      Indeed, multiple verses by God Almighty explain how the Prophet’s responsibility is for the Qur’an clearly (some verses in the previous comment).

      After all 3:187 uses the same word, does it not?

      And [mention, O Muhammad], when Allah took a covenant from those who were given the Scripture, [saying], “You must make it clear to the people and not conceal it.” But they threw it away behind their backs and exchanged it for a small price. And wretched is that which they purchased.
      (God Almighty, 3:187)

      To be consistent, should you not then seek interpretation of the Torah from those who are Jewish?

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  2. Dr Jonathan Brown is himself a hadith scholar (his PhD is in Sahih Bukhari at an American uni) he discuses the interpretive challenges we face today but does not see the need to be so skeptical of these well authenticated hadith. See his books Hadith: Muhammad’s Legacy in the Medieval and Modern World, and The Canonization of al-Bukhari and Muslim.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. All those who criticize Sahih Bukhari in modern era happaned to be ignorant in hadith science. Dr Jonatahn has digonesd this new notion with Muslims who follow the west with their skeptical attitude.

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    • How learned are you in Hadith science to come to the conclusion that the likes of Joseph Scacht, for example, are wrong in their research? The reality is you are not in a position to judge the work of scholars, be they academic or traditional. As Omer has pointed out, the world has come a long away in scientific inquiry since the 7th century.

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    • “How learned are you in Hadith science to come to the conclusion that the likes of Joseph Scacht”

      you obviously havent read

      ON SCHACHT’S ORIGINS OF MUHAMMADAN JURISPRUDENCE MUHAMMAD M. AL-AZAMI

      His in-depth study presents a detailed analysis and critique of the classic Western work on the origins of Islamic law, Schacht’s Origins of Muhammadan Jurisprudence.

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    • Is Azami’s book used in university level courses on Hadith?

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    • Kmak “Is Azami’s book used in university level courses on Hadith?”

      whats that got to do with Dr. Azami’s devastating reputation of Schacht’s erroneous thesis which you are obviously unaware of(

      and answer my previous questions truthfully..dont lie!

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    • Brother Omar, Leave this dude alone. He has just a big mouth.
      “Joseph Scacht”
      If he was so proud of the conclusion that Schacht wrote, then I’m wondering why he prays or why he gives Zakah, but I know that he just a big mouth, and he has no idea what he is talking about.

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    • I learned how to pray and give Zakah through tradition, not through reading the 6 collections. No one can learn how to pray from books. As an insecure, sectarian, fundamentalist, you should be the last person to talk about critical thinking Abdullah.

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    • “through tradition, not through reading”
      Hmmm! So the notion of academic went under the bus!
      Did you know what your teacher Schacht said about the tradition ,and how you should see them?

      I told you to shut your mouth since clearly that you have no idea what you’re talking about .

      “As an insecure, sectarian, fundamentalist”
      Very Classy! Get a life dude.

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    • Abdullah: Did you know what your teacher Schacht said about the tradition ,and how you should see them?

      No, I don’t know. What did he say?

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    • kmak

      Azami’s criticism of Schacht is just the beginning. A large part of modern scholarship has shown Schachts model to be untenable. Schacht at this point is a tad outdated.

      See “The Origins of Islamic Jurisprudence Meccan Fiqh before the Classical Schools” by Dr. Harald Motzki.

      and also “Analysing Muslim Traditions Studies in Legal, Exegetical and Maghāzī Ḥadīth”.

      Both works are by respected scholars in academia.

      For example, In the first work above, Motzki analyzes and concludes numerous hadith traditions can be reliably attributed to Ibn Abbas (the companion of The Prophet).

      And yes, the above is by a secular, non-muslim, academic. Just in case you are worried Azami is biased due to his faith.

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    • Consistent,

      Can you please quote Motzki’s conclusions in quotes from both books (if you have access to them)?

      I perused a little bit of one of Origin of Islamic Jurisprudence…book that is partially in google.book…and in it Motzki seems to say that the way the tabi’i Ata responds to Ibn Jurayj shows that Ata is genunine when he refers to Ibn Abbas.

      But from the little that I read, is seems that Motzki’s referral to Ibn Abbas is in his won (Ibn Abbas’s) legal decisions.

      Did I miss part of the book that is not covered or the other book that specifically mentions hadith from the Prophet via Ibn Abbas?

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  4. Dr. Jonathan Brown is a great academic. His books show more rigor than his oral talks. A lot of his oral talks on hadith is aimed to tell Muslims to be proud of their hadith heritage and he also seems to have a strong interest to push back against orientalists of the past who had made generalizations about hadith and who assumed the hadith scholars of the past were not that sophisticated in their analyses.

    That’s all good but again, Brown is being simplistic in his oral talks. The simplicity helps to make important points but if they are taken to be the whole or even the main issue, then that can be misleading.

    Brown shows (correctly) that the hadith scholars were sophisticated (but their standards still substantially below today’s standards on investigating the truth) .

    I see Brown as a very genuine and illuminating scholar. Mashallah. Thank God for him. But his simplifications are just plain wrong if taken to be the whole story.

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    • Have you studied hadith science? It’s a big field. I’m open to see a critical thinking about a hadith within the umbrella of that science.
      However, I don’t like when a muslim wants to throw a hadith just becuase his mind doesn’t accept it or just because he gets embarrassed since he is a product of modern culture. You need to know that hadiths as whole is a type of revelation for muslims. It’s impossible that Allah would allow muslims to lose that type of reavlation and make them without knowing the teaching of their prophet pbuh. You attack Islam by that kind of thinking, and I’m telling you, most sects if they are not all of them got lost because they have rejected this revelation.
      You talked about Shia and Nahj Alblaghah. That book is a forgery. It’s not authentic. Usol of Shia are not known to begin with. This science s restricted for Musims( Sunni).

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  5. “You need to know that hadiths as whole is a type of revelation for muslims.” Very troubling. A slippery slope that leads to not just one fall but many falls by throwing the Qur’an down the slide as well as reason which is the tool that God tells us explicitly to use over and over and over again but the Ahl Hadith rallied the populace against reason from the time of their feud with the rationalist Muslims at the time Caliph Mamun who favored reason.

    Do you see this Paul? A type of revelation…meaning from Almighty God. Very sad.

    Yes, I have studies hadith science. The hadith work is a great endeavor. It’s definitely not a science…it is a discipline…not science like physics.

    I don’t have time to argue.

    I have seen arguments on this issue….it leads to no resolution when argued by dogmatics and those who are blindly following a certain methodology that has charmed them in their formative years.

    In short….

    Hadith are good we Muslims must review them and try to learn from them….but they are far below the Qur’an.

    As Professor Brown says, the Qur’an is the word of God….infallible.

    The “authentic” hadith are a work of man and as Professor Brown closes with the contrast citing Shafi (the grandfather of the hadith movement) the hadith are fallible (fallible in the the way they were collected, transmitted, and selectively compiled).

    Period.

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    • We are not gonna argue about terminology! In Arabic there’s no difference between discipline and science. It’s callec( I’lm).
      It’s not enough to say hadiths are good while you had said what mke us throw them, and I don’t like the idea that you throw a poisoned thought then you have no time for engagement!
      Moreover, I can’t see why you think that there’s a conflict between Quran and hadiths , and if we said hadith is authentic, that means Quran is less authentic! Who said that?!

      ” but the Ahl Hadith rallied the populace against reason from the time of their feud with the rationalist Muslims at the time Caliph Mamun who favored reason.”
      This is not true, man! I can give a list of how m’utiztlis went lost to know what kind of reason you talk about. The science of hadith as whole is based on reasons.

      Do you pray ? Do you give zakah? If so, How & Why?
      Also & more important why do you think that Allah(sw) allowed for muslims to lose the teachings of their prophet pbuh while he commanded them to obey him in Quran?
      And YES the teachings of the prophet pbuh is a revelation from God, yet it’s not Quran which has a specifc meaning.
      Do you think the teachings of the prophet pbuh were from his own mind?

      Do you want me to reject the teachings of the prophet pbuh just becuase some jews & christians disbelieved in them by presenting “academic theories” ? Subhan Allah!
      This Hadith told us something about this situation
      The prophet pbuh said
      (You would tread the same path as was trodden by those before you inch by inch and step by step so much so that if they had entered into the hole of the lizard, you would follow them in this also. We said: Allah’s Messenger, do you mean Jews and Christians (by your words)” those before you”? He said: Who else (than those two religious groups)?

      Who else! Who else! Here’s our problem nothing else!

      Again, I’m open to see a critical thinking,yet I don’t like when a muslim wants to throw a hadith just becuase his mind doesn’t accept it or just because he gets embarrassed since he is a product of modern culture.

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    • ‘Do you want me to reject the teachings of the prophet pbuh just becuase some jews & christians disbelieved in them by presenting “academic theories” ?’

      ‘Again, I’m open to see a critical thinking’

      Lol! You are one confused dude.

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    • as far as im concerned Kmak you and omer are confused and deceived dudes…

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  6. When Allah tells the people to obey the Prophet, the context is the sacrifices that were called for at that time…migrating to Madina, willing to defend the city against overwhelming forces, give charity for the cause of protecting the city and helping the poorest of them despite lack of much wealth, etc.

    It was not about being told to believe some scattered sayings the the Prophet reportedly told one person.

    I am not saying we should not follow the hadith…we should but only if it is not against the Quran and if it is not against reason.

    If you wrongly think reason is synonymous with modern sensiblities, then you are just plain wrong.

    I am not talking about moral thinking like how views on homosexuality have changed in the last couple of decades in Europe and the US….I am talking about the immense advances in the social sciences.

    “Again, I’m open to see a critical thinking.”

    Hmmm….are you sure?

    If you were, then you would not care if an academic theory on hadith was presented by a Christian, a Jew, a Hindu or Shia Muslim or Sufi Muslim or anyone.

    You would test the theory and follow the evidence wherever it goes.

    Yes, Shia works are in general much weaker than Sunni in terms of their hadith methodology.

    Regarding Nahl al-Balagha, the rumor that is was fraud from the famous literary person Ibn Muqaffa was proven to be a lie….some sermons of Nahj al-Balagha is found in centuries before Ibn Muqaffa was born.

    I don’t know the isnad analysis of Nahj al-Balagha…I am talking about it’s immense wisdom. Not at all saying that it is infallible…just that there is nothing generally as sublime like it in Sunni works in terms of the immense wisdom except some sufi works like by ibn Atai’llah or Ghazali.

    Not interested to argue further.

    All the best bro.

    Like

    • I can’t believe what I read!
      “When Allah tells the people to obey the Prophet, the context is the sacrifices that were called for at that time…migrating to Madina, willing to defend the city against overwhelming forces, give charity for the cause of protecting the city and helping the poorest of them despite lack of much wealth, etc.”
      Regardless the giant fault in your statement above, but it seems that you’ve a problem not only with the authenticity of the prophet’s ﷺ teachings, but also with his authority as a prophet from Allah, which is more dangerous.
      Did the prophet ﷺ teach, command, forbid his companions or not?
      In other words, If the prophet ﷺ were still alive, would we – as muslims- be obligated to obey him if he commanded us to not eat some certain of food, for example even though that forbidding isn’t mentioned in Quran?
      Regarding your statements, it’s utterly falsehood, and it’s not based on Quran to begin with.
      Surah 4:59, Surah 4:80,Surah 4:69, Surah 33:36, Surah 3:31, Surah 24:63, and Surah 62:2. All these verses in Quran are shouting against your statement which narrowed the meaning of obeying the propehtﷺ.

      “I am not saying we should not follow the hadith…we should but only if it is not against the Quran and if it is not against reason”
      I’m already aware of this circular reasoning to reject hadiths. However, this doesn’t go with your highly skeptical attitude towards hadiths, and it doesn’t go with your saying:
      “It was not about being told to believe some scattered sayings the the Prophet reportedly told one person.”!!
      This belittling of hadiths and the teaching of the prophet ﷺ is offensive. The prophet ﷺ was a human being. Sometimes he was with one companion or just his wife. Sometimes he was with 2 , 3 or a small group . and sometime he was with a huge gathering. He ﷺ went through stages in this life such as travelling, sickness, health, joy, and sadness! His acts and sayings have been transmitted according to each situation. Then the fact the prophet’s companions that they scattered over the lands such as Levant, Yemen, Iraq, and Egypt to (teach) hadiths (acts and sayings) of the prophetﷺ is understood & well known, so it very normal that you need to collect this knowledge. It’s not just “scattered sayings” !
      Therefore, I’ve asked you why do you think that Allah(sw) allowed for muslims to lose the teachings of their prophetﷺ while he commanded them to obey him in Quran?

      “I am not talking about moral thinking like how views on homosexuality have changed in the last couple of decades in Europe and the US….I am talking about the immense advances in the social sciences”
      I’ve asked you some questions about Salah & Zakah not moral thinking.
      Do you pray ? Do you give zakah? If so, How & Why? I hope to answer based on “the immense advances in the social sciences”.
      The “academic theory” suggests that Salah was invented by muslims after they had interacted with zoroastrians, and they think there’s no 5 prayers a day in Quran.
      BTW, it’s mentioned in Quran, yet most academic orientalists today don’t give a F**k for Arabic and the language of Quran.

      “then you would not care if an academic theory on hadith was presented by a Christian, a Jew, a Hindu or Shia Muslim or Sufi Muslim or anyone
      I care since there’s a giant bias with those people against Islam. This is not my saying. The one who said that is one of them such as Edward Said. I don’t and I will not find the notion that muslims invented (Isnad) for hadiths except as ignorance for this science. In fact, those people have problems with companions of the prophet themselves. It’s not only about Isnad.

      You said “Dr. Brown described it as a work of a man who died 256 years after the Prophet (pbuh)”
      This is what I call the simplification for the matter not what Dr Jonathan did. Your statement suggests that Imam Bukhari came out of the blue with a book contains “scattered” sayings of the propehtﷺ while that’s not true at all. There had been a movement of scholarship and writing about hadiths began with first generation. In fact, that what some companions did. Almost all hadiths in Bukhari are found in Musnad Imam Ahmed and other books. Also, the fact that knowledge in Islamic world has been taken by (talqqi) تلقي which means you have to build your knowledge with a well known scholar who himself did that before. This is a phenomena in Islamic world cannot be avoided. There’re students for Abdullah ibn Masu’d in Kufa. They are well known such as Zir ibn Hubaish. Then there’s the generation of students of Abdullah ibn Masu’d’s students and so on, so you find always books of history or men are called (layers). So when an orientalist came with a background which is used dealing with books he doesn’t know who wrote them to teach me about our history with nonsense but just by accusations, I will throw this theory away. As we say in Arabic the one who has a sick tongue, he will taste everything with bitterness. It’s not our problem that they see their dark history, then project it on ours.
      Quran translation reads
      ” And whoever opposes the Messenger, after guidance has been made clear to him and follows AWAY OTHER THAN THE AWAY OF THE BELIEVERS – We shall leave him on[ the path] he has taken and drive him into Hell, -what an evil journey’s end”
      I want to follow the path of the believers. I pray five times /day to not go with the path of jews and christians with their dark history with the teaching of the prophets of Allah .

      “Regarding Nahl al-Balagha, the rumor that is was fraud from the famous literary person Ibn Muqaffa was proven to be a lie….some sermons of Nahj al-Balagha is found in centuries before Ibn Muqaffa was born.
      I don’t know the isnad analysis of Nahj al-Balagha…I am talking about it’s immense wisdom. Not at all saying that it is infallible”
      Whaaaaat? This is not acceptable from someone wrote whole comments about how we should be doubtful in the authenticity of Bukhari which makes me be doubtful about you.
      The one who collected those allegedly speeches of Ali was Amuradha, a Shia scholar died in the the 5th century fro Hijar/ 1044 CE.
      You said
      ” I don’t know the isnad analysis of Nahj al-Balagha” 🙂 hahahah!
      I’m telling and you will not find any analysis since it’s written WITHOUT Isnad to begin with.

      Like

  7. is the sunnah mutawatir like the quran?

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  8. Tony, the sunnah such as prayers and hajj rituals are mutawattir.

    Unfortunately, many confuse hadith with sunnah and are self deceived to play the canard of such arguments as how can you pray without hadith and so on.

    What they fail to realize is for most of generations, Muslims did not read hadiths to pray but learned from their parents who had learned it from their parents and so on.

    Of course, hadith are very useful indeed as a cross check to this traditional living sunnah…to confirm it.

    So hadith is very useful but this conflation of it with sunnah is sad and many other conceptions of hadith is sad such as conflating the reliability and relevance of different sections of hadith….for example thinking wrongly that hadiths on political issues are as reliable as on rituals.

    None of the sections should be disregarded…all are useful but they need to checked with the Quran and reason. But reason was greatly devalued since the time of the victory of the Ahl hadith over the Muslim rationalists and with crazy caliphs and enablers like Caliph Mutawakkil, reason was curtailed greatly.

    Most hadith are not mutawattir. The estimates for mutawattir hadiths that are mutawattir by hadiths that have similar meaning range form 200 to 500 I think….I may be off.

    But mutawattir by word is rare….some say it is may be a few.

    Probably a substantial or even a large proportion of mutawattir hadiths by meaning may not be really mutawattir but that explanation is too technical.

    The living sunnah for some practices that Muslims have done regularly such as prayers, etc, are mutawattir.

    Like

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