- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Oneworld Publications (1 Jun. 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1851686630
- ISBN-13: 978-1851686636
- Product Dimensions: 14.9 x 2.3 x 22.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 299,776 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Hadith: Muhammad's Legacy In The Medieval And Modern World (The Foundations of Islam) Paperback – 1 Jun 2009
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"A comprehensive study of the scholarship throughout Islamic history dealing with the Traditions of the Prophet. A synthesis of critical analysis and informed understanding that presents a significant new perspective on a much-debated subject." -- John Voll, Professor of Islamic History, Georgetown University
"A must read and a great read. The combination of impeccable, critical scholarship with a story teller's style has produced an introductory volume that is both substantive and remarkably engaging." -- John L. Esposito, Founding Director of the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University, and Editor of The Oxford Dictionary of Islam
"A comprehensive study of the scholarship throughout Islamic history dealing with the Traditions of the Prophet. A synthesis of critical analysis and informed understanding that presents a significant new perspective on a much-debated subject."See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The author starts by describing how Hadith were collected by early companions of Prophet Muhammad (Sahaba), transmitted over the years and eventually organised into books where Hadiths were listed by chain of transmission (musnad) to ascertain authenticity. Brown presents a peek inside the brain of a traditional Hadith scholar exploring the Ijazah (permission to transmit knowledge) system, isnad (chain of transmission) criticism and matn (textual) criticism.
Brown touches briefly on madhabs (schools of thought or method) and their usul (principles) to dealing with hadith. He gives us a brief history and explanation into the methods of hadith criticism carried out by a wide number of sects - ranging from the rationalist Mutazilite view to the Ahl-al-Hadith and the shades in between. He also touches on 'Aqida (creed) to explain the Ash'ari view hadith criticism in light of creedal issues.
He then proceeds to dedicated chapters to the Shia concept of Imamate and how this has helped shaped the Shia's view of Hadith. He also touches on Sufism and the fight for use of weak hadiths outside legal jurisprudence.
Finally he touches on contemporary hadith criticism carried out by Quranists and what would loosely be described as modernists. He traces the roots of Quranism to movements in Egypt, Pakistan and India. He also draws parallels between their scepticism about hadith to that of the Salafiyya movement.
All in all this is a very balanced book - usually most authors cannot resist pushing their agenda and slating those who do not agree. Brown does exceptionally well to refrain from such behaviour.Read more ›
I particularly enjoyed his coverage of the last two chapters:
"The Authenticity Question: Western Debates over the Historical Reliability of the Prophetic Traditions" and
"Debates over Prophetic Traditions in the Modern Muslim World".
Brown takes into consideration his written audience, and displays a deep knowledge of the subject. I used this book for a course on Islamic Studies, and learnt a lot about the subject.
First of all, I am struggling to understand what is the purpose of the book. Is it an encyclopedia or just a chronological listing of all hadith scholars or just an overview of the hadith's history. We get dozens and dozens of names but it is very difficult to work what is relevant and what is not. I would have been very happy if the good Professor, after explaining all that history would have linked it to the present. So, it would very useful where is the authentic list of hadiths as per different sects, who is safeguarding them and whether there is any evolution still going on or not. Overall, I need to know what is important to understand (which needs greater focus in the book) and what are minor events in history, which can be an appendix for completeness purposes.
Another gripe is that Jon tries to be impartial in listing down the advocates and critics of hadith authenticity but he does not come out openly on the subject. He clearly considers them authentic as he subtly tries to make the argument again and again, but it is difficult to understand where his confidence comes from, considering the numerous issues he himself has documented. In the end, I think for him, it is a question of faith, just as it is for many hundreds of millions of Muslims.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Absolutely brilliant, as is everything of his that I have had the good fortune of reading!Published 3 months ago by Quixoticallyso
We must learn about islam to be able to challenge its appalling attitude to non-moslems. This book, whilst not the actual hadith, helps with the understanding of this creed, which... Read morePublished 12 months ago by L. S. Robinson