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    Edge, Ian 1987. Noel Coulson. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, Vol. 50, Issue. 03, p. 532.

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  • Print publication year: 1983
  • Online publication date: May 2012

14 - European criticism of Ḥadīth literature

Summary
Muslim scholars themselves were, of course, intensely conscious of the possibility of fabrication of Ḥadīth. European and non-Muslim scholars, naturally enough, deemed the Muslim type of critique inadequate. The Ḥadīth was to be tested by its content and by the place its terms occupied in the development of legal thought and institutions, ascertained objectively by reference to all the available literary sources. The picture of early Islamic legal history which emerges from the researches of Joseph Schacht has its focal point in the work of the scholar Muhammad b. Idris al-Shafii. The writers of the law schools in Medina and Kufa reacted to the " Nafi Ḥadīth" by referring to their own contrary established practice or by minimizing its effect through interpretation. There can be little doubt to the non-Muslim mind that Schacht's view of the origins of the legal Ḥadīth and their role in the development of Islamic legal doctrine is essentially sound.
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Arabic Literature to the End of the Umayyad Period
  • Online ISBN: 9780511659409
  • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521240154
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