Rechercher sur

Hadith: What, Why, and When by Alan Paton (August 2018)

Hadith: What, Why, and When by Alan Paton (August 2018)

Home > Bibliography/Web > other resource > Muhammad > Hadith: What, Why, and When by Alan Paton (August 2018)


The author is an independant researcher.


The book explains how hadiths originated and developed in the early years and centuries of Islam and their part in the development of Islamic law.

A hadith is a report of a statement or action of the Prophet Muhammad. They provide the Sunna of the Prophet; his example and guidance on how to behave. This information is of the utmost importance to Muslims because the Quran calls upon Muslims to follow the example and instructions of the Prophet. The Quran itself provides relatively little detail on legal and behavioural matters and hadiths became the foundation and source of Islamic law alongside the Quran. The two most famous hadith collections, Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, are regarded as genuine Islamic sacred books by Sunni Muslims.

At the beginning hadiths were transmitted orally and were also fabricated for sectarian and religious reasons. The book explains what early Islamic hadith scholars did to determine hadith authenticity and summarises hadith research by modern Western scholars.

It is for readers who want more than an overview; who want some depth on key topics, but don’t have the time to do all the reading. It covers all important aspects of the subject including complex but vital matters professional scholars cover and popular works often ignore and turns complicated arguments into accessible text for non-specialists and students.


Title and Copyright
Tables and Diagrams

Chapter1 - What Are Hadiths?
The Sunna of the Prophet
Understanding the Quran and the Life of Muhammad
The Canonical Collections
Scope and Terminology
Hadith Topics and Examples
Chapter 2 - Origins, Transmission, and Recording of Hadiths
The Companions
Primacy of Oral Transmission
Formal Collection and Writing of Hadiths
The Canonical Collections
Chapter 3 - Hadith Numbers and Collections
The Canonical Collections
Musannafs - Famous Surviving Early Collections
Musnads - Famous Surviving Early Collections
Other Collections
Chapter 4 - Hadith Authenticity
Scale of Fabrication and the Reasons for It
Authentication - The Leading Role of the Isnad
Authentication - Content Criticism
Classification of Hadiths and Authentication Standards
Other Hadith Classifications
Use of Weak Hadiths
Chapter 5 - Hadith Authority
Very Early Opposition
Different Schools of Thought
Al-Shafi’i and the Importance of His Arguments
Continuing Opposition
Chapter 6 - Doubts and Uncertainties
Veracity of the Companions
Quality of Hadith Transmission
Efficacy of Isnad Evaluation
Scale of the Task
Chapter 7 - Modern Muslim Views
Content Criticism
Status of the Sahihan
Quran Only Movement
Redefining the Sunna and Rethinking the Hadith
Chapter 8 - Shi‘i Hadiths
The Nature of Shi‘i Hadiths

Chapter 9 - Goldziher
Goldziher’s Reasons for Doubting Hadiths
The Motives and Circumstances of Hadith Fabrication
What Really Happened - Islamic Law and the Legal Role of Hadiths
Goldziher’s Conclusions and Their Impact
Chapter 10 - Schacht
Schacht’s Role
Schacht’s Observations
What Really Happened
Schacht’s Unsettling Conclusions
Schacht’s Methods - Dating Hadiths
Criticism of Schacht’s Work
Chapter 11 - Juynboll
Juynboll’s Role
What Really Happened - The Origin, Transmission and Role of Hadiths
Juynboll’s Analysis
Isnad Patterns, Single Strands, Spiders, Bundles and Partial Common Links
Identifying and Grading Common Links
Significance of Juynboll’s Analysis
Chapter 12 - Common Links and Single Strands
A Striking Phenomenon - The Initial Single Strand
What Does the Common Link Represent?
Single Strands Above the Common Link
Current Thinking
Chapter 13 - Latest Research - ICMA
ICMA - Method
ICMA - Purpose
ICMA Research - Nafi‘
ICMA Research - The Sira
ICMA - Applicability, Limitations and Results
Chapter 14 - Latest Research - More Methods
Beyond ICMA 1
Beyond ICMA 2
Historical Source Analysis
Source Reconstruction and ICMA
Transmitter Evaluation in Practice
Isnad Backward Growth
Chapter 15 - The Development of Islamic law
Transition 1 - Increasing Interest in Prophetic Sunna
Transition 2 - Emergence of The Traditionists
Rise of Prophetic Hadiths and Its Consequences
Transition 3 - Prophetic Hadiths Replace Other Sources
Sunna Revisited
Chapter 16 - Oral vs Written Transmission
Characteristics of Oral Transmission
Early Modern Scholarship
Reasons Against Writing
Hadiths About Writing Hadiths
What Happened and Geographical Factors
Mixed Mode and Note Taking
Practice With Early Collections
First Official Written Collection
Regional and Theological Rivalry
Chapter 17 - More Questions and Some Answers
Was There a Conspiracy?
Significance of Narrowing the Gap

ANNEX 1 - Hadith Topics in al-Bukhari
ANNEX 2 - Hadith Examples
ANNEX 3 - Early Hadith Collections
ANNEX 4 - Contradictory Hadiths - Examples
ANNEX 5 - ICMA Research
Timeline and AH-CE Dates
Notes, Sources and Further Reading