Brevity in Hadith Texts

Dating of Short and Long Versions of the Hadith on Lapidation

  • Mohammad Said Arrahawan Al-Azhar University
Keywords: Brevity, Hadith text, Sanad-cum-matn analysis, Lapidation, Ma'idh


This paper attempts to determine, in cases where a prophetic tradition was reported in two different variants of differing lengths, which version originated first through an experimental focus on the report of Māʿiḏ’s lapidation, which followed his confession of adultery. It uses sanad-cum-matn analysis which relies on the examination and analysis of both the chains of narrators and the texts of versions under discussion. It argues against Schacht supposition that short versions of hadith always originate earlier and then elaborated at later stages through refinements and additions made by narrators. Similarly, it opposes Irene Schneider's assumption that long, detailed variants of a hadith are newer than their corresponding short versions.  Schneider concludes that the short versions of a hadith could not have been based on an original “long version”.