The Use of Historical Information in Conducting Content Criticism in Hadith
Rejecting ḥadīth based on it contradicting with known historical events has been deemed an accepted principle of matncriticism amongst classical ḥadīth scholars. How exactly is this rule meant to be applied is the question that this paper attempts to address by looking at how Abu Jaʿfar al-Ṭaḥāwī applied it throughout his magnum corpus - Sharḥ mushkil al-āthār. Of the fourteen examples selected from the fifteen-volume work, it can be seen that Ṭaḥāwī often uses this principle to reject what would normally be deemed very authentic ḥadīth. However, when the ḥadīth at hand is ‘raised’, that is it is a prophetic ḥadīth (marfūʿ), we find Ṭaḥāwī exercising flexible hermeneutical skills and defending the ḥadīth.
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