Traditionist Internal Reform: Motives behind the Birth of the First Manual of ʿUlūm al-Ḥadīth

Umar Muhammad Noor

Abstract


https://doi.org/10.12730/13091719.2020.112.211

Al-Rāmahurmuzī’s Muḥaddith al-fāṣil bayna l-rāwī wa-l-wāʿī has been widely accepted as the first composition in the discipline of ḥadīth sciences (ʿulūm al-ḥadīth). However, little is known about the real motive behind this sophisticated work. This paper seeks to contribute to ḥadīth historiography by exposing the agenda behind the composition of al-Muḥaddith al-fāṣil. This study suggests that the book reflects al-Rāmahurmuzī’s critical appraisal of the traditionist group and his remarkable effort to initiate an internal reform. Contrary to common supposition, his motive was not mainly to preserve ḥadīth theories and technicalities. Instead, he intended to upgrade the traditionist state of scholarship after a significant decline since the abolishment of miḥnah khalq al-Qurʾān (the inquisition over the createdness of the Qurʾān). His emphasis on the importance of dirāyah aimed to revive the excellence of past ḥadīth scholars and to close the gap that separated the traditionists from their jurist (fuqahāʾ) counterparts.

Keywords


Riwāyah, dirāyah, rationalist, traditionist, reform

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