The Right Pathway to Studying Ḥadīth

By Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwi and translated by Dr Abu Zayd To access the original arabic, follow this link They asked: Why is it that you vociferously denounce the manner of teaching the noble Prophetic ḥadīth in most of the religious seminaries today? I replied: Yes, as a matter of fact, I do criticize this approach quite heavily for its mistakes in turning away from the expected aim They asked: And what is that expected aim? I replied: Historical Pathways to Ḥadīth Study The Companions of the Prophet received the Noble Qurʾān from him as well as his Sunnah (religious…

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The Meaning of Ijāzah: The True Role of Ijāzah within Islamic Scholarship

By Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwi and translated by Dr. Abu Zayd To access the original arabic, follow this link They asked: We see you greatly welcoming the quest for Ijāzah from various teachers, both verbally and in writing, and we see you placing them in a position of tremendous esteem and respect, even coveting them without end. Our question is: what is the value of these Ijāzahs that you have acquired and are proud of, being charmed by them in the same way people are normally allured by gold, silver, precious stones, and all other human passions? I replied: The…

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Orientalists and hadith scholarship: some reflections

By Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwi Modern Western critical inquiry into texts carrying religious authority has been carried out on the assumption that those texts are of natural (this-worldly) origin and any claims of supernatural origin are simply mechanisms by which the religious authority of those texts is established and sustained. This approach is supported by the historical fact that the Christian scriptures came to be recognized as authoritative concurrently with the establishment of geographically dispersed and, to some extent, competing Christian communities. Only after one of the dominant communities had forged an alignment with the political authority of the Roman…

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Authenticating the Ascription of Ṣaḥiḥ al-Bukhārī to its Author

By Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwi and translated by Tariq Pandor To access the original arabic, follow this link (Part 1 of a series of articles covering the authentication of the ascription of Ṣaḥiḥ al-Bukhārī to its author, the value of the copy of al-Firabrī, and the explanation of some difficult hadiths in the Ṣaḥiḥ) They said: Someone is raising questions that cast doubt on the ascription of the Ṣaḥiḥ to its author. He has based his doubt on the following: the lack of existence of Imam al-Bukhārī’s (d. 256 AH) copy of his own book and the fact that it…

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Forty hadith

By Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwi There is a reason why, when you a read a very technical text, you don’t understand it. Even if most of the words used are words you are familiar with, even if the words are arranged in ways that are familiar to you, there are enough technical words in the text to make the matter of it incomprehensible. Those specialised, technical words do not connect with anything, they do not refer to anything, known to you in your world. If this technical text happens to be an instruction about what to do, or if it…

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Sahih al-Bukhari

By Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwi My hope for this two-day course is that, at the end of it, you will understand why the Sahih of Imam al-Bukhari has for over 1200 years held its reputation as the most reliable resource for those who want to know how the Qur’an is to be understood and lived. That is, this Sahih is the most reliable record of how God’s Messenger, salla-llahu `alayhiwasallam, understood and explained and put into practice every aspect of the mission entrusted to him. We all know that Imam al-Bukhari lived his whole life as an Islamic scholar of…

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The True Meaning of Ḥasan

By Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwi and translated by Dr. Abu Zayd To access the original arabic, follow this link They asked: Can you clarify for us the meaning of ḥasan ḥadīth? The Meaning of Ḥasan Ḥadīth is Also in Three Tiers I replied: Experts of ḥadīth also have three usages of this term They asked: What are they? One: Ḥasan-Ṣaḥīḥ I replied: The term ḥasan-ṣaḥīḥ is used for a report whose source is known while all the conditions of ṣaḥīḥ reports are also found in it, as used by Tirmidhī and others when they deem a report to be ḥasan-ṣaḥīḥ.…

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The True Meaning of Ṣaḥīḥ

By Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwi and translated by Dr. Abu Zayd To access the original arabic, follow this link They asked: What is the true meaning of the ṣaḥīḥ (sound) ḥadīth? I replied: Experts of this discipline have used it for a variety of meanings, all of which have in common the reliability or verification of a report’s attribution to its source. Three-Tier Usage of Ṣaḥīḥ They asked: What are the most notable of these meanings? I replied: There are three broad usages of the term ṣaḥīḥ: The first usage of ṣaḥīḥ is for a report that is attributed to…

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The Descent of Jesus, the Son of Mary, peace be upon them both

By Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwī and translated by Abu-Huraira Rahman and edited by Tariq Pandor To access the original arabic, follow this link They said: Will Jesus the son of Mary, peace be upon them both, descend as a just ruler before the Day of Judgement? I said: why do you ask this question? Do you not know that I dislike these theological dogmatic questions that neither benefit religion nor worldly life, have no bearing in matters of faith, Islam and worship of the Lord of the worlds and nor is anything sought from them except pointless discussion and futile…

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The Art of Criticism

By Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwī and translated by Dr. Abu Zayd To access the original arabic, follow this link They asked: What is the true meaning of critique? I replied: Critique1 linguistically means to examine something and distinguish its good from its bad, and lexically refers to highlighting the dimensions that are beautiful, complete or beneficial, while exposing those that are detested, deficient or harmful. It is also to study an academic or artistic enterprise in order to analyze it and place it in proper perspective, arriving at its true value and estimation. It is also to reject a view…

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