Some time after the death of the Prophet, a need arose among the Muslims for an authentic source for the beliefs and ritual practices of the Prophet Muhammad (ص). The Qur'an, which was undoubtedly considered authentic and authoritative among all Muslims, did not provide much information about Muslim practice and Law. Indeed, it is the Hadith, that is, … Continue reading The Hadith Critical Methodology: A brief look at how Hadith are authenticated in the Islamic tradition.
One of Schacht's underlying contentions behind his magnum opus, "The Origins of Muhammadan Jurisprudence", is that hadith literature did not exist in the first century of Islam. This obviously means that the isnads - the chains of narration that link a hadith report back to the Prophet - are almost completely fictitious. They cannot trace information back to the first century … Continue reading On the origins of the Isnad: Ibn Sirin’s statement and Schacht’s interpretation of it