Friday, October 19, 2012

The Musannaf of Abd al-Razzaq al-San'ani as a Source of Authentic Ahadith of the First Century A.H. - by Harald Motzki


To those folk who are engaged in serious Islamic studies (Muslim and non-Muslim), the importance of the Hadith (i.e. speeches, reports, accounts of the actions and words of Muhammad) literature cannot be undervalued. There are six major/recognized collections by the Sunnis, known under the names of the compilers: al-Buhkari, Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj, Abu Daud, al-Tirmidhi, Ibn Maja, and al-Nasai; the Shia (who include material from their Imams), have added al-Kulayni, Ibn Babuya al-Qummi, Muhammad al-Tusi, and the massive Bihar al-anwar of Muhammad Baqir al-Majlisi (well over 100 volumes).

A much lesser known, but earlier, collection of hadith was the Musannaf of Abd al-Razzaq al-San'ani. One Islamic scholar has recently produced an informative essay that may vastly improve the status of Abd al-Razzaq's Musannaf. I have embedded Harald Motzki's contribution in full below:







Grace and peace,

David 

7 comments:

Ken said...

Hi David,
You listed some of the Shia authoritative collections of their Hadith. Where does the "Nahj ol Balauqhe" fit in with those? (Nahj ol Balauqhe" نحج البلاغه
= "The Peak of Eloquence" = the sermons of Imam Ali
)

I thought that was one of their Hadith official collections also.

David Waltz said...

Hi Ken,

Thanks much for taking the time to respond; you wrote:

==You listed some of the Shia authoritative collections of their Hadith. Where does the "Nahj ol Balauqhe" fit in with those? (Nahj ol Balauqhe" نحج البلاغه
= "The Peak of Eloquence" = the sermons of Imam Ali
)

I thought that was one of their Hadith official collections also.==

Thanks for bringing this up Ken. The Nahjul Balagha is a 'collection' of the sermons, letters and sayings of the Shia's first Imam, Ali. It is highly esteemed by all Shia's. If one were to 'rate' it's value to the Shia, as I understand the matter, it would immediately follow after the Qur'an and the Hadith of Muhammad—is that how you see it?

Because the Nahjul Balagha is a 'collection', I suppose one could place it within the Hadith category; but, this 'collection' is quite different than the 'traditional' Hadith collections, so I would say that it is in a category that is unique.

What do think?


Grace and peace,

David

Ken said...

The Iranians from a Shiite background that I know talk much more about Ali and Hossein (and they are much more a part of everyday culture in expressions, etc.) than Muhammad, but I guess officially the Sirat/Hadith of Muhammad is supposed to be higher, but popularly, it seemed to me that Ali and Hossein are more emphasized because they are the "heroes" of the Shiite tradition vs. the Sunnis. (Ashura, battle of Karbala, etc.)

Iranians are in general, so disillusioned with Islam because of the current regime (since 1979), that they don't talk much about the Hadith of Muhammad.

They are very open to the gospel of Jesus Christ as never before in history, because the harshness of the current government has actually exposed the nature of Islam, and the Sharia to them, and they don't like it.

I was just curious as to where you saw the Nahj ul Balauqhe and its place in the Hadith traditions.

Ken said...

David,
Have you read all or much of the Shiite Hadiths of Muhammad?

Are they much different than Al Bukhari and Al Muslim, etc. ? (Interesting to me that all 6 of the collectors of the main Sunni Hadith collections were all Iranian in their ethnicity - at the time most of Iran was Sunni, until the 1600s, when a Shah of Iran decided by degree to become Shia. )

This clip of a Shiite cleric (he calls Omar and Uthman homosexuals and many other Sunni leaders) is really graphic in gross details, and very extreme in superstition, but do you know if this is typical of Shiite ideas of Sunnis?


http://www.answeringmuslims.com/2012/10/sheikh-yasser-habib-calls-muhammads.html

Do other Shiite leaders in Iraq and Iran and Lebanon have that extreme views of Omar and Uthman and Muawiyya and Yazid ??



David Waltz said...

Hello Ken,

Earlier today, you posted:

==Have you read all or much of the Shiite Hadiths of Muhammad?==

Me: No Ken. To my knowledge only the first volume of Al-Kafi has been translated into English (I am not sure if the entire volume has been translated)—I own most of what has been translated into English (13 of the 14 published books, which are fairly small hardbacks). In what has been translated, if a given category has any hadith by Muhammad, they are the first to be cited.

==Are they much different than Al Bukhari and Al Muslim, etc. ? (Interesting to me that all 6 of the collectors of the main Sunni Hadith collections were all Iranian in their ethnicity - at the time most of Iran was Sunni, until the 1600s, when a Shah of Iran decided by degree to become Shia. )==

Me: What do you mean by "much different"?

==This clip of a Shiite cleric (he calls Omar and Uthman homosexuals and many other Sunni leaders) is really graphic in gross details, and very extreme in superstition, but do you know if this is typical of Shiite ideas of Sunnis?


http://www.answeringmuslims.com/2012/10/sheikh-yasser-habib-calls-muhammads.html==

Me: Debating whether or not to check it out. I usually ignore the more radical sheikhs.

==Do other Shiite leaders in Iraq and Iran and Lebanon have that extreme views of Omar and Uthman and Muawiyya and Yazid ??==

Me: Don't know Ken. Pretty much the bulk of my studies into the Shia have been focused on the issue of succession, and the teachings of the 12 Imams (to a lesser extent, the division between the Twelvers and Ismailis).

Wish I could have been of more assistance...


Grace and peace,

David

Ken said...

I had thought you did more reading and study in Shiite Islam. How can you know about the succession and Immate without it?

You wrote:
Me: What do you mean by "much different"?

Don't the Shiites believe Muhammad gave the mantle of leadership to Ali? Therefore, it would seem that they would have that information in their Hadith. I thought they did, at least.

They also don't like Aisha, Abu Bakr, Omar, Uthman , etc. - so I thought they would have negative information about them also.

David Waltz said...

Hi Ken,

Earlier today you posted:

==I had thought you did more reading and study in Shiite Islam. How can you know about the succession and Immate without it?==

Me: I have done a good deal of study into Shia Islam, but by far the majority of the study is via secondary literature, not primary (and this is due, for the most part, to the fact that reliable English translations of Shia literature is scant). So, in response to your original question; "Have you read all or much of the Shiite Hadiths of Muhammad?", I wrote:

>>No Ken. To my knowledge only the first volume of Al-Kafi has been translated into English (I am not sure if the entire volume has been translated)—I own most of what has been translated into English (13 of the 14 published books, which are fairly small hardbacks). In what has been translated, if a given category has any hadith by Muhammad, they are the first to be cited.>>

==Don't the Shiites believe Muhammad gave the mantle of leadership to Ali?==

Me: Yes; and more broadly, succession was to be via the Family of Muhammad through Fatima.

==Therefore, it would seem that they would have that information in their Hadith. I thought they did, at least.==

Me: The main point of contention between the Sunnis and Shia concerning succession is over the INTERPRETATION of a number of ahadith that are accepted by both. For instance, there is what is known as the "Pond of Khumm" hadith, which was a sermon delivered by Muhammad at Ghadir Khumm. For a lengthy Shia apologia of this hadith see the following book:

The Ghadir Declaraton


Grace and peace,

David