- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 528
- Publisher: Islamic Book Trust (February 4, 2008)
- ISBN-10: 9839154214
- ISBN-13: 9789839154214
- Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 1.2 inches
Hadith literature is the richest source for the investigation of early Islamic History. It provides material for an understanding of the legal, cultural and religious ideas of those early centuries.
Hadith is also the repository of the Sunnah of the Prophet, which is the second principal source of Islamic legislation.
Western scholars have devoted much more time to Islamic literature, history and other subjects than to Hadith. The first and the last significant attempt was made by Ignas Goldziher. He published the result of his research, Muhammedanische Studien, in 1890. Since then it has been the fundamental source for the study of Hadith in the West. After the lapse of three-quarters of a century, Professor Schacht tried to investigate the legal ahadith. Apart from this there are some articles and a few books which have dealt with the subject in passing. There is only one book in English relating to the subject: The Traditions of Islam by A. Guillaume, which contains no original idea and draws mostly on Goldziher's work. Since the publication of the work of Goldziher, many valuable manuscripts of the first and second century of the Hijrah have , been discovered and some of them have been published. Quite obviously, many theories and conclusions of Goldziher now need to be changed or modified. Had he been aware of these documents, he would, most probably, have formed some other theories.
Apart from his translation of Mishkat, Professor Robson contributed several valuable articles in this field. He was able to modify some traditional ideas of Western scholars but he himself was influenced by Professor Schacht's recent works, in particular The Origins of Muhammadan Jurisprudence. Had it not been so, he might have been able to contribute much more.
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