Hadith Literature It’s Origin, Development and Special Features

M Zubayr Siddiqui
The hadiths, the sayings attributed to the Prophet Muhammad, form a sacred literature which for Muslims ranks second in importance only to the Qur’an itself. As a source of law, ethics and doctrine, the immense corpus of hadiths continues to exercise a decisive influence. Islamic scholarship has thus devoted immense efforts to gathering and classifying the hadiths, and ensuring their authenticity, an undertaking which stands today as a highly original and impressive scholarly achievement.
The present book is the only introduction in English which presents all aspects of the subject. It explains the origin of the literature, the evolution of the isndd system, the troubled relationship between scholars and the state, the problem of falsification, and the gradual development of a systematic approach to the literature. An interesting appendix demonstrates that a high proportion of medieval badith scholars were women. In a second appendix, a brief account is given of the varied opinions held by Orientalist writers in this field.
This edition is a fully revised and updated version of the original, which was first published in 196-1 to considerable scholarly acclaim. The author, the late Muhammad Zubayr Siddigi, was Professor of Islamic Culture in the University of Calcutta, and author of a number of other studies, including Studies in Arabic & Persian Medical Literature (1959)
Some Reviews:
`A well-informed and commendable thesis . . . a valuable contribution to Hadith scholarship.’ Mohammed Yusufuddin, Islamic Culture
`An excellent introduction to the subject, presenting it with considerable detail.’ James Robson, The Muslim World
`A useful work on an important subject.’ David W. Littlefield
`Professor Siddigi is to be congratulated on this richly documented and highly readable book.’
S. D. Goitein, Journal o f the American Oriental Society
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