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Muhammad’s Legacy in the Medieval and Modern World-Oneworld pdf

Jonathan A. C. Brown-Hadith_ Muhammad's Legacy in the Medieval and Modern World-Oneworld Publications (2009).pdf
book-icon-openmaktabaBook Title: Muhammad’s Legacy in the Medieval and Modern World-Oneworld
author-icon-openmaktabaBook Author: Jonathan A. C. Brown-Hadith
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Hadith and its lerminolou I Iinterpreted this as a major proof for the permissibility of birh controlin Islam.Although a hadith could refer to any aspect of the Prophet’s lifeand legacy, not everything the Prophet did was authoritative. TheProphet was forty years old when he received his first revelation.Although Muhammad was admired for his upstanding character andintegrity even before his mission, Muslims do not consider his teach-ings authoritative before he received God’s sanction. In addition,revelation had not made the Prophet a master of all trades. In onefamous hadith, the Prophet came across some farmers trying to graftsmall date palms. When he suggested that the farmers take a differentcourse of action and that advice proved wrong, he replied, ‘I am buta man, if I give you a command regarding religion then take ft.But if I make a statement out of my own judgment, then I am bata man … you are more knowledgeable about the matters of yourworld. 10The scope of what concems ‘religion’ in the Islamic tradition,however, is much wider than in the modem Westem world. Althoughthe Prophet consulted his Companions on affairs ofstate, governance,and military tactics (in fact, on several occasions the Quran validatedhis Companions’ opinions rather than his own), his decisions as astatesman and military leader have been considered authoritative byMuslim jurists. Were his decisions, after all, not ultimately guidedby God?Certainly, not all aspects of the Prophet’s behavior requiredimitation or obedience. Since the Prophet did not state, for exam-ple, that wearing the long robes of an Arab was required dress fora Muslim, this has been viewed as a matter of choice. Injunctionsby the Prophet encouraging Muslim men to grow beards, how-ever, have led Muslim jurists to view this as either a requirement orlaudable behavior. And while such factors limited the extent towhich the Prophet’s personal tastes and habits were legally com-pelling, there has been no limit to optional imitation of the Prophetdone out of supererogatory piety. Some Muslims thus replicate eventhe mundane aspects of the Prophet’s behavior, such as the positionin which he slept and the food he ate. The famous jurist and hadithscholar of Baghdad, Ibn Hanbal (d. 241/855), once claimed that hehad acted on every hadith he had heard about the Prophet at leastonce.”

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