Muslim Tradition: Studies in Chronology, Provenance and Authorship of Early Hadith
MUSLIM TRADITION – Book Sample
…he cannot possibly be identified with Hadith transmission on any measurable scale, if at all. But as his fame spread, a rapidly increasing number of people falsely claimed, especially after his death, that they had heard traditions with him. This can be substantiated with the following evidence.
Over the years I have collected the names of some 380 people who are alleged to have heard traditions with Hasan, culled from a number of different sources. That the vast majority of these were inexperienced transmitters appears from the overall defectiveness, Characterizing most Hasan al-BaÅŸri isntids.
This resulted in his tarjama in the rijal works, notably the one in lbn Hajar’s Tahdhib, turning out to be an on the whole very unfavourable one, not at all commensurate with a man of his stature and renowned piety. Very many cases of sama’ were questioned185 and surely Hasan al-BaÅŸri should once and for all be exonerated of these critical allegations.186
Moreover, the list of alleged pupils of Hasan reveals crowds of shadowy, probably fictitious figurest87 as well as a great many notorious forgers, propagandists of the qadar doctrine and otherwise ‘unreliable’ transmitters. (For a representative cross section of those so-called pupils, see Appendix I.) At the same time, as mentioned above, thc epistles he is credited with, whose authorship has so far not been invalidated conclusively in my opinion, do not contain one single tradition.
Recently, Wansbrough (cf. his Quranic Studies, pp. 160-3) has brought together arguments in favour of dating it to a time about one century after Hasan, interpreting the very absence of hadiths as pointing probaly to a deliberate attempt of the anonymous author to emphasize the Qur’an as a.ÅŸl for the formulating of religious values in opposition to those who accorded valtÄ±.e also to u.ÅŸÃ¼l other than the Qur’an. The fact that the sunna of the prophet, 1s well as transmission, are mentioned, cannot, I think, be construed as evidence that the risala must, therefore, have been composed some one hundred years after Hasan.
As I tried to demonstrate above (pp. 3off.), confirmed more than anything by the findings of Bravmann (cf. n. 95 above), sunna and rnnnat an-nabi are old enough concepts to be mentioned in a treatise written in the first/seventh century. But if the
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