Is Hadith Literature a Reliable Source of History?

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Aug 31, 2022  ( 1 post )  
Mahmoud Afify (mahmoudafifyseo)


The modern method of historical criticism, which has evolved since the time of renaissance and enlightenment in Europe, has radically changed the historical evaluation of biblical sources in Western academia. The stories of the prophets were turned into religious myths, and historical personalities were studied instead of their mythical counterparts. Thus, today we have historical Moses vis a vis mythical Moses. And historical Jesus vis a vis mythical Jesus. However, in the Islamic academia, since the times of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ it was apparently clear for Muslim scholars that the stories found in the bible, called as Israʼiliyyat (Arab. اسرائیلیات‎),  were not historically reliable. These scholars either totally dismissed them or narrated them for the sake of their own interest, but never as a serious source of history. At the same time, Muslims not only dismissed what was unreliable, but they have also developed an unprecedented critical method for the verification of historical narrative – the ulum al-hadith (sciences of hadith).

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