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Modern Hadith StudiesContinuing Debates and New Approaches$
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Belal Abu-Alabbas, Christopher Melchert, and Michael Dann

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781474441797

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474441797.001.0001

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Kunnā nakrahu al-kitāb: Scripture, Transmission of Knowledge, and Politics in the Second Century AH (719–816 CE)

Kunnā nakrahu al-kitāb: Scripture, Transmission of Knowledge, and Politics in the Second Century AH (719–816 CE)

Chapter:
(p.9) Chapter 1 Kunnā nakrahu al-kitāb: Scripture, Transmission of Knowledge, and Politics in the Second Century AH (719–816 CE)
Source:
Modern Hadith Studies
Author(s):

Pavel Pavlovitch

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474441797.003.0002

Pavel Pavlovitch shows how the sense of a genuinely early saying might change as the concerns of Muslims changed over time. The example is a saying from Ibn Shihāb al-Zuhrī (d. 124/742?). It originally expressed distrust of al-Ḥajjāj ibn Yūsuf’s imposition of a particular edition of the Qurʾan (‘We used to dislike the Book’) at the behest of the caliph ʿAbd al-Malik ibn Marwān. In time, that edition of the Qurʾan ceased to be controversial, so al-Zuhrī’s statement was joined with others pertaining to the newer controversy as to whether traditionists should keep written notes, not trusting to their memories alone. It was reinterpreted to be relevant to the newer controversy (‘We used to dislike writing’) and sometimes reworded. Additional versions even connected it with the controversy over the claims of non-Arab clients (mawālī) to equality with Arab Muslims.

Keywords:   Qurʾān (Qur’an, Koran), hadith, al-Zuhrī, al-Ḥajjāj ibn Yūsuf, ʿAbd al-Malik, mawālī

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