1. Mahmud Shaltut, al-Islam 'aqida wa-shari'a (Cairo, 1990), p. 1471; M. S. Lashin, al-La'ali' al-Hisan fi 'ulum al-Qur'an (Cairo, 1982), p. 19. To this definition should be added the property of i'jaz, inimitability, which makes the text an evidentiary miracle (mu'jiza), greater than the Prophet's other miracles of healing the sick, etc.; see Sophia Vasalou, ''The miraculous eloquence of the Qur'an: general trajectories and individual approaches", Journal of Qur'anic Studies 4 (2002), pp. 23-53.

3. Many have sought to identify a grand thematic or stylistic plan; cf. for instance M. A. Draz, Introduction to the Qur'an (London: 2001); Neal Robinson, Discovering the Qur'an: A Contemporary Approach to a Veiled Text (London, 1996), pp. 271-83; such attempts remain unproven.

4. Subhi al-Salih, Mabahith fa 'ulum al-Qur'an (Beirut, 1981), pp. 65-7; William A. Graham, Beyond the Written Word: Oral Aspects of Scripture in the History of Religion (Cambridge, 1987), pp. 96-109.

5. Some Shl'ite scholars disputed the canonical text; see Meir M. Bar-Asher, ''Shl'ism and the Qur'an'', Encyclopedia of the Qur'an, iv, pp. 593-604. Over the last quarter-century there have been theories contesting the traditional history of the Qur'an, and maintaining that it was canonised at a later date. For a survey and discussion of these views see Angelika Neuwirth, ''The Qur'an and history - a disputed relationship'', Journal of Qur'anic Studies 5 (2003), pp. 1-18; Harald Motzki, ''The collection of the Qur'an: a reconsideration of Western views in light of recent methodological developments,'' Der Islam (2001), pp. 2-34.

6. Mustafa al-Siba'I, al-Sunna wa-makanatuhi fi'l-tashri' (Beirut, 1978), p. 47.

7. Muhammad Zubayr Siddiqi, Hadith Literature: Its Origin, Development, and Special Features (Cambridge, 1993), p. 2.

8. Traditional sources suggest that the number of those who saw or heard him exceeded 100,000 by the end of his life; Siddiqi, Hadith Literature, p. 15.

9. M. A. S. Abdel Haleem, ''The Prophet Muhammad as a teacher: implications for Hadith literature", The Islamic Quarterly 46/2 (2002), pp. 121-37.

11. Siddiqi, Hadith Literature, pp. 24-7.

12. Hadith anthologies came to be compiled in a variety of formats, of which the main three are: (1) Musnad, where the material is arranged under the names of the Companions who transmitted it. The most famous of these was the Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal (d. 855). (2) Sahih, where material is arranged under subject headings. The most influential of these is the Sahih of al-Bukhiri (d. 870). (3) Sunan, where the material is arranged under specific legal and doctrinal subject headings. The most reputed of these was the Sunan of al-Tirmidhi (d. 892).

13. See the role of the hadith later in this chapter.

14. Shaltut, 53-65; for the difficulty of declaring someone a non-Muslim see Sherman Jackson, On the Boundaries of Theological Tolerance in Islam: Abu Himid al-Ghazali's Faysal al-Tafriqa (Karachi, 2002).

15. See for instance the opening of his commentary to Qur'an 2:255.

16. Ezzeddin Ibrahim and Denys Johnson-Davies, An-Nawawi's Forty Hadiths (Beirut, 1976), p. 30.

17. The scripture's hearers are urged to consider their surroundings and their own selves (e.g. 10:101; 51:21). Scores of rhetorical questions are addressed to disbelievers, such as ''Do you not reflect?'' ''Do you not see?'' ''Do you not use your reason?'' ''Do their minds command them to do so?'' (52:32).

20. Soubhi el-Saleh, La vie future selon le Coran (Paris, 1971); see also Marcia Hermansen's chapter (15) in the present volume.

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