A Critique of Ayar-i Naqd [The Touchstone of Criticis]

Husayn Harsawi

In Issue No.15 of the journal ' Ulum-i Hadith [Hadith Sciences], there is an article, entitled ' Ayar-i Naqd [The Touchstone of Criticism], being a critical review of yet another article, namely Abu Hurayra, published in Issue No.10 of the same journal. Sayyed Muhammad-Kazim Tabatabayi, the author of Ayar-i Naqd [The Touchstone of Criticism], confirming the forger character of Abu Hurayra, held that (1) the great number of the hadiths related from Abu Hurayra is due to the fact that according to the Sunni definition, hadith consists of sanad chain of authorities' and matn (text); hence any minimal variation in the sanad, e.g. the replacement of one hadith transmitter with another one, would result in another hadith, even if the text remains the same. In this way, the texts of the hadiths related by Abu Hurayra would not exceed 1500 ones, (2) the opposition of the second orthodox caliph with Abu Hurayra's relating hadiths was not due to his being a forger, rather the caliph exercised the same policy with all hadith-relators, banning transmission of the Sunna of the Prophet, (3) Mahmud Abu Rayya, one of Abu Hurayra’s critics and the author of Adwaun ala -Sunna, is after rejecting the authenticity of the Prophetic hadiths, stressing on the Quran as the only proof between God and people. To do so, he resorts to the shortcomings present in Sunnite hadiths and hadith books, (4) on the fact that Abu Hurayra had some thirty-two names and titles, he himself cannot be blamed; rather his hadith transmitters made use of so many names and titles to refer to him, perhaps to cover the deficiency inherent in their sanads. The author of the present article regards these four cases as defence in favor of Abu Hurayra and tries to answer the issues raised.

Key Words: Ayar-i Naqd [The Touchstone of Criticis], Abu Hurayra, Sanad Chain of Authorities and Matn (Text).

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