From the Criticism of Document to the Criticism of Text

Dr Hasan Hanafi

Translated by Muhammad Husayn Rawhani

The writer, Dr Hasan Hanafi, is professor of philosophy at the University of   Cairo. He has produced other works in the realm of Koranic sciences, tafsir, hadith, the Prophetic sira and Islamic fiqh. In this article, Hanafi intends to offer a method to make use of the social sciences and humanities for criticism of hadith texts. Hence, he opproaches to criticize the chain of documents and to study the text of Prophetic hadiths from literary, sociological, and historical perspectives. He also displays the various genres of the hadith. This research is centred on and around the Sahih al-Bukhari which the Sunnis regard it as the most authoritative of the six Sihahs. The work in question is a descriptive study; it merely aims at comprehending the content of the hadith and to find out the scientific basis for their articulation. This section of the article focuses on the definition of “hadith criticism”, the value and significance of this kind of criticism, and the general critique of the hadiths in the Sahih al-Bukhari. It then turns to the relation of the hadith to the Koran and their interface. In the third section, the dialogue genre of the Prophetic hadiths is studied, with a discussion of their signification of the content.

Key Words: Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith Criticism, Comprehending the Content, Criticism of Document, Criticism of Text.

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