From the Criticism of Document to the Criticism of Text (pt.3)

Hasan Hanafi

Dr Hasan Hanafi, philosophy professor at the University of Cairo, tries to represent a method for utilizing social and human sciences in hadith criticism. Hence he approaches the document criticism and text analysis of Prophetic hadiths from three perspectives: sociological, historical, and literary criticisms. He also represents the patterns or genres of the hadith so as to display the utility of each type of criticism. In the previous parts, the writer came up with a definition of hadith criticism together with the value and necessity for this criticism as well as that of the Sahih of al-Bukhari. He indicated the relation of the hadith with the Quran and elucidated their interdependence; moreover, he made explicit various genres (direct quotation, narration, dialogue, questioning and answers, and the use of the sign language) in the Prophetic hadith. In the present part, Hanafi talks about the historiocity of the form and content of the hadith so as to prove that the form (structure and mode of addressing) in the hadith is a function of the laws and rules of oral report; the content (subject) of the hadith is related to its synchronic conditions, customs, practices and the characteristics of those days. He then represents the social, cultural, political, and religious conditions of the Age of the Prophet throughout the Prophetic hadiths. In all cases, his evidences are all based on al-Sahih of al-Bukhari.

Key Words: Hadith Criticism, Document Criticism, Text Analysis, Prophetic Hadiths, Direct Quotation, Narration, Dialogue, Sign Language.

Click Here to read the Original Paper