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Canon and community: Al-Ḥākim Al-Naysābūrī and the canonization of the Ṣaḥīḥayn

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Chapter Summary

Around the end of the fourth/tenth century, the Ṣaḥῑḥ collections of al-Bukhari and Muslim first emerged as kanòns of authenticity. The Hanbali/über-Sunnis and the nascent Shāfiʿῑ/Ashʿarῑ camp, agreed on the Ṣaḥῑḥayn as common references for the Prophet's authentic legacy. The study and exploration of the Ṣaḥῑḥayn took place at the hands of a network of devoted hadith scholars, but the canonization of the two works would result from the activities of a different cadre. Al-Ḥākim al-Naysābūrῑ was the common link. Al-Ḥākim, like most of the Ṣaḥῑḥayn Network, worked within the realm of hadith collection and criticism, but his colleague and his student participated in the wider discourse of epistemology, law and legal theory. These developments endowed the Ṣaḥῑḥayn with a new potential authority within the body of transmission-based scholars.

Keywords: Ṣaḥῑḥ collections; Al-Ḥākim al-Naysābūrῑ; canonization; hadith collection



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