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The canon and the needs of the community: The Ṣaḥīḥayn as measure of authenticity, authoritative reference and exemplum

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Chapter Summary

At some moment around the dawn of the fifth/eleventh century, the Ṣaḥῑḥayn emerged as authoritative representations of the Prophet's sunna among the transmission-based Shafii and Hanbali schools. The power of the canon was bound intimately to the interactive functions it fulfilled. Within the closed circles of legal or theological schools, however, scholars had no compunction about rejecting al-Bukhari's and Muslim's hadiths. In the mid-fifth/eleventh century, the Ṣaḥῑḥayn canon stood ready to fulfill important functions for Muslim scholars in cities like Baghdad and Naysabur. If the canon was to maintain its air of compelling authority in the arena of discourse, a canonical culture would have to be forged to extend the two books the charity required to reconcile this tension. The power of the canon was bound intimately to the interactive functions it fulfilled.

Keywords: Ṣaḥῑḥayn canon; al-Bukhari's hadiths; authenticity; Authoritative; Canon; Exemplum; Hanbali schools; Muslim's hadiths; Shafii schools

10.1163/ej.9789004158399.i-431.59
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