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A Teacher of Ibn 'Abd al-Wahhāb: Muhammad Hayāt al-Sindī and the Revival of Ashāb al-Hadīth's Methodology

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Muhaammad Hayāt al-Sindī, the most eminent hadīth scholar in the Hijazi city of Madina in the first half of the eighteenth century, was one of the teachers of the controversial Najdī reformist Muhammad b. 'Abd al-Wah-hāb. Scholars of early modern Islamic thought disagree about al-Sindī's influence on Ibn 'Abd al-Wahhāb. In this article I present a brief study of the life and works of Hayāt al-Sindī, focusing on his approach to hadīth as a primary source of fiqh, his call for ijtihād, and his opposition to the legacy of the madhhabs and to the divisions caused by partisan adherence to the madhhab. Although he was influenced by the Hanbalī Ibn Taymiyya, Hayāt al-Sindī's outlook and methodology are closer to those of the classical ahl al-Hadīth. Like Hayāt al-Sindī, Ibn 'Abd al-Wahhāb was critical of the established madhhabī system, disregarded the instruments of usūl al-fiqh, and appears to have been irreverent to the legacy of fiqh.


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