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Evolution in the Canonical Sunni Hadith Body of Literature and the Concept of an Authentic Hadith During the Formative Period of Islamic ought as Based on Recent Western Scholarship

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The aim of this article is to trace the development of the Hadith body of literature and the concept of an authentic Hadith as defined by the classical Islamic sciences ('ulum-ul-hadith) during the formative years of Islamic thought as based primarily on Western scholarship sources. The first part of the article will describe the semantico-contextual changes in the meaning of the term Hadith during the period under examination. The second part will present a brief chronological analysis of the development of the canonical Hadith literature and the concept of an authentic Hadith during the first four generations of Muslims. The progress of development of Hadith literature will, in particular, be traced in relation to the development of the concept of an authentic Hadith, as defined by the classical Hadith sciences.

Affiliations: 1: Centre for Muslim States and Societies, University of Western Australia


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