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Ghazzālī’s Alteration of ḥadīths: Processes and Meaning*

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Abstract This article starts from the hypothesis, tacitly made by traditional Muslim scholars, that Ghazzālī tended to alter Ḥadīth texts when using them in his Revival of the Religious Sciences. It goes on to explore this hypothesis in four cases previously identified by the author, and attributes each case to a distinct process of alteration. These processes are shown to be triggered by specific concerns — doctrinal as well as argumentative. The article concludes that Ghazzālī departed from the Sunnī principle of authority, and gave priority to argument.

Affiliations: 1: Université de Paris-Sorbonne


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