From the Criticism of Document to the Criticism of Text

Dr. Hasan Hanafi

In this issue the fifth part of the article From Criticism of Document to the Criticism of Text written by Dr. Hasan Hanafi, philosophy professor at the University of Cairo, is published. In the previous parts, Dr. Hanafi gave a definition of hadith criticism as well as the value and necessity for this criticism and he also cited the historiocity of the form and content of the hadith so as to prove that the form (structure and mode of addressing) in the hadith is a function of the laws and rules of oral report, the content (subject) of the hadith is in the line with Its synchronic conditions, customs, practices and the characteristics of those days. He demonstrated the social, cultural, political and religious conditions of the age of the prophet throughout the Prophetic hadiths and the effects of customs, traditions believes, myths, rites and etc. on the hadith. In the present part, he raises this question: “After demonstrating the haistoriocity of hadith, what will be left?” and tries to answer it throughout the following discussions: contemplation, affection, education, legislation, health, basic human freedom, women and children’s rights, protection of nature and etc. Notably there exist some serious differences in the author’s views and the views of Shiite thinkers, especially in the field of the Prophet’s knowledge, infallibility of the prophet, imamate and so on. However his article is useful because of its newness in the realm of hadith scholarship and criticism.

Key Words: Document Criticism, Text Criticism, Form, Content, the Prophet’s Knowledge.

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