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Article
A Paradigm Shift In Assessing/Evaluating the Value and Significance of Hadith In Islamic Thought: From'Ulumu-L-Isnad/Rijal To'usulu-l-fiqh
Arab Law Quarterly (2007)
Abstract

Tis article proposes a new method for assessing and evaluating the function and value of Hadīth literature in Islamic thought, especially in relation to usūlu-l-fiqh sciences. It argues that the classical Islamic scholarships embodied either by methodologies developed by the Muhadīthūn with the primary focus on isnād and rijāl -based Hadīth analysis or theepistemological evaluation of Hadīth in the hands of theUsūliyyūn is inadequate in devel-oping a systematic methodology that would be able to ultimately resolve the currenti mpasse on the questions of Sunnah compliance of otherwise vast (Sunni and Shia) Hadīthbodies of knowledge. Instead, it argues that the ultimate assessment, evaluation and defini-tive ‘value’ or significance of Hadīth literature, especially in the areas of law theory, juris-prudence but also theology, rests upon the broader questions concerning issues pertaining to what the author refers to as Qurāno–Sunnahic hermeneutics. Te article draws upon a published article on the new methodology of the nature and the scope of the concept of Sunnah developed by the same author elsewhere in which a direct hermeneutic relationshipbetween H ̣ adīth and the symbiotic nature of the Qur ʾāno–Sunnahic hermeneutic relation-ship is established in order to argue that the questions of Hadīth authenticity and reliability take a secondary role in their overall assessment and evaluation, especially in usūl u-l-fiqh theory. Instead (hermeneutic or exegetical) Hadīth value, significance and role is primarily determined in relation to its position with regards to the delineating features and the epistemological and methodological assumptions of a particular Qurāno–Sunnahic hermeneutic model.

Keywords
  • Islamic hermeneutics,
  • Qur'an,
  • sunna,
  • hadith,
  • shari'a,
  • usul ul fiqh
Publication Date
2007
Citation Information
"A Paradigm Shift In Assessing/Evaluating the Value and Significance of Hadith In Islamic Thought: From'Ulumu-L-Isnad/Rijal To'usulu-l-fiqh" Arab Law Quarterly (2007)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/mallorca/213/