Are the Prophetic Hadith Authentic?
The issue of hadith has become an issue of faith, faith which Muslim scholars by definition hold and a faith that non-Muslim Western scholars have no reason not to be sceptical of. Any objective analysis of hadith it seems is a theoretical impossibility as one is necessarily conditioned by one's prejudices and preconceptions. One is forced a priori to choose between two camps, either that which invests considerable faith in the method of hadith criticism adopted by the Muslim scholars of the ninth century based on a critical analysis of the isnads (the chain of transmitters), thereby taking the overall authenticity of the hadith as one's point of departure or that which rejects the isnads as a reliable tool for the critical analysis of hadith, thereby presuming hadith to be inauthentic. …
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