The Concept of 'History' in Hadith Scholarship

The concept of history in the science of Hadīth has emerged and developed pertaining to the search for authenticity of hadīths. To determine the authenticity of a hadīth, it is important to notice the teacher-student relationship which requires information about their dates of death along with the birth dates, if possible. Knowing these dates is significant to identify whether they are contemporaries or not and to assure if they have met and narrated from each other by which some issues in the chain such as 'inkıtā', irsāl and tadlīs can be determined. Therefore, the concept of history here does not refer to history as a field or science in its broader sense but rather the biographies of the narrators. For this reason, we cannot make reference to a history of Hadīth as a history of science in the classical period even though there is such thing as history of narrators. History of Hadīth, in the Islamic history, was included in the curriculum as a lecture along with others such as -Tafseer and history of Tafseer-, -history of Kalam- and -history of Tasawwuf- which were agreed upon to be involved, and was taught for the first time in Darulfünûn İlahiyat Fakültesi which was opened after the abolishment of the madrasas in 1924. Historiography of Hadīth also started from this date on and progressed in the course of time according to needs and amenities.


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