Early Hadith Literature and Sahih al-Bukhari: A Reponse to Sherif Gaber


Replete with splashes of humour and adorned with a lively style, the videos of Sherif Gaber have helped rocket him into social media fame. Covering a variety of controversial topics - from the supposed Syriac substratum of the Qur’an, to linking the monstrous crimes of Daesh with normative practice of Islam, Gaber consistently reveals himself to be lacking in knowledge regarding these sensitive topics; his attempts remaining amateurish at best. A particular video of his entitled “the lies of al-Bukhari” piqued my interest, and so I wrote this article to convey my thoughts on the matter. Whilst the video has already been responded to in Arabic (with English closed captions), I felt as if there were some areas not covered in sufficient detail. Hopefully, this should rectify that.

Writing of Hadith in the First and Second Centuries After Hijrah

People did bother to write hadith before the second century AH.

From 21:31, he states:

One hundred years after the death of [the Prophet] Muhammad, no-one was interested in collecting what [he] said.

There is a widespread notion that hadith were solely orally transmitted until Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz (d. 101) ordered al-Zuhri (d. 124) to record them. However, recent discoveries and research has proved this to be erroneous.

Without a doubt, the most exhaustive work on the subject of early hadith literature is Shaykh Mustafa al-Azami‘s Studies in Early Hadith Literature, in which he compiled a list of pre-classical individuals who either personally wrote hadith or allowed hadith to be transmitted from them in written form. The list includes over 50 Companions, 49 first-generation Successors, 87 scholars of the late first century and 251 scholars of the early second century [1].

Nabia Abbott also notes numerous instances where Companions transcribed hadith when writing letters and materials regarding juridical issues, including Zaid b. Thabit (d. 45) in his booklet regarding inheritance, Amr ibn Hazm al-Ansari (d. 51–53) in his written instructions regarding alms and blood money and Abu al-Yasar Ka’b ibn Amr (d. 55), whose servant accompanied him with manuscripts [2], and Abu Hurairah. She noted that the Companions and Successors who opposed the writing of hadith were a minority, and that even members of this group — such as Ibn Abbas — relaxed this prohibition later in their lives [3].

Thus, it cannot be denied that writing of hadith began and was used in the first century to facilitate retention of hadith, though it was not intended to be used as a means of retention itself. The saying of the Successor Ibrahim al-Nakha’i (d. 95) - that those who solely recorded hadith became dependent on their writing - surmises the attitudes of early Successors, who generally preferred memorization. Yet accurate retention was completely possible without writing, and the harmony of the contents of recently discovered hadith literature dating to the first century with second/third century collections only reinforce the accuracy of oral transmission in the early period.

Early Hadith Manuscript #1: The Sahifah of Hammam b. Munabbih

The biographical dictionaries state that numerous people transmitted hadith from Abu Hurairah in writing, and indeed we see that his student Hammam b. Munabbih (d. 132–3) transmitted a sahifah (written book of hadith) from him, which was transmitted to Ma’mar b. Rashid (d. 153), who transmitted it to Abd al-Razzāq (d. 211), who absorbed it into his musannaf. Several manuscripts of Abd al-Razzāq’s recension were discovered, edited and published by Dr. Muhammad Hamidullah. One includes a full scribal chain of transmission from Abd al-Razzaq to the final copyist of the manuscript [4]. The extant sahifah contains 138 hadiths, of which 136 can be found in the Musnad of Ahmad b. Hanbal and 98 in the two Sahihs of Bukhari and Muslim [5]. Marston Speigh noted that upon further analysis, it is apparent the narrations those collections and the Sahifah share are almost identical:

[…] “the texts in Hammam and those recorded in Ibn Hanbal, Bukhari and Muslim with the same isnad show almost complete identity, except for a few omissions and interpolations which do not affect the sense of the reports.” [6]

Juynboll has objected to its ascription to Hammam by claiming that he actually died around 100 - when Ma’mar was still a child - rather than 130–140. Hence, Ma’mar would have been too young to transmit from Hammam, and so he must have been inserted into the chain by Abd al-Razzāq. However, early hadith critics including ‘Alī b. al-Madini were in agreement that Hammam died around 132–133 [7]. More recently, Alī al-Halabī defended the 132 birth date in the introduction to his critical edition of the sahifah.

Secondly, he invokes his “Common Link Theory”, which states that the isnad of a hadith can only be confirmed if other iterations of the same hadith branch away from it. If a hadith is only transmitted through one branch (i.e. the ‘common link’), then the narration was most likely fabricated by the common link. Since Abd al-Razzaq is the ‘common link’ in the sahifah’s chain, he must have fabricated it. But his immaculate status in the eyes of hadith critics has been corroborated by Harald Motzki’s thorough analysis of the musannaf, which shows that it is incredibly unlikely that either Abd al-Razzaq and Ma’mar were involved in fabricating a large volume of narrations [8]. Furthermore, when we consider the fact that the reports within the sahifah were already in circulation and later included in other collections, Abd al-Razzaq would have had no motive to fabricate them.

Early Hadith Manuscript #2: The Nuskhah of Suhayl b. Abu Salih

The second manuscript is a copy of the nuskhah of Suhayl b. Abu Salih (70–138), and belongs to al-Zahiriyah Library, Damascus, no. Majmu’ 107, Folio 155–160 [9]. Nuskhah means ‘copy’, and is probably derived from the practice whereby students would copy out hadiths from their teachers’ books [10].

The extant nuskhah was copied at the end of the sixth century AH. It contains 49 hadith Abu Suhayl copied from his father, who heard from Abu Hurairah. Indeed, the biographical dictionaries explicitly state that Suhayl transmitted a nuskhah from his father, Abu Salih, who narrated from Abu Hurairah [11]. From Suhayl, it was copied by various scribes until the present copy was created. This is confirmed by the chain of transmitters on the manuscript, from the author to the last copyist:

Abu al-Futuh Yusuf b. al-Mubarak (527- 601)

Abu Bakr Muhammad b. Abd al-Baqi al-Azzaz (422–535)

Abu al-Hussain Muhammad b. Ahmad al-Narsi (367–456)

Abu al-Hasan Ali b. Umar al-Harbi (296–386)

Abu Ubaid Allah Muhammad b. Abdah b. Harb (218–313)

Ibrahim al-Hajjaj (c. 155–233)

Abd al-Aziz b. al-Mukhtar (c. 110-c. 170)

Suhayl b. Abu Salih (70–138)

Dhakwan Abu Salih al-Samman (c. 20–101)

Abu Hurairah

All the narrators and copyists are trustworthy according to the standards of the hadith critics, spare the late transmitter Muhammad b. Abdah b. Harb, who was the Hanafite Chief Qadi of Egypt. Although his character was attacked, this has no implications for the authenticity of the nuskhah as the work had already been absorbed into earlier collections by his time. Furthermore, it has been claimed that the charges against him were unfair [12].

The fate of the pre-classical books

If hadith literary activity actually took place as early and as widespread as suggested, then why did so little this period survive? Indeed, al-Azami’s findings would put the number of booklets circulating in the 1st and 2nd centuries to be in the thousands.

al-Azami suggests that these works were not lost at all, but rather that they were absorbed into later encyclopaedic collections. After this, there was no need to retain the early books and they were gradually lost. Examples include Abd al-Razzaq’s recensions of both Hammam b. Munabbih’s aforementioned sahifah and Ma’mar b. Rashid’s Kitab al-Maghazi - one of the earliest biographies of the Prophet ﷺ - in his musannaf [13]. The latter has since been published in English as “The Expeditions: An Early Biography of Muhammad” by Sean Anthony. Other third century recensions of early sahifahs remain in Damascus’ al-Zahiriyah Library and the library of Shahid Ali in Turkey.

Jonathan Brown notes that some of the isnads that appear regularly in hadith collections indeed reflect sahifahs being handed down from teacher to student or from father to son, adducing the sahifah-isnad of Abu Hurairah — Abd al-Rahman — his son al-’Ala [14], in the same manner Suhayl b. Abu Salih received the nuskhah from his father.

Al-Zuhri and the Umayyads

Did al-Zuhri admit to fabricating hadith at the behest of the Ummayds?

Gaber claims at 22:10:

Muhammad ibn Shihab al-Zuhri was someone recruited [by] the Umayyad government. Under the reign of Abdullah ibn Marwan, [he complained] that the emirs forced people to write hadith.

He regurgitates Guillaume’s view that al-Zuhri’s complaint is evidence that the Umayyads compelled him to fabricate narrations in their favour. His full statement, however, makes it clear that it has nothing to do with forgery:

We had an aversion to recording knowledge, till these amirs forced us to do it; then we were of the opinion that we should not withhold it from any of the Muslims. [15]

al-Zuhri disliked disseminating knowledge freely — as with a number of other Successors, including Imam Malik. His stance softened in his latter years however, and he once said after leaving a meeting with Abd al-Malik:

O people, we forbade you something which we delivered to those [amirs]. Come here, I will relate to you. [16]

Some puzzles concerning the fabrication theory

Abdullah Moataz points out that had al-Zuhri been involved in fabricating reports for Umayyad interests, then one would expect to see him relate certain kinds of narrations - most notably concerning obedience to rulers [17]. Yet, there is only one such report - and it is specifically regarding obedience to leaders appointed by the Prophet ﷺ himself [18].

In addition, we see that Walid b. Muslim asked him about a forged narration in circulation at that time in Syria, “God writes down only the good deeds of amirs and not does not record any bad deed.” al-Zuhri replied that it was false (batil), an unusual response for someone supposedly paid to guard Umayyad interests [19]. He clashed with Caliph Hisham and denounced his son al-Walid for his poor character [20]. He had no qualms with criticising the Umayyads’ lies in private either, as reported by Ma’mar:

I asked al-Zuhri about this [about who wrote the pact on the Day of Hudaybiyah], and he laughed and said, “The scribe was Ali ibn Abi Talib, but were you to ask them” — by whom he meant the Umayyads — “they would say it was Uthman.” [21]

The upshot of this discussion is that al-Zuhri had a shaky relationship with the Umayyads, with their interests often conflicting. Sean Anthony notes that al-Zuhri represented the conservative views of the Medinese rather than the Umayyad elite. [22].

Bukhari and the 600,000 Hadith

It seriously doesn’t matter if he was lying.

Gaber devotes a significant portion of his video to his claim that al-Bukhari was lying when he said he had a collection of 600,000 hadith (of which 200,000 he memorized) from which included only a few narrations in his Sahih. But even if we were to concede he was lying, it has no implications for the authenticity of the hadith contained within the Sahih. Bukhari made extensive use of earlier collections, including the Musnad of al-Humaydi (d. 219), the Muwatta of Malik b. Anas (d. 179), the Musannaf of Ibn Abi Shaybah (d. 235 AH) and the Musnad of Ahmad b. Hanbal, some of which he possessed in writing [23]. Hence, almost every hadith in the Sahih, spare a handful, is corroborated in earlier or contemporary sources. If it can be demonstrated that Bukhari accurately quotes those reports, then his truthfulness can be established.

Case Study - Hadith Regarding Desires to Commit Suicide

Abul-’Abbas al-Shami notes that in the following hadith, Bukhari states he narrated from Malik via Isma’il b. Abi Uwais:

Sahih al-Bukhari: Isma’il [b. Abi Uwais] told us that Malik told him, from Abu al-Zinad, from al-A’raj, from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “The Hour shall not commence until a man shall pass by another man’s grave and say: I wish I were in his place.” [24]

We see the same hadith in Malik’s Muwatta with almost exact wording:

Muwatta Malik: Malik, from Abu al-Zinad, from al-A’raj, from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “The Hour shall not commence until a man shall pass by someone’s grave and say: I wish I were in his place.” [25]

al-Shami uses this example to show Bukhari’s accuracy and honesty when quoting earlier texts. The following isnad diagram shows the corroborating chains for this hadith, along with the other hadith scholars who transmitted it in their collections.

Not only is the narration present in Bukhari’s Sahih, but also in the collections of Muslim b. al-Hajjaj (d. 261), Ahmad b. Hanbal, Ibn Hibban (d. 354) and Ibn Majah (d. 273).

600,000 Hadith - An Impossible Number?

Gaber states from 3:45 onwards:

And he [al-Bukhari] kept travelling for 16 years. He collected 600,000 hadiths. And at the end, he said about 593,000 were lies and kept only 7,500 as true and authentic. And then he wrote his “Sahih al-Bukhari” […] 600,000 hadiths and only 7,500 were true?! That means that around 99% of the hadiths of Muhammad were lies

Part of Gaber’s contention is implied to be the disbelief in the fact 600,000 hadith could ever be collected. Yet it is important to note that the 600,000 hadith are not all separate, discrete reports from the Prophet. Rather, they include the sayings of repetitions of the same hadith through different channels (turuq). Every channel of transmission is considered as a separate hadith. This is significant as it is the very nature of the isnad system for chains to multiply in number with the progression of time, as teachers transmitted hadith to their students, who in turn eventually transmitted them to their own students. So numerous were turuq by later generations, that Yahya b. Ma’in (d. 233) stated his goal was to seek 30 to 50 turuq for each hadith. Nabia Abbott, while discussing this phenomenon, states:

[…] the traditions of Muhammad as transmitted by his Companions and their Successors were, as a rule, scrupulously scrutinised at each step of the transmission, and that the so called phenomenal growth of Tradition in the second and third centuries of Islam was not primarily growth of content, so far as the hadith of Muhammad and the hadith of the Companions are concerned, but represents largely the progressive increase in parallel and multiple chains of transmission. [26]

She uses a geometric progression to estimate what the number of turuq would be per generation, which matches with the traditionists’ claims:

Assuming that the average Companion transmitted one tradition to two Successors and that each of these two transmitted the same tradition to two transmitters of the next generation, and assuming this series was continued to the fourth and eighth terms […] representing the generations of Zuhri and Ibn Hanbal respectively — we would have a geometric progression whose fourth and eighth terms are 16 and 256 respectively. The average Companion’s original tradition could have been transmitted literally or according to sense through 16 different turuq in Zuhri’s time and 256 in Ibn Hanbal’s time. […] to judge by Sufyan [al-Thawri]’s estimated rate of 10% for successful survival for traditionists […] [then] the probable number of isnads in the time of Ibn Hanbal and the next two generations would be […] 26, 51 and 102 turuq respectively […] remarkably close to the 30 or 50 turuq claimed by Yahya b. Ma’in and 100 turuq claimed by Ibrahim b. Sa’id al-Jauhari. [27]

Hence, she concludes:

Once it is realised that the isnad did, indeed, initiate a chain reaction that resulted in an explosive increase in the numbers of traditions, the huge numbers that are atttributed to Ibn Hanbal, Muslim and Bukhari seem not so fantastic after all.

Using Abbott’s progression, the average number of turuq per hadith in Bukhari’s generation would be 26. If we were to apply this number to Bukhari’s collection of 600,000 hadith, then we yield a much smaller result of 23,000 discrete hadith. Of course, the actual number would be subject to a great deal of other factors, though it does give an indication of how much lower it could be. The same applies for the number of 7,500 hadith in the Sahih. When repetitions, the sayings of Successors and broken-chained reports are taken into account, the number of hadith in the Sahih is in fact 2,602 [28].

al-Azami notes that in reality, one hadith transmitted by one Companion could reach up to 10 Successors, each of which had up to 20–30 students throughout different localities [29].

Case Study #1 - Hadith about Fasting

An example is displayed in isnad diagram of the following hadith:

The Prophet said that Allah said: “Every act of the son of Adam is for him, a good deed would be rewarded tenfold, except fasting which is (exclusively) meant for Me, and I (alone) will reward it. One abandons his food for My sake and abandons drinking for My sake, and abandons his pleasure for My sake. When any of you is fasting he should neither indulge in sex nor use obscene language. If anyone reviles him, he should say, ‘I am fasting.’ The one who fasts has two (occassions) of joy: one when he breaks the fast and one the day when he would meet his Lord. And the breath (of one who fasts) is sweeter to Allah than the fragrance of musk.”

The diagram shows how the number of narrators and hence turuq increase further down the chain. At the third level, the hadith appears in Madinah, Basra, Kufa, Mecca, Wasit, the Hijaz and Khorasan. It is found in the collections of Ibn Khuzaymah (d. 311), Abd al-Razzaq, Ahmad b. Hanbal, Ibn Hibban, al-Nasa’i (d. 303), al-Tabarani (d. 260), al-Darimi (d. 255), al-Humaydi (d. 219), Bukhari, Muslim b. al-Hajjaj and the sahifah of Hammam b. Munabbih, all of whom record it via a variety of turuq. This is a prime example of what is ultimately one hadith can be recorded via dozens of different turuq, each of which can be counted as a ‘hadith’ in its own right.

Case Study #2 - Hadith #3 in the Nuskhah of Suhayl b. Abu Salih

Another example is presented in the transmission of the third hadith in the Suhayl b. Abu Salih’s nuskhah:

From Abu Hurairah, from the Prophet: “The imam (in salah) has been determined imam precisely so that he be followed: so when he says “Allahu akbar”, say “Allahu akbar”; when he bows for ruku`, bow with him for ruku`; when he says “Sami` allahu liman hamidah”, say “Allahumma rabbana laka l-hamd”; when he goes down in sajdah, you too go down in sajdah and do not do so until he has gone into sajdah; when he gets up you too get up and don’t do so until he does so; and when he leads salah sitting you too should perform salah sitting.”

al-Azami’s research reveals that this narration was narrated by 9 other Companions, 7 of which we have the details of the chain of transmission for. 16 Successors transmitted this hadith from the Companions, and 26 of the third-generation subsequently transmitted the hadith from the Successors. Their localities range from Egypt, to Syria, to Yemen. It is included in the Musnad of Ahmad b. Hanbal, 9 times on the authority of Abu Hurairah and 13 times on the authorities of 6 other Companions [30].

Were the rest of the hadith false?

Here’s Gaber’s statement again:

And then he wrote his “Sahih al-Bukhari” […] 600,000 hadiths and only 7,500 were true?! That means that around 99% of the hadiths of Muhammad were lies.

Were the hadith Bukhari did not include all fabricated? Firstly, it should be obvious that ‘not authentic’ does not mean ‘fabricated’. It includes hasan (good) and da’if (weak) reports which did not meet the strict standards of Bukhari’s canons of criticism. Secondly, Bukhari himself answers this question:

I have not included in my book al-Jami`[Sahih al-Bukhari] but what is authentic, and I left out among the authentic for fear of [excessive] length. [31]

For the sake of brevity, Bukhari did not include every single authentic hadith in his Sahih. This includes the other turuq for each narration.

A report in Tarikh Baghdad also expounds on the matter, where Bukhari explicitly states that he did not include authentic material that he could not obtain.:

Abu Sa`d al-Malini informed us that `Abdullah Ibn `Udayy informed us: I heard al-Hasan Ibn al-Husayn al-Bukhari say: “I have not included in my book al-Jami` but what is authentic, and I left out among the authentic what I could not get hold of.” [32]

Though there was undeniably mountains of inauthentic material regardless, it only goes to reinforce the fact that the early hadith critics were not naive. They were aware of the reality of forgery and inauthentic narrations and took the necessary steps to identify them.

Do Conflicting Hadith Prove the Hadith Corpus Wrong?

Gaber states at 14:29:

And if we wanted to talk about the contradictory hadith in Sahih al-Bukhari […] there’s so many hadith that talk about certain religious practices, but contradict and are different from each other.

The field concerning contradictory and conflicting hadith is known as mukhtilaf al-hadith, and has been of interest to scholars since the early classical period. Indeed, Ibn Khuzaymah proudly proclaimed, “I am unaware of any two authentic narrations of the Prophet that are contradictory. If anyone comes across such narrations, let him bring them to me so that I can reconcile them.” [33], and indeed while there are authentic conflicting hadith, there are no authentic contradictory hadith. Numerous works were authored on this subject, including al-Shafi’i’s (d. 204) Ikhtilaf al-Hadith, and Ibn Qutaybah (d. 276)’s Ta’wil Mukhtalif al-Hadith.

Scholars laid out a general framework for reconciling conflicting hadith. Firstly, the reports are to be harmonized. If that is not possible, then one should seek evidence for naskh (abrogation). If that is not possible, then one should prefer (tarjih) one hadith based on its chain of transmission, text, hidden defects (‘ilal) and other factors. [34] Other methods include figurative reading and understanding the context.

It should be noted that the very existence of conflicting narrations shows that there was no concentrated or systematic effort on part of the Companions to display a unified narrative about the Prophet. They would transmit whatever they found important and meaningful, even if that meant it would conflict with the transmission of someone else.

Case Study #1 - Placing One Leg over another whilst Lying Down

Two narrations in Bukhari and Muslim show the Prophet prohibiting placing one leg over another when lying down, yet doing exactly that in a mosque.

Jabir b. Abdullah reported the Messenger of Allah as saying: Do not place one of your feet upon the other while lying on your back. [35]

Narrated the uncle of `Abbas bin Tamim: I saw Messenger of Allah lying down on his back in the mosque, placing one leg on the other. [36]

Al-Khattabi (d. 388) harmonises the narrations by explaining that the prohibition pertains to the scenario where placing one leg over another will expose one’s private part. The Prophet did so in such a manner that it was not exposed. [37]

Case Study #2 - The Age of the Prophet

Gaber states at 14:38:

And there’re contradictions in very clear topics like the age of the Prophet. You do think that he was 63 years old when he died, right? Yes, but actually nobody knows. al-Bukhari once said 60 years old, and in another hadith he said 63, and another hadith by Muslim b. al-Hajjaj says 65 who also said 60 in another hadith.

The supposed contradiction arises due to rounding by the sub-narrators, and the actual age is 63. Rounding was common practice for the Arabs [38]. On a side note, it is not what Bukhari or Muslim says, but rather what the narrator(s) say!

Concluding Remarks

The viral nature of this specific video is yet another example of how amateur pseudo-intellectuals are able to misrepresent the facts through merely a cursory reading of the subjects involved, and are thus able to mislead a large audience. In an age of disinformation and academic dishonesty, it is vital that one critically examines claims made regarding a topic rather than accepting them at face value.

Notes and References

[1] al-Azami, Studies in Early Hadith Literature, pp. 34–106.

[2] Abbott, Studies in Arabic Literary Papyri II: Qur’anic Commentary and Tradition, p. 11

[3] Ibid, pp. 10–12.

[4] Hamidullah, Sahifah Hammam Ibn Munabbih (trans. Hossein G. Tocheport), p. 118. The ijazah is in the title of the sahifah’s Damascene manuscript, which reads:

[The] Sahifah of Hammam b. Munabbih, may Allah have mercy on him, that Ma’mar transmitted from him, that Abd al-Razzaq transmitted from him, that Ahmad ibn Yusuf al-Sulami transmitted from him, which Abu Bakr al-Qattan transmitted from him, that Imam Abu ‘Abdallah ibn Mindah transmitted from him, that his son Abd al-Wahhab transmitted from him, that the Sheikh Abu’I-Khair Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Muqaddar transmitted from him, that Abu ‘Abdullah Muhammad ibn’ Abd ar Rahman ibn Muhammad al-Mas’udi passed on from him.

[5] Ayyad, Early Transmission of Hadith: Incentives and Challenges, Journal of Islamic and Human Advanced Research, Vol. 3, Issue 11, p. 765)

[6] Speight, A Look At Variant Readings In The Hadith, Der Islam, 2000, Band 77, Heft 1, p. 170.

[7] See the discussion at twelvershia.net.

[8] See Motzki, The Musannaf of ʿAbd al-Razzaq al-Sanʿani as a source of authentic ahadith of the first Islamic century

[9] al-Azami, Studies in Early Hadith Literature, p. 274.

[10] Ibid, p. 29.

[11] Suyuti, Tadrib al-Rawi 42.

[12] al-Azami, Studies in Early Hadith Literature, p. 273 ff.

[13] Sean Anthony, The Expeditions: An Early Biography of Muhammad, pp. xix-xxi

[14] Jonathan Brown, Hadith: Muhammad’s Legacy In The Medieval And Modern World, p. 20.

[15] al-Dhahabi, Tarikh al-Islam, Vol. 5, p. 148

[16] Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, Vol. 2, p. 135.

[17] See Moataz’s thread on the topic.

[18] Muslim b. al-Hajjah, Sahih Muslim, Book 33, Hadith 47.

[19] Ibn Abd Rabbid, ‘Iqd, 1, pp. 70–71.

[20] al-Azami, Studies in Early Hadith Literature, p. 289.

[21] Sean Anthony, The Expeditions: An Early Biography of Muhammad, p. 43, Section 2.5.

[22] Sean Anthony commented on Abdullah Moataz’s thread:

This is true: al-Zuhrī represents the conservative, accommodationist politics of the Medinan elites, especially those of Quraysh. Despite his closeness to the caliph Hishām, his loyalties to the Umayyad house were not absolute.

[23] Abul-’Abbas al-Shami, What Does it Mean for a Hadith to be in Sahih Al-Bukhari?

[24] Bukhari, Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 9, Book 88, Hadith 231.

[25] Malik, Muwatta, Book 16, Hadith 54.

[26] Abbott, Studies in Arabic Literary Papyri II: Qur’anic Commentary and Tradition, p. 2.

[27] Ibid, p. 72.

[28] al-Azami, Studies in Hadith Literature and Methodology, p. 89.

[29] al-Azami, Studies in Early Hadith Literature, p. 222–223.

[30] Ibid, p. 223–224.

[31] Muhammad Ajaj al-Khatib, Al-Mukhtasar al-Wajiz fi `Ulum al-Hadith, 1991, Mu’assasat al-Risalah, p. 135.

[32] Abi Bakr Ahmad ibn `Ali al-Khatib al-Baghdadi, Tarikh Baghdad Aw Madinah as-Salam, 1931 (1349 AH), Vol. 2, Cairo, pp. 8–9.

[33] Al-Baghdadi, al-Kifayah, pp. 432–33.

[34] See Muntasir Zaman, Give It a Second Thought: Dealing with Apparently Problematic Ḥadīth

[35] Muslim b. al-Hajjaj, Sahih Muslim, Book 37, Hadith 117.

[36] Bukhari, Sahih al-Bukhari, Book 79, Hadith 59.

[37] Al-Khattabi, Maʿālim al-Sunan, Vol. 4, p. 120.

[38] See Bassam Zawadi, How Old Was Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) When He Died?.

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