The origins, authenticity and dissemination of the hadīths (ahādīth in the Arabic plural) have been subject to varying assessments both from Muslims and Western academics, who nevertheless have a common starting point: the absence of contemporary testimonies at the time of Muhammad (570-632) and the difficulties in finding one’s way through an almost unlimited literature that only compiles the prophetic traditions in any considerable number from the end of the second century after the hegira (c. 800 AD) i.e. almost two centuries after Muhammad’s death. This time gap and the absence of any preserved works dating back to the first generations of Muslims have sparked various debates and comments about the acceptability and historicity of these data and, above all, about the reasons why the words attributed to Muhammad assumed, alongside the words of the Qur’an, such importance in the construction of the Islamic tradition in the broad sense of the term.
Buy a copy if you want to read all the articles. If you want to subscribe click here.