Analysing Muslim Traditions (Islamic History and by Harald Motzki

By Harald Motzki

The experiences amassed during this quantity express that through cautious research of the texts and the chains of transmission, the heritage of Muslim traditions may be reconstructed with a excessive measure of chance and their historicity assessed afresh.

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An example: a) ʿAbd al-Razzāq from Maʿmar from Zuhrī about the one who gratifies his sexual desires with an animal (yaʾtī al-bahīmata). 71 Obviously, there is a contradiction between both texts. It is not easy to tell how this came about. We can imagine a change of mind on Zuhrī’s part, which would not be at all unusual,72 or a misunderstanding by one of the pupils who transmitted the text. 69 ʿAbd al-Razzāq, Muṣannaf, 7:13498. For the concept of iḥ sạ̄ n see H. Motzki, “Wal-muḥ sạ nātu mina n-nisāʾī illā mā malakat aimānukum (Koran 4:24) und die koranische Sexualethik” (with further literature).

76 The text of the edition has Maʿmar, but this is certainly an error, for in Maʿmar’s asānīd the name Zuhrī is always used. 77 ʿAbd al-Razzāq, Muṣannaf, 7:12239. 78 Mālik, Muwaṭtạ ʾ, 29, chap. 7. 79 ʿAbd al-Razzāq, Muṣannaf, 7:13190. 73 74 the jurisprudence of ibn shihāb al-zuhrī 29 lar texts to Zuhrī. In this case of forgery contradictions would occur more frequently. Another possible assumption, namely that all three scholars actually obtained their material from the same “counterfeit workshop” or fell victim to a wandering “pious swindler” who circulated fabricated Zuhrī doctrines, and that they then concealed the source of their material by suppressing the names of their informants in the asānīd, is unconvincing as well.

The shorter version by Shaybānī will be used only occasionally. As in the case of ʿAbd al-Razzāq’s Muṣannaf, the three books Kitāb al-Nikāḥ , Kitāb al-Ṭ alāq and Kitāb al-Riḍāʿ are chosen as sample. 45 In comparison: in Maʿmar’s corpus 6%, in that of Ibn Jurayj 8%. 44 the jurisprudence of ibn shihāb al-zuhrī 19 Faithful to the method I have followed so far, I take this striking distribution of texts among Mālik’s informants as the first circumstantial evidence against the possible suspicion that Mālik forged his transmission.

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