Faint influence of the great Umayyad line on tradition. — Character and policy of their regime. — No fixed religious use. — Hostile attitude of doctors towards Umayyads reflected in hadith coined to influence the pious. — Official counter-invention of hadith. — Syrian hadith. — Hadith frankly recognized as inventions.

AN account of the rise and character of the Umayyad dynasty would be naturally sought in a general history of the Caliphate rather than in a description of the traditions of Islam. But some explanation is certainly needed to show why Islam in its canonical literature 'has remained unmindful of the inestimable service rendered to its empire, and ungrateful for the enduring prestige bequeathed it by the Umayyads. The reason is that in authoritative tradition the voice of the schools of the Iraq and the Hijaz is to be heard sounding the praises of Abu Bakr, 'Umar, and 'Ali. and sometimesof 'Uthman; but for the most, part perished with its great dynasty.1

The compilation of the canonical collections dates from the time when the 'Abbasids were firmly in the saddle, and by this time systematic efforts had long been made to extirpate the memory of the predecessors of the reigning house. We know that the names of the Umayyads were even removed from public monuments.

1 The Musnad Ahmad, as we have seen, is an exception.


Earlier writers1 have with good reason emphasized the godless regime of the Umayyads, yet it would be a mistake to regard it as entirely worldly. Lammens2 has pointed out that after the time of 'Umar the public treasury, the army, booty of war, and the administration were called mal Allah, jund Allah, fai Allah, and sultan Allah respectively.3 The Belgian savant gives good reason for his assertion that the religion of Yazid, in the eyes of the orthodox the arch offender, was no better and no worse than that of his contemporaries. It has been recorded as a heinous offence that the Caliph Mu'awiya sat down to pronounce the Khutba (solemn oration); yet this posture while giving public direction was common in the pre-Muhammadan era (jahilzyya), and Muhammad is said in the canonical traditions to have sat down in the pulpit (minbar) while addressing the faithful. It is undoubtedly due to later writers' ignorance of the practice of antiquity that they explain the references to 'Uthman sitting in the minbar during the khutba to betrothals (khutbatu-l-nikah).4 Curiously enough in this matter, in which they have been held up to reproach as godless innovators, the Umayyads were adhering to the sunna of the prophet, and preserved the early significance of the minbar as the seat of judgment on which the ruler sat.5 Only in the days

1 E.g. Von Kremer and Dozy.

2 Études sur le règne du Calife Omaiyade Mo'awia Ier. Mélange de la Faculté orientale, Beyrout, 1906, p. 9.

3 'Expressions sonores, formules archaïques, demeurées pratiquemen vides de sens,' op. cit., vol. ii, p. 88.

4 Jahiz Bayan, i. 50, and cf. MS, p. 53.

5 There may have been a simpler explanation. Mu'awiya in middle age was gluttonous and corpulent. Al Fakhri, ed. Cairo, 1317, pp. 98 ff.


of the next dynasty did the minbar degenerate into a pulpit from which the weekly sermon was delivered. Indeed, the role played by the mosque itself in the early days of the Islamic empire was radically different from that of later times. At first it served the purpose of a town hall or council chamber. The Umayyads took counsel with their advisers and transacted their public business in their palaces. While still to a certain extent followers of the old democratic principle of tribal government, they were not slow to see the importance of the weekly harangue from the pulpit.

In some respects the Umayyad administration was far in advance of its time. It was marked by a general tolerance of Christianity and other religions. One of Mu'awiya's contemporaries protested that the Caliph would have employed negroes in public offices had it suited his purposes of state.1 This reproach would not unnaturally follow Mu'awiya's treachery in employing a Christian physician to rid him of the powerful Abdu-l-Rahman, the son of the great general Khalid, 'the sword of Allah', whom he feared as the rival of his son Yazid. He even allowed the said Christian to collect religious imposts from the people of Homs. Tolerance of Christians was not confined to Syria. The governor of Medina actually employed Christians from Aila (Aqaba) to police the holy city.2 In the Iraq, too, they held offices of importance.

A variety of reasons led to this toleration of

1 Al Fakhri, ib.

2 Despite their provocative function there is no record of any protest having been made against their presence.


Christians: first there were the aristocratic connexions of the Christians among the Arabs of the peninsula; the kingdom of Ghassan, and the names of Bakr, Taghlib, and the Banu Hanifa, all co-religionists, stood high in the estimation of Arabians. Secondly, Islam had not hardened into a systemized religion; and owing to the poll-tax on dhimmis, or members of tolerated religions, an increase of converts meant a decrease in revenue. And thirdly – perhaps the most potent reason – the Syrians, who formed such a powerful and important part of the Umayyad armies, were Christianized Arabs who cared for Islam. Ibnu-l-Faqih1 calls them muslimuna fi akhlaqi-l-Nasara, Muslims with the characteristics of Christians. It was not uncommon at this time for a soldier in the Caliph's army to ring the bell of a neighbouring church, or perform other minor duties of a religious nature among the Christian community.2

These examples of the relations between Muslims and dhimmis in the Umayyad period will illustrate how utterly different in outlook were the caliphs and the theologians.3 It could hardly be said that an enormous number of soi-distant Muslims flouted the sunna: they were simply ignorant of its existence.

In the wars that seem inevitably to follow the rise of a new religion it is often difficult to separate their political from their religious significance. And it is

1 315, 9 (Bibl. Geog., ed. M. de Goeje).

2 'Devenus musulmans, moitié par ambition, moitié par lassitude, ils constataient sans regret l'attachement de leurs parents et de leurs femmes a l'ancienne religion,' op. cit., p. 54.

3 Malik's attitude towards the tolerated cults as illustrated on p. 21 above is an instructive contrast.


highly probable that much of the odium that has gathered round the Umayyad name in the sphere of religion is really due to their determination to hold the pre-eminence in temporal affairs. Their natural enemies, as later events so clearly proved, were in the Hijaz and the Iraq; and consequently the traditionists in these territories who claimed to interfere in the public and private lives of the subjects of the Syrian monarchs were repressed with scant ceremony.

It can hardly be denied that the policy of the Umayyads — always with the exception of the piously brought up 'Umar b. 'Abdu-l-'Aziz — was dictated by considerations of a worldly rather than a religious nature. They had practically no interest in religious law, and no great veneration for the teaching of the prophet. The Book of Songs is an eloquent witness to the unbridled licence of thought and life at that time. Al Walid II, when threatened with the divine wrath pronounced in the Quran against the enemy of religion, actually threatened to use the sacred volume as a target for his arrows.

However, it must always be borne in mind that the sources from which knowledge of this period is gained are for the most part marked by a fierce hatred of the Umayyads and all their works; so that those who denounce them as the enemies of the faith shut their eyes to the wise and firm administration of the early rulers of that house, their conquests, military organization, navy, and public works. All these benefits were as nothing in the sight of their pharisaical subjects in Medina. Like the Hasidim of old, who held fast to Law and Tradition, standing also from the national party and its materialistic aims, the


doctors of Medina refused to deal with the caliphs of Damascus. They laboured to establish the sunna of the community as it was, or as it was thought to have been, under the prophet's rule, and so they found their bitterest enemies in the ruling house. As sincere Muslims they risked their lives by refusing to do homage to the Umayyads; and it required the ferocity of the notorious Al Hajjaj to compel them to yield even lip service to his masters, so deeply were their religious sentiments outraged. The consequences of the attitude of the government were twofold. In the first place, abysmal ignorance of even the rudiments of Islam prevailed over the Muslim world; and in the second place, a theoretical turn was given to the subterranean labours of scholars who were endeavouring to elaborate a rule of life and thought for the community. Debarred by the policy of the Umayyads from any share in the administration — good orthodox Muslims who accepted office under the worldly régime were scathingly rebuked by the godly irreconcilable — their work suffered under the disadvantage inseparable from all legislation which is not founded on. And tested by, experience. They were as it were legislating for posterity, and much that was idealistic and out of relation to everyday life was incorporated in their work to serve as a basis for the normal practice of the future.

How surprising ignorance of the ordinary duties and beliefs of a Muslim which reigned throughout a large part of the Muslim world towards the end of the first century is due to the policy of the Umayyads, and how far a fanatical desire to proselytize has wrongly been attributed to the earlier Muham-


madans, are points for the historian to pronounce upon. But certain it is that at this time the people of Basra did not know the rules of ritual prayer. Al Bukhari tell us1 how Malik b. Al Huwairith instructed the people there in the postures proper to prayer. The tarjama is interesting in that it contemplates the giving of formal instruction in ritual. Further, the existence in Syria of a salutation Al-salam 'ala 'llah shows that the chapter devoted by traditionists to the correct forms of greetings and salutations was by no means uncalled for.

The contrast between the theoretical and the practical at the end of the first century is startling. For in theological circles, if Al Darimi is to be believed, the sunna was declared to be the judge of the Quran, not vice versa.2 This view was shared by Al Shaibani and Al Shafi'i, and theologians did not shrink from proclaiming as a dogma the corollary that the sunna was of divine origin.

Amid general ignorance and indifference pious doctors painfully gathered material for a reconstruction of the conditions of Muhammad's time. They questioned al living Companions and Followers on points of law and custom. Driven by a deep sense of religious obligation to gather the precious material at any cost to themselves, these men did not shrink from travelling thousands of miles in search of Companions who could give them first-hand information of the prophet's actions. Thus armed with the authority of the prophet, the traditionists hoped, by giving the

1 Adhan, no. 45; Krehl, i, p. 175.

2 I hesitate to put an obelus to a tradition which Goldziher (MS, ii, p. 21) accepts.


widest possible circulation to hadith, to rouse the public to a sense of their religious duties, and to undermine the world power of the government. The temptation to use so potent a weapon to further their political aims was more than flesh and blood could resist. We may detect covert attacks on the Umayyad dynasty in the numerous hadith which extol the merits of the prophet's family, whose representatives were, or course, the house of 'Ali.

The hadith literature faithfully reflects the passions roused by the government. The burning question was how the believer was to conduct himself under a godless tyranny. Was it a duty to take up arms against the tyrant, or must his rule be accepted as ordained by God? There was a party which refused to have anything to do with the Umayyads, who declined to take office under them, who reviled them and their vice-gerents, their generals, and their ignoble instruments the forgers of prophetic traditions, and who promised the martyr's crown to him who died in resisting the oppressor. Traces of this attitude still survive in the canonical collections in hadith like the following: 'A Muslim must hearken and obey whether he approves or dislikes an order so long as he is not commanded to disobey God. In that case obedience is not incumbent on him.' Again, 'No obedience is due where disobedience to God is involved. Obedience is only due to lawful demands.'

The Murjiites, on the other hand, refused to see in the suppression of religious law any cause for refusing homage to the Umayyads; it sufficed for them that their rulers were nominally Muslims: they did not care to inquire too closely into their actions. A good


example, directly contradictory in import to the last two, is: 'Whoso obeys me obeys God. Likewise whoso disobeys me disobeys God. Whoso obeys an Amir obeys me, and whoso disobeys an Amir disobeys me. Verily an Imam is a shield behind which one fights and is protected. If he gives orders in the fear of God and with justice he will have his reward; if contrary thereto he will suffer for it.'1 All three hadith are muttafaq.2 These were the men who by lending themselves to the government as instruments in the promulgation of hadith favourable to the powers that be did so much to keep down the rising tide of disaffection.

But it was the intermediate party which left the deepest mark on the hadith literature and on the thought of Islam. They did not go so far as the Murjiites, who boggled not at supporting even the massacre of the pious, but they taught that though a ruler was the most unworthy of men, it was wrong to take up arms against him to the detriment of the state and the unity of Islam. 'Hearken and obey though an Abyssinian slave be made your governor with a head like a dried grape!' They preached the duty of submission to the will of God, and of patience and endurance under oppression. 'Let him who dislikes the conduct of his Amir be patient; for he who divides the Muslim community a hand's breadth shall die the death of a pagan.' At all costs the unity of Islam must be preserved. Muslim gives the following on

1 The text of the Mishkat varies between minhu and munnata. The commentators prefer the former, and explain 'alaihi minhu: 'alaihi wizran thaqilan min sam'ihi.

2 See Glossary of Technical Terms.


the authority of 'Arfaja: 'Evil tithes will come repeatedly. But he who seeks to separate this people which is a united community slay him with the sword be he who he may.' Hadith of a similar import are extremely numerous. The attitude of acquiescence was supported by the doctrine of ijma', an example from the first century of that respect which Islam has always paid to the fait accompli. Invariably in times of stress the theologian and would-be reformer appealed to it to deliver him from an impossible position, and never in vain.

Most probably the prolific output of pseudoprophetic hadith had their origin in the days of the Umayyad oppression. The pious, in the name of Muhammad, who by projecting himself into an unhappy future becomes a laudator temporis acti, pronounce condemnation on the degeneracy of the times. 'The best age for my community was the time when I was sent, then the time following, then will arise a people whose word none can trust.' This hadith exists in very many different forms and collections. The following from Ibn Hanbal is of interest as showing the interpretation given to it in the time of the next dynasty: 'Prophecy will be with you as long as God wills; then he will take it away; then will come a caliphate on the pattern of prophecy; then will come a tyrannical1 kingdom... then will come a kingdom in arrogance: then will come a caliphate on the pattern of prophecy. Then the prophet was silent. Habib said: When 'Umar b. 'Abdu-l-'Aziz came to the throne I wrote to him

1 addan explained by the commentator ya'addu ba'du ahilhi ba'dan ka'addi-l-kilab, 'its subjects will bite one another after the manner of dogs'.


informing him of this hadith, and said: "I hope that you are to be the Amiru-l-Muminin after the tyrannical and arrogant reigns," whereat he was much pleased.' This hadith is reported by Hudhaifa, who is credited elsewhere with being the prophet's confidant on eschatological matters.1 His information from this source is asserted to extend to the yaumu-l-qiyama, so that, for the orthodox, there is an adequate explanation of the prophecies on such matters as the rise of the Turks and the principal battles fought against the Byzantines.

The reigning house could not afford to leave their opponents with the sole right of collecting and promulgating hadith in fact, Tabari2 states that Mu'awiya I ordered that all hadith favourable to the house of 'Ali should be suppressed, and the glories of the family of 'Uthman be extolled in hadith. The Umayyad hand is perhaps most clearly seen in the traditions which were forged to emphasize the sanctity of Jerusalem vis-à-vis Mecca and Medina. While his rival 'Abd Allah b. Zubair was in possession of the holy places, and could bring pressure to bear upon the pilgrims who resorted thither, and seduce them from their allegiance to the northern house, the problem which confronted 'Abdu-l-Malik in Syria was not unlike that of Jeroboam the son of Nebat in those regions; nor was his counter-move dissimilar. Whereas Jeroboam provided within his own territory sanctuaries for the veneration of his subjects, 'Abdu-l-Malik hit upon the expedient of enjoining a pilgrimage to the mosque he built in Jerusalem instead of the orthodox journey to Mecca and Medinah. All that was necessary was to declare

1 See Bab Fitan and the locus classicus in Qadar, p. 173.

2 ii, p. 112.


that a circumambulation of the holy place at Jerusalem possessed the same validity as that enjoined at Mecca, and to procure for his assertion a confirmatory hadith with an isnad going back to the prophet himself.1 'Journey only to three mosques, Al Masjidu-l-Haram, the mosque of the prophet, and the mosque of Jerusalem,' is the form this tendentious hadith takes in Al Bukhari.2 The inventor is Al Zuhri, who fathers it on Abu Huraira. This was countered from Medina by the following hadith, which comes next in Bukhari's bab: 'A prayer in this my mosque is better than a thousand prayers in others, except the Masjidu-l-Haram.' The interesting feature of these two hadith as Bukhari records them lies in the tarjama, which reads: 'Of the superiority of prayer in the mosques of Mecca and Medina.' Bukhari was too scrupulous to omit from his collection a hadith which was supported by witnesses whose bona fides he did not suspect; but by the simple expedient of ignoring the references to the Masjidu-l-Aqsa he asserted the paramount sanctity of the holy places of the Hijaz. Ibn Maja gives the Syrian version of the latter half of the second hadith — undoubtedly the original, since Muhammad in the Quran had established the sanctity of the Hijaz temples — to the effect that prayer at Jerusalem is a thousand times more effective than at other places.3

Many hadith which exalt the honour and sanctity of Syria over the rest of the Muslim world still find a place in some of the collections. Thus in Ahmad's Musnad and the Jami' of Al Tirmidhi4 we read that

1 Journal Asiatique, 1887, p. 482.

2 Bab Fadli-l-Salat, Kiehl, p. 299.

3 Sunan, Delhi, p. 102.

4 Mishkatu-l-Masabih, p. 574.


the prophet said: 'Blessed be Syria! "Why?" we asked. "Because ", said he, "the angels of the Compassionate spread their wings over it."' Abu Daud from 'Abd Allah b. 'Amr: 'There will be migration after migration and the best of men (will flee) to Abraham's place of refuge.' Again, Ibn Hawala: 'It will come to pass that armies will be assembled in Syria, the Yaman and Iraq.' Said he: 'Choose for me my course, O Apostle of God, if I live till that epoch.' He replied: 'Get you to Syria, for that land is chosen by God from his (whole) earth, and thither will he gather the chosen of his creatures. If you refuse (to go there) then get you to Yaman and water your flocks from its pools. Verily God hath guaranteed to me the safety of Syria and its people.'1 Other hadith tell us that the prophet especially recommended Damascus as a place of residence, and appointed a suburb, Al Ghuta, a military rendezvous.

Another form of the Umayyads' official propaganda was the publication of hadith glorifying the name of the murdered 'Uthman. He is said to have been marked out for the caliphate by the prophet, to have been a martyr, and destined to be the companion of Muhammad in paradise. The long and involved explanations of 'Uthman's cowardice at Uhud and Badr,2 which earned him the title Al Farrar, The Fugitive, are undoubtedly an attempt to defend the

1 Most of the hadith that follow are quoted from the Mishkat, and can easily be found under the appropriate chapter headings. A more precise reference will not be given, for the reasons explained in the preface.

2 Manaqib 'Uthman in the various collections, and Houdas, ii, 600 f.


memory of one from whom the Umayyads claimed their right to the throne.

If any external proof were needed of the forgery of tradition in the Umayyad period, it may be found in the express statement of Al Zuhri: 'These princes have compelled us to write hadith.'1 Undoubtedly the hadith exalting the merit of the pilgrimage to the qubbatu-l-Sakhra at Jerusalem is a survival of the traditions Al Zuhri composed. Ibn 'Aun, who died in the middle of the second century, refuses to credit traditions resting on the authority of Shahr b. Haushab because he had held office under the government.2 It is difficult to imagine a more telling accusation. Al Bukhari a century later feels no compunction in including traditions in Shahr's name in the category of 'genuine', presumably because he knew little or nothing about the circumstances of the time in which Shahr lived, nor the pressure that was brought to bear upon him. And it is to be remembered that Shahr is by no means the only Muhaddith whose name appears both in the canonical collections of tradition and in the roll of Umayyad state officials.3

It need cause no surprise that comparatively few traditions 'inspired' by the Umayyad house survive. We have seen that a great many were in circulation while the dynasty flourished, and we hardly need the express assurance that the Abbasids sternly repressed them. The house of Abbas had ruled for more than a century when the great written collections were made, and during this time the theologians and muhaddithun

1 Sprenger, loc. cit., and Muir, LM, p. xxxiii.

2 Al Tirmidhi (Bulaq, 1292, ii, p. 117), who constantly quotes hadith guaranteed by Shahr. The Musnad of Al Tayalisi, Ibn 'Aun's pupil, contains but three such.

3 MS, pp. 40 ff.


had been able to develop their doctrines and practices without the hindrance, and often with the help, of the government. In these circumstances it would be astonishing if more than a faint trace of traditions favourable to the irreligious race of the Umayyads was allowed to appear. As a matter of fact, we find that those preserved by Al Bukhari suggest to the faithful that Mu'awiya was careless, or at all events eccentric, in his religious exercises. The following example must suffice: 'Mu'awiya made an odd number of rak'as after the evening prayer while a freed man belonging to Ibnu-l-'Abbas was present. Whereupon the freed man came and told his former master, who said: "Let him alone, for he has been in the society of the prophet of God."1

There is a pathetic ring about the tradition ascribed by Abmad b, Hanbal to Shuraih b. 'Ubaid. He says: 'The Ahlu-l-Sham were mentioned in 'Ali's presence with the remark "Curse them, O commander of the Believers." "No," said he, "for I heard the apostle of God say: The Abdal are in Syria. Now they are forty men; when one dies God puts another in his place. By them rain is obtained,2 victory gained over

1 Bab Dhikr Mu'awiya, no. 28; Krehl, p. 446.

2 Cf. Aghani, x (quoted MS, ii, p. 381 note) of Abdu—I-Malik: Khalifati-llahi yustasqa bihi-i-mataru. The Abdal were an order of wonder-working saints who mingled unrecognized and often unperceived among their fellow-creatures. They formed the third of five orders of a mysterious hierarchy, at whose head stood the Qutbu-l-Ghauth. See Arabian Society in the Middle Ages, Lane, London, 1883, pp. 47—9. On rain-making among the heathen Arabs, see Wellhausen, Reste arabischen Heideniums:, p. 157. I suspect the activities alluded to here are similar to those of Rabbi Honi in the Talmud, Ta'anith, fol. 29 a.


our enemies, and punishment turned aside from the people of Syria."' This hadith is to be connected with the ritual cursing of the Umayyads. Al Ma'mun had to send round a street-crier to threaten all those who spoke well of Mu'awiya, and a collection of hadith assailing the honour and prestige of the Umayyads was circulated by Al Mu'tadid with the order that the cursing of the first of that dynasty should form part of the ritual. The presence of traditions of this kind in the Musnad of Ibn Hanbal strongly suggests that it was not only his theology but also his political fearlessness which made him an object of Al Ma'mun's hatred.

An account of the criticism which Muhammadans have from time to time passed on the hadith literature has been reserved for a later chapter; but it may not be out of place to examine the defence implicit in many of the hadith themselves. During a long period of suppression the pious had to endeavour to form the religious life of the community. They had no official position under the government — with few exceptions — and the prophet's position as the seal of the prophets and the revealer of the will of God for all time effectually shut the door to any fresh revelation. Thus those who desired to secure universal recognition of their dogmas must perforce cast them into a form which would be regarded as authoritative by the community. There was only one way of doing this, namely, to throw the teaching it was desired to inculcate into the form of a hadith with an isnad reaching back to the prophet. Second-century writers make no secret of this method. They recognize that it is only the form adopted to secure the respectful attention of


their audience; they recognize, too, that it is a form adopted by all who wish to gain a respectful hearing from the piously disposed. Thus a hadith which obviously has no greater authority than those it seeks to undermine says: 'After my death sayings attributed to the prophets who were before me. What is told you as a saying of mine you must compare with the Qur'an. What is in agreement therewith is from me whether I have actually said it or not.' This is but another way of saying that provided an invented hadith is edifying or unobjectionable to the orthodox, none need trouble to inquire whether it actually proceeded from the mouth of the prophet or not. Whatever the effect this frank admission may have on our estimate of the genuineness of the Muhammadan traditions as a whole, there is no necessity to impute the worst motives to these men who adopted the only course open to them to persuade their co-religionists. It is instructive to observe that the defence of the legitimacy of those who, according to Old Testament critics, promulgated a code of laws in the name of Moses some five hundred years after his death is in substance the same as that in the hadith last quoted.1

1 'To this conclusion, that Deuteronomy was written in the age of either Manasseh or Josiah, it is objected that the book plainly produced its effect on account of the authority which it was believed to possess, in other words, on account of its claiming, and being supposed, to be the work of Moses: if Josiah had not believed the ancient law-book of Israel to have been discovered, would he have attached any weight to its words? ... Its force must have been due principally to the name of Moses, which it bore; and if the prophets were aware that it did not really possess his authority, then not only are they guilty of an act questionable morally, but the course taken


Less than half this space of time lay between Muhammadan traditionists and their apostle. Moreover, the principle is canonized in Judaism, for we read in the Talmud a statement of startling similarity that quoted above: 'Anything that a disciple of the wise may say in the future was revealed to Moses on Sinai.' The use here of the word haddesh = haddatha is extremely interesting and suggestive: the intimate relationship between the Talmud and some sections of the hadith literature is a subject to which I shall recur in another place.

In spite of these warning notes which still sound in

by them is a confession of moral impotence and failure: they resort to an external name to accomplish what centuries of their teaching had railed to effect.

'In estimating these objections, it must be remembered firstly that what is essentially new in Deuteronomy is not the matter, but the form. . . . Such laws as are really new in Deuteronomy but the logical and consistent development of Mosaic principles... All Hebrew legislation, both, civil and ceremonial, however, was (as a fact) derived ultimately from Moses, though a comparison of the different Codes in the Pentateuch shows that the laws cannot all in their present form be Mosaic: the Mosaic nucleus was expanded and developed in various directions, as national life became more complex and religious ideas matured. Nevertheless, all Hebrew laws are formulated under Moses' name, — a fact which shows that there was a continuous Mosaic tradition embracing a moral, a ceremonial and a civil element: the new laws, or extensions of old laws, which as time went on were seen to be desirable, were accommodated to this tradition, and incorporated into it, being afterwards enforced by the priestly or civil authority as the case might be. ... It is no fraudulent invocation of the legislator's name: it is simply another application of an established custom.' — S.R. Driver, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on Deuteronomy, Edinburgh, 1902, pp. lv—lvii. All this is equally true of Muhammadan legislation and the ethical and moral truths inculcated in the hadith literature.


the hadith literature, there does not appear to have been any attempt to investigate the claims of any tradition to represent the actual words of Muhammad. Even Bukhari was content to confine himself to a criticism of the genealogy of the isnad rather than the subject-matter of the tradition and the circumstances in which the guarantors lived, so that any tradition which could clothe itself in a canonical dress became ipso facto respectable.

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