The Bible and Society

How God’s Word is True

Muslim scholar argues that 653 hadiths in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim are false

Posted by Mats on 09/01/2009

http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/024226.php

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Jamal al-Banna, brother of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna

I just heard about this controversy while watching Arabic satellite. So I did a bit of googling and found the following 2 week-old report. While this story has gotten virtually no attention here in the West, it is apparently causing problems in the Islamic world, especially Egypt, where it originates.

Muslims have traditionally believed that the hadiths of Bukhari and Muslim — both of which are prefixed with that all-important Arabic word, Sahih, that is, “verified” or “authenticated” — are true, indeed, second in authority only to the Koran.

Simultaneously, there are a number of outrageous hadiths in these two collections — such as Rida al-Kabir (breastfeeding the adult) — which, at least some Muslims, would prefer if they were stricken out of the hadith corpus.

The problem, of course, is if Muslim scholars cast doubt on a single hadith in Bukhari and Muslim, the collections in their entirety become suspect. And without these two otherwise canonical hadith collections, Sunni Islam — which relies more on the hadith than even the Koran when it comes to regulating life — becomes unintelligible; sharia law falls apart. Another one of Islam’s “catch-22” situations.

“Jamal al-Banna’s new book: critique of Bukhari and Muslim,” by John Stringer for St. Francis Magazine, December 18:

Jamal al-Banna, a younger brother of Hassan al-Banna (founder of the Muslim Brotherhood) has just published a book in which he argues that 653 of the hadiths as written in al-Bukhari and Muslim are incorrect and should not be accepted. The Arabic book is titled The Cleansing of Bukhari and Muslim from useless Hadiths (2008). 

After the Qur’an, al-Bukhari’s collection of hadiths (the acts and sayings of the prophet Muhammad) is considered the most sacred book in Islam; never before has any Muslim scholar who lives in the Arab world, thrown so much doubt – publicly – on the sources of Islam.

But Mr Jamal al-Banna (86 years old now) is used to being attacked by al-Azhar, and he says he does not care. He excludes six kinds of hadiths:

* Those that explain the Qur’an: the Qur’an can’t by explained by hadiths.
* Those that talk bad about women – like the one’s that call them equal to dogs and cows and to beat them up and so on.
* Those that forbid the freedom of religion and that threaten those who leave Islam.
* Those with extreme ideas for encouraging people into Islam and the ones threatening people wit physical violence.
* Those that talk about Muhammad’s miracles.
* Some others of which he thinks that the story is not true at all.

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