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Tambi Dude

Beautifully written (specially the restaurant analogy).

Isaac Schrödinger


David Boxenhorn

What exactly is the Muslim relationship to Hadith? I think I was mistakenly under the impression that the Hadith were the Islamic equivalent of the Talmud. But not everything in the Talmud is accepted as Halakha (the equivalent of Shari'a) - the Talmud records the legal discussions, including opinions that were NOT accepted. So after every discussion you have to ask what is the Halakha.

One time at Michael Totten's blog, an anti-Semitic troll showed up (actually it happens a lot). He tried to smear Judaism by quoting from the Talmud to show "what the Jews believe". In fact, the things he quoted were not Halakha - they were opinions that were NOT accepted. Did he make this mistaken assumption because in Islam all Hadith are authoritative?

Isaac Schrödinger

I only use hadith from Sahih Bukhari. The word sahih means "correct" or "authentic". These hadith were collected by al-Bukhari.

Basically, Muslims use Sahih Bukhari (and other hadith collections) to augment the Quran. For example, rules about the exact nature of the five daily prayers are not in the Quran but in the hadith.

Some say that the Quran doesn't announce a punishment for apostasy. Okay but then the hadith do. If an individual Muslim wishes to disagree with a few hadith regarding apostasy, then it's fine by me: s/he can go up against the majority of the umma.

This is where the concept of blasphemy comes in. A Muslim can say, "I won't follow such-and-such rule because it's not in the Quran."

However if Sahih Bukhari says that Muhammad had laid down that rule, then the said Muslim could be accused of blasphemy: openly disagreeing with Muhammad!

What Muhammad said, did, or told others to do is a major part of Islam.

David Boxenhorn

Thanks, Isaac.

Let me try to summarize, to see if I got it right:

1. Not all hadith are (universally?) considered authoritative
2. The major test of a hadith is its "authenticity"
3. The hadith from Sahih Bukhari are considered (by most?) to be authentic
4. There may be some room to contest hadith from Sahih Bukari?

I think it is interesting that the major test of a hadith is its "authenticity", since the Talmud explicitly rejects appeals that argument.

Isaac Schrödinger

You've got it!

Always On Watch

The moderates show a bit of discrimination and pick the less noxious meals.

But there's always the danger that these moderates might be "revived," particularly if they see the militants winning and thereby showing the "the will of Allah."

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