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Friday, 29 February 2008
The Fate Of Reform
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"Make no mistake, we are not after modifying or revising the Hadith," Mehmet Gormez, deputy director of the religious affairs authority Diyanet and supervisor of the project, told IslamOnline.net in a phone interview.
-- from this news article

The initial report about the Turkish "reforms" made clear that the project had nothing to do with the Qur'an and Sira. As for the Hadith, they were not going to be added to, or subtracted from, but rather, it sounded as if those involved in this project would attempt to re-consider levels of putative "authenticity" assigned to the Hadith, so as -- one supposed -- to possibly downgrade in level of likely authenticity some of the disturbing Hadith, and possibly to upgrade those that were less dangerous. That would require, one assumes, study of the same isnad-chains that the most authoritative -- "sahih" -- muhaddithin, had already studied, but possibly with greater historical sophistication.

And the other suggestion was that the doctrine of "naskh" or "abrogation" would be criticized, and an attempt made to challenge its validity.

But both a re-assigning of "rank of authenticity" to the Hadith, and a challenge to "abrogation" would do little if the Turks involved in such reform could not convince more than a billion Believers to accept their authority, to prefer what they do to Bukhari, to Muslim, to other Islamic scholars of the hallowed past.

And how likely is that?

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Posted on 02/29/2008 6:38 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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