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By Aisha Y. Musa (auth.)
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Extra info for Ḥadīth As Scripture: Discussions on the Authority of Prophetic Traditions in Islam
8 In spite of questions about dating and authorship, there is no question that these works are the earliest extant articulations of those arguments that eventually granted the Madith the status and authority of divine revelation. Both Kitab Jima4al-4Ilm and the Risala contain a detailed discussion of the religious obligation to follow the prophet, which together with al-Shafi4i arguments for the duality of revelation was to become the basis for the obligation to accept Prophetic reports. Kitab Jima4al-4Ilm presents al-Shafi4i’s debates with those who reject Prophetic reports (khabar/akhbar), either in total, or in part.
Instead, he turns to something his challenger has already said in support of his own position, but which al-Shafi4i thinks his opponent has still ignored: that it is not appropriate to be careless with any of the commands of the faith. In this way, al-Shafi4i sets the stage for his theological arguments for the authority of the Madith. These arguments depend on two ideas: obedience to the Prophet, and the concept of two forms of revelation. 40 Madith As Scripture Al-Shafi4i begins by building his case for the latter—two forms of revelation—which is what will eventually lead to defining the former, obedience to the Prophet, as accepting Prophetic reports in addition to the Qur’an.
Also, as in the case of his comments on the interpretation of mikma as sunna, it indicates that there was still at least some measure of disagreement about the interpretation of 59:7 for some time after al-Shafi4i’s insistence that the verse proves that obeying the Messenger requires more than following the Qur’an. If this idea and the interpretation of mikma as sunna did not originate with al-Shafi4i, he seems to be the first to have articulated these ideas with a degree of clarity and success.
Ḥadīth As Scripture: Discussions on the Authority of Prophetic Traditions in Islam by Aisha Y. Musa (auth.)