The assignment consists of two parts.
Part I. First, consider the evidence for this small selection of reports using the Ahl al-Ḥadīth scholars’ assessments of their transmitters. Are some positions more strongly evidenced than others? Are specific Companions associated with one position or another? Is geography a factor? What can traditional isnād-based analysis tell us? Are there limitations to this method?
Objective: Share your findings using this hadith analysis of the isnad, with attention to its varied components, and also the matn. Share any charts that might help your argument but you must offer prose that explain your rankings using these hadith analysis tools.
Part II. Second, consider possible tensions, conflicts, or ambiguities that may persist after you have performed the isnād-based analysis. What interpretive strategies at the scholars’ disposal might contribute towards reconciling them?
Objective: Offer an interpretation of how to resolve this question of whether Muhammad perceived or engaged with God. Be sure to explain how you take the “data” of the hadith science work in Part I and use it to form your answer. The best responses will take into account the larger context of Islamic thought and account for why hadiths that don’t fit your explanation are still present in the corpus.
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