Assessing Goldziher’s Claim of Fabrication of Hadith by the Companions of the Prophet
The Muslims agreed that the sunnah of Prophet Muhammad PBUH is the second of the two revealed fundamental sources of Islam, after the Glorious Qurʾan. The authentic sunnah is contained within the vast body of hadith literature. Therefore, any impugnation against it is a direct destruction of the sharīʿah. In this guise, Goldziher claimed that the fabrication of ḥadīth began after the death of the Prophet and that indeed, the first to fabricate ḥadīth were the companions themselves. This paper briefly highlights the methods of the earlier muḥaddithūn (traditionalists) and also assesses the claim of Ignaz Goldziher and his method in dealing with ḥadīth; it afterwards attempts the refutation of his claims. The work centers only on Goldziher’s allegation for fabrication made by the companions of the Prophet. The paper adopts descriptive and analytical methods in data collection, discussion, and analysis. The paper used secondary data from published classical and contemporary sources. The study discovers that the accusations advanced by Goldziher are baseless, since he lacked credible evidence to support his hypothesis but depended heavily on narratives most of which fell short of historical reliability. It is recommended therefore, that students of knowledge and Muslims generally should be cautious of using Goldziher’s works due its lack of scientific evidences.
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