What is sunnah? What do Mutazila, Kharijite, Shiite and Orientalists say about sunnah? How did the ummah answer their doubts about hadiths?

The Details of the Question

What is sunnah? What do Mutazila, Kharijite, Shiite and Orientalists say about sunnah? How did the ummah answer their doubts about hadiths?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The word sunnah has gained a special meaning among its meanings since the first years of Islam (1); it still has the meanings way, road, course of events, the way to be followed and accepted as a model, but it is specifically used for the sirah (way, lifestyle) of the Prophet (pbuh). However, since the way and lifestyle of the Prophet (pbuh) is related to the religion Allah appointed him to convey to people, the meanings of the word like bad way and the way that is not accepted are not used in its terminological meaning. For, when the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh) is in question, there cannot be a bad way and aspect in this sunnah. On the contrary, this way deserves to be praised and taken as a model.

Thus, the word sunnah has gained a technical meaning and when the word sunnah is mentioned in general in the religion, the following meaning is understood: 

“The things that the Prophet (pbuh) ordered, prohibited or encouraged verbally, actually or by giving consent through keeping silent about which the Quran does not explain.” (2)

On the other hand, sunnah is also defined as follows when the social aspect of the Prophet (pbuh) is taken into consideration:

“It means the life and way the Prophet (pbuh) chose and lived in order to act in accordance with Allah’s orders. In a sense, sunnah is “the prophetic commentary” of the Quran, the last divine book, displayed in the universal scale by the Prophet as the last prophet, mercy for all realms, good example, owner of high ethics, ardently anxious over believers and who is grieved when they are troubled (3). (4)

Sunnah in this sense is what the Prophet (pbuh) put into practice from what he understood from the Quran, the last divine book. (5)

The Companions, primarily the rightly-guided caliphs, used the term sunnah. We can say that Hz. Abu Bakr ascribed the meanings of modelling in the political administration and evidence in legal sense to the word sunnah.  

In his speech he made when he was chosen the Caliph (6), Hz. Abu Bakr used the phrase the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh); he said it was very difficult to be like him because he was under the control of the revelation, that he had an angel with him all the time and hence he was protected from making mistakes. In that sense, we can say that he also called the duty of the Prophet (pbuh) as the President sunnah. We see here that Hz. Abu Bakr had the understanding that the Prophet (pbuh) did not make any mistakes in his practices since he was under the control of revelation. It can be said that he attributed such vast meanings to sunnah.

It can be said that the four great caliphs and the other Companions used the term sunnah, that it settled among the Companions and that everybody understood it as the practices and words of the Prophet (pbuh).

Sunnah According to Fiqh Scholars

“Everything that comes from the Prophet without being fard and wajib and what is necessary to follow in the religion without being fard and wajib.” (7)

On the other hand, not all fiqh scholars accept the phrase without being fard and wajib. Some fiqh scholars include all of the decrees from the deeds, words and consent of the Messenger of Allah and the deeds of the slaves that are related to fard, wajib, haram and mubah ones. (8)

Sunnah According to Hadith Scholars:

“Sunnah includes the Prophet’s words, deeds, consent, attributes related to his nature and high ethics, his whole life, before and after prophethood and what is narrated from him.” (9)

In terms of the attributes mentioned in this definition, we can say that hadiths scholars want to call every hadith attributed to the Prophet (pbuh) sunnah (10). In that sense, sunnah and hadith are synonymous.

This understanding of hadith scholars can be accepted or not. However, it is understood what a great boon this understanding is for the ummah when we see that all of the news related to the Prophet has been preserved. Otherwise, many hadiths might not have been kept with the understanding and thought that they do not include decrees, they are not binding, etc.

Besides, some details that are related to the Prophet (pbuh) according to hadith scholars, but in which some scholars could not see any decrees can express some fiqh decrees. (11)

As Ibrahim Canan states (12), it is necessary to know the following in order to understand the richness given to the ummah of Muhammad (pbuh) by this understanding of hadith scholars and the importance of the mercy they became a means of: Although no decrees are deduced from a sunnah at a certain time, some decrees can be deduced at other times. Some scholars might not deduce a decree form a hadith but others can. 

Sunnah According to Some Political Groups

Sunnah in Mutazila

Nazzam (d. 231 H), a Mutazila scholar, rejects mutawatir hadith because he does not regard ijma (consensus) as evidence (13). According to him, only the word of the infallible imam can be evidence for religious decrees. Consequently, he closes all ways and says that it is not possible to learn something through news in general. (14)

However, Baghdadi states that Mutazila acts upon hadiths reported by 20 people among which there are Companions from ashara al-mubashhara (15).

Some Mutazila scholars like Jahiz(16) (d. 255 H), Abu Huzayl al-Allaf (d. 235 H) (17), Amr b. Ubayd (18) and Sumama Ibnul-Ashras(19) made fun of hadiths and rejected them.

What makes Mutazila scholars go to extremes in accepting sunnah is as follows: According to them, due to the wars between the Companions, some of them became fasiqs (sinners). Therefore, they do not accept the hadiths they narrated. Wasil b. Ata, who is the founder of Mutazila thoughts, says they do not accept hadiths from either groups because it is not known which group is fasiq but if both narrators of a hadith belong to the same group, we act based on it (20).

Criticizing Nazzam, one of the leading Mutazila scholars, for not accepting Sunnah as evidence because of his views on the Companions, Bakan (21) shows that Nazzam contradicts with the Quran with his own method, that he denies jinn acting upon his mind and that he disagrees with the majority of the scholars.

Although Nazzam and Abu Abdullah al-Balhi states that mutawatir news expresses ilm at-tuma’nina, the other Mutazila scholars regard it as definite ilm (22).

Kharijites and Sunnah

Kharijites hold the view that those who commit major sins are unbelievers; therefore, according to them, the Companions in the Battle of Siffin belonging to both parties committed major sins and their narrations are not acceptable since both Hz. Ali and Hz. Muawiya accepted the Incident of Arbitration (23).

Despite explaining this bad attitude of Kharijites about the Companions, Sibai (24) opposes this view stating that there is nobody left from Kharijites except the branch of Ibadiyya, that it is understood that they act in accordance with hadiths when their books are studied and that it is seen that they narrated hadiths from the Companions like Hz. Ali, Hz. Uthman, Hz. Aisha, Abu Hurayra, Anas b. Malik (May Allah be pleased with them). Besides Azami states that there are narrations showing that Kharijites preferred khabar wahid when khabar wahid was different from qiyas (analogy) (25).

Some Kharijites opposed Hz. Aisha, said the Quran was enough for them, wanted to abandon sunnah and claimed that sunnah could be sound only when it was in compliance with the Quran (26).

Shiites and Sunnah

Some Shiite writers stated that Shiites act in accordance with the hadiths reported from the Prophet (pbuh), that the imams did not act in accordance with their own views and they show some evidence related to these views (27).

However, when some of their books and views are studied, it is understood that Shiites did not accept hadiths from anybody except some Companions, that they believed that their imams could decree like the Prophet (pbuh) and that those decrees would be like the decrees of Allah.

According to Shiites, the twelve imams are infallible like the Prophet (pbuh) and there is no difference between the words, deeds and consent of the Prophet and those of the twelve imams. For, the ‘spirit’ that came from the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) was transferred to them (28).

It is narrated that Imam Jafar as-Sadiq stated the following, which is in compliance with that understanding: “My word is my father’s word; my father’s word is my grandfather’s word; my grandfather’s word is Husayn’s word; Husayn’s word is Hasan’s word. Hasan’s word is Hz. Ali’s word. His word is the word of the Messenger of Allah; and the word of the Messenger of Allah is Allah’s word." (29) Consequently, the word of the imams who have a position similar to that of the prophets and who are appointed by Allah like them (30) is Allah’s word. For, Shiites think that the imams know everything that angels and prophets know and that they can get what they want to know directly from Allah (31).

Shiites, who say that all knowledge is based on Hz. Ali, describes this book, which includes so much knowledge and includes everything as follows: we have al-Jamia. Its length is seventy fathoms according to the fathom of the Prophet (pbuh). The Prophet (pbuh) dictated it from his mouth. Hz. Ali wrote it with his hand. It has everything about halal and haram. Everything that people need is in it. Al-Jamia did not leave any area for others to say anything. Everything that will happen up to Doomsday and even the names of the people of Paradise and Hell are written in it (32).

Shiites do not act in accordance with Kutub as-Sittah, which Ahl as-Sunnah regards as the most acceptable hadith books; their reason for it is this: Those books generally include the narrations of the Companions whom they regard as apostates, unbelievers, fasiqs and munafiqs (33). Although Jafar as-Sadiq, one of the infallible imams, states that the Companions tell the truth about the Prophet (pbuh) (34), it is difficult to understand why Shiites regard a certain number of the Companions reliable (35), criticize the others by using unpleasant words and abandon the hadiths reported by them.

Sunnah According to Orientalists (36)

It is a fact that some people and groups that opposed sunnah emerged in all periods of history. Some of them rejected the Sunnah wholly while others denied some of it. Some of them denied sunnah directly while others claimed that khabar wahids could not be evidence related to the issues of creed and left the hadiths related to creed out of the religion.

Along with those who oppose sunnah directly among the deniers of sunnah, there are some scholars who oppose hadiths indirectly by criticizing the Companions who narrated a lot of hadiths like Abu Hurayra, Anas b. Malik and Abdullah b. Abbas, and Tabiun like Ibn Shihab az-Zuhri who were busy with writing hadiths the most. Some of those who opposed sunnah expressed their views without hesitating while others claimed that their aim was to defend the sunnah. The people in the second group generally divided hadiths into certain groups or dealt with them one by one, criticized them in terms the chain of narrators and text and rejected them by claiming that they were contrary to the Book, sound sunnah, common sense, the general principles of Islam and similar issues. (37)

The objections mentioned in this explanation, which is like a summary in terms of hadith history, were the Muslims’ own problems in the history of Islam. However, after the 16th century, a very interesting development took place in terms of hadith history. For the first time, some people who did not believe in the religion of Islam and who did not accept Hz. Muhammad (pbuh) as a prophet started to be interested in this ilm. We will mention the views of some of those foreign researchers on hadith history and the Sunnah in order to have an idea about their approach.

It is stated that the first orientalist to study the ilm of hadith was Dr. Sprenger (d. 1893), who was a British citizen of Austrian origin. He said a great part of the hadiths was fabricated and wrote articles on the value of the Sunnah. Sir William Muir, who studied in India, George Weil, a German orientalist, and Dozy, a Dutch orientalist, acted a bit more optimistically and said that half of the hadiths in Bukhari could be sound. (38)

The orientalist who did the most hadith research was Ignaz Goldziher, who was a Jew of Hungarian origin. (39) This orientalist, who did not rely on hadiths even as much as Dozy did, said that it was impossible to find anything that could be attributed to the Prophet (pbuh) directly. According to him, hadiths were not documents of the first century of Islam but the products of the efforts made in the following years that occurred in the Islamic community in the period when Islamic development took place. (40) That is, he claimed that every scholar and school fabricated that their views and practices were hadiths. 

The views of J. Schacht, who had important claims related to the Sunnah, can be summarized as follows: Iraqis transformed the political and kalam meaning of the term “the Sunnah of the Prophet” into a legal concept and regarded it the same as the idealized practices of a local congregation and the doctrine of the scholars of that congregation (41); the first person to use sunnah as the model behavior of the Prophet (pbuh) is Shafii; sunnah represented the traditional customs of the community (42).

D.S. Margoliouth, one of the English orientalists, claims the following:

1. The Prophet (pbuh) did not leave any decrees or religious decisions. That is, he did not leave any hadiths and sunnah except the Quran.

2. The sunnah practiced by the first Islamic congregation after Muhammad (pbuh) is not his sunnah but the Arabs’ pre-Islamic traditions and customs that underwent change.

3. The generations after the second century H developed the concept of the sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh) with the intention of making those traditions and customs binding and invented the mechanism of hadith in order to realize this concept. (43)

Due to similar reasons, the French orientalist P. H. Lammens and western researchers like Hurgronje (44) do not accept the concept prophetic sunnah.

The people who first evaluated the narrations attributed to the Prophet (pbuh) like that were the orientalists. According to this understanding, the traditions and customs of Jahiliyya or the things that were fabricated in order to make the practices and fatwas of Islamic scholars valuable after the second century H are called Sunnah. (45) We think some Muslim researchers who were influenced by those understandings dared to call the practices and deeds of the Prophet (pbuh) the traditions of the community.

Sayyid Ahmed Khan (46), who was a friend of Spenger, rejected everything belonging to the Prophet (pbuh) and claimed to be a prophet; he said, ‘The Quran is enough for us’.   

Tawfiq Sidqi says everything consists of what is in Allah’s book. He also says that the practices of the Prophet (pbuh) is a period of preparation belonging to a certain time (47); he rejects the whole sunnah like Ahmad Khan.

How did the ummah answer the doubts of Ahl al-Bid’ah about hadiths?

First, Mutazila cast doubts on hadiths. From this point of view, we can say that those who reject hadiths today and say, "Hadiths were compiled and written only in the third century H; therefore, everything could not be preserved in their original form" do not put forward an original view. Due to this thought, they can only be called  Neo-Mutazila.

In fact, when Mutazila were on the scene with these views and had their biggest effect, hadiths were being determined with scientific methods and recorded in the books in a way unprecedented in history and in an unobjectionable manner by magnificent imams. Much earlier, Umar b. Abdulaziz appointed Ibn Shihab az-Zuhri to determine hadiths and started the period of official recording of hadiths. In addition, Nafi, who was the slave of Abdullah Ibn Umar, Imam Malik's teacher and Lays Ibn Sa'd's sheikh, determined hadiths with Lays Ibn Sa'd. Before them, Wahb Ibn Munabbih, who was one of the students of Abu Hurayra, also collected hadiths.  Muhammad Hamidullah published the hadiths that Wahb determined and published and wrote a comparative critique about them.  

Mustafa al-A'zami determined through his research that the Companions and tabiun wrote hadiths in a very early period. According to his determinations, the number of the Companions that dictated hadiths was about fifty in the first century H.

Hadiths were written and determined by magnificent scholars who represented Islam with their lifestyles and were transferred to genius imams of hadith like Bukhari and Muslim; those superior people analyzed those hadiths in terms of text and chain of narrators and removed some of them; they concentrated on sound (sahih) hadiths.

For instance, Imam Bukhari tried to collect all of the sound hadiths he could and named his work consisting of those hadith "al-Jamius-Sahih". The masters of this field who came later wrote different hadith books that included sound hadiths, that had the necessary conditions imposed by this imam but that he could not access when he was alive. The most important one of them is the great Shafii scholar Daraqutni; the Sunan he wrote is famous. Another famous book like that one is Mustadrak, written by Hakim an-Nishaburi.

To sum up, we can say that hadiths were written even when the Prophet (pbuh) was alive. They were allowed to be written officially afterwards and even encouraged. Many talented people started to write them. The Prophet once said to some people "Do not write anything from me except the Quran." However, this was valid for a certain period. As a matter of fact, it is written in a hadith included in the Kitab al-Ilm of Bukhari that when Abu Shah wanted the Farewell Sermon to be written for him, the Prophet said to his Companions, "Write it for Abu Shah." Thus, he ended a period. It is also written in Bukhari, Muslim and Abu Dawud that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said to Abdullah Ibn Amr Ibn As, "Write! Nothing but the truth comes out of this mouth."

As the people who deal with hadiths know, the Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) preserved the hadiths of the Messenger of Allah with a religious effort and the disaster of not preserving the prophetic inheritance that happened related to the previous ummahs did not happen.  

In addition, many books were written as answers to the doubts cast about sunnah by orientalists and some people among Muslims. These movements against sunnah originating from orientalism first emerged in Egypt; therefore, the scholars of Egypt answered their claims. One of the first books written regarding the issue is Mustafa Sibai's book called "as-Sunnatu wa Makanatuhu fit-Tashriil-Islami". After that the books "Hujjiyyatus-Sunnah", "as-Sunnah Qablat-Tadwin" and similar books followed. Even special books like "Rawiyatul-Islam Abu Hurayra" were written though it was criticized because it narrated many hadiths from Abu Hurayra. Although the objections to hadiths and sunnah were answered repeatedly in terms of hadith history in the past, those old claims were put forward again and again as if they were new with the purpose of confusing the minds of the Muslims.

Some confused people who think the objections in the western resources today write those old stories as if they were new and confused the minds of pure people again. In fact, some of those objections were answered in the period of Ibn Qutayba and the remaining ones were rejected in the periods when they emerged; they are absurd claims that are not based on a serious logic.

Volumes of books were written related to all disputable issues about sound and weak hadiths, compromising contradictions and removal of fabricated narrations even in the first period and all of the problems about hadiths were settled. For instance, the great scholar Imam Tahawi allocated his books called "Mushkilul-Athar" and "Sharhu Maanil-Athar" to this issue. These thick books, which take a lot of time to read, are only two of the books written on the issue of hadith. A person’s life will not be enough to read all of the books written on hadiths by great imams like Tahawi.

When many geniuses of hadiths like Yahya b. Saidul-Qattan and Bukhari repeated the hadiths that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) presented to humanity with message and guidance, they would touch their upper lips with their lower lips and say, "By Allah, this is nothing but divine." Let alone those magnificent people, when even the scholars that came later heard something that was narrated as a hadith but that was not really a hadith would say "This does not resemble the word of the Prophet." Then, they were able to prove it through different methods.

The words of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) are certain; they were placed in a certain position by experts of hadith after the Quran; they were placed in such a place that only the Quran can be superior to them. The place of the Quran in the hearts is preserved; literary people and orators competed in order to find a place under it.

When all of those explanations are taken into consideration, we see the following state:

Those people who make claims about hadiths speak without basing their views on resources. They do not know almost any of the basic resources. They never know what criteria are used in those resources, how they were distilled and presented to humanity and how meticulously they are tested in terms of text and chain of narrators.


1.    Koçyiğit, Talat, Hadis Istılahları, Ankara 1985, p. 400.
2.    Lisanul-Arab, XIII,225; Ibnul-Athir, an-Nihaya, II,409.
3.    See al-Ahzab, (33),40; al-Anbiya, (21),107; al-Ahzab, (33),21; al-Qalam, (68),3; at-Tawba, (9),128 respectively.
4.    Çakan, İsmail Lütfi, Hz.Peygamber ve Aile Hayatı, İlmi Neşriyat, Ist. nd, p. 117.
5.    Bayraktar, İbrahim, Hz. Peygamber ve Evrensel Hayatı, Şelale Yay., 1995, p. 13; İslamoğlu, Beşir, Sünnet Bilinci, Denge Yay., Ist. 1997, p. 13.
6.    see Abdurrazzaq, XI, 3666, h. No: 20701.
7.    al-Laknawi, Tuhfetul-Ahyar bi Ihyayi Sunnati Sayyidil-Abrar, Beirut, 1992, p. 68-86; as-Sibai, ibid, p. 43; Abdulghani, Abdulkhaliq, p. 51-68.
8.    Canan, Hadis Usulü, p. 418.
9.    Sibai, as-Sunnah, s. 47; Ajjaj, as-Sunnah, s. 15; Abu Zahw, al-Hadith, p. 9-10; Ashqar, Af’alur-Rasul, I,18; Canan, Hadis Usulü, p. 418.
10.    cf Abu Zahw, al-Hadith, p. 10; Qardawi, Sünneti Anlamada, p. 24.
11.    Related to the hadith, “Ya aba Umayr, ma faalan-nughayr”, see Ibn Hajar Sharh; Canan, Hadis Usulü, p. 419-420.
12.    Canan, Hadis Usulü,  p. 419.
13.    Baghdadi, Abu Mansur Abdulqahir, al-Farq Baynal-Firaq, translated by E.R. Fığlalı, Ankara 1981, p. 87; Ibn Qutayba, Ta’wilu Mukhtaliful-Hadith, translated by M. H. Kırbaşoğlu, p. 30.
14.    Koçkuzu, Rivayet İlimlerinde, p. 201.
15.    Baghdadi, al-Farq, p. 77.
16.    Ibn Qutayba, Ta’wil, p. 72.
17.    Baghdadi, al-Farq, p. 77.
18.    Koçkuzu, Rivayet İlimlerinde, p. 199.
19.    Ibn Qutayba, Ta’wil, p. 60, cf Koçyiğit, Talat, Kelamcılarla Hadisçiler, p. 245; Related to whether Mutazila accept khabar wahid as evidence, see  Koçkuzu, Rivayet İlimlerinde, p. 198-209; Bakan, Tevhit, Mu’tezile’nin Hadis Görüşleri Unpublished Master’s Thesis Erzurum, 1987, p. 55-63.
20.    Baghdadi, al-Farq, p. 119-120; Shahristani, al-Milal, I,49.
21.    Amr b. Ubayd rejected all hadiths; he did not accept hadiths even if both rawis were from the same group. See Bakan, Tevhit, Mu’tezile, p. 22,34-35.
22.    Ibn Hazm, al-Ihkam, II,18; Mutazila accepts all khabars that are mutawatir as khabar wahid. They divide khabar wahid into two: A) Those that have the conditions of acceptance and are related to deeds. It is permissible to act in accordance with them. B) Khabars whose content is ilm. They are not accepted in principle. However, if they are in accordance with the mind, they can be accepted. See Bakan, Mutezile, 55-57.
23.   Shahristani, Abul-Fath Muh. b. Abdulkarim, al-Milal wan-Nihal, Egypt, 1961, I, 114-115; According to Kharijites, Hz. Ali became an unbeliever after the incident of tahkim. Hz. Muawiya also became an unbeliever because he grabbed the caliphate. See Koçyiğit, Hadiscilerle Kelamcılar, p. 37-38.
24.    Sibai, as-Sunnah, p. 149.
25.    A’zami, Muhammad Mustafa, Dirasatun fil-Hadithin-Nabawi wa Tarikhu Tadwinihi, Beirut 1985, p. 23. It will be appropriate to combine these two understandings as Kharijites accepting the hadiths before tahkim and rejecting those after that. However, A’zami does not agree with this view. See A’zami, Dirasat, p. 23.
26.    Nawawi, Riyadus-Salihin, I,24; It is said that khabars related to presenting the hadiths to the Quran were fabricated by Kharijites. Ibn Abdilbarr, Abu Umar, Yusuf an-Namari, Jamiu Baynil-Ilm wa Fadlihi, Beirut, tp., II, 191; However, Ajjaj does not agree with it, as-Sunnah, p. 205-206.
27.    See Kulayni, Usulul-Kafi, Tehran, 1375, I, 58; Askari, Ayetullah Sayyid Murtaza, Şia’ya Göre Sünnetin Dindeki Yeri, (Sünnetin Dindeki Yeri) Ensar Neşr. 1997, Ist. p. 263-264.
28.    Kulayni, I, 273-274.
29.    Kulayni, I,53.
30.    Husayn, M.Ali, Kashifil-Ghita, p. 58.
31.    Kulayni, I, 255-258.
32.   See Kulayni, el-Kafi, I, 239,241; al-Wafi, II, 135; Askari, Şia’ya Göre Sünnet, 267-268; Kandemir, Yaşar, D.İ.A. Hadis item; According to Ahl as-Sunnah resources, when Hz. Ali was asked if he had anything given to him by the Prophet (pbuh) except the Quran, he said he had nothing but a small page including some hadiths related to some decrees and those who claimed the opposite were liars. (See Muslim, Itq, 20; Nasai, Qasama, 9,13.)
33.    Even the groups of Shiites known as moderate like Imamiyya do not hesitate to say clearly that the Companions committed a major sin by not choosing Hz. Ali as the Caliph and hence they were unbelievers, fasiqs and oppressors. All of the Companions except Miqdat, Abu Dharr and Salman became apostates. (al-Kulayni, al-Kafi, VIII, 245) Related to their likening the Companions to the Jews who did not obey Hz. Harun, see ash-Shirazi, Sadruddin Sayyid Ali Khan, ad-Darajatur-Rafia fi Tabaqatish-Shia, Qom, 1397 / 1977, p. 34. For similar accusations and claims, see al-Kulayni, al-Kafi, I,181,413,424; VIII, 161,245-6, 296; ash-Shirazi, ad-Darajat, 11,33,34; For the studies regarding the issue, see Bakan, Tevhid, Ashab’ın Adaleti, Erzurum, 1997, Unpublished Doctoral Thesis; Çolak, Ahmet, Şia Hadis Alma Usulünde İlk Raviler, Erzurum 1993, Unpublished Master’s Thesis.
34.    Kulayni, I, 65.
35.    There are narrations stating that the Companions from whom Shiites accepted hadiths were Ahl al-Bayt, three people or seven people (Kashiful-Ghita, Aslush-Shia, 79-80; Çolak, Şia, 95). Ibn Kathir says 17 Companions (Ikhtisaru Ulumil-Hadith, p. 182) but some Shiite writers say between 71 and 300 Companions. (Kashiful-Ghita, Aslush-Shia, p. 24) However, Bakan, who counted the Companions whose narrations are included im Tankihul-Maqal, determined the number as 166. (Bakan, Ashab, p. 125)
36.    It is a name given to those who deal with Islam and Islamic civilization but it started to be used in Europe in the 18th century. It was included in the French dictionary in 1838. Their aims can be summarized as to struggle against Islam, to keep Christians away from Islam by showing them so-called mistakes of Islam and to transforms Muslims into Christians (see Zaqzuq, M. Hamdi, Oryantalizm veya Medeniyet Hesaplaşmasının Arka Planı, translated by Abdülaziz Hatip, Izmir, 1993, p. 10, 64 ff.) to make Muslims have bad thoughts about Islamic principles and valuable people and to distort nass. See. Tahir, Sünnetin Etrafındaki Şüpheler, p. 45.
37.    Toksarı, Delil Olma Yönünden Sünnet, 244-5.
38.     Sprenger, who was appointed as the head of the Faculty of Islamic Sciences in India, helped the publication of some classical books. See Hatiboğlu, M. Said, Batıdaki Hadis Çalışmaları Üzerine, Uluslar arası Birinci İslam Sempozyumu, İzmir 1995; Görmez, Metodoloji Sorunu, p. 85.
39.    His most detailed work is Muhammedanische Studien. Goldziher did not only become famous in Europe but he was also popular in the Islamic world. He was given the duty of making the plan of Cairo University. His tafsir and hadith books will be studied in the Chair planned to be established in Istanbul University. see Hatipoğlu, Batıdaki Hadis Çalışmaları, p. 85.
40.    Zaqzuq, Oryantalizm, p. 97; as-Sibai, as-Sunnah, 190-191; for the view that understanding Hegel’s philosophy of history will help Goldziher’s understanding, see Görmez, Metodoloji Sorunu, p. 87-88; Fadlurrahman, Methodology, p. 16.
41.    J. Schacht, İslam Hukukuna Giriş, p. 43-4; For detailed answers to Schacht’s claims, see A’zami, İslam Fıkhı ve Sünneti; Özafşar, Oryantalist, p. 81-104.
42.    Ünal, İ. H. Fazlurrahman’ın Sünnet anlayışı ve “Yaşayan Sünnet” Kavramı Üzerine, İslami Araştırmalar,  October 1990, Fazlurrahman Special Issue, p. 287, footnote 11
43.   See Fadlurrahman, Islam, p. 63.
44.   See Fadlurrahman, Methodology, 17-18; for evaluation, see Ünal, Fazlurrahman’ın Sünnet Anlayışı, p. 285-6.
45.    There were some individuals and groups that vilified Sunnah. However, they were not accepted by people since they were from heretic groups or individuals; and they almost disappeared in the second and third centuries H. We did not see anybody who said, ‘What is attributed to the Prophet is tradition and the customs of Jahiliyya of the community.’ Each one criticized Sunnah due to different understandings and thoughts; see Tahir, Muhammed Hekim, Sünnetin Etrafındaki Şüpheler, translated by. Hüseyin Aslan, Pınar Yay., Ist. tp. p. 29-38.
46.    For those who think like him, see Tahir, ibid, p. 84; Some of those people who call themselves ahl al-Quran said those who acted in accordance with sunnah were unbelievers acting upon verse 44 of the chapter of al-Maida. See Azimabadi, Awnul-Ma’bud, III, 357; Maktabatus-Salafiyya, Madinah, 1968.
47.    Görmez, Metodoloji Sorunu, p. 91.

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