By Harald Motzki
The experiences accrued during this quantity convey that by way of cautious research of the texts and the chains of transmission, the historical past of Muslim traditions could be reconstructed with a excessive measure of chance and their historicity assessed afresh.
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The writer of the Epistle on Sufism, Abu'l-Qasim al-Qushayri (376-465 H / 986-1074 CE), used to be a well-known Sunni Shafi'i Ash'ari student and mystic (Sufi) from Khurasan in Iran. His Epistle is among the most well liked Sufi handbook ever. Written in 437 H / 1045 CE, it has served as a first-rate textbook for plenty of generations of Sufi rookies all the way down to the current. al-Qushayri has given us an illuminating perception into the typical lives of Sufi devotees of the 8th to 11th centuries CE and the ethical and moral dilemmas they have been dealing with in attempting to strike a fragile stability among their ascetic and mystical convictions and the exigencies of lifestyles in a society ruled through rank, wealth, and armed forces energy. In al-Qushayri's narrative, the Sufi 'friends of God' (awliya') are depicted because the precise, if uncrowned, 'kings' of this international, now not these worldly rulers who seem to be lording it over the typical herd of believers. but, even the main complicated Sufi masters will not be take salvation with no consideration. Miracle-working, regardless of how superb, can't warrantly the Sufi a 'favorite final result' within the afterlife, for it can be yet a ruse at the a part of God who desires to try out the ethical integrity of his servant. within the Epistle, those and plenty of different Sufi motifs are illustrated by way of the anecdotes and parables that exhibit al-Qushayri's fellow Sufis in a large choice of contexts: being affected by starvation and thirst within the desolate tract, whereas acting pilgrimage to Makkah, partaking in 'spiritual auditions', reciting the Qur'an, waging battle opposed to the 'infidel' enemy and their very own wants, incomes their livelihood, meditating in a retreat, praying, operating miracles, interacting with the 'people of the market-place', their family and friends, dreaming, and loss of life.
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Additional info for Analysing Muslim Traditions (Islamic History and Civilization)
The texts which contain Zuhrī’s raʾy are fewer, but nevertheless noticeable in number (42%). The raʾy appears, in most cases, in the form of sayings (dicta) and seldom as answers (responsa). In striking contrast to Ibn Jurayj’s responsa transmitted from ʿAt ̣āʾ, where Ibn Jurayj often asks the questions himself, his responsa transmitted from Zuhrī are only exceptionally of that type. Among Ibn Jurayj’s traditions transmitted from Zuhrī, ʿUrwa ibn al-Zubayr is the most important informant of Zuhrī.
Apart from Zuhrī, Ibn Jurayj transmits it from the ʿIrāqī scholar ʿAbd al-Karīm [al-Jazarī], who had been for some time a student of Ibn al-Musayyab’s, and from the Meccan scholar ʿAmr [ibn Dīnār], who likewise had contacts with the Medinan fuqahāʾ, but Ibn Jurayj does not give the informants from whom these scholars obtained the tradition. Maʿmar quotes it in a short form through his Baṣran colleague Ayyūb [ibn Abī Tamīma] from the latter’s teacher ʿAbd al-Razzāq, Muṣannaf, 6:10540. See above p.
The extension to the hypothetical cases of whether consummation occurred or not and the questions of how to deal with the waiting periods and whether remarriage is possible may be the result of the discussion that took place afterwards among the fuqahāʾ who transmitted the case. We cannot be certain whether the concrete case was really solved by the second caliph in the form reported, since none of the transmitters was an eyewitness. But the possibility that ʿUmar dealt with such a case cannot be ruled out.