By Fazlur Rahman
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Al-Mu'ayyad fi'l-DÌn al-ShÌrzÌ (d. 470/1087) used to be a very good, multi-talented Fatimid student of Persian foundation. He excelled as a missionary-agent, statesman, poet, preacher and theologian. in line with his autobiography, this paintings offers an perception into the striking existence and achievements of al-Mu'ayyad via very important levels of his profession, describing his bold try and win over the Buyids of western Iran to the Fatimid reason, his harmful flight to Cairo and eventually his excursion to Syria and Iraq to accumulate an alliance of neighborhood rulers opposed to the invading Saljuk Turks.
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Extra resources for Islamic Methodology in History
Some of these warnings are attributed to the Prophet himself and we have already remarked . that it is highly probable that anti-T;:ladith. traditions originated before the pro-ljadith traditions. ' earliest extant account supporting ljadith by a ljadith. is that of al-Shafi'i. He quotes the following tradition: tSJli.. :ill J.. J ~ fo. :... :i! ''The Prophet said, 'May God make that man prosperous who hears my words, preserves them carefully in memory and then transmits them. elf (but can only transmit it), And many a transmitter of wisdom transmits it to someone who can· understand it better.
This principle has been accepted by most classical traditionists themselves but has never been applied by them with the full rigour of strict historicity. While they reject absolutely specific predictions, viz. 46 SUNNAH AND l;fADlTH those which claim to indicate a specific day or date or place, they swallow without qualms predictions about the rise of Muslim theological and political groups and parties. We Muslims must decide whether, in face of stricthistcrical evidence, we can accept and go on accepting predictive Ijadith and, if so, how far.
It obviously arose in a later situation when the l;l adith movement had set in and claimed to be the unique vehicle (at the expense of the living Sunnah) of expressing the Prophetic Sunnah ; and its credentials to do so we•·e questioned both by the Ahl al-Kalam and the earlier schools of law. Thus, this l;ladith_ turns out to be blatantly predictive. As for al-Shafi'i's third I;Iadith which says, "There is no harm in relating traditions from the Bana Isra'il ; and relate traditions (also) from me but do not attribute to me traditions falsely," its case is no better.