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Title: Traditional sunni epistemology in the scholarship of al-Hafiz al-Khatib al-Baghdadi (463AH/1071CE)
Author: Bin Jamil, Khairil Husaini
ISNI:       0000 0004 7431 220X
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2017
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This study examines the intellectual thrust of traditional Sunni epistemologies as articulated in the written legacies of al-Hafiz al-Khatib al-Baghdadi (392AH/1002CE - 463AH/1071CE), a luminary in Muslim scholarship mostly celebrated for his proficiency as an expert of hadith and his magnum opus on the history of Baghdad. Although several of his works have been hugely influential in shaping critical academic debates on subjects such as the problem of the dating and writing down of Prophetic tradition, it is striking that there has never been a comprehensive study of his intellectual output, despite his being qualified in almost every aspect of hadith theory and also given the sheer impact of his thought upon later medieval discourses relating to theories of knowledge. The thesis includes a reconstruction of his biography; an extensive review of his literary works; an examination of the methodological constructs which underpin his writings; and a study of some theological controversies and debates in which he became embroiled. The thesis will ultimately seek to shed light on the epistemic structures used to develop critical concepts such as 'ilm, fiqh, hujjah, bayan, istidlal, khabar, riwayah, hadith, sunnah, mutawatir, ahad, takhrij and, most crucially, the concept of fact and potential account in Sunni treatments of historical reports. This will include an analysis of al-Khatib's quest for definitions of orthopraxy and gradation of potentiality. The aim will be to identify and construct the guiding principles of his theory of knowledge for the creative articulation of Sunni Islam, with its emphasis on the coupling of traditionalist theology with legal thought. It will include the exploration of sufi elements and female involvement in pursuing his scholarship. Attention will also be paid to assessing the overarching influence of the four madhhabs paradigm, particularly with the formation of huffaz-ship as a distinguished group and authority in Islam.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral