Discussions on the Influence of the Judeo-Christian Culture on Hadiths

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Keywords: Jewish culture, hadith, influence, isrāiliyyāt, claims, conversion, mawālī, preachers


Özcan Hıdır
Although it is difficult to determine the first Western scholar to claim the influence of Judaic culture on hadiths or tried to relate hadiths to the biblical texts, the Frenchman Barthelmy d’Herbelot (d. 1695) was the first orientalist to claim that many chapters in the hadith literature, including al-kutub al-sitta, were borrowed from the Talmud.
The ideas and claims of some Western scholars such as Alois Sprenger, Ignaz Goldziher, Georges Vajda, and S. Rosenblatt up to the end of the 18th century led to many discussions that were defended and developed with new arguments by many Western scholars. Nowadays, the reflection of these claims in the Islamic world has become a serious hadith problem. In addition to the role of the conversion movement in the early Islam and the first Jewish converts to Islam, the non-Arabs known as al-mawālī, especially in the Ummayad period, and poets like Umayya ibn Abi al-Salt of the Jāhilliya period, who were believed to have read the early holy books, and preachers, are the most important factors playing a role in this influence. This study attempts to analyze the claims, opinions, and factors from the perspectives of the Islamic literature and Muslim scholars’ views towards the Jewish-Christian tradition.