Book announcement: Hadith Commentary: Continuity and Change

Joel Blecher Discussion
Dear Colleagues,
I am delighted to announce the publication of Hadith Commentary: Continuity and Change, edited by Joel Blecher and Stefanie Brinkmann (Edinburgh University Press).
Most of the book's chapters focus on the medieval period, and should be of interest to H-Mideast-Medieval, although there are several chapters on the genre's legacy in the modern period.

Hadith commentary has been a central site of Islamic intellectual life for more than a millennium, across diverse periods, regions and sects. This is the first volume of scholarly essays ever collected on the key texts and critical themes of hadith commentary. The book unfolds chronologically from the early centuries of Islam to the modern period, and readers will discover continuities and changes as a group of international experts offer illuminating studies of Sunnis, Shi‘i and Sufis who interpret and debate the meaning of hadith that spans a wide terrain: Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, India, and further. The volume also models a variety of methodological approaches, including social history, intellectual history, the study of religion, and digital history. By highlighting both differences and commonalities as the practice of hadith commentary circulated across distant eras and lands, this volume sheds new light on the way Muslims have historically understood the meaning of Muhammad’s example.

Table of Contents

Introduction: What is Hadith Commentary?

Joel Blecher and Stefanie Brinkmann

Part I
Formations and Developments in the Early and Middle Periods

1 Between Philology and Hadith Criticism: The Genre of Sharḥ Gharīb al-Ḥadīth / Stefanie Brinkmann

2 The Hermeneutics of al-Sharīf al-Murtaḍā: The Interpretation of akhbār al-āḥād in Kitāb al-Amālī / Ali Aghaei

3 ‘Blessed are the Strangers (ghurabāʾ)’: An Apocalyptic Hadith on the Virtues of Loneliness, Sadness and Exile / Youshaa Patel

4 Sufi Contributions to Hadith Commentary / Samer Dajani

5 Ibn Rajab’s Commentary on al-Nawawī’s Forty Hadith: Innovation and Audience in the Jāmiʿ al-ʿulūm wa-l-ḥikam / Mohammad Gharaibeh

6 The Words of the Imām beyond Philosophy and Tradition: Shīʿī Hadith Commentaries in the Ṣafavid Period / Sajjad Rizvi

Part II Modern Recollections and Reimaginings

7 Contesting Ḥanaf ī Thought in a Twentieth-century Turkish Hadith Commentary / Susan Gunasti

8 Debating Authority and Authenticity in Modern South Asian Hadith Commentaries: Muḥammad Zakariyyā Kāndhalawī’s Awjaz al-masālik / Ali Altaf Mian

9 ʿAllāma Ṭabāṭabāʾī and Exegetical Hadiths in al-Mῑzān: A Contemporary Imāmī Commentary on Hadith? / Shadi Nafisi

10 Studying Hadith Commentaries in the Digital Age / Maroussia Bednarkiewicz, Aslisho Qurboniev and Gowaart Van Den Bossche

Afterword: More Comments, Further Questions / Joel Blecher
I hope this volume will be of use to you all and your students. Congratulations and many thanks to all the contributors!
Warm regards,
Joel Blecher
Associate Professor of History
The George Washington University
Washington, DC