Turkish Department of Religious Affairs ‘revises’ hadith texts

Turkey is preparing to publish a document that represents a revolutionary reinterpretation of Islam – and a controversial and radical modernisation of the religion.

The country’s powerful Department of Religious Affairs has commissioned a team of theologians at Ankara University to carry out a fundamental revision of the Hadith, the second most sacred text in Islam after the Koran.

The Hadith is a collection of thousands of sayings reputed to come from the Prophet Muhammad.

As such, it is the principal guide for Muslims in interpreting the Koran and the source of the vast majority of Islamic law, or Sharia.

But the Turkish state has come to see the Hadith as having an often negative influence on a society it is in a hurry to modernise, and believes it responsible for obscuring the original values of Islam.

It says that a significant number of the sayings were never uttered by Muhammad, and even some that were need now to be reinterpreted.



3 Responses to “Turkish Department of Religious Affairs ‘revises’ hadith texts”

  1. 1 Baba February 26, 2008 at 7:45 pm

    Kemal rides again! Having visited a few Islamic countries in my time, I can only say that every Department of Religious affairs needs a good old fashioned neutering.

  2. 2 admin February 26, 2008 at 8:11 pm

    If you actually read the story, what the scholars are proposing is no different from the day job of hadith scholars, i.e.Takhreej, which is where a hadith scholar (Muhaddith) takes a hadith and researches all its narrations and narrators to determine or review its classification of strength etc. And as we know some fabricated ahadith do enter circulation amongst the masses which affects belief, understanding and practice.

    The problem is that Western Academics are for some reason desperately waiting for Islamic “Reform” and anyone who is seen as remotely questioning the status quo is labelled a Muslim Martin Luther, which is silly as the Islamic tradition already has a long established internal tradition of tajdeed and revival…

    The only radical thing would be if they got people from the masses to accept theur findings!


  3. 3 admin February 28, 2008 at 10:43 pm

    Turkish scholars comment on media distortion of their endeavour: http://www.islamtoday.com/showmenews.cfm?cat_id=38&sub_cat_id=1790

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