The Authenticity of Saʿd Ibn Muʿādh’s Judgment: A Response to Contemporary Critics
al-Burhān: Journal of Qurʾān and Sunnah Studies, Vol. 5(1), 2021.
24 Pages Posted: 23 Feb 2021
Date Written: February 17, 2021
Many may wonder why it is necessary to write about the authenticity of such a famous incident recorded in perhaps all books of sīrah and tārīkh. It has been well over a thousand years since Saʿd ibn Muʿādh passed his judgement on Banū Qurayẓah following the Battle of Khandaq; all fighting men should be executed, the women and children should be enslaved. It is perhaps hard to imagine that someone would even question whether such an incident did in fact occur. However, the 20th century witnessed a challenge posed by some contemporary scholars suggesting that Saʿd ibn Muʿādh’s judgement had never happened. If this claim bears any amount of truth, it may be considered as a new revolutionary opinion that has eluded numerous generations of Muslim scholars. This article examines the claim of these contemporary scholars and limits itself to what can be analysed by the means of ʿulūm al-ḥadīth (ḥadīth criticism). While the critics have discussed various aspects about the entire Banū Qurayẓah campaign, this article focuses entirely on the judgment of Saʿd ibn Muʿādh. Two aspects are examined: sanad (chain of narration) and matn (text). The study has discovered that the narration concerning Saʿd ibn Muʿādh’s judgement is indeed authentic and the critics may have missed significant points in passing their judgments.
Keywords: hadith, sirah, authenticity, sanad, matan
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