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“When the class goes on too long, the Devil takes part in it”: adab al-muaddith according to Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ ash-Shahrazûrî (d. 643/1245)*

« Lorsque la classe dure trop longtemps, le Diable y prend part » : l’adab al-muḥaddith selon Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ ash-Shahrazûrî (m. 643/1245)
Jens Scheiner

Résumés

Cette étude se concentre sur les deux chapitres de la Muqaddima d’Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ (m. 643/1245) traitant de la conduite à adopter par les professeurs et les étudiants de adîth (adab al-muaddith). Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ y conseille notamment les muaddithûn sur la manière de conduire une classe de adîth. Pour les étudiants, il offre des règles morales, recommande un cursus particulier et livre des conseils pédagogiques pratiques. La recherche de précurseurs à l’ouvrage d’Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ conduit à la conclusion principale de cet article : Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ utilisa l’ouvrage de ʿAbd al-Karîm as-Samʿânî (m. 562/1166), Adab al-imlâʾ wa-ʼl-istimlâʾ, comme source directe. De façon plus paradoxale, les similarités avec l’ouvrage d’al-Ḥâkim an-Naysâbûrî (m. 405/1014), Kitâb maʿrifat ʿulûm al-adîth, se révèlent mineures sur les sujets d’adab al-muaddith, alors même qu’il s’agit du modèle revendiqué de la Muqaddima d’Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ. S’inspirant de la littérature d’adab al-muftî ou d’adab al-qâî, cette enquête suggère enfin que les savants musulmans, en particulier al-Ḥâkim an-Naysâbûrî, s’efforcèrent précisément de codifier les règles d’enseignement de la discipline au moment même de la canonisation des grands corpus de adîth.

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  • * I am particularly indebted to Prof. Dr. Sebastian Günther and my colleague Dr. Damien Janos for the (...)
  • 1 Citations of the work will refer to both the edition and the translation in the following manner: ( (...)

1In his book Kitâb maʿrifat anwâʿ ʿilm al-adîth (The Book on the Knowledge about the Different Types of adîth Science) the famous thirteen-century scholar Taqî ad-Dîn Abû ʿAmr ʿUthmân b. ʿAbd ar-Raḥmân Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ ash-Shahrazûrî (d. 643/1245) determines the basic principles for the transmission of adîth. This book, which is also known under the title Muqaddimat Ibn a-alâ (The Introduction of Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ), was edited by alâ b. Muammad b. ʿUwaia (Beirut 2006, first edition Lucknow 1304/1886-7) and translated into English by Eerik Dickinson (Reading 2006).1

  • 2 For further information on Ibn a-alâ see Ibn a-alâ, 2006b: XIV-XXIII. For the underlying Arab (...)

2Ibn a-alâ began teaching at the Asadîya madrasa in Aleppo and continued at the alâîya madrasa in Jerusalem, founded by alâ ad-Dîn in 588/1192, before he took up the professorial chair first at the Rawâîya madrasa and later at the Shaʾmîya Juwânîya madrasa in Damascus. Furthermore, he was appointed to a chair of the newly founded Dâr al-adîth by al-Malik al-Ashraf. Obtaining this position marked, according to Dickinson, the peak of his career (Ibn a-alâ, 2006b: XXIII).2 Already at his time he was recognized as one of the most eminent scholars and his work on the sciences of adîth can be considered according to James Robson “the standard work in the sciences of tradition” (Robson, 1971: 927).

  • 3 In the following I will use adab al-muaddith as a general term. It comprises rules and regulations (...)
  • 4 Dickinson translated these chapter headings quite loosely as “Guidelines for the Transmitter of ad (...)

3In his Muqaddima Ibn a-alâ introduces the basic adîth-terminology (sound, fair and weak aâdîth, raised adîth, forged adîth etc.), discusses fundamental methods of adîth-criticism, speaks about the methods of transmitting adîth and describes thoroughly the various groups of adîth-transmitters (aâba, tâbiʿûn, and such peculiar groups as fathers who transmitted from their sons). In addition, Ibn a-alâ also included two chapters on adab al-muaddith, i.e. the rules and regulations according to which adîth should be taught, and on pedagogical advice for teachers and students of adîth.3 These two chapters entitled an-nauʿ as-sâbiʿ wa-ʼl-ʿishrûn maʿrifat âdâb al-muaddith (Category 27: Knowledge of the Proper Behavior of the Transmitter of adîth) and an-nauʿ ath-thâmin wa-ʼl-ʿishrûn maʿrifat âdâb âlib al-adîth (Category 28: Knowledge of the Proper Behavior of the Student of adîth)4 appear quite surprisingly in the middle of Ibn a-alâ’s discussion of the various types of adîth (Ibn a-alâ, 2006: 251-270/167-182) and have not yet been analyzed thoroughly.

  • 5 On as-Samʿânî see Sellheim, 1995.
  • 6 For a proper understanding (and hence for a good translation) of the term mustamlî see the discussi (...)
  • 7 Fal fî âdâb al-mumlî, Fal fî ‘ittikhâdh al-mustamlî wa-adabihî, Fal fî âdâb al-kâtib.

4These two chapters constitute an example of the adab genre within Islamic literature that can be termed adab al-muaddith literature and that probably had precursors in other adab-works. This paper is going to argue that Ibn a-alâ took most of his information found in the two chapters from his predecessor Abû Saʿd ʿAbd al-Karîm b. Muammad as-Samʿânî’ (d. 562/1166).5 As-Samʿânî wrote a book entitled Adab al-imlâʾ wa-ʼl-istimlâʾ (The Proper Behavior in Dictating and in Writing Down through Dictation). This book, which was written in 541/1146-7 and edited by Max Weisweiler in 1952, consists mainly of three chapters dealing with the proper behavior of the person that dictates (mumlî), of the “teaching assistant” (mustamlî)6 and of the person that writes down adîth (kâtib).7

5Before turning to the comparison of the two chapters on adab al-muaddith included in Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ’s Muqaddima and the respective pages in as-Samʿânîʼs Adab al-imlâʾ wa-ʼl-istimlâʾ, a number of terms needs to be clarified.

6ʿUlûm al-adîth (the sciences of adîth) designates various disciplines which enable the student of adîth to comprehend and assess various aâdîth and fundamental adîth-compilations (Dickinson, 2000: 933). Information about the transmitter’s proper behavior and on regulations of teaching and learning (adab al-muaddith) form a part of these sciences.

  • 8 Sessions of dictation are usually rendered as “Diktatkolleg” in German.
  • 9 Ibn a-alâ explicitly states that it is the most elevated form in the eyes of the masses (wa-hâdh (...)
  • 10 Arabic wording: wa-aaḥḥ hâdhihî ʼl-anwâʿ an yumliya ʿalaika wa-taktubahû min laf. Some lines furt (...)
  • 11 For the introduction, in which as-Samʿânî states that he was asked by a friend to write a book abou (...)

7Majlis (lit. the place of seating, session) refers to sessions of teaching in which adith are transmitted. There are several methods of conveying adîth. Ibn a-alâ describes eight different variants in detail (Ibn a-alâ, 2006: 177-213/95-127) beginning with “the audition of the teacherʼs articulation (as-samâʿ min laf ash-shaikh)” which can take the form of dictation (imlâʾ) (Ibn a-alâ, 2006: 181, l. 3/97).8 This method is regarded as the supreme form of transmitting adîth.9 It is clear that already as-Samʿânî held this view, when he says at the beginning of his Adab al-imlâʾ: “The best of these types [of transmission] is, that he [= the muaddith] dictates to you while you write down his articulation” (as-Samʿânî, 1952: 8, l. 10-11).10 In addition, as-Samʿânî continues to quote several traditions in favor of dictation (as-Samʿânî, 1952: 11, l. 1–23, l. 20). Both scholars therefore set priorities on the transmission of adîth through dictation. We will find an affirmation of this attitude in their terminology (see below). Dictation as prime method of transmission depends on the availability of written documents or books. In the lifetime of both scholars we can safely assume that finalized books were generally used in adîth-lectures (Schoeler, 2009: 124). That the Muqaddima was a book conclusively edited by its author is indicated by its introduction (Ibn a-alâ, 2006: 258, l. 4-5/1-4) and by several cross references, also to be found in the two chapters under discussion (Ibn a-alâ, 2006: 7, l. 1 – 16, l. 12/171 or 262, l. 16-17/175). The same argument can be made for as-Samʿânîʼs work.11

8To recapitulate, the fourth form of the root mîmlâmwâu (amlâ, yumlî) denotes the process of dictation which is commonly – but not exclusively – applied to transmitting adîth from teacher to student; therefore the substantive imlâʾ can be translated as “dictation”. To denominate the person who dictates the aâdîth, as-Samʿânî and Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ use the active participle of the verb mentioned: mumlî, i.e. “someone who dictates, a dictatee”. A common synonym usually used, for example by Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ, is muaddith, i.e. the active participle of the second form from the root âʾ - dâlthâʾ. Thus muaddith literally meaning “someone who speaks” is the technical term for a transmitter of adîth. Other sources use the expressions âib al-adîth or simply shaikh to refer to the person that dictates aâdîth to others.

9The active particle of the tenth form of the root mîmlâmwâu (istamlâ, yastamlî), i.e. mustamlî, is also utilized by Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ and as-Samʿânî. Weisweiler discusses the various meanings of this specific form by quoting examples of usage from various Arabic sources. According to his analysis istamlâ, yastamlî means “to ask for dictation, to obtain through dictation, and to write down through dictation”. In addition, it could also mean “to work as a professional mustamlî”. Which of these two meanings is intended in a particular reference is not always easy to detect (Weisweiler, 1951: 27-29).

  • 12 See for example Ibn a-alâ, 2006: 257, l. 9/171.
  • 13 Some of these additional functions in addition to the enumeration of 107 known mustamlîs with their (...)

10Regarding the professional mustamlî Weisweiler argues that the mustamlî works more or less permanently for his teacher and mainly writes down the teacherʼs aâdîth (“mit der besonderen Funktion des mehr oder weniger dauernd für einen Scheich arbeitenden Diktatschreibers”; Weisweiler, 1951: 31). Accordingly Weisweiler renders the professional mustamlî with the expression “secretary of dictation (Diktatsekretär)” (Weisweiler, 1951: 34). However, the mustamlî had, according to Weisweiler, a secondary duty which was to communicate the teacherʼs words to remote persons during a adîth-lecture. The mustamlî therefore took the position of the (earlier) muballigh (the one who communicates or conveys) (Weisweiler, 1951: 37). Weisweiler rendered this function by translating mustamlî as “mediator (Vermittler)”. It is this function that Dickinson also relates to when rendering mustamlî with “repetitor”.12 It is exactly this function that is usually used in Ibn a-alâʼs Muqaddima and in as-Samʿânîʼs Adab al-imlâʾ. However, his position does not only ask the mustamlî to communicate the teacherʼs words to the students but includes also some more functions which will be described below.13 Those functions make a mustamlî more a teaching assistant than a simple broadcaster. I will therefore render the word mustamlî as “teaching assistant” in this article.

11Finally, there is the student of adîth who is sometimes referred to as âlib al-adîth, but also called kâtib al-adîth, i.e. “the one who writes down the adîth [he had heard from the mumlî]”. Since the educational characteristics of the students, such as age, profession or duration of study, are very diverse the term âlib has to be understood in a very broad meaning.

  • 14 For a detailed examination of as-Samʿânî’s description of the adab al-muaddith see Melchert, 2004: (...)

12How does Ibn a-alâ describe the proper behavior of those engaged in the sciences of adîth in his Muqaddima? Since my assumption is that Ibn a-alâ used as-Samʿânîʼs Adab al-imlâʾ as a source for his Muqaddima, I will compare both works in the following part of the paper.14 A first indication for this assuption is provided by the fact that Ibn a-alâ structured his information in the same way as as-Samʿânî. He first speaks about the person that dictates (muaddith), then he refers to the teaching assistant (mustamlî) and finally to the student of adîth.

13Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ starts the chapter on âdâb al-muaddith, i.e. on the rules of conduct of the teacher of adîth, with the assertion that the science of adîth is a “noble science (ʿilm sharîf)” (Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ, 2006: 251, l. 4/167). Therefore, anyone who wants to engage in aural transmission of adîth or wants to acquire any knowledge about the sciences of adîth needs a sincere devotion (ikhlâ) and should clean his heart from worldly aims (Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ, 2006: 251, l. 6 – 252, l. 2/167). As-Samʿânî calls the science of adîth a “noble” science too. In fact, it is the “most noble science (ashraf al-ʿulûm)” after the qurʾânic science (as-Samʿânî, 1952: 3, l. 5). Instead of speaking of intention, as-Samʿânî puts the focus on the outer appearance of the dictatee, when he demands from him to show the most perfect exterior and the best clothing (akmâl haiʾa wa-afal zîna, as-Samʿânî, 1952: 26, l. 7).

14Next Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ discusses the age at which it is appropriate to occupy oneself with aural transmission of adîth (at-taaddâ li-ismâʿ al-adîth) as a adîth-teacher. He gives the (classical) figure of forty years, but also mentions the ages of twenty, fifty or one hundred years as appropriate. In general, he assesses that if someone feels the urge to transmit adîth he can do so at any age (fî aiy sinn kâna). However, anyone should stop transmitting at an age when he fears senility (haram) and is, therefore, confusing the various aâdîth or to transmit aâdîth which he is not permitted to transmit (Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ, 2006: 252, l. 3 – 254, l. 1/167-169).

15Before he continues to describe how classes should be organized, Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ alludes to the hierarchy among the various muaddithûn by demanding that a person shall not transmit adîth if there is someone present whose knowledge is superior to his. The transmitter should rather inform the student of this person and lead the student to him (Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ, 2006: 254, l. 2-8/169).

  • 15 See as-Samʿânî, 1952: 27, l. 9-16.

16The role model for the proper behavior of a transmitter is, according to Ibn a-alâ, Mâlik b. Anas (d. 179/795). Like him, a muaddith shall perform the ritual ablutions before transmitting, shall put on some scent, shall sit erect and shall not raise his voice. Ibn a-alâ extracts this advice from two traditions which are transmitted about Mâlik (Ibn a-alâ, 2006: 256, l. 3-14/169-70). Interestingly, the second tradition speaking of the raising of the voice is – although without isnâd almost literally found in as-Samʿânîʼs Adab al-imlâʾ.15

  • 16 Pace Dickinson who rendered kharraja with “to bring forth”, it was indicated to me by the reviewer (...)
  • 17 Arabic wording: wa-ahamm min dhâlika ʼd-duʿâʾ la-hû ʿinda dhikrihî.

17How shall a muaddith conduct his class? According to Ibn a-alâ, the muaddith shall receive listeners in his majlis independently of their social standing. Furthermore, he shall speak in an eloquent manner, but not so fast that the listener would be unable to grasp his words (Ibn a-alâ, 2006: 257, l. 3/170). Later Ibn a-alâ takes up this point again by demanding that a muaddith shall avoid the issues that cannot be understood by the intellect of the listeners. He should also avoid those things that he fears to cause misunderstanding (Ibn a-alâ, 2006: 259, l. 12-13/172). After convening a teaching session, the muaddith shall either transmit adîth by dictation (imlâʾ) or by aural transmission (samâʾ). Ibn a-alâ even presents a specific formula of praise a muaddith shall use for opening a class (Ibn a-alâ, 2006: 257, l. 3-9/170-1). When the teacher transmits adîth he shall start the dictation by citing traditions from his best source. The quality of the source is dependent on the most elevated isnâd or other features, for example a short matn (ʿalâ sanad wa-qar matn). Moreover, the muaddith shall dictate from each of these sources only one adith which he has to choose consciously, considering and describing its particular benefit to the listener (Ibn a-alâ, 2006: 259, l. 9-12/172). In case he faces problems in quoting the (isnâd of a) adîth (kharraja),16 he shall ask for help those present in class and let them provide the details (Ibn a-alâ, 2006: 260, l. 1/172). Whenever the muaddith mentions one of his own teachers’ names he shall praise him in an appropriate way. More importantly, Ibn a-alâ adds, the muaddith has to pray for him, when he speaks of him (Ibn a-alâ, 2006: 258, l. 12-15/171-2).17

18Each time the muaddith mentions the prophet Muḥammad he shall bless him by using the formula “peace be upon him (allâ ʼllâhu ʿalaihi wa-sallama, lit. God bless him and grant him salvation)”. Similarly, when he quotes a companion of the prophet (aâbî) he shall use the formula “May God be pleased with him (raiya ʼllâhu ʿanhu)” (Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ, 2006: 258, l. 10-11/171).

19The muaddith is allowed to refer to other transmitters by their honorific name (laqab), their maternal descent (nisba ilâ umm), like Muḥammad b. Maryam, or by reference to their bodily infirmity, if they were known under those names. Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ gives the example of al-Aʿmash (the Bleary-eyed) whose ism was Sulaimân. However, if the person dislikes to be called by any of these, the transmitter should refrain from calling him like that (Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ, 2006: 259, l. 1-8/172). Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ finishes his explanation on the âdâb of the muaddith by asserting that it is appropriate (asan) to conclude the class of dictation by quoting stories (ikâyât), humorous tales (nawâdir) or verses (inshâdât) together with their chains of transmitters – as it was the custom of earlier muaddithûn (Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ, 2006: 259, l. 13-15/172).

  • 18 Instead of al-ʿawâmm Ibn a-alâ put al-âirîn.

20As-Samʿânî establishes similar requirements: the mumlî shall specify to his students the day when the majlis takes place (as-Samʿânî, 1952: 38, l. 8-9). Furthermore he shall not transmit what cannot be grasped by the intellects of the listeners, antedating the literal expression (mâ lâ tatamiluhû ʿuqûl al-ʿawâmm) also used by Ibn a-alâ (as-Samʿânî, 1952: 59, l. 21).18

21Regarding the eulogies that have to be spoken after the mentioning of Muḥammad or the companions, as-Samʿânî demands from the mumlî to use the formulas allâ ʼllâhu ʿalaihi wa-sallama and raiya ʼllâhu ʿanhu respectively (as-Samʿânî, 1952: 63, l. 16-17 and 65, l. 2). Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ not only uses the same phrase as as-Samʿânî (intahâ ilâ dhikr) but also has the same insertion that the eulogy of the prophet shall be spoken in a loud voice (rafaʿa autahû; Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ, 2006: 258, l. 10/171; as-Samʿânî, 1952: 63, l. 17). Furthermore it was already as-Samʿânî who said that a majlis shall end (khatama) with stories (ikâyât) and humorous tales (nawâdir; as-Samʿânî, 1952: 68, l. 17). This is another example of an almost literal quotation from as-Samʿânîʼs text which is found in Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥʼs Muqaddima.

22As part of the chapter on the âdâb al-muaddith, Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ deals with the mustamlî, i.e. with the transmitter’s teaching assistant whose main task is to broadcast the transmitter’s words. The mustamlî functions as a technical assistant who according to Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ shall be employed when the crowd of listeners is large. In this case the mustamlî shall communicate (yuballighu) the transmitter’s speech without any divergence (min ghair khilâf), i.e. without altering the wording of the mentioned aâdîth. The advantage of employing a mustamlî is that someone who is sitting at a distance to the muaddith can still hear what the teacher says. Therefore, as Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ goes on to say, it is best if the mustamlî is standing on an elevated place (mauiʿ murtafiʿ), like a chair or something similar. If such a spot does not exist, the teaching assistant shall at least speak standing upright. Employing a mustamlî was a habit of the most reknown muaddithûn, among whom Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ particularly names Mâlik b. Anas.

23Regarding the mustamlî Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ makes three prerequisites: first the mustamlî shall be alert (mutayaqqi) and second, he shall already have acquired some knowledge (of adîth) (muaṣṣal). Having some knowledge about adîth in general or the aadîth transmitted by the teacher in particular diminishes the probability that the mustamlî distorts the wording of the traditions he has to communicate. From this it can be assumed safely that the mustamlî could have been one of the muaddithʼ advanced students. Third, whoever just hears the words spoken by the mustamlî does not immediately get the permission of transmission from the muaddith (ijâza). The listener will only receive this permission if he characterizes the particular circumstances (Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ, 2006: 257, l. 9 – 258, l. 4/171).

  • 19 Chamberlain argues convincingly in favor of this “ceremonial” view that a majlis had ritual element (...)
  • 20 I explicitly deviate from Dickinson’s translation here who renders “Whomever you mention or whateve (...)

24The mustamlî does not only broadcast the teacher’s words, but also has according to Ibn a-alâ a “ceremonial” function within the majlis. It is especially this “ceremonial” function that elevates him from a mere repetitor to a teaching assistant.19 It could be he (or someone else) who opens the class by reciting some verses from the Qurʾân. After the recitation the mustamlî shall start to speak by asking the listeners (ahl al-majlis) for silence. Then he shall praise God by using the formula “Praise be to God (al-amdu li-llâh)” and bless the prophet Muammad in a very eloquent manner. Next the mustamlî shall turn towards the muaddith and bless him. Ibn a-alâ gives two possible formulas which the mustamlî shall use to address the muaddith: either “To whom did you mention [it] or what did you mention, may God have mercy upon you (man dhakarta au mâ dhakarta raimaka ʼllâh)”20 or “May God forgive you (ghafara ʼllâh la-ka)”. However, Ibn a-alâ also allows similar formulas to be used (Ibn a-alâ, 2006: 258, l. 6-9/171). After these introductory remarks by the mustamlî the teacher takes over the floor and starts transmitting the aâdîth according to the rules mentioned above and the mustamlî simply repeats his words.

  • 21 The exception regards the fact that by listening to the mustamlî an ijâza is not immediately grante (...)
  • 22 Further below as-Samʿânî points out that the mustamlî shall have worked already with aâdîth. Other (...)

25It is the part on the mustamlî which shows best that Ibn a-alâ took as-Samʿânîʼs Adab al-imlâʾ as a direct source and abridged it heavily. It is as-Samʿânîʼs usual approach to state a normative sentence using the formulas “It is appropriate for person X/person X should do or be (yanbaghî li-)” or “it is desirable for (yastaabbu li-)” and then to cite one or more aâdîth which exemplify this assignment. Ibn a-alâ included some of these normative sentences (including the structure “it is appropriate”/“it is desirable”) in almost the same wording in his Muqaddima. Consequently, all but one report regarding the mustamlî from Ibn a-alâʼs Muqaddima can be found in as-Samʿânîʼs Adab al-imlâʾ.21 For example the mumlî shall employ someone who communicates (yuballighu) his dictation to those sitting at a distance (as-Samʿânî, 1952: 84, l. 17) without altering the words (an lâ yukhâlifa laf al-mumlî; as-Samʿânî, 1952: 105, l. 14). As does Ibn a-alâ, as-Samʿânî recommends that the mustamlî shall stand on an elevated place (mauiʿ murtafiʿ) or in case of absence of such a place repeat the words standing upright (as-Samʿânî, 1952: 88, l. 2-3). Again, the mustamlî shall be alert (mutayaqqi) and shall have acquired some knowledge in adîth (muaṣṣal; as-Samʿânî, 1952: 90, l. 4-5),22 and as-Samʿânî also ascribes a “ceremonial” function to him. It is the mustamlî who opens the class by reciting the Qurʾân (as-Samʿânî, 1952: 48, l. 7 and 98, l. 4), who asks the attendees for silence (as-Samʿânî, 1952: 49, l. 1 and 97, l. 7-8), and who starts the lecture with specific formulas.

  • 23 There are some more pieces of information as-Samʿânî gives that are lacking in Ibn a-alâʼs Muqad (...)

26As-Samʿânî gives these formulas in greater detail than Ibn a-alâ stressing thereby the mustamlîʼs “ceremonial” function. The mustamlî shall open the session with the tasmiya, i.e. with the formula “In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate (bi-smi ʼllâhi ʼr-ramâni ʼr-raîm)” (as-Samʿânî, 1952: 51, l. 15), and with the amdala, i.e. with the words “Praise be to God, the Lord of the worlds (al-amdu li-llâh rabb al-ʿâlamîn)” (as-Samʿânî, 1952: 52, l. 1-2 and 98, l. 4-5). He then shall bless the prophet, his family and companions (as-Samʿânî, 1952: 52, l. 10-11 and 98, l. 5) and invoke further blessings upon the teacher by using the words “May God be pleased with him (raiya ʼllâhu ʿanhu)”, upon the teacher’s parents and all the Muslims (as-Samʿânî, 1952: 54, l. 5 and 98, l. 6-7). After that the mustamlî shall introduce to the audience the teacher’s (shaikh) full name, including his paidonymic (kunya) and his name of kinship (nisba). If he does not know the (full) name the mustamlî shall ask the teacher for it (as-Samʿânî, 1952: 102, l. 10-11). When the mustamlî has finished this introduction he shall address the mumlî with the words “Which person told you, may God have mercy upon you, or to whom did you mentioned it, may God be pleased with you (man addathaka raimaka ʼllâh au man dhakarta raiya ʼllâh ʿanhu)” (as-Samʿânî, 1952: 53, l. 17 and 103, l. 15-17). At this point the teacher takes over the instruction with the words “It informed us Abû X, Y son Z (akhbaranâ abû fulân fulân b. fulân)” starting the transmission of the adîth he wants to tell (as-Samʿânî, 1952: 53, l. 17-18 and 105, l. 7-8) while the mustamlî repeats his speech. The mustamlîʼs “ceremonial” function is furthermore fostered by his acts at the end of the majlis. Ibn a-alâ does not mention these actions in his Muqaddima. According to as-Samʿânî it is also the mustamlî who closes the session. When the dictation is finished he shall bless the audience and all of those who wrote down the aâdîth starting with himself (as-Samʿânî, 1952: 107, l. 1-2 and l. 16).23

27Especially through as-Samʿânîʼs portrayal, it has become clear that classes of adîth were partly formalized and followed a well-defined sequence. This sequence including in particular the proper behavior of the mustamlî still had a normative character for Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ. By quoting as-Samʿânî, Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ still regards the first’s assignments as normative and continues to apply them to the teaching of adîth in his own time.

  • 24 Chamberlain argues convincingly that the following prescriptions are “means of making young people (...)

28With the statement that he has mentioned the major rules of conduct a muaddith has to observe (ʿuyûn min âdâb al-muaddith) and that further issues will be either less important or obvious, Ibn a-alâ closes chapter 27 and turns to chapter 28 on the âdâb âlib al-adîth entitled “Knowledge of the Proper Behavior of the Student of adîth”. In this chapter Ibn a-alâ not only provides moral guidelines to the students, but also speaks about the recommended curriculum and gives pedagogical advice.24

29Analogically to his comments on the muaddith, Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ starts his moral guidelines for the student with the remark that he needs to achieve sincere devotion (taqîq al-ikhlâ) and that he shall not reach worldly aims (al-aghrâ ad-dunyawîya; Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ, 2006: 262, l. 4-5/175). Furthermore, the student shall ask God for support and shall have pure morals (akhlâq zakîya) and pleasant manners (âdâb murîya; Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ, 2006: 262, l. 13-14/175). Greed shall not cause the student to be careless in audition of adîth (samâʿ) and taking over aâdîth (taammul) (Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ, 2006: 263, l. 6/176). If he has succeeded in listening to a particular muaddith the student shall not conceal the aâdîth from others. This is according to Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ a form of wickedness (luʾm) into which only stupid and common students fall (Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ, 2006: 264, l. 4-5/176). Moreover, the âlib shall not study with too many teachers merely to acquire the reputation of having done so (Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ, 2006: 265, l. 10-11/177). In addition, he shall not be prevented from collecting many aâdîth by pride and haughtiness (Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ, 2006: 265, l. 5/176) and he shall not haughtily reject to transmit adîth from someone inferior to him (Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ, 2006: 265, l. 7-8/177).

  • 25 For this translation I am indebted to Dickinson.

30Regarding the âlibʼs teacher, Ibn a-alâ gives the following moral instruction. The student shall glorify (yuʿaẓẓimu) his teacher, not bother (la yuthaqqilu) him for too long so that he does not get annoyed. Doing this could withdraw one’s benefit (yarimu ʼl-intifâʿ; Ibn a-alâ, 2006: 263, l. 14 – 264, l. 2/176). Ibn a-alâ concludes this section by quoting an inspiring adîth from az-Zuhrî saying: “When the class goes on too long, the Devil takes part in it (idhâ âla ʼl-majlis kâna li-sh-shaiân fîhi naîb)”25 (Ibn a-alâ, 2006: 264, l. 2-3/176).

31Just as in his chapter on the muaddith, Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ mentions in the very beginning the proper age to start hearing and writing down adîth. However, he does not give a definite number but refers to his earlier remarks in chapter 24 of his Muqaddima. There he discusses several cases and cites various aâdîth regarding the correct age (Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ, 2006: 177, l. 3–180, l. 3/95-97). However, he refuses to give a definite age, but urges to consider the case of each child individually. If the child understands the questions posed to him and can reply to them, he approves listening to adîth even at an age younger than five. If the child (or anyone else) cannot understand the issue, he should not engage in aural transmission, may he be five or fifty (Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ, 2006: 179, l. 9-12/96-97).

32Concerning the studentʼs curriculum Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ formulates precise requirements. The âlib shall start with the two aîân by al-Bukhârî and Muslim and shall then continue with the Sunan by Abû Dâwûd, the Sunan by an-Nasâʾî and the book (sic!), i.e. the Al-jâmiʿ a-aî, by at-Tirmidhî. After consulting the Kitâb as-sunan al-kabîr (The Extensive Book of the Sunnas) by al-Baihaqî the student shall proceed to the rest of the important adîth-works be they musnad-works or muannaf-works. As the most important in each of these two categories Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ mentions the Musnad (the book containing traditions which are traceable to their first authorities) by Aḥmad b. Ḥanbal and the Muwaṭṭaʾ (The Well-trodden Path) by Mâlik b. Anas.

33Furthermore, the student shall devote himself to the ʿilal-works, like Aḥmad b. Ḥanbalʼs Kitâb al-ʿilal (The Book of Defects in adîth) or ad-Dâraquṭnîʼs book with the same title. Then he shall study the books including information on the transmitters (kutub maʿrifat ar-rijâl wa-tawârîkh al-muaddithîn), for example al-Bukhârîʼs Al-taʾrîkh al-kabîr (The Extensive History) or Ibn Abî Ḥâtimʼs Kitâb al-jar wa-ʼt-taʿdîl (The Book of Declaring Unreliable and Setting Right). Finally, the student shall direct his attention to the books on correcting problematic names, like Ibn Mâkûlâʼs Al-ikmâl (The Perfection) (Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ, 2006: 267, l. 4-12/179-179).

  • 26 For the various compositions of the “al-kutub as-sitta” by specific authors see Brown, 2007: 8-9 an (...)

34A short analysis of this list of assignments shows that all major branches within the ʿulûm al-adîth are tackled. In addition, the list proves that by Ibn a-alâʼs time a canon on the most important adîth-works (by al-Bukhârî, Muslim, Abû Dâwûd, an-Nasâʾî and at-Tirmidhî) was already established leading to the later canon of the al-kutub as-sitta.26 Furthermore, each of these branches had one or two major representatives that were widely recognized as eminent works of the field. This curriculum proves that by the time of Ibn a-alâ, the science of adîth included an entirely developed set of sub-sciences.

  • 27 I follow here Dickinsonʼs interpretation of the Arabic text.

35Among the pedagogical advice Ibn a-alâ gives to students of adîth is first of all the admonition to work hard (Ibn a-alâ, 2006: 262, l. 17-18/175). Furthermore, the student shall not only attend lectures in order to hear adîth and write it down, but shall gain knowledge from it27 and understand it. Otherwise he would become a pretender and one of the imperfect imitators (âra min al-mutashabbihîn al-manqûîn; Ibn a-alâ, 2006: 266, l. 17-20/178). To reach this aim, Ibn a-alâ explains, it is helpful for the student to put the aâdîth pertaining to prayer, to the glorification of God (tasbî) and to other religious acts (al-aʿmâl a-âlia) into practice (Ibn a-alâ, 2006: 263, l. 7-8/176). That is, Ibn a-alâ asks the student not only to transmit information about religious duties theoretically but also to live according to them.

  • 28 I take the word ittifâq in the sentence wa-la-yakun al-ittifâq min shaʾnihî (Let consistency be his (...)
  • 29 For this specific definition of mudhâkara which literally means “consultation, learning, memorizing (...)

36Ibn a-alâ also provides special mnemonic-techniques for the student which help memorizing the aâdîth. First, the student shall learn adîth by heart gradually little by little (ʿalâ ʼt-tadrîj qalîlan qalîlan) during several days and nights. Second, the student shall be thorough or exact (itqân) in all of his work.28 Third, an informal exchange of adîth among students (mudhâkara)29 is according to Ibn a-alâ one of the best ways to reach the aim. Fourth, the student shall undertake research on his own whenever he comes across a problematic name for example in the asânîd or a difficult word in the matn. Researching its meaning and memorizing it will increase his knowledge greatly (Ibn a-alâ, 2006: 267, l. 13–268, l. 4/179). Although Ibn a-alâ puts it quite generally, the following fifth pedagogical advice also holds true as a mnemonic-technique: “One of the first benefits in studying adîth is informing someone about [it], i.e. teaching [it] (wa-min auwal fâʾida alab al-adîth al-ifâda)” (Ibn a-alâ, 2006: 264, l. 5-6/179).

37The study of adîth shall begin according to Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ with the best teacher of the student’s own city who teaches the aâdîth with the most elevated isnâd. Again as in the chapter on the âdâb al-muaddith where he said a teacher shall start citing the adîth with the best isnâd, Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ places the highest priority on the isnâd. Apart from the quality of the isnâd a good teacher is assessed by his broad knowledge of adîth (ʿilm), his fame (shuhra), his high rank (sharaf) and other criteria (ghair dhâlika). Then the student shall study with other teachers from within his hometown before he starts travelling in order to hear other famous teachers (Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ, 2006: 262, l. 18-20/175).

38When hearing and writing down books in lectures, the student of adîth shall work with complete books and shall not just select parts of it. However if there are restraints for him in doing so, for example if he cannot stay any longer in the city due to financial problems, the student is allowed to do excerpts provided that he is qualified for this. If he is not qualified he should consult experts who do the excerpts for him. When former adîth scholars did excerpts from their teachers’ books they used to mark the aâdîth which they chose for their excerpts by drawing a sign, like the letter âʾ, above them. Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ does not see a problem in doing so and recommends this approach as well (Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ, 2006: 266, l. 1-17/177-8).

39In compiling excerpts or composing whole books the student of adîth shall according to Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ do this only when he is qualified for it (Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ, 2006: 268, l. 7/179). Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ then gives some principles of arranging (tanîf) a book as further advice for the student. Among them are the main principles of firstly “arranging according to legal topics (tanîf ʿalâ ʼl-abwâb)” – forming so-called muannaf-works – and secondly “arranging according to the musnad, i.e. the collection of the adîth of each companion individually (tanîf ʿalâ ʼl-masânîd wa-jamʿ adîth kull aâbî wadahû)” – forming the so-called musnad-works (Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ, 2006: 268, l. 15-18/179-80). The other principles of arrangement that Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ mentions are too detailed to be included here.

40Whichever principle of arrangement a student of adîth chooses when composing a book, he shall refrain from just collecting large numbers of adîth but shall state the purpose according to which he arranges his material (Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ, 2006: 269, l. 21/181). Finally he shall not only collate the material he wrote down and correct possible mistakes occurring through ink blots (Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ, 2006: 260, l. 2-3/173), but the student of adîth shall before bringing his composition into the public (yukharriju ilâ ʼn-nâs mâ yuannifuhû) polish it, refine and review it (Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ, 2006: 269, l. 24-25/182). With these remarks Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ closes the chapter on the âdâb âlib al-adîth and continues with his explanations on elevated and low asânîd.

41As mentioned above as-Samʿânî also describes the rules of conduct which are appropriate for the student of adîth. Although as-Samʿânî entitled this particular chapter as fal fî âdâb al-kâtib (The Chapter on the Proper Behavior of the Writer of adîth) his first piece of advice already makes clear that he uses kâtib and âlib al-adîth, i.e. student of adîth, synonymously (as-Samʿânî, 1952: 108, l. 14).

42This chapter includes several requirements regarding the student’s outward appearance and his behavior during the majlis (where to sit, the style of sitting, not to sleep, how to address the mumlî and which ink to use). It therefore resembles Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥʼs chapter on the âdâb âlib al-adîth only very slightly.

43Among the similar moral guidelines that as-Samʿânî gives to the student is the requirement of utmost glorification (taʿẓîm) and veneration (tabjîl) of the teacher (as-Samʿânî, 1952: 134, l. 3). Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ also relates this requirement using the second form of the root ʿain - âʾ - mîm. This glorification and veneration shall be expressed according to as-Samʿânî by using honorific addresses like aiyuhâ ʼl-ustâdh (Dear Teacher, lit. Oh Teacher), aiyuhâ ʼl-ʿâlim (Dear Scholar, lit. Oh Scholar) or aiyuhâ ʼl-âfi (Dear Memorizer, lit. Oh Memorizer) (as-Samʿânî, 1952: 136, l. 3-4).

44The statement ascribed to az-Zuhrî according to which the devil will take part in the class when it takes too long, was placed by Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ in the section of moral guidelines for the student. The same adîth is found literally in as-Samʿânîʼs Adab al-imlâʾ and therefore constitutes a further proof for the dependence of both works (as-Samʿânî, 1952: 68, l. 10). As-Samʿânî however does not mention it in the context of the student of adîth but in his chapter about the mumlî explaining that the session of dictation should not be too long. Otherwise the listeners get bored and lose their interest in it. Why Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ arranged this particular adîth differently is difficult to discern.

45As-Samʿânî does not give any further moral guidelines. Also, as-Samʿânî does not recommend a particular curriculum as Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ did. Even the pedagogical advice as-Samʿânî gives is very limited compared with Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ’s. As-Samʿânî demands the student to question the mustamlî in case he could not understand “a letter” or an expression properly (as-Samʿânî, 1952: 106, l. 7-8). This advice was not taken up by Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ. Another issue neglected by Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ, although he mentioned specific marks to be applied to the text, was as-Samʿânîʼs directive to separate every two aâdîth by a circle (dâ’ira) between them (as-Samʿânî, 1952: 173, l. 1-2). The authors agree in demanding the collation of the material that the student has written down (as-Samʿânî, 1952: 77, l. 3-4).

  • 30 For further examples see Ibn a-alâ, 2006: 169, l. 10-11/90; 231, l. 6/144; 275, l. 15-16/186.

46To sum up, it has become clear that Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ knew as-Samʿânîʼs Adab al-imlâʾ when he wrote his Muqaddima. It is not only the information given by Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ on the âdâb al-muaddith and the devil-adîth from az-Zuhrî but in particular his specific remarks on the mustamlî that prove Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥʼs dependence on as-Samʿânîʼs work. Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ may even had an ijâza for as-Samʿânîʼs Adab al-imlâʾ. This is likely since several times in his Muqaddima, once even in the two chapters under discussion here, he states that he had met as-Samʿânîʼs son, Abû ʼl-Muẓaffar, personally in Marw and that Abû ʼl-Muẓaffar transmitted to him (Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ, 2006: 266, l. 21/178).30 Moreover, from one example it can even be concluded that Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ had a written text, most probably as-Samʿânîʼs Adab al-imlâʾ, at hand. There he says “qaraʾtu ʿalâ shaikhinâ ʾal-madhkûr Abî ʼl-Muaffar (I read in the presence of our teacher, the already mentioned Abû ʼl-Muẓaffar)” (Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ, 2006: 275, l. 15-16/186). Because he regarded as-Samʿânî as an authority in the sciences of adîth, Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ bases his remarks on the adab al-muaddith widely, but not exclusively, on as-Samʿânîʼs text.

47Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥʼs citation of the Adab al-imlâʾ furthermore shows that he held at least some of the requirements as-Samʿânî had put forward almost a century earlier in high esteem. What is more, Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ demands that they should still be applied in his own and his students’ generation. It need not be stressed however that all these requirements formulated within the genre of adab al-muaddith have a normative character, i.e. they describe an ideal situation. In a historic session of adîth most likely not all of these requirements were observed. At different geographic localities and in different times some of these demands were followed, whereas others were rejected. However, it is very difficult to depict what a majlis in a certain city actually was like, because our sources do not cover such issues in particular detail.

  • 31 Edited by as-Saiyid Muʿaẓẓam usain Kairo 1937.

48Apart from as-Samʿânîʼs Adab al-imlâʾ Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ may have also utilized other examples of the adab al-muaddith literature. It is reasonable to assume that he knew firstly ar-Râmahurmuzîʼs (d. 360/971) Al-muaddith al-fâil baina ʼr-râwî wa-ʼl-wâʿî (The Transmitter of adîth divided between the one who transmits and the one who remembers), edited by Muḥammad ʿAjjâj al-Khaṭîb (Beirut 1984, first edition Beirut 1971), secondly al-Ḥâkim an-Naysâbûrîʼs (d. 405/1014) work bearing the title Kitâb maʿrifat ʿulûm al-adîth (The Book on the Knowledge about the adîth Sciences)31 and thirdly al-Khaṭîb al-Baghdâdîʼs (d. 463/1071) book entitled Al-jâmiʿ li-akhlâq ar-râwî wa-âdâb as-sâmiʿ (The Collection of Traditions Regarding the Correct Moral Conduct of the Transmitter and the Proper Behavior of the Listener).

49Since it was argued, that in particular al-Ḥâkimʼs Maʿrifa exercised a strong influence on later adîth scholars (Dickinson, 2000: 933; Brown, 2007: 157), I will look into this issue in more detail and comment in the remaining article on this work only.

50When looking at both works, it becomes clear that Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ modeled his Muqaddima after al-Ḥâkim’s Maʿrifa. Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ did not only give his book a similar title, but copied al-Ḥâkim’s arrangement of the book by dividing the Muqaddima into several subsections called nauʿ/pl. anwâʿ (types, categories) (Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ, 2006b: XXIV). Furthermore, al-Ḥâkimʼs Maʿrifa includes technical terms of adîth criticism, evaluations of several aâdîth on the basis of specific criteria, which al-Ḥâkim had introduced into the discussion, and presents various groups of adîth-transmitters (e.g. all transmitters from Syria, Iraq etc. or all mawâlî who transmitted adîth and so forth). Most of these issues are also found in Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ’s Muqaddima.

  • 32 For further examples see al-âkim, 1937: 21, l. 7; 48, l. 16-17; 166, l. 13.

51However, al-âkim’s book does not include a complete chapter either on the proper behavior of the muaddith or of the student. Occasionally al-âkim differentiates between the muaddith, i.e. the one who is giving adîth-lectures, and the âlib al-adîth, i.e. the student of adîth who studies the sciences of adîth (al-âkim, 1937: 15, l. 16, 18). Several times he makes statements relating to their proper behavior: for example, the muaddith is demanded to be righteous (âdiq) and trustworthy (thâbit) (al-âkim, 1937: 14, l. 9). The student of adîth is repeatedly addressed with the phrase mimmâ yatâju/yalzamu âlib al-adîth (what is imperative for the student of adîth), which is followed by a piece of advice given by al-âkim. For example, he asks the student to know the origin of a particular adîth (al-âkim, 1937: 13, l. 17), to question the muaddith’ religious status (al-âkim, 1937: 15, l. 18-19) or to know the different types of halted adîth (al-mauqûfât, al-âkim, 1937: 20, l. 13).32 These are early examples of requirements and advice for students of adîth. Although al-âkim an-Naysâbûrî did not devote a whole chapter to these issues, he indeed appears to have put an emphasis on the proper behavior when transmitting adîth.

52Al-Ḥâkim an-Naysâbûrî not only put an emphasis on issues of adab al-muaddith but was also the main protagonist in the process of canonization of adîth which is still only poorly understood. Jonathan Brown in his excellent study argues that it was mainly due to al-Ḥâkimʼs initiative that al-Bukhârî’s (d. 256/870) and Muslim b. al-Ḥajjâj’s (d. 261/875) aîân gained the status as “a new measure of authenticity for evaluating reports attributed to the Prophet” (Brown, 2007: 6). It was al-Ḥâkimʼs Ḥanbalîte and Shâfiʿîte pupils like al-Wâʾilî (d. 444/1052) and al-Juwainî (d. 478/1085), Imâm al-Ḥaramain, who declared in the fifth/eleventh century an allegedly broad consensus on the aîânʼs reliability. By so doing, these two together with other scholars established the aîân as canonical compilations regarding questions of the Prophetic past (Brown, 2007: 6).

  • 33 For a detailed analysis of the adab al-qâî literature as a literary genre see Schneider, 1990. The (...)
  • 34 For the best translation of the term in the context of the adab al-qâî literature see Schneider, 1 (...)

53This means also that al-âkim not only held major responsibility for the process of canonization of adîth-literature, but indeed paved the way for the establishment of the adab al-muaddith genre. This genre may have had its precursors in previous examples of adab literature within the religious disciplines of scholarship. These precursors could have been the adab al-muftî or the adab al-qâî literature,33 which describe the rules of conduct (Verhaltensregeln)34 of the muftî and the î. Whereas the first was usually part of the uûl al-fiqh works (Krawietz, 1995: 163), the latter was often found in furûʿ works or formed independent works (Krawietz, 1995: 163, n. 8). Schneider dates the beginning of the adab al-qâî literature to the 2nd/8th century (Schneider, 1990: 4), whereas Krawietz unfortunately does not touch upon this issue (Krawietz, 1995: 165). Therefore, simultaneously with the development of the science of law (fiqh) in Islam, or shortly after, a set of regulations was shaped, which commanded the practitioners of law (the îs and muftîs) to behave and practise in a special manner.

54Taking these genres of adab literature as a model, it could be argued that a similar process took place in the science of adîth. Together with the canonization of adîth literature Muslim scholars, in particular al-Ḥâkim an-Naysâbûrî, created rules according to which a muaddith had to teach and a student of adîth had to work while transmitting. Writing down these rules led to the emergence of the adab al-muaddith literature as an entire new genre of scholarly writing.

  • 35 It is probable that al-Khaîb al-Baghdâdîʼs book Al-jâmiʿ is also based on al-âkimʼs precursor. Ho (...)

55Regarding the influence of other works from the disciplines of ʿulûm al-adîth, in particular al-Khaṭîb al-Baghdâdîʼs Al-jâmiʿ, on Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥʼs Muqaddima a lot more research has to be undertaken. It remains a desideratum to show if Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ drew upon these works at all and in case he did to what extent. Such a detailed philological analysis, however, lies beyond the scope of this article. This article tried to show that the Adab al-imlâʾ by as-Samʿânî and Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥʼs Muqaddima, who cited as-Samʿânîʼs work, can be seen as derivations of the early adab al-muaddith genre, which may have been rudimentally established by al-Ḥâkim an-Naysâbûrî.35

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Notes

* I am particularly indebted to Prof. Dr. Sebastian Günther and my colleague Dr. Damien Janos for their thorough reading of an earlier version of this paper. Funded by the German Initiative of Excellence.

1 Citations of the work will refer to both the edition and the translation in the following manner: (Ibn a-alâ, 2006: page number of the edition [= Ibn a-alâ, 2006a]/page number of the translation [= Ibn a-alâ, 2006b]).

2 For further information on Ibn a-alâ see Ibn a-alâ, 2006b: XIV-XXIII. For the underlying Arabic biographical sources see Ibn a-alâ, 2006b: XIV, n. 10.

3 In the following I will use adab al-muaddith as a general term. It comprises rules and regulations of the al-muaddith and the âlib al-adîth (âdâb al-muaddith and âdâb a-âlib).

4 Dickinson translated these chapter headings quite loosely as “Guidelines for the Transmitter of adîth” and “Guidelines for the Student of adîth”.

5 On as-Samʿânî see Sellheim, 1995.

6 For a proper understanding (and hence for a good translation) of the term mustamlî see the discussion below.

7 Fal fî âdâb al-mumlî, Fal fî ‘ittikhâdh al-mustamlî wa-adabihî, Fal fî âdâb al-kâtib.

8 Sessions of dictation are usually rendered as “Diktatkolleg” in German.

9 Ibn a-alâ explicitly states that it is the most elevated form in the eyes of the masses (wa-hâdhâ ʼl-qism arfaʿ al-aqsâm ʿinda ʼl-jamâhîr; Ibn a-alâ, 2006: 181, l. 4-5/97). Later he declares: “It [= the class of dictation] belongs to the highest classes of the transmitters (fa-innahû [= majlis li-imlâʾ al-adîth] min aʿlâ marâtib ar-râwiyîn).” I understand this sentence to signify that the transmission method of imlâʾ is the best way to convey adîth (Ibn a-alâ, 2006: 257, l. 8-9/170, n. 19).

10 Arabic wording: wa-aaḥḥ hâdhihî ʼl-anwâʿ an yumliya ʿalaika wa-taktubahû min laf. Some lines further down as-Samʿânî specifies: “Regarding [the method] according to which the muaddith dictates (amlâ) to you, whereas you write down his articulation, he [= the muaddith] will never get to any form of incorrectness, because he knows what he is dictating and you listen and understand what you are writing” (as-Samʿânî, 1952: 10, l. 20-21).

11 For the introduction, in which as-Samʿânî states that he was asked by a friend to write a book about the proper behavior in dictation and in writing down through dictation (adab al-imlâʾ wa-ʼl-istimlâʾ) and about the rules of conduct of the mumlî and mustamlî which are based on the sunna of the Prophet Muammad, see as-Samʿânî, 1952: 1, l. 4-6. For cross references see for example as-Samʿânî, 1952: 97, l. 7-8.

12 See for example Ibn a-alâ, 2006: 257, l. 9/171.

13 Some of these additional functions in addition to the enumeration of 107 known mustamlîs with their teachers were already described by Weisweiler in his article. See Weisweiler, 1951.

14 For a detailed examination of as-Samʿânî’s description of the adab al-muaddith see Melchert, 2004: 33-44.

15 See as-Samʿânî, 1952: 27, l. 9-16.

16 Pace Dickinson who rendered kharraja with “to bring forth”, it was indicated to me by the reviewer that kharraja means according to Roy Mottahedeh “to quote, publish, or give the isnâd of a adîth”. See Mottahedeh, 1975: 492.

17 Arabic wording: wa-ahamm min dhâlika ʼd-duʿâʾ la-hû ʿinda dhikrihî.

18 Instead of al-ʿawâmm Ibn a-alâ put al-âirîn.

19 Chamberlain argues convincingly in favor of this “ceremonial” view that a majlis had ritual elements and provided baraka to the attendees: “The dars itself was a ritual occasion” (Chamberlain, 1997: 48).

20 I explicitly deviate from Dickinson’s translation here who renders “Whomever you mention or whatever you mention, may God bless you”. In the light of as-Samʿânîʼs full text (see below), this translation makes more sense.

21 The exception regards the fact that by listening to the mustamlî an ijâza is not immediately granted.

22 Further below as-Samʿânî points out that the mustamlî shall have worked already with aâdîth. Otherwise he cannot be sure about errors during his broadcasting (as-Samʿânî, 1952: 95, l. 1-2).

23 There are some more pieces of information as-Samʿânî gives that are lacking in Ibn a-alâʼs Muqaddima. First, the mustamlî has to have a strong voice (as-Samʿânî, 1952: 89, l. 6), second that he has to be chosen from among the audience according to his capability (as-Samʿânî, 1952: 93, l. 15-16), and third if the audience is very big several mustamlîs shall be employed (as-Samʿânî, 1952: 96, l. 3).

24 Chamberlain argues convincingly that the following prescriptions are “means of making young people conscious of themselves within the partly ritualized space around the shaykh” (Chamberlain, 1997: 50).

25 For this translation I am indebted to Dickinson.

26 For the various compositions of the “al-kutub as-sitta” by specific authors see Brown, 2007: 8-9 and note 7.

27 I follow here Dickinsonʼs interpretation of the Arabic text.

28 I take the word ittifâq in the sentence wa-la-yakun al-ittifâq min shaʾnihî (Let consistency be his issue) as a misreading of the word itqân which occurs one line further down and which gives the proper context of the sentence (Ibn a-alâ, 2006: 268, l. 2-3/ 79).

29 For this specific definition of mudhâkara which literally means “consultation, learning, memorizing” see Ahmed, 1969: 595 and 601. According to him the basic purpose of mudhâkara “remained an exchange of information in an informal manner” (Ahmed, 1969: 601). Furthermore, Ahmed gives six particular forms of mudhâkara (taken von al-Khaîb al-Baghdâdîʼs History of Baghdâd (Taʾrîkh Baghdâd)) that resembled adîth competitions on special issues (Ahmed, 1969: 595-6). It is unclear if Ibn a-alâ had one of these forms in mind when talking about mudhâkara.

30 For further examples see Ibn a-alâ, 2006: 169, l. 10-11/90; 231, l. 6/144; 275, l. 15-16/186.

31 Edited by as-Saiyid Muʿaẓẓam usain Kairo 1937.

32 For further examples see al-âkim, 1937: 21, l. 7; 48, l. 16-17; 166, l. 13.

33 For a detailed analysis of the adab al-qâî literature as a literary genre see Schneider, 1990. The adab al-muftî literature has not yet been studied in depth. For an overview of the topic see Krawietz, 1995: 163, n. 7.

34 For the best translation of the term in the context of the adab al-qâî literature see Schneider, 1990: 141-148.

35 It is probable that al-Khaîb al-Baghdâdîʼs book Al-jâmiʿ is also based on al-âkimʼs precursor. However, this hypothesis needs further research.

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Jens Scheiner, « “When the class goes on too long, the Devil takes part in it”: adab al-muaddith according to Ibn aṣ-Ṣalâḥ ash-Shahrazûrî (d. 643/1245) », Revue des mondes musulmans et de la Méditerranée [En ligne], 129 | juillet 2011, mis en ligne le 05 janvier 2012, consulté le 11 décembre 2017. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/remmm/7164

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