Hadith Interpretation from Andalusia to South Asia | Joel Blecher

E 401 | Since the early centuries of Islam, Muslims have put tremendous effort into knowing and verifying reports of what the Prophet Mohammad said and did, known as hadith. They have written books collecting hadith, and even longer books explaining what they mean and how they should inform Muslim life. However, these books emerged (and continue to emerge) from a vibrant oral culture of hadith commentary. In this episode, Joel Blecher brings to life many sessions of hadith commentary from three different contexts: classical al-Andalus, Mamluk Egypt and modern India. Blecher tells us of al-Baji, who stirred up controversy in a quiet seaside town of Spain, of ibn Hajar's spontaneous poetic polemics at the Mamluk court, and of how al-Maqsari witnessed the Prophet in attendance in a hadith commentary session in Yemen. Concluding with modern Indian scholars' comments on British colonial officials, Blecher reflects on the way hadith commentary has always been a site of politics as well as piety. See more at: https://www.ottomanhistorypodcast.com/2019/02/hadith-commentary-joel-blecher.html Joel Blecher is an Assistant Professor of History at George Washington University, in Washington D.C., and the author of Said the Prophet of God: Hadith Commentary across a Millennium (University of California, 2018). He is writing his second book on Islam and the Spice Trade, supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Shireen Hamza is a doctoral candidate in the History of Science department at Harvard University. Her research focuses on the history of medical exchange in the medieval Indian Ocean world. She is also the managing editor of the Journal of Middle East Women's Studies. Chris Gratien is Assistant Professor of History at University of Virginia, where he teaches classes on global environmental history and the Middle East. He is currently preparing a monograph about the environmental history of the Cilicia region of the former Ottoman Empire from the 1850s until the 1950s. CREDITS Episode No. 401 Release Date: 10 February 2019 Recording Location: Washington D.C. Audio editing by Shireen Hamza Music: The Overseas Ensemble Images and bibliography courtesy of Joel Blecher Available at: https://www.ottomanhistorypodcast.com/2019/02/hadith-commentary-joel-blecher.html

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