Author: Torsten Wollina

Let’s talk survival bias

How many manuscript copies were produced of any given texts? How many were circulating at any given …

An ijāza for Ibn Mufliḥ

Akmal al-Dīn, a scion of the prominent Ḥanbalī Ibn Mufliḥ family, was mentioned here several times b…

Ijāzas or Samāʿāt?

Almost a year ago, I first wrote about Ibn Ṭūlūn’s teaching certificates (ijāzāt) and made a s…

Ijāzas or Samāʿāt?

Almost a year ago, I first wrote about Ibn Ṭūlūn’s teaching certificates (ij…

Biography of a Crustacian

Sometimes, I just wish I could follow all those leads that Ibn Ṭūlūn has dispersed amongst his many …

Teaching ḥadīth: Ibn Ṭūlūn and the Thulāthiyyāt genre

This week I return to Garret Davidson’s dissertation on post-canonical ḥadīth transmission. Davidson offers a wonderful overview of the genres involved in establishing elevated, i.e. short, chains of transmission and the status that these brought for people who had access to them. While these genres could amount to very different…

A whole Majmūʿa copied? MS Majāmīʿ 315

In March, I returned to the Dār al-Kutub in Cairo and spent a whole week with their collection. Ibn Ṭūlūn’s name pops up very often in the different collections of the Dār al-Kutub. The earliest acquisitions are certainly found in the Taymūriyya Library, whereas the general collection seems to have…

“Speed reading” of hadith

I have recently been reading Garrett Davidson’s exciting PhD thesis “Carrying on the Tradition: An Intellectual and Social History of Post-Canonical Hadith Transmission“. It attempts – very successfully – a reassessment of the methods, purposes, and underlying logic of hadith transmission once the canon was fixed with the compilation of…