Orientalist Dr. Harold Motzki takes ‘Qur’an-Only’ Religion to task

And do not mix the truth with falsehood or conceal the truth while you know it. (Qur’an 2:42)

Recently I did a review of  Dr. Jonathan Browns’ book here:


I mentioned in that review the following concerning Dr. Brown’s book:

The section “Western debates over historical reliability” is an absolutely essential read for those highly critical of the hadith literature.

Especially the section on ‘Western Evaluation.

Where he quotes from the works of Nabia Abbott, David Powers, Fred Donner, and Harold Motzki all who do not dismiss the hadith literature outright.

These are the names of scholars, that those people who reject the hadith in totality would prefer you do not know about.

In fact, one of the claims by people who reject the hadith in total is that that textual hadith came along some 250-300 years after the Blessed Messenger (saw).

Here is a German orientalist Dr. Harald Motzki who takes the followers of the ‘Qur’an only’ Religion to task for this assertion.

The following entry is a must-read for anyone who holds the assertion of textual hadith coming some 250-300 years after the Blessed Messenger (saw).


I have yet to see anyone from the ‘Qur’an Only’ movement interact with any of Dr. Motzki’s material in any way at all.

Of course one can with ease dismiss the claims of traditionalists who uphold all the ‘sahih‘ or sound hadith at all cost.  However, such an assertion cannot be so easily made against those who are not-yet-Muslim and have no real vested faith interest in upholding traditionalist claims.

This is worth a read if we are looking at being fair and honest.

Again, I feel that the Prima-Qur’an approach is a middle ground between rejecting the traditions in their entirety; and accepting the traditions in their entirety.

“The Musannaf of Abd alRazzaq alSanani as a Source of Authentic Ahadith of the First Century A.H.” – by Harald Motzki


2 responses to “Orientalist Dr. Harold Motzki takes ‘Qur’an-Only’ Religion to task

  1. tsanar

    What methodology did Motski use to date musannaf? Looking through this article in scribd, I did not find any link to the results of radiocarbon analysis. Or do you simply propose to follow speculative conclusions of Motski built purely on the metaphysical bias whithout reffering to any empirical evidence?

    • Your sarcasm aside what is the process of radiocarbon analysis that you personally use?

      Or am I to assume that you simply rely upon the findings of others?

      Let’s say for example that Motzki put radiocarbon dating up as part of his claim what personal methods do you personally use to verify this?

      Likewise what methods were employed by Joseph Schacht, or Herbert Berg?

      Same question applies how would you personally verify the methodology?

      Likewise do you find that a person’s worldview may colour their research?

      I find it fascinating that Motzki who is not a Muslim came to very different conclusions than many of the Anti hadith crowd.

      Certainly has to be unsettling for them.

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