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Said the Prophet of GodHadith Commentary across a Millennium$
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Joel Blecher

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780520295933

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520295933.001.0001

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Oratory in the Shade of the Sultan’s Garden

Oratory in the Shade of the Sultan’s Garden

(p.80) Chapter 5 Oratory in the Shade of the Sultan’s Garden
Said the Prophet of God

Joel Blecher

University of California Press

The first part of this chapter builds on the previous two by showing how commentators attacked one another not only from the safety of their written texts but also face to face, during commentary sessions on the canonical hadith compilation Sahih al-Bukhari in the presence of the political and judicial elite at the citadel during Ramadan. That commentary was delivered live meant that performances of memory worked alongside markers of ethnicity, including fashion and elocution, to persuade diverse audiences of one’s power within the scholarly scene and one’s faithfulness to the Prophet’s example. The second part of this chapter analyzes a rare episode of debate in the sultan’s garden over fruit and sweets, which was preserved both in the chronicles as well commentaries. By juxtaposing accounts of the live commentary with the text of the written commentary, this chapter makes visible the political and social conditions that make a commentary possible without losing sight of what normative commitments and beliefs were of grave concern in determining the meaning and application of these texts.

Keywords:   Sahih al-Bukhari, Ramadan, live commentary, citadel, sultan, normative commitments

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