catechisms

Discussion in 'Tarikh' started by abu Hasan, Nov 12, 2020.

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  1. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    here are two relatively recent islamic catechisms in the modern QA format in arabic:

    al-ajwibah al-jaliyyah an al-as'ilah al-diniyah written in 1328 AH by shaykh muhammad ibn abdullah al-jurdani al-shafiyi al-dimyati.

    jawahir al-kalamiyyah by shaykh tahir al-jaza'iri [d. 1338 AH]

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    the book hamara islam is mostly a catechism in urdu by a sunni scholar

    in the book kitab al-aqa'id of sadru'l afadil mawlana sayyid nayimuddin muradabadi we have Q/A.

    anwar e shariat by mufti jalaluddin amjadi is also in Q/A format.

    [pls add to the list]

    (and there are others by deobandis, wahabis, albani etc. which we can ignore).


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    there is one ajwibah khafifah by a turkish hanafi-maturidi scholar which can be found here:
    https://tinyurl.com/yyx424ol
     
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  2. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    the didache is considered as the earliest surviving catechism. even though the date of its composition is claimed to be the first century (CE), the earliest surviving manuscript is from 1050.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Didache

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    didache.png
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    here is the complete text in translation: https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0714.htm


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    my point is that our aqidah texts - which can also be described as catechism according to the dictionary are OLDER than the christian manuscripts.

    apart from the authenticity of the text, the NUMBER of such manuals or texts (of christianity) are only a few in number until the 19th century.

    whereas our imams compiled treatises on creed - the books on tawhid and/or aqidah - in the 8th century (CE).

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    christians and the west 'discovered' these sciences and 'methods' only later. for example, the earliest useable and commonly available dictionaries were compiled by muslims/arabs. but they are mentioned in passing. take lexicology for example:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lexicography
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ladislav_Zgusta

    whereas both the disciplines - practical and theoretical were common among muslims by the 2-3rd century AH corresponding to 9-10th century CE.

    muslims were proficient in the analysis of language, etymologies, etc far earlier than western civilization woke up to these sciences.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dictionary

    Allah knows best.
     
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  3. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    if you consider catechism as a manual of instruction (not specifically the Q/A format), even then imam azam's works are the earliest catechisms in islam and among the earliest that we know of.

    fiqh al-akbar for example.
     
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  4. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    here is the brittanica article on catechism.

    https://www.britannica.com/topic/catechism

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    the word can broadly refer to a religious manual of instruction, it is commonly known in its question/answer format. the three earliest christian scholars cyril, augstine and chrysostom mentioned in the article did not seem to have a Q/A format.

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    however, western histories routinely ignore non-christian and eastern scholars. be it known that imam abu hanifah raDi'Allahu anhu wrote one of the earliest - and should be considered as the oldest known catechism.

    his al-alim wa'l muta'allim is in the Q/A format.

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    just sayin'

    wAllahu a'alam.
     
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