The Life and Works of Abū al-Ḥusayn ʿAbd al-Bāqī b. Qāniʿ

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Pavel Pavlovitch



ʿAbd al-Bāqī b. Qāniʿ (d . 351/962) was a traditionist and evaluator of transmitters, one of the founders of the genre of biographical dictionaries devoted to the Com- panions of the Prophet. Ibn Qāniʿ has not attracted much attention from scholars— only Khalīl Qūtlāy has authored a doctoral dissertation, now published in fifteen volumes, that comprises Ibn Qāniʿ’s Muʿjam al-ṣaḥāba . In this essay I argue that Ibn Qāniʿ and his contemporaries relied on the chains of hadith transmission to extract the names of many Companions . My research also shows that in the eighth/ fourteenth century at least two presently lost biographical collections associated with Ibn Qāniʿ were in circulation: Kitāb al-Wafayāt, a catalogue of death dates of hadith transmitters, and Kitāb al-Tārīkh, an annalistic collection, which included many assessments of transmitter reliability. Ibn Qāniʿ’s unsophisticated methods of hadith criticism, although in line with third/ninth- and early fourth/tenth-century scholarly developments, incurred him some criticism from later hadith scholars .

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