Fasting in Islam
Fasting in Islam, is the practice of abstaining from food, drink and sexual activity. The observance of Sawm during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, begins at dawn the next morning up to the sun sets. Ṣawm means "to abstain" in English. The Muslims of Central and South Asia, Iran, India, Bangladesh and use the words roza/rozha/roja/ruza/oruç, which comes from Persian; the Malay community in Malaysia and Singapore call it puasa, derived from Sanskrit, upvaasa. The word puasa is used in Indonesia, Southern Thailand and Southern Philippines. In the Quran, this practice is mentioned. In verse 2:183, it is expressed situations that Muslim is allowed not to fast and introduced alternative solution such as feeding to needy people, it is emphasized in verse 2:196 that it is not necessary for people who are in tripe or sick to be fast. According to verse 5:95 some times fast is the penalty for sin. Muslims are prohibited from drinking from dawn to sunset, it is considered time to begin fasting when a person standing outside can tell a white thread from a black thread, i.e the light of sun rise and the darkness of the night.
Fasting helps Muslims develop self-control, gain a better understanding of God’s gifts and greater compassion towards the deprived. Fasting in Islam involves abstaining from all bodily pleasures between dawn and sunset. All things which are regarded as prohibited is more so in this month, due to its sacredness; each and every moment during the fast, a person suppresses their passions and desires in loving obedience to God. This consciousness of duty and the spirit of patience helps in strengthening one's faith. Fasting helps a person gain self-control. A person who abstains from permissible things like food and drink is to feel conscious of his sins. A heightened sense of spirituality helps break the habits of lying and wasting time. Fasting is viewed as a means of controlling one's desires and focusing more on devoting oneself to God. Many Muslims have had food before the sun rises. Sawm carries a significant spiritual meaning, it teaches one the principle of God Consciousness: because when one observes fasting, it is done out of deep love for God and to learn self-restraint.
As mention in the Quran:"O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous". "The intention means resolving to fast. It is essential to have the intention the night before, night by night, in Ramadaan."To accepting fast, the intention is necessary. Throughout the duration of the fast itself, Muslims will abstain from certain provisions that the Quran has otherwise allowed; this is in addition to the standard obligation observed by Muslims of avoiding that, not permissible under Quranic or shari'a law. Without observing this standard obligation, sawm is rendered useless and is seen as an act of starvation; the fasting should be a motive to be more benevolent to the fellow-creatures. Charity to the poor and needy in this month is one of the most rewardable worships. If one is sick, nursing or travelling, one is considered exempt from fasting. Any fasts broken or missed due to sickness, nursing or traveling must be made up whenever the person is able before the next month of Ramadan.
According to the Quran, for all other cases, not fasting is only permitted when the act is dangerous to one's health - for example, those who are sick, elderly, or on a journey, women who are menstruating, pregnant, or nursing are permitted to break the fast, but this must be made up by paying a fidyah, the iftaar and suhur for a fasting person who requires such financial help. Muslim scholars have stated. However, when a woman's period has ceased, she must continue fasting. Any fasts broken or missed due to menstruation must be made up whenever she can before the next month of Ramadan. Women must fast at times when not menstruating, as the Quran indicates that all religious duties are ordained for both men and women; the reason for this is because the Quran refers to menstruation as "Say: It is a discomfort" According to Nouman Ali Khan an Islamic speaker in the United States the reason for this prohibition is because of the pain associated with it. A Muslim woman may still make dua during this time.
Fasting is obligatory for a person if he or she fulfills five conditions: He or She is a Muslim. He or She is accountable, he or She is able to fast. He or She is settled. There are no impediments to fasting such as sickness, extreme pain from injury, breastfeeding, or pregnancy. During Ramadan, if one unintentionally breaks the fast by eating or drinking they must continue for the rest of the day and the fast remains valid. For those who intentionally break the fast by eating or drinking they have to make up for that by fasting another day. For breaking fast by having sexual intercourse, the consequences are: Free a slave, if, not possible, Fast for two consecutive Hijri months, if that's not possible Feed or clothe sixty people in need. During voluntary fasts, if one unintentionally breaks the fast they may continue for the rest of the day and the fast remains valid. If one intentionally
A combination of Islam and feminism has been advocated as "a feminist discourse and practice articulated within an Islamic paradigm" by Margot Badran in 2002. Islamic feminists ground their arguments in Islam and its teachings, seek the full equality of women and men in the personal and public sphere, can include non-Muslims in the discourse and debate. Islamic feminism is defined by Islamic scholars as being more radical than secular feminism and as being anchored within the discourse of Islam with the Quran as its central text; as a "school of thought", it is said to refer to Moroccan sociologist "Fatema Mernissi and scholars such as Amina Wadud and Leila Ahmed". Advocates refer to the observation that Muslim majority countries produced several female heads of state, prime ministers, state secretaries such as Lala Shovkat of Azerbaijan, Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan, Mame Madior Boye of Senegal, Tansu Çiller of Turkey, Kaqusha Jashari of Kosovo, Megawati Sukarnoputri of Indonesia. In Bangladesh, Khaleda Zia was elected the country's first female prime minister in 1991, served as prime minister until 2009, when she was replaced by Sheikh Hasina, who maintains the prime minister's office at present making Bangladesh the country with the longest continuous female premiership.
There are substantial differences to be noted between the terms'Islamic feminist' and'Islamist'. Any of these terms can be used of women. Islamic feminists interpret the religious texts in a feminist perspective, they can be viewed as a branch of interpreters who ground their arguments in Islam and its teachings, seek the full equality of women and men in the personal and public sphere, can include non-Muslims in the discourse and debate. Islamic feminism is defined by Islamic scholars as being more radical than secular feminism, as being anchored within the discourse of Islam with the Quran as its central text. During recent times, the concept of Islamic feminism has grown further with Islamic groups looking to garner support from many aspects of society. In addition, educated Muslim women are striving to articulate their role in society. Islamists are advocates of political Islam, the notion that the Quran and hadith mandate a caliphate, i.e. an Islamic government. Some Islamists advocate women's rights in the public sphere but do not challenge gender inequality in the personal, private sphere.
Su'ad al-Fatih al-Badawi, a Sudanese academic and Islamist politician, has argued that feminism is incompatible with taqwa, thus Islam and feminism are mutually exclusive. Margot Badran of Georgetown University’s Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding argues that Islam and feminism are not mutually exclusive and that “Islamic feminism, which derives its understanding and mandate from the Qur'an, seeks rights and justice for women, for men, in the totality of their existence. Islamic feminism is both contested and embraced.” During the early days of Islam in the 7th century CE, changes in women's rights affected marriage and inheritance. The Oxford Dictionary of Islam argues for a general improvement of the status of women in Arab societies, including the prohibition of female infanticide, though some historians believe that infanticide was practiced both before and after Islam. Under Islamic law, marriage was no longer viewed as a status but rather as a contract, in which the woman's consent was imperative, either by active consent or silence.
"The dowry regarded as a bride-price paid to the father, became a nuptial gift retained by the wife as part of her personal property". William Montgomery Watt states that Muhammad, in the historical context of his time, can be seen as a figure who testified on behalf of women's rights and improved things considerably. Watt explains: "At the time Islam began, the conditions of women were terrible – they had no right to own property, were supposed to be the property of the man, if the man died everything went to his sons." Muhammad, however, by "instituting rights of property ownership, inheritance and divorce, gave women certain basic safeguards." Haddad and Esposito state that "Muhammad granted women rights and privileges in the sphere of family life, marriage and economic endeavors, rights that help improve women's status in society."Feminist critics of the notion that Islam bettered the status of women include Leila Ahmed, who states that Islamic records show that at least some women in pre-Islamic Arabia inherited wealth, ran businesses, chose their own husbands, worked in respected professions.
Fatima Mernissi argues that customs in pre-Islamic Arabia were more permissive of female sexuality and social independence, not less. Mahood A, Moel J, Hudson C, Leathers L. conducted a study and questioned individual women about how their role as a woman in their religion and if it empowering them in any way, an interviewee states "In Islam and its teachings are capable of giving women an equal footing in society to men, that Islam does not relegate women to the private sphere. I believe some Muslims have distorted our teachings and forgotten our heritage. I believe that Islam can be used as a source of empowerment for women.” Whilst the pre-modern period lacked a formal feminist movement a number of important figures argued for improving women's rights and autonomy. These range from the medieval mystic and philosopher Ibn Arabi, who argued that women could achieve spiritual stations as high as men. In eras, Nana Asma’u, daughter of eighteenth-century reformer Usman Dan Fodio, pushed for literacy and the education of Muslim women.
Wealthy noblewomen funded Islamic religious and learning establishments, though few of those establishments admitted female students
Muhammad in Islam
Muḥammad ibn ʿAbdullāh ibn ʿAbdul-Muṭṭalib ibn Hāshim known as Muhammad, is the last Messenger and Prophet of God in all the main branches of Islam. Muslims believe that the Quran, the central religious text of Islam, was revealed to Muhammad by God, that Muhammad was sent to restore Islam, which they believe to be the unaltered original monotheistic faith of Adam, Musa,'Isa, other Prophets; the religious and political tenets that Muhammad established with the Quran became the foundation of Islam and the Muslim world. Muslims refer to Muhammad as Prophet Muhammad, or just The Prophet or The Messenger, regard him as the greatest of all Prophets, he is seen by the Muslims as a possessor of all virtues. As an act of respect, most Muslims follow the name of Muhammad by the Arabic benediction sallallahu'alayhi wa sallam, sometimes abbreviated as SAW or PBUH; the deeds and sayings in the life of Muhammad – known as Sunnah – are considered a model of the life-style that Muslims are obliged to follow.
Recognizing Muhammad as God's final messenger is one of the central requirements in Islam, laid down in the second part of the Shahada: Lā ilāha illā l-Lāh, Muhammadun Rasūlu l-Lāh. The Quran, in passages such as 3:132, 48:29 and 66:1 uses the words "messenger" and "prophet" (such as ar-Rasūl or Rasūl Allāh for Muhammad, asks people to follow him, so as to become successful in this hayāt and al-Ākhirah. Born about 570 into a respected Qurayshi family of Mecca, Muhammad earned the title "al-Amin". At the age of 40 in 610 CE, Muhammad is said to have received his first verbal revelation in the cave called Hira, the beginning of the descent of the Quran that continued up to the end of his life; because of persecution of the newly converted Muslims, upon the invitation of a delegation from Medina and his followers migrated to Medina in 622 CE, an event known as the Hijrah. A turning point in Muhammad's life, this Hegira marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar. In Medina, Muhammad sketched out the Constitution of Medina specifying the rights of and relations among the various existing communities there, formed an independent community, managed to establish the first Islamic state.
Despite the ongoing hostility of the Meccans, along with his followers, took control of Mecca in 630 CE, ordered the destruction of all pagan idols. In years in Medina, Muhammad unified the different tribes of Arabia under Islam, carried out social and religious reforms. By the time he died in 632 all the tribes of the Arabian Peninsula had converted to Islam; the Quran enumerates little about Muhammad's early life or other biographic details, but it talks about his prophetic mission, his moral excellence, theological issues regarding Muhammad. According to the Quran, Muhammad is the last in a chain of prophets sent by God. Throughout the Quran, Muhammad is referred to as "Messenger", "Messenger of God", "Prophet"; some of such verses are 2:101, 2:143, 2:151, 3:32, 3:81, 3:144, 3:164, 4:79-80, 5:15, 5:41, 7:157, 8:01, 9:3, 33:40, 48:29, 66:09. Other terms are used, including "Warner", "bearer of glad tidings", the "one who invites people to a Single God"; the Quran asserts that Muhammad was a man who possessed the highest moral excellence, that God made him a good example or a "goodly model" for Muslims to follow.
The Quran disclaims any superhuman characteristics for Muhammad, but describes him in terms of positive human qualities. In several verses, the Quran crystallizes Muhammad's relation to humanity. According to the Quran, God sent Muhammad with truth, as a blessing to the whole world. In Islamic tradition, this means that God sent Muhammad with his message to humanity the following of which will give people salvation in the afterlife, it is Muhammad's teachings and the purity of his personal life alone which keep alive the worship of God on this world; the Quran categorizes some theological issues regarding Muhammad. The most important among them is the edict to follow the teachings of Muhammad; the Quran commands people to "follow God and his Messenger" in verses including 3:31-32, 3:132, 4:59, 4:69. Muhammad, the son of'Abdullah ibn'Abd al-Muttalib ibn Hashim and his young wife Aminah, was born in 570 CE in the city of Mecca in the Arabian Peninsula, he was a member of the family of Banu Hashim, a respected branch of the prestigious and influential Quraysh tribe.
It is said that'Abd al-Muttalib named the child "Muhammad". Muhammad was orphaned; some months before the birth of Muhammad, his father died near Medina on a mercantile expedition to Syria. When Muhammad was six, he accompanied his mother Amina on her visit to Medina to visit her late husband's tomb. While returning to Mecca, Amina died at a desolate place called Abwa, about half-way to Mecca, was buried there. Muhammad was now taken in by his paternal grandfather Abd al-Muttalib, who himself died when Muhammad was eight, leaving him in the care of his unc
The Hajj is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the holiest city for Muslims, a mandatory religious duty for Muslims that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by all adult Muslims who are physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey, can support their family during their absence. Speaking, Hajj means heading to a place for the sake of visiting. In Islamic terminology, Hajj is a pilgrimage made to Kaaba, the ‘House of God’, in the sacred city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia; the rites of Hajj, which according to Islam go back to the time of Prophet Abraham who re-built Kaaba after it had been first built by Prophet Adam, are performed over five or six days, beginning on the eighth and ending on the thirteenth day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the last month of the Islamic calendar. It is one of the five pillars of Islam, alongside Shahadah, Salat and Sawm; the Hajj is the second largest annual gathering of Muslims in the world, after the Arba'een Pilgrimage in Karbala, Iraq.
The state of being physically and financially capable of performing the Hajj is called istita'ah, a Muslim who fulfils this condition is called a mustati. The Hajj is a demonstration of the solidarity of the Muslim people, their submission to God; the word Hajj means "to attend a journey", which connotes both the outward act of a journey and the inward act of intentions. The pilgrimage occurs from the last month of the Islamic calendar; because the Islamic calendar is lunar and the Islamic year is about eleven days shorter than the Gregorian year, the Gregorian date of Hajj changes from year to year. Ihram is the name given to the special spiritual state in which pilgrims wear two white sheets of seamless cloth and abstain from certain actions; the Hajj is associated with the life of Islamic prophet Muhammad from the 7th century, but the ritual of pilgrimage to Mecca is considered by Muslims to stretch back thousands of years to the time of Abraham. During Hajj, pilgrims join processions of hundreds of thousands of people, who converge on Mecca for the week of the Hajj, perform a series of rituals: each person walks counter-clockwise seven times around the Kaaba, runs back and forth between the hills of Safa and Marwah, drinks from the Zamzam Well, goes to the plains of Mount Arafat to stand in vigil, spends a night in the plain of Muzdalifa, performs symbolic stoning of the devil by throwing stones at three pillars.
After the sacrifice of their animal, the Pilgrims are required to shave their head. They celebrate the three-day global festival of Eid al-Adha. Pilgrims can go to Mecca to perform the rituals at other times of the year; this is sometimes called the "lesser pilgrimage", or ‘Umrah. However if they choose to perform the Umrah, they are still obligated to perform the Hajj at some other point in their lifetime if they have the means to do so, because Umrah is not a substitute for Hajj. In 2017, the number of pilgrims coming from outside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to perform hajj was reported as 1,752,014 and 600,108 Saudi Arabian residents bringing the total number of pilgrims to 2,352,122; the word in Arabic: حج comes from the Hebrew: חג ḥag, which means "holiday", from the triliteral Semitic root ח-ג-ג. The meaning of the verb is "to circle, to go around". Judaism uses circumambulation in the Hakafot ritual during Hoshanah Rabbah at the end of the Festival of Sukkot and on Simchat Torah. From this custom, the root was borrowed for the familiar meaning of holiday and festivity.
In the Temple, every festival would bring a sacrificial feast. In Islam, the person who commits the Hajj to Mecca has to turn around the Kaaba and to offer sacrifices; the present pattern of Hajj was established by Muhammad. However, according to the Quran, elements of Hajj trace back to the time of Abraham. According to Islamic tradition, Abraham was ordered by God to leave his wife Hajara and his son Ishmael alone in the desert of ancient Mecca. In search of water, Hajara ran seven times between the two hills of Safa and Marwah but found none. Returning in despair to Ishmael, she saw the baby scratching the ground with his leg and a water fountain sprang forth underneath his foot. Abraham was commanded to build the Kaaba and to invite people to perform pilgrimage there; the Quran refers to these incidents in verses 2:124-127 and 22:27-30. It is said that the archangel Gabriel brought the Black Stone from Heaven to be attached to the Kaaba. In pre-Islamic Arabia, a time known as jahiliyyah, the Kaaba became surrounded by pagan idols.
In 630 CE, Muhammad led his followers from Medina to Mecca, cleansed the Kaaba by destroying all the pagan idols, reconsecrated the building to Allah. In 632 CE, Muhammad performed his only and last pilgrimage with a large number of followers, instructed them on the rites of Hajj, it was from this point. During the medieval times, pilgrims would gather in big cities of Syria and Iraq to go to Mecca in groups and caravans comprising tens of thousands of pilgrims under state patronage. Hajj caravans with the advent of the Mamluk Sultanate and its successor, the Ottoman Empire, were escorted by a military force accompanied by physicians under the command of an amir al-hajj; this was done in order to protect the caravan from Bedouin robbers or natural hazards, a
Ḥadīth in Islam are the record of the words and silent approval, traditionally attributed to the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Within Islam the authority of hadith as a source for religious law and moral guidance ranks second only to that of the Quran. Quranic verses enjoin Muslims to emulate Muhammad and obey his judgments, providing scriptural authority for hadith. While the number of verses pertaining to law in the Quran is few, hadiths give direction on everything from details of religious obligations, to the correct forms of salutations and the importance of benevolence to slaves, thus the "great bulk" of the rules of Sharia are derived from ahadith, rather than the Quran.Ḥadith is the Arabic word for speech, account, narrative. Unlike the Quran, not all Muslims believe. Hadiths were not written down by Muhammad's followers after his death but several generations when they were collected and compiled into a great corpus of Islamic literature. Different collections of hadith would come to differentiate the different branches of the Islamic faith.
A small minority of Muslims called. Because some ahadith include questionable and contradictory statements, the authentication of ahadith became a major field of study in Islam. In its classic form a hadith has two parts — the chain of narrators who have transmitted the report, the main text of the report. Individual hadith are classified by Muslim clerics and jurists into categories such as sahih, hasan or da'if. However, different groups and different scholars may classify a hadith differently. Among some scholars of Sunni Islam, the term hadith may include not only the supposed words, practices, etc. of Muhammad, but those of his companions. In Shia Islam, hadith is the embodiment of the sunnah, the words and actions of the Prophet and his family the Ahl al-Bayt. In Arabic, the noun ḥadīth means "report", "account", or "narrative", its Arabic plural is aḥādīth. Hadith refers to the speech of a person. In Islamic terminology, according to Juan Campo, the term hadith refers to reports of statements or actions of Muhammad, or of his tacit approval or criticism of something said or done in his presence.
Classical hadith specialist Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani says that the intended meaning of hadith in religious tradition is something attributed to Muhammad but, not found in the Quran. Scholar Patricia Crone includes reports by others than Muhammad in her definition of hadith: "short reports recording what an early figure, such as a companion of the prophet or Mohammed himself, said or did on a particular occasion, prefixed by a chain of transmitters", but she adds that "nowadays, hadith always means hadith from Mohammed himself."Other associated words possess similar meanings including: khabar refers to reports about Muhammad, but sometimes refers to traditions about his companions and their successors from the following generation. However, according to the Shia Islam Ahlul Bayt Digital Library Project, "... when there is no clear Qur’anic statement, nor is there a Hadith upon which Muslim schools have agreed.... Shi’a... refer to Ahlul-Bayt for deriving the Sunnah of Prophet." This means that in Shia Islam, the sunnah draws on the sayings and deeds of the Ahl al-Bayt, i.e. the Imams.
The word sunnah is used in reference to a normative custom of Muhammad or the early Muslim community. Joseph Schacht describes hadith as providing "the documentation" of the sunnah. Another source distinguishes between the two saying: Whereas the'Hadith' is an oral communication, derived from the Prophet or his teachings, the'Sunna' signifies the prevailing customs of a particular community or people.... A'Sunna' is a practice, passed on by a community from generation to generation en masse, whereas the Ahadith are reports collected by compilers centuries removed from the source.... A practice, contained within the Hadith may well be regarded as Sunna, but it is not necessary that a Sunna would have a supporting hadith sanctioning it; some sources limit hadith to verbal reports, with the deeds of Muhammad and reports about his companions being part of the sunnah, but not hadith. Joseph Schacht quotes a hadith by Muhammad, used "to justify reference" in Islamic law to the companions of Muhammad as religious authorities — "My companions are like lodestars."
According to Schacht, in the first generations after the death of Muhammad, use of hadith from Sahabah and Tabi‘un "was the rule", while use of hadith of Muhammad himself by Muslims was "the exception". Schacht credits Al-Shafi‘i — founder of the Shafi'i school of fiqh — with establishing the principle of the use of the ahadith of the Muhammad for Islami
History of Islam
The history of Islam concerns the political, social and developments of the Islamic civilization. Despite concerns about the reliability of early sources, most historians believe that Islam originated in Mecca and Medina at the start of the 7th century 600 years after the founding of Christianity. Muslims, believe that it did not start with Muhammad, but that it was the original faith of others whom they regard as prophets, such as Jesus, Moses, Abraham and Adam. In 610 CE, Muhammad began receiving. Muhammad's message won over a handful of followers and was met with increasing opposition from Meccan notables. In 618, after he lost protection with the death of his influential uncle Abu Talib, Muhammad migrated to the city of Yathrib. With Muhammad's death in 632, disagreement broke out over who would succeed him as leader of the Muslim community. By the 8th century, the Islamic empire extended from Iberia in the west to the Indus River in the east. Polities such as those ruled by the Umayyads, Abbasids and Mamluks were among the most influential powers in the world.
The Islamic Golden Age gave rise to many centers of culture and science and produced notable astronomers, mathematicians and philosophers during the Middle Ages. In the early 13th century, the Delhi Sultanate took over the northern parts of the Indian subcontinent. In the 13th and 14th centuries, destructive Mongol invasions and those of Tamerlane from the East, along with the loss of population in the Black Death weakened the traditional centers of the Islamic world, stretching from Persia to Egypt. Islamic Iberia was conquered by Christian forces during the Reconquista. Nonetheless, in the Early Modern period, the Ottomans, the Safavids, the Mughals were able to create new world powers again. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, most parts of the Muslim world fell under the influence or direct control of European "Great Powers." Their efforts to win independence and build modern nation states over the course of the last two centuries continue to reverberate to the present day. The following timeline can serve as a rough visual guide to the most important polities in the Islamic world prior to the First World War.
It covers major historical centers of power and culture, including Arabia, Persia, Egypt, Maghreb, al-Andalus, Transoxania and Anatolia. It is an approximation, since rule over some regions was sometimes divided among different centers of power, authority in larger polities was distributed among several dynasties. For example, during the stages of the Abbasid Caliphate the capital city of Baghdad was ruled by other dynasties such as the Buyyids and the Seljuks, while the Ottomans delegated executive authority over outlying provinces to local potentates, such as the Deys of Algiers, the Beys of Tunis, the Mamluks of Iraq. Dates are approximate, consult particular articles for details; the study of the earliest periods in Islamic history is made difficult by a lack of sources. For example, the most important historiographical source for the origins of Islam is the work of al-Tabari. While al-Tabari was an excellent historian by the standards of his time and place, use of his work as a source is problematic for two reasons.
For one, his style of historical writing permitted liberal use of mythical, stereotyped and polemical presentations of its subject matter. Second, al-Tabari's descriptions of the beginning of Islam post-date the events by a large amount of time, al-Tabari having died in 923. Differing views about how to deal with the available sources has led to the development of four different approaches to the history of early Islam. All four methods have some level of support today; the descriptive method uses the outlines of Islamic traditions, while being adjusted for the stories of miracles and faith-centred claims within those sources. Edward Gibbon and Gustav Weil represent some of the first historians following the descriptive method. On the source critical method, a comparison of all the sources is sought in order to identify which informants to the sources are weak and thereby distinguish spurious material; the work of William Montgomery Watt and that of Wilferd Madelung are two source critical examples.
On the tradition critical method, the sources are believed to be based on oral traditions with unclear origins and transmission history, so are treated cautiously. Ignaz Goldziher was the pioneer of the tradition critical method, Uri Rubin gives a contemporary example; the skeptical method doubts nearly all of the material in the traditional sources, regarding any possible historical core as too difficult to decipher from distorted and fabricated material. An early example of the skeptical method was the work of John Wansbrough. Nowadays, the popularity of the different methods employed varies on the scope of the works under consideration. For overview treatments of the history of early Islam, the descriptive approach is more popular. For scholars who look at the beginnings of Islam in depth, the source critical and tradition critical methods are more followed. After the 8th century, the quality of sources improves; those sources which treated earlier times with a large temporal and cultural gap now begin to give accounts which are more contemporaneous, the quality of genre of available historical accounts improves, new documentary sources—such as official documents and poetry—