This paper examines ways in which Muslims authenticate revelation and tradition through the isnad chains attached to hadith and through the inimitability of the Qur’an. The study of isnad chains and the study of inimitability differ in obvious ways, but are both complex, highly developed fields in the study of Islam. The studies of these authentication methods have developed over time since at least the ninth century. Ultimately, although isnād chains have been studied from historical perspectives and inimitability from literary perspectives, these systems of validating revelation and tradition derive their power from Allah himself, through popular faith in the basic tenets of Islam.
"A Task of Faith and Logic: Authenticating Revelation and Tradition,"
Macalester Islam Journal:
3, Article 9.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.macalester.edu/islam/vol2/iss3/9