There so many hadiths (quotes) and riwayahs (anecdotes) about the life of Muhammad the prophet or messenger who brought Islam.

I have heard more than 200,000 hadiths exist, sahih(authentic) and not sahih. Many anecdotes with exceptional details of his life and the life of his companions exist. by the way I also know the number of hadiths with repetition are mentioned up to 1 million

For example, there are books which just one of them is something like 110 volumes.

All I have said so far is just for the sake of giving you an estimate of the volume I intend to know about and regardless of the exact numbers being correct or not.

Is there any other period of history in other parts of the world with a similar volume of details in history, I meant how many pages of books maybe are written for documenting the history in that period? obviously I'm not talking about the current era and I want the period to be until the printing was invented?


1 Answer 1


It is a safe bet that China was more thoroughly documented

When Muhammed was allegedly alive, the Tang dynasty ruled over a population of more than fifty million people. A truly astonishing amount of paperwork was involved in this ruling process, and while much of it has been lost, an enormous volume remains.

The Diamond Sutra, the oldest-surviving woodblock printed book, dates from that era, and there were extensive records kept of property, trade, ownership, and legal obligations. There were star charts. Maps. Treatises.

Paper was just being adopted in the middle east around the time that Muhammed was supposed to have lived, but it had been in use in the Chinese civil service and public life for five hundred years at that point. If you have an easy, relatively cheap (compared to parchment or papyrus) material to write on, you do a lot more writing.

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    @FarhangAmaji - Modern, or contemporary? In the modern era, tens of thousands of books have been written documenting the Tang dynasty. At the time, probably a few tens of millions of pages?
    – jdunlop
    Commented Nov 10, 2021 at 23:16
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    @FarhangAmaji - for reference, my local library (the one down the block) has 146 books on Tang Dynasty history alone.
    – jdunlop
    Commented Nov 10, 2021 at 23:18
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    Documents from that era were so numerous that they were not widely collated. The details on the various rulers of the era (particularly Wu Zetian) were so comprehensive that they included things like a special "cooling room" with mechanical fans and fountains built into the palace for hot summer days. Every official wrote hundreds or thousands of pages, and the Imperial civil service numbered tens of thousands of officials. Many thousands of documents survive from the era, as opposed to the Hadith, where the earliest known copies date from a hundred years afterwards.
    – jdunlop
    Commented Nov 10, 2021 at 23:39
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    The Romans made extensive records too. "One of the greatest innovations of the ancient Romans was the collection of governmental documents in archives. Tax records, records of land ownership, public decrees, and many other documents were carefully recorded on papyrus, vellum, and parchment. These were stored away but when the Roman way of life began to crumble most of the ancient archives were plundered, destroyed, or allowed to rot away. Today only a small percentage of Roman documents still exist." Commented Nov 12, 2021 at 8:35
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    @FarhangAmaji That just means you haven't thought through the question well enough before asking. Commented Nov 18, 2021 at 16:49

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