Level 4

Credit 15

Term 1


 Description of the module:

This module focuses on the science of Hadith (Ulum al-hadith). The module will explore the importance and the development of Ḥadīth in Islam .  It will examine Hadith criticism with regards to both sanad and matn to establish the authenticity of Ḥadīth.  It surveys the terminology, authority, origins, formation, collections, criticism and classifications of Ḥadith in both Sunni and Shi‘i traditions. It will further explore legal and theological significance of Ḥadith and its use by the Sufis.


Assessment methods

This module is assessed by a combination of a critical review and an essay:

Coursework Assignment 1: critical review

Word limit: 1500 words

Critically review the article about  ḥadīth in Encyclopaedia of Islam 2nd edition

        End of year Assignment 2:  Essay

Word limit: 2000 words

      ‘Textual criticism of ḥadīth  (naqd al-matn) played a minor role in ḥadīth criticism’, discuss.

      (Further bibliography will be given about this topic)

Lectures’ schedule:

1- Introduction: Basic terms (ḥadiīh, sunna, athar and khabar)

Reading: Brown, chapter 1

2- Reception and documentation

Reading: Kamali, chapter 2 & 3

3- Al-Jarḥ wa al-ta ‘dīl

Reading : Kamali, chapter 8

4- Classification of ḥadiīh I

Reading:  Kamali, Chapter 15

5- Classification of ḥadiīh II

Reading:  Kamali, Chapter 16

6- Textual criticism: matn

Brown chapter 3

7- Hadith in Shi‘ism

Brown, chapter 4

8- Theological significance of ḥadīth

Reading: Brown, chapter 6

9- Legal significance of ḥadiīh

Reading: Brown, chapter 5

10- The use of ḥadiīh in Sufism

Reading: Brown, chapter 7

11- Summary and conclusion


Required texts

Brown, J, Hadith: Muhammad’s Legacy in the Medieval and Modern World (Clarendon Press, 2009).

Kamali, M, H, A Textbook of Hadith Studies (The Islamic Foundation, Leicester, 2005).


Azami, M. M., Studies in early Hadith literature (Indianapolis: American Trust Publications, 1978).

___________, On Schacht’s “Origins of Muhammadan Jurisprudence” (ITS, Cambridge, 1996).

—————-, Studies in Hadith Methodology and Literature (American Trust Publication, 1992).

Brown, Daniel W. Rethinking Tradition in Modern Islamic Thought. Cambridge 1996.

Burton, J., Introduction to the tradition (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2000). Guillaume, A., The Traditions of Islam (Beirut: Khayyat, 1961).

Juynboll, G. H. A., Muslim tradition: studies in chronology, provenance and authorship of early

Hadith (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983).

Motzki, H., The origins of Islamic jurisprudence (E.J. Brill, 2002).

____________, (ed.) Hadith: Formation of the Classical Islamic World (Brill, 2004).

Harald Motzki, Nicolet Boekhoff-van der Voort and Sean W. Anthony (eds.) Analysing Muslim Traditions (Brill, 2012).

Rahman, F.,  Islamic Methodology in History. Karachi, 1965.

Al Shahrazuri, I.S, (trans.) Dickinson, E., An Introduction to the Science of Hadith, (Reading: Garnet Publishing, 2006).

Siddiqi, M. Z., Hadith literature: its origin, development, special features and criticism (Cambridge: Islamic     Texts Society, 1993).

Taqi Uthmani, M.  Authority of Hadith (Kitab Bhavan, Delhi)