Short Course: Introduction to Ḥadīth Sciences (Summer 2018)

As the Orientalist and civil servant Sir William Muir (1819–1905) served in India for the British government, it was not long before he realized the significance of Prophet Muhammad’s (p) sunnah for the day-to-day practice of Islam for the Muslims. Much of the sunnah is derived from the ḥadīth literature which constitutes one of the most significant bodies of work within the vast sea of Islamic disciplines. The majority of Muslims since the rise of Islam have relied heavily on aḥadīth to acquire religious knowledge pertaining to different aspects of their lives, be it theology, jurisprudence or ethics. 

As such, 8 online sessions are being offered via Skype to introduce students to the development of ḥadīth sciences within a Shī’ī Imāmī context. By the end of the sessions, a student would ideally be acquainted with the basic discussions and sub-discussions that take place within Shī’ī Imāmī ḥadīth discourse. Please note, these lessons will be introductory in nature and if one already has a decent grasp of the subject it is advised they do not signup.

There will also be an opportunity for questions and answers.

Fees: The course is being offered for $10 USD and payments can be made through Paypal – if you are in Canada and want to pay through Interac, please send payments to and as well as send the details of the security question & answer on that e-mail. Deadline to sign up is July 14th, 2018.

When making the payment, please mention your name and e-mail address so that the private link to the Skype conversation can be sent to you.

Timing: The 60-minute sessions will take place on Sundays, via Skype. My personal suggestion for time is 12 PM EDT (Toronto), which is 5 PM EST (London). They will be recorded so those who paid but missed a session for whatever reason, can access it later.

Course Outline

Session 1: July 15, 2018

  • Definition, Significance & Branches
  • Brief History of Development & Compilation
  • Role of the Shī‘a in Ḥadīth Development

Session 2: July 22, 2018

  • Major Books of Ḥadīth
  • Akhbārī & Uṣūlī Views on Ḥadīth Books

Session 3: July 29, 2018

  • ‘Ilm al-Rijāl

Session 4: August 5, 2018

  • ‘Ilm al-Dirāyah

Session 5: August 12, 2018

  • Fiqh al-Ḥadīth

Session 6: August 19, 2018

  • Fiqh al-Ḥadīth – Case Studies

Session 7: August 26, 2018

  • Muslim “Reformists” and Ḥadīth

Session 8: September 2, 2018

  • Orientalists and Ḥadīth Studies

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