Methodologies of Hadith

Subject 110-481 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbookSearch for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Undergraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2008:

Semester 2, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable


Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2-hour seminar per week
Total Time Commitment: .
Prerequisites: Admission to the Master of Islamic Studies (coursework and minor thesis), Honours or Postgraduate Diploma in Islamic Studies, or permission of the coordinator
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: .
Non Allowed Subjects: .
Core Participation Requirements: .


Prof A Saeed & Dr A S Abdullah
Subject Overview:

This subject will survey the development of Hadith literature from its earliest times exploring the methodologies of scholars of Hadith and their ways of dealing with the Sunnah of the Prophet. It will elaborate on salient features of these methodologies covering their differences (al-Mufaraqat) and agreements (al-Muwafaqat). It will explore the definition of Sunnah according to traditionists (Muhaddithun), jurists (Fuqaha`) and theologians (Mutakallimun). The subject will also explore: the authority of the Sunnah and its necessity; arguments and evidences to prove authority of the Sunnah; and doubts concerning the authority of the Sunnah by groups opposed to the Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama'ah (mainstream Sunni orthodoxy), such as the Shiites, Mu'tazilites and the Kharijites. It will furthermore critically evaluate the scepticism over the authority and viability of the Sunnah by Western scholars, such as Goldziher, Schacht and the likes. It will similarly make a critical assessment of the critical studies of the works of Western scholars by Muslim scholars in their defenses to the authenticity and the actual position of Hadith as the second source of Divine message. The subject will also cover the issue of Khabar al-Ahad ('singular narration'); its definition, meaning and arguments pertaining to its acceptance and rejection; the relationship between Sunnah and Quran; the issue concerning abrogation between the Quran and Sunnah; and other related issues. The course will explore the strengths and weaknesses of major hadith collections, and undertake critical analyses of selected texts.

Assessment: A essay of 5000 words 100% (examination period)
Prescribed Texts: Materials supplied by the Institute
Recommended Texts:


Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • analyse and systematically evaluate complex cultural phenomena through examination of primary texts;

  • develop the concepts, analytical approaches and evaluative thinking for problem solving;

  • employ textual evidence in constructing scholarly argumentation.


Previously available as 110-557 Methodology of Hadith. Students who have completed 110-557 are not eligible to enrol in this subject. Subject will be taught intensively between 9th and 15th of July 2008.

Related Course(s): Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (Islamic Studies)

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