Al-Muwatta and the Books of the Four Imams
In this course – the first part of the Bustan al-Muhhaddithin series – students will primarily study the biography of Mālik ibn Anas ibn Mālik al-Asbahī, and analyse and evaluate the methodological framework and the different forms of transmission used in his renowned text: Al-Muwatta.
It is reported that Imam al-Shafi’i said, ‘there is not a single book on the face of the Earth, after the Book of Allah, which is more authentic than the book of Malik’. It is the origin of the other books of hadith, as it is the first that compiled ahadith and narrations in a systematic manner. The narrations were to be used as a manual of fiqh and akhlaq – and this is the model which was further developed by Imams Bukhari, Muslim and others.
The biographies, hadith compilations, and methodologies attributed to Imams Abu Hanifa, Shafi’i, and Ahmad ibn Hanbal will also be looked at, in addition to their most prominent students and transmissions.
Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
- understand the history and development of the hadith science
- gain familiarity with earliest generation of muhhadithin and later hadith specialists
- appreciate the functions of hadith
- demonstrate a profound understanding of the life and times of Imam Malik
- understand the methodological framework used by Imam Malik
- gain a depth and breadth of understanding of the different transmissions of al-Muwatta