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Introduction to Hadith and Isnad


Course Overview

This course provides an overview of the hadith sciences. It introduces the subject of hadith as a source of Islamic law and offers a history of its development and taxonomy, and how they were compiled and recorded through chains of narrations. The course touches upon the most famous hadith collections and the compilers behind these works, such as Imam Malik, Imam Ahmad, Imam Bukhari, and Imam Muslim. The second part of the unit focuses on the rigorous scientific methods employed in evaluating isnad (chains of narration).

الإِسْنَادُ مِنَ الدِّينِ وَلَوْلاَ الإِسْنَادُ لَقَالَ مَنْ شَاءَ مَا شَاءَ

“The isnad is from the religion; were it not for the isnad anyone could say anything they wanted.”
[Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak in Sahih Muslim]


This introductory course introduces the development of the science of hadith narration; from the origins of reporting hadith to a detailed exposition of isnad evaluation (chains of narration).


Learning Objectives

  • Upon successful completion of this module students should be able to:
  • Understand the historical development of the reporting and narrating hadith
  • Accurately describe the science of hadith classification (mustalah)
  • Accurately describe the science of isnad criticism and knowledge of biographies (‘ilm al-rijal)

Course Reviews


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  1. Impressed


    Great!! So informative

  2. A great introduction!


    This course introduces hadith studies as a science which can be systematically learnt and taught. The recording of hadith is clearly approved by the Prophet himself especially when the Companions are able to differentiate between Quran and hadith.

    Firstly, we need to understand the terms used in this science such as the definitions of Sunnah and Hadith. Sunnah refers to the practices of the Prophet saw. Hadith refers to the reporting of hadith.

    Secondly, we need to understand the two basic parts of a hadith; the Sanad and the Matn. The Sanad refers to the source of hadith while the Matn refers to the text of the hadith.

    Thirdly, we need to know the important names of narrators among the Companions, the Followers and the following generations of hadith scholars who continue to learn, teach and discuss hadith.



    Great course.. extremely useful points

  4. Good overview


    This brief intro to the science of hadith and isnad will help students to understand the depth of knowledge required to further their studies in this discipline.

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