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Sulwaan School (Online - y)

February 1, 2013


(مدرسةُ السلوان)

Hadīth & Applied Interpretation of Texts

Instructor: Ahmad ‘Alī al-‘Adanī
Course Format: 12 downloadable sessions; 2 live sessions
Starts On: 20 May 2013
Length: 12 weeks
Course ID: UH/2013
Faculty: Hadīth
Division: Sciences of hadīth, General hadīth knowledge, Interpretation and application of the texts of the Law


“A creatively designed guide to our hadīth-literature which allows participants to see it as if from within, coupled with a unique crash course on how the textual authorities of the Law were assimilated and enacted”

This course, which is run only once annually, enables participants to perceive a vivid picture of the Prophetic hadīth in its historical development, in all its main fields of inquiry, and in its connection with how rulings are extracted from it and how our life as Muslims is tangibly guided by it.

It includes specific sections on hadīth in the Islamic West.
It is complemented by a 3-week crash course on how the Lawgiver’s texts have been understood and applied to solve societal issues and tackle novel phenomena during the first three generations; the middle period; and the present age.
To our best knowledge, nothing even similar to it is available to English-speaking seekers of knowledge.

This course begins with the distinction between sunnah and hadīth, and confers understanding on why Islamic Law is not merely listening to an English translation of one hadīth and acting upon its literal meaning.
Participants in this course take a promenade through a lovely virtual meadow where all main species of hadīth flowers are observed, scented and gently plucked by teacher and students alike; and they then visit the adjacent garden of texts of the Law and how to invest them with meaning and problem-solving capability. While the approach to extract juristic solutions from texts is examined historically, from the era of the Companions to the current age, it is always connected to identifying how best to practice the Dīn in real life.

Lesson 1

•    Prefatory words on the course
•    The distinction between sunnah and hadīth
•    How the sunnah was preserved; early recording of hadīth

Lesson 2

•    The emergence of the regional schools of hadīth: In the Hijāz, ‘Irāq, Greater Syria, Egypt

Lesson 3

•    The beginning of systematic recording of hadīth, from Mālik’s Muwatta’ onwards

Lesson 4

•    Sciences of hadīth: Gharīb, mushkil, mukhtalif. Examples from the literature on that and connection of them to concrete rulings of the Law  

Lesson 5

•    Sciences of hadīth: Precise classification and the art of terminology, from “authentic” to “forged” (with illustrations)
•    The expansion into vast encyclopedias of hadīth (with illustrations)

Lesson 6

•    Sciences of hadīth: Critical examination of hadīth-narrators (with illustrations)
•    Critical examination of transmission-paths of hadīth (with illustrations)

Lesson 7

•    The contributions to hadīth sciences by scholars of the Islamic West: a) Al-Andalus (Islamic Iberia)
•    The contributions to hadīth sciences by scholars of the Islamic West: b) North Africa and Mauritania

Lesson 8

•    The contributions to hadīth sciences by scholars of the Islamic West: b) North Africa and Mauritania (Continued)
•    Female hadīth-scholars

Lesson 9

•    Understanding the Prophetic hadīth, its qualitative rank and probative strength by comparing it to the Book, the practice of the Predecessors, the context etc

Lesson 10

•    How the Companions delved into the texts of the Law and ordered Islamic life by reading-them-out

Lesson 11

•    How the Followers built on that and extracted further guidance from the texts
•    How the age of the mujtahid Imams extended cultivation of knowledge of the Law’s textual authorities

Lesson 12

•    How the texts of the Law were harnessed during the later epochs of traditional Islam
•    How the textual authorities of Islam are comprehended and put to use in the present times, including the excessive approaches in this field

Requirements & Prerequisites

Having a desire to truthfully learn and act.


The 2 live sessions are held after the 4th and the 8th lessons. If participants so desire, a third live session can be held in Ramadān after the 12th and last lesson.


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