Introduction to Hadith
Abd al-Hadi al-Fadli
Including Dirayat al-Hadith
Translated by Nazmina Virjee
Published by the Islamic College for Advanced Studies (ICAS),
133 High Road
London NW10 2SW
The study of the origins, development and criticism of Hadith Literature, as we have it today, is essential in determining the extensive source of information about the history of pre-Islamic Arabia, early Islam, the development of Arabic literature and Islamic Law, as well as serving as a source of legislation for the Muslim world. The science is also very useful in providing insight into the thought processes and endeavours of Islamic scholars, as well as to the many key theological, political and cultural movements that developed throughout the ages.
It treats the subject of Hadith from all its different perspectives, such as the historical beginnings of the science, the onset of Hadith literature, compilation of Hadith works, the terminology and methodology within the science itself, authenticity and weakness of traditions, and the whole phenomenon of fabrication, to mention but a few of the topics elaborated in this work. The views of both classical as well as modern scholars are portrayed, resulting in an effective overview of the science of Hadith.
This same publication also includes a translation of the oldest Shi‘a Ithna ‘Ashari text written on the science and contextual study of Hadith – Dirayat al-Hadith – by the renowned tenth-century scholar and jurist al-Shahid al-Thani. This is a short treatise on the science of Hadith, which although brief in length, was a pioneering and essential work of its time, by virtue of which this science came to be recorded in the first place, and which paved the way for all other works to come.
Al-Shahid al-Thani was born in 911 AH and executed in 966 AH. He was dedicated to Islamic scholarship, devoting his life to the study of jurisprudence, philosophy, medicine and astronomy. His most famous work is the commentary on al-Lum'a, still a part of the curriculum in almost every Shi‘i educational institution