Contrary to popular opinion, the bulk of Islamic law does not come from the Qur’an but rather from hadith, first-hand reports of the prophet Muhammad’s words and deeds, passed from generation to generation. However, with varying accounts often only committed to paper a century after the death of Muhammad, Islamic scholars, past and present, have been faced with complex questions of historical authenticity. Informative and accessible, this wide-ranging introduction provides a detailed exploration of the collection and criticism of hadith and examines the controversy surrounding its role in modern Islam. Complete with a glossary, extensive bibliography, and helpful diagrams, “Hadith: An Introduction” is perfectly suited to students, scholars, and the general reader interested in this critical element of Islam.
About the Author
Jonathan A.C. Brown is Assistant Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies, University of Washington, Seattle. He is the author of Muhammad: A Very Short Introduction.