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Level 1: Ḥadīth and Rijāl Studies is a Course

Level 1: Ḥadīth and Rijāl Studies

Time limit: 365 days
10 credits

£400 Enrol

Full course description

As a registered charity, we charge course fees to cover our running costs. However, we aim to make our education accessible to as many people as possible and are therefore able to offer a 65% fee waiver. To make use of this fee waiver, please use the code AMI65 when purchasing your courses.

Students in need of further financial assistance should contact the education team at to enquire about the possibility of further fee waivers. 


The first part of this course focuses on Ḥadīth studies (ʿilm al-ḥadīth), looking at the subject matter of this discipline, its objectives, benefits, and the origin and historical development of it. It will introduce the students to the four periods of compilation of Ḥadīth and the circumstances which led to the development of each stage until the time of the authors of the canonical texts. It will introduce students many of the main topics in Ḥadīth studies and the terminology used. It will also demonstrate the link and relationship between Ḥadīth studies and other disciplines in Islamic studies more broadly.

The second part of this course deals with biographical studies (ʿilm al-rijāl), a discipline whereby the authenticity of narrations through an analysis of the narrators is established. This course begins by defining the discipline, provides an overview of its subject matter, its objectives, its benefits, and its origin and historical development. It will also link the study of rijāl with other disciplines in Islamic studies and explain their mutual relationship, especially with Ḥadīth studies and Islamic History. This course will ensure that students have the skills to independently verify the authenticity of traditions according to the criteria and methodology established in disciplines.


Lesson Breakdown

Lesson 1      Introduction to Ḥadīth studies

Lesson 2      The earliest sources of Ḥadīth

Lesson 3      The phases of major Ḥadīth collections

Lesson 4      Categorisation of reports – mutawātir (lafẓī and maʿnawī)

Lesson 5      Categorisation of reports – khabar wāḥid 

Lesson 6      Fabricated reports

Lesson 7      Introduction to ʿilm al-rijāl

Lesson 8      Measuring the reporter's competence (ṣaḥīḥ, ḥasan, muwaththaq, ḍaʿīf)

Lesson 9      A critical study of rijāl literature

Lesson 10    Ascertaining reliability and weakness in narrators

Lesson 11    Manner of receiving and transmitting reports

Lesson 12    Rehabilitating weak reports

Lesson 13    The Qurʾanists; Orientalist treatment of Ḥadīth

Lesson 14    Revision


Hours of Study

13 hours


Assessment Method

Written exam (60%)

Essay (40%)


Course Instructors

Nazmina Dhanji (Lecturer)


Mahdiyah Jaffer (Tutor)

Mahdiyah Jaffer completed an LLB in Law at the University of Birmingham. She then undertook seminary studies at the Al-Mahdi Institute between 2011 and 2015 and went on to complete an LLM in Health, Bioethics and Law at the University of Birmingham and a MRes at Royal Holloway, University of London where she conducted research on organ donation in Shīʿī jurisprudence. Mahdiyah’s interest in issues related to bioethics has seen her publish a chapter on the organ dontation in an edited volume and convene an international conference on organ donation in Muslim thought at AMI. The proceedings from this conference will be published later this year by Lexington Books in a peer-reviewed, edited volume entitled Organ Donation in Islam: The Interplay of Jurisprudence, Ethics, and Society, edited by Mahdiyah, Aasim I. Padela, and Gurch Randhawa. Mahdiyah is currently a Research Coordinator at AMI where she oversees research into Islamic ethics. She also runs tutorials for students taking courses in Ḥadīth and Rijāl Studies and Qurʾanic Studies.