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Riyadh as-Salihin and The Sciences of Hadith


This course is a study of Imam Nawawi’s famous hadith compilation Riyadh al-Salihin. The focus of the course is to give students exposure to a corpus of narrations essential for their spiritual development and pertinent to their daily lives. The course will focus on detailed study of selected chapters where students will be expected to memorise, translate, linguistically analyse the narrations studied. Emphasis will be placed on contextualising the narrations, attempting to synthesise and apply the narrations to our daily lives. There will also be a word by word study of each narration ensuring that each and every narration is understood properly (dirayah).
 
 
Along with the study of the hadith, the sciences related to hadith will also be covered. The idea is to give students an introductory understanding of how hadith operates. 


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Riyadh as-Salihin and The Sciences of Hadith


Brief description This course is a study of Imam Nawawi’s famous hadith compilation Riyadh al-Salihin. The focus of the course is to give students exposure to a corpus of narrations essential for their spiritual development and pertinent to their daily lives. The course will focus on detailed study of selected chapters where students will be expected to memorise, translate, linguistically analyse the narrations studied. Emphasis will be placed on contextualising the narrations, attempting to synthesise and apply the narrations to our daily lives. There will also be a word by word study of each narration ensuring that each and every narration is understood properly (dirayah).
 
 
Along with the study of the hadith, the sciences related to hadith will also be covered. The idea is to give students an introductory understanding of how hadith operates. 
 
 
Prerequisites
 
Students must complete the Arabic Intensive programme or its equivalent, or demonstrate equivalent knowledge and skills. 
 
Students should be able to understand the lessons being taught in the medium of Arabic. 
 
 
Recommended prior study
 
Having a good understanding and comprehension of the Arabic language is required for this course. Exposure to any hadith literature is highly recommended.
 
 
Duration
 
75 hours
 
 
Context
 
This will be the second hadith text to be taught. Unlike the first text zad al-talibeen the narrations in Riyadh al-Salihin are laid out according to relevant chapter heading pertaining to everyday Muslim life as opposed to be laid out according to Arabic language structures. Hence the focus here is not only to give exposure to hadith literature styles but rather to nurture the prophetic lifestyle in students. The narrations in Riyadh al-Salihin cover a wide array of styles of narrations sometimes including extremely long narrations where only one line directly correlates to the chapter heading. This in turn provides students with the context to many narrations and also enables one to understand how different lessons can be derived from one single narration.
 
 
Content summary
 
Introduction:
 
- Historical context in which the text and the relevance of this particular text in relation to the larger texts of hadith available.
- Brief biography of the author and the purpose behind his compilation.
- Understand the thought process and methodology of Imam al-Nawawi.
 
Riyadh al-Salihin:
 
- Introduction (شرح المقدمة) 
- Chapter of sincerity  (باب الإِخلاصِ وإحضار النيَّة في جميع الأعمال والأقوال والأحوال البارزة والخفيَّة)
o Detailed study of the narration “Actions are by their intentions”
o Understanding sincerity and its true application in different contexts.
o Comprehending what رياء means.
- The chapter of repentance (باب التوبة).
- The chapter of patience (باب الصبر).
- The chapter of truthfulness (باب الصدق)
 
Riyadh al-Salihin:
 
- The chapter of watchfulness (باب المراقبة).
- The chapter of piety (باب التقوى).
- The chapter of firm belief and reliance (باب اليقين والتوكل).
- The chapter of steadfastness (باب الاستقامة).
- The chapter of reflection (باب في التفَكُّر في عظيم مخلوقات الله تَعَالَى وفناء الدنيا وأهوال الآخرة وسائر أمورهما وتقصير النفس وتهذيبها وحملها عَلَى الاستقامة)
 
Riyadh al-Salihin:
 
- The chapter of hastening towards good deeds (باب في المبادرة إلى الخيرات وحثَّ من توجَّه لخير على الإِقبال عليه بالجدِّ من غير تردَّد)
- The chapter of striving (باب المجاهدة).
- The chapter of urging towards increasing good deed (بابُ الحثِّ عَلَى الازدياد من الخير في أواخِر العُمر)
- The chapter of the numerous ways of doing good deeds (باب في بَيان كثرةِ طرق الخير)
- The chapter of moderation in worship (باب في الاقتصاد في العبادة).
 
Selective chapters related to Ramadhan.
 
Along with the above chapters of hadith, the following topics of the sciences of hadith will be covered:
 
Hadith categories according to the number of people narrating it; Khabar Wahid, Mash’hoor, Mutawatir, Azeez, Ghareeb; Categories of Hadith based on continuous connection of narrators; Muttasil, Munqati, Mursal, Mu’allaq, Tadlis; Types of Hadith based on acceptance; Sahih, Hasan, Da’eef.
 
The breakdown of the course over the 12 weeks is as follows:
 The definition of usul al-hadith, the importance of usul al-hadith, historical view about usul al-hadith from the time of the companions till the time of documentation.
 
The types of hadith considering the otter:
 
1-      Hadith qudsi
2-      Hadith nabawi
3-      Hadith mawqoof
4-      Hadith maqtu`
 
The types of hadith considering the numbers of the narrators:
 
1- Hadith mutawaatir (many chains), the number of narrators to be mutawaatir, hadith mutawaatir is clear cut, examples about hadith mutawaatir, the most famous books about hadith mutawaatir.
2- Hadith aahad (single report), the types of hadith aahad; hadith mashhoor, hadith mutadafir, hadith aziz, hadith gharib. 
 
The authority of hadith aahad, the evidences for the authority of hadith aahad.
 
The types of hadith considering the authentic:
 
1-      Hadith saheeh (strong), conditions of hadith sahih, examples about hadith sahih, the most famous books about hadith sahih.
2-      Hadith hasan (acceptable), conditions of hasan, examples of hasan, the most famous books about hasan.
3-       Hadith Da`if (weak), the types of da`if, the opinions of the scholars about da`if, the most famus books abut da`if.
 
Hadith maudhu (fabricated), the reasons for fabrication, how maudhu be recocnised, examples about maudhu, the most famous books about maudhu.
 
The types of hadith which is common between sahih, hasan, and da`if, such as hadith musalsal, hadith musnad, etc.
 
The types of hadith studies:
 
1- The biography of the narrators: how a sahabi is recognised, the concept of all the companions are trustworthy, the most famous books about sahabah, the followers, the followers of the followers.
2- The hadith with strange meaning: examples and the most famous books.
3- The abrogate and the abrogated hadith: examples and the most famous books.
4- The cause of hadith: the importance of this knowledge, examples and the most famous books.
 
The eight ways of learning hadith and the way of delivering hadith.
The titles of the scholars of hadith.
The most famous scholars of hadith.
 
The journey for seeking hadith. The journey for seeking one hadith only in the time of sahabah and after them.
 
The argument about writing hadith: in the time of sahabah and after them, the opinions of the scholars about writing hadith.
 
And finally about studying the hadith, and our duties towards the hadiths of the Prophet (SAW).
 
 
Learning outcomes
 
Ability to:
 
- Read and translate all narrations and verses studied.
- Practically relate all the narrations to daily life.
- Memorise all the small narrations (approx five lines long). 
 
 
Teaching and learning
 
Staff/Student contact time: 40%
Student private study: 60%
 
 
Assessment
 
- End of module exam (written) – contributes 30% to the final grade.
- End of year synoptic exam (written) - contributes 70% to the final grade.
 
 
Indicative resources and further reading
 
Daleel al-Faliheen, ibn ‘Allaan
Sharh Riyaadh al-Saliheen, Uthaymeen
Nuzhatu al-muttaqeen, 
Bahjatu al-Nazhireen, Saleem al-Hilaali
 
Kamali, Mohammad Hashim,  A Textbook of Hadith Studies: Authenticity, Compilation, Classification and Criticism of Hadith

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