New Publication by Mathieu Tillier

If you have not read the latest article by Mathieu Tillier and you’d be happy to practice your French, I highly recommend you

Vers une nouvelle méthode de datation du hadith : les invocations à Dieu dans les inscriptions épigraphiques et dans la sunna.

Mathieu Tillier has gathered a corpus of epigraphic invocations (duʿāʾ) which he compares with invocation formulae contained in ḥadīth narratives. He covers the first three centuries of Islamic history and anaylses in details what he has coined the “prophetisation” of ḥadīth narratives, whereby formulae attributed to anonymous figure slowly become the saying of companions, successors and finally Muḥammad. His comparative approach, in which he combines lexical and textual analysis, allows him to uncover the rare formulae that could be traced back to the first century of the Islamic era and were preserved untouched in the literature. His scrupulous comparison also highlights the evolution of the different phenomena observed regarding the formulae that remained untouched, those which were attributed to non-prophetic figures and finally the ones which were ‘prophetised’, i.e. attributed to the Prophet Muḥammad. It is to be hoped that this well-documented work will inspire more similar interdisciplinary studies and help us understand better the ḥadīth literature in its historical context.

New Publication by Mehmetcan Akpinar

The latest article by Mehmetcan Akpinar has just been published. You can visit his academia page to discover

Medinan Scholars on the Move: Professional Mobility at the Umayyad Court

a refined analysis of scholars’ interaction with the ruling elites during the Umayyad period. By following two Medinan scholars, Mehmetcan Akpinar investigates the personal and professional motivations behind the scholars’ movements and their services to the authorities of their time. He compares their respective ascensions and the various stages which led to their prominent and influential positions at the Damascene court. In the differences that distinguish the careers of these two scholars, one is made to observe the interests of the Umayyad court and the subtle ways it fulfilled its particular needs. Through the combination of a wide range of sources and the detailed exploration of their correlations, the reader gains a new outlook on this complex period and the understudied relationships between the rulers and the scholars of that time.

Akpinar, Mehmetcan. “Medinan Scholars on the Move: Professional Mobility at the Umayyad Court.” In: El Merheb, Mohamad and Berriah, Mehdi. Professional Mobility in Islamic Societies (7000-1750). Leiden/Boston, 2021, 15-39.


New publication by Omar Anchassi

The latest article by Omar Anchassi (University of Edinburgh) has just been published by Islamic Law and Society.

Status Distinctions and Sartorial Difference: Slavery, Sexual Ethics, and the Social Logic of Veiling in Islamic Law

is a brilliant and comprehensive analysis of a ḥadīth about the need for distinction in clothing between free and enslaved women according to ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb and its various versions. Following the contextual interpretations of all these narratives in the fiqh and tafsīr literature, Omar Anchassi gives us the key to understand the different Islamic conceptions of sexual ethics and their evolution. The article is not only an important contribution to the field it is also extremely well written and hence a real pleasure to read.

Anchassi, Omar. ” Status Distinctions and Sartorial Difference: Slavery, Sexual Ethics, and the Social Logic of Veiling in Islamic Law”, Islamic Law and Society (published online ahead of print 2021).

Recent publication by Hossam Ouf

Dear Colleagues in Hadith Studies,

I would like to share with you the latest publication of our colleague, Hossam Ouf: Muʿtaziliten und Hadith. Zur Konzeption einer traditional-rationalen Hadith-Kritik anhand des Werkes „Qabūl al-aḫbār wama ʿrifat ar-riğāl“ von Abū l-Qāsim al-Kaʿbī al-Balḫī.

The paper is accessible on the author’s academia profile.

Recent publication by Ruggero Vimercati Sanseverino

Dear Colleagues in Hadith Studies,

I would like to share with you the latest publication of our colleague, Ruggero Vimercati Sanseverino, Transmission, Ethos and Authority in Hadith Scholarship: A reading of al-Qāḍī ʿIyāḍ’s (476-544/1083-1149) handbook of hadith science “The Elucidation of the principles of transmission and of the transcription of audition”. The paper is accessible on academia and you will find the abstract below.


In a historical situation marked by the upcoming of divergent figures of religious authority in the Islamic West of the 6th/12th century, the influential Moroccan scholar al-Qāḍī ʿIyāḍ al-Yaḥṣūbī (476-544/1083-1149) authored manual of hadith sciences, the al-ʿIlmāʿ ilā maʿrifat uṣūl al-riwāya wa taqyīd al-samāʿ (The elucidation of the principles of transmission and of the transcription of auditon). The Elucidation is one of the referential texts on the science of hadith in the Sunni tradition and, despite its being the first work of its kind in the Maghreb, it has not yet been the object of academic study in any European language. This study interrogates the text about its conception of the authority of hadith in order to allow for an interpretative reading of its view of hadith transmission. It proceeds by distinguishing five thematical sections in the text concerning respectively the epistemological foundation of hadith transmission, its functional purpose, the techniques and conditions of its authoritativeness and the significance of its ethos. Besides aiming at clarifying the question of the authority of hadith and some of its implications, a further purpose of this study is to present a so far neglected aspect of al-Qāḍī ʿIyāḍ’s scholarship.

Recent publication by and interview with Joel Blecher

Dear Colleagues in Hadith Studies,
I was recently interviewed by Shireen Hamza (Harvard) and Chris Gratien (University of Virginia) on the Ottoman History Podcast about my recent book, Said the Prophet of God: Hadith Commentary across a Millennium.
Please find a link to hour-long episode and a selected bibliography here:
“In this episode, Joel Blecher brings to life many sessions of hadith commentary from three different contexts: classical al-Andalus, Mamluk Egypt and modern India. Blecher tells us of al-Baji, who stirred up controversy in a quiet seaside town of Spain, of Ibn’s Hajar’s spontaneous poetic polemics at the Mamluk court, and of how al-Maqsari witnessed the Prophet in attendance in a hadith commentary session in Yemen. Concluding with modern Indian scholars’ comments on British colonial officials, Blecher reflects on the way hadith commentary has always been a site of politics as well as piety.”
Please listen and share widely!
All the best,