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.