Qur'an and Hadith Studies Part A

Key information

Start date
End date
Year of study
Year 1 or Year 2
Term 1
Module code
FHEQ Level

Module overview

The Qur’an serves not only as the foundational text of Islam, but also as the pre-eminent literary masterpiece of the Arabic language. With the aim of situating the text of the Qur’an within its historical and literary contexts, Part A of this module is aggregated around a percipient gauging of the discourses dominating the academic study of the Qur’an. Broaching the study of the text through a critical array of Arabic primary sources, the subjects and themes covered in the module include the Qur'an's language, structure, and composition; and thematic content. Additionally, a representative sample of the texts and treatises produced within the confines of the commentary tradition is also examined. The study of the materials of hadith features in Part B of this module.



Given that this is essentially a text-based module, it is expected that students should be able to read and comprehend classical Arabic material.


Objectives and learning outcomes of the module


  1. Situate the Qur'an within its historical context and setting
  2. Identify and gauge the distinct compositional and thematic elements of the Qur'an
  3. Appreciate the Qur'an's dynamic impact as a literary text across a range of classical intellectual discourses
  4. Acquire a critical awareness of the scholarly debates and discussions which have informed the academic study of the Qur'an
  5. Develop critical tools for the advanced study of Arabic Islamic literary materials




Total of 10 weeks teaching with 2 hours classroom contact per week consisting of a 1 hour lecture and a 1 hour seminar.


Scope and syllabus


Selected topics include:

  1. Introducing scholarly discussions on the nature of the Qur'an with reference to the doctrine of the text's inimitability
  2. Thematic and stylistic features of the Qur'an: the application of Makkan and Madinan paradigms
  3. Juridical elements in the Qur'an: the interplay which defines non-legal materials in the Qur'an and the juridical elements contained therein
  4. The Concept of naskh and its historical development
  5. The Function of Qasas (stories) in the Qur'an; similarities and differences between Biblical sources and the Qur’an regarding the Story of Joseph
  6. Discourses surrounding the concept of coherence and its historical development


Method of assessment


  • One 3000-word essay submitted Term 2 (100%)
  • The exact assessment deadline dates are published on the relevant module Moodle/BLE page


Suggested reading

Suggested reading

Basic bibliography:

  • Abdul-Raof, Hussein, Schools of Qur’anic Exegesis. Genesis and Development. London, Routledge, 2010
  • Arberry, A,. The Koran interpreted (London: George Allen Urwin, 1980).
  • Awwa, Salwa Muhammad, Textual Relations in the Qur”An: Relevance, Coherence and Structure. London: Routledge, 2006.
  • Bell, R., Introduction to the Qur'an, revised by Watt, W. M., Islamic Surveys (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1997).
  • Berg, H., The Development of exegesis in early Islam: the authenticity of Muslim literature from the formative period (London: Curzon Press, 2000).
  • Boullata, I. J., Literary structures of religious meaning in the Qur'an (London: Curzon Press, 2000).
  • Burton, J., The Collection of the Qur'an (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977).
  • Draz, M. A, Introduction to the Qur’an. London: I.B. Tauris, 2000.
  • Haleem, M. A., Understanding the Qur'an: themes and style (London: I. B. Tauris, 1999).
  • Hawting, G., Sharif, A., Approaches to the Qur'an (London: Routledge, 1993).
  • Imam, A. A., The variant readings of the Quran (Virginia: International Institute of Islamic Thought: 1998).
  • Kinberg, Naphtali Studies in the linguistic structure of classical Arabic, edited by Leah Kinberg and Kees Versteegh. (Leiden: Brill, 2001).
  • Lawrence, Bruce, The Qura’n: A Biography. London: Atlantic Books, 2006.
  • McAuliffe, Jane (Ed.), The Encyclopaedia of the Qur’an, Leiden: E.J. Brill.
  • McAuliffe, Jane, Cambridge Companion to the Qur’an. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006.
  • Rippin, A., Approaches to the history of the interpretation of the Qur'an (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988).
  • Robinson, Neal, Discovering the Qur’an: a Contemporary Approach to a Veiled Text, London: SCM, 1996.
  • Shah, Mustafa, ed. (2013) Tafsir: Interpreting the Qur'an. Critical Concepts in Islamic Studies. London: Routledge. (Critical Concepts in Islamic Studies, v.4)
  • Versteegh, C. H. M., Arabic grammar and Qur'anic exegesis in early Islam, (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1993).
  • Wansbrough, J., Qur'anic studies: sources and methods of scriptural interpretation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977).
  • Watt, Montgomery, Introduction to the Qur’an, R. Bell’s introduction Revised by Watt, W.M., Islamic Surveys. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1997.

Hadith Literature:

  • Abbott, Nabia, ‘hadith Literature II: ‘Collection and Transmission of Hadith’, (1983). pp. 289–98.
  • Abdul Rauf, Muhammad. ‘hadith Literature-II: The Development of the Science of Hadith’, in A. F. L. Beeston, T. M. Johnstone, R. B. Serjeant, and G. R. Smith (eds), Arabic Literature to the End of the Umayyad Period (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983), pp. 271–88;
  • Azami, Mustafa, Studies in Early Hadith Literature: with a Critical Edition of Some Early Texts (3rd edn) (Indianapolis: American Trust Publications, 1992).
  • Azami, Mustafa, Studies in Hadith Methodology and Literature (Indianapolis: American Trust Publication, 1977).
  • Brown, Jonathan, BROWN, J. A. C. Hadith: Muhammad's Legacy in the Medieval and Modern World. Oneworld Publications. (2018).
  • Burton, J., Introduction to the tradition (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2000).
  • Guillaume, A., The Traditions of Islam (Beirut: Khayyat, 1961).
  • Juynboll, G. H. A., Muslim tradition: studies in chronology, provenance and authorship of early Hadith (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983).
  • Lucas, Scott, Constructive Critics, Hadith Literature, and the introduction 32 TH_Vol1 Page 32 Articulation of Sunni Islam (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2004).
  • Motzki, Harald (ed.), Hadith: Origins and Development (Aldershot: Variorum, 2004).
  • Shah, Mustafa, (ed.), (2009) The Hadith: Critical Concepts in Islamic Studies. London: Routledge. (Critical Concepts in Islamic Studies).
  • Schacht, J., The Origins of Muhammadan jurisprudence (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1950).
  • Siddiqi, M .Z., Hadith literature: its origin, development, special features and criticism (Cambridge: Islamic Texts Society, 1993).


Professor Abdul Hakim Ibrahim Al-Matroudi


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules