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The Words of the Imams: Al-Shaykh Al-Saduq and the Development of Twelver Shi’i Hadith Literature

Though almost all of al-Saduq’s writings are collections of hadith, Warner’s approach pays careful attention to how these texts are selected and presented to explore what they can reveal about their compiler, offering insight into al-Saduq’s ideas and suggesting new possibilities for the wider study of hadith.

Ibn Babawayh – also known as al-Shaykh al-Saduq – was a prominent Twelver Shi’i scholar of hadith. Writing within the first century after the vanishing of the twelfth imam, al-Saduq represents a pivotal moment in Twelver hadith literature, as this Shi’i community adjusted to a world without a visible imam and guide, a world wherein the imams could only be accessed through the text of their remembered words and deeds. George Warner’s study of al-Saduq’s work examines the formation of Shi’i hadith literature in light of these unique dynamics, as well as giving a portrait of an important but little-studied early Twelver thinker. Though almost all of al-Saduq’s writings are collections of hadith, Warner’s approach pays careful attention to how these texts are selected and presented to explore what they can reveal about their compiler, offering insight into al-Saduq’s ideas and suggesting new possibilities for the wider study of hadith.

About the Author

George Warner is Research Associate in the study of West Asian Religions at the Center for Religious Studies at Ruhr-Universitat Bochum, Germany. Previously he was a Senior Teaching Fellow at the Department of History, Religions and Philosophies at SOAS, U.K.

Table of Contents

Part 1, Placing al-Saduq

  1. Living without an Imam: Imami thought in the age of al-Saduq
  2. Legal theory and the living Imam: al-Saduq as scholar of Hadith
  3. Hadith as literature: al-Saduq, adāb and Imami traditionism at the Ruwayhid court

Part 2, Reading al-Saduq

  1. Al-Tawḥīd: Theology and its limits
  2. Kamāl al-Dīn wa tamām al-nʻima: looking for the Imam

Conclusion: Hadith literature and Twelver Shīʻsim

Bibliographic Information

Title: The Words of the Imams: Al-Shaykh Al-Saduq and the Development of Twelver Shi’i Hadith Literature

Author (s): George Warner

Publisher: I.B. Tauris

Length: 240 pages

ISBN:‎ 978-1838605605

Pub. Date: Nov 18 2021

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