Welcome to the Chair of Hadith Studies and Prophetic Tradition!


Engaging in conversation with the Prophet Muhammad.

The Chair is committed to Theological Hadith Studies and to the task of scientifically exploring the Hadith and its transmission as a resource for Islamic Theology that is relevant to the present day. Recognizing the power of hadith to appeal to, to move, and to challenge contemporary Muslims, we study hadith as a Muslim living testimony of the encounter with the Prophet Muhammad. For this purpose, the chair's research and teaching focus on the intertwining of prophecy as mediation between God and humanity, transmission as mediation between revelation and the community, and tradition as mediation between guidance and the present.

News and Events

New issue of Arabica (2023, 73/4-5) dedicated to classical and modern Sira writing, with a contribution by Ruggero Vimercati Sanseverino "Engaging Modern Muslims with their Prophet"


Prof. Dr. Ruggero Vimercati Sanseverino gave an opening address at the Congress of the "European Academy of Religion (EuARe)" in St. Andrews and chaired the panel "Towards Contemporary Theological Hadith and Sira Studies" with Hossam Ouf and Besnik Sinani. To the report

Prof. Dr. Ruggero Vimercati Sanseverino and his team attended the "Annual Conference of the British Association for Islamic Studies 2023 (BRAIS)" in London in May 2023 and presented their researches.

To the report

As part of the Erasmus+ Teaching and Training Mobility Program, Besnik Sinani, a post-doctoral fellow at our chair, visited and gave lectures at the Faculty of Islamic Studies in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Hercegovina.

You can read the report on this in the 1st issue 2023 of the ZITh-Newsletter under "Erasmus Mobility- Outgoing".

Namaa Center for Studies and Research

Program "Dissertation Papers" on 26.05.2023.
Participants from our Chair: Hossam Ouf (presentation of his dissertation) and Prof. Dr. Ruggero Vimercati Sanseverino (discussant).

Sinani, Besnik.
"Devotional Extremism (ghuluww)? Muḥammad ʿAlawī al-Mālikī and the Debate of the Veneration (taʿẓīm) and the Characteristics (khaṣāʾiṣ) of the Prophet Muḥammad in Saudi Arabia".

Vimercati Sanseverino, Ruggero. „Die Wirklichkeit, die im Hadith bezeugt wird. Theologische Impulse für die Hadithdidaktik“.

Vimercati Sanseverino, Ruggero. „Perspektiven postkolonialer Kritik für die theologischen Hadith-Studien. Überlegungen zu den Begriffen ‚Authentizität‘ und ‚Tradition‘“.

Vimercati Sanseverino, Ruggero. „’As if the Prophet stood in front of you’: The performative meaning of ḥadīth transmission and its prophetological background in late formative Sunnism“.

Courses of the chair in WiSe 2022/2023

Lecture: Introduction to Theological Hadith-Studies

The lecture offers an introduction to the historical, methodological and hermeneutical foundations of theological Hadith Studies. These will be introduced within Islamic Theology as an independent field specifically concerned with prophetic preaching and person.

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Ruggero Vimercati Sanseverino

Seminar: Understanding and Interpreting Hadith

The aim of this seminar is to work out accesses and approaches that enable a theological understanding and interpretation of hadith.

The aim of participating in the seminar is to get a well-founded overview of the hermeneutical possibilities of hadith interpretation and to develop a feeling for the richness of meaning of the hadith.

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Ruggero Vimercati Sanseverino

Seminar: Islam and Ethics

This seminar will focus on how the hadith tradition can be used to develop the Sunnah as a source of Islamic ethics. To this end, we will deal in particular with the hadith collection al-Adab al-mufrad ("the unique conduct") by al-Bukhārī.

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Ruggero Vimercati Sanseverino

Seminar: Senior Research Seminar in Prophetology

This senior research seminar introduces students to diverse theological formulations of Muslim beliefs about prophecy, prophetic grounded pietistic models, and normative positions. Scholars from leading institutions of learning in different parts of the world will present their most recent relevant scholarship, bringing a diversity of perspectives, employing interdisciplinary research approaches.

Lecturers: Prof. Dr. Ruggero Vimercati Sanseverino und Besnik Sinani

Seminar: Texts on prophetic spirituality

The seminar deals with the paradigmatic significance of prophecy for Islamic spirituality in systematic and theological terms: How does the prophetic paradigm of Islam shape Islamic spirituality? How does Islam articulate a prophetic form of experiencing the divine? These fundamental questions will be explored through the analysis of Islamic sources, especially the Hadith.

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Ruggero Vimercati Sanseverino

Seminar: Sīra: Life and Deeds of the Prophet Muhammad

This seminar on the sira of the Prophet Muhammad offers an overview of the life and works of the Prophet, the context in which he emerged, the most momentous stages of his mission, and of the religious transformations that came as a result. The stages of the Prophet’s biography are discussed parallel to their theological and spiritual significance. In addition to the more conventional sira literature, which emphasizes the linear, chronological narrative of the Prophet’s biography, the learning material will be supplemented by readings and discussions that focus on topical aspects of the Prophet’s life, with a focus on the personal characteristics and devotional aspects of his persona. This combination of learning material offers a more complex understanding of the Prophet Muhammad both as a man in history, understood in the context of his time and the society he lived in, and the metaphysical dimension he occupies in the Muslim tradition.

Lecturer: Besnik Sinani

Seminar: Decolonising the Study of Islam

In this seminar, we invite our students to engage with deep-reading of the existing decolonial literature and to critically reflect about the field. Additionally, they will be asked to revisit conceptions of religion and secularity; the intersectionality of gender, Islamophobia, and state formation; and the legacies of the colonial state. Students will be introduced to arguments related to organic, Islamic formulations of the distinction of, and to analyze critically the essentialization of Islam in Orientalist discourses as well as in the framing of the fields of Quranic, Hadith, and Fiqh Studies.

Lecturers: Besnik Sinani und Claire Gallien

Seminar: Texts on Hadith Science

  • The introduction of Muslim, translation and commentary
  • History of hadith transmission and the emergence of hadith criticism.
  • The difference between al-Buḫārī's and Muslim's criteria in verifying the authenticity and collecting the hadith.

Lecturer: Hossam Ouf, M.A.

Language course: Precourse Arabicum

In this course, students will become familiar with the Arabic script and phonetics.

Lecturer: Hossam Ouf, M.A.