The Sunna Project
The Centre is currently working with the Thesaurus Islamicus Foundation on the Sunna Project.
The Sunna Project comprises:
- The Hadith Database
- The International Hadith Study Association Network
- Publishing House
- Journal and Newsletter
- Website and Forum
- Bibliographic Research
Aim of the Project
The Sunna Project seeks to assemble the entirety of the hadith literature, and to edit, publish and print it in a manner which serves all who make use of hadith texts in their research. Direction of the use to which they are put by the academic community is beyond its remit. Our only expectation of scholars is that they draw our attention to errors or possible improvements, and notify us of hadith manuscripts which have not come to our attention. Given the great importance of this literature, the Sunna Project’s intention is to be definitive and comprehensive, a task that will only be substantially fulfilled after several decades of publication.
The texts included are as follows:
- Sahih al-Bukhari
- Sahih Muslim
- Sunan Abi Daud
- Sunan al-Nasa’i
- Sunan Ibn Majah
- Muwatta’ Malik
- Musnad Ahmad (forthcoming)
Creating a Reliable Text
The Foundation employs a full-time team of qualified hadith specialists, whose task is the creation of a properly edited and reliable text. This has involved the identification and careful collation of early manuscripts, so that, for example, our edition of the Musnad of Ibn Hanbal has been based on six ancient manuscripts as well as upon the several printed texts already in existence. Our edition of the Jami‘ of al-Tirmidhi uses a printed edition, two printed commentaries, and one manuscript, together with the text embedded in the Tuhfat al-Ashraf of al-Mizzi. Throughout, the process has benefited from the guidance of living hadith authorities. Names of narrators have been carefully analysed and identified through the use of the relevant Arabic biographical literature, and unusual words which are frequently misspelled in the texts are checked with reference to the dictionaries. The result has been the first critically edited version of the hadith literature.
All of the Foundation’s hadith texts are submitted for approval to the Islamic Research Academy of Al-Azhar, Cairo, and are only released in printed and digital form once its approval has been given.
The Future of the Project
The Foundation's work has met with acclaim from specialists in the hadith disciplines around the world. This long-overdue scholarly production opens new possibilities for research into early Islamic history, into Arabic literature, and into the complex disciplines of Islamic doctrine, law, and spirituality. Hardly any area of Islamic studies will find that its research methods and perspectives are not substantially refined and reshaped by the availability of the hadith literature in this form.
The Foundation invites correspondence from institutions of Islamic research throughout the world who wish to acquire or benefit from the Hadith Database and join the IHSAN Network. The system is already installed and in use at Al-Azhar University in Cairo, and the Foundation hopes that many other institutions in the Islamic and the Western worlds will follow suit.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.