Islamic Research Methods — Reliability & Validity
Every subject has a unique research methodology. As for Islamic education is concerned, the Islamic research methods are also unique and widely adopted by researchers and scholars. and the Islamic research method verification is also worth appreciating and widely accepted around the globe throughout history.
Since the advent of Islam, researchers or hadith collectors practised a unique research method to ensure the Hadith they accepted is genuine.
The first phase of Hadith collection
In the very first phase, that is during the life of the companions, no need was required to verify the Hadith, as they were available, and were being noted down by the companions themselves. After this stage, before any corruption could enter this pure study, the scholars developed certain principles, which eventually evolved into the science of Hadith, and is called Usool-e- Hadith.
The Science of Hadith collection
A Hadith is divided into two parts, Sanad (chain of narrators) and Matn (text). The chain of narrators was carefully studied. Each and every narrator was observed closely and his character was investigated. His faith, memory and character had both to be of the highest degree for the Muhaddith to accept his statement. Otherwise, the chain would be disapproved, and also the Hadith would be barred from being authentic. For this purpose, another branch of Islamic science was developed, known as Asma al Rijal, (science of men) which comprised detailed investigations of the biographies of the narrators.
The second step was the actual text of the Hadith. It had to conform with the Holy Quran and the already verified Ahadith. Also, it must be in the style and manner of the Holy Prophet ﷺ, as well as the literary style of the Arabs of that time. If it clashed with any of these, it couldn’t be included in any authentic book or manuscript.