Islamic Studies Lecture by Asma Sayeed

Asma Sayeed is Associate Professor of Islamic Studies at UCLA.  Lunch will be served.

"Early Islamic Social History through Muslim Women’s Tradition Literature"

The authenticity of ḥadīth, reports attributed to the Prophet Muhammad, is a long-standing debate in Islamic Studies, with some scholars rejecting the reliability of the material as a whole and others maintaining that much of tradition literature is an accurate reflection of the life of the Prophet and the early Muslim community. This talk approaches the issue from a different perspective. An examination of chronological patterns and the nature of women’s ḥadīth participation within the broader context of developments in ḥadīth history strongly suggests that traditions attributed to women other than the two leading wives of Prophet Muhammad (namely ʿĀʾisha bint Abi Bakr and Umm Salama) may well date from the earliest decades of Islamic history. These traditions in turn can provide new avenues for research into the first century of Islamic history for which we have few other verifiable sources. This talk will provide an overview of the early history of women’s ḥadīth participation and present the case for approaching this literature as a vital source for early Islamic social history.

This event is being sponsored by the following Religion programs:

Women's Studies in Religion

Islamic Studies

Critical Comparative Scriptures

Sayeed asma


IAC Library