Social Network Analysis of Hadith Narrators from Sahih Bukhari

Tanvir Alam, Jens Schneider

The ahadith, prophetic traditions for the Muslims around the world, are narrations originating from the sayings and the deeds of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). They are considered one of the fundamental sources of Islamic legislation along with the Quran. The list of persons involved in the narration of each hadith is carefully scrutinized by scholars studying the hadith, with respect to their reputation and authenticity of the hadith. This is due to the its legislative importance in Islamic principles. There were many narrators who contributed to this responsibility of preserving prophetic narrations over the centuries. But to date, no systematic and comprehensive study, based on the social network, has been adapted to understand the contribution of early hadith narrators and the propagation of hadith across generations. In this study, we represented the chain of narrators of the hadith collection from Sahih Bukhari as a social graph. Based on social network analysis (SNA) on this graph, we found that the network of narrators is a scale-free network. We identified a list of influential narrators from the companions as well as the narrators from the second and third-generation who contribute significantly in the propagation of hadith collected in Sahih Bukhari. We discovered sixteen communities from the narrators of Sahih Bukhari. In each of these communities, there are other narrators who contributed significantly to the propagation of prophetic narrations. We also found that most narrators were centered in Makkah and Madinah in the era of companions and, then, gradually the center of hadith narrators shifted towards Kufa, Baghdad and central Asia over a period of time. To the best of our knowledge, this the first comprehensive and systematic study based on SNA, representing the narrators as a social graph to analyze their contribution to the preservation and propagation of hadith.

Knowledge Graph



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