Megan Meagher

Year: Junior

Major(s): History

Mentor: Ghazzal, Zouhair

Department: History

Project Title: "People of the Tradition": Thematics of Monotheism as Articulated within Hadith

Project Abstract: This research project engages in a textual analysis, studying the logic of narrative, of the recorded hadith, or Tradition: the collection of the sayings and doings attributed to the prophet Muhammad, and which constitute as being authoritative Islamic texts second only to the Qur’an. The project itself will focus on the thematics of Islamic monotheism and its relation and contention with the other monotheistic faiths and traditions of Christianity and Judaism, as articulated within the textual tendencies of the hadith itself. Employing a hermeneutical approach to this study, this project aims to arrive at a deeper understanding of the hadith texts, and thus the elements of the formative period of Islam in relation to the traditions and followers of pre-Islamic monotheistic Abrahamic religions, or People of the Book. This study is concerned with the textuality and temporality of select hadith collections, and is framed in two parts: at the epicenter of this project lies the textual analysis which will involve a close, in-depth examination of the text itself with emphasis on the appropriation of its idioms, the flexibility and interpretability of its constructs, and the open structure of its texts. Derived from this textual analysis, I will explore the temporal dimension of hadith, examining the elements of transformation both of and within the text itself in relation to the broader historical framework.