Islamic-Theological Philology: Textual Studies of Koran and Hadith

The Islamic-Theological Philology: Textual Studies of Koran and Hadith represent two core disciplines of Islamic theology, which can look back on an intellectual history that is diverse and steeped in tradition. At our Department, the transformation of these disciplines, which is determined by time and place, are as important as their starting points. Therefore, a multi-perspective and critical examination of the primary sources of Islam provides the guiding perspective in research and teaching.

According to the curriculum, the textual studies of Koran and Hadith cover the areas of Koran exegesis, the prophetic biography and Hadith studies.

Koran exegesis (tafsīr) refers to any research area that aims at explaining or "revealing" the meaning(s) of the Koran. Over the centuries, this aim has given rise to a multitude of approaches, methods and theories, which are given special attention both in research and teaching. In the context of Koran exegesis, students of the Department acquire knowledge of selected core topics, the history and diversity of the Islamic interpretation of the Koran, its ideas, methods and origins. This happens against the background of a research perspective that connects systematics and history.

Hadith studies (ulūm al-ḥadīṯ) as well as the prophetic biography (sira) focus on the Prophet Muhammad, his messages, actions and his work in the context of the revelation process. This area is considered an independent discipline whose borders can be clearly defined against the background of its range of issues it investigates. However, it simultaneously connects the core disciplines, such as Islamic jurisprudence or Koran exegesis. In addition to the primary source of the Koran, the work of Prophet Muhammad is considered to be a reliable reference in Islamic theology. On the one hand, it is used to derive "norms to regulate Muslim social life" (see key research area: Islamic Jurisprudence). On the other hand, it is used to "reveal" the meanings of the Koran.