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These essential lectures address various ‘difficult’ hadith which are used by some to enforce rulings that can be misogynistic, unnecessary, or indeed antithetical to Islam’s principles. Nowadays, it is easy to come across all sorts of hadith online with questionable viewpoints. Hadith must be approached critically and with an understanding of authenticity, context, and many more factors discussed in the lectures!

Any topic you particularly want to learn about? Each video discusses different case studies of hadith topics…

Part 1

Case Studies with Timestamps

  1. Turbans – do men need to wear them? – 33:24
  2. Female Circumcision – 49:19
  3. Women as Leaders – 1:06:59
  4. Women Prostrating to their Husbands – 1:23:29

12 Principles When Approaching Hadith

1. Is it authentic? What is the level of authenticity?

2. Check for translation errors.

3. Look at the other transmissions (narrations) of the SAME hadith; it could be that one person in the chain inaccurately remembered a word.
If there are no other transmissions, this is a sign to be particularly attentive.

4. Literal interpretation VS Meaning behind the hadith’s words.

5. Is the hadith about:
a) Creed & Ethics – eternal concepts
b) Ritual Worship – how to pray, how to fast etc.
c) Or daily life – economics, work, how we dress, eat, etc (has more flexibility).

6. Is it a command or a descriptive statement? Hadiths can contain passing remarks that are descriptions of life at the time. I.e. not a commandment.

7. Look at context of the hadith: people, time, place, and the setting/circumstances. Put yourself in the time period the hadith was said.
Who is being addressed in the hadith? Is it specific?

8. Look at Qur’an and all authentic hadith on the same topic.

9. Does the hadith fit with our lived experience?

10. Is there a way of interpreting this hadith so that there is no contradiction? Literal VS Metaphorical/Functional e.g. what is the gist of the point this hadith is making?

11. Be comfortable with your view: “I don’t know” / “It is difficult to understand”.

12. Know your limits – we are not the experts. Control your arrogance.
You’re not alone and do not have to analyse hadith on your own; if it’s troubling you, ask for help.

Part 2

Case Studies with Timestamps

  1. Women as Leaders (continued) – 19:12
  2. Women Prostrating to their Husbands (continued in depth) 33:20

Part 3


  1. Was Prophet Adam a giant? – 22:15
  2. Do we have to use a miswak to brush our teeth? – 49:27
  3. Wiping socks during wudu – do we need leather socks? – 53:51
  4. Najassa (unclean substances) and Cleanliness – 1:05:49
  5. Q&A – 1.08.05