The Department of Hadith and History

The Department of Hadith and History focuses on producing cutting-edge research into ḥadīth literature and historical texts. The department promotes a holistic approach, encouraging research across different Muslim schools of thought to highlight historical, contextual, theological, and methodological differences. Key themes explored include the canonisation of the ḥadīth, the influence of different theological groups on the development of the ḥadīth, and the various methods applied to verify their authenticity, amongst many others. As part of its research activities, this department hosts a biannual international research conference, research seminars, book reviews, and visiting fellows.  

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Head of Department:

Haidar Hoballah, Ph.D. (2020), University of Religions and Denominations, is a Senior Lecturer in Hadith Studies at Al-Mahdi Institute. Upon completion of his hawza studies in 1995, Dr Hoballah advanced his education with a masters’ degrees in Quranic and Hadith Studies which culminated in a PhD in Comparative Religions and Christian Theology from the University of Religions and Denominations in 2020. He has authored two dozen books and numerous articles in the fields of jurisprudence, legal theory, theology, philosophy, and Quranic and hadith studies. Dr Hobballah taught intermediate level classes in the hawza for more than 15 years and began teaching advanced classes (baḥth khārij) in 2005 at the Hawza of Qom in jurisprudence, legal theory, hadith, and the study of narrators. In addition to his teaching and publications, he has also supervised many masters and doctoral theses in the seminary of Qom, al-Mustafa University, the University of Religions and Denominations, and the College of Usul al-Din.

Departmental Staff

Shaykh Ali Raza Khaki

Lecturer in Islamic History

Dr Mostafa Movahedifar

Associate Research Fellow

Research Conferences

The Department of Hadith and History hosts a biannual international conference, which serves as a forum for scholars and academics from around the world to share and discuss their latest research findings in the field of ḥadīth literature and historical studies. Below are details of the upcoming conference.


The Department of Hadith and History is pleased to open registration for its upcoming two-day conference scheduled for 12-13 February 2024, focusing on ‘The History and Development of the Early Imāmī Hadith Corpora,’ convened by Dr Haidar Hobbollah. Despite the extensive study of the Qur’an, the Imāmī Shīʿī hadith, an equally significant Islamic scriptural source encompassing traditions from the Prophet Muḥammad and the twelve Imams, remains understudied. This conference will provide a platform to address this and many more issues surrounding the history and development of the early Imāmī hadith corpora from the first/seventh to the fifth/eleventh centuries, considering works such as the ‘Four Books’ and those which did not achieve the same level of popularity in the tradition. The proceedings from this conference shall be published in an edited volume with AMI Press. Read more.

Research Seminars

Research Seminars welcome academics and dedicated researchers specialising in Hadith Studies and History to present their latest research findings. These seminars serve as a confluence of expertise and innovative perspectives, designed to benefit students, scholars, and individuals who are passionate about staying abreast of the latest advancements within this field. Some of the most recent seminars held include:

A Letter from ʿAlī on the History of the Caliphate: A Key Source Text

Dr Nebil Husayn

The Tragedy of Al-Mamun: Reading Al-Saduq’s Uyun akhbar al-Rida

Dr George Warner

Book Talks

Book Talks feature renowned academics and authors from the field of Hadith Studies and History to deliver insightful reviews and discussions of their most prominent works, to enrich the global community of researchers, scholars, and individuals with an interest in this specialist field. Some of the most recent book talks held include:

The Words of the Imams: al-Shaykh al-Ṣadūq and the Development of Twelver Shīʿī Hadith Literature

Dr George Warner

The Khārijites in Early Islamic Historical Tradition: Heroes and Villains

Dr Hannah-Lena Hagemann

Durūs fī ʿilm al-Rijal

Sayed Hossein Qazwini

Visiting Fellows

To encourage the development and dissemination of ideas, AMI invites visiting research fellows for 1-3 months to actively participate in the institute’s research activities such as workshops, seminars, book talks and contribute towards teaching/mentoring of students on the Hawza Programme. The visiting fellows hosted by the department include:

Dr Nebil Husayn

Dr Nebil Husayn is an Associate Professor of Religious Studies and a faculty affiliate of the Center for Global Black Studies at the University of Miami. His research explores authoritarianism in the Middle East, debates on the caliphate, and the development of Islamic thought. Dr Husayn also serves as a Senior Research Advisor for Mipsterz, an arts and culture collective curating, enabling, and amplifying artists of marginalized backgrounds through illustration, film, and music. He is the recipient of a Fulbright award and the University of Miami Fellowship in the Arts and Humanities. Dr Husayn obtained his Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University and an M.A. in Arabic and Islamic Studies from Harvard University. He is the author of ‘Opposing the Imam’ (Cambridge University Press, 2021), which examines the history of early Muslims who were hostile to Islam’s fourth caliph, Ali, and his descendants. During his time at AMI, Dr Husayn presented his research at AMI’s research seminar, participated in community events, and conducted his own independent research.

Latest News

Below are the latest news and developments related to the Department of Hadith and History:

Dr Haidar Hobballah’s latest book on ‘The Jurisprudence of War and Peace in Islamic Law’ has been published with Dār Rawāfid.

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Dr Mostafa Movahedifar joins the Department of Hadith and History as an Associate Research Fellow.

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The Department of Hadith and History announces its call for papers for its upcoming conference on ‘Compiling a Tradition: The History and Development of the Early Imāmī Hadith Corpora’

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