Ibn Khaldun’s Principles of Scrutinizing Narrations and the General Principles for the Acceptance of the Narrations in the Science of Hadith: A Comparative Study


  • Issah Abeebllahi Obalowu IIUM
  • Yusuf Basirat Bolanle IIUM


Ibn Khaldūn, Ḥadith, Science of Ḥadith, Scholars of ḥadith, History, Principle, Narration


‘Abdur-Raḥmān ibn Muḥammad ibn Khaldūn al-Ḥaḍramī is a well-known Muslim historiographer, who has been described by many researchers as the founder of the modern disciplines of historiography. The uniqueness of his method of scrutinizing historical narrations and the significance of his entire works are widely recognized in the midst of medieval and 19th-century European scholars. He is also regarded as one of the greatest philosophers of the Middle Ages. Likewise, he has been considered as the one who established one of the earliest secular philosophies of history. His most popular book generally known as “Muqadimmah ibn Khaldūn” is well-known to the modern readers, whether Muslims or non-Muslims. The book, in which he outlined the importance of science and philosophy of history, the basic principles of civilization, and the methods of scrutinizing the narrations. However, before the era of ibn Khaldun, great and relentless efforts have been made by the scholars of ḥadith, towards the establishment of the main principles of scrutinizing the narrations, to distinguish between the false and true information. Those scholars of ḥadith unanimously agreed upon five basic principles, through which the correct and incorrect information will be determined. In this research, the principles of ibn Khaldūn and that of the scholars of the ḥadith will be discussed, to figure out the extent to which ibn Khaldūn has been influenced by the principles of the scholars of the ḥadith in his discourse. Thus, the solidity, comprehensiveness, thoroughness, and accuracy of the principles of the scholars of the ḥadith will manifest. This study has revealed the fact that ibn Khaldūn’s approach towards the scrutiny of the narrations is a subject and a dependent of the principles laid down by the scholars of ḥadith. However, the major difference between both parties lies in the fact that the principles of the scholars of the ḥadith address all types of the narrations, whether historical or spiritual narrations, without giving any special attention to the historical ones, while ibn Khaldūn was the first Muslim scholar that purely concentrated on scrutinizing historical materials.