George Warner, "The Words of the Imams: Al-Shaykh Al-Saduq and the Development of Twelver Shi'i Hadith Literature" (I. B. Tauris, 2021)


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Ibn Babawayh – also known as al-Shaykh al-Saduq – was a prominent Twelver Shi'i scholar of hadith. Writing within the first century after the vanishing of the twelfth imam, al-Saduq represents a pivotal moment in Twelver hadith literature, as this Shi'i community adjusted to a world without a visible imam and guide, a world wherein the imams could only be accessed through the text of their remembered words and deeds. George Warner's book The Words of the Imams: Al-Shaykh Al-Saduq and the Development of Twelver Shi'i Hadith Literature (I. B. Tauris, 2021) examines the formation of Shi'i hadith literature in light of these unique dynamics, as well as giving a portrait of an important but little-studied early Twelver thinker. Though almost all of al-Saduq's writings are collections of hadith, Warner's approach pays careful attention to how these texts are selected and presented to explore what they can reveal about their compiler, offering insight into al-Saduq's ideas and suggesting new possibilities for the wider study of hadith.

Adam Bobeck is a PhD candidate in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Leipzig. His PhD is entitled “Object-Oriented Azadari: Shi’i Muslim Rituals and Ontology”. For more about his work, see

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