Published: Feb. 5, 2024

ICAIR Virtual Seminar: The Book of God and My Family Shall Never Part Ways

Join Professor Aun Hasan Ali on February 17th at 12:30pm for a virtual seminar on the relationship between the Qur'an and Hadith in Shi'i Islamic thought. Reserve your spot here!

A belief in the primacy of the Qur'an for the determination of norms is characteristic of modernist and reformist thinkers. On one hand, this belief is often necessary for grassroots activism. On the other hand, it allows these thinkers to bypass critical questions of hermeneutics and even the nature of the Qur'an. Additionally, while many of these thinkers claim that upholding the primacy of the Qur'an is essential to any authentically Islamic framework, Professor Aun Hasan Ali will argue that this claim misrepresents the diversity of Muslim approaches to the Qur'an. He will then examine Imāmī discussions of classical literary theory as a critique of the belief in the so-called “primacy” of the Qur'an, and he will argue that these discussions offer Muslims a useful approach to textuality because they preserve the sacredness of the Qur'an and the value of exegetical history.

Aun Hasan Ali is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at CU Boulder. He received his PhD from McGill University’s Institute of Islamic Studies. His research centers on Islamic intellectual history and he is the author of two forthcoming books: The School of Hillah and the Formation of Twelver Shi’i Islamic Tradition and Why Hadith Matter: The Evidentiary Value of Hadith in Imami Law (7th/13th to 11th/17th Centuries) (co-authored with Hassan Ansari). His recent publications include: “The Canonization of Nahj al-Balaghah between Hillah and Najaf: al-Sistani and the Iconic Authority of the Maraji,” “The Rational Turn in Imamism Revisited,” and “Some Notes on the History of the Categorization of Imami Hadith.” In addition to intellectual history, Ali maintains an interest in Urdu and Persian literature. Occasionally, he publishes short commentaries on the website Qirtas-o-Qalam.