Document Type



In this essay we reflect on the challenges involved in corpus building for hadith studies as well as the advances already made. We specifically focus on the Open Islamicate texts Initiative (OpenItI), a large, academically curated corpus of arabic texts sourced from various online libraries. this corpus is continuously vetted and expanded by scholarly contributions. We discuss its advantages for computational macro-analysis and for more traditional close reading, and survey recent research in digital hadith studies as an example of the possibilities of computational macro-analysis, we focus on assessing the output of the software ‘passim’, which has identified millions of instances of text reuse – places where texts share materials with one another across the OpenItI corpus by employing a set of algorithms to detect and align similar passages of text.1 these instances of reuse may the result of citation, plagiarism, use of common sources and many other forms of intertextuality text reuse is used in this chapter as a broad analytical category that may account for all these forms. In the final part of this essay we present examples of this text reuse data, specifically as it applies to the study of hadith commentaries.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Hadith Commentary: Continuity and Change