Personal Experience Narrative Structure in “Al-ikhlas” Hadith

  •  Nahla Nadeem    


Using personal experience narrative in different forms of teaching and preaching is so common that it is unsurprising that it has been the object of scholarly attention and research. The present study aims to apply Labov’s model of narrative structure to the personal experience narratives (PENs) in the sincerity hadith. Sincerity—“Alikhlas”—is defined as being deeply devoted to Allah by heart and actions. According to Islamic teachings, a sincere person not only has a deep fear of Allah, but his intentions in all actions are mainly to please Him. Drawing on Labov’s work on PEN structures (1972; initially Labov & Waletzky, 1967, 1981, 1997), the study attempts to answer two key questions: a) whether or not the Labovian model applies to the PENs in the hadith and b) how effective the model is in establishing the link between what was said (i.e., the stories told), how the narratives were structured and the Islamic concept the hadith was meant to teach. The analysis shows that though the hadith belongs to a different language with assumedly different socio-linguistic narrative practices, the Labovian model works as an effective tool of analysis as it sheds light on how the overlapping layers of the narratives were structured to define the Islamic concept of “sincerity”.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1925-4768
  • ISSN(Online): 1925-4776
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: quarterly

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