Background and Future

Isnad was first conceived of in May 2019 with the publication of Umar Butler's white paper, Muhadith: The Future of Hadith Research. The paper described a platform which would grant users access to an extensive collection of ahadith, interlinked with data from narrator biographies (Asma al-Rijaal).

After publishing his paper, Butler began work on the Isnad platform. By March of 2020, the alpha version of Isnad was released live.

Since the release of Isnad Alpha in March, we have been hard at work on a new beta version. The new version will include a new book of hadith, more information on existing narrators, and the standardisation of approximately 6,000 incomplete chains of narration, amongst other things. This version should be ready by at least August. We also plan on releasing the beta version alongside a revised white paper, and a repository for our dataset and algorithms.


The bulk of our data was taken from Fahd Al Hazmi's ahadith and narrators dataset. Al Hazmi’s collected ahadith from qaalarasulallah.com and narrator profiles from muslimscholars.info, to produce a single inter-linked dataset. The ahadith in qaalarasulallah.com contained original copies of ahadith books, and authoritative copies of ahadith translations. The narrator profiles in muslimscholars.info were the result of cross-referencing names in isnads with entries in narrator biographies.

The grouping of ahadith into akhabar and athar was done by keyword searching arabic matns. This same methodology was also used to identify the various gradings of biographers.

The 'Similar Ahadith' feature uses our internal search engine to identify other ahadith with similar english and arabic matns.

20/03/2019 The alpha version of Isnad is released to the public.
22/03/2019 Over 18,000 new Asma al-Rijaal entires for existing books. The inclusion of 3,094 Asma al-Rijaal from Ibn Hanbal's al-'Ilal wa Ma'rifat al-Rijal. Automatic detection of whether a hadith is a khabar or an athar. Automatic detection of what grades have been assigned to a rawi by a biographer. Over 20,000 new narrators added to the database.
25/03/2019 The website is re-designed to improve mobile responsiveness, and general ease-of-use. The 'Similar Ahadith' algorithm is fine-tuned to include more relevant ahadith. The 'Compare Asnad' feature is introduced, allowing users to compare the asnad of similar ahadith.
26/03/2019 Support for ElasticSearch query terms is added to the Isnad search engine.