In the first module of my MSc study, i was asked to acknowledge and write an article regarding Referencing and Citation in academic study. One sentence drew my attention where (Bowden, 1996) refereed to “Some non-western cultures have historically placed emphasis on communal knowledge and showing respect through imitation.” which motivated me to search for Referencing and Citation roots in my culture. First of all i was searching in the Ancient Egypt culture, but i did not find anything. Then, when i researched on the Islamic culture, I found what i was looking for.
What is Referencing and citation?
Facts and common knowledge such as dates, events, and general information are not owned by anyone, and does not generally have to be referenced. However, to avoid unacknowledged use of others materials, ideas, and resources, a proper referencing and citation are required to acknowledge the sources used in your piece of work. (Richard Pears 2013).
Where is the Referencing and Citation in Islam?
The concept of citation and referencing exists in my culture since 1,400 years, where the early Muslims were following a certain rules to collect and document the sayings and actions of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) “Hadith” (see sample of Hadith below). This documentation of Hadith is called “Isnad”. As (Aydemýr 2009) stated “Isnad can be defined as a chain of transmission formed by the particular inquiry about “from whom did you hear this particular hadith”, which has been passed down from one transmitter to another or from one generation to the other.”
Al-Bukhari reported that: Yahya ibn Bukayr narrated to us from Al-Layth from `Uqayl from Ibn Shuhba from `Urwah from `A’ishah who said, “Whenever the Prophet was given an option between two things, he used to select the easier of the two as long as it was not sinful; but if it was sinful, he would remain far from it.”
The phrase “Al-Bukhari reported that: Yahya ibn Bukayr narrated to us from Al-Layth from `Uqayl from Ibn Shuhba from `Urwah from `A’ishah who said” represents the chain of transmission or Isnad.The statement “Whenever the Prophet was given an option between two things…” represents the Hadith.
Academic integrity and the ethical code between modern academic study and Islam
Reference to (The University of Liverpool 2013) statement “Academic integrity is concerned with the ethical code that applies to the standards by which the academic community operates.” I will refer back to “Isnad” I mentioned above, regarding the ethical behavior, if anyone from the chain of transmission reported to be involved in plagiarism or unethical behavior, the whole chain and its related Hadith ignored and removed from the Hadith collection.
Although, nowadays the referencing, citation authorship and ownership are most likely to be acknowledged and respected by the western cultures, but the concept was existing in Islam culture before any other nation, referring to Hadith Isnad. Ethical behavior was strongly considered in the Hadith citation chain as well. I hope that we nowadays keep applying what early Muslims were doing in respective of Ethical behavior and to recognize the reason behind the First word from Allah to our prophet Mohamud (Peace be upon him) “Read”.
AYDEMÝR, H., 2009. Isnad Models in the System of Transmission of Hadith and Their Evaluation According to the Probability of Narrations Theory. Journal of Hadith Studies, 7(1), pp. 29-54.
RICHARD PEARS, G.S., ed, 2013. Cite them right : the essential referencing guide. 9th edition edn. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.
THE UNIVERSITY OF LIVERPOOL, 2013, Code of Practice on Assessment Appendix L – Academic Integrity Policy. [Online]. Available: http://www.liv.ac.uk/media/livacuk/tqsd/code-of-practice-on-assessment/appendix_L_cop_assess.pdf (Accessed 16 October 2013).