"Before you study the history, study the historian." Edward H. Carr, The George Macaulay Trevelyan Lecture 1961 at Cambridge University--pulished as What is History [Libraries Today Blog]
PS. Incidentally, this study of the narrator, interpretor, writer, communicator in the history of Islamic literature, corresponds with the practice adopted by those who were involved in collecting the Tradions (Hadith) of the Prophet Mohammed (Peace be Upon Him). See Asma-ur-Rijal, or Rijal al-Hadith (The Study Of The Reporters Of Hadith).