The Arabs and Islam in Late Antiqiuity: A Critique of by Aziz Al-Azmeh

By Aziz Al-Azmeh

This research is a critique of Arabic textual assets for the background of the Arabs in overdue old instances, through the centuries instantly previous Muhammad and as much as and together with the Umayyad interval. Its objective is to contemplate the price and relevance of those assets for the reconstruction of the social, political, cultural and spiritual historical past of the Arabs as they have been nonetheless pagans, and to reconstruct the emergence of Muhammadan and instantly post-Muhammadan faith and polity. For this faith (including the composition and canonisation of the Qur'an), the label Paleo-Islam has been coined, so that it will lend old specificity to this actual interval, distinguishing it from what got here prior to and what was once to return later, the entire whereas indicating continuities that don't, in themselves, belie the specificity attributed to this era of very speedy swap. this is often argued extra in Aziz Al-Azmeh's The Emergence of Islam in overdue Antiquity: Allah and His humans (Cambridge college Press, 2014), to which this ebook is either a significant other and a technical preface. Al-Azmeh illustrates his arguments via exam of orality and literacy, transmission, historical Arabic poetry, the corpus of Arab heroic lore (ayyam), the early narrative, the Qur'an, and different literary assets. The paintings incorporates a very large bibliography of the works mentioned. this is often the 1st publication within the Gerlach Press sequence Theories and Paradigms of Islamic experiences.

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More recently, and with regard to another work attributed to Sayf, one scholar denied the attribution on the ground, quite simply, that traditions attributed to him cannot with “isnādcum-matn analysis” (to be discussed later) be traced back to a time earlier than the third quarter of the third Hijra century (Schreiner, Eroberung, 476). 17 Azmi, Studies in Early Hadith, 19. 18 Schoeler, “Mūsā b. , that this was less a matter of counterfeiting than of actualising ḥadīth texts, an actualisation of transmitted words that are fitting for a given situation, giving rise to bundles of transmission that do not completely agree, but which are related in such a way as to facilitate reference to one authority rather than to multiple ones.

With regard to Arabic historical traditions, a backhand reference to Ossian (Hawting, Idolatry, 94 n. 14) is not particularly instructive. For a particularly elaborated and imaginative case, that of Zayd b. Ḥāritha, supposedly required by discursive patterning to predecease Muḥammad, one might consider why the increasing salience of social history to Islamic studies was ejected in a recent work dealing with this issue. A very detailed recent study investigating the notion of the Seal of Prophets chose to interpret the abolition of adoption in connection with Zayd as a fable of sacred history, patterned along Biblical lines, and driven by a theological anxiety leading it to affirm that prophecy was indeed sealed by Muḥammad (Powers, Muḥammad, pt.

4, §§ 1 ff. , pp. 524 ff. 18 Literary Transmission: Authors, Genres, Traditions of transmission, with emphasis on the numerical density of testimony, and is in many ways circular, correlating the authenticity of transmission with the possible veracity of the historical report transmitted, and dealing with a chain of witnesses rather than occupying itself with issues of historical veracity and verisimilitude per se. There are of course differences, basically of emphasis and of purpose, with modern criticism aiming to unravel circumstances, however crudely, correlative with various stages of transmission.

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