Before Orthodoxy: The Satanic Verses in Early Islam

Before Orthodoxy: The Satanic Verses in Early Islam

by Shahab Ahmed

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Overview

One of the most controversial episodes in the life of the Prophet Muhammad concerns an incident in which he allegedly mistook words suggested by Satan as divine revelation. Known as the Satanic verses, these praises to the pagan deities contradict the Islamic belief that Allah is one and absolute. Muslims today--of all sects--deny that the incident of the Satanic verses took place. But as Shahab Ahmed explains, Muslims did not always hold this view.

Before Orthodoxy wrestles with the question of how religions establish truth--especially religions such as Islam that lack a centralized authority to codify beliefs. Taking the now universally rejected incident of the Satanic verses as a case study in the formation of Islamic orthodoxy, Ahmed shows that early Muslims, circa 632 to 800 CE, held the exact opposite belief. For them, the Satanic verses were an established fact in the history of the Prophet. Ahmed offers a detailed account of the attitudes of Muslims to the Satanic verses in the first two centuries of Islam and traces the chains of transmission in the historical reports known as riwāyah.

Touching directly on the nature of Muhammad's prophetic visions, the interpretation of the Satanic verses incident is a question of profound importance in Islam, one that plays a role in defining the limits of what Muslims may legitimately say and do--issues crucial to understanding the contemporary Islamic world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674047426
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 04/24/2017
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 912,789
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Shahab Ahmed taught at Harvard University and was a fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows and the Islamic Studies Program at Harvard Law School.

Table of Contents

Introduction: How Does Truth Happen? 1

Chapter 1 How to Read the Earliest Sources? 11

Chapter 2 The Earliest Narrative Reports (Riwayahs) and Their Transmitters 41

Riwayahs 1 to 7 From Muhammad b. Ka'b Al-Qurazi 44

Riwayah 1 From the Rayy Recension of the Sirah of Muhammad Ibn Ishaq 44

Riwayah 2 Abu Ma'shar's Report from Muhammad b. Ka'b and Muhammad b. Qays 72

Riwayah 3 al-Waqidi's Report from al-Muttalib b. Hantab and the Banu Zafar 86

Riwayahs 4 to 6 Summary Reports from Muhammad b. Ka'B Al-Qurazi 95

Riwayah 4 A Summary Report from Muhammad b. Ka'b in the Tafsir of Abu al-Layth al-Samarqandi 95

Riwayah 5 A Summary Report from Muhammad b. Ka'b in the Tafsir of Ibn Abi Hatim al-Razi 96

Riwayah 6 A Summary Report from Muhammad b. Ka'b in the Tafsir of Abu al-Shaykh al-Isbahani 97

Riwayah 7 From the Maghazi of Yunus b. Bukayr 99

Riwayahs 8 to 13 From 'Urwah b. Al-Zubayr 105

Riwdyah 8 From Abu al-Aswad's Egyptian Recension of 'Urwah's Maghazi 105

Riwayah 9 al-Bayhaqi's Citation of the Maghazi of Musab. 'Uqbah, and Ibn Kathir's Citation from Ibn Abi Hatim of the Maghazi of Musa b. 'Uqbah 115

Riwayah 10 al-Dhahabi's Citation of the Maghazi of Musa b. 'Uqbah 125

Riwayah 11 Abu Nu'aym al-Isbahani's Citation of the Maghazi of Musab. 'Uqbah 129

Riwayah 12 al-Suyuti's Citation from Ibn Abï Hatim's Tafsir of the Maghazi of Musa b. 'Uqbah 131

Riwayah 13 al-Kila'i's Citation of the Maghazi of Musa b. 'Uqbah 134

Riwayahs 8 to 13 Conclusions 137

Riwayahs 14 and 15 Al-Zuhri from Abu Bakr 'Abd Al-Rahman b. Al Harith 138

Riwayah 14 Probably from al Zuhrl's Tafsir with a sahih mursal isnad 139

Riwayah 15 Probably from al-Zuhri's Kitab al-maghazi 143

Riwayahs 14 and 15 Conclusions 145

Riwayahs 16 to 20 From Abu Al-'Aliyah Al-Basri 146

Riwayah 16 Cited by al-Tabari with a sahih mursal Basran isnad 147

Riwayah 17 Also Cited by al-Tabari with a sahih mursal Basran isnad 149

Riwayah 18 Cited by al-Suyuti in the Durr from the Tafsirs of al-Tabari, Ibn al-Mundhir and Ibn Abi Hatim by an Unspecified sahih isnad 151

Riwayah 19 Cited by al-Suyuti in the Durr from the Tafsirs of al-Tabari, Ibn al-Mundhir and Ibn Abi Hatim al-Razi 153

Riwayah 20 Cited by Yahya b. Sallam al-Basri in his Tafsir 154

Riwayahs 16 to 20 Conclusions 157

Riwayahs 21 and 22 From Al-Suddi 158

Riwayah 21 In the Tafsir of 'Abd b. Humayd al-Samarqandi 158

Riwayah 22 In the Tafsir of Ibn Abi Hatim al-Razi 160

Riwayah 23 From Muhammad b. Al-Sa'ib Al-Kalbï 162

Riwayahs 24 to 26 From Qatadah b. Di'Amah 166

Riwayah 24 Cited by Yahya b. Sallam al-Basri in His Tafsir 166

Riwayah 25 al-Tabari's Citation of Tafsir Muhammad ibn Thawr 'an Ma'mar 'an Qatadah, and of al-Hasan b. Yahya's Citation of Qatadah in the Baghdadi Transmission of the Tafsir of 'Abd al-Razzaq al-San'ani 169

Riwayah 26 From the Tafsir of 'Abd al-Razzaq al-San'ani 175

Riwayahs 24 to 26 Conclusions 179

Riwayahs 27 to 30 From Muqatil b. Sulayman 180

Riwayah 27 Muqatil's Commentary on Qur'an 22:52 al-Hajj 181

Riwayah 28 Muqatil's Commentary on Qur'an 53:19-26 al-Najm 183

Riwayah 29 Muqatil's Commentary on Qur'an 109 al-Kafirun 188

Riwayah 30 Muqatil's Commentary on Qur'an 39:43-45 al-Zumar 190

Riwayahs 27 to 30 Conclusions 191

Riwayahs 31 to 33 From Mujahid b. Jabr 192

Riwayah 31 From Mujahid's Commentary on Qur'an 22:52 al-Hajj Cited by Ibn 'Aqilah 192

Riwayah 32 From Mujahid's Commentary on Qur'an 39:45 al-Zumar Cited by al-Wahidi 194

Riwayah 33 From Mujahid's Commentary on Qur'an 17:73 al-Isra' Cited by al-Tha'labi 196

Riwayah 34 From Al-Dahhak b. Muzahim Al-Balkhi 197

Riwayahs 35 to 44 Attributed to 'Abd Allah b. 'Abbas 202

Riwayah 35 From 'Atiyyah b. Sa'd al-'Awfi 204

Riwayah 36 From Abu Salih 211

Riwayah 37 From 'Ata' b. Abi Rabah al-Makki 213

Riwayah 38 Cited Directly from Ibn 'Abbas in the Ghara'ib al-Qur'an of Nizam al Din al-Naysaburi 219

Riwayah 39 From Abu Salih; from 'Ikrimah the mawla of Ibn 'Abbas; and from an Unnamed Source 220

Riwayahs 40 to 44 Sa'id b. Jubayr from IBN 'Abbas 223

Riwayahs 40,41 and 42 'Uthman b. al-Aswad ←Sa'id b. Jubayr 224

Riwayah 40 In the Mukhtarah of al-Diya' al-Maqdisi with a Deficient isnad 224

Riwayah 41 In the Tafsir of Abu al-Layth al-Samarqandi with an Unacknowledged sahih isnad 227

Riwayah 42 In the Ashab al-nuzul of al-Wahidi with an isnad Stopping at Sa'id b. Jubayr 228

Riwayahs 43 and 44 Shu'bah ←Abu Bishr ←Sa'id b. Jubayr ← Ibn 'Abbas 231

Riwayah 43 Cited from Yusuf b. Hammad al-Basri in the Musnad of al-Bazzar with Two Cautionary Remarks 231

Riwayah 44 Cited from Yusuf b. Hammad al-Basri in the Mu'jam al-Kabir of al-Tabarani and in the Tafsir of Ibn Mardawayh, with an Interesting Remark 236

Riwayahs 35 to 44 Conclusions 241

Riwayahs 45 to 47 From Sa'Id b. Jubayr without Attribution to IBN 'Abbas 244

Riwayah 45 Cited by al-Tabari from Sa'id b. Jubayr via Shu'bah and Abu Bishr Ja'far b. Abi Wahshiyyah 244

Riwayah 46 Cited by Ibn Abi Hatim al-Razi from Sa'id b. Jubayr via Shu'bah and Abu Bishr Ja'far b. Abi Wahshiyyah 246

Riwayah 47 Cited by al-Suyuti in the without an isnad 247

Riwayahs 40 to 47 Conclusions 248

Riwayah 48 From 'Ikrimah, The Mawla of IBN 'Abbas 250

Riwayahs 49 and 50 From AL-Hasan Al-Basri 252

Riwayah 49 Cited from al-Hasan al-Basri in al-Nukat wa-al-'uyun of al-Mawardi 253

Riwayah 50 Cited from al-Hasan al-Basri in Ahkam al-Qur'an of al-Jassas 254

Conclusions: The Satanic Verses, Riwayahs 1 to 50 256

Chapter 3 Why Did the Early Muslim Community Accept the Satanic Verses Incident as Truth? 265

Bibliography 303

Acknowledgments 327

Index 335

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