• Qiṣaṣ al-anbiyāʾ as Genre and Discourse: From the Qurʾān to Elijah Muhammad

    Mizan: Journal for the Study of Muslim Societies and Civilizations (view group) , Marianna Klar, Michael Pregill, Roberto Tottoli
    Michael Pregill
    Mizan: Journal for the Study of Muslim Societies and Civilizations
    Qurʼan, Islam--Study and teaching, Islam, Middles Ages, Bible, Reader-response criticism
    Item Type:
    Islamic literature, Prophets in Islam, Bible in Islam, Prophet Muhammad, Qur'an studies, Islamic studies, Medieval Islam, Reception of the Bible
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    The study of qiṣaṣ al-anbiyāʾ, the Islamic tales of the prophets, has a distinguished pedigree in the Western academy, but much work remains to be done in the field. Although there have been numerous studies of individual prophetic figures over the last few decades, focused studies of specific works in the literary genre of qiṣaṣ have generally been lacking. Moreover, many studies of prophetic narratives tend to privilege exegetical works over other literary sources, including works in the genre of qiṣaṣ al-anbiyāʾ itself. Despite the apparent contradiction, however, I would argue that the broad dissemination of qiṣaṣ-type material throughout different genres suggests that qiṣaṣ al-anbiyāʾ is better approached as a form of discourse reflecting specific ideological purposes, in particular the appropriation of the biblical tradition and positioning of Muḥammad, the Qurʾān, and Islam as the natural culmination of the Israelite prophetic legacy. As the field develops, clear desiderata remain to be addressed, such as the incorporation of Shi’i, postclassical, and modern reflections on the prophets into the discussion, as well as the full integration of different genres and types of material, for example visual culture, into the field. All of these expressions are tied together by the common aim of shaping the portrayal of these figures in ways that reflect the diverse understandings of Islam among particular authors and communities.
    This is a stable archival PDF of an open-access, peer-reviewed journal article originally published at www.mizanproject.org/journal/.
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    2 years ago


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