Narrating Muhammad's Night Journey: Tracing the Development of the Ibn 'abbas Ascension Discourse

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2008-08-07
  • Publisher: State Univ of New York Pr
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"This book provides an exhaustive examination of the historical development of a key story in the life of Muhammad, the tale told of his journey to the divine realm and back. It shows how in the early centuries of the Islamic community, both Sunni and Shi'i Muslims appropriated this fascinating story and interpreted it to suit their own ends. In particular, the book traces the development of a critical and influential strand of this rich ascension literature ascribed to one of Muhammad's famous companions, the scholar known as Ibn 'Abbas. Frederick S. Colby, demonstrates that this version of the tale originated in the early period and spread throughout the Islamic world, affecting how people from Spain to Afghanistan came to think about Muhammad and his legacy. Colby also includes translations of richly textured ascension narratives that have never before appeared in English."--BOOK JACKET.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Abbreviationsp. xiii
Introductionp. 1
Muhammad's Night Journey in the Qur'anp. 13
The Night Journey Versep. 13
Verses from the Chapter of the Overturningp. 16
The Opening Verses of the Chapter of the Starp. 17
The Appropriation of Terms and Phrases from the Qur'anp. 21
The Heavenly Host Debatep. 22
The Final Verses (Seals) of the Chapter of the Cowp. 23
Passing References to the Ascension in the Qur'anp. 24
Orality and the Primitive Version of the Ibn 'Abbas Ascension Narrativep. 29
Approaching Ibn 'Abbas and the Primitive Versionp. 30
Comparatively Analyzing the Primitive Versionp. 35
Authenticating and Dating the Circulation of the Primitive Versionp. 42
Echoes of Muqatil b. Sulayman's Commentary in the Primitive Versionp. 46
Tracing the Beginnings of the Primitive Versionp. 48
Early Historical Descriptions of Muhammad's Journeyp. 51
From Qur'an and Oral Reports to Early Narrative History: Ibn Ishaqp. 51
Ibn Ishaq's Account of the Prophet's Night Journey as Narrated by Ibn Hishamp. 53
Ibn Ishaq's Account of the Heavenly Journey as Narrated by Ibn Hishamp. 55
The Early Ascension Narrative as Presented in Ibn Sa'd's Historyp. 57
The Night Journey as Narrated by Ibn Sa'dp. 59
Proto-Shi'i Narratives of Heavenly Ascentp. 65
The Ascension Experiences of Proto-Shi'i "Extremists"p. 65
Ascension-related Sayings in Saffar Qummi's Collectionp. 67
The Qur'an Commentary of Furat Kufip. 72
Canonical Sunni Hadith Reports on Muhammad's Journeyp. 79
Night Journey and Ascension Hadith Reports in Bukhari and Muslimp. 81
Hadith Reports from the Collection of Nasa'ip. 85
Hadith Reports from the Collection of Tirmidhip. 87
The Use and Appropriation of the Ibn 'Abbas Discourse in Commentariesp. 93
Night Journey and Ascension Accounts in Tabari's Tafsirp. 93
The Abu Hurayra Ascension Narrative from Tabari's Tafsirp. 96
The Abu Sa'id Khudri Ascension Narrative from Tabari's Tafsirp. 101
The Appropriation of the Primitive Version in Other Early Commentariesp. 104
The Use of the Primitive Version in 'Ali Qummi's Tafsirp. 105
The Use of the Primitive Version in Tha 'labi's Tafsirp. 108
Contesting the Primitive Version in Nishapurp. 113
Ibn Hibban's Rejection of the Primitive Versionp. 114
Sulami and His Compilation of Sufi Sayings on Muhammad's Ascensionp. 115
Qushayri and His Kitab al-mi'rajp. 116
The Extended Cosmological Ascension Hadithp. 118
Bayhaqi's Rejection of the Extended Ascension Narrativesp. 123
Bakri's Total and Complete Ibn 'Abbas Discoursep. 127
The Events Prior to the Night Journey in Texts That Invoke Bakrip. 129
Muhammad's Night Journey to Jerusalem in Texts That Invoke Bakrip. 133
Bakri Versions of Muhammad's Journey through the Heavensp. 136
Muhammad's Journey beyond the Seven Heavens in Bakri Textsp. 141
Dating the Ascension Narratives Ascribed to Abu al-Hasan Bakrip. 145
The Circulation and Diffusion of Bakri's Versionsp. 149
The Base Narrative behind Ibn Sina's Allegorical Treatisep. 150
Evidence from Sixth/Twelfth-century North Africap. 154
Liber Scale and the Diffusion of the Bakri Versions in the Seventh/Thirteenth Centuryp. 156
An Anonymous Eastern Persian Mi'rajnamap. 158
Conclusionp. 165
Translation of the Primitive Versionp. 175
Bakri's "Total and Complete" Ascesionp. 195
Glossary: Key Themes and Tropes in the Ibn 'Abbas Ascension Narrativesp. 235
Notesp. 241
Works Citedp. 295
Indexp. 305
Index of Qur'anic Versesp. 313
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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