Chapter 22. Stories of the Prophets

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Klar, Marianna
  • Publisher: Blackwell
  • Subject: 2700

The Blackwell Companion to the Qur'an is a reader's guide, a true companion for anyone who wishes to read and understand the Qur'an as a text and as a vital piece of Muslim life. Comprises over 30 original essays by leading scholars. Provides exceptionally broad coverage - considering the structure, content and rhetoric of the Qur'an; how Muslims have interpreted the text and how they interact with it; and the Qur'an's place in Islam. Features notes, an extensive bibliography, indexes of names, Qur'an citations, topics, and technical terms.
  • References (13)
    13 references, page 1 of 2

    1 This figure does not take into account personages whose biographies are provided within the tales of others, e.g. the story of Khid.r which is contained within the tale of Moses.

    2 The printed versions consulted include: al-Tha lab¯ı (1985); the Azhar edition, al-Maktaba alSa ¯ıdiyya, Cairo, n.d.; edition by Abd al- Az¯ız Sayyid al-Ahl, Singapore, 1962; and the edition of al-Maktaba al-Thaqafiyya, Beirut, n.d.

    3 Thackston (1978: xxiii-xxiv) describes a similar phenomenon as occurring in Kisa¯ ¯ı's Tales of the Prophets: “In Kisa'i's version . . . a sense of continuity is maintained by reintroducing 'props' throughout the tales. Adam's ta¯bu¯ t, for example . . . emerges at significant points in the narrative: it holds the leaves of Adam's Book and is passed down through Seth and successive generations to Noah; it contains carpentry tools used by Noah to construct his ark; it is also the Ark of the Covenant carried about by the Children of Israel. All of the articles of clothing with which Jacob invests Joseph were inherited from the former prophets. Moses' staff, which he takes from Shu ayb/Jethro, had been brought to Adam from Paradise and passed down to Seth, Idris, Noah, Salih, and Abraham. In the Job narrative, Ibl¯ıs stands on the very rock Cain used to kill Abel. The ram that miraculously appears to be sacrificed in Isaac's stead turns out to be the very ram that Abel offered to God. And the stones which David picks up on his way to do battle with Goliath cry out that they had belonged to his fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”

    4 For al-Tha lab¯ı's alleged S.u¯ f¯ı connections see Nagel 1967: 82. Saleh (2004: 56-65) disputes the extent to which al-Tha lab¯ı can be named a S.u¯ f¯ı, yet makes it clear that he was nonetheless extremely interested in the ideas of the mystics. It is moreover evident that asceticism as a whole was a general feature of literature of this type (see Khoury 1978: 44-5, 96-7).

    Brinner, William M. (trans. and annot.) (2002) Ara¯ is al-Maja¯lis f¯ı qis.as. al-anbiya¯ or “Lives of the Prophets” as Recounted by Abu¯ Ish. a¯q Ah.mad ibn Muh.ammad ibn Ibra¯h¯ım al-Tha lab¯ı. E. J. Brill, Leiden.

    Johns, A. H. (1989) David and Bathsheba: A case study in the exegesis of Qur a¯ nic story-telling. Mélanges de l'Institut Dominicaine d'Etudes Orientales du Caire 19, 225-66.

    Klar, M. O. (2004) And we cast upon his throne a mere body: A historiographical reading of Q 38:34. Journal of Qur a¯nic Studies 6:1, 103-26.

    Klar, M. O. (2006) Interpreting Tha lab¯ı's Tales of the Prophets: Temptation, Responsibility and Loss. RoutledgeCurzon, London.

    Lassner, Jacob (1993) Demonizing the Queen of Sheba: Boundaries of Gender and Culture in Postbiblical Judaism and Medieval Islam. University of Chicago Press, Chicago (especially pp. 64-87: A reading of al-Tha lab¯ı's Solomon and the Queen of Sheba).

    Saleh, Walid A. (2004) The Formation of the Classical Tafs¯ır Tradition: The Qur a¯n Commentary of al-Tha lab¯ı (d. 427/1035). E. J. Brill, Leiden.

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