Heretics and Party-crashers: Al-Khāṭīb al-Baghdādī’s Kitāb al-Taṭfīl

In: Journal of Abbasid Studies
Emily Selove University of Exeter Exeter UK

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John Turner Colby College Waterville, ME USA

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Al-Khaṭīb al-Baghdādī (d. 463/1071), best known for a book on the history of Baghdad and religious writings, also wrote Kitāb al-Taṭfīl, “The Book of Party-Crashing,” a collection of anecdotes he had heard from friends and fellow scholars. The work ranges from recalling party-crashing-related ḥadīths from the prophet Muḥammad to jokes and satirical government documents from his own time. Party-crashing (taṭfīl)-stories, besides being humorous, also give room to examine more serious issues. Stories about party-crashing are naturally concerned with inclusion and exclusion, i.e., who should be invited, and in this article, it is argued that some party-crashing stories in al-Khaṭīb al-Baghdādī’s book present arguments for more inclusiveness in religion.

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