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Editor: Nicolai Sinai
The Qur’anic surahs and passages that are customarily taken to postdate Muhammad’s emigration to Medina occupy a key position in the formative period of Islam: they fundamentally shaped later convictions about Muhammad’s paradigmatic authority and universal missionary remit; they constitute an important basis for Islam’s development into a religion with a strong legal focus; and they demarcate the Qur’anic community from Judaism and Christianity. The volume exemplifies a rich array of approaches to the challenges posed by this part of the Qur’an, including its distinctive literary and doctrinal features, its relationship to other late antique traditions, and the question of oral composition.

Contributors are Karen Bauer, Saqib Hussain, Marianna Klar, Joseph E. Lowry, Angelika Neuwirth, Andrew J. O’Connor, Cecilia Palombo, Nora K. Schmid, Nicolai Sinai, Devin J. Stewart, Gabriel S. Reynolds, Neal Robinson and Holger Zellentin.
In: Islamic Studies Today: Essays in Honor of Andrew Rippin
In: Unlocking the Medinan Qur’an
In: Unlocking the Medinan Qur’an
In: The Qurʾān in Context
In: The Qurʾān in Context
Author: Nicolai Sinai

Abstract

The Medinan stratum of the Qurʾān ascribes to Muḥammad a noticeably elevated status and a far wider range of functions than the earlier Meccan layer. Although this shift may well have responded to, and been facilitated by, historical circumstances, it is nonetheless appropriate to inquire whether specific aspects of it might be drawing on pre-Qurʾānic precedents. I argue that the Christian episcopate, arguably the most widespread type of urban religious leadership in late antiquity, yields a surprising number of close overlaps with the Medinan presentation of the function and authority of Muḥammad. In tandem with this assessment, however, the article also considers important differences between the figure of Muḥammad and that of the Christian bishop. The most important such divergence consists in the fact that the Qurʾānic Messenger, unlike a Christian bishop, does not owe his authority to ordination by an ecclesiastical hierarchy: Muḥammad does not occupy an office that imparts authority independently of the person occupying it.

In: Arabica
Historical and Literary Investigations into the Qurʾānic Milieu
Although recent scholarship has increasingly situated the Qur'ān in the historical context of Late Antiquity, such a perspective is only rarely accompanied by the kind of microstructural literary analysis routinely applied to the Bible. The present volume seeks to redress this lack of contact between literary and historical studies. Contributions to the first part of the volume address various general aspects of the Qur’an’s political, economic, linguistic, and cultural context, while the second part contains a number of close readings of specific Qur’ānic passages in the light of Judeo-Christian tradition and ancient Arabic poetry, as well as discussions of the Qur’ān’s internal chronology and transmission history. Throughout, special emphasis is given to methodological questions.