The Transmission and Dynamics of the Textual Sources of Islam

Essays in Honour of Harald Motzki

For many Muslims, the textual sources of Islam provide the guiding principles on which they base their beliefs. These texts have also been studied by Western scholars of Islam for centuries. Most of their work has focussed on the historicity of the texts, often at the expense of the study of Muslims' highly diverse interpretation and application of these sources in everyday life. This volume provides new insights into the transmission of these sources (primarily the Qurʾān and the Ḥadīth) and combines this with the dynamics of these scriptures by paying close attention to how believers in the Muslim world as well as the West interpret and apply them. As such, this volume provides a fascinating overview of how the sources of Islam are dated, debated and negotiated.

Contributors include: Nicolet Boekhoff-van der Voort, Gregor Schoeler, Maribel Fierro, Fred Leemhuis, Claude Gilliot, Andreas Görke, Jens Scheiner, Michael Lecker, Maher Jarrar, Gerard Wiegers, Uri Rubin, Kees Versteegh, Joas Wagemakers, Herbert Berg, Abdulkader Tayob, Roel Meijer, Martijn de Koning, Carmen Becker and Ulrike Mitter.

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Nicolet Boekhoff-van der Voort, MA (1992 and 1996), Institute of Translation, Maastricht and Radboud University Nijmegen, is Lecturer of Arabic and Islam at Radboud University Nijmegen. Her current Ph.D. research is on the sources of the biography of the Prophet Muḥammad by applying the isnād-cum-matn analysis to a complex of traditions attributed to al-Zuhrī.

Kees Versteegh, Ph.D. (1977) on Greek Elements in Arabic Linguistic Thinking, Radboud University Nijmegen, is Professor Emeritus of Arabic and Islam at Radboud University Nijmegen. His field of research is historical linguistics and the history of linguistics, focusing on processes of language change and language contact. His books include The Arabic language (Edinburgh 1997).

Joas Wagemakers, Ph.D. (2010) Radboud University Nijmegen, is Lecturer at Radboud University Nijmegen and Research Fellow at the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael in The Hague. His current research and publications focus on Islamist and Salafi ideology and Islamist movements as well as on intellectual trends and debates in Saudi Arabia.
"There is certain to be something of academic value for virtually every scholar of Islam in this volume."
Andrew Rippin in Journal of Shi'a Islamic Studies 5.3 (2012), 366.

“While the title of this book… is belied by the approximately 1200-year gap between the origins of Islam and a handful of contemporary Salafis, its individual contributions are of a high calibre and provide valuable insight into the isnād-cum-matn method of analysis, the challenges of reconstructing early Islamic history, and intra-Salafi polemics taking place online and in print at this very moment. Professor Motzki should be proud that this book has been published in his honor.”
Scott C. Lucas in Journal of the American Oriental Society 134.4 (2014).

“The scholarly quality of the edition is above reproach.”
Abdessamad Belhaj in Al-Masāq, Vol. 26, No. 2 (2014).

Bibliography Harald Motzki

Part 1: Production
Nicolet Boekhoff-van der Voort, The Kitāb al-maghāzī of ʿAbd al-Razzāq b. Hammām al-Ṣanʿānī: Searching for earlier source-material
Gregor Schoeler, Neue Erkentnisse zu Mūsā b. ʿUqbas Kitāb al-maghāzī
Maribel Fierro, Local and global in Ḥadīth literature: The case of al-Andalus
Fred Leemhuis, A peculiar manuscript of the Qurʾān in the Groningen University library
Claude Gilliot, The "collections" of the Meccan Arabic lectionary

Part 2: Transmission
Andreas Görke, Prospects and limits in the study of the historical Muḥammad
Jens Scheiner, The conquest of Damascus according to the oldest datable sources
Michael Lecker, The assassination of the Jewish merchant Ibn Sunayna according to an authentic family account
Maher Jarrar, Ibn Abī Yaḥyā: A controversial Medinan Akhbārī of the 2nd/8th century
Gerard Wiegers, Jean de Roquetaille's prophecies among the Muslim minorities of medieval and early-modern Christian Spain: An Islamic version of the Vademecum in Tribulatione

Part 3: Interpretation
Uri Rubin, "A day when heaven shall bring a manifest smoke" (Q. 44: 10-11): A comparative study of the Qurʾānic and post-Qurʾānic image of the Muslim Prophet
Kees Versteegh, The name of the ant and the call to holy war: Al-Daḥḥāk b. Muzāḥim's commentary on the Qurʾān
Joas Wagemakers, An inquiry into ignorance: A Jihādī-Salafī debate on jahl as an obstacle to takfīr
Herbert Berg, Elijah Muhammad's Redeployment of Muḥammad: Racialist and Prophetic Interpretations of the Qurʾān

Part 4: Reception
Abdulkader Tayob, Human rights in modern Islamic discourse
Roel Meijer, Politicising al-jarḥ wa-l-taʿdīl: Rabīʿ b. Hādī al-Madkhalī and the transnational battle for religious authority
Martijn de Koning, "Melting the heart": Muslim youth in the Netherlands and the Qurʾān
Carmen Becker, Following the Salafī manhaj in computer-mediated environments: Linking everyday life to the Qurʾān and the Sunna
Ulrike Mitter, "The majority of the dwellers of hell-fire are women": A short analysis and reception of a much-discussed ḥadīth

List of contributors

All those interested in early-Islamic history, Qurʾānic exegesis, textual transmission, the reception and transformation of scriptural sources, as well as philologists, theologians and scholars of Islam.