Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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p. v

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Introduction

Fred M. Donner

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pp. vii-viii

The study of early Islamic history, more perhaps than most historical fields, has been plagued by uncertainties about the reliability of its written sources. No branch of history is, of course, entirely free of such historiographical controversy; but the disagreement and debate over sources for early Islamic history and their reliability have hung like an ominous cloud over the field almost...

Note on the English Translation

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p. xix

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Preface

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pp. 3-11

Historical writing and the theories concerning it have been the subject of particular interest among historians in recent years, due to the important ways they affect both historical research itself and the direction in which such research is oriented. Discussion of this subject is no longer limited to asking whether history is...

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CHAPTER ONE The Rise of History Among the Arabs and Its Development During the First Three Centuries A.H.

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pp. 12-75

Among the Arabs, historical writing has been an integral part of general cultural development.1 Its links with the discipline of hadith and with belles-lettres are particularly strong and deserve special attention. Moreover, the rise of Islam, the subsequent creation of an empire, the clash of various views and cultural currents, and the development and experiences of the new Islamic community, or umma, are all of vital concern to us if we are to understand...

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CHAPTER TWO Origins of the Historical Schoolof Medina: 'Urwa—al-Zuhri

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pp. 76-121

Studies both historical and otherwise began as common endeavors represented by academic circles, or balaqdt, each gathered around a teacher, and when a superior student had surpassed a certain academic level it was possible for him to establish his own circle. Instruction was available to anyone who sought it, and the teacher's...

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CHAPTER THREE The Beginnings of Historical Folklore: Wahb ibn Munabbih

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pp. 122-135

The study of Wahb ibn Munabbih takes us beyond the scope of an investigation of historical writing among the Arabs." But as some researchers in the past have placed him within these domains,1 and some have stressed his importance in the sira,2 we are compelled to examine him here in order to show, in no uncertain terms, that...

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CHAPTER FOUR Origins of the Historical School of Iraq: Its Rise and Development Until the Third Century A.H.

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pp. 136-151

Arab historical writing is an integral part of Arab culture, and it can only be understood in terms of other cultural activities and developments.* To study it in isolation leads only to a confused and incomplete understanding of its origins and development. Historical writing among the Arabs began after the rise of Islam. Activities of the Jahiliya, such as the ayyam tales and genealogy, indicate....

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CHAPTER FIVE Motives for the Writing of History and the Historical Views Embodied in the Works of the First Historians

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pp. 152-160

The factors which led to the writing of history among the Arabs are related to cultural developments on the one hand, and to general currents and perspectives in Arab society on the other. Originally we find that the pre-Islamic Arab interest in ayyam and genealogies, as well as their prose and verse accounts pertaining to these subjects, were closely associated with the social views predominant among them on hasab and nasab. As one might expect, these...

Bibliography of Works Cited

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pp. 161-176

Index

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pp. 177-192