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In Praise of the Caliphs: Re-Creating History from the Manāqib Literature

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 January 2009

Extract

Roughly around the end of the 7th century, a distinct genre of Islamic literature began to develop under the rubric fadāʾil (“virtues” or “excellences”) that praised the merits, for example, of reciting the Qurʾan, of the Companions of the Prophet, of performing religious duties such as hajj and jihad, and of sacred cities such as Jerusalem. The fadāʾil literature initially was a part of the burgeoning hadith corpus, and the fadāʾ-Qurʾ an traditions appear to be the oldest strand. A variant term for this type of tradition, especially with regard to the Companions of the Prophet, is manāqib (and less frequently, khasāʾ is). A survey of this kind of “praise” literature indicates that the terms manāqib and fadaāʾil could be used fairly interchangeably.

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Research Article
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Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1999

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References

Author's note: An abridged version of this paper was presented at the colloquium Hadith: Texts and History in March, 1998 held at the Centre for Islamic Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

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33 Ess, Van, Theologie und Gesellschaft, 2:117–18. In the Maghrib, the Bakriyya were designated as the followers of the Sufi al-Bakri al-Siqilli (d. 996).Google Scholar

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48 For the evolution of this term, see El2, s.v. “Ahl al-Bayt,” 1:237–38; Sharon, Moshe, “Ahl al-Bayt—People of the House,” Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam 8 (1986): 169–84Google Scholar; see also idem, The Umayyads as Ahl al-BaytJerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam 14 (1991): 116–52, in which he describes Umayyad attempts to arrogate this term to themselves.Google Scholar

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55 Ibid., 1:513. Significantly, a similar tradition is recorded by al-Khwarazmi, in his Manāqib (p. 219)Google Scholar, in which ʿAli occupies this middle position between Abraham and Muhammad on the Day of Judgment on account of his intimacy with God. In Sunni hadith, the term khalīl in the sense of Muhammad's close friend is overwhelmingly reserved for Abu Bakr; cfal-Bukhārī, , Ṣaḥiḥ (Cairo, 1973), 6:7879Google Scholar; al-Hajjāj, Muslim ibn, Ṣaḥiḥ (Beirut, 1995), 4:1478–79Google Scholar; Shayba, Ibn Abī, Muṣannaf, 6:348, nos. 31923, 31924, and 31926Google Scholar; Saʿd, Ibn, Tabaqāt, 3:176.Google Scholar

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57 Ibid., no. 5663.

58 For this hadith in relation to ʿAli, see al-Tirmidhī, (d. 892–93), Ṣaḥiḥ Sunan (Beirut, 1988; hereafter Sunan), 3:213, no. 2929Google Scholar; Māja, Ibn (d. 886), Sunan (Riyadh, 1983), 1:24, no. 106.Google Scholar

59 The family of the Prophet (āl Muhammad), however defined, is barred from accepting both zakāt and ṣadaqa (“voluntary alms”), according to most Sunni jurists; see El2, s.v. “Ṣadaka,” 8:713. The Shiʿa, however, allow ṣadaqa, in addition to khums, for them.

60 Al-Fasawī, , Maʿrifa, 1:536; Muslim, Ṣaḥiḥ, 4:1492–93.Google Scholar For traditions that include the Prophet's wives among the ahl al-bayt, notably Umm Salama, see Shayba, Ibn Abī, Musannaf, 6:370, no. 32104Google Scholar; al-Tabarī, al- Muhibb, Dhakhāʾir al-ʿuqba fi manāqib dhawī 'l-qurbā (Jedda, 1995), 5559.Google Scholar

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62 For whom, see al-Baghdādī, al-Khatīb (d. 1071), Taʾrikh Baghdād (Cairo, 1931), 9:174–84; GAS, 1:96.Google Scholar

63 Sunni biographies point out that Jaʿfar ibn Muhammad was also a descendant of Abu Bakr on his mother's side, in which fact he is said to have taken great pride; cf., for example, Hajar, Ibn, Tahdhīb altahdhīb, 1:310–11.Google Scholar

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65 Al-Jāḥiẏ, , ʿUthmāniyya, 113.Google Scholar It should be pointed out that the Risālat al-ʿUthmāniyya has scarcely anything to do with ʿUthman, as Sharon erroneously states in his Black Banners from the East (Jerusalem, 1983), 35 and n. 10.Google Scholar The work is rather exclusively concerned with establishing Abu Bakr's greater qualifications to succeed the Prophet vis-à-vis ʿAli.

66 For accounts referring to Abu Quhafa's acceptance of Islam, see Hishām, Ibn, Sira, 2:856–57.Google Scholar

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68 See al-Nīsābūrī, Al-Hākim, al-Mustadrak ʿalā 'l-ṣaḥiḥayn (Hyderabad, 19211922), 3:475Google Scholar; a similar report, also from Musa ibn ʿUqba, is contained in al-Ṭabarī, al-Muḥibb, al-Riyāḍ al-naḍira, 1:214.Google Scholar For Shiʿi refutation of such traditions, see, for example, al-Amīnī, , Al-ghadīr fi 'l-kitāb wa-'l-sunna wa-'l-adab (Beirut, 1994), 7:351–-66.Google Scholar

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70 Ibid., 1:160.

71 For whom, see El2, 1:53–54. ʿAbd Allah Ibn ʿUmar was commonly believed, however, to have belonged to a “neutral” or “moderate” camp that refused to take sides in the dispute between ʿAli and Mucawiya after the murder of cUthman; cfWatt, , Formative Period, 7273.Google Scholar

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75 CfHazm, Ibn, al-Fiṣal fi 'l-milal wa-l-ahwā wa-'l-niḥal (Beirut, 1996), 3:26.Google Scholar

76 Al-Balādhurī, , Ansāb al-ashrāf, 1:560–61.Google Scholar

77 Al-Nawbakhtī, , Firaq al-shīʿa, 15.Google Scholar

78 al-Qummī, Saʿd ibn ʿAbd Allāh, Kitāb al-maqālāt wa-'l-firaq (Tehran, 1963), 7, no. 22.Google Scholar

79 Al-Bukhārī, , Sahih, 7:100101, no. 3867.Google Scholar

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81 Al-Fasawī, , Maʿrifa, 1:450.Google Scholar

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83 Ḥanbal, Ibn, Fadāʾil al-sahāba, 1:194, no. 210.Google Scholar

84 Al-Baghdādī, , Taʾrikh Baghdād, 13:211.Google Scholar

85 Al-Haythamī, , Majmaʿ al-zawāʾid, 9:41.Google Scholaral-Jawzi, Ibn (d. 1201) lists this as a spurious tradition in his Kitāb al-mawdūʿāt, ed. ʿUthman, ʿAbd al-Rahmān Muḥammad (Medina, 1966), 1:318. It is worthy of note that an almost identical tradition occurs in a Zaydi manāqib work, but with ʿAli's name substituted for Abu Bakr's, see Abū Jaʿfar Muḥammad ibn Sulaymān, Manāqib amīr al-muʾminīn ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib, ms., Ambrosiana Microfilm Collection, Medieval Institute, University of Notre Dame, Arabi H 128, pt. 2, fol. 46b. For Abu Jaʿfar (alive 912), see GAS, 1:346.Google Scholar

86 Al-Haythamī, , Majmaʿ al-zawāʾid, 9:41.Google Scholar

87 CfAhmad, Jamal al-DinTawus, Ibn (d. 1274–75), Bināʾ al-maqāla al-fāṭimiyya fi naqḍ al-risāla al-ʿuthmāniyya, ed. al-Ghurayfī, ʿAdnān (Qumm, 1411 A.H.), 242–43.Google Scholar

88 Al-ၬūsi, , al-shāfi, Talkhīṣ, ed. al-Sayyid Husayn Baḥr al-ʿUlūm (Najaf, 1963), 3:30.Google Scholar

89 Ibid.; Raḍī al-DIn Ibn ၬāwūs (d. 1266), Kitāb al-Turaf (Najaf, 1369 A.H.), 31–32.

90 This tradition is recorded, for example, by al-Tirmidhī, Sunan, 3:213, no. 2930, and by Ibn Māja, Sunan, 1:24–25, no. 108.

91 See, for example, al-Bāqillānī, Tamhīd, 169–73.

92 Al-Jāhiz, ʿUthmāniyya, 145. For a variant tradition concerning the Companion Burayda al-Aslami, see ʿAbd al-Razzāq, Musannaf, 11:225, no. 20388; Mustadrak, 3:110.

93 Al-Bukhārī, , Sahīh, 6:79. Abū Dāʾūd, Ṣaḥiḥ Sunan (Beirut, 1989), 3:876, nos. 3870 and 3871.Google Scholar

94 Al-Fasawī, Maʿrifa, 1:479–80.

95 11:225, no. 20387; al-Muḥibb al-Ṭabarī, al-Riyāḍ al-naḍira, 1:47.

96 11:225, no. 20387.

97 Al-Muḥibb al-Ṭabarī, al-Riyāḍ al-naḍira,, 1:65.

98 lbid., 1:62.

99 Ibid., 1:181.

100 al-Jawzī, Abū 'l-Faraj Ibn, Manāqib amīr al-muʾminln ʿUmar b. al-Khaṭṭāb, ed. al-Qārūt, Zaynab Ibrāhim (Beirut, n.d.), 31Google Scholar; al-Suyūtī, , al-Ghurar fi fadāʾil ʿUmar, ed. Haydar, al-Shaykh ʿAmir Ahmad (Beirut, 1991); al-Hākim al-Nīsābūrī, Mustadrak, 3:85.Google Scholar

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102 Al-Kulaynī, , al-Uṣūl min al-kāfi (Tehran, 1956), 1: 263.Google Scholar

103 Al-Ṭusi, , Ikhtiyār maʿrifat al-rijāl, ed. al-Rajāʾī, al-Sayyid Mahdī (n.p., n.d.), 1:60.Google Scholar

104 Tāj al-Dīn al-Subkī (d. 1355), Ṭabaqāt al-shāfiʾiyya (Cairo, 1914), 1:158.Google Scholar

105 CfWatt, , Formative Period, 167.Google Scholar

106 El 2, s.v. “Imāma,” 3:1164; Zaman, , Religion and Politics, 169 ff.Google Scholar

107 This refers to the treaty of Hudaybiyya, concluded in 628.

108 Al-Baghdādī, , al-Farq, 303–4.Google Scholar

109 For whom, see Ḥajar, Ibn, Tahdhlb al-tahdhib, 4: 252;Google Scholar he is overwhelmingly described as a thiqa from whom the giant traditionists such as al-Bukhari, al-Tirmidhi, al-Nasaʿi, and others, transmitted hadiths.

110 Ibid., 3:1115–16. Cf. the version given by Zaman, , Religion and Politics, 5152.Google Scholar

111 See further, Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr, IstiḤʿā, 3:1116, in which another report from Yahya ibn Macin states, “The best of this community after our Prophet are Abu Bakr and ʿUmar, then ʿUthman, then ʿAli; this is our doctrine (madhhabunā) and the saying of our leaders.” But according to other reports, Yahya ibn Maʿin also used to place ʿAli before cUthman, apparently with no misgivings.

112 Al-Baghdādī, , al-Farq, 302.Google Scholar

113 Al-Nawbakhtī, , Firaq al-shīʿa, 71;Google Scholarcfal-Qummī, , Maqālāt, 7, no. 25.Google Scholar

114 Al-Bayhaqī, , al-Maḥāsin wa-'l-masāwi (Beirut, 1960), 41.Google Scholar

115 CfManẓūr, Ibn, Lisān al-ʿarab (Beirut, 1993), 5: 266–67;Google ScholarLane, Edward, Arabic-English Lexikon (Cambridge, 1984), 1: 1120.Google Scholar

116 The Zaydi scholar Abu Muhammad al-Qasim al-Rassi (d. 860) wrote several refutations of the Rāfida;cf. GAS, 1:561–63.

117 Qutayba, Ibn, Taʿwil mukhtalif al-ḥadith (Cairo, 1981), 92.Google Scholar

118 See al-Qadi, Wadad, “The Development of the Term Ghulat in Muslim Literature with Special Reference to the Kaysāniyya,” in Akten des VII. Kongresses für Arabistik und Islamwissenschaft, Göttingen, 15. bis. 22. August 1974, ed. Dietrich, Albert (Göttingen, 1976), 310–15, and references therein.Google Scholar

119 See ibn, Abū 'l-ḤasanʿUthmān al-Khayyāṭ, Kitāb al-Intiṣār wa-'l-radd ʿalā Ibn al-Rāwandī al-mulḥid mā qaṣada bihi min al-kidhb ʿalā 'l-muslimīn wa-'l-ṭaʿn ʿalayhim (Beirut, 1957), 117.Google Scholar

120 Al-Nawbakhtī, , Firaq al-shiʿa, 15;Google Scholaral-Qummī, , Maqālāt, 3, no. 5.Google Scholar

121 Al-Masʿūdī, , al-Tanbīh wa-'l-ishrāf, 337.Google Scholar

122 Al-Ṭüsi, , Talkhīṣ, 2:94, 99.Google Scholar

123 Ṭāwūs, Aḥmad Ibn, Bināʾ al-maqāla, 116.Google Scholar

124 Al-Ṭūsī, , Talkh¯ṣ, 2: 96 ff.Google Scholar

125 CfWatt, , Formative Period, 81;Google ScholarEss, van, Theologie und Gesellschaft, 2: 117.Google ScholarThe entry on al-Hasan in ʿAbd al-Jabbār's Ṭabaqāt al-muʿtazila (Tunis, 1393/1974), 215–25,Google Scholar which otherwise gives a detailed account of his thought, makes no reference to his belief in naṣṣ.

126 Al-Ṭūsī, , Talkhīṣ, 2: 9495,Google Scholar and Ess, van, Theologie und Gesellschaft, 1: 379,Google Scholar in which it is mentioned that the theory of naṣṣ is also attributed to Hisham ibn al-Hakam (d. 3rd/9th century); ʿal-Jabbār, Abd, Tathbīt dalāʿil al-nubuwwa, ed. ʿʿUthmān, Abd al-Karīm (Beirut, 1996), 224–26.Google Scholar Other accounts attribute it to Abu ʿIsa al-Warraq (d. 861); al-Ṭūsī, , Talkhīṣ, 2: 95.Google Scholar For Ibn al-Rawandi, see El 2, 3:905–6.

127 Zaman, , Religion and Politics, 8 ff.Google Scholar

128 CfCrone, Patricia and Hinds, Martin, God's Caliph: Religious Authority in the First Centuries of Islam (Cambridge, 1986).Google Scholar

129 Madelung, , Succession to Muḥammad, Introduction, 127.Google Scholar

130 'l-Hadīd, Ibn Abī, Sharḥ nahj al-balāgha, Beirut, ed., 2:267.Google Scholar

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