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Meccan trade and Qur'ānic exegesis (Qur'ān 2: 198)1

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 December 2009

Extract

Qur'ān 2: 198 states that it is no fault in the Muslims that they should seek the faḍl of their lord: laysa ‘alaykum junāḥun an tabtaghū faḍlan min rabbikum. This verse occurs within a series of godly ordinances pertaining to the Muslim ḥajj, and it is therefore quite obvious why Muslim exegetes thought that the faḍl of Allāh in our verse ought to be sought by the believers during the ḥajj. In order to convey this view, the exegetes used a simple device, they added the following clause at the end of the verse: fī mawāsim al-ḥajj—during the rites of, or, in the stations of the ḥajj. Several traditions in al-Ṭabarī contain this addition. Most of the isnāds of these traditions are Meccan, which implies that the scholars of this place were particularly interested in encouraging the believers to come to the holy places of the Meccan ḥajj. Thus, tradition no. 18 in al-Ṭabarī which contains the addition fī mawāsim al-ḥajj is transmitted from the Meccan ‘Ubaydallāh b. Abī Yazīd (d. 126 A.H.), who quotes Ibn al-Zubayr. In fact, the clause fī mawāsim al-ḥajj gained the rank of a qirā'a. In some traditions it is transmitted as such from the Meccan ‘Aṭā’ b. Abī Rabāh (d. 114 A.H.) on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbās. ‘Aṭā’ is quoted through the Meccan Talḥa b. ‘Amr (d. 152 A.H.), as well as through Ḥajjāj b. Arṭāt (d. 145 A.H.). The Medinese ‘Ikrima (d. 105 A.H.) also spread the same qirā'a. In al-Ṭabarī he is quoted by the Basrian Ayyūb al-Sakhtiyānī (d. 131 A.H.).

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Copyright © School of Oriental and African Studies 1990

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