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The Rebel and the Imām in Early Islam
Explorations in Muslim Historiography

$33.79 (C)

  • Publication planned for: October 2020
  • availability: Not yet published - available from December 2021
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108708142

$ 33.79 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Engaging with contemporary debates about the sources that shape our understanding of the early Muslim world, Najam Haider proposes a new model for Muslim historical writing that draws on Late Antique historiography to challenge the imposition of modern notions of history on a pre-modern society. Haider discusses three key case studies - the revolt of Mukhtar b. Abi 'Ubayd (d. 67/687), the life of the Twelver Shi'i Imam Musa al-Kazim (d. 183/799) and the rebellion and subsequent death of the Zaydi Shi'i Imam Yahya b. 'Abd Allah (d. 187/803) - in calling for a new line of inquiry which focuses on larger historiographical questions. What were the rules that governed historical writing in the early Muslim world? What were the intended audiences for these works? In the process, he rejects artificial divisions between Sunni and Shi'i historical writing.

    • Contains an accessible and comprehensive overview of current controversies in the study of early Islamic history
    • Employs three specific case studies to shed light on broad historiographical questions
    • Challenges modern assumptions about the critical sources shaping our understanding of the early Muslim world
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    Reviews & endorsements

    ‘… this uncompromising analysis will appeal to scholars of early Islam as well as to students of politics and rhetoric - especially those concerned with the interplay among truth, fact, fiction, and influence in scholarly and aesthetic writing … Highly recommended.’ R. A. Miller, Choice

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    Product details

    • Publication planned for: October 2020
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108708142
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 mm
    • availability: Not yet published - available from December 2021
  • Table of Contents

    1. Modeling Islamic historical writing
    2. The rise and fall of Mukhtâr b. Abî 'Ubayd (d. 67/687)
    3. The life of Mûsâ b. Ja'far al-Kâẓim (d. 183/799)
    4. The last years of Yaḥyâ b. 'Abd Allâh (d. 187/803)
    5. Reconsideration
    Appendix. The narrative elements of Mukhtâr's revolt.

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    The Rebel and the Imām in Early Islam

    Najam Haider

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  • Author

    Najam Haider, Barnard College, New York
    Najam Haider is a Professor in the Department of Religion at Barnard College, New York. He is the author of The Origins of the Shi'a (Cambridge, 2011) focusing on the role of ritual and sacred space in the formation of Shi'i identity and Shi'i Islam (Cambridge, 2014) which examines three branches of Shi'i Islam – Zaydi, Twelver, and Ismaili, through a framework of memory. He has travelled extensively in the Middle East, including Syria where he was a Fulbright scholar and Yemen where he studied with traditional Zaydi scholars.

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