Special Issue "Islamic Origins"

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444). This special issue belongs to the section "Religions and Humanities/Philosophies".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2021) | Viewed by 3879

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Brannon Wheeler
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of History, United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD 21035, USA
Interests: history of religion; Islam; Bible

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The past three decades have seen an explosion of scholarship on the origins of Islam. Beginning in the late 1970s, several key revisionist studies, such as that of Patricia Crone and John Wansbrough, inspired a new wave of critical scholarship on the origins of Islam. Some of this new sholarship has focused on the connections between late antiquity and early Islam. Others have redoubled efforts to analyze textual traditions in the classical Islamic disciplines of hadith, fiqh, tafsir, sirah, and tabaqat. Giant strides have been made in Quranic studies—history of the text, reception, interpretation, and use of the text, and the relationship of the Quran to the Bible and Jewish and Christian biblical exegesis and oral traditions. Recent and ongoing discoveries in the fields of archaeology and epigraphy continue to offer new insights into the origins of Islam.

This volume aims to explore fresh scholarship on the origins of Islam--not only the interpretation of sources focused on the reconstruction of events in seventh century Arabia, but also and perhaps even more importantly, the origins of "Islam" as a concept and "Muslim" as an identity far beyond the originating experience of the prophet Muhammad and the Quran. To this end, new scholars contribute by examining the beginnings and development of "classical" Islam in the Arab and Iranian lands of the Middle East but also how Muslims and others spread ideas throughout Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas.

Prof. Brannon Wheeler
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Islam
  • Quran
  • late antiquity
  • hadith
  • Muhammad
  • Islam in America

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
Understanding the Impact of Plague Epidemics on the Muslim Mind during the Early Medieval Period
Religions 2021, 12(10), 843; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12100843 - 08 Oct 2021
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Abstract
Diseases and viruses have always been a part of human history. In present, due to the frightening rise of the coronavirus globally, many people are understandably concerned about protecting themselves. According to Islam, as the religion is perceived by the majority of Muslims [...] Read more.
Diseases and viruses have always been a part of human history. In present, due to the frightening rise of the coronavirus globally, many people are understandably concerned about protecting themselves. According to Islam, as the religion is perceived by the majority of Muslims today, it is not only important to care for yourself, safeguarding larger communities and the most helpless is also of great importance. This study briefly surveyed the history of plague epidemics in the Muslim world, highlighting how Muslims throughout history, including the Prophet Muhammad and his companions, responded to the spread of contagious diseases, the strategies that were adopted for protection during outbreaks, and how these actions influenced modern-day responses to diseases by Muslim countries. Keeping in view the current international COVID-19 scenario, that is an unprecedentedly serious pandemic, it is high time to investigate the religions’ guidelines about contagious diseases and the adopted strategies used for protection during outbreaks in Muslim history. Furthermore, an analytical approach, along with a qualitative research methodology, was applied in this study to reach objective conclusions. The article concluded that religion can provide comprehensive guidelines relating to preventive and restorative aspects of health, and that these guidelines, in their original form, still remain applicable in terms of responding to epidemic outbreaks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Islamic Origins)
Article
The Islamic Call to Prayer and Its Origin: A Story about Cultural Memory’s Permanence and Adaptability
Religions 2021, 12(10), 817; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12100817 - 28 Sep 2021
Viewed by 489
Abstract
For more than two centuries, Muslims have been retelling different stories about the origin of their call to prayer. While the converging details of these narratives offer a glimpse of Muslim cultural memory and its preservation, the diverging elements reflect different mechanisms that [...] Read more.
For more than two centuries, Muslims have been retelling different stories about the origin of their call to prayer. While the converging details of these narratives offer a glimpse of Muslim cultural memory and its preservation, the diverging elements reflect different mechanisms that facilitate the adaption of this cultural memory to new contexts and concerns. Based on the work of Jan Assmann, the present study explores how Muslims conserved and adapted their cultural memory to keep their common identity and expand their diversity following distinctive religious, political, or personal forms of belongings. The narratives concerned with the origin of the Islamic call to prayer and preserved in various written text collections offer a fertile ground to analyze how this part of Muslim cultural memory became the vehicle of a permanent but adaptable Muslim identity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Islamic Origins)
Article
The Deadlocked Debate about the Role of the Jewish Christians at the Birth of Islam
Religions 2021, 12(10), 789; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12100789 - 22 Sep 2021
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Abstract
The thesis concerning the Jewish-Christian origins of Islam has been continuously defended and developed by a good number of authors, even if the proponents of this line of thought have never constituted a school nor followed a unitary or homogeneous discourse. At the [...] Read more.
The thesis concerning the Jewish-Christian origins of Islam has been continuously defended and developed by a good number of authors, even if the proponents of this line of thought have never constituted a school nor followed a unitary or homogeneous discourse. At the other end of the spectrum, many scholars strongly reject the ‘Jewish-Christian connection’ insofar as it introduces a speculative and unnecessary category in the study on the origins of Islam. The matter has aroused irreconcilable stances, studies that remain alien to each other, or simply seem to ignore the status quaestionis. From the traditional perspective, the debate seems to have reached a deadlock, however, and to explain a possible legal, cultural, and religious ‘Judaeo-Christian’ continuum that could be shared by the early Islamic audience, it might be useful to look around the spectrum of mixed beliefs and practices between the Jewish and Christian orthodoxy that can be found at a time very close to the arrival of Islam. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Islamic Origins)
Article
Arab Christian Confederations and Muhammad’s Believers: On the Origins of Jihad
Religions 2021, 12(9), 710; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12090710 - 01 Sep 2021
Viewed by 1208
Abstract
The meaning and elaboration of Jihad (just-sacred war) hold an important place in Islamic history and thought. On the far side of its spiritual meanings, the term has been historically and previously associated with the Arab Believers’ conquest of the 7th–8th centuries CE. [...] Read more.
The meaning and elaboration of Jihad (just-sacred war) hold an important place in Islamic history and thought. On the far side of its spiritual meanings, the term has been historically and previously associated with the Arab Believers’ conquest of the 7th–8th centuries CE. However, the main idea of this contribution is to develop the “sacralization of war” as a relevant facet that was previously elaborated by the Arab Christian (pro-Byzantine) clans of the north of the Arabian Peninsula and the Levant and secondarily by the Arab confederation of Muhammad’s believers. From the beginning of Muhammad’s hijra (622), the interconnection between the Medinan clans that supported the Prophet with those settled in the northwest of the Hijaz is particularly interesting in relation to a couple of aspects: their trade collaboration and the impact of the belligerent attitude of the pro-Byzantine Arab Christian forces in the framing of the early concept of a Jihad. This analysis aimed to clarify the possibility that the early “sacralization of war” in proto-Islamic narrative had a Christian Arab origin related to a previous refinement in the Christian milieu. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Islamic Origins)
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