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Title: Summoning the believers as the Christians did? : religious differentiation in Muslim sources until the third/ninth century
Author: Bednarkiewicz, Maroussia
ISNI:       0000 0004 7430 4963
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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The Muslim tradition tells us that when Muslims migrated to Medina and their number increased, they felt the need for an efficient means to convoke the community for the daily prayers. Jews and Christians both had well-established summoning rituals involving different instruments, that Muslims considered adopting. They eventually developed a distinct, simple ritual consisting of a small set of chanted formulæ, which became known as the adhān, the Islamic call to prayer. This is the narrative thread that we find in all major Sunnī collections of aḥādīth - reported sayings of Muḥammad and his companions - which recount the introduction of the adhān. The present work postulates that this thread or 'proto-narrative' was used by several narrators, transmitters, and collectors until the third/ninth century who modified it and added new elements in order to settle political and religious controversies of their times. This proto-narrative is outlined in the main chapter (chap. 3), which highlights how it was modified and why, using close textual analysis of both Sunnī and Shī'ī texts with data-dense graphs of relations, locations, and times produced via network visualisation tools. Five major Sunnī legal treaties from the second/eighth century onwards were also scrutinised (chap. 4) to better understand the general context in which the aḥādīth about the introduction of the adhān were being circulated and confirm the results obtained through the textual analysis. The conclusions reveal specific mechanisms used in the formation and transmission of aḥādīth. In the case of the adhān, aḥādīth represent half of a 'conversation' between people, students, or rulers on one side, asking questions about the origins and the right form of the call to prayer, and on the other side, scholars or jurists who answer with adapted narratives. Only the latter was preserved, yet the present thesis shows that it is often possible to reconstruct, to a certain extent, the former part of this 'conversation'.
Supervisor: Sinai, Nicolai ; Melchert, Christopher Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Islamic Studies and History ; Hadith Studies ; Islam ; Adhan ; Islamic Law ; Hadith