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Publication . Article . 2021

Untangling the “Unwritten Documents” of the Prophet Muḥammad. An Isnād-cum-Matn Analysis of Interwoven Traditions

Nicolet Boekhoff-van der Voort;
Open Access
Published: 27 Jul 2021 Journal: Religions, volume 12 (issn: 2077-1444, Copyright policy )
Country: Netherlands

some caused by editing processes, while others through the process of transmission across the first centuries of Islam. During the transmission process, or the genesis of a tradition, accounts are constantly shaped and adjusted. The use of topoi forms a part of this process as well as the inclusion of motifs in different accounts. The present article will explore one of these motifs, specifically, the instruction of the Prophet Muḥammad, on his deathbed, to bring him writing materials so that he could prepare a document for his community. This motif appears in a number of accounts with different settings, characters and details on the nature of the document itself. This article examines whether there exists a direct relationship between the different accounts and, if so, what does this mean. Through this study, we will see that additional motifs have been added to this tradition during its transmission process and that some of these motifs can be attributed to regionalisation or specific transmitters.

Since the earliest studies of Islam by non-Muslims were carried out, variant traditions (aḥādīth) have been regarded as a proof of forgery or editing within the ḥadīth material. Early studies have shown that variances are the result of different processes, some intentionally and others mistakenly

Subjects by Vocabulary

Microsoft Academic Graph classification: Inclusion (disability rights) Topos theory Literature business.industry business Existential quantification Islam Process (engineering) Motif (music) History


Prophet Muḥammad, Islam, <i>sīra</i>, <i>ḥadīth</i> transmission, history, Religions. Mythology. Rationalism, BL1-2790, Religious studies

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Article . 2021
Providers: DOAJ-Articles