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Title

Prophetic performances: reproducing the charisma of the prophet in medieval islamic preaching

AuthorsJones, Linda G.
Issue Date2010
PublisherBrepols Publishers
CitationCharisma and Religious Authority: Jewish, Christian and Muslim Preaching, 1200-1500 : 19-47 (2010)
AbstractThe Prophet's charismatic authority derived from his unique position as God's final chosen messenger (rasul) to guide hurnanity towards salvation. While the inimitability of Muhammad's messengership (risalah) is uncontested, Muslims are enjoined, and indeed their identity is defined, by Qur'anic injunctions to 'obey', 'follow', and 'imitare' the Prophet's example, or sunna, to manifest their obedience to God. The Prophet's sunna "consists of his actions (fi'l), his words (qawf), and his silent approval of certain facts (taqrir)" and Muslims believe that God bestows his grace (baraka) on thosc who imitate Muhammad's sunna in even the smallest details. Ninth-century sectarian disputes led rival communities to textualize their memories of Muhammad's sunna in the form of hadirh -narratives or traditions relared by one ofthe Prophet's companions and transmitted ro future generations. The eighth and ninth centuries also witnessed the appearance of Ibn Hisham's Sira, or biography of the Prophet, and the development of a new hagiographic genre, the 'shama' il al-nabí (lofty qualities of the Prophet)', which described Muhammad's external attributes, moral virtues, and personal charisma. Like the hadith, these texts helped establish a typology of a 'Muhammadan' charisma, which served as the model for classifying exceptional personalities in medieval biographical dictionaries of religious scholars ("ulama") and Sufi hagiographies. The sources on the Islamic khutba that I have examined - literary anthologies, preaching manuals, treatises on oratory, biographics, and juridical responsa- appeal directly or indirectly to Muhammad's example as preserved in the hadith, the hagiographic and biographic sources, and the Qur'an. Failure to comply with Muhammad's custorn -some details of which were contested- could lead to harsh rebuke, severe punishment, and even social ridicule.
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/80996
ISBN978-2-503-52859-5
Appears in Collections:(IMF) Libros y partes de libros
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