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The Apocalypse Of Baḥīrā

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the Legend, notably the apocalyptic parts which are to be found in each of the recensions. It has often been observed that apocalyptic texts represent the first literary responses of Christians to Islam. The apocalypse of Baḥīrā has to be counted among the apocalypses which focuses on this period, as it clearly alludes to the end of the ҆Abbasid rule at the time of the seventh Caliph. Baḥīrā's vision continues with a number of Islamic messianic figures who will govern the world before the final salvation of the believers in Christ. The chapter reviews the apocalyptic appearances in Baḥīrā's vision with the aim of identifying the historical and eschatological figures to which it alludes, notably those found in the ḥadῑths in the Kitāb al-fitan of Nuʿaym ibn Ḥammād. After this, it discusses the material in the context of the fourth civil war.

Keywords: Abbasid rule; apocalyptic texts; Baḥīrā; Legend



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