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The Legend Outside The Legend

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Chapter Summary

The suggestion that Baḥīrā was in fact Muḥammad's teacher, who taught him about God, about His prophets and about the destiny of humankind, runs counter to Islam's self-image as the faith founded on the unmediated revelation of God's Word to the 'Seal of all Prophets'. This chapter notes that the few Syriac and Christian Arabic texts which go into detail about the alleged contact between Muḥammad and a Christian do not portray this as the negative influence of the master on the disciple. It looks in detail at some of the texts which describe the monk as a heretic. The oldest surviving account of the cunning 'strategic alliance' between Muḥammad and a Christian can be found in the Chronographia of Theophanes the Confessor, written in the early ninth century. The chapter also briefly discusses of the Jewish traditions concerning Muḥammad's Christian teacher.

Keywords: Baḥīrā; Jewish traditions; Muḥammad's prophethood



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