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Sources For The History Of Pre-Islamic Religion

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Chapter Summary

The term "history of pre-Islamic religion" is best understood as denoting the history of religion of the Arabian Peninsula and its margins up to approximately the year 610, in other words, until the beginning of Muhammad's activity. This chapter concentrates on just the last few decades before Muhammad, and is in the main restricted to the region where he himself was active, namely the Ḥijāz. It examines an extensive group of sources not dealt with by what still remains the most important publication on the subject, Julius Wellhausen's Reste arabischen Heidentums, the so-called talbiyas. The chapter addressess the other sources - the Qurʾan, pre-Islamic literature and the information given by Islamic authors. It briefs an examination of the etymology of talbiya and labbayka and describes the tradition of the talbiyas.

Keywords: labbayka; pre-Islamic religion; Qurʾan; talbiyas



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