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From Haggadic Exegesis To Myth: Popular Stories Of The Prophets In Islam

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Chapter Summary

Only a much smaller number is mentioned in the Qurʾan by name, and it is largely around those that the genre of "Stories of the Prophets" evolved which is the subject of this chapter. References to the earlier prophets mainly serve two distinct purposes in the Qurʾan. Thus, in Qurʾanic exegesis and in historiography, despite their different perspectives, there is a considerable overlap in terms of the material used. They also overlap with the fourth of the aforementioned genres, with books that specifically collected stories of the prophets, which are the primary focus of the chapter. Stories of the prophets have found their way into the popular literature anywhere in the Islamic world; prophets have become part of the Islamic heroic lore across the world. The chapter suggests a different interpretation of their function in Islamic culture: It argues that the "Stories of the Prophets" function as Islamic myths.

Keywords: Islamic myths; Qurʾan; Rom Haggadic exegesis



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