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The Ashab Legend

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Chapter Summary

Ashʿab's life is very unimportant as compared to the legend which grew up around him and which in the course of time made him one of the prototypes and central figures of Muslim humor. The religious jokes under Ashʿab's name presuppose the existence of a living and generally accepted religion whose literary expressions and ritualistic practices were so familiar to everybody that a reference to any application of them which deviated from the usual norm to the least degree afforded comic relief. The Ashʿab legend includes characteristic examples (nos. 54, 58, 74, 131, 133). They could be multiplied at will from other sources.

Keywords: Ashʿab; Muslim humor; religious jokes

10.1163/ej.9789004211483.i-154.9
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