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The Stoning of a Pregnant Adulteress from Juhayna: The Early Evolution of a Muslim Tradition

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This article is devoted to a tradition about the stoning of a pregnant woman from Juhayna said to have voluntarily confessed to adultery before the Prophet Muhammad. In my analysis I follow the internal development of the tradition and try to uncover the earliest authorities who put it into circulation. Insofar as the tradition about the woman from Juhayna refers to external narratives, I attempt to establish a relative dating of the tradition with respect to other instances of voluntary confession to adultery found in various legal corpora. In terms of methodology I follow the method of isnād and matn analysis, which, in my view, is a useful tool for tracing the development of Muslim traditions. As appropriate, isnād analysis is supported by information derived from a number of biographical dictionaries, ranging from Ibn Sa'd (d. 230/845) to Ibn Hajar al-'Asqalāī (d. 852/1449).

Affiliations: 1: Sofia University, "St. Kliment Ohridski," Center for Oriental Languages and Cultures, 79 Todor Aleksandrov Blvd., Sofia 1303, Bulgaria


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