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Writing the History of an Arabian Holy City: Ibn Zabāla and the First Local History of Medina*

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Abstract This study is an investigation into the lost Aḫbār al-Madīna attributed to Ibn Zabāla (d. after 199/814). Ibn Zabāla was the first scholar to write a local history of Medina—he was possibly the first to write a local history for any town in the Ḥiğāz—and his work is extremely important for our understanding of the development of Arabic historiography and of early ideas concerning Medina’s status as a holy place. A large number (hundreds) of citations apparently from this work have been preserved by later works, especially in the later local histories of Medina. These citations do not allow us to reconstruct the lost work with great precision, but they do permit us to study Ibn Zabāla’s ambition for his work, how it fitted into the historiographical context of the late second century AH, and how it was used as a source by later scholars. I suggest that Ibn Zabāla wrote his Aḫbār al-Madīna to put forward the case for Medina’s sanctity and unique position within the Islamic world. In doing so, he pioneered a distinct way of writing local history.

1. FN0* I am indebted to Professors Chase Robinson and Michael Lecker for their comments on an earlier version of this article. My research was funded by the AHRC, to whom I am very grateful.
2. FN11 The title of the work in most medieval sources is Aḫbār al-Madīna or Kitāb al-Madīna, but since it has been edited under the title Taʾrīḫ al-Madīna l-munawwara, that is how it will be referred to here. There are two editions of the work, by Fahīm Šaltūt, Mecca, n.p., 1399/1979; reprinted in Qum, Dār al-fikr, 1410/1989-90; and by ʿAlī Dandal and Yāsīn Bayān, Beirut, Dār al-kutub al-ʿilmiyya, 1417/1996. Throughout, I have used the text of the Beirut edition, but I also provide references to the Qum edition in square brackets. Šaltūt’s edition has received some criticism since it was first issued; see the comments of the late Ḥamad al-Ğāsir in several issues of the journal Mağallat al-ʿarab.
3. FN22 Ibn al-Nağğār, al-Durra l-ṯamīna fī taʾrīḫ al-Madīna, ed. Muḥammad ʿAzab, Cairo, Maktabat al-ṯaqāfa l-dīniyya, 1416/1995. There are at least two important extant works composed in this gap that deal with certain aspects of the history of Medina but they are not local histories. The first is the Kitāb al-Manāsik wa-amākin ṭuruq al-ḥağğ wa-maʿālim al-Ğazīra, ed. Ḥamad al-Ğāsir, Riyadh, al-Yamāma, 1389/1969, composed around the turn of the third-fourth/ninth-tenth centuries; the second is al-Ğanadī’s (d. 308/920) very short Faḍāʾil al-Madīna, ed. Ġazwa Badīr and Muḥammad al-Ḥāfiẓ, Damascus, Dār al-fikr, 1405/1985.
4. FN33 Two very useful studies on the emergence and development of local historiography in Medina remain: Ṣāliḥ al-ʿAlī, “al-Muʾallafāt al-ʿarabiyya ʿan al-Madīna wa-l-Ḥiğāz”, Mağallat al-mağmaʿ al-ʿilmī l-ʿirāqī, 11 (1964), p. 118-57; Ḥamad al-Ğāsir, “Muʾallafāt fī taʾrīḫ al-Madīna”, Mağallat al-ʿarab, 4 (1969-70), p. 97-100, 262-6, 327-34, 385-8, 465-7.
5. FN44 For a survey of some of the other works, see al-Ğāsir, “Muʾallafāt”; Ghazi Bisheh, The Mosque of the Prophet at Madīnah throughout the First-Century A.H. with Special Emphasis on the Umayyad Mosque, Ph.D. Thesis, University of Michigan, 1979, p. 8-73; ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-Mudayris, al-Madīna l-munawwara fī l-ʿaṣr al-mamlūkī (648-923h./1250-1517m.): Dirāsa taʾrīḫiyya, Riyadh, Markaz al-malik Fayṣal, 1422/2001, p. 300-5.
6. FN55 See briefly the survey of “Lokal- und Stadtgeschichte” in Fuat Sezgin, Geschichte des arabischen Schrifttums, Leiden, Brill, 1967- [henceforth GAS], I, p. 339-64.
7. FN66 For a fuller discussion of Ibn al-Nağğār and his works, see Caesar Farah, “Ibn al-Najjār: A Neglected Arabic Historian”, JAOS, 84 (1964), p. 220-30.
8. FN77 Al-Maṭarī, al-Taʿrīf bi-mā ansat al-huğra min maʿālim dār al-hiğra, ed. Saʿīd ʿAbd al-Fattāḥ, Riyadh, Maktabat Nizār Muṣṭafā l-Bāz, 1417/1997; al-Marāġī, Taḥqīq al-nuṣra bi-talḫīṣ maʿālim dār al-hiğra, ed. ʿAbd Allāh ʿUsaylān, Medina, ʿUsaylān, 1422/2002.
9. FN88 Al-Marğānī, Bahğat al-nufūs wa-l-asrār fī taʾrīḫ dār hiğrat al-nabī l-muḫtār, ed. Muḥammad Faḍl, Beirut, Dār al-ġarb al-islāmī, 2002; al-Saḫāwī, al-Tuḥfa l-laṭīfa fī taʾrīḫ al-Madīna l-šarīfa, ed. Asʿad al-Ḥusaynī, Cairo, Dār našr al-ṯaqāfa, 1399-1400/1979-80; al-Fīrūzābādī, al-Maġānim al-muṭāba fī maʿālim Ṭāba, Ms. Istanbul, Feyzullah Efendi Koleksiyonu, no. 1529. The “geographical dictionary” section of al-Fīrūzābādī’s work (ff. 118-228) has been edited by Ḥamad al-Ğāsir, Riyadh, al-Yamāma, 1389/1969.
10. FN99 The most recent and best edition (and the one referred to here) is that of Qāsim al-Sāmarrāʾī, London, Muʾassasat al-furqān, 1422/2001. Al-Sāmarrāʾī begins his introduction to this edition, I, p. 7-9, with a discussion of the problems plaguing the two previous editions; on these, see further Ḥamad al-Ğāsir, Rasāʾil fī taʾrīḫ al-Madīna, Riyadh, al-Yamāma, 1392/1972, p. 38-9. For an early, (greatly) abridged German translation, see Ferdinand Wüstenfeld, Geschichte der Stadt Medina im Auszuge aus dem Arabischen des Samhûdi, Göttingen, Verlag der Dieterichschen Buchhandlung, 1860.
11. FN1010 The most important sources on the life of al-Samhūdī, from which I have drawn these brief biographical details, are al-Saḫāwī, al-Ḍawʾ al-lāmiʿ li-ahl al-qarn al-tāsiʿ, Cairo, Maktabat al-Qudsī, 1353-55/1934-37, V, p. 245-8; idem, Tuḥfa, III, p. 227-35; al-ʿAydarūsī, al-Nūr al-sāfir ʿan aḫbār al-qarn al-ʿāšir, ed. Muḥammad al-Ṣaffār, Baghdad, al-Maktaba l-ʿarabiyya, 1353/1934, p. 58-60; Ibn al-ʿImād, Šaḏarāt al-ḏahab fī aḫbār man ḏahab, Cairo, Maktabat al-Qudsī, 1350-51/1931-32, VIII, p. 50-1; al-Ğāsir, Rasāʾil, p. 26-54; idem, “al-Samhūdī: Ašhar muʾarriḫī l-Madīna”, Mağallat al-ʿarab, 7 (1392/1972), p. 161-78; al-Sāmarrāʾī’s introduction to his edition of the Wafāʾ al-wafā [henceforth SāmMuq.], I, p. 7-47, II, p. 5-23.
12. FN1111 Al-Anṣārī, Tuḥfat al-muḥibbīn wa-l-aṣḥāb fī maʿrifat mā li-l-madaniyyīn min al-ansāb, ed. Muḥammad al-Miṭawī, Tunis, al-Maktaba l-ʿatīqa, 1390/1970, p. 272-5. Al-Sāmarrāʾī (SāmMuq., II, p. 6, n. 4) suggests that one of these descendants is probably the author of the anonymous al-Fayḍ al-šuhūdī fī baʿḍ manāqib al-sayyid al-Samhūdī, Ms. Riyadh, King Saud University, no. 1586(7). The Munich Ms. of the Wafāʾ al-wafā was also at one stage in the possession of a descendent of one of al-Samhūdī’s brothers; see SāmMuq., I, p. 20, II, p. 5.
13. FN1212 SāmMuq., I, p. 42-7; Carl Brockelmann, Geschichte der arabischen Litteratur, Weimar, Emil Feber, 1898-1902; suppl., Leiden, Brill, 1937-42 [henceforth GAL], II, p. 174, p. 223-4.
14. FN1313 One of these treatises, entitled al-Wafā bi-mā yağibu li-ḥaḍrat al-muṣṭafā, has been edited by al-Ğāsir in his Rasāʾil, p. 93-179.
15. FN1414 Some sources refer to this as the Iqtifāʾ al-wafā; see al-ʿAydarūsī, Nūr, p. 59; Ibn al-ʿImād, Šaḏarāt, VIII, p. 51; al-Fayḍ al-šuhūdī, cited in SāmMuq., I, p. 45. Brockelmann (GAL, II, p. 174) calls it the Tabiʿat wafâʾ fî taʾrîḫ al bait al muṣṭafâ.
16. FN1515 Al-Samhūdī, Wafāʾ, II, p. 416. It is possible that Ibn Zabāla’s Aḫbār al-Madīna was lost in this same fire, as suggested by al-Ğāsir (Rasāʾil, p. 44) and al-Sāmarrāʾī (SāmMuq., I, p. 38).
17. FN1616 For the various phases in al-Samhūdī’s drafting and issuing of this work, see the discussion in SāmMuq., esp. I, p. 9-13. (Al-Sāmarrāʾī thinks that the extant manuscripts represent several different phases in this process.)
18. FN1717 For a recent edition, see al-Samhūdī, Ḫulāṣat al-wafā bi-aḫbār dār al-muṣṭafā, ed. ʿAlī ʿUmar, Cairo, Maktabat al-ṯaqāfa l-dīniyya, 1427/2006.
19. FN1818 Ṣalāḥ ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz Salāma, Aḫbār al-Madīna li-Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan b. Zabāla, Medina, Markaz buḥūṯ wa-dirāsāt al-Madīna l-munawwara, 1424/2003.
20. FN1919 The section on historians in one recent study of intellectual life in Medina in the early Islamic centuries also unfortunately ignores Ibn Zabāla’s contribution; ʿAdnān al-Farāğī, al-Ḥayāt al-fikriyya fī l-Madīna l-munawwara fī l-qarnayn al-awwal wa-l-ṯānī li-l-hiğra, Beirut, Dār al-kutub al-ʿilmiyya, 1427/2006.
21. FN2020 This is not to say that Salāma’s book should not be recommended to scholars of early Islamic Medina and Arabic historiography. Many aspects of Ibn Zabāla’s work which he discusses well and relatively fully—for example, Ibn Zabāla’s sources—will not be dealt with in much detail at all in this article.
22. FN2121 Kister’s views are easily accessible in his “The Sīrah Literature”, in The Cambridge History of Arabic Literature: Arabic Literature to the End of the Umayyad Period, ed. A.F.L. Beeston et al., Cambridge, CUP, 1983, p. 352-67. Lecker’s contributions can be found spread across a number of articles, but with special reference to the use of later Medinan histories, especially al-Samhūdī’s Wafāʾ, see “Muḥammad at Medina: A Geographical Approach”, JSAI, 6 (1985), p. 29-62; “On the Markets of Medina (Yathrib) in Pre-Islamic and Early Islamic Times”, JSAI, 8 (1986), p. 133-47; Muslims, Jews and Pagans: Studies on Early Islamic Medina, Leiden, Brill, 1995.
23. FN2222 Kister, “Sīrah Literature”, p. 366; Lecker, Muslims, Jews and Pagans, p. xii-xiii.
24. FN2323 See especially L.I. Conrad, “Recovering Lost Texts: Some Methodological Issues”, JAOS, 113 (1993), p. 258-63; Ella Landau-Tasseron, “On the Reconstruction of Lost Sources”, al-Qanṭara, 25 (2004), p. 45-91. In spite of these perils, other scholars have recently attempted investigations of extant reports from lost works; to name just a few, G. Conrad, Abūʾl-Ḥusain al-Rāzī (-347/958) und seine Schriften: Untersuchungen zur frühen damaszener Geschichtsschreibung, Stuttgart, Franz Steiner, 1991; Stefan Leder, Das Korpus al-Haiṯam ibn ʿAdī (st. 207/822): Herkunft, Überlieferung, Gestalt früher Texte der aḫbār Literatur, Frankfurt, Klostermann, 1991; Gregor Schoeler, Charakter und Authentie der muslimischen Überlieferung über das Leben Mohammeds, Berlin, De Gruyter, 1996; Sebastian Günther, “al-Nawfalī’s Lost History: The Issue of a Ninth-Century Shiʿite Source Used by al-Ṭabarī and Abū l-Faraj al-Iṣfahānī”, BJMES, 36 (2009), p. 241-66.
25. FN2424 Landau-Tasseron, “On the Reconstruction”, p. 57-62.
26. FN2525 For an example of where he apparently does not note his precise source, see Michael Lecker, “Was Arabian Idol Worship Declining on the Eve of Islam?”, in his People, Tribes and Society in Arabia Around the Time of Muḥammad, Aldershot, Ashgate, 2005, no. 3, p. 15; see also SāmMuq., I, p. 28, 33.
27. FN2626 See, for example, al-Samhūdī, Wafāʾ, I, p. 79-80, 155, II, p. 65, 311.
28. FN2727 For examples concerning Ibn Zabāla’s Aḫbār al-Madīna, see below, n. 85.
29. FN2828 Landau-Tasseron, “On the Reconstruction”, p. 54. Following the work of Gregor Schoeler and others (which is discussed further below), one should question whether there actually was an “original form” of many texts which purport to come from the first few centuries AH.
30. FN2929 For a brief discussion of Ibn Šabba’s work, see Fahīm Šaltūt, “Taʾrīḫ al-Madīna l-munawwara taʾlīf ʿUmar b. Šabba l-Numayrī”, in Studies in the History of Arabia, Volume I: Sources for the History of Arabia, ed. ʿAbd al-Qādir ʿAbd Allāh, Richard Mortel and Sāmī l-Ṣaqqār, Riyadh, University of Riyadh, 1399/1979, II, p. 3-8.
31. FN3030 See al-Ğāsir, “Muʾallafāt”, p. 329. Malḥas’ argument is essentially that many passages cited on Ibn Šabba’s authority in works by al-Samhūdī, al-Ṭabarī, Abū l-Farağ al-Iṣfahānī, Ibn Ḥağar, and Ibn Abī l-Ḥadīd can be found in this Ms. Ibn Šabba very occasionally appears at the beginning of isnāds in the work; for example, Taʾrīḫ, I, p. 47 [I, p. 64]; 54 [75]; 72 [106]; 86 [133]; 145 [235]; 153 [250]; 290 [II, p. 537]; 293 [543]; 293 [544]; 300 [559].
32. FN3131 Al-Saḫāwī, al-Iʿlān bi-l-tawbīḫ li-man ḏamma l-taʾrīḫ, ed. Franz Rosenthal and Ṣāliḥ al-ʿAlī, Beirut, Dār al-kutub al-ʿilmiyya, n.d., p. 273 [= Franz Rosenthal, A History of Muslim Historiography, 2nd ed., Leiden, Brill, 1968, p. 475]; al-Ğāsir, “Muʾallafāt”, p. 328-30.
33. FN3232 Šaltūt, “Taʾrīḫ al-Madīna l-munawwara”, p. 4; cf. SāmMuq., I, p. 40.
34. FN3333 Al-Samhūdī, Wafāʾ, II, p. 65; Šaltūt, “Taʾrīḫ al-Madīna l-munawwara”, p. 4; al-Ğāsir, “Muʾallafāt”, p. 387. Šaltūt used this argument to support his use of al-Samhūdī’s Wafāʾ to help read the Ms. (see further below, n. 35).
35. FN3434 For some examples, see al-Samhūdī, Wafāʾ, I, p. 129-30, 385-6, II, p. 201, 206, 208, 211.
36. FN3535 It is important to note that because the manuscript is so difficult to read the original editor, Šaltūt, stated that he did occasionally use the Ibn Šabba extracts in al-Samhūdī’s Wafāʾ to help him read certain passages; see Šaltūt, “Taʾrīḫ al-Madīna l-munawwara”, p. 4. Although it is clear that Šaltūt did not simply reconstruct all the difficult passages in Ibn Šabba’s work on the basis of extant citations in al-Samhūdī’s Wafāʾ, this fact must qualify the conclusions drawn from the following comparison of the texts of the two works. How accurately this late Ms. reflects anything written by Ibn Šabba in the mid-third/ninth century is an interesting question, but not of immediate concern, since the aim here is to see how accurately al-Samhūdī cited whatever he had access to, no matter what that was. For some suggestion of what the extant Ms. of Ibn Šabba’s history may represent, see below, n. 84.
37. FN3636 Al-Samhūdī, Wafāʾ, I, p. 125, 127, 133, 148.
38. FN3737 Ibid., I, p. 129-30, 385-6.
39. FN3838 Ibid., I, p. 287-8, 378, corresponding to Ibn Šabba, Taʾrīḫ, I, p. 241 [II, p. 430-2], 164 [I, p. 272].
40. FN3939 Al-Samhūdī, Wafāʾ, I, p. 76, corresponding to Ibn Šabba, Taʾrīḫ, I, p. 104 [I, p. 162-3].
41. FN4040 Al-Samhūdī, Wafāʾ, I, p. 92.
42. FN4141 Ibid., I, p. 162, 300, corresponding to Ibn Šabba, Taʾrīḫ, I, p. 311 [II, p. 588], 61 [I, p. 85].
43. FN4242 Al-Samhūdī, Wafāʾ, II, p. 206.
44. FN4343 In ibid., II, p. 206, n. 7.
45. FN4444 Ibid., II, p. 65.
46. FN4545 For their discussions of Ibn Zabāla, see al-ʿAlī, “Muʾallafāt”, p. 127-9; al-Ğāsir, “Muʾallafāt”, p. 264-6. Other important studies on Ibn Zabāla are Akram al-ʿUmarī’s introduction to his edition of Ibn Zabāla’s Muntaḫab min Kitāb Azwāğ al-nabī: Riwāyat al-Zubayr b. Bakkār, Medina, Maṭbaʿat al-ğāmiʿ al-islāmiyya, 1401/1981 [henceforth ʿUmMuq.], p. 5-21, and Salāma, Aḫbār.
47. FN4646 Abū Dāwūd, al-Sunan, ed. ʿIzzat al-Daʿʿās and ʿĀdil al-Sayyid, Beirut, Dār Ibn Ḥazm, 1418/1997, III, p. 294 (Kitāb al-Ḫarāğ wa-l-imāra wa-l-fayʾ, bāb 36). The sources I consulted for Ibn Zabāla’s life include: al-Buḫārī, Kitāb al-Ḍuʿafāʾ al-ṣaġīr, ed. Maḥmūd Zāyid, Aleppo, Dār al-waʿy, 1396/1976, p. 99; idem, Kitāb al-Taʾrīḫ al-kabīr, Hyderabad, Dāʾirat al-maʿārif al-ʿuṯmāniyya, 1360-84/1941-64, I/i, p. 67; al-Dāraquṭnī, Kitāb al-Ḍuʿafāʾ wa-l-matrūkīn, ed. Ṣubḥī l-Sāmarrāʾī, Beirut, Muʾassasat al-risāla, 1404/1984, p. 152; al-Ḏahabī, al-Kāšif fī maʿrifat man lahu riwāya fī l-kutub al-sitta, ed. ʿIzzat ʿAṭiyya and Mūsā l-Muwaššī, Cairo, Dār al-kutub al-ḥadīṯa, 1972, III, p. 33; idem, Mīzān al-iʿtidāl fī naqd al-riğāl, ed. Muḥammad al-Naʿsānī et al., Cairo, Maṭbaʿat al-saʿāda, 1325/1907, III, p. 42; idem, al-Muġnī fī l-ḍuʿafāʾ, ed. Nūr al-Dīn ʿItr, Aleppo, Dār al-maʿārif, n.d., II, p. 568; Ibn Abī Ḥātim, Kitāb al-Ğarḥ wa-l-taʿdīl, Beirut, Dār iḥyāʾ al-turāṯ al-ʿarabī, 1371-73/1952-53, VII, p. 227-8; Ibn ʿAdī, al-Kāmil fī ḍuʿafāʾ al-riğāl, Beirut, Dār al-fikr, 1404/1984, VI, p. 2180-1; Ibn Ḥağar, Lisān al-Mīzān, ed. Muḥammad al-Marʿašlī, Beirut, Dār iḥyāʾ al-turāṯ al-ʿarabī, 1417/1995-96, VI, p. 54, IX, p. 93; idem, Tahḏīb al-Tahḏīb, Hyderabad, Dāʾirat al-maʿārif al-niẓāmiyya, 1325-27/1907-10, IX, p. 115-7; idem, Taqrīb al-Tahḏīb, ed. ʿAbd al-Wahhāb ʿAbd al-Laṭīf, Beirut, Dār al-maʿrifa, 1395/1975, II, p. 154; Ibn Ḥibbān, Kitāb al-Mağrūḥīn min al-muḥaddiṯīn wa-l-ḍuʿafāʾ wa-l-matrūkīn, ed. Maḥmūd Zāyid, Aleppo, Dār al-waʿy, 1397/1976, II, p. 274-5; Ibn Mākūlā, al-Ikmāl, ed. ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-Yamānī, Hyderabad, Dāʾirat al-maʿārif al-‘uṯmāniyya, 1381-92/1961-72, IV, p. 173; Ibn al-Nadīm, Kitāb al-Fihrist, ed. Riḍā Tağaddud, Tehran, Maktabat al-Ğaʿfarī, 1391/1971, p. 121; Ibn Nāṣir al-Dīn, Tawḍīḥ al-Muštabih, ed. Muḥammad al-ʿIrqsūsī, Beirut, Muʾassasat al-risāla, 1414/1993, IV, p. 122; al-Mizzī, Tahḏīb al-Kamāl fī asmāʾ al-riğāl, ed. Baššār Maʿrūf, Beirut, Muʾassasat al-risāla, 1403-13/1983-92, XXV, p. 60-7; al-Nasāʾī, Kitāb al-Ḍuʿafāʾ wa-l-matrūkīn, ed. Maḥmūd Zāyid, Aleppo, Dār al-waʿy, 1396/1976, p. 93; al-Saḫāwī, Iʿlān, p. 274 [= Rosenthal, History, p. 475]; idem, Tuḥfa, III, p. 556-57. Several more sources are also listed by Maʿrūf in his edition of al-Mizzī, Tahḏīb, XXV, p. 60-1, n. 4.
48. FN4747 Cf. Salāma, Aḫbār, p. 23-4.
49. FN4848 Al-Mizzī, Tahḏīb, XXV, p. 64. One ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz b. Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan b. Zabāla is also mentioned in Ibn Ḥağar, Lisān, VI, p. 256.
50. FN4949 Ibn Ḥağar, Taqrīb, II, p. 154. (This information is not in his Tahḏīb.)
51. FN5050 Ibn al-Nağğār, Durra, p. 181; al-Marāġī, Taḥqīq, p. 322; al-Samhūdī, Wafāʾ, II, p. 65.
52. FN5151 Al-Mizzī, Tahḏīb, XXV, p. 65.
53. FN5252 According to J. Robson, “Ḥadīth”, EI2: “Matrūk (abandoned) is a tradition from a single transmitter who is suspected of falsehood in Tradition, or is openly wicked in deed or word, or is guilty of much carelessness or frequent wrong notions”.
54. FN5353 Ibn Abī Ḥātim, Ğarḥ, VII, p. 228; Ibn Ḥağar, Tahḏīb, IX, p. 116-7; al-Mizzī, Tahḏīb, XXV, p. 64-6; al-Saḫāwī, Tuḥfa, III, p. 557.
55. FN5454 Al-Mizzī, Tahḏīb, XXV, p. 65.
56. FN5555 For the list of ḍuʿafāʾ, see Ibn Abī Ḥātim, Ğarḥ, VII, p. 228; al-Mizzī, Tahḏīb, XXV, p. 66; Ibn Ḥağar, Tahḏīb, IX, p. 116: the others are ʿUmar b. Abī Bakr al-Muʾammalī (fl. second half of second/eighth century), Muḥammad b. ʿUmar al-Wāqidī (d. 207/822), Yaʿqūb b. Muḥammad al-Zuhrī (d. 213/828-29), al-ʿAbbās b. Abī Šamla (fl. late second/eighth and early third/ninth centuries), and ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz b. ʿImrān al-Zuhrī (d. 197/812-13). For the kaḏḏābān, see al-Mizzī, Tahḏīb, XXV, p. 66; Ibn Ḥağar, Tahḏīb, IX, p. 116: the second is Abū l-Baḫtarī Wahb b. Wahb (d. 200/815-16).
57. FN5656 Ibn Ḥağar, Tahḏīb, IX, p. 117.
58. FN5757 This point has been made forcefully now by Michael Lecker, “Lost Towns: Zuhra and Yathrib”, in L’Arabie à la veille de l’islam: bilan clinique, ed. J. Schiettecatte and C.J. Robin, Paris, De Boccard, 2009, p. 29-35, at 30. For the similar case of al-Wāqidī, see also idem, “Wāqidī’s Account on the Status of the Jews of Medina: A Study of a Combined Report”, JNES, 54 (1995), p. 15-32, at 22-3.
59. FN5858 For example, Ibn Ḥağar, al-Iṣāba fī tamyīz al-ṣaḥāba, ed. ʿĀdil ʿAbd al-Mawğūd and ʿAlī Muʿawwaḍ, Beirut, Dār al-kutub al-ʿilmiyyya, 1415/1995, IV, p. 13, VIII, p. 111.
60. FN5959 Al-Samhūdī (Wafāʾ, II, p. 65) explains that he uses Ibn Zabāla, in spite of his reputation for weakness as a transmitter, because Yaḥyā l-ʿAqīqī saw fit to use his material.
61. FN6060 Ibn al-Nadīm, Fihrist, p. 121. (It is not mentioned in Gustav Flügel’s edition of the Fihrist, Leipzig, F.C.W. Vogel, 1871-72, I, p. 108.)
62. FN6161 Ibn al-Nadīm, Fihrist, p. 121; Ibn Ḥağar, Iṣāba, I, p. 292, III, p. 259, IV, p. 67, VI, p. 334, VII, p. 367, VIII, p. 147, 315; al-Saḫāwī, Iʿlān, p. 274 [= Rosenthal, History, p. 475]; al-Samhūdī, Wafāʾ, II, p. 65, 88; Ḥāğğī Ḫalīfa, Kašf al-ẓunūn ʿan asāmī l-kutub wa-l-funūn, ed. M.S. Yaltkaya and R. Bilge, Istanbul, Maarif MatbaasI, 1360-62/1941-43, I, p. 29, 302. Brief modern discussions of the work include Wüstenfeld, Geschichte, p. 6; GAS, I, p. 343-4; SāmMuq., I, p. 38; ʿAbd Allāh ʿUsaylān, al-Madīna l-munawwara fī āṯār al-muʾallifīn wa-l-bāḥiṯīn qadīman wa-ḥadīṯan, Medina, ʿUsaylān, 1418/1997, p. 30-1; al-ʿAlī, “Muʾallafāt”, p. 127-9; al-Ğāsir, “Muʾallafāt”, p. 264-6; Salāma, Aḫbār.
63. FN6262 Ibn Ḥağar, Tahḏīb, IX, p. 117; Salāma, Aḫbār, p. 63; ʿUmMuq., p. 14; al-Ğāsir, “Muʾallafāt”, p. 100.
64. FN6363 Ibn al-Nadīm, Fihrist, p. 121. (It is not mentioned in Flügel’s edition, I, p. 108.)
65. FN6464 Al-Ṣafadī, Kitāb al-Wāfī bi-l-wafayāt, vol. 14, ed. Sven Dedering, Wiesbaden, Franz Steiner, 1982, p. 188; GAS, I, p. 318.
66. FN6565 ʿUmMuq., p. 16.
67. FN6666 Gregor Schoeler, “Die Frage der schriftlichen oder mündlichen Überlieferungen der Wissenschaften im frühen Islam”, Der Islam, 62 (1985), p. 201-30, at 219 [= idem, The Oral and the Written in Early Islam, ed. James Montgomery and trans. Uwe Vagelpohl, London, Routledge, 2006, p. 37]; Stefan Leder, “Grenzen der Rekonstruktion alten Schrifttums nach den Angaben im Fihrist”, in Ibn al-Nadīm und die mittelalterliche arabische Literatur: Beiträge zum 1. Johann Wilhelm Fück-Kolloquium, Wiesbaden, Harrassowitz, 1996, p. 21-31.
68. FN6767 Al-Samhūdī, Wafāʾ, I, p. 79-80; al-Saḫāwī, Tuḥfa, III, p. 557.
69. FN6868 Al-Zubayr b. Bakkār features as the transmitter of 5 out of 7 Ibn Zabāla citations in the Kitāb al-Manāsik; of 22 out of 40 in Ibn al-Nağğār’s Durra (this accounts, however, for all citations where Ibn al-Nağğār provides the name of a transmitter of Ibn Zabāla’s reports); of 24 out of 52 in al-Maṭarī’s Taʿrīf (al-Maṭarī only knew of al-Zubayr b. Bakkār as a rāwī of Ibn Zabāla, and Ibn al-Nağğār only once cites al-Zubayr without mentioning Ibn Zabāla as his source), and of 16 out of 27 in Ibn Ḥağar’s Iṣāba. For al-Suyūṭī’s use of Ibn Zabāla via al-Zubayr b. Bakkār, see his al-Ḥuğağ al-mubīna fī l-tafḍīl bayna Makka wa-l-Madīna, ed. ʿAbd Allāh al-Darwīš, Damascus, al-Yamāma, 1405/1985, p. 24-5, 49-61. Al-Zubayr b. Bakkār also transmits reports from Ibn Zabāla preserved, for example, in Ibn ʿAbd Rabbih’s (d. 328/940) al-ʿIqd al-farīd and Abū Hilāl al-ʿAskarī’s (d. 395/1095) Awāʾil; see W. Werkmeister, Quellenuntersuchungen zum Kitāb al-ʿIqd al-farīd des Andalusiers Ibn ʿAbdrabbih (246/860 - 328/940): Ein Beitrag zur arabischen Literaturgeschichte, Berlin, Klaus Schwarz, 1983, p. 395; Abū Hilāl al-ʿAskarī, al-Awāʾil, ed. Muḥammad al-Miṣrī and Walīd Qaṣṣāb, Damascus, Wizārat al-ṯaqāfa wa-l-iršād al-qawmī, 1975, I, p. 71, 165-7. Some further examples are also provided below. That Ibn al-Nağğār was almost certainly using al-Zubayr b. Bakkār’s recension, and for some brief details about that recension’s transmission to his day, see further below.
70. FN6969 Ibn Rusta, Kitāb al-Aʿlāq al-nafīsa, ed. M.J. de Goeje, Leiden, Brill, 1892, p. 60.
71. FN7070 See especially A. Sprenger, “On the Origin and Progress of Writing Down Historical Facts among the Musulmans”, Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, 25 (1856), p. 303-29, 375-81; Nabia Abbott, Studies in Arabic Literary Papyri, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1957-72, esp. I, p. 5-31, II, p. 5-64; GAS, esp. I, p. 53-84; Schoeler, “Die Frage” [= idem, Oral, p. 28-44]; idem, “Weiteres zur Frage der schriftlichen oder mündlichen Überlieferung der Wissenschaften im Islam”, Der Islam, 66 (1989), p. 38-67 [= idem, Oral, p. 45-61]; idem, “Schreiben und Veröffentlichen: Zu Verwendung und Funktion der Schrift in den ersten islamischen Jahrhunderten”, Der Islam, 69 (1992), p. 1-43 [= idem, Oral, p. 62-86]. Many of the studies cited above, n. 23, also deal in some detail with this question.
72. FN7171 As well as those articles cited above, n. 70, see also Gregor Schoeler, “Mündliche Thora und Ḥadīṯ: Überlieferung, Schreibverbot, Redaktion”, Der Islam, 66 (1989), p. 213-51 [= idem, Oral, p. 111-41]; M.J. Kister, “. . .Lā taqraʾū l-qurʾāna ʿalā l-muṣḥafiyyīn wa-lā taḥmilū l-ʿilma ʿani l-ṣaḥafiyyīn. . . Some Notes on the Transmission of Ḥadīth”, JSAI, 22 (1998), p. 127-62; Michael Cook, “The Opponents of the Writing of Tradition in Early Islam”, Arabica, 44 (1997), p. 437-530.
73. FN7272 See especially the references above, footnotes 70 & 71; also Gregor Schoeler, The Genesis of Literature in Islam: From the Aural to the Read, trans. Shawkat Toorawa, Edinburgh, EUP, 2009.
74. FN7373 For the distinction between hypomnēma and syngramma, see esp. Schoeler, “Weiteres zur Frage”, p. 41 [= idem, Oral, p. 46].
75. FN7474 Most recently, Schoeler, Genesis, p. 76.
76. FN7575 Sebastian Günther, “Assessing the Sources of Classical Arabic Compilations: The Issue of Categories and Methodologies”, BJMES, 32 (2005), p. 75-98, at 79.
77. FN7676 Schoeler, Genesis, p. 76.
78. FN7777 His main example is Sībawayh’s (d. c. 180/796) Kitāb; see Schoeler, “Weiteres zur Frage”, p. 48-52 [= idem, Oral, p. 49-51].
79. FN7878 Cf. Salāma, Aḫbār, p. 251.
80. FN7979 Schoeler, “Schreiben und Veröffentlichen”, p. 17-8 [= idem, Oral, p. 72-3].
81. FN8080 Al-Samhūdī, Wafāʾ, I, p. 294: wa-asnada Ibn Zabāla muṣaddiran bihi kitābahu fī badʾ man sakanahā. . .
82. FN8181 Ibn al-Nağğār, Durra, p. 181. For the other references, see above, n. 50.
83. FN8282 Due to the fact that Ibn Zabāla’s work on the wives of the Prophet mentioned earlier does not even fulfil any of these loose conditions, we should consider it most likely that he himself did not try to give his material on that topic any kind of structure. If he ever actually wrote anything down on that topic at all, it was probably just a private notebook.
84. FN8383 Gregor Schoeler, “Wer ist der Verfasser des K. al-ʿAin?”, Zeitschrift für arabische Linguistik, 38 (2000), p. 15-45, at 27-8 [= idem, Oral, p. 151]; idem, Genesis, 76. On Abū Miḫnaf’s and Sayf b. ʿUmar’s works, see respectively GAS, I, p. 308-9, 311-2.
85. FN8484 Sebastian Günther, “New Results in the Theory of Source-Criticism in Medieval Arabic Literature”, al-Abḥāṯ, 42 (1994), p. 3-15, at 12-3; Schoeler, Genesis, p. 111-2.
86. FN8585 Al-Samhūdī, Wafāʾ, I, p. 79-80. For some further instances where al-Samhūdī provides minor variations between versions of Ibn Zabāla’s reports, see Wafāʾ, II, p. 311, III, p. 396, IV, p. 333; see also, for example, al-Marāġī, Taḥqīq, p. 86.
87. FN8686 This mirrors Motzki’s much firmer conclusions about ʿAbd al-Razzāq’s (d. 211/826) Muṣannaf, i.e. that “ʿAbd al-Razzāq is the author of the Muṣannaf, in the sense that he was the teacher of almost all the material contained in it”; H. Motzki, “The Author and His Work in the Islamic Literature of the First Centuries: The Case of ʿAbd al-Razzāq’s Muṣannaf”, JSAI, 28 (2003), p. 171-201, quote at 196.
88. FN8787 Al-Samhūdī, Wafāʾ, II, p. 323-4, III, p. 396.
89. FN8888 The transmission history of Ibn Zabāla’s Aḫbār al-Madīna seems, so far as we can tell, to be a little more stable than that of al-Azraqī’s Aḫbār Makka, material within which, as it has come down to us, seems to derive from no fewer than four authors/transmitters over a period of more than a century; see further below, n. 145.
90. FN8989 Al-Saḫāwī, Iʿlān, p. 274 [= Rosenthal, History, p. 475].
91. FN9090 Cf. the figures given by Salāma, Aḫbār, p. 266-8.
92. FN9191 ʿUsaylān, Madīna, p. 30.
93. FN9292 Al-ʿAlī, “Muʾallafāt”, p. 127-8; Lecker, Muslims, Jews and Pagans, p. xii-xiii. For an example, see al-Samhūdī, Wafāʾ, I, p. 308.
94. FN9393 For some important studies which have made use of Ibn Zabāla’s material for the history of Medina in the first two centuries AH, see Ṣāliḥ al-ʿAlī, “Studies in the Topography of Medina (During the 1st Century A.H.)”, Islamic Culture, 35 (1961), p. 65-92; M.J. Kister, “The Market of the Prophet”, JESHO, 8 (1965), p. 272-6; idem, “The Battle of the Ḥarra: Some Socio-Economic Aspects”, in Studies in Memory of Gaston Wiet, ed. Myriam Rosen-Ayalon, Jerusalem, Hebrew University, 1977, p. 33-49; Isaac Hasson, “Contributions à l’étude des Aws et des Ḫazrağ”, Arabica, 36 (1989), p. 1-35; Lecker, “Muḥammad at Medina”; idem, Muslims, Jews and Pagans; idem, “On the Markets of Medina”.
95. FN9494 For either or both of these reports cited explicitly from Ibn Zabāla, see Kitāb al-Manāsik, p. 365; al-Samhūdī, Wafāʾ, II, p. 269-70. For either or both of these reports without a particular source named, see Ibn Rusta, Aʿlāq, p. 69; Ibn al-Nağğār, Durra, p. 176; al-Marğānī, Bahğa, I, p. 529; al-Marāġī, Taḥqīq, p. 79. For brief discussions, see Jean Sauvaget, Le mosquée omeyyade de Médine: Étude sur les origines architecturales de la mosquée et de la basilique, Paris, Vanoest, 1947, p. 26, 81; Bisheh, Mosque of the Prophet, p. 217; Myriam Rosen-Ayalon, The Early Islamic Monuments of al-Ḥaram al-Sharīf: An Iconographic Study, Jerusalem, Hebrew University, 1989, p. 49. For the semantic range of Ar. qaṣr, pl. quṣūr, see Garth Fowden, Quṣayr ʿAmra: Art and the Umayyad Elite in Late Antique Syria, Berkeley, UCP, 2004, p. 273-4.
96. FN9595 Al-Samhūdī, Wafāʾ, II, p. 274. Fortunately, one other work does include a copy of the inscriptions from Yaḥyā l-ʿAqīqī, for whom Ibn Zabāla’s work was an important source; see the Kitāb al-Manāsik, p. 385-95.
97. FN9696 Al-Samhūdī, Wafā’, I, p. 296-7, 327-9; Ibn Rusta, Aʿlāq, p. 59-64. On the affair of al-Fiṭyawn, see Michael Lecker, “Were the Jewish Tribes in Arabia Clients of Arab Tribes?”, in Patronate and Patronage in Early and Classical Islam, ed. Monique Bernards and John Nawas, Leiden, Brill, 2005, p. 50-69, at 52-5.
98. FN9797 See, for example, Ibn al-Nağğār, Durra, p. 32-3, 49-50, 96, 222, 229, 230; al-Maṭarī, Taʿrīf, p. 51, 101-2, 169; al-Marāġī, Taḥqīq, p. 23-4, 211, 212, 306, 311; al-Marğānī, Bahğa, I, p. 108-9, 625-6; al-Samhūdī, Wafāʾ, I, p. 294-300, III, p. 262, 265, 266 (among many others).
99. FN9898 Al-Samhūdī, Wafāʾ, I, p. 300. This tradition is also cited in Ibn Šabba, Taʾrīḫ, I, p. 61 [I, p. 85-6], potentially from Ibn Zabāla; Ibn Šabba’s isnād includes an anonymous Anṣārī (rağul min al-anṣār) whom al-Samhūdī suggests is Ibn Zabāla.
100. FN9999 Al-Samhūdī, Wafāʾ, I, p. 294, 295, 299.
101. FN100100 On the development of the faḍāʾil al-buldān literature, see Ernst Gruber, Verdienst und Rang: Die Faḍā’il als literarisches und gesellschaftliches Problem im Islam, Freiburg im Breisgau, Klaus Schwarz, 1975, esp. p. 49-82; Amikam Elad, Medieval Jerusalem and Islamic Worship: Holy Places, Ceremonies, Pilgrimage, Leiden, Brill, 1995; M.J. Kister, “Sanctity Joint and Divided: On Holy Places in the Islamic Tradition”, JSAI, 20 (1996), p. 18-65. For the development of the faḍāʾil al-Madīna literature, see Albert Arazi, “Matériaux pour l’étude du conflit de préséance entre la Mekke et Médine”, JSAI, 5 (1984), p. 177-235; at 198-9, Arazi specifically notes Ibn Zabāla’s “patriotisme local”.
102. FN101101 His faḍāʾil traditions can be found in their most significant numbers in al-Marāġī, Taḥqīq, p. 8-22, 213-5, 350-5, and in al-Samhūdī, Wafāʾ, I, p. 93-267. For traditions comparing Medina (often favourably) with Mecca, see esp. al-Samhūdī, Wafāʾ, I, p. 104, 133-4, 138, 167.
103. FN102102 See esp. al-Marāġī, Taḥqīq, p. 338, 344-5, 347-8; al-Samhūdī, Wafāʾ, I, p. 195, 201-4. 210-2; al-Suyūṭī, Ḥuğağ, p. 36.
104. FN103103 Al-Marāġī, Taḥqīq, p. 14.
105. FN104104 Al-Mizzī, Tahḏīb, XXV, p. 64-5. For another similar tradition with the same isnād up to Mālik, but then apparently transmitted from Mālik by ʿAmr b. Ḥammād b. Abī Ḥanīfa, see al-Balāḏurī, Kitāb Futūḥ al-buldān, ed. M.J. de Goeje, Leiden, Brill, 1866, p. 7.
106. FN105105 Al-Samhūdī, Wafāʾ, II, p. 283.
107. FN106106 Ibid., I, p. 294; on Zuhra, see Lecker, “Lost Towns”.
108. FN107107 Al-Marāġī, Taḥqīq, p. 310-2; al-Samhūdī, Wafāʾ, III, p. 378-9. For more on this episode, see Michael Lecker, “The Conversion of Ḥimyar to Judaism and the Jewish Banū Hadl of Medina”, Die Welt des Orients, 26 (1995), p. 129-36.
109. FN108108 On al-Rabaḏa, see now Saʿd al-Rāshid, al-Rabadhah: A Portrait of Early Islamic Civilisation in Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, King Saud University, n.d. A ḥimā is a form of restricted pasture land; see J. Chelhod, “Ḥimā”, EI2.
110. FN109109 Ibn al-Nağğār, Durra, p. 224-5; al-Marāġī, Taḥqīq, p. 193-4: during the Battle of the Ḥarra in 63/683, when the aḏān was not sounded for three days, Saʿīd b. al-Musayyab heard it come from within the Prophet’s tomb.
111. FN110110 Al-Samhūdī, Wafāʾ, V, p. 77, 113. For another rare citation from Ibn Zabāla on the question of visiting the Prophet in Medina (although with no reference to his tomb or mosque), see al-Marāġī, Taḥqīq, p. 162, which reports the Prophet’s statement that, “He who visits me in Medina will be under my protection (fī ğiwārī) on the Day of Resurrection”.
112. FN111111 Ibn Saʿd, Kitāb al-Ṭabaqāt al-kubrā, Beirut, Dār Ṣādir, 1380-88/1960-68, V, p. 425-6. Salāma (Aḫbār, p. 248) also thought that this omission is strange.
113. FN112112 Marco Schöller, The Living and the Dead in Islam: Studies in Arabic Epitaphs, II: Epitaphs in Context, Wiesbaden, Harrassowitz, 2004, p. 67-70.
114. FN113113 He appears in Ibn Šabba, Taʾrīḫ, I, p. 281 [II, p. 520] (reading Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan b. Zabāla instead of Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan b. Ziyād); I, p. 303-4 [II, p. 567-71]. For Ibn Šabba studying with Ibn Zabāla, see Ibn Abī Ḥātim, Ğarḥ, VII, p. 227; Ibn Ḥağar, Tahḏīb, IX, p. 115; al-Mizzī, Tahḏīb, XXV, p. 64.
115. FN114114 See, among many others, al-Samhūdī, Wafāʾ, II, p. 28, 41, 42, 54, 60, 65, 83, 103, 221, 232, 242, 262, 279, 292.
116. FN115115 Ibn al-Nağğār, Durra, p. 31-2, 49, 63, 95, 104, 105, 106, 107, 109, 147, 151, 154, 171, 180, 211, 212, 222, 224, 229, 232-3.
117. FN116116 Wakīʿ, Aḫbār al-quḍāt, ed. ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz al-Marāġī, Cairo, Maṭbaʿat al-istiqāma, 1366-69/1947-50, I, p. 269.
118. FN117117 Ibn al-ʿImād, Šaḏarāt, II, p. 378.
119. FN118118 According to al-ʿAlī, “Muʾallafāt”, p. 127, Ibn Rusta quotes Ibn Zabāla in four places. Al-ʿAlī is correct that Ibn Rusta explicitly cites Ibn Zabāla on four occasions (Ibn Rusta, Aʿlāq, p. 59-60, 63), but it is clear from a comparison of Ibn Rusta’s material with similar passages in al-Samhūdī’s Wafāʾ that the former actually depended on Ibn Zabāla to a much greater extent. The anonymous Aḫbār al-Madīna which the geographer al-Muqaddasī (fl. 375/985) states that he read (qaraʾtu) may be Ibn Zabāla’s too, although we can hardly be sure; see his Aḥsan al-taqāsīm fī maʿrifat al-aqālīm, ed. M.J. de Goeje, 2nd ed., Leiden, Brill, 1906, p. 82.
120. FN119119 He also appears in the middle of at least a couple of isnāds in al-Balāḏurī’s (d. 279/892) Ansāb al-ašrāf, although there is no reason to assume that these are citations from his Aḫbār al-Madīna; see vol. 2, ed. Wilferd Madelung, Beirut, Klaus Schwarz, 2003, p. 30; vol. 4/1, ed. Iḥsān ʿAbbās, Beirut, Franz Steiner, 1979, p. 130.
121. FN120120 Al-Ṭabarī, Ğāmiʿ al-bayān fī taʾwīl al-Qurʾān, 3rd ed., Beirut, Dār al-kutub al-ʿilmiyya, 1420/1999, VIII, p. 103.
122. FN121121 Al-Ṭabarī, Taʾrīḫ al-rusul wa-l-mulūk, ed. M.J. de Goeje et al., Leiden, Brill, 1879-1901, II, p. 1943, III, p. 168-9, 173, 174-5, 182, 202-3, 229, 238-9, 241, 250, 252, 255-6, 268-9. For Ibn Zabāla on Muḥammad b. ʿAbd Allāh, see T. Nagel, “Ein früher Bericht über den Aufstand von Muḥammad b. ʿAbdallāh im Jahre 145h”, Der Islam, 46 (1970), p. 227-62, at 235-6. Nagel notes through these citations that Ibn Zabāla seems to have been supportive of Muḥammad b. ʿAbd Allāh’s cause—[i]n ihnen wird durchweg für die Seite Muḥammad b. ʿAbdallāhs ergriffen (p. 235)—but we cannot really be certain of this.
123. FN122122 Maher Jarrar, “Some Lights on an Early Zaydite Manuscript: Akhbār Fakhkh wa-khabar Yaḥyā b. ʿAbdallāh”, Asiatische Studien, 47 (1993), p. 279-97, at 290; see also Jarrar’s introduction to his edition of Aḫbār Faḫḫ wa-ḫabar Yaḥyā b. ʿAbd Allāh, Beirut, Dār al-ġarb al-islāmī, 1995, p. 26. (The report, which recounts the Hasanid Yaḥyā b. ʿAbd Allāh’s return to the Ḥiğāz during the caliphate of Hārūn al-Rašīd and the Abbasid governor Bakkār b. ʿAbd Allāh’s watchful eye over him, is at p. 237-8).
124. FN123123 See Sāmī l-ʿĀnī’s introduction to his edition of al-Zubayr b. Bakkār, al-Aḫbār al-muwaffaqiyyāt, Baghdad, Maṭbaʿat al-ʿĀnī, 1972, p. 22.
125. FN124124 Al-Zubayr, Aḫbār, p. 127-31. (The isnād is al-Zubayr—Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan al-Maḫzūmī—Abū l-Naḍḍāḥ b. Ḥabīb b. Badīl.)
126. FN125125 Al-Fākihī, Aḫbār Makka fī qadīm al-dahr wa-ḥadīṯihi, ed. ʿAbd al-Malik b. Duhayš, Mecca, Maṭbaʿat al-nahḍa l-ḥadīṯa, 1419/1998, III, p. 206, 223-4, 231-2, 292-4, 304-5, 344-5, IV, p. 32-3, 81-2, 321-2, V, p. 8. (In five of these citations, Ibn Zabāla’s transmitter is al-Zubayr b. Bakkār.) Ibn Zabāla, via al-Zubayr b. Bakkār, is also cited in ʿIzz al-Dīn b. Fahd (d. 922/1517), Ġāyat al-marām bi-aḫbār salṭanat al-balad al-ḥarām, ed. Fahīm Šaltūt, Mecca, Ğāmiʿat Umm al-qurā, 1406-9/1986-89, I, p. 99, 154, 164.
127. FN126126 On this, see also briefly Salāma, Aḫbār, p. 251-2.
128. FN127127 Rosenthal, History, p. 17, 164-6. For a good early example of the concern with chronology when writing a work of taʾrīḫ, see Ḫalīfa b. Ḫayyāṭ (d. c. 240/850), al-Taʾrīḫ, ed. Akram al-ʿUmarī, 2nd ed., Beirut, Muʾassasat al-risāla, 1397/1977, p. 49-51. We will return briefly to some other Ḥiğāzī local histories below.
129. FN128128 For aḫbārī in this context as “historian”, see Chase Robinson, Islamic Historiography, Cambridge, CUP, 2003, p. 6.
130. FN129129 Al-Saḫāwī, Iʿlān, p. 273-5 [= Rosenthal, History, p. 475-6]. Significantly, al-Saḫāwī did not include Ibn Zabāla among those who only wrote about Medina’s faḍāʾil.
131. FN130130 For his definition, see al-Saḫāwī, Iʿlān, p. 17. This definition ends: “In fact, it [i.e. history] is concerned with everything that was (and is) in the world” (bal ʿammā kāna fī l-ʿālam). [The translation is from Rosenthal, History, p. 273.]
132. FN131131 Al-Saḫāwī, Iʿlān, p. 150-4 [= Rosenthal, History, p. 388-93]. If al-Ḏahabī really did exclude histories of towns from his definition of historiography he was probably in the minority. One Persian historian, within his very interesting discussion of history-writing and its purposes, separated earlier works of history into two categories, local histories and others; see Ibn Funduq (d. c. 565/1169), Tārīḫ-i Bayhaq, ed. Aḥmad Bahmanyār, 2nd ed., Tehran, Kitābfurūšī-yi furūġī, n.d., p. 19-22. The sections on the two categories are entitled, strangely one in Arabic and one in Persian (p. 19, 20 respectively): faṣl fī aʿdād al-tawārīḫ al-mašhūra, and ḏikr-i tawārīḫ-i šahrhā wa-wilāyathā wa-muṣannifān-i ān.
133. FN132132 Robinson, Islamic Historiography, p. 58.
134. FN133133 Ibid., p. 55, 57.
135. FN134134 See above, n. 80.
136. FN135135 Rosenthal (History, p. 164) has previously suggested that the primary concern of many Ḥiğāzī local histories was “holy history”.
137. FN136136 See, for example, H.A.R. Gibb, “Taʾrīkh”, EI1, suppl., at p. 237-8; Richard W. Bulliet, “City Histories in Medieval Iran”, Iranian Studies, 1 (1967-68), p. 104-9; R. Stephen Humphreys, Islamic History: A Framework for Inquiry, 2nd ed., London, I.B. Tauris, 1991, p. 131-2; Charles Melville, “Persian Local Histories: Views from the Wings”, Iranian Studies, 33 (2000), p. 7-14; Robinson, Islamic Historiography, p. 138-42. Rosenthal (History, p. 150-72) maintains an essentially similar division, although he unhelpfully terms the two types “secular” and “theological” works.
138. FN137137 A good example of a work which is “not easily classified” (Rosenthal, History, p. 162) is Ibn Funduq’s Tārīḫ-i Bayhaq, on which see Julie Scott Meisami, Persian Historiography to the End of the Twelfth Century, Edinburgh, EUP, 1999, p. 209-29; Parvaneh Pourshariati, “Local Historiography in Early Medieval Iran and the Tārīkh-i Bayhaq”, Iranian Studies, 33 (2000), p. 133-64.
139. FN138138 Ibn Funduq (Tārīḫ-i Bayhaq, p. 65), among others, considered some account of a region’s rulers to be a vital part of a good local history: “It has become the custom (wa-ʿādat raftah ast) in [writing] the histories of towns to explain the genealogies and history of the kings of that region. Since the custom of the notables of this profession (arbāb-i īn ṣanāʿat) has come to be this method (nasq), it brings blessing to the follower to imitate he who has established the precedent (mutaʾaḫḫir-rā bi-mutaqaddim iqtidā kardan mubārak āyad)”.
140. FN139139 For Ḥiğāzī local histories in general, see Rosenthal, History, p. 164-6. On Meccan local histories, see esp. Muḥammad al-Hīla, al-Taʾrīḫ wa-l-muʾarriḫūn bi-Makka min al-qarn al-ṯāliṯ al-hiğrī ilā l-qarn al-ṯāliṯ ʿašar: Ğamʿ, ʿarḍ wa-taʿrīf, London, Muʾassasat al-furqān, 1994. Other studies include Oleg Grabar, “Upon Reading al-Azraqi”, Muqarnas, 3 (1985), p. 1-7; W.G. Millward, “Taqī al-Dīn al-Fāsī’s Sources for the History of Mecca from the Fourth to the Ninth Centuries A.H.”, in Studies in the History of Arabia, I/2, p. 37-49; Nāṣir al-Rašīd, “Banū Fahd: muʾarriḫū Makka l-mukarrama wa-l-taʿrīf bi-maḫṭūṭ al-Nağm b. Fahd Itḥāf al-warā bi-aḫbār Umm al-qurā”, in Studies in the History of Arabia, I/2, p. 69-90. For Medinan local histories, see the references cited above, footnotes 3 & 4.
141. FN140140 Nağm al-Dīn b. Fahd, Itḥāf al-warā bi-aḫbār Umm al-qurā, ed. Fahīm Šaltūt, Mecca, Ğāmiʿat Umm al-qurā, 1403-10/1983-90; al-Fāsī, Šifāʾ al-ġarām bi-aḫbār al-balad al-ḥarām, ed. ʿUmar Tadmurī, Beirut, Dār al-kitāb al-ʿarabī, 1405/1985, II, p. 337-413. There may have been one or two earlier annalistic histories of Mecca; the bibliography to al-ʿUğaymī, Ihdāʾ al-laṭāʾif min aḫbār al-Ṭāʾif, ed. Yaḥyā Sāʿātī, 2nd ed., Taif, Dār ṯaqīf, 1400/1980, p. 96, refers to a Kitāb fī taʾrīḫ Makka murattab ʿalā l-sinīn, Ms. Ğāmiʿat al-Riyāḍ, no 2622/1. The bibliography to al-Suyūṭī, Ḥuğağ, p. 75, refers to a Qiṭʿa min kitāb fī l-taʾrīḫ ʿalā l-sinīn yaʿnī bi-aḫbār Makka bi-ṣūra ḫāṣṣa min sanat 132 H ilā 241 H, Ms. Damascus, Ẓāhiriyya, no. 3825. Neither Ms. is discussed in al-Hīla, Taʾrīḫ.
142. FN141141 Although al-Fīrūzābādī, in the sole edited section of his work (Maġānim, p. 190), does refer to a section on events (faṣl al-ḥawādiṯ) also in that book. This may refer to ff. 33-48 of the Istanbul Ms. (see above, n. 8), which according to Ḥamad al-Ğāsir (see the introduction to his edition of part of this work, p. ʿayn) was on “the history of the holy town and those who resided there” (fī taʾrīḫ al-balad al-muqaddas wa-ḏikr man sakanahu).
143. FN142142 Ed. Muḥammad al-Fiqī, Fuʾād Sayyid, and Maḥmūd al-Ṭanāḥī, Cairo, Maṭbaʿat al-sunna l-muḥammadiyya, 1378-88/1958-69, I, p. 3-5, 9, 10-2.
144. FN143143 Ibn Farḥūn, Naṣīḥat al-mušāwir wa-taʿziyat al-muğāwir, ed. Ḥusayn Šukrī, Beirut, Dār al-Arqam, n.d.; al-Āqšahrī, al-Rawḍa l-firdawsiyya (after this different sources give different names for the work), Ms. Berlin Or. Quart. 2082; for a discussion of its contents, see Ewald Wagner, Verzeichnis der orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland, Band XVII, Reihe B: Arabische Handschriften, Vol. 1, Wiesbaden, Franz Steiner, 1976, p. 420-1. The work has very recently been edited as al-Rawḍa l-firdawsiyya wa-l-ḥaḍra l-qudsiyya, ed. Qāsim al-Sāmarrāʾī, London, Muʾassasat al-furqān, 1431/2010. For notice of ʿAfīf al-Dīn al-Maṭarī’s al-Iʿlām fī man daḫala l-Madīna min al-aʿlām, see al-Saḫāwī, I ʿlān, p. 275 [= Rosenthal, History, p. 476]. A section (ff. 229-66) of the Istanbul Ms. of al-Fīrūzābādī’s Maġānim also seems to have a prosopographical focus; see al-Ğāsir’s introduction to his partial edition of this work, p. ʿayn-fāʾ.
145. FN144144 Al-Samhūdī, Wafāʾ, II, p. 65; cf., however, al-Ğāsir, “Muʾallafāt”, p. 98-100, 262-4, 386, where it is argued unconvincingly that ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz b. ʿImrān (d. 197/812-13) wrote a history of Medina. The main arguments against al-Ğāsir’s claim is that not one single later author mentions this work’s existence, and ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz b. ʿImrān, although he was a relatively important source for Ibn Šabba, is not cited by other local historians of Medina anything like as often as Ibn Zabāla.
146. FN145145 Wüstenfeld, who first edited much of al-Azraqī’s Aḫbār Makka, suggested that the work, as it has come down to us, was compiled and transmitted in four stages involving four different persons: (1) Aḥmad b. Muḥammad al-Azraqī (d. 228/837); (2) Muḥammad b. ʿAbd Allāh b. Aḥmad al-Azraqī (d. c. 250/865); (3) Isḥāq al-Ḫuzāʿī (d. 308/920); (4) Muḥammad al-Ḫuzāʿī (d. after 350/961). See esp. Ferdinand Wüstenfeld (ed.), Die Chroniken der Stadt Mekka, Leipzig, F.A. Brockhaus, 1857-61, I, p. v-xviii; Schoeler, “Die Frage”, p. 217-8 [= idem, Oral, p. 36-7]. Perhaps the most important of these were the first two, but they still post-date Ibn Zabāla’s career. Sezgin (GAS, I, p. 343) has suggested that a book on the history of Mecca had probably (sehr wahrscheinlich) already been written by Abū Sāğ ʿUṯmān b. ʿAmr (d. c. 180/796), but he does not present very good evidence to support this claim.
147. FN146146 For Ibn Zabāla’s legacy among Medinan historians at least, see also Salāma, Aḫbār, p. 250.
148. FN147147 Robinson, Islamic Historiography, p. 30, 38, 47. On al-Hayṯam b. ʿAdī and his works, see esp. Leder, Korpus.
149. FN148148 Ibid., p. 30, 46; George Makdisi, “Ṭabaqāt-Biography: Law and Orthodoxy in Classical Islam”, Islamic Studies, 32 (1993), p. 371-96, esp. 373-6; Wadād al-Qāḍī, “Biographical Dictionaries: Inner Structure and Cultural Significance”, in The Book in the Islamic World: The Written Word and Communication in the Middle East, ed. George Atiyeh, Albany, SUNY Press, 1995, p. 93-122, at 119-20, n. 24. Makdisi also mentions a ṭabaqāt work dealing with ḥadīṯ scholars by al-Muʿāfā b. ʿImrān (d. 184/800), but Chase Robinson has shown that al-Muʿāfā probably never compiled such a work; see his “al-Muʿāfā b. ʿImrān and the Beginnings of Ṭabaqāt Literature”, JAOS, 116 (1996), p. 114-20.
150. FN149149 On Ibn Saʿd’s Ṭabaqāt, see al-Qāḍī, “Biographical Dictionaries”, p. 97-101; Christopher Melchert, “How Ḥanafism Came to Originate in Kufa and Traditionalism in Medina”, ILS, 6 (1999), p. 318-47, at 324-31.
151. FN150150 Earlier biographies of the Prophet, especially Ibn Isḥāq’s Sīra, contained some similar material concerning Medina, but those works were aimed at providing a salvation history for the whole Muslim community and not just highlighting the sanctity of Medina.
152. FN151151 For two important discussions of this issue, the first anti- and the second pro-Ḥanafī, see Ibn Abī Šayba (d. 235/849), al-Muṣannaf, ed. Ḥamad al-Ğumʿa and Muḥammad al-Luḥaydān, Riyadh, Maktabat al-rušd, 1425/2004, XIII, p. 123-5; al-Ṭaḥāwī (d. 321/933), Šarḥ Maʿānī l-āṯār, ed. Muḥammad al-Nağğār and Muḥammad Ğād al-Ḥaqq, and rev. Yūsuf al-Marʿašlī, Beirut, ʿĀlam al-kutub, 1414/1994, IV, p. 191-6.
153. FN152152 Al-Fasawī, Kitāb al-Maʿrifa wa-l-taʾrīḫ, ed. Akram al-ʿUmarī, 2nd ed., Beirut, Muʾassasat al-risāla, 1401/1981, II, p. 787-8, with the isnād Abū Bakr al-Ḥamīdī—Ḥamza b. al-Ḥāriṯ, mawlā of ʿUmar b. al-Ḫaṭṭāb [sic]—his father: “I heard a man ask Abū Ḥanīfa in al-masğid al-ḥarām about a man who had said, ‘I testify that the Kaʿba is a truth, but I do not know if it is this here or not’. He [i.e. Abū Ḥanīfa] said, ‘[He is] truly a believer (muʾmin ḥaqqan)’. He then asked him about a man who had said, ‘I testify that Muḥammad b. ʿAbd Allāh is a prophet, but I do not know if it is he whose grave is in Medina or not’. He said, ‘[He is] truly a believer’ ”. In another interesting tradition, Ibn Zabāla reported that when al-Walīd b. ʿAbd al-Malik visited the mosque in Medina in 91/709-10 to view the results of the lavish reconstruction work he had ordered (which had brought the Prophet’s grave within the mosque for the first time), he was accompanied by his brother, Bakkār, who was ignorant of whose grave it was and had to be told by ʿUmar b. ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz; see al-Samhūdī, Wafāʾ, II, p. 275.
154. FN153153 See the discussion in Ibn al-Nağğār, Durra, p. 212-3; also briefly Shaun Marmon, Eunuchs and Sacred Boundaries in Islamic Society, Oxford, OUP, 1995, p. 82.
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2012-01-01
2015-08-02

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