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The Construction of Historical Memory in the Exegesis of Kor 16, 106

Abstract

© 2015 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands. This article analyzes reports about the capture and torture of the companion 'Amma¯r b. Ya¯sir and their later use in the exegesis of Kor 16, 106. It also shows why the reports were generated by different sectarian communities (Imami¯ Ši¯'ites, Zaydites, Murʇi'ites) in the different parts of the early Islamic empire (Kufa, Mecca, Medina, Basra, and Jazira) in the late first/seventh and early second/eighth centuries. Through a detailed and comprehensive analysis of the isna¯ds of reports, the article shows that it is possible to correlate information about the sectarian affiliations of reports' transmitters with the contents of the reports and in the process shows why different communities remembered and transmitted the specific forms of the reports that they did. The article shows how literary Islamic sources are susceptible to a much more granular historical analysis than previously assumed.

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