Most of the articles in this volume belong to what can be described as the preparatory work which is prerequisite to the study of pre- and early Islamic history. Lecker’s interests include tribal Arabia (including tribes in the Yemen and Hadramawt), the history of the Arabian Jews, the biography of the Prophet Muhammad, and early Islamic literature in general. While the studies are based on a wide range of sources, they often focus on illuminating small accounts which are analyzed and placed in their historical context. The comprehensive index renders the articles easily accessible.
Table of Contents
Contents: Preface; Jews and Arabs Before Islam: Idol worship in pre-Islamic Medina (Yathrib); A note on early marriage links between Qurashis and Jewish women; Zayd b. Thabit, ’a Jew with two sidelocks’: Judaism and literacy in pre-Islamic Medina (Yathrib); ’Amr ibn Hazm al-Ansari and Qur’an 2, 256: ’No compulsion is there in religion’; Hudhayfa b. al-Yaman and ’Ammar b. Yasir, Jewish converts to Islam; Muhammad at Medina: Yahud/’uhud: a variant reading in the story of the ’Aqaba meeting; Waqidi’s account on the status of the Jews of Medina: a study of a combined report; Muhammad at Medina: a geographical approach; On the markets of Medina (Yathrib) in pre-Islamic and early Islamic times; On Arabs of the Banu Kilab executed together with the Jewish Banu Qurayza; The Hudaybiyya-treaty and the expedition against Khaybar; The bewitching of the Prophet Muhammad by the Jews: a note Ã propos ’Abd al-Malik b. Habib’s Mukhtasar fi l-tibb; Tribes in the Yemen: The conversion of Himyar to Judaism and the Jewish Banu Hadl of Medina; Judaism among Kinda and the ridda of Kinda; Kinda on the eve of Islam and during the ridda; Arabic and Islamic Literature: Biographical notes on Ibn Shihab al-Zuhri; The death of the Prophet Mahammad’s father: did Waqidi invent some of the evidence?; Biographical notes on Abu ’Ubayda Ma’mar b. al-Muthanna; Addenda et corrigenda; Index.
’For those interested in the rise and early development of Islam, Michael Lecker’s work has long been essential reading, and it is therefore particularly useful to have collected in one volume all of his articles from the years 1985-97...the vast array of sources deployed by Lecker and the meticulous manner in which he handles them ensures that his studies offer insights for all Islamicists.’ Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, Vol. 63, No. 1 ’Lecker’s indefatigable attention to detail and focus on otherwise overlooked aspects of pre-and early Islamic Arabia are well illustrated in this collection of eighteen articles....’ Religious Studies Review, Vol. 26, No. 1 '... this book is a testament to Lecker's obvious love of accuracy and his ability to collate and present often highly complicated data in a clear and comprehensible manner...' Journal of Islamic Studies