Chapter

The Sīra

Reuven Firestone

in Jihād

Published in print March 2002 | ISBN: 9780195154948
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849239 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195154948.003.0007
The Sīra

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This chapter examines biographical writings about Muḥammad from which cultural and historical data are extracted for comparison with that retrieved from the Qurʾān and Hadīth, and for examining the relationship between formation of the new Muslim community (Umma) out of the old social systems of pre-Islamic Arabia and the development of religiously sanctioned war. The sīra literature is a genre of the hadīth literature that was edited into the form of a biography of Muḥammad. It is organized in chronological order in relation to the history of Muḥammad's mission. Meanwhile, the Medina Agreement marked the transition from the old pre-Islamic kinship system to the new Muslim Umma. It represented a middle position between the two institutions, exhibiting a certain fluidity between kinship relations and religious alliance.

Keywords: Umma; Muḥammad's biography; hadīth; sīra; Mecca; defensive fighting; Medina Agreement

Chapter.  10120 words. 

Subjects: Islam

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