Early Islamic Transmitters of Islamo-Biblica.

 

 

Early Islamic Transmitters of Islamo-Biblica.

 

 

Early Islamic Transmitters of Islamo-Biblica, Abrahamica or Israelitica (Isra'iliyyat)

 

 

 

Wahb ibn Munabbih, Abū `Abd-Allāh Wahb b. Munabbih (b. Sana c. 34 / 654-5 - d. c. 110 / 728  or 114 114 / 732?).

  • Kitab al-Mubtada (Book of Creation)
  • Tafsir (Qur'an Commentary)
  • Zabūr (Psalter), Mazāmīr Dāwūd (Psalms of David)
  • Ḥikmat ("Wisdom book") associated with the sage Luqmān.
  • Kitab al-Isrā’īliyyāt (The Book of Israelitica/ Abrahamica...)
  • Qiṣaṣ al‑anbiyā’ (Narratives of the [Pre-Islamic] Prophets)
  • Sirah - Biography of the Prophet Muhammad - extant in fragments.  
  • Sīrat al-nabī (Treatise on the Life of the Prophet),
  • Maghāzī Rasūl Allāh (Account of military expeditions of the Messenger of God)
  • Kitab al-qadr (Book of Destiny).
  • Kitab al-Mulūk .. min Ḥimyar... (The Book of the Himyarite Kings...) extant in the recension of Ibn Hishām, known as the Kitab al-Tijān fī mulūk al-Ḥimyar (The Book of the Crowned Kings of the Himyarites).

Wahb ibn Munabbih was probably a Yemenite Jew of Persian descent. He was an important  early Islamic authority on Abrahamic scripture and legend, especially South Arabian lore. Though perhaps another name for part of his K. al-mubtadā' (Book of Creationī), K. al-Isrā’īliyyāt is the title of one of his several lost books (Duri, 1983:128f). It appears to have been a work whose contents were acquired from Yemenite Jewish hakhamim and Christians (Hirschberg, EJ16:241-2). These works of Wahb b. Munabbih are attested as early as 229/843-4 (Rosenthal, 1968:335 fn.2) and in even earlier streams of the Tafsīr tradition. Other works evidence his wide interest in Isrā’īliyyāt as Abrahamic fables, folklore and history. Among works ascribed to him is a Ḥikmat ("Wisdom book") associated with the sage Luqmān, a version of the Zabūr (Psalter) entitled Mazāmīr Dāwūd (Psalms of David) and a Qiṣaṣ al-anbiyā’ (Stories of the Prophets) work.
Also attributed to Wahb b. Munabbih is a Tafsīr (Q. commentary) and a Sīrat al-nabī (Treatise on the Life of the Prophet), a Maghāzī Rasūl Allāh (Account of military expeditions of the Messenger of God) and a compilation entitled K. al-qadr (Book of Destiny). A recension of his K. al-Mulūk .. min Ḥimyar... (The Book of the Himyarite Kings...) by Ibn Hishām, known as the K. al-Tijān fī mulūk al-Ḥimyar (The Book of the Crowned Kings of the Himyarites) has been described as "a rich mine of Arabian fable, legend and garbled chronicles" in which may be seen "the powerful influence of Rabbinical, Syriac and Persian lore in both poetry and prose." (Norris, CHAL 1:385). Muhammad is said to have stated that God bestowed ḥikma (wisdom) upon Wahb b. Munabbih (Ibn Sa`d, Tabaqāt, V:395). Numerous respected Muslim authorities, including Ibn Isḥāq, al-Ṭabarī and al-Kisāī cite him approvingly though some modern Muslim anti-Isrā’īliyyāt authorities regard him as unreliable. Adang has recently referred to Wahb b. Munabbih as the "foremost transmitter of biblical narratives" (1996:10).

See Wahb b. Munabbih, K. al-Tijān ; Norris, CHAL 8:381. On Wahb see GAL. Sup.1:101-2+ refs. ; Sezgin, GAL I:306-7; Horowitz, EI IV:1084-5; Guillaume, 1955:xv, xviii; Khoury, 1972; Abbott, 1977; Hirschberg, EJ 16:241-2 [CD]; Schwartzbaum, 1982: 58-61; Duri, 1983:30-32+ index; Brinner EAL2:801-2; Adang,1996:10-12; Donner, 1998 [index]

Mujāhid b. Jabr al-Makkī (d. c.104/722).

Sunnī and Shī`ī sources regard Mujāhid b. Jabr al-Makkī (d. c.104/722) as a diligent, apparently proto-Shī`ī Q. commentator and an avid collector of expository pre-Islamic lore. A rationalist pupil of both Ibn `Abbās and Imam `Alī, he collected Abrahamic and related materials expository of the Q. (Ibn Sa`d, Tabaqāt, 5:344, 467). Mujāhid is even said to have travelled to Babel (Babylon) in order to more adequately expound the qur’ānic legend of the fallen angels Hārūt and Mārūt. Isrā’īliyyāt traditions linked to him are found throughout the tafsīr tradition. They are registered in the influential Tafsīr of Ṭabarī. Probable Abrahamic or Jewish-Christian influence through Mujāhid is seen in exegetical traditions pointing to Muhammad being, like the divine Jesus, "seated" upon the celestial Divine Throne (cf. Ps.110:1; Rev. 3:21) (See bn Ḥanbal, Musnad I:375f; etc.; Rosenthal, tr. Ṭabarī, Tarīkh, 1:75ff; Dhahabī, Siyār A`lām, noted Sālīḥī, 199X:10; Rippin, Mudjāhid, EI2).