Early Sunni historiography: a study of the Tarikh of Khalifa b. Khayyat

  • Book Title:
 Early Sunni Historiography
  • Book Author:
Tobias Sahl Andersson
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Acknowledgements vii

Note on Conventions viii

Introduction 1

  1. Subject and Scope 1
  2. Previous Studies on Khalīfa’s Tārīkh 10
  3. Manuscripts and Published Editions 13

1 The Transmission of Khalīfa’s Tārīkh 15

  1. Introduction 15
  2. The Transmitters: Baqī b. Makhlad and Mūsā b. Zakariyyā al-Tustarī 16
  3. Differences between the Recensions and the Question of Authorship 21
  4. Missing Material in Baqī’s Recension 28
  5. Conclusion 44
  6. Khalīfa’s Life and Works 45
    1. Introduction 45
    1. Biography 45
    1. Works 52
    1. Scholarly Reputation 55
    1. Khalīfa’s Tārīkh in Later Scholarship 59
    1. Conclusion 65
  7. Social and Intellectual Context 67
  8. Introduction 67
  9. Social and Political Context 68
  10. Intellectual Context 78
  11. Historiographical Context 90
  12. Conclusion 103

4 Khalīfa’s Sources 105

  1. Introduction 105
  2. Main Direct Transmitters (20–110 Citations) 106
  3. ers (5–19 Citations) 112
  4. tations) 120

 vi contents

  • Major Indirect Sources 125
  • Analysis of Material 131
  • Conclusion 137

5 Khalīfa’s Methods 139

  1. Introduction 139
  2. Epistemology of Historical Knowledge 140
  3. System of Reference 151
  4. Selection and Evaluation of Transmitters 158
  5. Conclusion 164
  6. Structure and Arrangement of the Tārīkh 166
    1. Introduction 166
    1. Concept of Chronography 166
    1. General Structure: Annalistic and Caliphal Chronology 172
    1. Structure of Individual Years and Lists 178
    1. Conclusion 193
  7. Themes I: Prophethood, Community and Hegemony 195
  8. Introduction 195
  9. Prophethood 196
  10. Community 203
  11. Hegemony 209
  12. Conclusion 223

8 Themes II: Leadership and Civil War 225

  1. Introduction 225
  2. The Rāshidūn Period 226
  3. The Umayyad Period 250
  4. The ʿAbbāsid Period 275
  5. Conclusion 279

Conclusion 283

  1. Overview 283
  2. Methods, Concerns and Contexts of the Early Historians 283
  3. Chronography among the Early adīth Scholars 285
  4. Articulations of Sunnī Views in the Early Historical Tradition 286

Appendix: Citations of Khalīfa in al-Bukhārī’s al-Jāmiʿ al-aī 289


Index 317

The Transmission of Khalīfa’s Tārīkh

The extant recension of Khalīfa’s Tārīkh was transmitted by Baqī b. Makhlad al-Qurṭubī (d. 276/889). Another recension, transmitted by Mūsā b. Zakariyyā al-Tustarī (d. before 300/912), survives only partially as scattered citations in later sources. This chapter examines the transmission of Khalīfa’s Tārīkh in detail with focus on Baqī’s extant recension. First, it introduces the two main transmitters, Baqī b. Makhlad and Mūsā al-Tustarī, and their respective recen-sions.

Second, it outlines the transmission of scholarly texts in early Islam and its implications for our understanding of the differences between the recen-sions of Baqī and al-Tustarī.1 It is suggested that Khalīfa’s Tārīkh was most likely transmitted on the basis of written notes of lectures that Baqī and al-Tustarī heard at different times and edited into book form in slightly different ways, which would explain many of the relatively minor differences between the recensions.

It also discusses the question of authorship and, based on the overall correspondence between the two recensions, argues that Khalīfa was responsible for at least the general form and content of the extant recension. Third, it examines the citations of Khalīfa’s Tārīkh that are preserved in later sources but absent from Baqī’s recension, and discusses the claim that Baqī abridged or omitted certain reports because of Umayyad sympathies.2

 It sug-gests that, although it is possible that Baqī or someone after him in the isnād of the extant recension omitted material for ideological or scholarly reasons, it is equally possible that this material was never a part of the version of the Tārīkh that Khalīfa transmitted to Baqī. The chapter argues that Khalīfa was respon-sible for the overall form and content of the extant recension of the Tārīkh, although one must bear in mind that it was probably a series of lecture notes edited into book form by Baqī, so some alterations may well have occurred in the course of transmission.

The two known transmitters of Khalīfa’s Tārīkh are Baqī b. Makhlad al-Qurṭubī and Abū ʿImrān Mūsā b. Zakariyyā al-Tustarī.3 Both of them transmitted Khal-īfa’s two works, the Tārīkh and the Ṭabaqāt, but only Baqī’s transmission of the Tārīkh and al-Tustarī’s transmission of the Ṭabaqāt have survived. Mūsā al-Tustarī presumably came from Tustar in southwestern Persia, but he took up residence in Basra.4 Relatively little is known about him and, unlike Baqī b. Makhlad, he is not remembered as a major ḥadīth scholar. Al-Dhahabī (d. 748/ 1348) notes:

Mūsā b. Zakariyyā al-Tustarī, who narrated from Shabāb al-ʿUṣfurī [Khal-īfa b. Khayyāṭ] and the likes of him. Al-Dāraquṭnī spoke critically of him (takallama fīhi) and al-Ḥākim narrated from al-Dāraquṭnī that his trans-mission is abandoned (matrūk).5

However, al-Ṭabarānī (d. 360/971), Ibn Qāniʿ (d. 351/962) and al-Ḥākim al-Naysābūrī (d. 405/1014) narrate several reports from him, which suggests that he was at least a known transmitter in his time.6 Al-Tustarī’s recension of the Tārīkh was used by Ibn ʿAsākir (d. 571/1176), as indicated by the isnāds in his Tārīkh madīnat Dimashq, and most likely by other Syrian scholars such as al-Dhahabī (d. 748/1348) and Ibn Kathīr (d. 774/1373).7 Ibn ʿAsākir is the historian who preserves most narrations from al-Tustarī’s recension; Ṣaddām notes that he transmits in total 1,487 narrations from Khalīfa via al-Tustarī and that 165

of these are not found in Baqī b. Makhlad’s recension.8 Al-Tustarī probably received the Tārīkh from Khalīfa around 238/853, which is the last date recorded in Ibn ʿAsākir’s citations from al-Tustarī’s recension.9 Ibn al-ʿAsākir received this version of Khalīfa’s Tārīkh from Abū Ghālib Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan al-Māwardī (d. 525/1131),10 who transmitted it from Abū l-Ḥasan Muḥammad b. ʿAlī b. Aḥmad al-Sīrāfī.11

 The latter transmitted it from Abū ʿAbdallāh Aḥmad b. Isḥāq al-Nihāwandī (d. 410/1019),12 who transmitted from Abū l-Ḥasan Aḥmad b. ʿImrān b. Mūsā al-Ashnānī from Mūsā b. Zakariyyā al-Tustarī.13 Four of these transmitters (Abū Ghālib al-Māwardī, Abū l-Ḥasan al-Sīrāfī, Aḥmad b. Isḥāq al-Nihāwandī and Mūsā al-Tustarī) are known to have resided in Basra at some points, and the fifth (Abū l-Ḥasan Aḥmad b. ʿImrān al-Ashnānī) likely also resided in the city, which would make al-Tustarī’s transmission an entirely Bas-ran recension of the Tārīkh until it reached the Damascene Ibn ʿAsākir.

Much more is known about the other transmitter of Khalīfa’s Tārīkh, the leading ḥadīth scholar of Córdoba, Baqī b. Makhlad, who received it during his travels in the East—probably around 232/847, which is the last recorded date in his recension.14 Besides the Tārīkh, he introduced Khalīfa’s Ṭabaqāt (in a now lost recension) and a number of other famous works to al-Andalus, among them the Risāla of al-Shāfiʿī (d. 204/820) and the Muṣannaf of Ibn Abī Shayba (d. 235/849).

He was a prominent ḥadīth scholar and, unlike the dom-inant group of Mālikī jurists in al-Andalus and North Africa, associated with the more exclusively ḥadīth-based approach of the ahl al-ḥadīth—similar to contemporaries such as Ibn Abī Shayba and Aḥmad b. Ḥanbal.15 Thus Ibn Abī Yaʿlā (d. 526/1131) included him in Ṭabaqāt al-ḥanābila.16 Along with Muḥam-mad b. Waḍḍāḥ (d. 287/900), Baqī played a key role in developing the study of ḥadīth in al-Andalus.17

 His own works are lost, but the two most important were a commentary on the Qurʾān (tafsīr) and a massive ḥadīth collection, which combined the two formats of musnad (arrangement by Companions who nar-rated the ḥadīths) and muṣannaf (arrangement by subjects).18

Baqī transmitted the extant version of Khalīfa’s Tārīkh to the Córdoba-based Umayyad descendent, Abū l-Qāsim Aḥmad b. ʿAbdallāh b. Muḥammad b. al-Mubārak b. Ḥabīb b. ʿAbd al-Malik b. al-Walīd b. ʿAbd al-Malik b. Marwān b. al-Ḥakam (d. 333/944), who also studied under other major ḥadīth scholars such as Muḥammad b. Waḍḍāḥ and whom Ibn al-Faraḍī (d. 403/1013) describes as inclined towards akhbār and adab.19 He transmitted the Tārīkh to the promi-nent Cordovan judge, jurist and ḥadīth scholar, Abū ʿAbdallāh Muḥammad b. Aḥmad b. Muḥammad b. Yaḥyā b. Mufarrij (d. 380/990),20 who then transmit-ted it to another prominent ḥadīth scholar of al-Andalus, Abū ʿUmar Aḥmad b. Muḥammad al-Ṭalamankī (d. 428–429/1036–1037).21

 The latter transmitted it to the jurist, philologist and grammarian from Toledo, Abū l-Walīd Hishām b. Aḥmad al-Waqqashī (d. 489/1096),22 who transmitted it to Aḥmad b. Muḥam-mad al-Ashʿarī, who copied the extant manuscript in 477/1084. It is mentioned in the surviving manuscript that it was compared with another copy of Baqī b. Makhlad’s recension, and the rare differences are noted in the margin.23 During the transmission of Khalīfa’s Tārīkh, Baqī b. Makhlad added some 55 reports to Khalīfa’s text, all of which pertain to the Umayyad period from 58/677 to 61/681 and 64/683 to 75/695, besides one item added to year 231/845–846.24 These……

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