Sources and figures
DOI link for Sources and figures
Sources and figures book
In addition to al-Tha‘labc’s ‘ArA’is, a number of other published medieval qiXaX and historiographical1 sources provide lengthy biographies of some or all of the figures described by al-Tha‘labc, notably the Tales of the Prophets of ‘Umara b. Wathcma2 (d. 289/902) and al-Kisa’c3 (fl. sixth/twelfth century), the world histories of al-rabarc4 (d. 310/923), Ibn al-Athcr5 (d. 630/1233), and Ibn Kathcr6 (d. 774/1373), and Ibn ‘Asakir’s7 (d. 571/1176) history of Damascus, and these will be consulted alongside the text of al-Tha‘labc as we analyse the stories of the four figures in question. The classical historiographical collections differ from qiXaX al-anbiyA’ primarily in the context of the tales they include; that is to say that both genres would appear to be at liberty to introduce more or less the same type of material with regard to the pre-Islamic prophets, but one presents its stories in the context of world history, while the other introduces its tales in the context of religious or prophetic history; the two genres accordingly lend themselves well to an easy comparison. Additional information on the prophets is also available in more incidental sources: al-Mas‘edc’s (d. 345/956) MurEj al-dhahab contains brief prophetic biographies for the four figures in question, as does Ibn Qutayba’s (d. 276/889) al-Ma‘Arif.