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Title: Early Islam between Myth and History: Al-'asan al-Ba'ri (d. 110H/728CE) and the Formation of His Legacy in Classical Islamic Scholarship
Author: Mourad, Suleiman Ali
Publisher: Brill; Publication Date: 2005
Hardcover; ISBN: 9789004148291
Volumes: 1; Pages: xii, 352
List Price in Cloth: $209.00 Our price: $177.99
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This volume examines the process through which a historical character named al-'asan al-Ba'ri was transformed into a myth by several groups in medieval Islam. Al-'asan lived in the city of Basra, southern Iraq, and was famed for his piety, which attracted to him a large number of disciples who went on to play important roles in the formation of several religious trends. The literary corpus (sayings, stories and letters) ascribed to him has been used as a window into early Islamic religious and intellectual thought. But as this study shows, this corpus was largely forged in different periods, in some cases even a thousand years after al-'asan's death. It tells us more about the beliefs of those who forged the sayings, stories and letters rather than about al-'asan's thought and time.