Journal of Islamic Studies
The article examines Muḥammad b. Ḥabīb’s historical writing in Kitāb al-Muḥabbar in terms of chronological narrative arrangements, thematic structure, and historical interconnectedness. A textual analysis of his presentations of prophetic narratives and certain events in pre-Islamic history testifies to the significant role of this work in the evolution of early Islamic historiography. Specifically, the study illustrates that the Muḥabbar constitutes one of the earliest Islamic efforts to reconfigure prophetic materials chronologically and eventually create broader thematic interconnections and universal historical contexts. A comparison between Ibn Ḥabīb’s portrayals of these themes and those of other Muslim scholars also illustrates shifts in early Islamic historical writings from local Islamic-Arab needs (such as genealogy) to broader prophetic-biblical universal settings. The finality of Muḥammad’s prophethood and his lineage function in these presentations as a connecting link between the religious-prophetic and Arab-genealogical features. By applying these strategies to organize narrative and chronology, Ibn Ḥabīb laid the foundation for the emergence of early Islamic universal histories during the ninth and tenth centuries.
Tayyara, Abed el-Rahman, "Ibn Ḥabīb’s Kitāb al-MuḤabbar and its Place in Early Islamic Historical Writing" (2018). World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures Faculty Publications. 145.