Qisas al-anbiya

Drawing upon a host of sources found in the world of medieval Islamic civilization--elements from as far afield as Central Asia, Africa, China, Europe, and the Middle East, Muslim scholars retold the stories of the prophets from Adam to Muhammad. Many of these scholars were also authors of Quran commentaries and world histories which were based, in large part, upon stories reported from the Prophet Muhammad and his companions. Unlike Quran commentaries which proceed according to the order and structure of the revealed text, however, the stories of the prophets were told in a roughly chronological order, from the earliest prophets to the last being John the Baptist, Jesus, and Muhammad. Others collected "folklore" and other local, oral traditions about the prophets. Many of the accounts found in the Muslim Stories of the Prophets parallel medieval Christian and Jewish tales such as the Syriac "Book of the Cave of Treasures" and the Hebrew "Midrash Rabbah" on the Bible. Often, these "oral" traditions are otherwise non-extant except for their inclusion in the Muslim stories of the prophets literature. Some of the best known Stories of the Prophets are the following:

al-Tha'alabi (d. 427 AH), Ara'is al-majalis.

al-Kisa'i (fl. 500s), Qisas al-anbiya.

Ibn Kathir (d. 774 AH), Qisas al-anbiya.


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