The Expeditions

An Early Biography of Muhammad

424 pages

2 maps

May, 2014

ISBN: 9780814769638

$40

Cloth

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Authors

Mamar ibn Rashid (96-153 H/714-770 AD) was originally a Persian slave from Basra who traveled extensively trading wares for the Azd tribe. Thanks to his nomadic profession and his dealings with the court of the Umayyad caliphs, he became acquainted with—and ultimately the pupil of—one of the greatest Muslim scholars of his generation, Ibn Shihab al-Zuhri (d. 124 H/742 AD).

All books by Mamar Ibn Rashid

Sean W. Anthony is Assistant Professor of History at University of Oregon. His books include The Caliph and the Heretic: Ibn Saba and the Origins of Shiism and Crucifixion and the Spectacle of Death: Umayyad Crucifixion in its Late Antique Context. His research and publications focus on the emergence of Islam and the origins of its sacred and sectarian traditions.

All books by Sean W. Anthony

All books by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem

The Expeditions is one of the oldest biographies of the Prophet Muhammad to survive into the modern era. Its primary author, Ma'mar ibn Rashid (714-770 AD/96-153 AH), was a prominent scholar from Basra in southern Iraq who was revered for his learning in prophetic traditions, Islamic law, and the interpretation of the Qur'an. This fascinating foundational seminal work contains stories handed down by Ma'mar to his most prominent pupil, 'Abd al-Razzaq of Sana'a, relating Muhammad’s early life and prophetic career as well as the adventures and tribulations of his earliest followers during their conquest of the Near East.

Edited from a sole surviving manuscript, the Arabic text offers numerous improved readings over those of previous editions, including detailed notes on the text’s transmission and variants as found in later works. This new translation, which renders the original into readable, modern English for the first time, is accompanied by numerous annotations elucidating the cultural, religious and historical contexts of the events and individuals described within its pages.

The Expeditions represents an important testimony to the earliest Muslims’ memory of the lives of Muhammad and his companions, and is an indispensable text for gaining insight into the historical biography of both the Prophet and the rise of the Islamic empire.

Reviews

  • "Sean W. Anthony has undertaken a bold endeavor attempting to translate such a difficult early text, and he is to be commended for having provided an accessible, useful and legible piece of work."

    Speculum