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Rituals of Islamic MonarchyAccession and Succession in the First Muslim Empire$
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Andrew Marsham

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780748625123

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748625123.001.0001

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The Quranic Content of the Marwanid Documents

The Quranic Content of the Marwanid Documents

(p.168) Chapter 9 The Quranic Content of the Marwanid Documents
Rituals of Islamic Monarchy

Andrew Marsham

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter focuses on the Marwanid documents. Just as the ‘religious epistles’ and sermons of Kharijites were propaganda, the purpose of the Marwanid texts was also persuasion. They are a communication of the caliph's claim to legitimate authority and to the exclusion of all other rival religio-political positions. Thus, the public documents from the late Marwanid bay،a were partial records of the caliphal articulations of their claims to authority and hence were partial records of an unequal dialogue between rulers. While the ‘religious epistles’ abound with the language of the Qur،an, the Marwanid letters were few with quranic quotation. However, the Marwanid texts were replete with allusion and quranic vocabulary. As with the still-growing corpus of seventh- and eighth-century quranic Arabic inscriptions, the content of the later copies of documents from diwan al-rasa،il leads to the conclusion that something closely resembling the canonical quranic text was already of great significance to Muslims of the Marwanid period. The authors of the Marwanid documents used this quranic vocabulary in order to persuade the audiences of their master's legitimacy through a carefully articulated version of Arabian monotheist ideology.

Keywords:   Marwanid documents, religious epistles, caliphal articulations, quranic vocabulary, quranic text, Arabian monotheist ideology

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