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The ʿAlidsThe First Family of Islam, 750-1200$
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Teresa Bernheimer

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780748638475

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748638475.001.0001

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Genealogy, Money and the Drawing of Boundaries

Genealogy, Money and the Drawing of Boundaries

(p.13) 2 Genealogy, Money and the Drawing of Boundaries
The ʿAlids

Teresa Bernheimer

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter discusses Ṭālibid genealogies as the historiographic footprint of the emergence of the Prophet's descendants as the First Family of Islam. Written mostly by and for the family of the Prophet, these works reflect not only a ‘changing notion of nobility’ but also an increasing concern with defining the boundaries of an elite group. In terms of content, the genealogies are certainly selective regarding whom they include, yet in contrast to many other sources that focus on one or another group of ʻAlids — the historical chronicles focusing mainly on the rebels and some government supporters, the rijāl works on the scholars, and the local histories on the ʻAlids (who are often also scholars) in a particular region — they are inclusive, giving the names, at least, of the Prophet's alleged kin regardless of background. The Ṭālibid genealogies are most comprehensive on the ʻAlids in the eastern part of the Islamic world, because this is where the authors themselves were mostly based.

Keywords:   ʻAlids, Ṭālibid genealogies, Prophet Muṭammad, Islam, Islamic society

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