This book explores the field of genealogy across Muslim contexts and the ways in which genealogical knowledge has been recorded, studied, developed, and formed into a resource in one or more Muslim societies. It considers knowledge about kinship so as to raise questions about the past and genealogy as a source through which the past may be contemplated and understood. It explores the broader stakes of genealogies in two main contexts: al-Andalus together with the Maghrib, and the Central Sahara. It also analyses how we may use genealogies for writing about the past by looking at two cases: the first relates to genealogies as a source for writing religious history, and particularly that of the early community of Muslims in Arabia and Iran; the second involves the Family of the Prophet Muhammad and the evidence that genealogies give of marriage alliances and strategies, with particular emphasis on the question of endogamy, or marriage within the ‘family’.
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