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Genealogy and Knowledge in Muslim SocietiesUnderstanding the Past$
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Sarah Bowen Savant and Helena de Felipe

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780748644971

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748644971.001.0001

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Genealogical Prestige and Marriage Strategy among the Ahl al-Bayt: The Case of the al-Sadr Family in Recent Times

Genealogical Prestige and Marriage Strategy among the Ahl al-Bayt: The Case of the al-Sadr Family in Recent Times

Chapter:
(p.131) Chapter 9 Genealogical Prestige and Marriage Strategy among the Ahl al-Bayt: The Case of the al-Sadr Family in Recent Times
Source:
Genealogy and Knowledge in Muslim Societies
Author(s):

Raffaele Mauriello

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748644971.003.0010

This chapter examines how genealogy may be used for writing about the past by focusing on the family of the Prophet Muhammad and the evidence that genealogies provide regarding marriage alliances and strategies. In particular, it considers the question of endogamy, or marriage within the ‘family’. It shows that genealogical data are useful for writing the history of one branch of the Prophet's family, the al-Sadr, in today's Lebanon, Iraq, and Iran. The chapter begins with an overview of the al-Sadr family before turning to a discussion of the 'Alids' marriage strategy. Based on works of prosopography and extensive fieldwork, the chapter analyses sensitive data involving women of the Prophet's family to illustrate how this branch has followed a strategy of endogamy involving both the family and non-'Alid members of ‘the Shi'i religious establishment’. It also shows that the families with whom members of the al-Sadr family have established marriage bonds are very important for defining the social status of the al-Sadr.

Keywords:   genealogy, Prophet Muhammad, marriage, endogamy, family, al-Sadr, Shi'i religious establishment, social status, women, 'Alids

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