THE INTRICATE LABYRINTH OF QUR’ĀNIC REFERENCES IN SĪRAH NABAWIYYAH: AN OVERVIEW OF THE ORIENTALIST WORKS

Ahmad Sanusi Azmi

Abstract


It is beyond question that Sunni Muslims believe that the most important material providing significant information about the Prophet’s life is the Qurʾān. However, taking the Qurʾān as a historical source is a stance that has been disputed by numerous scholars on many different grounds. The most crucial argument concerns the reliability of the text, since the earliest manuscript of the Qurʾān does not date back to Muḥammad’s lifetime, and nor was it designed to record a biography or history of a particular person or event.  While maintaining the need for rigorous scrutiny, some orientalists have accepted that the Qurʾān has a potential for establishing basic information about the Prophet of Islam. The present study aims to explore the orientalist approaches in their study on the Sīrah and analyse their thought on the nature of connection between the Qurʾān and Sīrah Nabawiyyah. The study employed a descriptive, comparative and critical approach where it analyses and extracts the orientalist’s unique approach in explaining the legitimacy of the Prophet’s tradition. The study in its finding proposes that there are three major approaches designed by the orientalist in exploring the intricate nature of connection between the Qurʾān and the Sīrah Nabawiyyah.

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