A. al-Salimi

Institute of Shariah Sciences, Muscat, Oman

E-mail: aalsalimi1970@gmail.com



Abstract. The article is devoted to the achievements and approaches of specialists, mostly American, British, German, French and Italian in the analysis of Ibadi siyar and the new perspectives of the research connected with the analysis of the MSS material. The general tendency in the field now is to follow the footsteps of Van Ess, Madelung and Cook, and rather than developing new theories and hypotheses, to seek out and identify well documented texts that will offer a reliable picture of Islamic thought before the 3rd/9th century. To provide a clearer general context, the texts could also be rearranged in historical order and grouped on the basis of the ideas they present. Most works produced by the different Ibadi groups during the early period are not representative of particular literary genre. However, we do not have precise data on the Islamic material on ‘ilm al-kalam that has been discovered so far from the period up to the end of the 3rd/9th century. Because of the importance attached to siyar by Ibadi ‘ulama’ during the 10th/16th and 11th/17th centuries Ibabi schools began to seek out their roots and collect early manuscripts and works of literature on the Ibadi legacy. The latter were copied and preserved per se without diluting them or considering them in the context of the other Islamic schools. That is why the Ibadi school was able to remain united and steadfast in the face of the contemporary modernization movements which continue to this day. Most of the compilations of the texts that are currently in our possession comprise not more than ten volumes in all. Scholars and copyists have rearranged each of these manuscripts, so that each copy has a different number and sequence of siyar texts. The existing text formats raise the important question of whether Ibabi siyar are actually a literary genre. Until now nobody has really studied siyar in such a way that their specific genre characteristics have been defined in detail.

Key words: Oman, Ibadism, Ibadi siyar, ‘Umani siyar, Ibadi legacy, early Islamic theology, ilm al-kalamfiqhsirahadithsiyar as literary genre 


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Received by the Editorial Board: 15.08.2017


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