Kitab al-Futūh (Arabic: كتاب أل فتوح, lit.'Book of Conquests') is an important hadith and akhbari collection, compiled by Sayf ibn Umar. It is al-Tabari's main source for the Ridda wars and the early Muslim conquests. It also contains important information on the structure of early Muslim armies and government.

Kitab al-Futuh
AuthorSayf ibn Umar
GenreHadith and Futuh

Currently, a facsimile edition of the fragments preserved in the Al-Imam University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.[1]

Etymology change

The Arabic word Kitab (Arabic: كتاب), literally means 'book' or 'revelation'. It is derived from the Semitic root K-T-B (Arabic: ك-ت-ب‎) which is related to writing. The Arabic definite article al- usually means 'of' or 'the'. Futuh (Arabic: فتوح) is the plural noun of the Arabic word Fatah (Arabic: فتح) which means 'conquest'.[2]

History change

Sayf ibn Umar, the compiler of the book, was from Kufa and lived in Baghdad.[3] He traveled throughout Iraq during the rule of the Abbasid Caliphate.

Contents change

The book primarily discuss the early Muslim conquests and wars.[4] It also features information about the assassination of the third caliph Uthman.[4] Abdullah ibn Saba and his followers are mentioned in the book as well.[4] The work also contains a brief account, on the authority of Ibn Abbas, of the way in which Paul corrupted Christian doctrines by persuading three of his followers, Yaqūb, Nasṭūr and Malkūn, of the divinity of Īsā (Jesus).[4]

Reliability change

Sayf ibn Umar is considered reliable.[5][6] W. F. Tucker and Ella Landau-Tasseron note that although Sayf may have been an unscrupulous hadith collector, this should not detract from his general reliability as a transmitter of historical information (akhbārī).[6] Tucker adds that accusations of bias could equally be leveled at other akhbārīs contemporary to Sayf, including the Shi'a historian Abu Mikhnaf.[6] Fuat Sezgin, Albrecht Noth, and Martin Hinds have also challenged Wellhausen's views and placed Sayf on an equal footing with other traditionalists.[7] Linda D. Lau and A. R. Armush also regard Sayf ibn Umar as reliable and accept his accounts and the role of the Saba'iyya at the Battle of the Camel.[8]

Reference change

  1. Crone, Patricia (1996). "Kitāb al-Ridda wa'l-futūḥ and Kitāb al-Jamal wa masīr 'A'isha wa 'Alī. A Facsimile edition of the fragments preserved in the University Library of Imam Muhammad Ibn Sa'ud Islamic University in Riyadh, Sa'udi Arabia. 2 Vols. By Sayf B. 'Umar Al-Tamtmt, edited with an introduction by Qasim Al-Samarrai. pp. 18, fols. 174; pp. 440. Leiden, Smitskamp Oriental Antiquarium, 1995. NLG 160; NLG 125". Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society. 6 (2): 237–240. doi:10.1017/S1356186300007288. ISSN 1474-0591.
  2. "Fatah - Britannica Online Encyclopedia". 2007-11-29. Archived from the original on 2007-11-29. Retrieved 2021-10-04.
  3. "Investigation concerning Saif and his Narrations". 2014-02-19. Retrieved 2021-10-04.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Thomas, David (2010-03-24), "Kitāb al-futūḥ al-kabīr wa-l-ridda", Christian-Muslim Relations 600 - 1500, Brill, retrieved 2021-10-04
  5. Kennedy, Hugh (2010-12-09). The Great Arab Conquests: How the Spread of Islam Changed the World We Live In. Hachette UK. ISBN 978-0-297-86559-9. Medieval and modern historians have suspected that he fabricated some of his accounts, but the most recent scholarship suggests that he is more reliable than previous authors had imagined.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Tucker, William Frederick (2008). Mahdis and millenarians: Shī'ite extremists in early Muslim Iraq. Cambridge University Press. pp. 10–12. ISBN 978-0-521-88384-9.
  7. Landau-Tasseron, Ella (January 1990). "Sayf Ibn 'Umar in Medieval and Modern Scholarship". Der Islam. 67: 1–26. doi:10.1515/islm.1990.67.1.1. ISSN 1613-0928. S2CID 164155720.
  8. Landau-Tasseron, Ella (January 1990). "Sayf Ibn 'Umar in Medieval and Modern Scholarship". Der Islam. 67: 1–26. doi:10.1515/islm.1990.67.1.1. ISSN 1613-0928. S2CID 164155720.