Arab Historians and the Al-Riddah (Reversion from Faith) Movement thru the Fourth-Century (Hijrah), A Historical Study

Discussion Committee: 
Dr. Adnan Melhem
Mawaheb Tahseen Mustafa Alqut
In this thesis, entitled “Arab Historians and the Al-Riddah Movement thru the Fourth Century (Hijrah) (Methodological Historical Study)", the researcher investigated the stands of five Arab historians who lived during the third and fourth centuries (Hijrah). These are: Mohammad bin Omar al Waqidi (d. 207 Hijrah., 840 A. D,), Khaleifa bin Khayyat al- Shibani, (d. 240 Hijrah., 872 A. D,), Ahmad bin Yahya bin Jaber al- Balatheri, (d. 279 Hijrah., 892 A. D,), Mohammad bin Jareer al- Tabari, (d. 310 Hijrah., 923 A. D,), and Ahmad bin Mohammad bin Ali bin A'tham al- Koufi, (d. 314 Hijrah., 926 A. D,). She studied their cultural, political and social backgrounds, the sources from which they took their narrations, and she analyzed their classifications in which they dealt with the events of the Al- Riddah The researcher represented the images of the Al-Riddeh as narrated by those historians, she referred to discrepancies among them, highlighted their specific stands which affected their choices of their narrations. and emphasized that their representations of the Al-Riddeh events were narrated methodologically not randomly. The researcher discussed the concept of the Al-Riddah, the time when it commenced, its causes, and the stands of Medina regarding it. She also discussed its leaders, tribes, and the stands of other tribes and regions related to the Al-Riddeh In discussing the battle fronts of the Al-Riddah, she discussed the manipulations and the preparations made by Medina to confront it, in addition to the developments of events in the battle fronts of Yemen, Buzakha, al Betah, al Yamama, Bahrain, Oman, Mohra and Hadramut. The Study has reached the conclusion that the historians unanimously agreed that the concept of the Al-Riddah was related to the meaning of the Arab tribes rejection of economic and political dependence on Medina. While al- Waqedi and bin A'tham considered the Al-Riddeh was related to atheism and conversion from Islam. The historians had contradicting stands related to the time when the Al-Riddah broke out. Most of them mentioned that it was after the death of the prophet (PBUH) while others, like Al Waqidi, Al Balatheri, Al Tabari believed it took place before his death. However, they confirmed the unanimous agreement of the nation with the stand of Abu Bakr al- Seddeq to fight the defectors by the force of the sword. Al- Tabari saw that this stand came in accordance with the stand of the prophet(PBUH) when he ordered his followers to fight them. In several references, he emphasized the role of tribal loyalties in breaking out and directing the wars of the Al-Riddah In their references, the historians minimized the importance of the characters and tribes of the Al-Riddah leaders. Such references were very limited in comparison to their references in the books of biographies and genealogy which discussed their characters and tribes in details, except for bin Khayyat and al- Balatheri, the historians supplied sarcastic pictures of those who claimed themselves as prophets by relating their poetries which degraded their statuses. al Waqedi and al Tabari emphasized the roles of Tay and Quraish in economically supporting the authority of Medina by supplying their financial dues, and politically by participating with the armies of Medina in fighting the defectors. The historians, except for al- Balatheri and bin A'tham, discussed the volume of manipulations and preparations made by Abu Bakr al- Seddeq to confront the Al-Riddah movement. On the other hand, al- Waqedi emphasized the roles of Oman and Bahrain in those preparations by sending a number of their knights to Medina in order to fight the defectors. However, the historians did not all represent the developments of the Al- Riddah movement at the various battlefields. al- Tabari discussed them in details while bin Khayyat narrated them briefly. By their representations of such events, they wanted to highlight the role of Abu Bakr al- Seddeq in stabilizing the foundations of the Islamic State as he was able to bring back the Arab tribes to the Islamic State, confirming their political and economical dependency on the authority of Medina. al- Balatheri and al- Tabari emphasized the importance of the economic factors in directing the Al-Riddah movement and developing its events throughout the regions. In his narration of Yemen, al- Tabari emphasized the role played by the some of the Persian leaders to support the authority of Medina by their stand in its support and fighting al- Aswad al- 'Ansi and his followers, so as to achieve new ranks in society.
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