Q 30: 2‒5 in Near Eastern Context

  • 1 Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel


This article aims to contextualize a short Qurʾānic passage – Q 30:2‒5 – with reference to Jewish and Christian materials that have not hitherto been deployed for this purpose. The article builds on the findings of recent scholarship, which reads this passage eschatologically rather than historically, and argues that there are, in fact, two texts that require contextualization: 1) The Qurʾānic verses themselves (which refer only to the fate of “the Romans”); and 2) The early exegetical traditions on these verses (which often add “the Persians” to the eschatological drama). Furthermore, it is argued that the Biblical book of Daniel, and its interpretation in late antiquity, contributed both to the verses themselves and to their exegesis.

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Founded by Carl Heinrich Becker in 1910, the Journal Der Islam provides a forum for the study of the history and culture of the Middle East before the age of modernisation in the 19th century, from the Iberian Peninsula to Central Asia. Articles present the latest research in the humanities and social sciences based on literary traditions, and archival, material, and archaeological evidence.