This brief note aims at contributing to the study of the reception of parabiblical narratives in hadith literature and Islamic historiography. Taking the Testament of Abraham as a case study, it sets out to analyse a particular literary motif shared by this text and an early version of the miʿrāǧ (Ascension) of the Prophet Muhammad. The comparative analysis demonstrates that the Testament of Abraham could have provided a number of elements for the redaction of at least one particular section of the miʿrāǧ. This hypothesis finds support in other cases of textual correspondence between several sections of the Testament of Abraham and other Islamic works such as the Tafsīr of Muqātil ibn Sulaymān (d. 150/767), the unedited Kitāb Mubtadaʾ al-dunyā wa-qiṣaṣ al-anbiyāʾ of Abū Ḥuḏayfa al-Buḫārī Isḥāq ibn Bišr (d. 206/821) and Ibn ʿAsākir’s Taʾrīḫ madīnat Dimašq (d. 571/1176). The examined material thus throws additional light on the continuity between late antique apocrypha and nascent Arabic literature.
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.