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Richardson, Kristina

Der Islam

Journal of the History and Culture of the Middle East

Ed. by Heidemann, Stefan / Hagen, Gottfried / Kaplony, Andreas / Matthee, Rudi

CiteScore 2018: 0.12

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.147
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.267

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Volume 94, Issue 2


The Monotheistic Cousins of Muḥammad’s Wife Khadīja

Michael Lecker
Published Online: 2017-10-14 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/islam-2017-0024


Muḥammad’s first wife Khadīja bint Khuwaylid belonged to a clan of the Quraysh tribe called Asad ibn ʿAbd al-ʿUzzā. This biographical detail is crucial in the analysis of the literary evidence about her and her family. Khadīja had a well-known paternal cousin who was Christian, namely Waraqa ibn Nawfal. Another paternal cousin of hers who was Christian, ʿUthmān ibn al-Ḥuwayrith, attempted on the eve of the hijra to gain control of Mecca. The Christian faith of the cousins belongs in the discussion of Muḥammad’s spiritual environment and his preparation for the Call to prophethood. After all, Muḥammad and Khadīja, both of whom were descendants of Quṣayy ibn Kilāb, were married for a quarter of a century and he must have known her family very well. During the long marriage she was his only wife and she gave birth to all of his children with the exception of Ibrāhīm whose mother was a Copt slave girl. A third paternal cousin of Khadīja who is of interest for us here was the son of a Jewish slave girl who belonged to Muḥammad’s uncle ʿAbbās.1

Keywords: Monotheism in pre-Islamic Arabia; Byzantium (and the Arabs); life of Muḥammad; Khadīja (Prophet’s wife); Christianity in Arabia

About the article

Published Online: 2017-10-14

Published in Print: 2017-10-26

Citation Information: Der Islam, Volume 94, Issue 2, Pages 363–384, ISSN (Online) 1613-0928, ISSN (Print) 0021-1818, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/islam-2017-0024.

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