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Der Islam

Journal of the History and Culture of the Middle East

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

2 Issues per year


CiteScore 2017: 0.04

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.100

Online
ISSN
1613-0928
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Volume 95, Issue 2

Issues

“The Year According to the Reckoning of the Believers”: Papyrus Louvre inv. J. David-Weill 20 and the Origins of the hijrī Era

Mehdy Shaddel
Published Online: 2018-11-09 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/islam-2018-0025

Abstract

The present paper addresses itself to the enigmatic phrase snh qaḍāʾ al-muʾminīn that appears in a papyrus sheet from early Muslim Egypt. It takes issue with the earlier interpretations of the phrase, arguing that it is indeed a dating formula that is probably to be read as sanat qaḍāʾ al-muʾminīn, and understood as “the year according to the reckoning of the believers”. Based on the testimony of this phrase, it is further argued that the epoch of the Muslim calendar was, in all likelihood, originally meant to count the years from Muḥammad’s foundation of a new community and polity at Medina, a momentous event that the early Muslims conceived of as the dawn of a new age.

Keywords: Arabic papyri; Muslim calendar; jurisdiction of the believers; reckoning of the believers; hijra; chronology

Article note: This paper has benefited much from the insightful comments and criticisms of Arietta Papaconstantinou (University of Reading), Gladys Frantz-Murphy (Regis University), Hossein Sheikh (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen), Sean Anthony (Ohio State University), and Robert Hoyland (Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University), to whom I wish to express my heartfelt gratitude. The responsibility for all errors and (mis)interpretations remains with me alone.

About the article

Published Online: 2018-11-09

Published in Print: 2018-11-08


Citation Information: Der Islam, Volume 95, Issue 2, Pages 291–311, ISSN (Online) 1613-0928, ISSN (Print) 0021-1818, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/islam-2018-0025.

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