Abstract and Keywords
The identification of Islamic origins with the Qur’an and the Qur’an with Islamic origins not only suggests a confusion of origins with authenticity and originality, but also suffers from a genetic fallacy. The nature of the sources is also problematic, with some scholars largely accepting the origins as portrayed in Muslim tradition (i.e. they maintain that both the Qur’an and the sīra are historically reliable) and with scholars who do not accept the historical claim of one or both of the texts. The more judicious use of social theory, which requires us to explain individuals and texts rather than simply posit them as the ground of our explanations, could obviate these theoretical and methodological problems.
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