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date: 15 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The Qur’an is the most important surviving Arabic prose text from mid-seventh-century Arabia. It is, however, a text with numerous well-known problems regarding its context and usefulness as a historical source. This chapter introduces the Qur’an’s own view of history alongside some of the ways in which modern scholars have made use of the text of the Qur’an as a source for the history of Arabia—and especially of the Ḥijāz—in the early-to-mid seventh century. It ends by making some further suggestions for how the text might be used in the future by historians of late antique and early Islamic Arabia.

Keywords: Qur’an, pre-Islamic Arabia, Ḥijāz, Islamic history, Arabic historiography

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