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A study of the Companions of the Prophet : geographical distribution and political alignments

McGill University
Publication Date
  • Muḥammad
  • Prophet
  • D. 632 -- Companions.
  • Literature
  • Political Science


This dissertation deals with two aspects of the history of the Companions of the Prophet: the pattern of their geographical distribution and their political alignments---taking as its test case the Battle of S&dotbelow;iffin. Based on biographical dictionaries of the Companions written by selected Traditionists (i.e., Ibn Sa`d, Ibn `Abd al-Barr, Ibn al-Athir, al-Dhahabi and Ibn H&dotbelow;ajar), and on the Traditionist definition of what constitutes a Companion, an attempt will be made to identify on the one hand the Companions who settled in Iraq, Syria and Egypt, and on the other those Companions whose loyalties during the Battle of S&dotbelow;iffin are known. Based on an analysis of the background of the Companions appearing in each of these groups and on a comparison between the two, it is argued that religious ideals played a significant role both in the Companions' movements after the death of the Prophet and in their behavior during the Battle of S&dotbelow;iffin.

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