By David S. Powers
Even though Muḥammad had no traditional sons who reached the age of adulthood, Islamic resources record that he followed a guy named Zayd almost immediately sooner than receiving his first revelation. This "son of Muḥammad" used to be the Prophet's inheritor for the subsequent fifteen or two decades. He used to be the 1st grownup male to turn into a Muslim and the single Muslim except Muḥammad whose identify is pointed out within the Qur'an. finally, Muḥammad may repudiate Zayd as his son, abolish the establishment of adoption, and ship Zayd to sure loss of life on a battlefield in southern Jordan.
Curiously, Zayd has remained a marginal determine in either Islamic and Western scholarship. David S. Powers now makes an attempt to revive Zayd to his rightful place on the heart of the narrative of the Prophet Muḥammad and the beginnings of Islam. to take action, he mines strains left in the back of in commentaries at the Qur'an, in biographical dictionaries, and in historic chronicles, studying those resources opposed to analogues within the Hebrew Bible. Powers demonstrates that during the bills preserved in those assets, Zayd's personality is modeled on these of biblical figures equivalent to Isaac, Ishmael, Joseph, and Uriah the Hittite. This modeling method was once deployed by means of early Muslim storytellers to deal with key matters, Powers contends: the sour clash over succession to Muḥammad and the foremost theological doctrine of the finality of prophecy. either Zayd's dying on a battlefield and Muḥammad's repudiation of his followed son and inheritor have been after-the-fact structures pushed through political and theological imperatives.
David S. Powers is Professor of close to jap experiences at Cornell collage and writer of Muḥammad isn't the Father of Any of Your males: The Making of the final Prophet, additionally to be had from the college of Pennsylvania Press.
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Additional resources for Zayd
Ca. 37 It sometimes happens that a statement attributed to Muḥammad may “migrate” from one time, place, and context to another time, place, and context—with a concomitant change of meaning. , as the Prophet was returning from Mecca to Medina after performing the Farewell Pilgrimage. 16 12:41 Zaynab 41 halfway between these two towns, there is a pond or pool (ghadīr) surrounded by bushes or trees in an area known as Khumm. The Prophet and his Companions are said to have reached this spot on 18 Dhū al-Ḥijja.
Jasr descended upon the tribal campground. The Arab raiders seized Zayd and carried him off to the Hijaz. In the market of ʿUkāẓ he was sold for 400 dirhams to Ḥakīm b. Ḥizām b. Khuwaylid, who was acting on behalf of his paternal aunt, Khadīja bt. Khuwaylid. 7 Despite the variations, these narratives all share a common structure: Following his capture and enslavement by Arab horsemen, Zayd b. Ḥāritha al-Kalbī was transported to a foreign land where he was purchased by or gifted to Muḥammad b. ʿAbdallāh al-Hāshimī, the man who was about to emerge as a prophet and messenger of God and who would soon become the most powerful and important person in Arabia.
26 One wonders about Muḥammad’s behavior. The sources report that he was in love with Zaynab, and that Zayd wanted to divorce his wife. If Zayd were to divorce Zaynab, surely Muḥammad could marry her. Apparently not, for the noble and beautiful Qurashī woman was not only the Prophet’s paternal cross-cousin but also his daughter-in-law. Among the Israelites, and no doubt throughout the Near East, sexual relations between a man and his daughter-in-law are prohibited: “Do not uncover the nakedness of your daughter-in-law: she is your son’s wife” (Lev.