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Hylén, T. (2019). Emerging Patterns of Authority in Early Shiʿism: Mukhtar’s Use of the Aesthetics of Persuasion. Shii Studies Review, 3
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Emerging Patterns of Authority in Early Shiʿism: Mukhtar’s Use of the Aesthetics of Persuasion
2019 (English)In: Shii Studies Review, ISSN 2468-2470, Vol. 3Article in journal (Refereed) Accepted
Abstract [en]

The story of the Shiʿite rebel leader Mukhtar is investigated in the article from the perspective of the development of authority patterns in early Shiʿism. The notion of religious aesthetics as developed by Birgit Meyer is used as an analytical tool, and it is argued that Mukhtar used several aesthetic forms to convince his followers of his agency as mediator between the people and the deceased ʿAli b. Abi Talib. The study investigates three aesthetic instruments used by Mukhtar: his claim to act on behalf of ʿAli’s son Ibn al-Hanafiyya, whom he called al-mahdī, ‘the rightly guided’; his call to revenge for the killing of ʿAli’s son Husayn; and his exhibiting of a chair supposedly the property of ʿAli. Of these three, the designation of a Mahdi became influential in shaping Shiʿite patterns of authority in the centuries to follow.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, 2019
Keywords
Mukhtar; Shiʿism; authority; religious aesthetics; Mahdi
National Category
History of Religions
Research subject
Intercultural Studies, Nutida shiitiska auktoritetsförhandlingar
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:du-28464 (URN)
Projects
Hängivenhet till Husayn i tidig shi'a-islam
Available from: 2018-09-05 Created: 2018-09-05 Last updated: 2018-09-06Bibliographically approved
Hylén, T. & Toffaloni, L. (2019). Tablighi Jamaat. In: James R. Lewis, M. Afzal Upal, Carole M. Cusack (Ed.), Islamic Sects and Movements: . Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Tablighi Jamaat
2019 (English)In: Islamic Sects and Movements / [ed] James R. Lewis, M. Afzal Upal, Carole M. Cusack, Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, 2019Chapter in book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, 2019
National Category
History of Religions
Research subject
Intercultural Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:du-28986 (URN)
Note

Kommande

Available from: 2018-11-30 Created: 2018-11-30 Last updated: 2018-11-30Bibliographically approved
Hylén, T. (2018). Mukhtār and the Mahdī: a critical inquiry into the sources. DIN - Tidsskrift for religion og kultur (1), 138-157
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Mukhtār and the Mahdī: a critical inquiry into the sources
2018 (English)In: DIN - Tidsskrift for religion og kultur, ISSN 1501-9934, no 1, p. 138-157Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The concept of al-mahdī is one of the most important theological ideas in Shiʿism. Its literary meaning is ‘the rightly guided’, and this is how it was probably used in the first decades after the Prophet Muhammad. In Twelver Shiʿism it has come to denote the hidden Imam, who will one day return to redeem his followers and restore justice on earth, and in that sense it is akin to the Christian idea of the Messiah. Among scholars of early Islam there is near consensus on the view that the transition of meaning, from its literal meaning ‘the rightly guided’ to an eschatological redeemer, occurred with the Shiʿite rebel leader al-Mukhtār b. Abī ʿUbayd (d. 686) when he applied it to Muhammad b. al-Hanafiyya, the son of ʿAlī. In the present study I will contest that view. I will hold that, while it can be established from the sources that Mukhtār probably spoke of Ibn al-Hanafiyya as al-mahdī, they do not support his use of this title in a messianic sense. This eschatological meaning can only be verified soon after his death.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oslo: Novus Forlag, 2018
Keywords
Islam, Shiʿa, Mukhtar, mahdi, eschatology, Islam, Shiʿa, Mukhtar, mahdi, eskatologi
National Category
History of Religions
Research subject
Intercultural Studies, Nutida shiitiska auktoritetsförhandlingar; Intercultural Studies, Hämnd eller martyrium! Berättelsen om Botgörarna som en länk till Shi`ismens tidiga utveckling.
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:du-24623 (URN)
Projects
Nutida shiitiska auktoritetsförhandlingarHämnd eller martyrium! Berättelsen om Botgörarna som en länk till Shi`ismens tidiga utveckling.
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2012-00822
Note

Begreppet al-mahdī är ett av de grundläggande teologiska begreppen i shiʿitisk islam. Det betyder ordagrant ’den rättledde’, och det var troligen så ordet användes under de första årtiondena efter Muhammads död. I den shiʿitiska tolvsekten har ordet kommit att beteckna den dolde Imamen som en dag ska återkomma för att rädda sina anhängare och återställa rättvisa på jorden – en slags messiasgestalt. Det råder nära nog konsensus bland de forskare som sysslar med tidig islam om att den som först använde ordet al-mahdī i dess eskatologiska betydelse var den shiʿitiske rebelledaren al-Mukhtār b. Abī ʿUbayd (d. 686), när han tillämpade det på Muhammad b. al-Hanafiyya, en son till ʿAlī. I denna studie ifrågasätter jag denna uppfattning, och argumenterar för att det visserligen kan beläggas att Mukhtār använde titeln al-mahdī för Ibn al-Hanafiyya, men inte att han använde den i en messiansk bemärkelse. Den betydelsen kan inte beläggas förrän strax efter hans död.

Available from: 2017-03-22 Created: 2017-03-22 Last updated: 2018-06-25Bibliographically approved
Hylén, T. (2018). Myth, ritual, and the early development of Shiite identity. Intellectual History of the Islamicate World, 6(3)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Myth, ritual, and the early development of Shiite identity
2018 (English)In: Intellectual History of the Islamicate World, ISSN 2212-9421, Vol. 6, no 3Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The developing myth about the events at Karbala, as well as the image of al-Ḥusayn b. ʿAlī and the cult connected with him, were important factors in the shaping of early Shiite identity. In this article, I argue that some of the earliest traces of this process are found in the account of the Tawwābūn, or Penitents, events which took place in the years immediately following the death of al-Ḥusayn at Karbala in 60 AH/680 CE. Important elements of this story originate at least as early as the late first century AH/early eighth century CE. In the story we see the image of al-Ḥusayn in process of transformation from that of someone merely human to someone ascribed traits that transcend the human. In the same process, the story of his death at Karbala is in process of being elevated from a tragic story to a myth with its associated rituals.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, 2018
Keywords
Shiism, Tawwābūn, Ḥusayn b. ʿAlī, Karbala, myth, ritual
National Category
History of Religions Religious Studies
Research subject
Intercultural Studies, Hämnd eller martyrium! Berättelsen om Botgörarna som en länk till Shi`ismens tidiga utveckling.
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:du-24698 (URN)10.1163/2212943X-00603004 (DOI)
Projects
Hämnd eller martyrium! Berättelsen om Botgörarna som en länk till Shi`ismens tidiga utveckling.
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 421–2011–1806
Note

Open Access APC beslut 4/2018

Available from: 2017-04-10 Created: 2017-04-10 Last updated: 2018-06-05Bibliographically approved
Hylén, T. (2017). Al-Mukhtār and the Aesthetics of Persuasion. In: : . Paper presented at Shiʿism and Governance: University of Chicago Shiʿi Studies Symposium, May 12-13, 2017.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Al-Mukhtār and the Aesthetics of Persuasion
2017 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The first Shiʿi leader with true political power – although it was limited in space and time – after the death of ʿAli b. Abī Ṭālib was al-Mukhtār b. Abī ʿUbayd (d. 67/687). In this paper, I will argue that one reason why he succeeded in his political ambitions was that he legitimized his endeavor by deferring to ʿAli. In doing this he set a precedent for all future Shiʿi leadership. Al-Mukhtār gained authority by convincing his followers about his function as mediator between the people and the deceased ʿAli, who was still supposed to be alive and active in one way or another by many Shiʿis. As a tool of analysis I use the notion of religious aesthetics as it has been developed by Birgit Meyer and others. Meyer regards religion as a practice of mediation between the temporal and the perceived transcendental worlds, a mediation that is performed by appealing to all human senses through various media. The person in control of these media has the power to distribute and withhold religious sensations generated in the devotees; what Meyer calls “the aesthetics of persuasion”. In the paper, I will investigate three instruments of mediation used by al-Mukhtār: a living human being, a religio-political action, and an artefact. The first is his claim to act on behalf of ʿAli’s son Ibn al-Ḥanafiyya, whom he called al-mahdī, “the rightly guided”; the second, his call to revenge for ʿAli’s son al-Ḥusayn; and the third, his claim that he was in possession of an ʿAlid relic, a chair that had belonged to ʿAli. I will briefly argue that the accounts of these three instruments most probably reflect a historical reality. Of these three, in particular the designation of a mahdī was a feature that became influential in shaping Shiʿite patterns of authority in the centuries to follow.

Keywords
Mukhtar; Shiʿism; authority; religious aesthetics; Mahdi
National Category
History of Religions
Research subject
Intercultural Studies, Nutida shiitiska auktoritetsförhandlingar; Intercultural Studies, Hämnd eller martyrium! Berättelsen om Botgörarna som en länk till Shi`ismens tidiga utveckling.
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:du-25466 (URN)
Conference
Shiʿism and Governance: University of Chicago Shiʿi Studies Symposium, May 12-13, 2017
Projects
Nutida shiitiska auktoritetsförhandlingar
Available from: 2017-07-03 Created: 2017-07-03 Last updated: 2017-07-26Bibliographically approved
Frisk, L., Axelson, T., Hylén, T. & Stier, J. (2017). Att lägga rälsen medan man kör: En utvärdering av kunskapshusens arbete i fyra pilotkommuner - Örebro, Göteborg, Borlänge och Stockholm. Falun: Högskolan Dalarna
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Att lägga rälsen medan man kör: En utvärdering av kunskapshusens arbete i fyra pilotkommuner - Örebro, Göteborg, Borlänge och Stockholm
2017 (Swedish)Report (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Falun: Högskolan Dalarna, 2017. p. 86
Series
Interkulturellt utvecklingscentrum Dalarna (IKUD) ; 03
National Category
Sociology Religious Studies Educational Sciences International Migration and Ethnic Relations
Research subject
Intercultural Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:du-26012 (URN)978-91-85941-88-9 (ISBN)
Available from: 2017-09-14 Created: 2017-09-14 Last updated: 2018-11-01Bibliographically approved
Hylén, T. (2017). Dating versions of the Karbala' Story. In: "Shii Studies: State of the Art." International Conference held at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton NJ (December 7‐9, 2017): . Paper presented at "Shii Studies: State of the Art." International Conference held at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton NJ (December 7‐9, 2017).
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Dating versions of the Karbala' Story
2017 (English)In: "Shii Studies: State of the Art." International Conference held at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton NJ (December 7‐9, 2017), 2017Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Despite its importance for Shīʿites and other Muslims, the story of the death of Ḥusayn b. ʿAlī at Karbala in 61/680 is clearly under-researched. So, for example, except for Borrut (2015) hardly any of the previous studies made have compared different versions of the story and attempted to set a relative date to them. Such a study is necessary in order to map the development of the Karbalāʾ story and the image of Ḥusayn in the emergence of Shīʿite ideology. In this paper I will discuss the relative date of two important versions of the Karbala story related by Ṭabarī: one, relatively short and lacking in detail, is ascribed to Imam al-Bāqir (d. 114/732); the other, much longer and more detailed, is compiled by Abū Mikhnaf (d. 157/774). Studies in other fields, such as “historical Jesus-studies,” have shown that brevity and lack of details is not a certain criterion for old age of a version of a story; in order to ascertain the relative age of two versions, detailed studies have to be made and conclusions drawn from case to case. By comparing three passages in the two versions of the Karbalāʾ story: Ḥusayn’s encounter with al-Ḥurr; Ḥusayn’s attempt to negotiate with the enemy; and the killing of Ḥusayn’s baby boy, I hope to demonstrate that the version ascribed to al-Bāqir is indeed the older of the two, although its authorship cannot be established with certainty. I will also share some thoughts about the historicity of the events described in the three passages analyzed.

Keywords
Shiism, Husayn b. Ali, Karbala
National Category
History of Religions
Research subject
Intercultural Studies, Hängivenhet till Husayn i tidig shi'a-islam
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:du-26743 (URN)
Conference
"Shii Studies: State of the Art." International Conference held at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton NJ (December 7‐9, 2017)
Projects
Hängivenhet till Husayn i tidig shi'a-islam
Available from: 2017-12-10 Created: 2017-12-10 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved
Hylén, T. (2017). The Date of the Story of the Tawwābūn. Studia Islamica, 112(2), 175-205
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Date of the Story of the Tawwābūn
2017 (English)In: Studia Islamica, ISSN 0585-5292, E-ISSN 1958-5705, Vol. 112, no 2, p. 175-205Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The movement of the Tawwābūn (“Penitents”) emerged after the killing of Ḥusayn b. ʿAlī at Karbalāʾ in 61/680. Although several scholars have held that the story of the Tawwābūn is indeed old, it has been little studied. In this article an analysis is made of a central section of the story: the account about the Tawwābūn’s visit at Ḥusayn’s grave. The three versions of this account is analysed by means of tradition- and content critical methods. It is concluded that behind the three versions lie two earlier reports that date back at least to the end of the 1st century AH/the beginning of the 8th century CE. This story is, hence, of importance for the study of the early development of Shīʿite ideas and rituals.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, 2017
Keywords
Islam, Shi'ism, Karbala, Husayn, Redaction criticism
National Category
History of Religions
Research subject
Intercultural Studies, Hämnd eller martyrium! Berättelsen om Botgörarna som en länk till Shi`ismens tidiga utveckling.
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:du-21782 (URN)2-s2.0-85032658366 (Scopus ID)
Projects
Hämnd eller martyrium! Berättelsen om Botgörarna som en länk till Shi`ismens tidiga utveckling.
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 421-2011-1806
Available from: 2016-06-20 Created: 2016-06-20 Last updated: 2018-03-23Bibliographically approved
Hylén, T. (2016). The hand of God is over their hands (Q. 48:10): on the notion of covenant in al-Ṭabarī’s account of Karbalāʾ. Journal of Qur'anic Studies, 18(2), 58-88
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The hand of God is over their hands (Q. 48:10): on the notion of covenant in al-Ṭabarī’s account of Karbalāʾ
2016 (English)In: Journal of Qur'anic Studies, ISSN 1465-3591, E-ISSN 1755-1730, Vol. 18, no 2, p. 58-88Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article is an analysis of the story of the killing of Ḥusayn b. ʿAlī at Karbalāʾ in 61/680, as it is presented by Abū Jaʿfar Muḥammad b. Jarīr al-Ṭabarī (d. 310/923). The main argument is that the notion of the divine covenant, which permeates the Qur’an, constitutes a framework through which al-Ṭabarī views this event. The Qur’anic idea of the covenant is read in structural/thematic continuity with the Hebrew Bible account of the covenant between Yahweh and the Hebrew people, which has, in turn, been traced back in its basic form to Late Bronze Era treaties between rulers and their vassals.

 

The present study focusses on four speeches ascribed to Ḥusayn during the encounter he and his group had with the vanguard of the Kūfan army led by al-Ḥurr. These are analysed in accordance with their use of Qur’anic covenant vocabulary. They are also categorised within the broader framework of the eight standard characteristics of Ancient West Asian and Biblical covenants, as presented by George Mendenhall and Gary Herion, which have recently been developed in a Qur’anic context by Rosalind Ward Gwynne. This article argues that al-Ṭabarī’s Karbalāʾ narrative presents the pact of loyalty to Ḥusayn as a clear extension of the divine covenant.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2016
Keywords
Tabari, historiography, Islam, Karbala', Husayn b. Ali, covenant
National Category
Religious Studies History of Religions
Research subject
Intercultural Studies, Hämnd eller martyrium! Berättelsen om Botgörarna som en länk till Shi`ismens tidiga utveckling.
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:du-15338 (URN)10.3366/jqs.2016.0239 (DOI)
Projects
Hämnd eller martyrium! Berättelsen om Botgörarna som en länk till Shi`ismens tidiga utveckling.
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 421-2011-1806
Available from: 2014-09-10 Created: 2014-09-10 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
Hylén, T. (2015). Myth, ritual and the early development of Shīʿite identity. In: : . Paper presented at The Mythic Dimension of Islam: Examining the Sources through the Lens of Myth, Dec. 16–17, 2015 at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Myth, ritual and the early development of Shīʿite identity
2015 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The story of the killing of Ḥusayn b. ʿAlī at Karbalāʾ is of course one of the most important narratives in Shīʿite Islam. In this paper, a very early phase in the development of this story into a Shīʿite myth will be discussed. It will be argued that in the story of the Tawwābūn (the Penitents) we can see some of the mechanisms of this process at work.

The paper will begin with a brief discussion of the concept of myth which leads up to a stipulated definition of myth: the term will be used to connote a narrative that is foundational to the world view and identity of a group of people. I will argue that the story of the Tawwābūn, at least the parts that are relevant in this context, date back to the beginning of the 2nd/8th century if not earlier. Finally, I will maintain that, in this early story we see how pre-Islamic stories are re-interpreted, and old rituals are filled with new meaning in accordance with the Karbalāʾ event and the Tawwābūn’s feeling of guilt concerning Ḥusayn’s fate. The story of the Tawwābūn thus testifies to the growing importance of the Karbalāʾ drama and the beginning of its development into a myth in the sense mentioned above.

Keywords
Islam, Shi'ism, Penitents, Karbala, Myth
National Category
History of Religions
Research subject
Culture, Identity and Representations, Hämnd eller martyrium! Berättelsen om Botgörarna som en länk till Shi`ismens tidiga utveckling.
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:du-20612 (URN)
Conference
The Mythic Dimension of Islam: Examining the Sources through the Lens of Myth, Dec. 16–17, 2015 at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute
Projects
Hämnd eller martyrium! Berättelsen om Botgörarna som en länk till Shi`ismens tidiga utveckling.
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 421-2011-1806
Available from: 2016-01-05 Created: 2016-01-05 Last updated: 2016-01-05Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0001-9963-8124

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