The Delineation Between Believer, Rebel, and Heretic: Islamic Heterodoxy in the Late Umayyad Period
Novak, Valerie Lynn
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This research explores the concept of orthodoxy and heresy in an Islamic context during the late Umayyad period, by investigating two early Islamic heretics, al-Harith ibn Surayj and Jahm ibn Safwan. The goal is to demonstrate the heterodoxical nature of Islam in the early Umayyad period, in contrast to Western Christian model, which more easily delineates between heretic and believer. The role of the caliphate and decline of the Umayyad administration inform the circumstances of the heretics and their condemnation in this period. The case studies are informed by al-Tabari's Târîkh and al-Baladhuri's Ansâb al-Ashrâf, and illuminate the difficult circumstances of a growing Islamic heterodoxy, with the slow codification of Islamic orthodoxy.