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Laughter in the Discursive Tradition? : Emotions of Muḥammad as the Topic of a Pious Arabic-English Reader

Title data

Leube, Georg:
Laughter in the Discursive Tradition? : Emotions of Muḥammad as the Topic of a Pious Arabic-English Reader.
In: Schweizer, Bernard ; Lina, Molokotos-Liedermann ; Amin, Yasmin (ed.): Muslims and Humour : Essays on Comedy, Joking, and Mirth in Contemporary Islamic Contexts. - Bristol : Bristol University Press , 2022 . - pp. 44-69
ISBN 978-1-5292-1467-3

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Abstract in another language

Islam as a discursive tradition (Asad) forms a relational framework that is characterized by multiple and frequently contested references to and appropriations of a shared cultural memory as transmitted in the various genres of Arabic-Islamic authoritative texts (qurʾān, ḥadīth, sīra, taʾrīkh, faḍāʾil, adab etc.). At the same time, the operative normativities of any Muslim society are influenced by various other normative orders from both inside and outside Islamic cultural memory. While the resulting distributions of spiritual capital (Verter) characterizing particular Islamic societies frequently produce a consensus on localized ‘orthodoxies’ as reflected in normative modes of behaviour (Schrode), this consensus is threatened by philological deployments of alternative readings of the discursive tradition and their subversive potential.
In my contribution, I analyze the challenge to normative notions of prophetic gravitas as widely expected from the founder of a contemporary world religion by a thematic collection of ḥadīths that depict Muḥammad as laughing (ḍaḥika l-rasūl). Within the thematic focus of the present volume on “Islam and Humour”, I analyze the thematic content and editorial framing of Muḥammad’s laughter as a case-study of prophetic laughter as the bodily representation of a range of emotions, which in each case may or may not include humour. Originally compiled by the contemporary scholar Muḥammad ʿAlī ʿUthmān (Āl) Mujāhid and produced for the purpose of making Islamic knowledge accessible through the emotions of its prophet, this text was republished in an Arabic-English bilingual edition aimed at introducing Arabic-learning (potential) converts to Islam entitled (This Beloved [PBUH] Smiling) (Dār al-Manāra 2009).

Further data

Item Type: Article in a book
Refereed: Yes
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Languages and Literature > Chair Islamic Studies
Faculties > Faculty of Languages and Literature > Chair Islamic Studies > Chair Islamic Studies - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Seesemann
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 200 Religion > 290 Other religions
Date Deposited: 15 Aug 2022 09:42
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2022 09:42
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/71458