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The sealing of prophethood in Islam

The notion of khatm al-nubuwwa, as the end of prophethood, has emerged as a fundamental theological doctrine in Islam. From the death of Muḥammad in 632, it was at the heart of multiple controversies relating to prophethood, the Qur’an, sainthood, excommunication and, more generally, the Prophet’s legacy.

Drawing on Islamic sources, in particular exegesis, the ḥadīth, but also historiography and philology, this study highlights the issues at stake in these controversies and submits for analysis, through the little-known texts of nine Muslim thinkers, the evolution and reinterpretations of this doctrine from the first centuries of Islam to the present day. Meticulous, instructive and accessible, this study will contribute to opening new perspectives on contemporary Islam.

La notion de khatm al-nubuwwa, en tant que fin de la prophétie, s’est imposée comme une doctrine théologique fondamentale en Islam. Dès la mort de Muḥammad en 632, elle fut au cœur de multiples controverses relatives à la prophétie, au Coran, à la sainteté, à l’excommunication et, plus globalement, à l’héritage du Prophète.

S’appuyant sur les sources islamiques, en particulier l’exégèse, le ḥadīth, mais aussi l’historiographie et la philologie, cette étude met en lumière les enjeux de ces controverses et soumet à l’analyse, à travers les textes peu fréquentés de neuf penseurs musulmans, l’évolution et les réinterprétations de cette doctrine depuis les premiers siècles de l’Islam et jusqu’à nos jours. Minutieuse, instructive et accessible, cette étude contribuera à ouvrir de nouvelles perspectives d’approches de l’Islam contemporain.

–> Lire la recension de cet ouvrage par Emmanuel Pisani :

إنّ مفهوم ختم النبوّة، الذي يعني نهاية النبوة، قد برز كإحدى العقائد الدينيّة أساسيّة في الإسلام. ومنذ وفاة محمد في العام 632، أصبح هذا المفهوم من المفاهيم المتعدّدة المثيرة للجدل والمتعلّقة بالنبوّة، وبالقرآن، والقداسة، والكفر، وبصورة أشمل، إرث النبي.

تسلّط هذه الدراسة الضوء، استنادًا إلى المصادر الإسلاميّة، لا سيّما التفسيرات، والحديث، وأعمال المؤرّخين، وعلم اللّغة، على التحدّيات التي تواجهها هذه المسائل المثيرة للجدل، وتعرض للتحليل تطوّر هذا العقيدة وإعادة تفسيرها منذ العصور الأولى للإسلام حتى يومنا هذا، وذلك من خلال نصوص تابعة لتسعة مفكّرين مسلمين لا يتمّ في العادة الرجوع إليها بشكل كبير. وتساهم هذه الدراسة، كونها دقيقة وتعليميّة ومتاحة، في فتح أفق جديدة في نُهج الإسلام المعاصر.

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