|Died||July 11, 2015 70) (aged|
Princeton, New Jersey, U.S.
|Main interests||Islamic studies; Quranic (Islamic) studies; scriptural exegesis; scholarship on Islamic origins|
|Notable works||Hagarism (with M.A. Cook); Meccan Trade and the Rise of Islam|
Patricia Crone (March 28, 1945 –July 11, 2015) was a Danish-American Orientalist, and historian specializing in early Islamic history. Crone was a member of the Revisionist school of Islamic studies and questioned the historicity of the Islamic traditions about the beginnings of Islam.
Crone was born in Kyndeløse Sydmark (south of Kyndeløse) 23 km northwest of Roskilde in Roskilde County, Denmark, on March 28, 1945.
After taking the forprøve (preliminary exam) at University of Copenhagen, she went to Paris to learn French, and then to London where she determined to get into a university to become fluent in English. In 1974, she earned her PhD at the University of London, where she was a senior research fellow at the Warburg Institute until 1977.[ citation needed ] She was accepted as an occasional student at King's College London and followed a course in medieval European history, especially church-state relations.
In 1977, Crone became a University Lecturer in Islamic history and a fellow of Jesus College, Oxford. Crone became Assistant University Lecturer in Islamic studies and fellow of Gonville and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge in 1990 and held several positions at Cambridge.She served as University Lecturer in Islamic studies from 1992 to 1994, and as Reader in Islamic history from 1994-97.
In 1997, she was appointed to the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, where she was named as Andrew W. Mellon Professor.From 2002 until her death in 2015, she was a member of the Editorial Board of the journal Social Evolution & History .
She died on July 11, 2015, aged 70, from cancer.
The major theme of Patricia Crone's scholarly life was the fundamental questioning of the historicity of Islamic sources which concern the beginnings of Islam. Her two best-known works concentrate on this topic: Hagarism and Meccan Trade. Three decades after Hagarism, Fred Donner called Crone's work a "milestone" in the field of Orientalist study of Islam.
In their book Hagarism (1977), Crone and her associate Michael Cook, both then working at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, provided a new analysis of early Islamic history. They fundamentally questioned the historicity of the Islamic traditions about the beginnings of Islam. They tried to produce a picture of Islam's beginnings only from non-Arabic sources. By studying the only surviving contemporary accounts of the rise of Islam, which were written in Armenian, Greek, Aramaic, and Syriac by actual witnesses, they reconstructed a story of Islam's beginnings that differs from the story told by Islamic traditions. Crone and Cook claimed to be able to explain exactly how Islam came into being by the fusion of various Near Eastern civilizations under Arabic leadership.Later, Crone refrained from this attempt of a detailed reconstruction of Islam's beginnings. Yet she continued to maintain the basic results of her work:
In Meccan Trade and the Rise of Islam (1987), Crone argued that the importance of the pre-Islamic Meccan trade had been grossly exaggerated. Furthermore, she found that Mecca was never part of any of the major ancient trade routes. She also suggested that while Muhammad never traveled much beyond the Hijaz, internal evidence in the Qur'an, such as its description of his opponents as "olive growers", might indicate that the events surrounding Muhammed took place nearer the Mediterranean than in Mecca.(Was judged a "devastating critique of a commonplace of current historiographical accounts of the rise of Islam" in THE JOURNAL OF ASIAN STUDIES review by Frederick S. Paxton.)
Though she began as a scholar of broader military and economic history of the Near and Middle East, Crone's later career focused mainly on "the Qur’an and the cultural and religious traditions of Iraq, Iran, and the formerly Iranian part of Central Asia".
Religion in pre-Islamic Arabia included indigenous Arabian polytheism, ancient Semitic religions, Christianity, Judaism, and Iranian religions such as Zoroastrianism, Mithraism, and Manichaeism.
Muhammad was an Arab religious, social, and political leader and the founder of Islam. According to Islamic doctrine, he was a prophet, sent to preach and confirm the monotheistic teachings of Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and other prophets. He is believed to be the final prophet of God in all the main branches of Islam, though some modern denominations diverge from this belief. Muhammad united Arabia into a single Muslim polity, with the Quran as well as his teachings and practices forming the basis of Islamic religious belief.
Mecca, officially Makkah al-Mukarramah and commonly shortened to Makkah, is the holiest city in Islam and the capital of the Mecca Province of Saudi Arabia. The city is 70 km (43 mi) inland from Jeddah on the Red Sea, in a narrow valley 277 m (909 ft) above sea level. Its last recorded population was 1,578,722 in 2015. The estimated metro population in 2020 is 2.042 million, making it the third-most populated city in Saudi Arabia after Riyadh and Jeddah. Pilgrims more than triple this number every year during the Ḥajj pilgrimage, observed in the twelfth Hijri month of Dhūl-Ḥijjah.
Hegira is a medieval Latin transliteration of the Arabic word meaning "departure" or "migration," among other definitions. Alternative transliterations of the word include Hijra or Hijrah. The word is commonly used to refer to the journey of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina in the year 622. The Hijrah is also identified as the epoch of the Islamic calendar, which is also known as the Hijri calendar, set to 16 July 622 in the Julian calendar or 19 July 622 in the Gregorian calendar.
Ḥanīf, meaning “renunciate”, refers to one who, according to Islamic belief, maintained the pure monotheism of the patriarch Abraham. More specifically, in Islamic thought, renunciates were the people who, during the pre-Islamic period or Jahiliyyah, were seen to have renounced idolatry and retained some or all of the tenets of the religion of Abraham, which was submission to God in its purest form. The word is found twelve times in the Quran and Islamic tradition tells of a number of individuals who were ḥunafā’. According to Muslim tradition, Muhammad himself was a ḥanīf and a descendant of Ishmael, son of Abraham.
The historiography of early Islam is the scholarly literature on the early history of Islam during the 7th century, from Muhammad's first revelations in 610 until the disintegration of the Rashidun Caliphate in 661, and arguably throughout the 8th century and the duration of the Umayyad Caliphate, terminating in the incipient Islamic Golden Age around the beginning of the 9th century.
William Montgomery Watt was a Scottish Orientalist, historian, academic and Anglican priest. From 1964 to 1979, he was Professor of Arabic and Islamic studies at the University of Edinburgh.
Hagarism: The Making of the Islamic World is a 1977 book about the early history of Islam by the historians Patricia Crone and Michael Cook. Drawing on archaeological evidence and contemporary documents in Arabic, Armenian, Coptic, Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, Latin and Syriac, Crone and Cook depict an early Islam very different from the traditionally-accepted version derived from Muslim historical accounts.
Banū Makhzūm was one of the wealthy clans of the Quraysh. They are regarded as being among the three most powerful and influential tribes in Mecca before the advent of Islam, the other two being the Banu Hashim and the Banu Umayya Members of this clan can still be found in present-day Saudi Arabia.
The history of the Qur'an — that is the timeline and origin of the written compilations or manuscripts of the holy book of Islam, based on historical findings — spans several centuries, and forms a major part of the early history of Islam.
Hagarenes, is a term widely used by early Syriac, Greek, Coptic and Armenian sources to describe the early Arab conquerors of Mesopotamia, Syria and Egypt.
The Teaching of Jacob, has a controversial dating from the early 7th-century to the late 8th-century. A Greek Christian polemical tract supposedly set in Carthage in 634 but written in Israel sometime between 634 and 640. It supposedly records a weeks-long discussion ending on July 13, 634, among Jews who have been forcibly baptized by order of the emperor. One of them, Jacob, has come to believe sincerely in Christianity; he instructs the rest about why they should also sincerely embrace their new faith. Halfway through, a Jewish merchant named Justus arrives and challenges Jacob to a debate. In the end, all of the participants are convinced to embrace Christianity, and Jacob and Justus return east. In addition to several partial Greek manuscripts, the text survives in Latin, Arabic, Ethiopic and Slavonic translations.
Michael Allan Cook FBA is a British historian and scholar of Islamic history. Cook is the general editor of The New Cambridge History of Islam.
Meccan Trade And The Rise Of Islam is a 1987 book written by scholar and historiographer of early Islam Patricia Crone. The book argues that Islam did not originate in Mecca, located in western Saudi Arabia, but in northern Arabia. Her views are hugely different from those of historians and orientalist scholars like W. Montgomery Watt and Fred Donner, who have publications detailing trade activities and the struggles between competing Meccan tribes for control over trade routes.
Muhammad, the final Islamic prophet, was born and lived in Mecca for the first 52 years of his life until the Hijra. This period of his life is characterized by his proclamation of prophethood. Muhammad's father, Abdullah ibn Abd al-Muttalib, died before he was born. His mother would raise him until he was 6 years old, before her death around 577 CE at Abwa'. Subsequently raised by his grandfather, Abd al-Muttalib, and then his uncle, Abu Talib ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib, Muhammad's early career involved being a shepherd and merchant. Muhammad married Khadija bint Khuwaylid after a successful trading endeavour in Syria. After the death of Khadija and Abu Talib in the Year of Sorrow, Muhammad married Sawda bint Zam'a and Aisha.
In hadith studies, Israʼiliyyat are narratives assumed to be of foreign import. Although indicating such stories develop from Jewish sources, narratives designated as Isra'iliyyat might also derive from other religions such as Christianity or Zoroastrianism. Isrā'īlīyāt were received varyingly by both early and later Muslim scholars, with early prophetic traditions criticising their details yet encouraging their transmission. Some pre-modern scholars enthusiastically used them in exegisis whilst others condemned their use. In modern times they have been criticized as altogether unislamic.
While the existence of the Islamic prophet Muhammad is established by contemporaneous or near-contemporaneous historical records, attempts to distinguish between the historical elements and the ahistorical elements of many of the reports of Muhammad have not been very successful. Hence the historicity of Muhammad, aside from his existence, is debated. How much reliable history there is about Muhammad is disputed, with some Muslim sources maintaining that "everything he did and said was recorded", while other academic sources insist that we do not have even "a scrap of information of real use in constructing the human history of Muhammad, beyond the bare fact that he once existed".
The Kaaba, also spelled Ka'bah or Kabah, sometimes referred to as al-Kaʿbah al-Musharrafah, is a building at the center of Islam's most important mosque, the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is the most sacred site in Islam. It is considered by Muslims to be the Bayt Allah and is the qibla for Muslims around the world when performing salah.
The postulation that Allah historically originates as a moon god originates in early 20th-century scholarship.
The Revisionist school of Islamic studies, is a movement in Islamic studies questioning much of "what the Muslim historical tradition can tell us about the origins of Islam".
Crone's work has challenged long-held explanations and provided new approaches for the social, economic, legal and religious patterns that transformed Late Antiquity.