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Thursday, August 13, 2015
Sa'd bin Abi Waqqas cared about Madina
Sa'd, most famed for invading Iran, raised a request that he be buried such that when raised from the dead he would face the holy city. That city was, er, Madina. As in, not Mecca - which we're told is Muhammad's own choice for qibla. So say Pavlovitch and Powers.
I have posted some initial thoughts @ CEMB. I think I did pretty well there, so I'll just sum it up here.
The transmitter Bukhari, most respected in Sunni Islam, had tried to subvert this tradition. In so doing he made an implicit admission, that a focus on Madina in a "post-Meccan" era represents a problem for Islam itself. The tradition implies that Mhaggraye piety was being asked to point to Madina, for several decades into the Umayyad era. That Mecca often went unnamed in these traditions - especially Affan bin Muslim's own transmission - is even more a problem for Islam. Bukhari felt he had to deal with it and so, in characteristically brutish fashion, did so. (I always respected Muslim bin al-Hajjaj more.)
All of this suggests that Affan, who related one of the larger and better-attested composites, likely got this composition from his teacher Wuhayb (d. 156 / 772) - at latest, with that teacher, in cahoots. So even the Affan-Wuhayb "later composite", as P-and-P term it, is early. Early in the 'Abbasid reformation of Islam, anyway.
Now, we're still not pointing to Petra in this discussion. But all this does offer additional evidence that Mecca simply didn't matter much for official Islam up to, let's say, the caliphate of al-Walid I.
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