Rezvan E. A. The Qur’anic Ethnography: Methodological Approaches and Sources

Efim A. Rezvan
Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (the Kunstkamera) of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Saint Petersburg, Russia


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ABSTRACT. The Qur’anic ethnography as self-contained research area is being formed only today, while it is based on the results of specialized studies of previous years and is closely related to the studies of the Qur’anic language and the language milieu of Arabia in the time of the Prophet, to the ethnographical field studies in Arabia as well as the Qur’anic archaeology. The key information can be provided by the most important written monuments related to Arabia of that time (poetry, “Ayyam al-Arab”, “Sira” by Ibn Ishaq, “al-Sahih” by al-Bukhari), as well as the texts of European travelers to Arabia from the 18th to the early 20th centuries, as well as the study of specialized of museum collections around the world. The work undertaken within the framework of the research area is intended to give a more idiographic picture of the course of historical events related to the emergence of Islam, to provide independent evidence that allows, in some cases, to clarify the chronology of the facts and to date the texts. The results obtained with the help of Qur’anic ethnography approaches help in clarifying the meaning of the Qur’anic texts, as they reconstruct the historical background of their origin. The most important goal of the Qur’anic ethnography is the scientific provision of work on the creation of a new translation of the Qur’an, because all existing dictionaries to the Qur’an, as well as its translations, are based to a very great extent on the commentaries (tafsir) to the Qur’an, which are much later sources than the Qur’an itself, and impose on us the meanings that arose in another place and in another time. 


KEYWORDS: The Qur’an, the Qur’anic ethnography, Arabia at the turn of the 6th–7th centuries, the rise of Islam, material culture, the daily life of Arabia at the turn of the 6th–7th centuries, language of the Qur’an, the pre-Islamic poetry and poetry of the Prophet’s contemporaries, the Arabian epigraphy, “Ayyam al-Arab”, “Sira” by Ibn Ishaq, “al-Sahih” by al-Bukhari, 18th — early 20th century travelers to Arabia, historical and ethnographic expeditions to modern Arabia, the Qur’anic archaeology, specialized museum collections 


УДК 297.18:39
DOI 10.31250/2618-8600-2018-1-86-118 



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