Focusing on issues of interpretation, this book collects and translates a number of medieval mi'raj accounts. The narratives of Muhammad's heavenly journey offer a prism through which to view the medieval elite's communal, political and theological motives. These accounts reveal the historiographic process in which a single event becomes a focal point for those struggling to define the past and establish a communal, confessional and political identity by reporting the apparant facts about a particular moment in time. In other words, these tales have real stakes for both their authors and their audiences, and shed light on Muslim communal concerns from the late eighth through to the fourteenth century. Brooke Olson Vuckovic's groundbreaking study provides readers access to the documentation and translation of these lesser-known Arabic texts, and uncovers their role in building a meaningful, cohesive and coherent Muslim community in medieval times.

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