An Enigmatic Papyrus Document from Early Islam


The traditional vision of the Islam's origins in the seventh century has been challenged fundamentally in recent years because, for the most part, that vision was based on Muslim sources of later date. Actual documents dating from the origins period are extremely rare. The talk will present an Arabic papyrus document that appears to date from the earliest phase of the Islamic community, and attempt to explain what its intriguing and sometimes puzzling features imply for our understanding of Islam's beginnings.