Adam J. Silverstein*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article considers the interaction between Samaritan and early Islamic ideas. By focusing on a number of case-studies, it is argued that in addition to the ‘usual’ recourse made to Jewish and Christian materials in accounting for aspects of early Islamic culture, religion, and thought, Samaritan materials also deserve consideration in these contexts. First, it is suggested that there were reasonable channels of transmission for Samaritan ideas into seventh century Arabia. Second, it is argued that there are enough historiographically-acceptable materials on which to draw in examining Samaritanism on the eve of Islam. And third, it is argued that these Samaritan materials may contribute to our understanding of such early Islamic ideas as the identity of ʿUzayr, the notion of taḥrīf, the Qurʾānic portrayal of Joseph, the identity of the Qurʾān’s Sabians, and the traditions that relate the ʿĀshūrāʾ fast in Medina during the Prophet’s lifetime to Pharaoh and Moses.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)305-344
Number of pages40
JournalJerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam
Issue number53
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Max Schloessinger Memorial Foundation, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. All rights reserved.


  • Ezra/ʿUzayr
  • Joseph
  • Sabians
  • Samaritans
  • Yom Kippur
  • taḥrīf
  • ʿĀshūrāʾ


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