The Schlomo Dov Goitein’s “Political” Symbiosis in the Secrets of Simon Ben Yohai: A Qur’anic Reappraisal for a Jewish Apocalyptic Source on the Reflecting of an Early Islamic Background.
Keywords:Islamic History, Symbiosis, Jews and Judaism, Acocalypse
This paper examines the concept of symbiosis in Islamic history as developed by Schlomo Dov Goitein, the 20th-century Jewish German scholar in the area of Jewish and Arabic studies, and discusses its application to the identity sourcing of Prophet Muhammad in particular. The aim of the study is to review the historical outline briefly on the background and formation of “symbiosis” preceding and in the aftermath of Goitein’s conceptualization and context, following a qualitative research approach with an intertextual criticism to his references and discussing their possible philological aspects in his mindset. The study found that, while the Islamic historical sources presented the relations between Jews and Muslims in the Madina period of Islam as negative, in Goitein’s works, the Jewish perception of early Islamic history is positively grounded on a mid-eight century Jewish messianic-apocalyptical text, namely, The Secrets of Rabbi Simon ben Yohai as traditionally understood in Judaism for describing Ishmaelites as the savior of Jews from Christian oppression. This finding seems to be in explicit contradistinction to the concept of innovative “creative symbiosis” with subversion of historical experience.
Cohen, M. R., Todd, J. M., & Smith, M. B. (2013). The “Golden Age” of Jewish-Muslim Relations: Myth and Reality. In A. Meddeb & B. Stora (Eds.), A History of Jewish-Muslim Relations: From the Origins to the Present Day (pp. 28–38). Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Decter, J. P. (2012). Ibrahim Ibn al-Fakhkh?r al-Yah?d?: An Arabic Poet and Diplomat in Castile and the Maghrib. In D. Freidenreich & M. Goldstein (Eds.), Beyond Religious Borders: Interaction and Intellectual Exchange in the Medieval Islamic World (pp. 96-112). Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Fishbane, E.R. (2015). Judaism, Sufism, and the Pietists of Medieval Egypt. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Fraade, S.D. (1992). Rabbinic Views on the Practice of Targum and Multilingualism in the Jewish Galilee of the Third-Sixth Centuries. In L. I. Levine (Ed.), The Galilee in Late Antiquity (pp. 253-286). New York: Jewish Theological Seminary of America.
Goitein, S.D. (1949). On Jewish-Arab Symbiosis. Molad, 2 (11), 259-266.
Goitein, S.D. (1955). Jews and Arabs: A Concise History of Their Social and Cultural Relations Their Contacts through the Ages. New York: Schocken Books.
Goitein, S.D. (1958). Muhammad's Inspiration by Judaism. Journal of Jewish Studies. 9 (3-4), 149-62.
Goitein. S. D. (1983). A Mediterranean Society: The Jewish Communities of the Arab World As Portrayed in the Documents of the Cairo Geniza. Volume 2, The Community. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Goldstein, M. (2011). “Introduction” in M. Goldstein & D. Freidenreich (Eds.), Beyond Religious Borders: Interaction and Intellectual Exchange in the Medieval Islamic (pp. 1-10). Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Grossman, M. (2011). Meturgeman. In A. Berlin (Ed.). The Oxford Dictionary of the Jewish Religion. New York: Oxford University Press. Retrieved from https://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/acref/9780199730049.001.0001/acref-9780199730049-e-2046. (Accessed on 8 Feb. 2022).
Harif, H. (2018). The Orient between Arab and Jewish National Revivals: Josef Horovitz, Shelomo Dov Goitein and Oriental Studies in Jerusalem. In O. Fraisse (Ed.), Modern Jewish Scholarship on Islam in Context: Rationality, European Borders, and the Search for Belonging (pp. 319-336). Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110446890-018
Haskell, E.F. (1949). A Clarification of Social Sciences. Main Currents in Modern Thought, vol. 7. New Rochelle, NY: Center for Integrative Education.
Herman, M. D. (2016). Systematizing God's Law: Rabbanite Jurisprudence In The Islamic World From The Tenth To The Thirteenth Centuries. (Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania, USA). Retrieved from https://www.proquest.com/docview/1859096058/fulltextPDF/ACB1CAAC146E42C6PQ/1?accountid=191732
Heschel, S. (2018). The Rise of Imperialism and the German Jewish Engagement in Islamic Studies. In O. Fraisse (Ed.), Modern Jewish scholarship on Islam in Context: Rationality, European Borders, and the Search for Belonging (pp. 61-92). Berlin: De Gruyter. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110446890-004
Hoffman, A. & Cole, P. (2016). Sacred Trash: The Lost and Found World of the Cairo Geniza. New York: Schocken Books.
Hughes, A. W. (2005). The “Golden Age” of Muslim Spain: Religious Identity and the Invention of a Tradition in Modern Jewish Studies, in S. Engler & G. Grieve (Eds.), Historicizing "Tradition" in the Study of Religion (pp. 51-74). Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110901405
Lane, E. W. (1968). Arabic-english lexicon. Beirut-Lebanon: Librairie du Liban.
Libson, G. (1998). Hidden Worlds and Open Shutters: S.D. Goitein Between Judaism and Islam, in D. N. Myers & D. B. Ruderman (Eds.), The Jewish Past Revisited: Reflections on Modern Jewish Historians (pp. 163-198) . New Haven: Yale University Press.
Libson, G. (2018). Shlomo Dov Goitein’s Research into the Relationship between the Jewish and Muslim Traditions through the Prism of His Predecessors and Colleagues. In O. Fraisse (Ed.), Modern Jewish Scholarship on Islam in Context: Rationality, European Borders, and the Search for Belonging (pp. 145-180). Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110446890-009
Lidicker, W. Z. (1979). A Clarification of Interactions in Ecological Systems. Bioscience, 29 (8), 475–477. https://doi.org/10.2307/1307540
Mohammed, K. (2018). Islam and Genesis 17: A Study in Scriptural Intertextuality. Religions 9, no. 10: 293.
Mohammed, K. (2018). Islam and Genesis 17: A Study in Scriptural Intertextuality. Religions, 9 (12), 293. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/rel9120389 (Accessed on 31 January 2022).
Reeves, J. C. (2006). Nistarot Rabbi Shim'on b. Yohai. In Trajectories in Near Eastern Apocalyptic: A Postrabbinic Jewish Apocalypse Reader (pp. 76-105). Leiden: Brill.
Reeves, J. C. (2011). The Muslim Appropriation of a Biblical Text: The Messianic Dimensions of Isaiah 21:6-7. In K. G. Holum & H. Lapin (Eds.), Shaping the Middle East: Jews, Christians, and Muslims in an Age of Transition 400-800 C.E. (pp. 211-222). Bethesda, Md.: University Press of Maryland.
Shakir, M. H. (1974). The Holy Qur’an; Arabic Text and English Translation. Retrieved from http://Qur’an-archive.org/explorer/m-h-shakir/1974?page=1. (Accessed on 10 February 2022)
Silverstein, S. (Trans.). (n.d.). Sifrei Devarim 343. Sefaria. Retrieved from https://www.sefaria.org/Sifrei_Devarim.343?ven=Sifrei_by_Rabbi_Shraga_Silverstein&vhe=Sifrei_Devarim%2C_Hebrew&lang=en&with=About&lang2=en. (Accessed on February 10, 2022).
Wasserstrom, S. M. (1995) Between Muslim and Jew: the problem of symbiosis under early Islam. Princeton: New Jersey Princeton University Press.
Yadgar, L. (2016). All the Kings of Arabia are Seeking Your Counsel and Advice: Intellectual and Cultural Exchange between Jews and Muslims in the Later Middle Islamic Period (Doctoral Dissertation, University of Chicago, Chicago). Retrieved from https://www.proquest.com/docview/1799663231/fulltextPDF/25D3A85CFF614AF6PQ/1?accountid=191732
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2022 Yasar Colak, Serdar Sinan Gulec
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Bussecon Review of Social Sciences by Bussecon International Academy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.