Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Religious Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Timothy Renick - Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Kathryn McClymond

Third Advisor

Dr. Isa Blumi


This thesis explores the meaning and significance of the form of Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah. It asks the questions: What are the possible reasons for Ibn Ishaq choosing a narrative form for this biography of Muhammad? What does a narrative format grant the text? Are there historical factors which could have influenced the decision? What other influences affected the text? Finally, what are the implications of Ibn Ishaq’s decision to use a narrative form? Taking into consideration narrative theory, the historical setting, and textual evidence, the thesis argues that Ibn Ishaq chose the format most likely to control the image of Muhammad, thus controlling the conversation of what Islam should be. The implications of this view affect how one understands the usages of the Sira as well as the historicity of the text.

Included in

Religion Commons