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Studies in Islamic Traditions and Literature

Roberto Totolli

Studies in Islamic Traditions and Literature

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Totolli (Roberto), Studies in Islamic Traditions and Literature, London, Routledge, ("Variorum Collected Studies") 2023, 284 p. ISBN 9780367531669


Roberto Tottoli is Professor of Islamic studies at the Università di Napoli L’Orientale, Italy. His fields of interest are early Islamic traditions and literature and the Qur’an in European history.


A collection of articles and studies discussing early Islamic tenets and beliefs based on Islamic traditions and literature. A number of studies appear for the first time in English. The topics dealt with relate to the Islamic prostration in ritual prayer, Islamic traditions which are discussed through the analysis of hadith literature and reports and narratives related to the literary genre of the qiṣaṣ al-anbiyā’ (Stories of the Prophets). The readers of this collection of essays are scholars and students of early Islam, of the development hadith literature and of the narratives on Islamic prophets; all together the studies bring to light the dynamics between the formation of early traditions and their role in the origin and developments of Islamic literature.


Part I

The Islamic act of prostration (sujūd)

1. "Muslim attitudes towards prostration (sujūd). I. Arabs and prostration at the beginning of Islam and in the Qur’ān”

Studia Islamica, 88 (1998), 5-34; Listes des Errata in Studia Islamica, 89 (1999), 209-210.

2. "Muslim attitudes towards prostration (sujūd). II. The prominence and meaning of prostration in Muslim literature"

Le Muséon, 111 (1998), 405-426.

3. "Traditions and controversies concerning the sujūd al-Qur’an in ḥadīth literature"

Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft, 147 (1997), 371-393.

4. "The thanksgiving prostration (sujūd al-shukr) in Muslim traditions"

Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 61 (1998), 309-313.

5. "Muslim Traditions against Secular Prostration and Inter-religious Polemic"

Medieval Encounters 5 (1999), 99-111 (special issue Avoda and ‘Ibada: Ritual and Liturgy in Islamic and Judaic Traditions, ed. S. Ward).

Part II

Hadith, traditions, and literature

6. "Ḥadith and Muslim dietary norms: some traditions on the goodness of meat and the permissibility of horse meat"

[It. or. "Ḥadīth e norme alimentari musulmane: alcune tradizioni sulla bontà della carne e sulla liceità della carne di cavallo", Annali di Ca’ Foscari, s.o. 28 (1997), 99-118].

7. "‘Two rivers are believers and two are disbelievers’. A sacred river geography in a saying attributed to Muḥammad?"

[It. or. "‘Due fiumi sono credenti e due miscredenti’. Una geografia fluviale sacra in un detto di Muḥammad?" in Scritti in onore di Giovanni M. D’Erme, eds. M. Bernardini e N.L. Tornesello, Napoli 2005, 1221-1235].

8. "Islamic traditions regarding the use of fabrics and clothing"

[It. or. "Tradizioni islamiche sull’uso di tessuti e vestiti", in Tejer y vestir: de la Antigüedad al islam, ed. M. Marín, CSIC, Madrid 2001, pp. 43-72].

9. "Inna Allāh yubghiḍu al-balīgh min al-nās: a study of an early ḥadīth"

Quaderni di Studi Arabi, n.s. 9 (2014) (Studi in onore di Lidia Bettini), 215-227.

10. “Methods and contexts in the use of Hadiths in classical tafsīr literature: the exegesis of Q 21:85 and 17:1”

Aims, Methods and Contexts of Qur’anic Exegesis (2nd/8th-9th/15th Centuries), ed. K. Bauer, Oxford, Oxford University Press in association with the Institute of Ismaili Studies, 2013, 199-215.

Part III

The rod of Moses, the prophets

11. "The staff of Moses transforming into a snake in Islamic exegesis and traditions"

[or. "Il bastone di Mosè mutato in serpente nell’esegesi e nelle tradizioni islamiche", Annali dell’Istituto Universitario Orientale di Napoli, 51 (1991), 225-243, 383-394].

12. "Modern Islamic exegesis and the rejection of the Isrā’īliyyāt: the legends about the staff of Moses transforming into a snake"

[or. "La moderna esegesi islamica ed il rifiuto delle Isrā’īliyyāt: le leggende sul bastone di Mosè mutato in serpente", Annali di Cà Foscari, s.o. 21 (1990), 25-35.

13. "At cock-crow: some Muslim traditions about the rooster",

Der Islam, 76 (1999), 139-147.

14. "‘I just came to visit some relatives’. The wolf in Joseph’s story"

[or. "‘Sono solo venuto a trovare alcuni parenti’. Il lupo nella storia di Giuseppe", Quaderni di Studi Arabi, n.s. 14 (2019), 201-216].

15. "Origin and use of the term isra’iliyyat in Muslim literature", in Arabica, 46 (1999), 193-210

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