Universiteit Leiden

nl en


Marriage, Mecca and the Immigrant Quraysh

  • Majied Robinson
Tuesday 14 November 2017
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden

Marriage, Mecca and the Immigrant Quraysh

The pre-Islamic context of Mecca and its hinterland is innately resistant to the construction of positivist historical narratives. We have no contemporary sources, and the later Arabic historical sources that purport to describe this world appear much later and bear the hallmarks of sectarian distortion. There is however one genre of historical writing that appears to have resisted these distortions, and that is nasab - or genealogical literature. In this talk, Majied Robinson will show how the nasab texts can be deconstructed and rebuilt to show a diachronic history of Mecca and the Quraysh in the decades leading to the first revelation of Islam. Using statistical analysis and prosopography alongside more traditional text analysis, a dynamic, messy world of tribal politics and genealogical pragmatism will be revealed, offering a positivist narrative of Islamic origins that contradicts much of what we think we know about this critical juncture in human history.

About Majied Robinson

Majied Robinson

Majied Robinson is a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow at the University of Edinburgh. Robinson’s passion for all things pre-modern and Islamicate began in school with the Ottomans module of his History A-Level. Seduced by stories of slave-soldiers and sultans he went on to read Oriental Studies (Persian) at Cambridge University where he studied both literary and historical subjects. After a two-year hiatus he returned to university by undertaking a five year Masters and PhD programme in Arab World Studies (funded by CASAW) which he completed in 2013. In May 2015 he began a three-year fellowship which is focused on the Arab genealogical literary tradition and social trends in Late Antique Arabia.

Majied Robinson is a visiting guest of the Embedding Conquest team. 


Due to limited seating, please register to attend the lecture by sending an email to emco@hum.leidenuniv.nl

This website uses cookies.  More information.