Skip to main content

Israelite

ISRAELITE

ISRAELITE (Ar. Isrā ʾīliyyāt , "Israelite" tales), name of a type of Muslim literature which deals with two different subjects: (1) stories from the Bible, legends, and other tales as they have been handed down in Jewish literature in the name of figures from the biblical world, scholars, and rabbis, and which are found in the Talmud and Midrashim. The objective of this material in the works of Arab historians, Koran exegetes, and the legends of the prophets is to explain Muhammad's words when their meaning is obscure or opposed to the Bible. The Isrāʾīliyyāt thus served as a channel for the absorption of many legends in the treasury of the historical tales of Islam. The traditionists were generally Jews who had converted to Islam or scholars of Jewish origin. The most famous of these were *Kaʿb al-Aḥbār and *Wahb ibn Munabbih. Beginning at an early date, this fact aroused suspicion and the opposition of the orthodox circles of Islam who sought at least to conceal the identity of the traditionists. (2) The second principal subject of Isrāʾīliyyāt is the lives and deeds of the mystics of Islam, the ancient men of piety who flourished during the period known as that of the Banū Isrāʾīl ("the people of Israel").

bibliography:

Goldziher, in: rej. 44 (1902), 65; S.D. Goitein, in: Tarbiz, 6 (1935), 89–101, 510–22.

[Haïm Z'ew Hirschberg]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Israelite." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Aug. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Israelite." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 18, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/israelite

"Israelite." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved August 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/israelite

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.