Mohammed Ibraheem Ahmed
Mohammed Ahmed has been awarded the Woolf Institute Cambridge Scholarship to commence his PhD studies in 2020 in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies under the supervision of Dr Andrew Marsham.
Mohammed is analysing the exegesis of Al-Tabari (d.923 CE), focussing on the representation of Medinan Jews. This work is widely considered to be the most comprehensive early tafsir work, and it provides meticulous detail regarding the life of the Jews of Medina and their interaction with the religion of Islam. As the work of Al-Tabari follows three centuries after the prophetic migration from Mecca to Medina, it would be an interesting point of comparison with Mohammed's MPhil research, which utilised seventh century texts to conclude that Muslims and Jews in early Medinan society considered one another fellow believers, and there were very limited ideological or dogmatic barriers between them. Al-Tabari's later and more detailed account will serve as a significant comparison with the findings from the MPhil research. The shift from Medinan Jews as important actors in the early Islamic umma (as seventh century documents portray) to tangential communities who were necessarily distinct from and in some cases in opposition to early Muslims (as Al-Tarabi portrays) is an important trend that remains unclear in both academic and non-academic considerations of early Medina.
Mohammed is a previous awardee of the scholarship having undertaken the MPhil in Middle Eastern Studies: Muslim-Jewish Relations in 2019-20. He previously completed his BA in English and History at the University of Southampton.
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