Baḥīrā
(928 words)

Baḥīrā was a monk featured in several “attestation stories” in sīra (biography) literature, that is, stories in which Muḥammad is recognised as a prophet before the actual beginning of his mission. According to the well known version of Ibn Isḥāq (d. 144/761–2?) and many later versions, this monk—whose name derives from the Syriac word bḥīrā, “tested (by God) and approved”—lived in Boṣrā, in southern Syria, and had learnt from a certain book that a new prophet was to appear. When Muḥammad travelled to Syria at a young age, the monk recognised him a…

Cite this page
Roggema, Barbara, “Baḥīrā”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE, Edited by: Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas, Everett Rowson. Consulted online on 20 November 2018 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_ei3_COM_23570>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: 9789004209824, 2011, 2011-3



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