In their sı-ra accounts, al-T.abarı-and Ibn Kathı-r portray the event of ʿA - mir

and Arbad’s assassination attempt in very different ways. Al-T.abarı-yet again controls his account by presenting only one report, again from Ibn Ish. a-q, while Ibn Kathı-r’s sı-ra account appears as a confused jumble of reports and commentary. And yet, further examination reveals a number of important aspects to this story that uniquely fit the structure of each author’s account. Since both al-T.abarı-and Ibn Kathı-r incorporate similar versions of Ibn Ish. a-q’s report in their sı-ra accounts, it serves as a kind of standard version of the story, and so the literary elements it relays reveal that Muh.ammad, at this point in his life, has reached the pinnacle of his power as Prophet of God and has realized the final fulfillment of his supernatural archetype. In this account, ʿA - mir and Arbad attempt to kill Muh.ammad and yet are unable to accomplish

this task due either to divine intervention or to Muh. ammad’s casting of an illusion; ʿA

- mir threatens war and Muh.ammad prays to God for protection

against him; finally, both ʿA - mir and Arbad are later killed in spectacular

fashion by God. At no point does Ibn Ish. a-q relate how the news of their deaths reaches Muh.ammad and it may be that he had no need for this type of information. He had reached the point in his prophethood at which he knew that his prayers would be answered by God’s direct intervention into human affairs, making any human report of the men’s deaths irrelevant. But Ibn Kathı-r’s account reveals that there were other considerations that

troubled medieval Muslim scholars about this story, particularly the timing of this event. ʿA

- mir is mentioned in connection to a much earlier event at Biʾr

Maʿu-na, and this is the timing preferred by Ibn Kathı-r. He states this outright and provides reports that either expressly state that ʿA

- mir’s untimely demise is

connected to the earlier story or that at least imply an earlier timeline of events than that provided by Ibn Ish. a-q and al-T.abarı-. Another point of consideration is the role of Arbad and his connection to Su-rat al-Raʿd. Since the relevant verses of this su-ra relate God’s ability to hurl thunderbolts, the story of Arbad is the most closely connected to this theme. And yet, Ibn Kathı-r favors the role of ʿA

- mir as lead villain in this story, relating many reports that

include him to the exclusion of Arbad. He does this to better support his argument that connects the timing of this event to Biʾr Maʿu-na, but by doing

so he creates an internal inconsistency, since Arbad is at no point connected to the betrayal and murder of the Muslims sent out by Muh.ammad. Thus, Ibn Kathı-r must include reports that contain the stories of both men, and this leads to the chaotic appearance of his account in this genre.