The tafsı-r accounts of al-T.abarı-and Ibn Kathı-r for the Qurʾa-n verses related to this event each contains dozens of reports, but each author lists only one or two reports for the story of ʿA
- mir b. al-T.ufayl and Arbad b. Qays in this genre. Thus,
whereas this story is important enough to receive its own sub-heading in both works of sı-ra, it plays an extremely minor role in both tafsı-r accounts, relating merely one possible interpretation of these verses and one possible setting for the occasion of their revelation. Al-T.abarı-does not connect this story to the revelation of a Qurʾa-n verse in his sı-ra and his lack of certainty regarding any such correlation between event and revelation continues in his work of tafsı-r. He provides no introduction as he did for the Qurʾa-nic section on H. a-t.ib b. Abı-Baltaʿa, but instead embeds only two reports that tell the story of ʿA
and Arbad among dozens of others, and places one each within his explanations of two distinct verse groupings. Ibn Kathı-r connects this story to a Qurʾa-n revelation in two of the six reports in his sı-ra, but relates only one report that contains this story in his Tafsı-r – the report from al-T.abara-nı-that serves as the ﬁnal account related for this event in his work of sı-ra. But, unlike al-T.abarı-, Ibn Kathı-r includes a detailed introduction to this report in which he provides his own interpretation of its details and its importance. Both authors, as well, include reports that relate what Muh.ammad said upon hearing thunder and provide an element of folk magic in which believers can protect themselves from lightning by following the prophetic sunna. In this genre, too, the theme of divine protection and divine wrath are continued, but do not focus on this particular story. Both al-T.abarı-and Ibn Kathı-r include reports that indicate alternative situations in which God displays his wrath through lightning, but include no other speciﬁc situations in which Muh.ammad is saved from assassination besides that of ʿA
- mir and Arbad, and it may be
this doubly miraculous element of the story that makes it so appealing for our authors that they would include only these characters in their works of sı-ra.