In the figure of Abdall h b. al-Mub rak (118 181/736 797), we find a paragon of the fields of " ad th," "zuhd," and "jih d," as attested to by the large number of references to him in the classical Islamic texts. His superior rank as a ad th transmitter earned him the title commander of the faithful in ad th. He contributed to Islamic law at its early phases of development, practiced jih d, composed poetry, and participated in various theological discussions. In addition, Ibn al-Mub rak was a pioneer in writing on piety and was later regarded by many mystics as one of the earliest figures of Sufism. Ibn al-Mub rak s position during the formative period of Islamic thought illustrates the unique evolution of zuhd, ad th, and jih d; these form a junction in the biography of Ibn al-Mub rak in a way that distinctively illuminates the second/eighth-century dynamics of nascent Sunn identity. Furthermore, Ibn al-Mub rak s status as a fighter and pious figure of the Late Antique period reveals a great deal about the complex relationship between the early Muslim community and the religiously diverse setting which it inhabited. This critical and comprehensive monograph of Abdall h b. al-Mub rak situates him within the larger context of the social and religious milieu of Late Antiquity. It explores the formation of Sunn identity in the second Islamic century and demonstrates the way in which it manifested itself through networks of pious scholars who defined, preserved, and passed on what they understood to be normative Islamic practice and beliefs from one generation of Muslim intellectuals to another."