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The oldest Qur'an and a slight correction

Reader comment on item: Britain's Encounter with Islamic Law
in response to reader comment: Mansoor - oldest "Bibles"

Submitted by dhimmi no more (United States), Apr 13, 2008 at 09:37

I forgot to mention that the Muslim masorites during the process of editing the Quranic text, the dots (nuqat) were added to the rasm so one can read the letters that have similar morphology and example here would be the letters beh (B), teh (T), Theh (Th) and without such dots you really cannot read the rasm

Without the efforts of the masorites we would not have been able to read the Qur'an and I suspect that at times the masorites did not even get it and an example here would be the name IBRHM or Abraham where in modern Arabic we would write as: 'IBRaaHiiM where the aa is a long alif that does not exist in the rasm and the ii following the heh is the letter yeh that also does exist in the rasm but without the two dots under the slope of the letter. Now notice that if you also add a long alif after the heh instead of the yeh we will have: 'IBRaaHaam or Ibraham (notice that the letter yeh and the letter alif maksora have similar morphology and in the old texts the alif maksora was used as an alif in the middle of a word). So one can very much argue that the Quranic name must have been Ibraham and not Ibrahim.

But like any thing else in this opaque revelation we will never know

So you can see that the text of the Qur'an did not drop from the sky and it must have taken up to 300 years to have a fixed text that can be read.

Now if we turn to Hoyland survey (Hoyland collected all the extant literary sources about early Islam be it papyri, coins, epigraphy etc... between 632CE when Muhammad died and 750CE or the end of the dynasty of the Umayyads) you will not find a copy of the Qur'an and the truth is there was no Qur'an before 750CE

If you turn to Christian and Syriac sources we do not hear about the Qur'an before the late 8th century and you know that the sources are not talking about a text but about the Muslim law which is surat al-baqara.

Patricia Crone wrote that: "Religions do nto spring fully fledged from the heads of prophets, old civilizations are not conjured away." Which means that the concept of al-jahiliya or that islam was indeed historical discontinuity as porposed by the Islamic historical tradition to explain the rise of Islam must be dismissed and in actual fact evidence we have support Crone's above claim. In 632CE when Muhammad died there was no Quranic text, or books of Islamic law, or collections of the syaing of Muhammad and even the Arabic language was very defective (see chancery papyri by the Umayyads) and it took lots of work by the great grammarians to stabilize the Arabic alphabet, morphology, garmmar and syntax and this is why Wansbrough's arguments that the Qur'an could not have been canonized and became stable before the 3rd century makes lots of sense

As for the Topkapi and the Tashkent (sp?) and the Mushaf in the Hussein's mosque in Cairo non of them seem to date before the early 9th century and all of them are written in Kufic which is the rasm that lacks the dots, and the short vowels and long vowels and the hamza and the shadda and the sukun and where the morphology of Arabic letters was still not stable which makes me wonder that indeed when you read Tabari's great work on the Muslim masora you realize that a similar text existed and he was sorting out what this opaque revelation and strange text was really saying

Mansoor? I'm afraid to say that if this is what they teach them in Pakistan then his education is uncritial and poor. It just makes you wonder how can he comment on the Qur'an a book that he cannot read in Arabic?

As for the Bible are you aware that exant fragments of the NT from the early second century were found in Oxyrhynchus in Upper Egypt? And yes this does not mean that a complete copy existed that early but also it does not mean that there was no such copy either

Submitting....

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