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Q7:157 revisited and literature

Reader comment on item: Is Allah God? - Continued
in response to reader comment: Q7:157 - question for dhimmi no more

Submitted by dhimmi no more (United States), May 3, 2008 at 09:21

Jennifer wrote

While browsing the internet, I came across this article, and it reminded me of what you had written regarding Q7:157.

http://www.answering-islam.org/Shamoun/unlettered_prophet.htm

It argues and agrees with a few points that you brought up - that Mohammed was not illiterate, that "ummi" does not mean illiterate, not to mention, was the "prophet" of Q7:157 Mohammed or not.

I thought this article was interesting. I wondered what you would think of it.

It's a bit long, but at least I was hoping to know what you think of these guys' application of Arabic to Q7:157.

Thanks in advance.

Interesting article. However, the Qur'an in the words of Peters is "text with no context" and if you are reading literature which the Qur'an is then never assume that the Qur'an is even talking about Muhammad and the questions would be:

1. Was there really a historical Muhammad? and remember that we cannot even reconstruct a biography of him by reading the Qur'an only. Well if you look at the literary sources about Muhammad that were transmitted in the form of a biography (ibn Hisahm's redaction of Ibn Ishaq's Sirat rasul Allah and Waqidi's al-Maghazi) they are indeed very late and very tendentious and are no more than tafseer or exegesis of an opaque revelation and that is the Qur'an and they are not independent historical sources

2. So was he educated or not? We still have to answer question number one first.

3. Is Muhammad the al-rasul al-nabi or the prophet, the prophet (that belongs to the biblical line of prophets) well this verse does not say so. So we should not assume that the subject of Q7:157 is Muhammad

4. But the most significant gap in the life of the so called Muhammad is the fact that Arabic language literary sources between 632CE when we are told that Muhammad died and for 72 years after his death you will never find his name in the extant Arabic language sources (see Hoyland survey). Yes sources can be lost but the silence of the sources here is very significant. Which makes you suspect that may be the Arab polity that invaded the Middle East in 632CE had no defined religion and that islam was indeed in the process of being defined and Islam is the product of the debates in a Judeo-Christian milieu (as suggeted by Wansbrough) in Mesopotamia and for reasons we still do not understand the Arab polity opted for this new religion and the Ulama in the 3rd century of Islam had to look back and invent a prophet of this new religion. I do believe that this is indeed what really happened. But like anything about the history of early islam, we will never know.

Submitting....

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