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Carl Becker revisited! Language, identity, and historical continuity v discontinuity

Reader comment on item: Dhimmis No More
in response to reader comment: Syrianized Arabic, Mekka and Quraysh

Submitted by dhimmi no more (United States), Feb 3, 2018 at 09:31

I wrote

(With respect I doubt very much that you know Egyptian Arabic or al-Lugha al-Fusha al-Haditha]

And Gato wrote:

>I do not claim to speak either EA or fuSHa, but I know enough in order to read the books of prof. al-Jabry (the critique of the Arab mind) -

I'm not familiar with the author or his book However, almost all books are written in MCA

BTW Haeri mentioned that Madboli the famous bookstore owner stated that books written in EA sell like how cakes because this is the language that Egyptians appreciate and understand Madboli also blamed the fact that Egyptians don't buy enough books written in MCA because it is an alien language

>only I do not know whether his fuSHa was Haditha or not

That I cannot answer without reading the book first

>- and I am sufficiently acquainted with the grammar of EA and know certain coloquial phrases although I have to admit that I do nor understand very much of Egyptian films they speak just too rapidly :)

And that is the point Students of Arabic, as per Niloofar Haeri, are really surprised when they visit Egypt and try to practice the Arabic that they have learned They discover that they cannot understand Egyptian Arabic and when they try to speak MCA Egyptians stare at them not comprehending what was said

You need to read her. It is a very good and fair introduction to EA v MCA and that EA is really a language that is under siege because its competition with the language of Allah

BTW I got to watch some Egyptians movies and I loved Leila Murad's classic "Ghazal el-Banat" from the golden age of Egyptian Cinema and Adel Imam's "al-Irhabi" from the 1990's and indeed most Arabs understand EA because of Egyptian movies and TV shows but it does not work the other way

>Actually I have said that linguistically EA is not so distant from fuSHa

It is very different and more likely than not this was why you could not understand what they were talking about in the movie(s) that you were watching The grammar and syntax are different the case endings disappeared, lots of metathesis and it is full of words that are not Arabic words

> than Italian is from Latin, and this is certainly true, but on the other hand I admit that sociolinguistically the diglossic situation of both pairs EA/fuSHa and LAT/IT(in medieval Itally) is quite similar.

You got my point and that is indeed the problem But why would it be OK in Iran to speak Persian and not Arabic and in Egypt Egyptians invent a new form of Arabic but their Arabic or EA is not appreciated or regarded as a real language? As I told you it would be interesting to read about the debate in Italy about "the language of the common people" and the "language of the learned" Italian v Latin this is not unlike the debate about EA v MCA

>It is absolutely certain that Tabari and other commentators were unable to understand certain words in Qur'an and this is exactly what I wanted to say and have said, you just have to read my text more attentively. In this case I completely agree with you.

You are being very kind Gerd Puin once said that every 5th word in the Qur'an has no clear meaning! It is also odd that for example the Semitic word (eg: Syriac) for bread, Lahm, becomes the word for Meat in Arabic and the Syriac word Hanpe for pagan becomes Arabic Hanif or believer and more evidence that al-Tabari had no command of the Syriac language which I believe is an essential part of understanding what the Qur'an says

BTW did you read his take on the Quranic ahl al-Iyka also ahl Layka? Very interesting

>Syrianized Arabic in which the initial Qur'an the most probably was conceived was spoken

I do believe that the Qur'an started as a Christian lectionary of a Syro-Arabic community that resided in Syria and Mesopotamia It has nothing to do with Mecca or al-Hijaz

Did Muhammad exist? I don't know but there must be a founder for any religion He is the one that starts the spark and then the pious (al-'Ulama and al-Mufasereen) takes over as in Crone's: "Religions don't spring fully fledged from the heads of Prophets"

But where did that founder live? We don't know but more likely than not it was no Mecca

>along all the semicircle starting with Madain al-Saleh(now in Saudi Arabia) through Palestine and Syrian through Norhern Mesopotamia as long as Hira. Where was exactly the Makka(or Bakka, mentioned in Qur'an several times) where Muhammed started his preaching is probably impossible to tell, at least with the current stand of scholarship.

Agree. Did you read Wansbrough: "Res Ipsa Loquitur History and Mimiesis" He was able to detach the origin of Islam from al-Hijaz and Muhammad from the Qur'an Very good reading

>Of course the majority of scholars still think, often uncritically but not all(see bellow), that it is the current al-Makka in Hijaz, however some scholars found there are numerous difficulties with such an assumption. Some scholars (as Gerald Hawting or late Patricia Crone) were advancing a hypothesis(half-muted) that it can be somewhere in North-Western Saudi Arabia or Jordan (e.g. Petra). Gerald Hawting was also advancing a hypothesis that the "Mekkans", the adversaries of Muhammad were not "pagans" but rather monotheists (with the syncretism of pagan elements of course) and this would also point to Jordan or Syria which were fairly christianized by 600. However this is only on the level of hypothesis. Patricia Crone has not completely excluded the possibility that it can be the actual Mekka of Hijaz, but she has said it is impossible to prove or disprove until archeological excavations are allowed there. And this is not likely to happen any time soon. Recently prof Aziz al-Azmeh has written a book in which he endeavors substantiate the traditional opinion about Mekka and the paganism of Quraysh by scholarly arguments.

The reality here is we just do not know and the Qur'an is not of any help You cannot even reconstruct Muhammad's life by reading the Qur'an in isolation It is, in the words of Peters: "Text with no context"

>Concerning why Egyptians do not speak Egyptian anymore and Persians speak Persian you have given an answer yourself (Egyptian lost they rebellion against Umayyad, Egyptians were unable or unwilling to do "if you cannot beat them then join them") so I have nothing to add there.

It makes you wonder that the revenge of the Persians for losing the long war with the Greeks between 616CE until 628CE was to change course: Create a new militant religion (islam) control the emerging Arab/Muslim polity and destroy the Greek empire and in the process preserve the "superior" Persian language and culture

Machiavellian style!

But again nothing is ever simple


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Reader comments (80) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
2Nassim Nicholas Taleb: "Minority Rule" and the process of Islamization of Egypt! [188 words]dhimmi no moreMar 1, 2018 09:18242393
2Why did Muslims attack Persia? [406 words]PrashantFeb 17, 2018 12:44242278
2Attention Prashant: The Arab invasion of Persia and the recent change in the paradigm of "What Really Happened" [724 words]dhimmi no moreFeb 20, 2018 09:08242278
2SUBJ1 [44 words]anonJan 11, 2018 09:05241827
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Christian population declines [38 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
JesseDec 24, 2017 09:25241657
Dear Dr. Pipes [157 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Debanjan BanerjeeJan 1, 2018 01:18241657
Dear Dr. Pipes [52 words]Debanjan BanerjeeJan 2, 2018 22:11241657
Dear Dr. Pipes [85 words]Debanjan BanerjeeJan 2, 2018 22:59241657
2The most absurd claim by our dear Deb and he has a long history of absurd claims Right our dear Deb? [60 words]dhimmi no moreJan 3, 2018 08:06241657
1Our dear Deb and more gems! [74 words]dhimmi no moreJan 7, 2018 08:12241657
Happy new year dear DNM [26 words]Debanjan BanerjeeJan 7, 2018 12:02241657
2Debanjan exposes the mastermind behind ISIS [220 words]JeffJan 7, 2018 20:54241657
Dear Jeff [101 words]Debanjan BanerjeeJan 15, 2018 08:42241657
2al-Taqiyya Deb's style! [93 words]dhimmi no moreJan 15, 2018 10:08241657
3Our dear Deb: Mullah كمال الحيدري says that the Qur'an is a corrupted book! What a disaster [146 words]dhimmi no moreJan 15, 2018 14:24241657
1Sleuth D.B.exposes even more on the hidden hands behind ISIS [307 words]JeffJan 20, 2018 18:42241657
4Dhimmi historians [31 words]SteinDec 21, 2017 22:50241645
Imperial Church [187 words]gato brancoDec 20, 2017 04:12241625
1I disagree with your statement about Spain in 1200 [285 words]gato brancoDec 20, 2017 02:47241623
2Big Mistake By Muslims [72 words]DavidDec 19, 2017 05:00241613
1Outside ME no better [69 words]VijayDec 18, 2017 10:23241594
1Christians and Jews, start saving up for the Jizya! [314 words]Michael SDec 12, 2017 10:47241547
1Comedy time! And how to punish the US for moving the embassy in Israel to Jerusalem! Read and laugh [55 words]dhimmi no moreDec 10, 2017 16:40241523
1The Arabization and Islamization of Egypt [335 words]dhimmi no moreDec 9, 2017 08:47241503
1Were the early 20th century Turks the only nasty Muslims? [97 words]KephaDec 15, 2017 20:07241503
7Entire conflict explained in less than 20 lines [203 words]G MarcusDec 19, 2017 00:57241503
Arabs, Copts and Goths [266 words]gato brancoDec 20, 2017 02:01241503
3Arabian imperialism [86 words]dhimmi no moreDec 21, 2017 07:23241503
3Islam came to the world at the right time (for them) [451 words]PrashantDec 22, 2017 13:16241503
1The 4th option is neither mentioned nor considered [270 words]PrashantDec 25, 2017 03:23241503
1Arabian Monotheism Muhammadan's style And what happens when the barbarian invade the lands of the civilized [986 words]dhimmi no moreDec 26, 2017 16:56241503
1Islamization but no Arabization: Iran and historical discontinuity v historical continuity [567 words]dhimmi no moreDec 27, 2017 09:12241503
2Are some languages superior to others? Greek Egyptian language and Arabic in Egypt post 642CE [597 words]dhimmi no moreDec 28, 2017 08:30241503
SO what about the West [37 words]Debanjan BanerjeeJan 1, 2018 01:22241503
1Islamic invaders were not imperialists and western imperialists were not religious tyrants. [607 words]PrashantJan 2, 2018 05:56241503
3Our dear Deb and wearing black shoes! What a disaster! [307 words]dhimmi no moreJan 2, 2018 09:47241503
Persians [150 words]gato brancoJan 2, 2018 11:57241503
2A few questions for our dear Deb whose Hindu ancestors were brutalized by the Muslim invaders of India [290 words]dhimmi no moreJan 2, 2018 12:14241503
3Hey our dear Deb: The Qur'an says that Paul is the prophet of Allah! What a disaster! [77 words]dhimmi no moreJan 3, 2018 08:14241503
1Persian and Egyptian languages: Scripts v spoken languages [474 words]dhimmi no moreJan 7, 2018 09:09241503
2Hey our dear Deb I have another question: Is it true that Allah converted to Islam in Q3:18? What a disaster! [107 words]dhimmi no moreJan 7, 2018 12:11241503
Christianity is still a Western imperial legacy [116 words]Debanjan BanerjeeJan 8, 2018 22:26241503
Once more Persians and Copts [219 words]gato brancoJan 15, 2018 01:57241503
1Egypt and Iran v Arab invasion and Islamization and Arabization [866 words]dhimmi no moreJan 15, 2018 08:48241503
2Our dear Deb and Arabian imperialism and the Shi'a tell us that the Qur'an is a corrupted book! [438 words]dhimmi no moreJan 15, 2018 10:01241503
1Addendum: Greek v Egyptian language in late antique Egypt! The demise of Greek and the ascendancy of the "mother tongue"! [336 words]dhimmi no moreJan 18, 2018 10:30241503
Persian writings in Arabic [324 words]gato brancoJan 20, 2018 06:44241503
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1The 'mother tongue" The long version! [692 words]dhimmi no moreJan 25, 2018 08:35241503
1Iran and the "mother tongue"! Persian v Arabic! [1022 words]dhimmi no moreJan 25, 2018 11:27241503
Qur'anic Arabic etc. [615 words]gato brancoJan 26, 2018 01:27241503
1Iran and Egypt, secular culture v Asateer al-Awaleen in religious garb! [634 words]dhimmi no moreJan 27, 2018 10:53241503
1Persian and Egyptian Arabic and the "mother tongue" [1364 words]dhimmi no moreJan 31, 2018 11:50241503
1Addendum The Quranic word al-Ruum is a loan word from Syriac [46 words]dhimmi no moreJan 31, 2018 12:01241503
1sermo plebeius and sermo urbanus Italian v Latin and Egyptian Arabic v Classical Arabic [179 words]dhimmi no moreFeb 1, 2018 08:19241503
Syrianized Arabic, Mekka and Quraysh [483 words]gato brancoFeb 2, 2018 02:23241503
1Footnote: مملكة الانباط or the Nabataean Kingdom and Islam [131 words]dhimmi no moreFeb 2, 2018 09:39241503
1Carl Becker revisited! Language, identity, and historical continuity v discontinuity [1160 words]dhimmi no moreFeb 3, 2018 09:31241503
fuSHa and colloquial [361 words]gato brancoFeb 6, 2018 01:20241503
L-H-M, Hanpe, lectionary etc. [485 words]gato brancoFeb 6, 2018 03:28241503
2Lahma, Hanpe v Lahm, hanif Oh and Ummi or is it 'Am ha-ares (Hebrew) [1321 words]dhimmi no moreFeb 6, 2018 18:33241503
1Language and identity: The sacred v the profane? [660 words]dhimmi no moreFeb 7, 2018 07:48241503
1Footnote: Is the Qur'an a ܩܪܝܢܐ or Qeryana or كتاب وعظ or Kitab Wa'z or Lectionary? It must be! [134 words]dhimmi no moreFeb 7, 2018 12:50241503
Arab vowels, Qeryana, Samaritans etc. [745 words]gato brancoFeb 8, 2018 03:52241503
1Language and identity: Disney and Egyptian Arabic v Modern Classical Arabic! [115 words]dhimmi no moreFeb 8, 2018 10:18241503
Boring for everyone [62 words]gato brancoFeb 9, 2018 02:20241503
Sectarian Milieu [327 words]gato brancoFeb 9, 2018 03:22241503
1Language, Identity, Culture, Vowels and Accent! [736 words]dhimmi no moreFeb 9, 2018 08:13241503
Language, Identity, Culture and Old Civilizations are not conjured away! [1039 words]dhimmi no moreFeb 9, 2018 10:49241503
1Language and identity: The sacred v the profane? And BBC Arabic is a joke! [240 words]dhimmi no moreFeb 10, 2018 07:38241503
John Wansbrough's Sectarian Milieu: The Abbasids and the sacred and the profane [569 words]dhimmi no moreFeb 10, 2018 08:08241503
1So what do we now about the Qur'an as a text? [788 words]dhimmi no moreFeb 10, 2018 11:29241503
Dr Mohmed Rahoma on the language of the Qur'an and that it is not Classical Arabic and the Quranic وشهد شاهد من اهلها [196 words]dhimmi no moreFeb 15, 2018 10:09241503
1Thanks for the article 'Dhimmis No More' [601 words]PrashantDec 8, 2017 11:29241498
There are differences [50 words]bernardDec 18, 2017 19:28241498
2So... [13 words]AlexDec 7, 2017 21:00241490
Let's Win the War of Ideas [212 words]DaveDec 7, 2017 18:12241489

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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