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So what do we now about the Qur'an as a text?

Reader comment on item: Dhimmis No More
in response to reader comment: Sectarian Milieu

Submitted by dhimmi no more (United States), Feb 10, 2018 at 11:29

The text here is the Qur'an a text in the words of Peters and the Qur'an is' "Text with no context"

And yes the study of the Qur'an is still far behind Biblical studies However, there is so much we know about the Qur'an as a text but where did it come from? We really don't know Could it be that the story of Othman burning copies of the Qur'an really happened and that Muslims destroyed their own history and may be burned Syriac texts? Compare with the Egyptians who did not burn let us say "The Gospel of Thomas" and elected to have it buried and the rest is history

However, we have the Qur'an albeit the 1923 Cairo Qur'an or the 1959 Tunisian Qur'an and this is what we know:

1. The Qur'an has a significant layer of Syriac which means that at least the Qur'an must have been composed in an area where Syriac would have been well understood otherwise the text would have no meaning and where else could this be but in al-Sham and Mesopotamia? al-Hijaz? Very unlikely

2. Yes the Qur'an has its share, as it should, of foreign words eg: Ethiopic, Hebrew, Persian, Latin, Greek, Egyptian and if we are to believe al-Tabari some undefined Indian language This again would place the Qur'an not in isolated Mecca but in the cosmopolitan al-Sham and Mesopotamia

3. The Qur'an tells us that the pagans made fun of Muhammad that he was just telling them stories of the ancients or Asateer al-Awaleen the likes of the story of Ahl al-Kahf and Dhul Qarnain and they already heard these stories being told before Were these stories known in Mecca? May be but more likely than not he heard them in the civilized Middle East And this is indeed why the Islamic Tradition tells us that he was a Tajir (trader) which makes you wonder that the tradition was,making things up

4. The Qur'an is a very heterogeneous book The way out? The tradition tells us it is because there was a Meccan period as well as a Medina period But it very well could be the Mecca and Medina periods are different because we have different authors

5. The problem of al-Kalam al-Mukarrar and Allah's habit of repeating himself in different literary forms. The tradition tells us it can be explained on the basis of Asbab al-Nuzul (reasons for revelation) However Wansbrough calls this phenomenon: Variant Traditions Which really means that the Qur'an has multiple authors Makes perfect sense

6. The strange literary phenomenon of al-Iltifat where the author of the Qur'an changes direction in mid sentence with change in subject and the object. al-Mufasereen tell us that this is eloquence at its best which is nonsense Another possibility: Could al-iltifat be present because of simple literary lacunas in the Qur'an text? I guess we will never know

7. The grammatical Quanic mistakes by the standards of CA of the 9th century could very well mean that the grammar of Quranic Arabic is not the same as that of CA after all how could Allah make mistakes in grammar?

8. Why would al-Mufasereen be unable to tell us what these al-Ahrf al-Muqata' or these strange words the likes of Ilaf and Kalala really mean? The Islamic Historical tradition fails to answer However, this could either mean that the Qur'an pre-dates Muhammad or the Qur'an was not canonized until al-Tabari told us what it really says in his Tafsir which was some 250-300 years after the death of Muhammad This is very puzzling!

9 Puin believes that the story of ahl al-Ayka pre-dated Muhammad by some 600-700 years after all this story is talking about Leuke Kome a city and a name that disappeared from the literary sources in the 2-3rd century and the name of the city became the Aramaic Hawra (white)

10 The Quran has its share of interpolation and al-Mufasereen knew that much eg: Q53:32 also Q74:31 These are clear interpolations al-Mufasereen explain it on the basis of of "Oh these are Medina verses" but why would be a Medina verse be placed in the middle of a Meccan Sura? Unless this is interpolation

11. The Quran has its share of editing as in al-Tabari editing of words the likes of MLK and is it Maaliki or Maliki in Surat al-Fatiha and Ya'soroon in Surat Yusuf 49 and most significant are the vast difference between the text that is Dhahir and the text that is Batin in the Sana' Codex Also notice that the Quranic Zakwa and Salwa (clearly from Syriac) are now edited as Arabic Zakat and Salat

This would be enough for now The Qur'an is for sure a strange text


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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Reader comments (80) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
1Nassim 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
1Attention 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
3Paying Palestinians [154 words]Glenda UrmacherJan 9, 2018 21:21241815
Bring Back Imperialism and Colonialism [199 words]DaveDec 26, 2017 21:24241676
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
al-Lugha al-'Amiayya [175 words]gato brancoJan 24, 2018 02:09241503
1al-Lugha al-'Amiyya v the language of Allah in Egypt [337 words]dhimmi no moreJan 24, 2018 11:35241503
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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