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Covey: St Thomas Aquinas and the dilemma of the single book!

Reader comment on item: How Fares Western Civ?
in response to reader comment: It is Written - When the Spoken WORD Became the Written WORD

Submitted by dhimmi no more (United States), Aug 26, 2020 at 08:35

You wrote:

>thus the importance of "it is written."

There is a known tradition, that Muslims have never challenged except in the past 40-50 years, and this is what we are told happened:

'Amr ibn al-'As the Arab/Muslim invader of Egypt in 642 AD wrote to the then Khalifa 'Omar about what he should do with the books in the Library of Alexandria and 'Omar's response can be rendered as:

"With regard to the books that you mentioned, if there is anything (in these books) that is the same as in the Book of Allah then there is no need to preserve them (read this as burn them) and if you find in these books (writings) contrary to what is in the Book of Allah then there is no need to preserve them (read this as burn them)"

We are told that this is indeed what 'Amr Ibn al-'As did, he burned these books in the furnaces of the bathhouses of Alexandria and the pagan Greek learning is gone!

This story had been refuted but what is most amazing Muslims never refuted this fable and it was Western historians that refuted this story

Notice that there is a similar story about the books of the Persian library in Ctesiphon, Mesopotamia!

No doubt that the written word is powerful if understood within Sitz im Leben not as an isolated text.

May be St Thomas Aquinas had Islam in mind after all we are told that the Qur'an is not just a moral guide but it is also a book of law, science and medicine and may be this is why al-Khalifa al-Ma'moon established Dar al-Hikma in Baghdad in the 9th century AD and some time before Islamic orthodoxy took over, and the books of Greek learning were translated from Greek to Syriac and then to Arabic and the written

And remember that Muslims burned not only books written by "pagans" but also some copies of the Qur'an that were burned by the Khalifa Othman the same Othman that collected the Qur'an.

Submitting....

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