For plato and Q33:26 and reading history
Submitted by dhimmi no more (United States), Mar 4, 2007 at 07:14
Listen, where does it say anthing in 33:26 about a banu Quraiza? This is an allusion that you can read it any way you want. And the fact that the sources external to the canon tell us such a story as an exegesis to such Quranic allusion does not mean a thing. So you tell us where do you see the name of the tribe Banu Quraiza or the number of those that died or what really happened? Let me help you: There is non of this. A sophisticated historian of early islam might say that the Qur'an is only a midrash but this is also not true as the Qur'an is only a midrash for the Biblical material in it. You can also say that may be the story was transmitted orally and we know that human memory is just amazing. This is very true as we have the Vidas transmitted orally for a very long time. But this is only true in the case of transmssion of of that is regarded as a holy book but not of stories as stories seem to expand as time goes by.
The 3Ulama early on realized that the Quranic logias and pericopes do not make sense and they came up with the celebarted: "al-tafseer lel sahaba wa al-wa'well lel 3Ulama/jagiee3" or: "the tafseer (exegesis) is for the companions of Muhammad and the ta'weel (the exegesis by non companions) is for the 3Ulama/all" In other wrods what you are reading external to the canon is only the opinion of he who writes the exegesis as non of the companions of Muhammad wrote a book of exegesis. So such story could have happened but more likely than not it is the Qur'an that generated such a story. Now do you get it?
Now more likely than not this story is the topos of Ummam khaliya based on the above Quranic pericope and all the 3Ulama had to do is to spin a fancy Qissa (story) to explain it. And spinning they did.
Take the case of the story of Mariya al-Qibtiya in Q66. You will find nothing about anything in the Qur'an that has anything to do that there was such a person as mariya al-Qibtiya.
If you examine the sources internal to the Muslim tradtion you will find that there are two main stories here to explain Q66;
1. In Ibn Hisham's recension of Ibn Ishaq's sira you will have a primitive form of the story of Mariya al-Qibtiya but as time goes by the story expands (the Arabs like a good Qissa or good story) and we read that Muhammad sent a letter to al-Muqawqas (Cyrus) in Alexandira inviting him to become Muslim. Then we are told that al-Muqawqas thanked Muhammad and sent him a Coptic slave named mariya. But as time goes by we read that al-Muqawqas not only sent Mariya but he also sent to Muhammad food and yes honey and he also sent to muhammad the sister of Mariya whose name is: Shireen which is not a Coptic name but a Persian name (which makes me suspect that the hands of Persian 3Ulama were wroking on such story) and then for reasons unexlained we that the gifts of al-Muqawqas included a doneky and an ass called Daldul and Zarzur and there was also a castrated slave. So you can see how much unhistorical nonsense was produced by one sigle Quranic allusion.
2. Now if you read Ibn Kathir's ta'weel of Q66 he talks about Muhammad eating bad honey but nothing about Mariya la-Qibtiya or Daldul and Zarzur.
So you see: It is either Ibn Ishaq was correct and there was indeed a mariya al-Qibtiya or Ibn Kathir is correct and that Q66 is about Muhammad eating bad honey and they both cannot be correct.
Now this does not stop Muslims from making funny claims. In a the Topkapi (sp?) museum in Turkey we are told that the letter of Muhammad to al-Muqawqas is in an ivory box and is available at the museum. If there is forgery this one must be the mother of all forgeries.
But the final nail in the coffin of such story is that Egyptian sources in 642CE are silent about such story. No one recognized the Arabs and said: Oh these are the Arabs and their leader is Muhammad and that Cyrus sent a gift to him. Yes sources can be lost but in this case it was Cyrus who negotiated the surrender of Egypt to 3Amr ibn al3As but he did not seem to recognize the Arab invaders or Muhammad for this matter. And the final nail is the fact that when Muhammad sent (sic) this letter to Cyrus in 627CE as we are told by Muslims Cyrus was not even in Egypt as this was the time of the Persian invasion of Egypt. And Cyrus was not to return to Egypt until 631CE!
Do you see how easier it is when we have literary sources extrenal to the tradition?
In the case of banu Quriaza we have non and Rabbinical sources are even silent about any Jewish communities residing in al-Hijaz which makes you wonder with so much about Jewish people in the Qur'an it is more likely than not Islam has nothing to do with Arabia or the Hijaz for this matter.
So the story of banu Quraiza is just another Qissa or story that more likely than not never happened, but it is the topos of ummam khaliya, so counting the dead and naming names is no more than the big debates in Alexandria in the late antique period about Homeric exegesis. When you are dealing with fiction the only thing you will get is more fiction.
Now did Muahmmad exist? Yes, he did, and what is most surprising is that we hear about him early on not from Muslim sources but from sources external to the tradition and for sure post 633CE. The Muslim sources are silent about Muhammad for 72 years after his death. How do you explain it? It seems that only Allahu A3lam.
Now in regard to the Armenian genocide, I will not go back through your posts, but you tell me: Were there such a thing as the Armenain genocide? And were Armenians subjected to such atrocity in part because they were Christians? Here is your chance to tell us one more time.
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".
Reader comments (2100) on this item
Comment on this item
Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum. Daniel J. Pipes