Islamization and Arabization of egypt
Submitted by dhimmi no more (United States), Mar 21, 2007 at 20:39
I told you there is so much to cover and there are no simple answers but these are the questions that have pre-occupied me since reading Wansbrough and Becker and the beauty of Egypt. there is plenty of extant material and one can indeed find so much and the only difficulty is that one's command of Arabic, Coptic and Greek must be really good. But just a few remarks to make
The word ummi does not really mean uneducated as Muslims tell us. In Q7-157-158 it says: al-rasul al-nabi al-'ummi
The word rasul means the prophet. The word nabi is a loan word from Hebrew and it also means prophet, but in the Qur'an the word nabi is only used for Biblical prophets and it would be strange if the author is saying : (Muhammad) the prophet the prophet. So one can very much say that what the auhtor is saying that Muhammad is the peophet who also belongs to the Biblical line of prophets and this makes him a nabi. Do you get it?
Now the word ummi must be read as gentile or the _non Jewish nabi/rasul_
This does not mean that if you check Lisan al-3Arab dictionary you will find the word defined as gentile but it clearly means gentile (see Wansbrough and Cook) and notice that Lisan al-3Arab is post masora so it is contaminated by the readings of the Muslim masorites.
Also notice that word Iqra' in Q96-1 really means recite and not read as Muslims tell us.
So Muhammad or his allah claimed that he is the gentile nabi/prophet.
Was Muhammad uneducated? We just do not know, and it was the bogus exegesis of such word in the Qur'an and of the word iqra' that led the 3Ulma to tell us that muhammad was uneducated!
It was misreading of the Qur'an that generated such bogus exegesis of such word.
And this is why it is really naive to believe anything in the islamic historical tradition because it is all late, tendentious as would be expected and it is very anachronistic as all the material that we have come from a different time and that is the 3rd century and afterwards and a different place and that is Mesopotamia and iran and was written by no Arabs.
As for the memory of the Arabs: this is nothing but bogus way to explain the absurd nonsense we have in the tradition.
The point that I was making is that there are indeed significant problems with the history of early islam and I gave you the example of the words islam and muslimeen. It is indeed strange that the muslim sources are silent about both words (for a review of extant Muslim sources between 633CE and 750CE see Hoyland survey) if this is indeed a new religion that was fully fledged in 632CE when muhammad died then why we do not see the word islam (until the turn of the 8th century) and the word Muslimeen (until 667CE) in the extant Muslim sources.
What is even more strange is that the name of Muhammad is _absent_ in the extant Muslim sources for about 72 years after his death. How do you explain all of that and why did those invaders call themsleves al-muhajiroon (Moagaritoi in Greek and Mihgraye in Syriac) and not arabs and not muslims. How can we explain all this? The only way one can explain all of this is to admit that the arab historians made things up and that the so called great memory of the arabs was nothing but bogus historical material that mean nothing and get us no where.
It could also mean that indeed the arab polity that invaded the Middle east did not have an identified religion and Islam just did not exist as we know it and it was still in the process of being formed in the Middle East and not in the Hijaz and all that had to be done is to look back and find find a prophet and for reasons we still do not understand the Arab polity elected this new religion that was emerging and this indeed as was explained by becker is a better explanation for the linguistic/cultural shift and then the relligious shift that took place in Egypt following the arab invasion which means that the arabs were only catalysts for such change.
Stay tuned for more.
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 (2098) on this item
Comment on this item
Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum. Daniel J. Pipes