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Too many negative things are contained in the traditional early history of Islam to reject it all as a fiction.

Reader comment on item: Uncovering Early Islam
in response to reader comment: Siffin revisited: The motif of the Qur'an impaled on lances and Noth's Quellenkrirtische

Submitted by Ianus (Poland), Jun 8, 2012 at 06:30

Hi, dhimmi no more !

I fully share the view that what Moslems call "the Quran" and the theological literature around it (the never ending tedious and barren "Quranic interpretation" industry) is a later forgery and compilation designed to serve a definite political and ideological end. But to my mind it doesn't necessarily imply negation of traditional early Moslem history. The account of that history is consistent enough and explains a general line of development of the Near East from around the time of Mahomet's death through the tragic downfall of the Sassanid Empire and disasters and losses of the Byzantine Empire. When we deny this account on literary grounds what we get is a historical Black Hole (of how many years?) with lots and lots of ascertained historical facts as totally inexplicable, illogical and disconnected from historical reality.

It goes without saying that Arabs and Moslems are notorious liars and great myth-makers so we have to see anything brought up by them with utmost caution. But why should we deny facts these myth-makers and boasters admit which show them and their so called "prophet" in such a grim and negative light?If they invented the sirah, why didn't they make it a perfect hagiography -with no crimes,no frauds and no no lies they ascribe to Mahomet? After all any evil things we learn about him come from later Moslem literature. Why didn't they just delete them all ? Why e.g. these recurrent stories of assassinations of critics ,including the most horrifying account of Asma bint Marwan's slaughter ? If they were just lying, why did they tell us e.g. about the ridda-the great anti-Mahometan uprising among the Arab tribes after the death of Mahomet? Didn't they understand that boasting of an Allah-sent prophet and almost a universal rejection of his servile doctrine by the "chosen" people of Allah are hardly to be reconciled? Or as in the case of Siffin why should they have invented the story which incidentally neatly explains the rise of the first schism in Islam, namely the khawarijs?If we reject the story as fiction, do we still have a better story to account for this schism persistent also in later generations?

You write also :

>Now let me tell you what he tells us about the so called Battle of Siffin and I quote

"Finally we make tentative suggestion. In Sasanian historical tradition there is a report on a battle which erupted because one of two parties had defaulted on a treaty. During the battle a copy of the treaty was struck on a lance and brought against the offending party. Might there not be a literary between this tradition and the well known motif of the copies of the Qur'an stuck on the lances of Mu'awiya's part at Siffin."

Sounds familiar right?"

It does sound familiar and in my eyes corroborates the otherwise well known fact that the Arab and Moslem mind is essentially barren,unoriginal and incpable of truly inventing anything - least of all their Arab religion which is a giant plagiarism.

But secondly and more importantly, finding a precedent and a motif for something is no way proving that this something didn't happen or even couldn't have happened. Quite the contrary! Imitation and mimicrying is as natural and massive -or perhaps even more massive - than inventing things and ideas. Just think of how many Trojan horses have been built since Odyseus' days; how many Cannae-style battles have been fought since Hannibal's victory in Apulia? How many tricks described in Frantinus' "Strategemata" have been applied again and again in the centuries after his death? Maybe in a few centuries when the memory of history is completely lost nobody will believe that General Allenby really captured Jerusalem from the Turk in 1917 basing his actions upon Isaiah 31:5 ?


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