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Sebeos -a 7th century Armenian author - on Mahomet

Reader comment on item: Uncovering Early Islam
in response to reader comment: Salvation history

Submitted by Ianus (Poland), Jun 8, 2012 at 08:44

Hi again , dhimmi no more

>Well I urge you to read Hoyland survey about all the extant Arabic as well as non Muslim literary sources from 632CE until 750CE and you will not find a single word about a fitna or the battle Siffin or even the so called al-Khulafa' al-Rashidun which I happen to believe that they never exised.<

A 7th century Armenian bishop and historian Sebeos , author of the so called "History of Heraclius" writes :

"Then God sent discord into the army of the sons of Ishmael. Their unity dissolved, they clashed with each other and divided into four parts. One part was in the Indian area. Another was that army which held Asorestan and the northern areas. Another was the one in Egypt and in the T'etal region. Another was in the Tachik area and at the place called Askarawn. They began fighting with each other and destroyed each other with endless killings. Now the troops who were in Egypt united with those in the [182] Tachik area and they killed their king and took the multitude of treasures as loot [g152]. They enthroned another king and returned to their places.

Now when their prince Mu'awiya, who was in Asorestan and was second to their king, saw what had happened, he united his troops and he too went to the desert. He killed the king whom they enthroned, battling with and severely destroying the troops in the Tachik area. He then returned to Asorestan in triumph...But the bloodshed of countless multitudes increased and intensified among the Ishmaelite armies. They engaged in frantic battles and killed each other. Nor were they able to stop even somewhat from wielding swords, taking captives and intense battles on land and sea, until Mu'awiya grew strong and conquered all of them. He subdued them, ruled as king over the property of the sons of Ishmael and made peace with everyone". (Sebeos, A History of Heraclius , Ch. 38)

So evidently the fitna was well known to the contemporaries and the facts and names Sebeos, writing in the late 660-ies or 670-ies adduces,neatly correspond to the traditional Moslem account, don't they?

>>When Moawiya felt he was losing ground, he made his soldiers attach pages of the Koran to their spears and wave them asking for arbitration.<<

>Wait a minute: papyri were very expensive back then and this is why they were reused again and again and destroying a papyrus was like burning money so i do not believe such story.<

Remember that we are dealing with an army that has just destroyed and looted the Sassanid Empire and large portions of the Byzantine Empire. With all the enormous swag in their hands they will hardly have cared about a few papyri or parchments they could grab at any monastery or city library at will without paying a dirhem.

> plus Muslims are not supposed to split the Qur'an or to have it destroyed <

You said that the Quran as such was to be canonized in three centuries while around AD 657 there were just pericopes and logias, i.e. loose fragments of what was supposed to have been recited by Mahomet. There seems to be no desecration of the Quran in the description then but rather a consistent use of it as loose fragments for "daily" use so to speak.

> but most damaging to this bogus story is that Mu3awiyya more likely than not was a Christian Arab from either Mesopotamia or the Syrian desert and he had nothing to to with al-Hijaz as how can a Muslim have a cross itched before his name as in the case of al-Ghadra bath in Syria? and why would a Muslim leader like him have a Syriac name and not an Arabic name as the word Mu3awiyya in Syriac means he who howls which in Arabic would have been al-3Awi<

If you believe Muawiyya had something to do with Christianity, then how will you exlplain what he writes to emperor Constans : "The letter of the Ishmaelite king to the Byzantine emperor Constans. The Ishmaelite prince Mu'awiya comes to Chalcedon and is vanquished by the Lord.

"If you want to spend your life in peace abandon that foolish faith which you learned from childhood. Deny that Jesus and turn to the great God whom I worship, the God of our father Abraham.

Send the multitude of your troops away from you, back to their own places. I shall make you a great prince in that region. I shall send ostikans to your city, examine all the treasures, and order them divided into four parts. [169] Three parts will go to me, one part to you. I will give you as many troops as you need, and take as tribute as much as you are able to give. Otherwise, how can that Jesus whom you call Christ—who was unable to save himself from the Jews—possibly save you from me?"

( Ibidem ,Ch. 36 )

>Let me remind you what we have about it was written 300 long years after such so called battle and it is all bogus<

Well, it can't be all bogus -even though parts of it definitely are , if a contemporary Armenian author (Armenia was under the Arab yoke from c. 661 on ) have heard of it. And in one place he even tells us how he learned those things : "We heard this [account] from men [who had returned] from captivity in Xuzhastan Tachkastan, who themselves had been eye-witnesses to the events described and narrated them to us." (Ibidem Ch. 30)

> and why would the penalty of al-zani wa al-zaniyya is stoning and not the Quranic whipping unless the Quranic material were not the source of islamic law early on or the Qur'an not yet canonized and to add insult to injury those Muhajiruun (this is what the invading Arabs called themselves early on) do not call themselves in the literary sources neither Muslims nor even Arabs and no mention of a Muhammad or his Qur'an and why is that?<

Sebeos writes :

" Although [the Arabs] were convinced of their close relationship, they were unable to get a consensus from their multitude, for they were divided from each other by religion. In that period a certain one of them, a man of the sons of Ishmael named Muhammad, a merchant, became prominent. A sermon about the Way of Truth, supposedly at God's command, was revealed to them, and [Muhammad] taught them to recognize the God of Abraham, especially since he was informed and knowledgeable about Mosaic history. Because the command had come from On High, he ordered them all to assemble together and to unite in faith. Abandoning the reverence of vain things, they turned toward the living God, who had appeared to their father, Abraham. Muhammad legislated that they were not to eat carrion, not to drink wine, not to speak falsehoods, and not to commit adultery. He said: "God promised that country to Abraham and to his son after him, for eternity. And what had been promised was fulfilled during that time when [God] loved Israel. Now, however, you are the sons of Abraham, and God shall fulfill the promise made to Abraham and his son on you. Only love the God of Abraham, and go and take the country which God gave to your father, Abraham. No one can successfully resist you in war, since God is with you..." (Ibidem Ch.30)

>>And may I ask you one question not necessarily connected to literary sources? In your opinion whose body is resting in the Green Mosque in Medina ? If it is not ... Mahomet, then whose body is it ?<<

>Who knows and who cares<

I don't know but I care and I can tell you why. In this tomb lies the answer to most questions posed by scholars. If one day this tomb is opened and/or broken into and the corpses are made available to forensic medicine, then we will be able either to corroborate or to refute what literary (hyper)critics say. Let's wait till Saudistan loses a war and Medina is temporarily or permanently occupied by -say- Israel or any other kafir power (except the US which seems to be a Saudi farm in terms of whose money decides the outcome of elections of the so called US "political elite" and the cnsistently pro-Islamic course of US policy) and a scientist is given a chance to do his work irrespective of stupid and angry Moslem mobs setting fire to Western embassies and doing suicide bombings.

>>I omit two other bodies buried with him and an empty spot nearby reserved you know for whom?<<

Oh let me guess and I'm just joking: 3A'isha right?

No ! Give it another try ! ;)


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