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Footnote: The Quranic al-kalam al-mukarrar and iltifat

Reader comment on item: Uncovering Early Islam
in response to reader comment: Too many negative things are contained in the traditional early history of Islam to reject it all as a fiction.

Submitted by dhimmi no more (United States), Jun 9, 2012 at 11:16

Hi Ianus

This is only a footnote: I keep mentioning to you about these two literary phenomena al-kalam al-mukarrar and iltifat so this is what they really and I have to use Arabic script but I know you will get the point

Indeed both of these literary phenomena have been an embarrassing affair to the Islamic tradition and you will see why

1. al-kalam al-mukarrar or الكلم المكرر is really the fact that Allah is in the habit of repeating himself ad nauseum and here is what Sheikh al-Azhar tells us (for those of you that can read Arabic) about it http://elazhar.com/qadaiaux/8.asp and what he tells us that this phenomenon can be explained on the basis of what is called asbab al-nuzul (reasons for revelations) or Allah must have had a reason to reveal the same literary material more than once

But the problem is this is far from the truth and here is an example

If we read Q16:66 it says

وان لكم في الانعام لعبرة نسقيكم في نطونه

Now let us read Q23:22 it says

وان لكم في الانعام لعبرة نسقيكم في نطونها

Notice that we have the same words word for word except the last word on the left where in the first literary version it is butunih (sic) and in the second literary version it is butuniha and by the way the first version is a mistake in grammar as the word al-an3am is supposed to be a feminine word and therefore the last word should also be in the feminine case or butuniha

Now you can see why it is embarrasing to Muslims because it is a mistake in Arabic grammar but the real explanations here is: We have two transmissions of almost the same literary material which really means that it is either Allah made a mistake in grammar then later on he fixed it or that we have two authors both familiar with the pericope but one was familiar with proper Arabic grammar and the secnd one was not which really means that the Qur'an must have multiple authors

Now what really happened here is that who ever put the Qur'an is the way we have it now just stitched such literary material without editing and I do believe that this is indeed what really happened and John Wansbrough is very correct

2. The second embarrassing literary phenomenon is called iltifat or لتفات :

1 - مصدر التفتَ إلى / التفتَ بـ / التفتَ عن .
2 - ( بلاغة ) انتقال مفاجئ أثناء الكلام إلى مخاطبة شخص أو شيء حاضر أو غائب .

Which really means the sudden change in the subject and object in a sentence and this is indeed a very embarrassing Quranic problem and this is why it is very often that the Qur'an does not make any sense and here is an example

If we read Q4:3 it says

وان خفتم الا تقسطوا في اليتامى

Which means and if you fear that you cannot deal fairly (the word Qist is a loan word from Constantine or so we are told that he delivered justice but I will leave it to another occasion) with the orphans

Well the question is what would one do if one is to be afraid not to deliver justice to orphans and this is what one except to be in the second part of the sentence

Oh do not hold your breath and let us read the rest of the verse

فأنكحوا ماطاب لكم من النساء مثنى وثلاث ورباع

or and have sex (marry) with the women that seem good to you two three or four

Wow If you or I would write such poor sentence we will get an F

I suspect that logic would dictate that the rest of the sentence would have been something like then do not adopt

So you can see that there is a total switch in the subject (the orphans in the first part of the sentence and women in the second part of this rather poor sentence) and in the object (in the first part is to do justice and in the second part is to have sex/marry the women that pleases you)

So much for the eloquent Qur'an

The only explanation for this very strange phenomenon is that more likely than not is who ever put the Qur'an stitched literary texts that we do not have now and some of these texts had literary lacunas and this is why we have this disjointed sentence


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