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Critical reading of the Qur'an: Henri Lammens Sami al-Deeb and Father Zakaria Botros

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Submitted by dhimmi no more (United States), Nov 17, 2013 at 09:55

There is no doubt that a critical reading of the Qur'an is needed. And when we say the Qur'an the next logical question would be which Qur'an? The Qur'an in this case is the 1923-1924 Cairo Qur'an

Henri Lammens wanted to write a book about what the Qur'an is really saying. I understand that he was told by the Vatican not to proceed with such monumental work. And I'm glad that he did not write such book because although that he was able to expose the sira for what it is and that there is nothing historical about it he was not a disciplined historian. However his command of Arabic and Syriac was great but again he never got to do it

The Qur'an is a text that must be read in the way it was transmitted to the early Ulama and that is in its rasm form or without the short vowels and at times the long vowels and without the hamza letter and the shadda and without the nuqat and do not read any of the great commentaries on the Qur'an the likes of al-Tabari and let us see what the end result will be this will be the only methodology that will have a chance of working

There is no doubt that al-Tabari was working with such text but where did this text come from we really do not know and what happened to such text we will never know and we also know that the name of the chapters were not even stable (eg: al-Tabari calls Q105 Surat al-Lam Tara now it is called Surat al-Feel)

This will be a monumental work and indeed if Sami alDeeb reads the Qur'an in the way the Ulama tell us that "this is indeed the chronology of the Qur'an" and if so then we are back to square one where he would be working within the limits of the Islamic historical tradition (eg: I will be very curious to see how would he deal with the likes of Q53:32 and the Ulama tell us that this is a Medina verse that was placed in a Meccan sura but why we will never know)

I find Father Zakaria Botros' work to be far more superior because what he makes it very clear that he is reading the edited Cairo Qur'an and he tells us what it says in Arabic then he tells us what the Ulama say about it. He does not propose any changes because changes mean that one would have violated the text that one is reading and we are only reading the edited Cairo Qur'an

Even in the area of loan words and strange words he tells us what the Ulama wrote and if it is something that is truly beyond the strange he provides his own reading of the strange or foreign word. His command of Arabic grammar is great and he knows Greek and Coptic (I do believe that he has some basic knowledge of Syriac and Hebrew or all the languages on the Middle East in the 7th century)

Botros' command of Arabic grammar is very amazing and when discussing the many grammatical mistakes in the Qur'an eg: Q20:63 he tells us only what the Ulama tell us then he explains why such reasoning by the Ulama is flawed and he leaves it to the reader to judge

The point that I'm manking is that a critical reading of the Qur'an should be work conducted not in isolation but through a process of cooparation


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