69 million page views

al-Tabari and Q2:69 an addendum and this time al-Qurtubi

Reader comment on item: Islam's Inadvertent Patterns
in response to reader comment: Islam Adopted, Then Changed Judaic Teachings

Submitted by dhimmi no more (United States), Mar 17, 2014 at 14:26

Hi Mike

I'm sure you know by now that the Muslim Ulama realized that Q2:69 is a problem and just a a bit of an introduction to the mind of Muhammad. He had a strange sense of color so the Greeks were called al-Sufr or the yellow as for reasons unknown to me he believed that the color of the skin of the Greek people was yellow. In regard to the Persians their color was Ahmar or red and why? Only Allahu A3lam and black people were called (black) raisins and the tradition regarded Muhammad as Abyad or white now go figure

And here is al-Qurtubi's tafseer of the color of the cow in Q2:69 and he must have realized about the color of the cow in the verse in Numbers and that it is red and not yellow so I suspect that this was a subject of discussion and here is what he says

وَاللَّوْن وَاحِد الْأَلْوَان وَهُوَ هَيْئَة كَالسَّوَادِ وَالْبَيَاض وَالْحُمْرَة . وَاللَّوْن : النَّوْع . وَفُلَان مُتَلَوِّن

Or and the color is one as in black and white and red and the color the type and he is colored.

In other words he is saying look at let us say dates they can be yellow and red and black but it is the same fruit

This is a classic case of Tabreer or تبرير or to justify

Then he writes

: إِذَا كَانَ لَا يَثْبُت عَلَى خَلَاق وَاحِد وَحَال وَاحِد , قَالَ : كُلّ يَوْم تَتَلَوَّن غَيْر هَذَا بِك أَجْمَل وَلَوَّنَ الْبُسْر تَلْوِينًا : إِذَا بَدَا فِيهِ أَثَر النُّضْج . وَاللَّوْن : الدَّقَل , وَهُوَ ضَرْب مِنْ النَّخْل . قَالَ الْأَخْفَش هُوَ جَمَاعَة , وَاحِدهَا لِينَة .

And that anything changes color as in the case of palm trees

It is very clear that he is trying to explain the difference between the color in the Bible and the Qur'an and this is what is called al-Tabreer again see below

Then he says

جُمْهُور الْمُفَسِّرِينَ أَنَّهَا صَفْرَاء اللَّوْن , مِنْ الصُّفْرَة الْمَعْرُوفَة . قَالَ مَكِّيّ عَنْ بَعْضهمْ : حَتَّى الْقَرْن وَالظِّلْف

Then he says that most of the Ulama believed that she is yellow except for the color of her horn and al-Zalf or hoof

Then he says

" صَفْرَاء " مَعْنَاهُ سَوْدَاء

And here he agrees with al-Tabari that yellow means black go figure

It seems to me that both al-tabari and al-Qurtubi were very aware of the verse in Numbers and this was a process of tabreer and no more

PS: here is the meaning of the word تبرير or to justify


And تبرير or Tabreer was one the tools used by the early Ulama to explain the unexplained or the contradictory more so in matters that pertain to Biblical material


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".

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2023 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)