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Lahma, Hanpe v Lahm, hanif Oh and Ummi or is it 'Am ha-ares (Hebrew)

Reader comment on item: Dhimmis No More
in response to reader comment: L-H-M, Hanpe, lectionary etc.

Submitted by dhimmi no more (United States), Feb 6, 2018 at 18:33

gato you wrote

>I think that the general meaning of the root L-H-M was "food".

The word food in Syriac is really ܐܝܟܠܐ which is the same as the Arabic word أكل However, if you meant to say meal then I would like to see a reference from a dictionary but I'm aware that al-Mufasereen believed that the word Lahm could very well mean meal/meat but I don't believe it The Arabs in al-Jahiliyya ate tarid (some type of soup) tamr (dates) 'Asl (honey) halib (milk) and on rare occasions meat Their diet seems to have been limited due to the fact that they lived in a very dry and arid part of the Middle East

BTW notice that I use only Syriac and not Hebrew when discussing Quranic Arabic

> In Syriac and Hebrew it came to mean "bread" since Syrians and Hebrews practiced agriculture, why for Arabs who where pastoralists it is the meat which was their staple food, hence the difference.

May be but the Syriac (as well as in Hebrew) word ܠܚܡܐ or Lahma (bread) is the origin of the Arabic لحم or Lahm Notice that in Arabic the Syriac Alep (definite article) becomes Arabic Tah Marbouta or it is omitted because the Arabic word لحم can also be لحمة with a Ta Marbouta


Now if you turn to the Peshitta as a guide you will discover that the word Lahma means bread Not meal or food

Here is a link to Dukhrana.com and the meaning of the Syriac word Lahma


The Qur'an speaks about Lahm al-Khanzeer! Could it be that it means the meal of pigs? Well I doubt very much that pigs existed in Mecca Pigs need plenty of food/refuse also plenty of water I can see them surviving in Syria and Mesopotamia but not in al-Hijaz

Certainly this is just as puzzling as the Qur'an telling us about figs and olives!

>Regarding Hanpe, most probably its general meaning in Syriac "a person outside the faith community of either Old Israel(Jews) or "New Israel"(Christians)"

Correct However the Syriac word ܚܢܦܐ or Hanpe (Syriac P becomes Arabic F) means Pagan (non Jewish non Christian) Check this


>has underwent an alteration of sense and came to mean "a monotheist not originally from established Jewish or Christian communities" or " a person in whose native language no Scripture has yet been revealed"

Or Muhammad heard the word ܚܢܦܐ and uncritically got it in the Qur'an without realizing what it really means

> I think meaning similar to that of "ummi" in Arabic, or "goyim" in Hebrew or "ta ethne" in Greek or "gentiles". Sometimes it is understood as disparaging term, sometimes without any negative connotations. When Qur'an says that God has sent "nabiyyan ummiyan"

The Quranic الرسول النبي الامي or the messenger the prophet al-Ummi

The word al-Ummi puzzled al-Mufasereen they had no clue what the word الامي or al-Ummi really means I agree with Wansbrough that it is from Hebrew 'am ha-ares or gentile

So much for the illiterate/ignorant prophet of Islam

> it probably means not the the prophet himself was ignorant but rather that he was called from outside the Israel either Old or New, from an "ignorant" people lacking scripture in their own language.

May be But also it could be a case similar to the Sira's word Munahemana

>I have heard about what Gerd Puin said, I think he is largely correct although saying that every 5th word is unintelligible maybe is exageration, more likely it is every tenth word :)

Not true. Here is a challenge: Select any verse in the Qur'an and I will show you problems in spelling, and words that have no meaning! Any verse

>By the way, there are not only Syriac, but also Ethiopic loan words in Qur'an - the most famous are burhan in Sura Yusuf(Eth. berhan - light) and muSHaf(a copy of Qur'an)(Eth. meSHaf - books).

The most famous and most celebrated word from Ethiopic is Hawariyoon (al-Talameedh in Arabic) Which is indeed very puzzling because the Islamic literary sources are silent about fundamental facts about Ethiopia in late antiquity and about the famous city of Adulis Which is not unlike a traveler from let us say Arabia coming to the US without mentioning a single word about New York City Puzzling indeed

> Roots who have the same sound but have quite different meanings not only in different semitic languages but in Arabic dialects as well are quite abundant, so that Tabari certainly had not an easy task of sorting them all(especially if he knew no Syriac :) and frequently he could be mistaken.

al-Tabari was not a linguist At times he had no clue and even when he knew that certain words were not Arabic words (eg: Allah, Qur'an, Ahad in Surat al-Ikhlas) he does not tell the reader that these are really non Arabic words but you can read his twists and turns He was an apologist For good reading; Read his tafsir of the word Ahad in Surat al-Ikhlas where he says Ahad Ya'nee Wahid So he is fixing the Hebrew/Syriac word Ahad (one) and Arabizing it as Wahid

>I doubt that Qur'an started as a Christian lectionary it has too little Christian contents and its focus is definitely non-Christian

Far from the truth. Surat al-Qadr cannot be anything but Christmas in the Qur'an

Also check Q5:171 إِنَّمَا الْمَسِيحُ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ وَكَلِمَتُهُ أَلْقَاهَا إِلَىٰ مَرْيَمَ وَرُوحٌ مِّنْهُ

Or Truly the anointed (Jesus) 'Isa the son of Mary is the messenger of Allah and HIS WORD (Logos) he deposited it in Mary and a SPIRIT from him

Which means that the Quranic Jesus is a man, the logos and al-roh al-quddus This is what the Trinity is all about!

But Muhammad was a poor theologian then he wrote وَلَا تَقُولُوا ثَلَاثَةٌ Or and don't say three (Trinity) but what Muhammad just described in the verse is the Trinity which makes you wonder that he was either a poor theologian or the verse is describing non Trinitarian Syro-Arabic Christianity in late antiquity

I suspect that the Qur'an was indeed a Christian كتاب وعظ that belonged to a non Trinitarian Syro-Arabic community that lived in al-Sham and Mesopotamia

BTW did you read M Younis' reading of Surat al-'Adiyat? It is a Syriac hymn! And it has no meaning if you read it in Arabic

> although it can be said to be Judeo-Christian, a group largely based on a kind of Judaism but recognizing Jesus as Mesias.

True Or Wansbrough's Sectarian Milieu

>But how could such a group come to existence? Was it a survival from the pre-Nicene Christianity? Or was such a syncretist sect born from the efforts of Justinian to forcibly convert Jews and/or Samaritans? Since, differently from Rabbinic Jews, Muslims have the concept of the Temple and animal sacrifice there could be some Samaritan connection.

This we don't know and this is why the study of the history of Islam is not possible without being able to read literary sources external to the Islamic tradition in their primary languages be it Syriac, Hebrew, Greek,Ethiopic, Persian, Egyptian language, Latin

However, Syriac is on the top of the list

>It is diffilcult to find a context for Qur'an, but one could propose a working hypothesis, that Muhammed's initial community was a Judeo-Christian community, that the community of Quraysh was probably a Monophysite Christian community with many "pagan" accretions and then look if this helps to elucidate Qur'an and put it into a sort of a context.

We can only guess The truth is we don't know very much about the historical Muhammad Not a thing!

>There is video of Dan Gibson, a (non-mainstream) scholar openly proposing the hypothesis of Petra as initial Mekka. I cannot assess how seriously he is but anyway it can be worth watching.

I'm aware of him and it is mildly interesting


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