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Tovey: The Islamic Tabrir 101

Reader comment on item: Advice to Non-Muslim Women against Marrying Muslim Men
in response to reader comment: Concessions of a Conundrum - Transliteration versus translation

Submitted by dhimmi no more (United States), Feb 4, 2021 at 12:43

Tovey,

I wish it is simple. The Islamic literary tradition did not drop from the sky. And you can witness the changes if you read al-Tabari then read later commentators the likes al-Qurtubi and Ibn Kathir (Muqatil and Ibn 'Abbas are also very early but their tafsirs are not extant).

In the case of Allah and his angels pray upon the prophet. al-Tabari realized that this indeed a problem. So al-Tabari clearly invent a tabrir (justification) and he tells us that the word "They Pray" really means: "Bless." So he is saying that the word Praying means: Bless. Then he adds that may be it means "Mercy" and when ibn kathir and al-Qurtubi wrote their books the meaning became "mercy" and not bless anymore

Here is another example? The story of the "Subject of the Sacrifice" al-Tabari was not sure because the Qur'an is silent about the name of the subject of the sacrifice. He tells us it is Isaac and he mentioned that the subject could also be Isma'eel.

If you read tafsir Ibn kathir which is several hundred years after at-Tabari the subject becomes Isma'eel and that is it

You can see the evolution of the story and how earlier generations v. later generations understood and what you have is another example of Islamic Tabrir

More? Check Q20:63 in al-Tabari where he provides an extensive linguistic and grammatical examination of the Quranic mistake in the verse. And compare with Ibn Kathir who avoids the grammar and tells his readers to recite as "IN Hadhayn la Sahiran" (the correct grammar) and to write as "In Hadhan La Sahiran" (The Quranic incorrect grammar)

Notice that I only tell you what Muslims write in their books and I cite references in Arabic or Syriac is needed

Submitting....

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