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Prashant: The Topos of 40 and the chronology of the Sira

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in response to reader comment: Q 10:16 is pretty round about

Submitted by dhimmi no more (United States), May 4, 2021 at 18:16

You wrote:

>If I must translate Q10:15 and 16 in a Hindu style, they will translate as follows: I have lived with you for so long and I hope you trust me. This is what I believe God says. I do not have to change it because this is my belief and God will not punish me for it. If you like it, please accept it. If not, study whatever you want to study some more.

With respect, it is not a good idea to explain the Qur'an without the help of the earliest commentaries, and most significant without being very familiar with the history of late antique al-Hijaz, Mesopotamia, Petra, The Levant and Palestine/Israel

Here are more details:

1. al-Mufasereen had no idea what Q10:16 mean. Not a clue

2. When the Sira and al-Maghazi books were being written more than 125 years after the death of Muhammad, the Islamic tradition faced real challenges: Where was Muhammad born?, When was he born? When did he start to receive revelations from his God? and what happened in 622 AD (now it is called the year of the Hijra)? How long did he stay in Mecca receiving revelations from his God? And how many years did he live and receive revelations from his god while in Medina? And when did he die? The Qur'an does not tell us.

The reality is the only two dates that were known and they are:

1,. He died in 632 AD

2. Something took place in 622 AD

The rest of his life had to be manufactured by Ibn Ishaq and al-Waqidi (who was humble enough to only write about Muhammad's invasions or the last 10 years of his life. He had no clue about anything before 622 AD)

3. So we are told that al-Mufesereen went to 'A'isha asking for more information about Muhammad. The answer by 'A'isha provided by her that if they want to know anything about ابو القاسم (Abu al-Qasim aka Muhammad) they will find it in the Qur'an!

4. And this is what al-Mufasereen did. They went back to the Qur'an and read the word عمر in Q10:16 as: 40 years (The Topos of 40 and just google it) So al-Mufasereen came to the bizarre conclusion that Muhammad must have been 40 years old when he started to receive revelations from his god

Did you get it so far?

5. So they worked it backwards: 632 (when he died) - 622 (the year of the "Hijra) =10. al-Mufasereen were fond of symmetry so he must have lived for 10 years in Mecca. However and as usual Muslims never agree but they decided that it was 13 years. So 622 -13 = 610 AD and this is when he started to receive revelations from his god.

6. The next issue would have been: Then when was born? 610 - 40 = 570 So he was born in the year 570 AD!

7. Next, al-mufasereen had to consult the Qur'an as suggested by 'A'isha and they came up with Surat al-Feel or Q105 (which if you read in isolation has no meaning) but it was the way out and they called 570 AD عام الفيل or the year of the elephant et voila Muhammad was born in Mecca in عام الفيل

8. So what is with this "elephant"? The Ethiopian King Abraha invaded Yemen and brought elephants with him. Did this really happen that Abraha invaded al-Hijaz and Mecca? It doe not make sense after all elephants cannot survive without plenty of water in the very arid and hot deserts of Arabia. But most damaging to the Islamic literary sources is that recent studies reveal that Abraha invaded Yemen not in 570 AD but in the early 550's AD

You might be interested in reading about the worst year in history which is the year 536 AD Just google it And the world was still recovering from the disasters resulting from the year 536 AD.

9. More? So if Abraha indeed invade Yemen and al-Hijaz in the early 550 Ad then Muhammad would have been 82 years old when he died in 632 AD. However, the Islamic tradition tells us that when Muhammad died he did not have any grey hair!

My humble advise is: Do not do your own exegesis of the Qur'an and read only primary sources in Arabic.

Google Henri Lammens: "The Age of Muhammad and the Chronology of the Sira."

Submitting....

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