69 million page views

For Khalaf: and Muhammad's sira

Reader comment on item: Is Allah God?
in response to reader comment: To Nuray, servant of Allah , and Omar

Submitted by dhimmi no more (United States), Feb 1, 2006 at 17:59

What is also amazing is that most Muslims do not really know that Ibn Ishaq's Sirat rasul Allah is _not extant_ (it means we have no copy transmitted to us from Ibn Ishaq).

What we have is a _recension_ (edited copy) by Ibn Hisham of Ibn Ishaq's sira. Ibn Hisham was born and died in Egypt, and I suspect that his first language might not have even be Arabic (it most liekly was Egyptian/Coptic). And to add insult to injury: Ibn Hisham makes it very clear in his introduction to his Sira that he is _editing_what Ibn Ishaq might have said about Muhammad.

Now, notice that Ibn Ishaq died in 757 CE or some 125 years after the death of Muhammad (a very long time indeed), and his _edited_sira was written down by a man Ibn Hisham who was born and died in Egypt,and who never seem to have visited al-Hijaz and who died 200 years after the death on Muhammad.

Imagine if you or I sit and write the biography of let us say Abraham Lincolon or even worse of George Washington with no available historical sources. I'm sure you would agree with me it would be utter historical nonsense that would not even come close to answer the question: "what really happened ?" in the lives of these two gaints, and so is Muhammad's sira which I do believe that it is pure historical nonsense.

John Wansbrough has a PC name for this historical nonsense and he called it: Heilgeschite (sp?) or slavation history or Pious Fiction.

So what is really the sira all about? If you believe Henri Lammens and C Becker the sira is nothing but exegesis (tafseer) of the Quranic allusions that no one was able to understand not back then and not now.

So much for Islamic history ...

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: © 1968-2024 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.)