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For Sohail: The Qur'an is a "text with no context"

Reader comment on item: [Pew Poll on] How Muslims Think
in response to reader comment: Reply To: A.Ahmed

Submitted by dhimmi no more (United States), Jul 2, 2006 at 08:24

The difficulty with the Qur'an is in the words of Peters it is "text with no context." We only know what the 'Ulama who were sitting in distand Iran and Mesopotamia told us about what they believed happened in the distant Hijaz 3 centuries before and what this opaque revelation means. These same 'Ulama could not even agree about almost anything. And here are a few examples:

1. I do not know how much Arabic you know, but in al-Fatiha the word MLK in the basic rasm puzzled the 'Ulama that worked on the Muslim masora in the 3rd century of Islam. Is the word Maaliki or the owner of as per Picktall (aa stands for the long vowel alif, and we know that the defective rasm did not account for long vowels, but if we are to read it as maaliki we are editing the word of your Allah!!) or is it Maliki or the king of (a stands for the short vowel fatha) So you see Sohail if the 'Ulama could not read such opaque revelation in the 3rd century how could you even understand it when you read a translation in Urdu?

The other word is QTLUU (this is the basic rasm) in the infamous 9:4. So is this word Qaatilu or is it Iqtuluu? What do you think my dear Sohail? Hint: read 9:29.

2. Some major allusions as the story of Muhammad Isra' wa mi'raj no one had any clue what it really means, and yes the story that his destination was Jerusalem is a very late construct.

3. Take also Surat al-Tahrim: The 'Ulama tell us what this is about the story of Maria al-Qibtiya, but if you read Ibn kathir you see he is talking about Muahmmad eating some bad 'Assal (oh I forgot you know no Arabic, eating honey) so who is right and who is wrong?

4. And the strange and non-Arabic words in the Quran that puzzled those 'Ulama that worked on the masora and I include here:

Ababeel, sijiil, kalala.

And why would Muhammad use the very much Syriac word for mountain: Tur when the Arabic language has the word: jabal? And why would Muhammad use the very much Syriac word: Ruum to describe the greeks when the Arabic language has the words: Al-Aghreeq and al-Yunaniyoon? Unless Allah was a Syriac speaker.

5. And now the poor grammar in a book that claims to be a kitab mubeen written in Arabi fasiih and the classical example is: "Ina hadhan la sahiran." This is bad grammatical Arabic as it gets!

6. As for the chronology of the Qur'an no one had any clue which was the first revealed sura. Was it 96? It seems that only Allahu 'alam!! So even the chonology was a big time guess work. And why do we have very differnet commands in the Qur'an as in regard to the question of al-Khamra. No one seems to provide a good answer, but the way out here was through the silly doctrine of Naskh wa mansukh.

7. Now can we construct the life of Muhammad by reading the Qur'an? The answer here is no we cannot. His name is mentioned in the Qur'an only 4 times and one time he is called Ahmad. Go figure. Without the now discredited hadith and sira we cannot know very much about the life of Muhammad or even asbab al-nuzul by only reading the Quran. It is all fantasy my dear Sohail

8. And why would Muhammad plagiarize the lierature of the Greeks and the Syrians in plagiarizing "Romance of Alexander" and "the seven sleepers of Ephesus" (see Surat al-Kahf) and then he calls them the words of Allah?

So how did the 'ulama get themselves out of this mess? The answer was to create the concept of "tafseer and ta'weel" and now the famous: "al-tafseer lel sahaba wa al-wa'eel lel jamii'."

But for secular historians these difficulties could mean:

1. The Qur'anic material predates Muhammad and by the time the 'Ulama started to examine the Qur'anic material no one had a clue what this material means.

2. Or: The Qur'anic material was circulating as logia nd pericopes but were not canonized until the 3rd century and by then no one had a clue what it really means.

Now, do you care to comment Sohail?

Submitting....

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