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For Ianus and the history of early islam

Reader comment on item: How to End Terrorism:
in response to reader comment: Thanks in advance , dhimmi no more!

Submitted by dhimmi no more (United States), Dec 31, 2006 at 14:56

Hi Ianus

Just a few points:

1. The Greek language died in Egypt as a literary language by the 9th century and I cannot blame 3Abd al-Malik' as the only reason for the decline and then death of greek in Egypt. The weakness of Hellenism and the Greek language in Egypt is that without Alexandria they would have both died as Greek was not the language of the masses in Egypt. Egyptians spoke Egyptian/Coptic which survived as a literary language for a long period of time (it is still the language of litargy in Coptic Churches so you still can hear the sounds of ancient Egypt despite of Islam). The real question is why did Coptic die and was replaced by Arabic?

2. And you are correct non of Wellhausen's work is available in Arabic.

3. You can get both Wansbrough's books from Amazon.com and they are:

A. "Quranic Studies"

B. "Sectarian Milieu"

However, to be able to appreciate such great work your command of Arabic and Hebrew and Greek and Syriac (and not to forget Latin and German) should be really good.

Any serious student of the history of early islam should contend with these two books. And in these two books Wansbrough re-wrote everything we knew about the history of easly islam.

Check also Crone's: "Slaves on Horses", "God's Caliph", "Roman provincial and Islamic law" and "Meccan Trade and the rise of islam" great works.

Other must reading would be, but I must warn you here as he was not a good historian but nontheless non of his insights in islam has been refuted and that is: Henri Lammens. You can read his masterpieces "Fatima and the Duaghters of Muhammad" , "the age of Muhammad and the Chronology of the Sira" and you will realize that Muhammad's sira (biography) in un-historical and it was all made up in repponse to the then circulating Quranic paricopes and logias. In other words the sira is not an independent historical source about the life of Muhammmad but only an exegesis of the Qur'an! This is why when I read that the likes of that piece of fraud Karen Armostrong is writing a biography of Muhammad you realize that she is beyond clueless.

Another great German historian is C Becker. He was the one who really linked the Arabs with the Greek civilization in his much celebrated saying: "it is bizarrae but without the Greek civilization there would have been no Arab/Muslim civilization."

Good reading also would be: Ignaz Goldziher "Islamic Studies" great work.

I'm sure i will think of more.


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