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 Topic: Qur'an: God's or Muhammad's Words?

 (Read 9641 times)
  • Previous page 1 23 Next page « Previous thread | Next thread »
  • Qur'an: God's or Muhammad's Words?
     Reply #30 - June 02, 2016, 01:55 PM

    Zoatar, this is really incredible stuff.

    OK. So, I double-checked my research here. The word رسول appears 209 times in the Qur’an in its full form. In every instance in which the word appears in a Meccan surah, it is referring either to an angel or to a previous messenger (i.e. a messenger before Muhammad),  with the exception of the following 8 instances.

    Interestingly, 3 of the 8  instances occur in surah 25 (Al-Furqan) in which it seems to be establishing the idea that a messenger could be a human, and challenging the idea that a rasul had to be angelic.

    25:7 reads “And they say: "What sort of a messenger is this, who eats food, and walks through the streets? Why has not an angel been sent down to him to give admonition with him?”

    25:27 and 25:30 also seem to be trying to establish this idea of a human messenger.

    44:13 does not clearly refer to Muhammad or a human messenger, but it can be inferred, as is the case with 29:18. I’ve added them in the count of 8 due to the ambiguity.

    7:157-158 seem to clearly imply Muhammad, or at least an “illiterate prophet,” that people need to follow.

    This theme of following and obeying the human messenger continues on and is then strongly emphasized throughout the Madani surahs, where there is no secret that the human “rasul” is demanding obedience along with God. The word rasul is then frequently used throughout the surahs deemed “Madani,” of course often joined alongside Allah in the formula “Allah and his Messenger.”  
  • Qur'an: God's or Muhammad's Words?
     Reply #31 - June 02, 2016, 03:13 PM

    That is exactly right.  There is an assumption that the Qur'an must have begun with a context of charismatic human prophecy.  Even modern critical frameworks almost invariably begin with this assumption, as with Wansbrough, where the Qur'an is seen as a sort of retrospective accumulation of compositions about a founding prophet -- real or imagined.  Everything centers around the prophet.

    My thesis is that such a framework, built around a skeletal assumption of charismatic prophecy, is inherently defective.  The messenger function, genealogically, did not emerge from charismatic historical prophecy, but rather as an intrusive process of legitimating revelation theology, written into and over the more basal texts, evolving over time.

    So in this sense I see Muhammad, historically, as the culmination of this process, whereby a corpus of inherited texts and recitations was *made* prophetic, and ultimately assigned to a contemporary political leader.  Now, that seems somewhat similar to what Luxenberg/Luling propose, but  I believe they both severely misconstrue the nature of the early textual layers, which were not nearly so "Christian" as they maintain.  There is a process of dogmatic transformation that they overlook and deny, and it is precisely the nature of this process of dogmatic transformation, of ur-quranic innovation, that I am most interested in at the moment.  Actually if I could assign one central defect to the current field of quranic studies, it is a failure to engage the subject of ur-quranic innovation in a sophisticated way.  Instead we have models that are divided between (a) relic Christian/Jewish influences; and (b) their transformation via prophetic innovation.  That divide needs to go, if there is ever to be a satisfactory explanation of the corpus.
  • Qur'an: God's or Muhammad's Words?
     Reply #32 - June 02, 2016, 03:34 PM

    When you say "assigned to a contemporary political leader," are you envisioning that leader as being the source, or at least a source, of portions of texts assigned to him, or do you see him as essentially separate from this process. In other words, do you see him appropriating texts and editing/contributing to them for his own means, or do you view the text as simply being anchored to this political leader as a part of the formation of the narrative?

  • Qur'an: God's or Muhammad's Words?
     Reply #33 - June 02, 2016, 03:51 PM

    I think we have to be (a) cautious; and (b) non-reductive about that relationship.  There is little doubt in my mind that the historical Muhammad *impacted* the corpus, and that aspects of his biography are reflected in at least its latest textual layers, such as the reference to Zayd.

    I also believe Muhammad surely accepted the validity of, promoted, and proclaimed quranic recitations, such as they were at his time.

    That said, did a historical Muhammad actually compose the surahs in the sense that we think of as modern authorship?  Currently, I doubt he did much, if any, of that.  I think of the latest surahs/text, the Medinan texts, as essentially scribal and editorial in nature, and I doubt Muhammad himself would have been part of a scribal/editorial cohort.  To me, it looks like an older body of discourse hitched its star to a rising political power, finding its prophet, who was happy to be found.
  • Qur'an: God's or Muhammad's Words?
     Reply #34 - June 02, 2016, 03:59 PM

    Really interesting. Thanks.
  • Qur'an: God's or Muhammad's Words?
     Reply #35 - June 02, 2016, 04:42 PM

    Can you comment on what correlations exist, if any, between the advent of the human rasul and the injunctions of violent jihad?
  • Qur'an: God's or Muhammad's Words?
     Reply #36 - June 02, 2016, 05:19 PM

    I don't think any.  The human rasul is initially articulated with Christ-like imagery, where the messenger is a perfect ascetic worshiper of his Lord.  This is the classic Syrian holy man, who gives up on sons/wealth in order to become a vessel for his Lord, who descends into the believer who has radically 'emptied' himself of worldly vanity, turning only to his Lord. 

    The quranic turn to contemporary jihad + human reproduction clearly comes later, as sex, war, and money suddenly become good things.
  • Qur'an: God's or Muhammad's Words?
     Reply #37 - June 02, 2016, 05:38 PM

    That’s interesting. That would indeed imply a great deal of layering in the text. Some questions spring to mind, but I’ll mull over them a bit more before I post them.

    I am curious as to what you consider the nature of the “scribal/editorial cohort” to be. Are you envisioning scribes in the vein of the Gospel writers, who may have in some ways seen themselves as the ones being “inspired” by God to write? Luke 1 1-4 is coming to mind.

    “1 Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us,
    2 Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word;
    3 It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,
    4 That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.”

    And do you think that any of the names that have survived to us as kuttab al wahy might have been a part of this, or do you view that as separate/unreliable?
  • Qur'an: God's or Muhammad's Words?
     Reply #38 - June 02, 2016, 05:47 PM

    As for scribal/editorial activity, I believe that people generally felt they were writing *the truth*, as embedded in factions that were arguing, in the real world, for that truth.  Where they made additions, it was just for purposes of clarification, making the truth more clear.  Usually scribal/editorial additions are characterized by an extremely conservative, repetitive, formulaic style that rehashes older texts/stories/sayings.  So when an editor puts together several pericopes into a longer recitation, they would probably not think of themselves as innovating, or receiving new revelations, they would primarily think of their activity as preserving/collecting/clarifying the truth that had been revealed.  In other words, they'd tend to minimize their own role in the process.  Of course divine inspiration is one way that role can be minimized (hence the cosmic messenger himself), offloading responsibility to the deity, but another role is just to think of the work as fundamentally preservational/editorial/scribal, not as a true form of composition.

    I guess that's a long-winded way of saying it was a messy process, but probably the scribes/editors didn't claim divine inspiration.  As to the kuttab al wahy, I tend to think of them as largely if not entirely mythical (the tradition never gave a coherent story about why Uthman's codex was produced, so one can put zero trust in its recollection of the process details), but I honestly haven't put any work into analyzing those traditions.
  • Qur'an: God's or Muhammad's Words?
     Reply #39 - June 02, 2016, 08:08 PM

    Quote
    I am curious as to what you consider the nature of the “scribal/editorial cohort” to be.

    I'd add to this a question about what you consider the educational and religious background of the "scribal/editorial cohort" to be. My understanding is that the education of scribes in the late antique Near East would have generally been linked to the churches and monasticism. Does this sound accurate? And how would the scribes who worked on Qur'anic texts fit into this? At what point would you say there was a break with church hierarchies, and with Christianity?
  • Qur'an: God's or Muhammad's Words?
     Reply #40 - June 02, 2016, 08:14 PM

    Quote from: Zaotar
    I'm very critical nowadays of the entire notion of charismatic prophecy as the Sitz im Leben of the early revelation theology.  The early corpus strikes me as being almost completely devoid of any genuine charismatic prophetic function.  What is so curious about the Qur'an is that the corpus embodies a transition from a typical late-antique "thus sayeth the Lord's angel, the Lord says x, y, z" (what I see as the basal revelatory legitimating structure) into a set of larger recitations which are attributed to an identifiable contemporary historical prophetic figure.  How that transition occurred is one of the most difficult and interesting aspects of the text.  I have an absurdly overlong new draft article on the subject; if you are interested, I will shoot you (and anybody else who is interested) a beta draft when it's ready.

    I'd be interested in seeing this when it's ready.
  • Qur'an: God's or Muhammad's Words?
     Reply #41 - June 02, 2016, 08:36 PM

    I'd add to this a question about what you consider the educational and religious background of the "scribal/editorial cohort" to be. My understanding is that the education of scribes in the late antique Near East would have generally been linked to the churches and monasticism. Does this sound accurate? And how would the scribes who worked on Qur'anic texts fit into this? At what point would you say there was a break with church hierarchies, and with Christianity?


    My answer is short:  I don't know.  I don't think anybody has any real insight as to the social contexts that preserved written Arabic script in the pre-conquest era.  I think I posted before that I think its use was probably continued in a more commercial than religious context, following the fall of the Nabateans, but anybody's guess is as good or better than mine here.  There are some pre-Islamic epigraphs of Arabic-ish script, but even there you expect a distorting sample selection in that stone inscriptions were probably a relatively rare subset of the script's broader usage.  So much has been lost.
  • Qur'an: God's or Muhammad's Words?
     Reply #42 - June 02, 2016, 08:57 PM

    I suppose my assumption, which could always be wrong, would be that even if written Arabic was largely used for non-religious purposes it would mostly have been written by people involved in churches and monasteries, or who had been taught by people involved in churches and monasteries. I suppose I'm also assuming here that the pre-conquest use of the Arabic script was largely a Christian phenomenon (which doesn't in itself mean it was used in a religious context).

    Edit: I think I'm taking my picture of education in late antiquity in part from Jack Tannous's Syria between Byzantium and Islam - see chapter 7 (page 316 onwards) for his description of Syriac Miaphysite education in the 7th and 8th centuries.
    Quote from: Jack Tannous
    In this chapter, my goal will be twofold: I will first seek to sketch out what education looked like in the Syriac-speaking world of the early Middle Ages and then, I will try to ascertain the precise curriculum of study among Miaphysites in this period. Behind all this will be a rather simple argument: forming a distinct educational curriculum for clergy was of fundamental importance to the creation of separate and well-defined Christian communities.
    [...]
    What can we say about education at this time? In his Hexaemeron, Jacob of Edessa put forward the opinion that the proper time for a child to be educated was between the ages of seven and fifteen. Other evidence seems to suggest that all young Christian boys were taught at least some basic reading and writing by a teacher in the village church as well as the study of the Scriptures. And, at a certain age, before the onset of adolescence, there seems to have been an educational fork in the road. Those who were to go on to become priests or monks would continue their studies in a monastery; those who did not have clerical futures would stop at this point.

    This at, least, is the pattern set out in the Miaphysite Life of Simeon of the Olives. Simeon’s father, we are told, brought him to the teacher who was in their village church when he was a young boy and Simeon learned letters and began to closely study the Bible. At the age of ten, his father took him to the Monastery of Beth Simon of Qartmin. There was a rule which held for the region of Ṭūr ‘Abdīn: ‘In the case of each male child that is born in all the region around the monastery, from the age of ten years and above the child is brought by his parents so that he can learn in the school of the holy monastery. Afterwards, if he is willing, he will become a monk or a priest in the world.’ This information seems to correspond well to Chalcedonian practice, too: the Fortieth Canon of the Quinisext Council stipulated that a monk should be at least ten years of age.

    This educational path—first local instruction, then learning in a monastery—can be seen elsewhere in the seventh and eighth centuries...

    Would it be too much to assume that the Arabic script was transmitted in a context something like this?
  • Qur'an: God's or Muhammad's Words?
     Reply #43 - June 02, 2016, 09:40 PM

    Does no one else find it encouraging that an imam is speaking openly at an Islamic conference about the Qur'an being the words of Muhammad?

     

    I'll be more hopeful when this is said by a prominent sunni imam and he's not immediately takfir-ed for it.   

    I know next to nothing about shia theology but I assume there are significant differences to begin with that would allow more progressive views like the quran not being the literal word of God to be more palatable to the audience.


    In my opinion a life without curiosity is not a life worth living
  • Qur'an: God's or Muhammad's Words?
     Reply #44 - June 02, 2016, 09:46 PM


    To simply state that the Qur’an is the Word of Muhammad does not go far enough when Muhammad himself is considered a divine agent. It becomes an abstract theological discussion of little real-life implication, in my opinion. To look at the book honestly and determine what parts might have come from where would be much more fruitful in my opinion. 


     


    Sunni muslims from my experience already idealize the four rashidun caliphs way too much.   

    Its going to take a while for them to even accept the four caliphs as normal human beings let alone Muhammad himself. 

    This will be especially difficult for the shias to accept regarding Ali. 

    In my opinion a life without curiosity is not a life worth living
  • Qur'an: God's or Muhammad's Words?
     Reply #45 - June 02, 2016, 10:19 PM

    One of the things that I think is worth calling out is that during the time of the mutazila, the motivation for people to claim that the Quran was not the speech of God probably had less to do with claiming that the Quran was errant and fallible and more to do with avoiding anthropomorphizing God by giving him the human attribute of speech. That appears to have been the real theological debate of the time.
  • Qur'an: God's or Muhammad's Words?
     Reply #46 - June 02, 2016, 10:42 PM

    They were also worried about polytheism.  If the Quran is the eternal, uncreated word of God, then one struggles to explain how this scheme is any different than trinitarian Christianity, aka polytheism.
  • Qur'an: God's or Muhammad's Words?
     Reply #47 - June 02, 2016, 10:55 PM

    Right, because now you have this eternal, uncreated word existing alongside God. When you get around this by suggesting it is God's speech, you anthropomorphize God. When you deny speech, you deny an attribute of God affirmed in the Quran.

    (I was going to accuse these guys of having too much time on their hands, but here we are over a thousand years later having the same discussion. Grin )
  • Qur'an: God's or Muhammad's Words?
     Reply #48 - June 02, 2016, 11:17 PM

    In all seriousness, though, this is also why I say that appreciating this sort of scholarship of the Quran does not necessarily have to get in the way of experiencing the book spiritually. If you are inclined to believe in this "something" that many call God, then I think it's interesting to consider the Quran as a product of humans attempting to experience it. A believer might even say that some of the authors did experience it.

    The lesson to be learned is perhaps the same lesson to be learned of all religions, that human beings have always and will likely aways struggle to agree on exactly what it is.
  • Qur'an: God's or Muhammad's Words?
     Reply #49 - June 03, 2016, 12:08 AM

    Right, because now you have this eternal, uncreated word existing alongside God. When you get around this by suggesting it is God's speech, you anthropomorphize God. When you deny speech, you deny an attribute of God affirmed in the Quran.

    (I was going to accuse these guys of having too much time on their hands, but here we are over a thousand years later having the same discussion. Grin )

    I wish I had more time today to finish off a draft I have started writing in connection with the above discussion; it's already reached 1500 words. In trying to limit my actually thinking out loud thereby habitually editing, proofreading and updating my posts on the forum, I sat on things this time and now I'm fearful that the overmuch re-checking and revising would eventuate in me abandoning the whole project altogether (an occurrence which happened a lot of times on the forum). But consider this a seat holder forcing myself to return.

    Ibn Bilal, having quoted you above, I then realised that what I was going to say as a reply to it is better included in the ongoing draft. If I'm being a terrible tease here, then I promise that I have given serious thought to Reply#8 and I will try to say something on it later.
  • Qur'an: God's or Muhammad's Words?
     Reply #50 - June 03, 2016, 02:05 AM

    The human rasul is initially articulated with Christ-like imagery, where the messenger is a perfect ascetic worshiper of his Lord.  This is the classic Syrian holy man, who gives up on sons/wealth in order to become a vessel for his Lord, who descends into the believer who has radically 'emptied' himself of worldly vanity, turning only to his Lord.  


    I can't help but also see similarities with elements of Hinduism and Buddhism here.

    Sadhu

    Bhikkhu
  • Qur'an: God's or Muhammad's Words?
     Reply #51 - June 03, 2016, 07:40 AM

    ^Syriac Christianity to an extent shared the same world with Buddhism. Probably there was some contact with Hindus as well. Any resemblances may or may not be coincidental. Buddhist monasticism has been proposed as an influence on early Near Eastern Christian monasticism, and this has also been disputed. Manichaeism, which saw itself as a form of Christianity but also recognised the Buddha and Zoroaster, could have been a link.

    Also, see Peter Brown on The Rise and Function of the Holy Man in Late Antiquity

    Edit: Peter Brown revisits the subject in this recent article:

    Wealth, Work and the Holy Poor: Early Christian Monasticism between Syria and Egypt

    For one view of an Arab version see Greg Fisher on The Secular Arab Holy Man in Late Antiquity
    Quote
    ....
    Studies of Christian holy men in Late Antiquity, pioneered by Peter Brown, clearly evoke the mediatory functions of the successful tribal leader. Brown referred to such people as “the locus of the supernatural” – brokers between heaven and earth, standing half-way between potential converts and the Christian God.5 Robert Hoyland has identified Muslim holy men “crossing over” by talking with Christian monks and hermits, while the Prophet himself was, in Hoyland’s view, the ultimate “arbiter.”6 If holy men resembled tribal leaders, it was in part because they held a form of political leadership that blended easily with their religious authority. But what if tribal leaders could look like holy men?

    In the sixth century, as religious disputes threatened to divide the Roman Empire, the leading dynasty amongst the pro-Roman Arabs was led successively by al-Ḥārith (527/8-569) and his son al-Mundhir (569-582).7 These two men emerged as powerful secular players in the arena of religious politics, achieving a position of influence as brokers for the so-called Miaphysite Christians who stood in opposition to the tenets of the Council of Chalcedon (451). Al-Ḥārith had initially assumed a position of political-military prominence as Rome’s preferred Arab leader in the rural borderlands that formed the frontier with Persia, one of the regions in which Miaphysitism was popular. Al-Ḥārith and his family bridged the divisions between the Chalcedonian urban center and the Miaphysite rural periphery, and were well placed to assist imperial authorities (who often preferred compromise over confrontation) and to protect the interests of the Miaphysites. While some Arab leaders became bishops – full-fledged members of the religious establishment – al-Ḥārith and al-Mundhir remained aloof from such appointments, even though their ecclesiastical credentials were impeccable.
    ....
    Al-Ḥārith and al-Mundhir appear regularly in our sixth-century sources. They contributed and led militia forces for Rome’s wars, and became influential political actors at both the imperial and community levels. In exchange for supporting Rome with tribal manpower, they received official recognition and support as the primary Arab allies of the state, and both were awarded prestigious Roman titles and positions. Those searching for continuities between the Romano-Persian and Islamic phases in Near Eastern history occasionally point to al-Ḥārith and al-Mundhir as examples of powerful Arab leaders, avatars for what was to come as Arabs wrested political and military control from the Roman and Persian empires. But what is increasingly apparent is the importance of the religious function of men such as al-Ḥārith and his son. They held no formal position in any ecclesiastical hierarchy, but nonetheless wielded immense authority amongst the Miaphysite clergy. They were, in fact, tribal leaders who resembled holy men, particularly in their ability to broker all kinds of solutions for the problems that plagued the Christians of rural Syria and Jordan. As ‘secular holy men’, they were avatars of another sort of Arab leader – one who combined political and religious authority, and who possessed the vision to bridge the divide between the competing communities of the late antique east.

  • Qur'an: God's or Muhammad's Words?
     Reply #52 - July 09, 2016, 02:50 PM

    In a topic such as this one, I like to quote 6:114

    Shall I then seek a judge other than Allah?

    A number of English translations put '[Say]' before the sentence, but the command to say is not present in the original Arabic at all! They are clearly the words of a man.
  • Qur'an: God's or Muhammad's Words?
     Reply #53 - July 09, 2016, 03:23 PM


    Qur'an: God's or Muhammad's Words?  


    Quran is neither god's work nor Muhammad's work ., If  what is written in a book is from god then every book and  everything is from god's work  and that includes the bacteria which lives in animal/human intestines.,

    And there was NO Quran Muhammad., it is the work of multiple authors in  the name of an unknown messenger who may have been the first preacher of Islam that highlighted to the folks of that time  "that Jesus Christ was not son of god  but a prophet and a messenger"... Off course  he too didn't know that Jesus Christ of Bible was also a story of early Christians

    Do not let silence become your legacy.. Question everything   
    I renounced my faith to become a kafir, 
    the beloved betrayed me and turned in to  a Muslim
     
  • Qur'an: God's or Muhammad's Words?
     Reply #54 - July 09, 2016, 09:21 PM

    I'd add to this a question about what you consider the educational and religious background of the "scribal/editorial cohort" to be. My understanding is that the education of scribes in the late antique Near East would have generally been linked to the churches and monasticism. Does this sound accurate? And how would the scribes who worked on Qur'anic texts fit into this? At what point would you say there was a break with church hierarchies, and with Christianity?

    Along with the Christian scribes, there must also have been Jewish ones? Are the Jewish scribe centers ruled out as expertise centers for the Quranic scribes?
  • Qur'an: God's or Muhammad's Words?
     Reply #55 - July 09, 2016, 09:34 PM

    Along with the Christian scribes, there must also have been Jewish ones? Are the Jewish scribe centers ruled out as expertise centers for the Quranic scribes?

    well compare OT ,NT and Quran.. the stories ..the names and the words ., I am sure a careful study will reveal who said what?  who wrote what ??  and where from?

    for e.g. here are the 25 verses from Surah Maryam
    Quote
    019.001  : : Kaf Ha Ya Ain Suad.

    019.002 :  (This is) a recital of the Mercy of thy Lord to His servant Zakariya.

    019.003  : Behold! he cried to his Lord in secret,

    019.004  : He said: My Lord! surely my bones are weakened and my head flares with hoariness, and, my Lord! I have never been unsuccessful in my prayer to Thee:

    019.005 : " Now I fear (what) my relatives (and colleagues) (will do) after me: but my wife is barren: so give me an heir as from Thyself,-

    019.006  : Who should inherit me and inherit from the children of Yaqoub, and make him, my Lord, one in whom Thou art well pleased.

    019.007  :  (His prayer was answered): "O Zakariya! We give thee good news of a son: His name shall be Yahya: on none by that name have We conferred distinction before."

    019.008  : He said: "O my Lord! How shall I have a son, when my wife is barren and I have grown quite decrepit from old age?"

    019.009  : He said: So shall it be, your Lord says: It is easy to Me, and indeed I created you before, when you were nothing.

    019.010  : (Zakariya) said: "O my Lord! give me a Sign." "Thy Sign," was the answer, "Shall be that thou shalt speak to no man for three nights, although thou art not dumb."

    019.011  :  So Zakariya came out to his people from him chamber: He told them by signs to celebrate Allah's praises in the morning and in the evening.

    019.012  :  O Yahya! take hold of the Book with strength, and We granted him wisdom while yet a child

    019.013 :  And tenderness from Us and purity, and he was one who guarded (against evil),

    019.014  : And kind to his parents, and he was not overbearing or rebellious.  

    019.015  : And peace on him on the day he was born, and on the day he dies, and on the day he is raised to life

    019.016  : And mention Marium in the Book when she drew aside from her family to an eastern place;

    019.017  : She placed a screen (to screen herself) from them; then We sent her our angel, and he appeared before her as a man in all respects.

    019.018  : : She said: Surely I fly for refuge from you to the Beneficent Allah, if you are one guarding (against evil).

    019.019 :  He said: I am only a messenger of your Lord: That I will give you a pure boy.

    019.020  : She said: "How shall I have a son, seeing that no man has touched me, and I am not unchaste?" [/i]

    019.021  : He said: Even so; your Lord says: It is easy to Me: and that We may make him a sign to men and a mercy from Us, and it is a matter which has been decreed.

    019.022  : So she conceived him; then withdrew herself with him to a remote place.

    019.023  : And the throes (of childbirth) compelled her to betake herself to the trunk of a palm tree. She said: Oh, would that I had died before this, and had been a thing quite forgotten!

    019.024  : Then (the child) called out to her from beneath her: Grieve not, surely your Lord has made a stream to flow beneath you;

    019.025  : And shake towards you the trunk of the palm tree, it will drop on you fresh ripe dates:

    and compare those verses with some 25 verses of Luke.. on that Luke 1:5-25., The Birth of John the Baptist Foretold

    Quote
    5.  In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron.

    6.  Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly.

    7. But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old.

    8. Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God,

     9. he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense.

    10. And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.

    11. Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense.

    12. When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear.

     13. But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John.

    14. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth,

    15. for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born.

    16. He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God.

    17. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

    18.  Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”

    19. The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news.

    20. And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.”

    21. Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed so long in the temple.

    22. When he came out, he could not speak to them. They realized he had seen a vision in the temple, for he kept making signs to them but remained unable to speak.

    23. When his time of service was completed, he returned home.

    24. After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion.

    25. “The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.”

    real or unreal at least in Bible you can read verses as stories for children., whers as Quran stories have no head and no tail and both are same stories..

    Do not let silence become your legacy.. Question everything   
    I renounced my faith to become a kafir, 
    the beloved betrayed me and turned in to  a Muslim
     
  • Qur'an: God's or Muhammad's Words?
     Reply #56 - July 09, 2016, 09:58 PM

    Quote from: mundi
    Along with the Christian scribes, there must also have been Jewish ones? Are the Jewish scribe centers ruled out as expertise centers for the Quranic scribes?

    Yes, there must have been Jewish scribes (and presumably scribes from other sects and religions) but would they have been writing in Arabic in the Arabic script? I'm inclined to think that the early use and spread of the Arabic script would have been in a specifically Christian context (which doesn't rule out it being used primarily for secular rather than religious purposes) and that proto-Islam developed out of that Christian context. Why would Jewish scribes have been using the script (at least pre-conquest) rather than writing in Aramaic, Hebrew or Greek? I could be wrong about this though and I'm open to arguments.

    Edit: I suppose it's possible to imagine people from a Jewish scribal background adopting Arabic writing in the decades following the conquests and being part of the milieu that produced the Qur'an. Jewish scribes using the Arabic script in pre-Islamic Arabia (or Syria or Palestine for that matter) would be another question. I'm not doubting that there would have been Jews whose first language was some form of Arabic, just whether there would have been any Jewish scribal culture that involved writing in Arabic.
  • Qur'an: God's or Muhammad's Words?
     Reply #57 - July 09, 2016, 10:34 PM

    The Jews of Medina would have been writing in Arabic.

    No?
  • Qur'an: God's or Muhammad's Words?
     Reply #58 - July 09, 2016, 10:35 PM

    They were completely arabicised.
  • Qur'an: God's or Muhammad's Words?
     Reply #59 - July 09, 2016, 11:13 PM

    The Jews of Medina would have been writing in Arabic.

    No?

    Assuming they were there (and probably they were) they would have been speaking in some form of Arabic. They may or may not have been using Arabic as a written language - that's the question really. A perfectly normal pattern for the time would have been for literacy to be limited to a small minority using a separate scriptural language in a predominantly religious context.
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