Skip navigation
Sidebar -

Advanced search options →

Welcome

Welcome to CEMB forum.
Please login or register. Did you miss your activation email?

Donations

Help keep the Forum going!
Click on Kitty to donate:

Kitty is lost

Recent Posts


Qur'anic studies today
Today at 02:06 PM

المياة النقية%%%%
Today at 09:14 AM

Tunisia tensions boil ove...
by zeca
Yesterday at 12:15 PM

Western Islam and Scholar...
Yesterday at 12:09 PM

Iran uprising - is the en...
by zeca
Yesterday at 11:56 AM

What music are you listen...
by zeca
January 17, 2018, 07:55 PM

false?,,,,,,why?
January 17, 2018, 05:19 PM

Random Islamic History Po...
by zeca
January 16, 2018, 06:08 PM

Muslims......& Women!
January 14, 2018, 05:17 PM

‘When a daughter is kille...
January 14, 2018, 05:04 PM

Ask me Anything
January 14, 2018, 04:38 PM

Change this Website *For ...
January 13, 2018, 04:14 PM

Theme Changer

 Topic: IQSA, meeting 18-21 November

 (Read 3899 times)
  • 12 Next page « Previous thread | Next thread »
  • IQSA, meeting 18-21 November
     OP - November 18, 2016, 06:42 PM

    New thread, here, for this year's International Qur'anic Studies Association meeting.

    Last year's thread, here: http://www.councilofexmuslims.com/index.php?topic=29368.0

    This year's programme book: https://iqsaweb.wordpress.com/2016/11/15/nopg2016/

    The first talk will be about tools of rhetoric in the Qur'an. Followers of Scott "Dilbert" Adams' blog will be well aware of such tools as applied by the candidates in the latest American election. We'll see if any mention of that comes up.

    Scott Adams couldn't make it out here this afternoon, so here is who we got instead:
    • Andrew C. Smith, Brigham Young University: Deliberate Alternation of Time: Verbal Enallage or
      Iltifat as Rhetorical Poetics in Surat al-Qamar (25 min)
    • Matthew Kuiper, University of Notre Dame: Da‘wah in the Qurʾan and the Qurʾan as Persuasive
      Da‘wah (25 min)
    • Karen Bauer, The Institute of Ismaili Studies: Emotional Rhetoric and Qurʾanic Persuasion (25 min)
    • Anne-Sylvie Boisliveau, Paris-Sorbonne Université: Sharing Its Inner Feelings with the Audience: Persuasive Features of the Qurʾanic Voice (25 min)
    • Gabriel Said Reynolds, University of Notre Dame: God of Mercy and Vengeance (25 min)
    • Discussion (25 min)
  • IQSA, meeting 18-21 November
     Reply #1 - November 18, 2016, 06:58 PM

    The Alamo: https://mobile.twitter.com/GabrielSaidR/status/799618953551212544/photo/1

    #IQSA2016: https://mobile.twitter.com/hashtag/IQSA2016?src=hash
  • IQSA, meeting 18-21 November
     Reply #2 - November 19, 2016, 01:09 PM

    Andrew Smith, on Enallage / Iltifat in sura 54. This former is pronounced en-ay-lage, from Greek word for "change"; I'd never heard it before. We've discussed iltifat last year; this talk applies it to this one sura.

    Enallage is an abrupt change in tense, from perfect to imperfect, in the same song. Smith includes Arabic nominative sentences and active participles in the imperfect. Apparently the poets did Iltifat in Ugarit and ancient Israel so, the Qur'an is drawing from a long tradition of Semitic poetic. The claim is (from Ibn Athir)  that Enallage is not found in pre-Qur'anic poetry but personally I doubt Smith looked hard enough...

    Sura 54 is tripartate (like 53) with lots of refrains ("see how was my warning and punishment!") so likely composed for a liturgy. It's Meccan but many think vv. 44-6 are Madinan. There is a ring-structure on the Hour (sa'a, of Judgement).

    The perfect constructions are in the middle section; imperfect before and after. The middle section is where stuff has happened in the past, where the beginning and end are applying these warnings to the present day.

    Sura 54 is the richest sura in Iltifat, although suras 44 and 50 use it too.

    So, iltifat in sura 54 seems to be a rhetorical device to bring the audience back to the past and forward again.

    One question from audience: are there suras NOT meant for a liturgy? Smith basically pled ignorance, but correctly pointed out he's talking sura 54 so that question is out of scope.
  • IQSA, meeting 18-21 November
     Reply #3 - November 19, 2016, 01:27 PM

    Andrew Smith, on Enallage / Iltifat in sura 54. This former is pronounced en-ay-lage, from Greek word for "change"; I'd never heard it before. We've discussed iltifat last year; this talk applies it to this one sura.

    ..................

    Sura 54 is the richest sura in Iltifat, although suras 44 and 50 use it too.

    So, iltifat in sura 54 seems to be a rhetorical device to bring the audience back to the past and forward again.

    One question from audience: are there suras NOT meant for a liturgy? Smith basically pled ignorance, but correctly pointed out he's talking sura 54 so that question is out of scope.

    thanks for that meeting up dates Zimriel

    Do not let silence become your legacy  
    I renounced my faith to become a kafir, 
    the beloved betrayed me and turned in to  a Muslim
     
  • IQSA, meeting 18-21 November
     Reply #4 - November 19, 2016, 01:29 PM

    Matthew Kuyper (kay-per, like the late GHA Juynboll)was Jane-ball) comes to us from Notre Dame, like GSR.

    He is talking about da'wa in the Qur'an. Today there is resurgence in Islamic da'wa, missionary activity. This is more dynamic than islah, tajdid etc. We're here to discuss Qur'an and the hadith, not necessarily mediaeval da'wa. Paul Walker, Oxford Encyclopaedia of the Modern Islamic World 1995 says no study on da'wa so far...

    d'w root appears 200+ times, calling, inviting, exhorting, ascribing. It may be secular, like - in Urdu - dawat is the call to supper!

    Qur'an is, itself, da'wa in a polemic milieu. There were rivals. [I've argued, within the qur'an itself!] Often da'wa is prayer, even if a polytheistic da'wa min dooni'llahi. Can also be call to conduct, righteous or unrighteous. Satan has an anti-da'wa, 14:22; this call leads to the Fire, 28:41 / 2:221, as Pharaoh called. Muslims should resist this call.

    The Prophets offer their own call like Noah in 71:5-7. This is linked with Q. 3:20, 16:35 al-balagh, the apostle's duty to communicate. Which can be in writing, Q. 27:30, Sulayman's letter to queen Bilqis. Sura 40's mu'min in vv.41-3 brings them together: he objects to Pharaoh leading his people to the Fire.

    Kuyper assumes the Qur'an's prophet is Muhammad, mainly for the sake of this talk. He cites the Qur'anic Prophet making balagh / da'wa in sura 33 (which is, yes, about Mo), Q. 46:31-2 (which is NOT about Mo) and 8:20-4 (only if we read it with sura 3).

    Beyond da'wa, there is a situational possibility of jidal, argument. [I say situational because sura 6 (cited in sura 4 as scripture) prescribes not getting bogged down into jidal.] Jidal is allowed - if done right - Q. 16:125.

    There is gradualist / oecumenical da'wa and exclusivist / polemical da'wa. Kuyper's not discussing whether this means Mecca / al-Madina although I'm sure everyone was thinking that. Q. 3:104 more direct: the community invites to good (kh-y-r), commands right, forbids wrong. v. 110: YOU are the KH-Y-R community brought out of mankind. By the time of sura 9 (Kuiper, again, trusts the sira implicitly) we have a command to command right and to forbid wrong, v. 71.

    So the Qur'an IS da'wa, a summons to the Islamic religion. It is more about doing da'wa than on theorising about it. Also there's an open question on whether it is up to the individual Muslim to do da'wa, or whether the Qur'an intends this to the Apostle, leaving modern day da'wa up to his imam. (I note the same problem existed in Jihad: Awzai said, all you Muslims should go fight those damn Greeks, like, now; and Shaybani said you need to wait for the caliph to give the order.)
  • IQSA, meeting 18-21 November
     Reply #5 - November 19, 2016, 02:51 PM

    Karen Bauer, or, as the Carolingian chroniclers would say, Karen the Short. She is standing beside the podium...

    The Greeks had three means of making their point:
    • logos: reasonable argument
    • ethos: character of speaker
    • pathos: emotion
    She's concentrating on the third one. Scholars have been more interested in the first and second because pathos is, in scholarship, not suitable for argument. When they discuss the third they narrowly get into Qur'anic aesthetics, poetic tricks like rhyme and forms of iltifat.

    Qur'anic appeals to pathos happen in narrative, like Mary and Job crying out for help. Where the Qur'an is not in narrative, allusions to Qur'anic narrative elsewhere. Sura 2 does this a lot: "nor shall you grieve".

    The Qur'an links emotional clusters. When you are invited to empathise with Moses' mother in sura 28, you are also being invited to empathise with the cause of the shi'a of Moses' people against Pharaoh. Pathos is tied with logos here and, since this is Moses we are discussing here, with ethos.

    Bauer wonders if the Qur'an was directed mainly to women. I agree she can apply this to sura 28 but I doubt this of, say, sura 4.

    Bauer also compares the Qur'an's empathy with women in labour against the "Bible's" coldheartedness in Genesis, saying women bear children painfully as a punishment from God. I wondered if this comparison was fair and, later, some of the audience called her on it: other passages in the Bible are very sympathetic to young mothers, not just the Gospel of Luke but Isaiah too.
  • IQSA, meeting 18-21 November
     Reply #6 - November 19, 2016, 03:20 PM

    Love these summaries!

    So far the Q54 talk seems the most interesting.
  • IQSA, meeting 18-21 November
     Reply #7 - November 19, 2016, 05:30 PM

    GSR didn't add much new and Boisliveau didn't turn up, so moving on to the keynote address.

    Emran el-Badawi introduced this, with some bad news: Andrew Rippin seems to be in a terminal illness at this moment. A great loss to students of tafsir.
  • IQSA, meeting 18-21 November
     Reply #8 - November 19, 2016, 05:48 PM

    Karen Bauer, ..................


    Bauer also compares the Qur'an's empathy with women in labour against the "Bible's" coldheartedness in Genesis, saying women bear children painfully as a punishment from God. .......................

    Karen Bauer....Karen Bauer .,  well she is   well versed with Shia Islam...and I think she is right in  saying that from Genesis

    well.,     god is  the   "Heee" ..  the male.....the dickhead ".,  so he will punish the women folks., In fact  this hegod  of faiths and faith books  punish women folks even if  the alleged bad activity  is nothing to do with women  but her male partner said something  against alleged words of  "hegod" .."themalegod"

    anyways Zimriel  Thank you ...And.. .........report and report and  report about that meetIng.,    How about sharing some lecture pdf files??

    with best regards
    yeezevee

    Do not let silence become your legacy  
    I renounced my faith to become a kafir, 
    the beloved betrayed me and turned in to  a Muslim
     
  • IQSA, meeting 18-21 November
     Reply #9 - November 19, 2016, 05:53 PM

    Farid Esack's keynote is "These Are My Daughters", exploring the themes of the Qur'anic Lot / Sodom story.

    For Esack this is a personal address; his mother was gangraped to death in South Africa [Z: see yeez's point below], at the age of 52 (Farid was 13). So here he is discussing Lot, whose contribution to Prophetic sunna was to offer his own daughters up to a crowd of Sodom's manhood. Esack draws analogy to Bob Dylan: do we reject all Dylan's work because he supported an apartheid state (Israel)? Esack can't reject all the Qur'an just because of this one brutal story, so...

    Esack looks at the order of the sura's authorship (according to Sira) and sees Lot's own wife as extraneous to the tale. She doesn't appear in suras 53 or 69. Perhaps she was back-migrated into the Qur'an as a means of merging the Muslims with the People of the Book.

    Much of Islamic exegesis was taken up with some way of protecting Lot's infallibility. Lot is no Prophet for the Jews - in fact is a father to Israel's enemies (Shari Lowin will discuss this later) - and in Christianity, Lot is a saint like Saint Peter so, also, capable of error. Lot's daughters have no agency in the Qur'an, but they would be presumably-blameless Muslims as daughters to a prophet. So in the qisas al-anbiya' they try to protect God's messengers by talking them out of staying overnight in the wicked city.

    As for why Lot would do such a thing, the mufassirun offer various theories. One is that Lot was trying to teach heterosexuality.

    But under classical fiqh, Lot would be wrong to make even that offer. Because Sodom was not a Muslim town and Muslim women - like the prophet's daughters - are not to marry kuffar. Sura 11 may already allude to this when the Sodomites refuse Lot on the basis that they know Lot knows marriage was out of the question. So another theory: Lot was engaging in a ruse to play for time.

    There is a rejoinder: Shari Lowin, of Stonehill College. She goes into the Jewish conception of Lot, which is that Lot went to Sodom because he was, like them, a pervert. The rabbis teach that Lot's desire was for his own, which could mean other men, and could also include his own family - as we see in Genesis when his daughter seduces him (at least the older one does).

    In Judaism Lot is the contrast to Abraham. Abraham does right in the sight of the Lord; Lot tries, but fails. Lot exits the stage after Genesis 17, leaving only his evil misbegotten progeny of Ammon and Moab.

    Back to the Qur'an Lowin wonders if there are two Lots here. One is the messenger sent to Sodom to preach Islamic monotheism. The other Lot  - more Biblically - is the relative of Abraham who is at the Plain to receive God's *real* messengers. "At SBL", she points out, they would suggest two authors... implying that scholars can't suggest that at IQSA at present.
  • IQSA, meeting 18-21 November
     Reply #10 - November 19, 2016, 06:02 PM

    Farid Esack's keynote is "These Are My Daughters", exploring the themes of the Qur'anic Lot / Sodom story.

    For Esack this is a personal address; his mother was gangraped to death in South Africa, at the age of 52 (Farid was 13). ..................

    what ?   that is really shocking and news to me.,  where did you get that from Zimriel ?? He is from Pakistan..... that too grew up in Karachi.,  It is true some of his relatives are living in South Africa

    Do not let silence become your legacy  
    I renounced my faith to become a kafir, 
    the beloved betrayed me and turned in to  a Muslim
     
  • IQSA, meeting 18-21 November
     Reply #11 - November 19, 2016, 06:06 PM

    At the end of the day, which suddenly got VERY COLD (welcome to central Texas!) we got a screening of parts of this:
    https://mondediplo.com/2016/01/14islam

    Everyone was knackered by then. And I couldn't take notes in the dark. Also the people in the room next to us were playing loud music. We had to hear this and then, I kid you not, this. So I'm playing by an imperfect memory here.

    The late and lamented Patricia Crone gave her impassioned comment about Abraham being a unifying figure between the three monotheisms. She clearly thought that was stupid, expressing this in amusingly sarcastic fashion. The figures of the past are territory, she argued; Muslims, Jews, and Christians cannot all have him, at least two must be wrong.

    There was also someone who noted Jabal Usays. This rock south of Damascus is full of Umayyad-era graffiti, and many quotes from the Qur'an. What there is not, is any mention of Muhammad. And Muhammad is a cypher on the Dome of the Rock, where Jesus is mentioned throughout.

    They had discussions in between screenings, by the people interviewed here, like Shawkat Toorawa and Gabriel Reynolds. Toorawa claimed Muhammad is very much present in the Dome of the Rock as the person who delivered the Qur'anic verses there.

    I, uh, don't buy this argument. Because Abd al-Malik is mentioned on that part of the Dome too, so one could argue that the caliphate is being supported here as the deliverer of Revelation: Jesus the Messiah - the rightful King, at the time, to Christians and Muslims - then, Muhammad, the last Prophet and finally his successors the caliphs. In that conception Muhammad is just there to pick up the baton, which the Jews and Christians had dropped, and pass it to the Umayyads.
  • IQSA, meeting 18-21 November
     Reply #12 - November 19, 2016, 06:07 PM

    yeez: I got that from him. Although he didn't mention where his mother was killed, so it could have been Pakistan.

    South Africa has a large Muslim population from Indians who went there under the British Empire. So I assumed he was born in South Africa.
  • IQSA, meeting 18-21 November
     Reply #13 - November 19, 2016, 06:17 PM

    yeez: I got that from him. Although he didn't mention where his mother was killed, so it could have been Pakistan.

    South Africa has a large Muslim population from Indians who went there under the British Empire. So I assumed he was born in South Africa.

    what?..He told you that??  that is really shocking to me..  That fellow  is the type of person he will  sell his mother to achieve his goals ...Foooll...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYIVOY4MH-M

    Quote
    ........I am not praying for Paris; I am not condemning anyone. Why the hell should I?. I had nothing to do with it. I am sickened by the perpetual expectations to condemn. I walk away from your shitty racist and Islamophobic expectations that whenever your chickens come home to roost then I must feign horror. Stop supporting and funding terror outfits, get out of other people’s lands and continents, stop outlawing peaceful resistance such as Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement, to occupations , abandon your cultural imperialism, destroy your arms industry that provides the weapons that kill hundreds of thousands of others every year. The logic is quite simple; When you eat, it’s stupid to expect that no shit will ever come out from your body. Yes, I feel sorry for the victims on whom the shit falls. But, bloody hell, own it; it’s yours!....

    I  have little respect to fools  who lie .. STUPID FAITH HEAD

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0_m1eSmZ8g

    sorry Zimriel ..Some times i get upset please continue ...  I know about  him a bit..

    Do not let silence become your legacy  
    I renounced my faith to become a kafir, 
    the beloved betrayed me and turned in to  a Muslim
     
  • IQSA, meeting 18-21 November
     Reply #14 - November 19, 2016, 06:45 PM

    This morning (getting caught up here) I had a choice between a discussion of Kisai's stories of the Anbiya', or the Qur'an as a "violent" text. I hadn't even started on Kisai and I figured I'd heard a lot about prophets yesterday, so went with the panel on the Qur'an's alleged violence.

    Esack opened this panel by asking what the definition of Violence should be...

    Reuven Firestone, first, noted that the Sumerian gods did not endorse violence at first. As Sumer became the Akkadian Empire, and definitely later under Hammurabi's Babylon, the gods started fighting on behalf of the cities. So the rise of the state created an ethos of divine violence, which is state violence.

    David Cook thought violence was more linked with monotheism. (He seems to be wrong about that.)

    Khalid Blankinship discussed theodicy: what kind of god would create so deadly and painful a universe? Death itself is a violence inherent in the cosmos. To some thinkers this leads to atheism. Also, the development of political structure leads to hierarchy, Nietzsche, the Genealogy of Morals. As the lower orders resent being oppressed, whether or not this oppression is necessary, some of them devise theories of divine justice.

    Hina Azam offers a contrary theory within the Qur'an, that sometimes human violence is Satanic and not from God (note: to me this means those suras don't assume Divine omnipotence... but hey). It's mentioned in the story of Adam; Moses is appalled to observe Khidr killing a man; Moses (not yet called to Prophecy) renounces his murder of an Egyptian and declares that "of the Satan". In sura 27's Sheba, the Queen's male advisors counsel war against Solomon but the Queen decides upon sending a gift instead. So not all the Qur'an is for war. Esack piped in to agree, to look at all the Qur'an.

    Karen Bauer came back, to say that when the Qur'an advises violence, it is proportionate - at least, could have been seen as proportionate to a Syro-Arabian audience. Sura 4's prescribed discipline against bad wives is like the discipline against one's bad sons. Sura 5's recommendation against thieves, to cut off hands, is like a Roman military punishment against soldiers who steal. This punishment was not for civilians or slaves. (Which makes me wonder if sura 5 was meant as a military manual or for the amsar, not for civilian centres like Umayyad Damascus.)

    Hawting returns to violence as part of the human condition, but - like Cook, against Firestone - says religious violence is monotheistic.  As we heard from Professor Crone (pbuh) last night, one side must be right and the others wrong. Hence God as the enemy of the Satan, people making war on God and His Apostle. At the same time we can't neglect the nonviolent verses like the verses of creation. (Personally I thought this argument was weak; if we're making that case we need to be concentrating on the anti-violent sections, like Azam did.)

    We did get, from the audience, a critique of Azam: the Qur'an supports nonviolence in submission to God. (My comment, which I kept to myself: Solomon would probably not have been blamed if he had sent an army into Sana', except inasmuch as invading Yemen is always a dumb idea. But anyway....)

    We then had a USC student in hijab, who said something about power dynamics even in this room, full of scholars, as a form of violence. (I was *not* able to hide a facepalm at that.) Blankinship reminded the room that in a proto state "more proto than state" there is going to be a State Of Nature, in the Hobbesian sense, so violence is going to happen. Sura 49 assumes a non-state. Muhammad's polity developed toward a state, eventually Hisham's "jihad state" (plugging his own book).

    Having eventually come around basically to Heinlein, that state violence is necessary, and that we cannot have an ordered state without it, we then ask about passages that "legitimate actual physical violence".

    Hawting brought up the harbi verse, in sura 5, a seeming blank cheque to states to do what they want in order to stop fasad in the Earth. Muslim scholars tend to restrict that, perhaps in reaction to Umayyad and 'Abbasid tyranny.

    Karen Bauer then brought up the surat al-anfal, #8. This is a "salvational warfare" sura. God does not rain stones from the sky, but He does rain water, which purifies the believers in a form of mass ablution before battle.

    Khalid Blankinship notes that Muslims already thought Q. 4:34 was problematic in the 300s / 900s. When all fails with one's wife one may... tap her with a toothstick. (This was another argument I couldn't accept. There's no punishment in that. Its only rationale is to play-act the threat of hitting one's wife with a cricket-bat, on the assumption that the man *can* do such a thing.)

    David Cook discussed the history of Boko Haram. They were peaceful Salafists at first. In 2009 they became an armed gang. They used Qur'anic verses throughout. But now there are ex-Boko Salafists in Nigeria who argue from the Cain and Abel verse in sura 5.

    Reuven Firestone noted that the session was looking like an apologetic session (I was tending to agree) but did note the varying contexts of Bible, New Testament, Qur'an. The Qur'an is more like the Bible in context, because there was no state - the believers had to roll their own state. The New Testament was done under Roman control at the pinnacle of Imperium. So - at least after Jesus was killed - there was no possibility of a Christian State in Scripture. In the NT, all violence is rebel violence.

    At this point I left and came here to type this out.
  • IQSA, meeting 18-21 November
     Reply #15 - November 19, 2016, 06:45 PM

     I *wanted* to attend the graduate students' lightning-session, but it was at "849 E Commerce street 2nd level" which I found out meant "somewhere on the second floor of the Macy's". I prescribe the public flogging of whoever wrote that in the programme.
  • IQSA, meeting 18-21 November
     Reply #16 - November 19, 2016, 07:35 PM

    Studying an Arabic New Testament Vat. Ar. 13. Sara Schulthess introduces this; who, despite her name, is French. This is a digital humanities project, like the genomics project in Life Sciences.

    The topic itself wants to raise the profile of Arabic manuscripts. They've been neglected as a third-hand witness to the NT text. But now there is interest in what the text meant to people over time. There's also the question of whether Arabic was used for NT translation before the Qur'an, which is a heated one between Muslims and Christians online...

    The base text for this MS is mixed: there's Syriac influence, like "do not eat BREAD (khubz)" where the Syriac has bread but the Greek has no bread. Where there is a Greek underlying text, it is not Byzantine; there are Alexandrian readings here.

    Language is Early Middle Arabic; no vowels; bad diacritics.

    One nice point: when this Arabic text translates "Greek" (hellen), it goes for "hanif". Clearly the Syriac is meant and not Qur'anic "hanif" like Abraham.

    http://tarsian.vital-it.ch/
  • IQSA, meeting 18-21 November
     Reply #17 - November 20, 2016, 01:54 AM

    An understudy for Michael Marx, by name of Tobias, gave Dr Marx's talk on the development of Quranic orthography through the manuscripts.

    Our version of the Qur'an is based on 10th century manuscripts and on the work of Ibn Mujahid (at least of the latter's students). It is not a critical text in the sense the Christians use of their Bible, or even the Jews these days. It is more like the Byzantine textus receptus (mentioned above). There are more than one obvious mistake, like "qada" for "wassa" in Q. 17:23.

    Zaotar would approve Tobias / Marx's note that several MSS share sura 2's variant spelling for "Ibrahim", the (correct!) spelling "Ibraham". But there's more: there's apparently a dispute over Da'ud / Dawud as well, which may be regional (Nabataean Arabic did not have a hamza, or at least didn't spell it, so just lengthened the vowel), and a question over li-ahaba / li-yahaba in Q. 19:19, and over how to spell shay' between 18:23 and :46.

    There's a "database variae lectiones" that Tobias opened up, which is probably this one:
    http://corpuscoranicum.de/lesarten/
  • IQSA, meeting 18-21 November
     Reply #18 - November 20, 2016, 01:58 AM

    Brubaker, from Rice University like David Cook and -er - me, offered a talk on corrections of mistakes in Qur'anic MSS. This one wasn't so useful, but does show how copyists had trouble copying out certain words.

    Brubaker chose the word RZQ, the loanword "provision" the Qur'an lifted from Persian rozik. In Kufic script, these letters look almost the same, by unhappy accident. So scribes were always realising "uh oh spaghetti o" and crossing out whatever gibberish they wrote, and putting the correct consonants in there.

    As mentioned, this knowledge doesn't add to what the Qur'an really says in all places - yet. I wonder if Brubaker is hiding something important under this study.
  • IQSA, meeting 18-21 November
     Reply #19 - November 21, 2016, 09:45 AM

    Zimriel  keep typing away ......keep typing away ......  Good stuff ..good stuff.. That is wonderful.....  Thank you

    Brubaker, from Rice University like David Cook and -er - me, offered a talk on corrections of mistakes in Qur'anic MSS. This one wasn't so useful, but does show how copyists had trouble copying out certain words.............

      Then what are you doing  Zimrel...    Go to RIce.... Give the talk BURN THE PRESENT BOOKISH QURAN...make  a new one ., new Quran.,     that is not  a bad thing to do at this time  ..Iron is Hot..  it is in oven...

    So can you list me existing Quran manuscripts  .  or a link of it ?   let us say  from  ..

    "Within 100 years of alleged Prophet death ( according toIslam,Alleged Prophet died in the year 632) .. So year 732 to year 1100 AD??

    with best wishes
    yeezevee

    Do not let silence become your legacy  
    I renounced my faith to become a kafir, 
    the beloved betrayed me and turned in to  a Muslim
     
  • IQSA, meeting 18-21 November
     Reply #20 - November 21, 2016, 01:21 PM

    Sunday morning's panel was on Sura 4 and suras connected with it.

    I almost missed this one like I missed the grad students'. The nitwits at SBL changed the venue to "Marriott Salon A".  I actually ran into Nicolai Sinai walking the other way when I was going into that first, now-wrong, conference room. Fortunately, some people had a webphone "app". Then I found out the hard way there are TWO Marriotts in this area. Fortunately the speakers were running late too... but that also meant they rushed their talks :^(

    So, on to the talks. First Dr Lowry, the latest translator of the Shafi'ite Risala, spoke on legislation in Sura 4, and its internal coherence. To the point I could understand the coherence of his talk about it.

    First he discussed the classical tafsir on Q. 4:5. The verse commands, don't give money to incompetents, sufahat. This happens to be gendered, as female, in Arabic.  Sufyan Thawri related from Mujahid, that this means women (nisa). But although there is certainly some patriarchal sentiment in surat al-Nisa, that's not the sura's point. So, this should be the incompetents *of* the women. Mainstream Islam allows that mentally competent women may exist. I mean, except for the fools who married Mujahid and Sufyan Thawri ...

    He moves on to sura 4's relationship to suras 2, 3, 5, 6. He discusses how the narratives are used in each, and the sura's 'mood'.

    In sura 3, legislation is negative. Divine Law is a punishment, meted out to communities unready for the true Message. (As it is in Christianity.) Sura 5 has legal passages, and a mood of optimism.

    Sura 4's language of obligation like those of 2 and 5... and unlike. 2 has more clauses of exception.

    Sura 4's mood is pessimistic, and speaks to a violent people. There is discord in marriage and discord between the nations. "Sustained polemic even by Koranic standards".

    In conclusion, Lowry noted v. 87: it bisects the sura. That verse does not participate in the anxiety, and interrupts that.
  • IQSA, meeting 18-21 November
     Reply #21 - November 21, 2016, 01:35 PM

    Nicolai Sinai looked at the ways modern scholars have been organising sura 4, and proposes his own layout - a sequence, in fact. Sinai's plan is chronological, that sura 4 has accumulated over time:

    1) Parts I+II, vv. 1-126.
    2) Part III vv.127-34.
    3) Part IV vv. 135-75.
    4) Part V v. 176.

    Up to v. 126 he agrees with Lowry - and with Zahniser and Islahi (and Farrin). So really what Sinai is doing is taking apart Zahniser's last section (the 5th).

    Sinai notes that other suras show evidence of later interpolation. Suras 73 and 74. Also, he argues, sura 5 - he sees at least two layers of later construction over Q. 5:3-5.
  • IQSA, meeting 18-21 November
     Reply #22 - November 21, 2016, 01:43 PM

    I'm going to interpose a note here. Veering into rant territory, perhaps.

    I asked a question of Lowry and Sinai, and the other speakers: were they aware of Margoliouth, Textual Variations of the Koran:
    Quote
    Even when it quotes itself, the quotations are not always what we should call accurate. An example may be taken from iv. 139 [Z: Fluegel], He has sent down unto you in the Book that when ye hear the signs of Allah discredited and ridiculed, ye shalt not sit with them until they plunge into another topic. The reference would seem to be to vi. 67, When thou seest those who plunge into our signs, turn aside from them until they plunge into another topic. Clearly the former is a loose paraphrase...

    Never mind that the quote is inexact; still, sura 4 is citing sura 6 as if it is already the Book of God.

    To my mind, this is among the facts known in Qur'anic scholarship for a whole century. I will add E E Elder's 1925 finding (in that year's "Moslem World") that sura 28's Moses story harmonised sura 20 with the introduction to sura 27; and George Sale in his 1730 translation and extensive footnotes noting that sura 39 quoted from sura 28's Korah story.

    If scholars don't know these findings, they should. Any investigator into any work's composition must first look into whatever sources already existed and still survive. As these suras go, those articles need to be much more widely disseminated. This is as good a spot as any.
  • IQSA, meeting 18-21 November
     Reply #23 - November 21, 2016, 01:53 PM

    Hamza Zafer gave a talk on universalism and equivalence. Almost a sermon on Q. 4:163-5.

    The Qur'an often discusses past examples of Divine wrath. When a city reaches a power-pinnacle, it usually also enters a moral nadir. At this point a prophet shows up as a hadi, a shahid, to bear witness on God's behalf in advance of a dreadful doom.

    Ibn Ishaq the 'caliphal historian' related that the Prophet's Madinese army marched through al-Higr. Muhammad ordered: don't drink from the wells of the ruin, ride through the ruin or you will be ruined as they were. The Qur'an is a "narrator of stories of civilisational death". And the stories in the Q are not ALL such stories.

    Higr was Nabataea. Says Zafer, "Mecca burgeoned in this period as you know". [At this point I was thinking, I actually don't know, and neither did the Late Antique experts on Arabia... so how do you know?]

    The failure of prophecy, if the prophet be dismissed, means the failure of the qura, the city [later, Hamza will say polis and invoke Hellenism].

    Sura 4 seems to be urban, then.
  • IQSA, meeting 18-21 November
     Reply #24 - November 21, 2016, 02:04 PM

    Dr Klar looked at sura 4's structure and finds it distinctive, often shared with sura 33. She's going to sit because she's ill. Flu? she looks very pale.

    She also linked the sura 4 / sura 33 language with the language of other suras, and found in those other suras there might just be one verse that parallels sura 4/33 language.

    I'd say the solution is that those other verses are quoting from sura 4 (or 33). And that suras 4 and 33 come from a wholly different authorial voice from the other suras. Maybe Dr Klar will come to the same conclusion. Maybe she already did and I missed it because she was rushed and ill, unable to speak clearly. I sincerely hope she feels better soon.
  • IQSA, meeting 18-21 November
     Reply #25 - November 21, 2016, 02:12 PM

    I skipped out on the questions after this talk, since they weren't adding much, and also skipped the IQSA business meeting, since I'm not a member (although last year I did go). I spent that time in the Exhibition Hall which is basically the Near East scholar's biggest and best bookstore. I imagine the library in Paradise looks a lot like it.

    At 1 PM I had the choice between the Qur'an Seminar's book launch and cookie reception, and more discussion on Qur'anic manuscripts.


    This morning there's going to be more Qur'an Seminar (but no cookies), and more talks on religious violence. I'm going to the former.
  • IQSA, meeting 18-21 November
     Reply #26 - November 21, 2016, 02:30 PM

    I´m with Yeez, and thank you Zimriel for keeping us upto date!  thnkyu

    Amazing how so many of these talks amongst scholars seem to be about the muslim equivalent of the old christian discussions about the gender of the angels...
  • IQSA, meeting 18-21 November
     Reply #27 - November 23, 2016, 09:16 PM

    I just got home, driving San Antonio -> Denver. Colorado Springs SUCKS for traffic. But anyway. Monday started with the Qur'an Seminar.

    We started with sura 27's Salih and Lot stories. This is the part that I piped up the most about... from the audience, of course.

    It was widely agreed that these involve "redactional activity", and contain parallels with other related Qur'anic stories. Sura 27's Lot parallels sura 7's; its Salih, though, is totally different. That "camel of God" that John the Damascene made so much mock of? Not in sura 27.

    Emad Mohamed, a newcomer to these panels, sees parallels internal to sura 27 about plots and schemes against the prophets and messengers (remember, in the Qur'an, Lot may be a prophet but his guests are God's messengers...). God pre-emptively punishes the wicked before they can harm His own.

    Mohamed thought the jahl of Sodom wasn't ignorance, but aggression. [I thought this term was meaningless in sura 27, that it is there simply to evoke sura 7's Pharaoh.]

    Sura 27 has no reference to Lot offering up his daughters; also, no guests. Implicitly Lot was that messenger and he was expelled by his opponents.

    The Thamud, meanwhile, appear to be a sect of Believer. They make up a faction (furqa) in v. 45; they swear by Allah in v. 49. Firestone asked if "Allah" here was just a stand-in for whatever the Thamud really worshipped. (I piped up, "like 'Bosheth' in the Bible".) But Reynolds said the god isn't really the point.

    There was a discussion between Shari Lowin and Gabriel Reynolds on the meaning of 11:56, that Sodom objects to Lot's family (âl) claiming to be an onas yatatahharûna. Lowin thought of "goody two shoes" or "goody goody", possibly channelling "Army of Darkness". GSR said, no, it's purification; there's Qur'anic language about the prophets being purified elsewhere.
  • IQSA, meeting 18-21 November
     Reply #28 - November 23, 2016, 09:35 PM

    Next was the infamous Zayd Affair from sura 33, vv. 28-37. A subtext of all this was David Powers' books on Zayd, especially "Muhammad is Not The Father of Any of Your Men".

    Firestone brought up two paradigms on prophets' families from the Hebrew Bible. There's no restriction there; even nazirites, who take a number of special sacred oaths, are allowed wives and children. Moses, Samuel, and Isaiah all married. Jeremiah was commanded not to marry, but this was a narrative point. Hosea married a prostitute but that, too, was a narrative point - to the degree one might ask if it even happened. Jesus didn't marry (some mirth was had at Karen King's expense). The Qur'an sides with the Jews here.

    Reynolds brought up a textual dispute over v. 33, from the Tafsir of Suyuti. In our text it says waqarna fî buyûtikuma, stay in your houses. But maybe it's qarina. So then it's, be dignified in your houses. (I think.)

    Another question is whether sura 33's commands about women are applicable to all Muslimat, or just to those in the Prophet's immediate household. The Shi'a use these rules to "prove" that Aisha was not a pure woman.

    Someone brought up the Paret translation: don't be OVERLY QUIET with strange men, who may take it as coquettish. But if this is applied just to the Prophet's women, then that command would be a note that these women, as given special responsibilities, should be ordering the Muslims to the point of jihad. (I could see how Aisha's followers would approve of that reading. I mean, up to the point 'Ali's army proved their exegesis wrong by thrashing them.)

    And who are the ahl al-bayt? To Paret (and Reynolds), the bayt is the Ka'ba so the ahl al-bayt are all the Muslims. Badawi - who'd been quiet up to now - introduced himself as "a member of the audience sitting up here" and wondered if the ahl al-bayt is out of place here.

    Lowin (who should have been sitting up there) noted that vv. 28-37 slides around topics, isn't a coherent whole, so she challenged the panel why did you carve this out as a pericope. Mehdi Azaiez confessed to this choice.

    Someone else noted that v. 37, as a mention of a historical figure, "historicises" the sura as a product of the seventh century [CE].
  • IQSA, meeting 18-21 November
     Reply #29 - November 23, 2016, 09:42 PM

    Sura 49:

    There was a discussion about that weird cannibalistic reference to "devouring the flesh of your dead brother". Badawi thought this was like the eucharist, but no-one was really buying that. Later an audience member noted that this parallels Paul in Galatians 5, where he advises his [Christian] "brothers" not to bicker, because that's like "biting and devouring one another". That seemed more plausible to the crowd.

    It also looked like the sura was distinguishing between a mu'min and a muslim. Fred Donner's "Muhammad and the Believers" was the subtext here. Muslim is political; Mu'min is confessional. A Muslim will follow the amir's orders while not necessarily believing the prophet's religion. The Mu'min though must support the sabil Allahi. Reynolds brought up islam as a spiritual surrender - from Ringgren - but Reynolds saw this sura as too temporal for that. An audience member thought that this was a fine-tuning of labels set out elsewhere.
  • 12 Next page « Previous thread | Next thread »