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Thread: Was the Qru'aan really a book written in Aramaik?

  1. #16
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    Default Re: Was the Qru'aan really a book written in Aramaik?

    First of all, you comment that Muhammad was not mentioned in the first sixty years of the Arab conquest is without a shadow of a doubt false. If you want evidence within the first Sixty years, that is 632-692 CE, let me present it.

    1. Doctrinia Jacobi of Jacob, dated July 634CE.
    Although he does not mention Muhammad explicitly, he does make an allusion to Muhammad by writing "a false prophet has appeared among the Saracens". Who else fits the bill? If a non-Christian text, two years after Jesus, said "a false Christ has appeared among the Jews", would you doubt it was referring to Jesus of Nazereth?

    2. The Gospel of Mark Manuscript (BL add 14,461), dated 637CE,
    This is a Gospel where upon the margins, someone referred to Muhammad explicitly.

    3. Syriac Chronicle of Thomas the Presbyter, dated 640 CE
    This is the first explicit mention of Muhammad and the conquest of Gaza that took place. You should not that he is writing first hand event in 634.

    4. The Armenian chronicle of Seboes, dated 660's CE
    Sebeos not only mentions Muhammad, but gives us a narrative account of his life. It tells us that Muhammad war a merchant as a youth (which we believe), that he preached monotheism with Abrahamic roots (which we belive), that he legislated law such as not to drink alcohol, fornicate, eat carrion of speak falsely (which we belive).

    5. The Anonymous Khuzestan Chronicle, dated 660's CE
    It also explicitly mentions Muhammad and states he was the Ishmaelite (i.e the Arabs) leader.

    6. Two Islamic coins minted by Abdul al-Malik ibn Amir dated 685/ 686CE
    These two coins minted by an Arab Muslims has inscribed on it "Muhammad is the prophet of God"

    7. The Kitab d-rismelle of John bar Penkaya, dated 687 CE.
    He also explicitly mentions Muhammad and states that he was their guide and that they (ie Muslims) kept to his tradition fiercely.

    8. Islamic coin minted in kufa by Zubayrid authorities, dated 689 CE

    It has inscribed "Muhammad is the messenger of God"

    9. Islamic Coin minted in Sijistan by Abdul Aziz b. Abdullah, dated 691 CE

    It has inscribed "Muhammad is the messenger of God"

    10. Tombstone of Abassa ibn Ghuraig, dated 691 CE

    Inscribed on this tombstone is: "the greatest calamity of the people of Islam is that which has befallen them on the death of Muhammad the prophet". This inscription is undoubtedly Islamic and it also tells us that the Muslims where distinct people (`People of Islam").

    11. Fragment of the Charts of James of Edessa, dated 691 CE

    Another explicit reference to Muhammad, this time as the first King of the Arabs. He also mentions that Muhammad was a merchant.

    12. Arab coin of Bisapur minted under governor Khalid Abduallah, dated 690CE

    It has inscribed "In the name of Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of God"

    13. 3 inscriptions on the Dome of the Rock Inscription, dated 692 CE
    This is just awash with references to the prophet Muhammad (at least ten times he is mentioned by name) along with prayers and engaging Muslims to bless him and seek his intercession.

    14. Galilee Inscription containing order of caliph Abdul Malik, dated 692 CE

    Inscribed on this is "In the name of God Muhammad is the messenger of God"

    So we can see that within the first 60 years, there are 15 references to Muhammad. 7 non-Muslim texts mentioning Muhammad (6 explicitly) and 8 dated Muslim documents mentioning Muhammad. If you had allowed me to mention the evidence for the first 100 years, 632-732, I could adduce 40 references to Muhammad. You can gather from that Muhammad did exist. That he was an Arab. That he was a merchant as a youth. That he preached monotheism with Abrahamic roots. That he legislated laws such as not drinking alcohol (Qur'an 2:219), not fornicating (Qur'an 17:32), not eating carrion (Qur'an 5:3) and not speaking falsely (Qur'an 39:3). He was perceived as a prophet of God, a guide, and a leader whose traditions was fiercely followed. His death was perceived as a calamity to the people of Islam. He was held in great esteem and was constantly blessed by his followers. All this from texts within the first sixty years

    I suggest you pick up Oxford Professor of Islamic History Robert Hoyland's Book "Seeing Islam and Others Saw: A survey and Evaluation of Christian, Jewish and Zoroastrian writings on Early Islam" published by Darwin Press in 1997. You will see everything I present above in this book

    By the way, what do the two leading revisionist scholars of out time, Patricia Crone and Micheal Cook, says about the historicity of Muhammad . Patricia crone, in her 2008 internet Article on Muhammad, in democracy now writes:

    "we probably know more about Mohammed than we do about Jesus (let alone Moses or the Buddha), and we certainly have potential to know a great deal more. There is no doubt that Mohammed existed, occasional attempts to deny it notwithstanding. His neighbours in Byzantine Syria got to here of him within two years of his death at the latest.... Mohammed's death is normally placed in 632, but the possibility that it should be placed two or three years later cannot be completely excluded. The Muslim calendar was instituted after Mohammed's death, with a starting-point of his emigration (hijra) to Medina (then Yathrib) ten years earlier. Some Muslims, however, seem to have correlated this point of origin with the years which came to span 324-5 Gregorian calendar rather than the canonical year or 622. If such a revised date is accurate, the evidence of the Greek text would mean that Muhammad is the only founder of a world religion who is attested in a contemporary source. But in any case, this source gives us pretty irrefutable evidence that he was a historical figure. Moreover, an Armenian document probably written shortly after 661 identifies him by name and gives a recognisable account of his monotheist preaching.....the evident that a prophet was active among the Arabs in the early decades of the 7th century, on the eve of the Arab conquest of the middle east, must be said to be exceptionally good".

    Micheal Cook, in his Volume on Muhammad in Past master series writes

    "On the non-Muslim side, we have a small body of material in Greek and Syriac dating from the time of the conquests, and further Syriac material from later in the century. An Armenian chronicler writing in the 660s gives us the earliest narrative account of Muhammad's career to survive in any language. In Hebrew, an eighth century apocalypse has embedded in its earlier apocalypse that seems to be contemporary with the conquests. What does this material tell us? We may begin with the major points on which it agrees with the Islamic tradition. It precludes any doubts as to whether Muhammad was a real person: he is named in a Syriac source that is likely to date from the time of the conquests, and there is an account of him in a Greek source of the same period" (Muhammad: Past Masters, p73-74).

    Here is a nice little dilemma. If you deny the Muslim literary sources for the death of Muhammad at 632, then Doctrinia Jacobi become a contemporary soruce for Muhammad as he writes as though Prophet Muhammad was still alive (i.e by going and inquiring those who know him, etc). However, if you want to deny the contemporariness of the text, you have to do so by accepting the Muslim dating of his death at 632CE, two years earlier. If you do then accept the Muslim dating of his death at 632CE, then you have a dead Muhammad at 632CE, and nonexistent people don't die. Quite a dialemma. Interested to see how you get out of that one.


    Last edited by theman09; 25th September 2012 at 19:30.

  2. #17
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    Default Re: Was the Qru'aan really a book written in Aramaik?

  3. #18
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    Default Re: Was the Qru'aan really a book written in Aramaik?

    Arabic certainly contains loan words from these languages to do with theological concepts and devotional practices. But much more importantly the four languages share cognates – ‘blood brother’ words that share a common etymological origin between closely related languages. Arabic, Aramaic, Hebrew and Syriac share ‘religious’ cognates, but they also share cognates for abstractions like ‘freedom’ or ‘wisdom’, emotions like ‘love’ or ‘fear’, common man-made objects like ‘book’, ’house’, or ’tent’, numbers, a plethora of animals and plants, heavenly bodies, really basic things like ‘water’, ‘earth’ and ‘air’.

    Understanding this deep relationship between the Semitic languages of the Middle East allows one to go beyond mere ‘influence’ (always, for Holland, a one-way influence), to understand the deep inter-relatedness of the Semitic monotheisms. Viewed this way, that Arabic-Islamic discourse emerges as an equal and authentic variation on a wider theme explored in different but parallel ways by Jewish tradition expressed in Aramaic and Hebrew (modern ‘Hebrew’ letters are actually Aramaic ones), and in the Christian tradition in Syriac and the Semeticised Greek of the Middle East. But Holland’s better knowledge prevents him from making such ecumenical and inter-faith connections. Rather, his crude reworking of the ‘critical method’ of the nineteenth century enhances division and misunderstanding.

  4. #19
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    Default Re: Was the Qru'aan really a book written in Aramaik?

    As I mentioned in my previous blog, following the broadcast of his Channel Four documentary ‘Islam: The Untold Story’ on Tuesday evening, I got in touch with the presenter, Tom Holland, via Twitter to ask him some questions about the rather bizarre conjectures he had made – particularly given that he had said at the outset that he was interested in facts.

    Tom responded to a number of my questions via Twitter which I thought was very kind of him, especially as he may have received messages from a lot of people. I thought it would be worthwhile reproducing some of our exchanges below.

    Just to set the scene, remember that Tom stated in his documentary that he did not accept the traditional Muslim account of Islam’s history in a number of areas including:

    1. He argued that the Makka we know today was not the birthplace of Islam. He speculated that the true birthplace was most likely near Avdat a region bordering Palestine.

    2. He argued that rather than Islam giving birth to the early Arab/Muslim empire, he believed it was the other way round ie the early Arab empire gave birth to Islam – most probably under the rule of the Caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan who ruled between 685 – 705 CE.

    3. He argued that Islam and Muslims did not exist for at least thirty years after the death of the Prophet Muhammad in 632 CE.

    Now these conjectures are rather spectacular departures from the traditional Muslim account of the history of Islam so I thought it was worthwhile questioning Tom about them.

    I first questioned him about his theory that Makka was not the birthplace of Islam.

    The theory that a later Arab Caliph moved the birthplace of Islam is a hugely problematic one, not least because it would also mean that the Hajj – which predated the Prophet Muhammad of course – was moved. But I have already blogged about this in a previous post so let’s move on.

    The academic paper that Tom Holland was referring was Robert Hoyland’s paper ‘Writing the Biography of the Prophet Muhammad: Problems and Solutions’ which can be read here for free (the link Tom Holland provided requires you to register first). Anyway, to come back to Tom’s argument, he says that the reason we cannot find written testimony from Muslims in those first early decades after Muhammad’s death (632CE) is that Muslims did not in fact exist. The religion of Islam was a later invention of the Arab empire. However, Hoyland’s paper clearly mentions that several Christian sources do refer to Muhammad and Islam in the early decades after Muhammad. Where would these Christian sources have obtained that information from – surely from their encounters with Arabs and Muslims, right?

    I thought Tom’s mention of the ‘Doctrina Iacobi’ from 634CE was quite significant. I had not heard of this before. Now if a Christian document in 634CE – just two years after the death of the Prophet Muhammad – was referring to a ‘Prophet of the Saracens’ that would certainly call into question Tom’s assertion that Islam and Muslims did not even exist at this time.

    To that last question, I am still awaiting a response from Tom Holland. Remember, Tom argued in his documentary that Muslims and Islam did not exist and were a later creation of the Arab empire. However, the Doctrina Iacobi document from 634 CE that Holland himself referred me to talks of a ‘Prophet of the Saracens’ – and this is just two years after the death of the Prophet Muhammad in 632 CE in the traditional Muslim account of history. If – as Holland argues – Muslims and Islam did not exist at the time, then who was this ‘Prophet of the Saracens’ and what religion were his followers?

    If Tom Holland does respond to what I think is a very reasonable question, I will happily reproduce his answer below in the comments section.

  5. #20
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    Default Re: Was the Qru'aan really a book written in Aramaik?

    B) the few early non-Muslim historical sources don’t really contradict the essentials of the Islamic narratives (or Islamic “gesta”): we have a religious movement described as having its source in Arabia/among Arabs (Ishmaelites), with a leader called (or considered as being) Muhammad, most of the those early witnesses tend to qualify Islam either as a Christian heresy or a Christian heresy doubled with an alliance with Jews, and later witnesses tend to opt for the “ad hominem” attacks against Muhammad (the early opponents of Christianism tended rather to attack Christian beliefs, behavior, etc… than the supposed founding figure of Jesus) which can lead us to reasonably assume that Muhammad actually existed, then next point:

    C) as said, early critics (and it’s still relevant today) presented Islam as a Christian heresy: the interesting point being that this Christian heresy was perceived quite differently according to the religious leaning of the opponents of Islam were: i.e.: for example, if you were in the Byzantine part, Islam was perceived either as a kind of heretic Judaized Christianism (strong antisemitism in the Byzantine empire at this time due to various Jewish and Samaritan revolts) or a Nestorian offspring, others would consider Muhammad rather as being inspired by an Arian priest, or a forerunner of the Antichrist, etc… so I go to my next point:

    D) if any of the various thesis which try to find a Middle-East provenance or influence for Islam were right: obviously, the contemporary witnesses or opponents of Islam would have easily pointed out this provenance or influence: but that wasn’t the case, as basically the perception of Islam greatly differed according to what kind of Christian you were (i.e.: pro-Byzantine/anti-Byzantine): all those various contemporary conceptions about Islam tend to make reasonable to assume that for the non-Muslims who witnessed the expansion of Islam (directly impacting their life) this new religion or religious movement was completely new or unknown: if it wasn’t the case, the various conceptions would have quickly converged (as any Christian authority would have been able to put a name on what kind of Christian heresy Islam was : any Christian scholar of that time would be able to distinguish between an Arian, a Nestorian, a Judaized Christian, etc… fact being that religious doctrinal controversies were still very prevalent in Christianism, even more in Middle-East): which wasn’t the case and is still not the case

    E) then, there were perfect witnesses at that time to solve this matter: the Christian Arabs: they spoke the language, they were related to their tribal kinsmen still in Arabia, etc… so they had all the elements to contradict the Islamic narratives: oddly, on the main points of the Islamic “gesta” we don’t find any Christian Arab sources contradicting them (i.e.: the existence of Muhammad, a source located in Arabia/Hedjaz, a book called Quran) and we don’t find any Christian Arab sources (or “Arameanized Arab”> Northern/Middle-East Arabs of this era) neither developing alternative narratives nor speaking about a religious movement born among them (i.e. in North Arabia or Middle-East/Syria)

    if the genesis of Islam had occurred in Syria, Mesopotamia, etc… many clues related to flora, fauna and “culture” of those areas would appear in the Quran and early Islamic narratives: it’s not the case. Same applies with the thesis considering a x centuries long elaboration of Islam: if it had been the case, that also would appear “naturally” in Quran and Islamic narratives (simply imagine the “cultural shock” for natives of Arabia when discovering the marvels of the Byzantine cities or Persian empires, as well the different landscapes of Mesopotamia, Syria, Lebanon, etc…) apart imagining a x long centuries conspiracy with very talented writers: one can reasonably assume that Islam actually appeared in Arabia

    Yes, you are right, however my main point was that at the time of St John of Damascus (according to this testimony) Islam was already in a “recognizable” form. Now concerning the differences with the Quran how we know it today, for sure there are (in one of my comment, I pointed out the “She-Camel of God” story which clearly is different): nevertheless, I stated many times that a “creative work” certainly occurred: however as you noticed important elements appear: the construction of the Quran in x various books (with accurate titles for the ones described), essential concepts of Islam, etc… Now how much has been distorted by St J of D due either to his antagonism toward Islam or lack of complete information: that we will never know, plus it’s a “controversial” text, intended for a Christian audience so there is no real interest to enter into details or to present a strictly “objective” description (basically St J of D did his own selection of what he considered as relevant for his description of this “Ishamelite” heresy : obviously first he conceived Islam as Christian heresy, and secondly Muhammad as the author of “many ridiculous books” we can’t expect an objective or very detailed description, even less considering that wasn’t intended for a controversy/debate with Muslim theologians but for his fellow Christians: so subjective and “caricatural” description. However, I repeat again, with his description we have a good idea of what was Islam during his time :and obviously essential elements were there.

  6. #21
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    Default Re: Was the Qru'aan really a book written in Aramaik?

    Ques ; theman09 I didn't read all of your Post's # 17 - 20 , But are You / This guy link , Saying what's below is Fake ? I don't really get into Website Link's because their always diffrent version of the same thing , For the diffrent school of thought .

    Are you saying that Suwratu'l Laylatu'l Qadri ( Degree Of The Night Of Power ) Chapter 97 , 1 - 5 ,

    In the year 610 A.D . an eloquent and divine encounter beyween Mustafa Muhammad Al Amin (Pbuh ) and a messenger of Allahu Subhaanahu Wa Ta'Ala ( Angel , Sra ) occurred . On this grand night of the month of Har ( Heat , fasting month , now called Ramadaan ) , the 19th day a man of devout reverence to the Almighty Creator , Allahu Subhaanahu Wa Ta'Ala, was ( called ) to the position pf a Prophet ; his name ; Mustafa Muhammad Al Amin (Pbuh ) .

    And on this Night of Power Laylatu'l Qadri , The Mustafa Muhammad Al Amin (Pbuh )was given the beginning of a New Revelation a revelation brought to the world as Allahu Subhaanahu Wa Ta'Ala last words to man and mankind , This revelation is Al Qur'aan Al Muqaddasu ( the Holy Qur'aan ) The Last Testament . The power of this night is one that no man can comprehend . It is the divine power of Allahu Subhaanahu Wa Ta'Ala .

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