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A German scholar of ancient languages takes a new look at the sacred book of Islam. He maintains that it was created by Syro-Aramaic speaking Christians, in order to evangelize the Arabs. And he translates it in a new way.
In its origin, the Koran is a Syro-Aramaic liturgical book, with hymns and extracts from Scriptures which might have been used in sacred Christian services.
The traditional account claims that the Koran was revealed to Muhammad, written down in bits, and not collated before Muhammad's death.
According to the traditional account the Koran was revealed to Muhammad, usually by an angel, gradually over a period of years until his death in 632 C.E. It is not clear how much of the Koran had been written down by the time of Muhammad’s death, but it seems probable that there was no single manuscript in which the Prophet himself had collected all the revelations. Nonetheless, there are traditions which describe how the Prophet dictated this or that portion of the Koran to his secretaries.
Q. – What do you say, then, about the idea, accepted until now, that the Koran was the first book written in Arabic?
A. – “According to Islamic tradition, the Koran dates back to the 7th century, while the first examples of Arabic literature in the full sense of the phrase are found only two centuries later, at the time of the ‘Biography of the Prophet’; that is, of the life of Mohammed as written by Ibn Hisham, who died in 828. We may thus establish that post-Koranic Arabic literature developed by degrees, in the period following the work of al-Khalil bin Ahmad, who died in 786, the founder of Arabic lexicography (kitab al-ayn), and of Sibawwayh, who died in 796, to whom the grammar of classical Arabic is due. Now, if we assume that the composition of the Koran was brought to an end in the year of the Prophet Mohammed’s death, in 632, we find before us an interval of 150 years, during which there is no trace of Arabic literature worthy of note.”
Q. – So at the time of Mohammed Arabic did not have precise rules, and was not used for written communication. Then how did the Koran come to be written?
A. – “At that time, there were no Arab schools – except, perhaps, for the Christian centers of al-Anbar and al-Hira, in southern Mesopotamia, or what is now Iraq. The Arabs of that region had been Christianized and instructed by Syrian Christians. Their liturgical language was Syro-Aramaic. And this was the vehicle of their culture, and more generally the language of written communication.”
Q. – What is the relationship between this language of culture and the origin of the Koran?
A. – “Beginning in the third century, the Syrian Christians did not limit themselves to bringing their evangelical mission to nearby countries, like Armenia or Persia. They pressed on toward distant territories, all the way to the borders of China and the western coast of India, in addition to the entire Arabian peninsula all the way to Yemen and Ethiopia. It is thus rather probable that, in order to proclaim the Christian message to the Arabic peoples, they would have used (among others) the language of the Bedouins, or Arabic. In order to spread the Gospel, they necessarily made use of a mishmash of languages. But in an era in which Arabic was just an assembly of dialects and had no written form, the missionaries had no choice but to resort to their own literary language and their own culture; that is, to Syro-Aramaic. The result was that the language of the Koran was born as a written Arabic language, but one of Arab-Aramaic derivation.”
ARGUING THAT TODAY’S version of the Qur’an has been mistranscribed from the original text, scholar Christoph Luxenberg says that what are described as “houris” with “swelling breasts” refer to nothing more than “white raisins” and “juicy fruits.”
Luxenberg—a pseudonym—is one of a small but growing group of scholars, most of them working in non-Muslim countries, studying the language and history of the Qur’an.
Since there are no Arabic chronicles from the first century of Islam, the two looked at several non-Muslim, seventh-century accounts that suggested Muhammad was perceived not as the founder of a new religion but as a preacher in the Old Testament tradition, hailing the coming of a Messiah. Many of the early documents refer to the followers of Muhammad as "hagarenes," and the "tribe of Ishmael," in other words as descendants of Hagar, the servant girl that the Jewish patriarch Abraham used to father his son Ishmael.
Researchers with a variety of academic and theological interests are proposing controversial theories about the Koran and Islamic history, and are striving to reinterpret Islam for the modern world. This is, as one scholar puts it, a "sensitive business"
Theres a theory that says mohamed received his instructions from the vatican. His first wife was a rich catholic with connections in rome. this is highly offensive to moslems
Originally posted by ZeroDeep
WorldWatcher, what are you talking about ?
Islam was Instintutionalized ( I think I spelled that wrong ) in 600 ad by Prophet Mohhamed. The first Bible was written 40-60 years after Jesus's supposed death.
The teachings of Muhhamed were heavily Influenced by Judaic teachings and obviously Christian. Muhhamed refers to Jesus many times in the Koran, no ?
He told that all Muslims believed Christ to be a prophet (not the Messiah) of God and that Mohammed was simply the last of these prophets. I guess I could have been dealing with a very liberal individual, but from my perspective, I assumed this was a common belief.
Those far seeing wise men of those days saw that Islam would become the Sword of God against the Enemies of Christ
Originally posted by Tamahu
Yahweh, Jehovah and Allah are not necessarily the same god(s).
Allah would be more synonymous with just Eloh or Elohim, as opposed to YHVH Elohim, Yahweh Elohim or whatever. [Edited on 23-4-2004 by Tamahu]