On a tangent: Ustadh Nouman on the relevance of biblical studies

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14 thoughts on “On a tangent: Ustadh Nouman on the relevance of biblical studies

    • I imagine it would have its uses. I am not big on philosophy but if you are, I imagine it would come in very useful for arguing for the existence of God, combating scientism, etc. and keep in mind apologetics is not the only way you can benefit Islam.

      Do what you like (though obviously with some practical considerations like how you’re going to get by).

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  1. This is the think that I have been pondering over and over again., if we look at the classical mufassirin works we have little doubt that those people were really conversant with biblical studies , ….some where along the line Islamic scholars seems to abandon the importance of this…

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    • One of the most important mufassiroon was farahi… fairly recent. He also learned hebrew from a jewish orientalist and applied biblical studies in his work. Check out some of his work!

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      • No I haven’t actually read this. Although I am aware critics of Islam have attacked this style of the Qur’an. Thanks for pointing this out.

        Btw in case for your interest, I am fascinated with scholarly approach which have now taken a direction that the Qur’an milieu had a established common understanding of christianity specifically through the Aramaic sphere: the monotheistic literary genre which Qur’an having conversation with. Thats explained why many of the Qur’anic terms find parallel with some of the surviving gospel fragments preserved in christian Palestinian syro- aramaic dialects.

        I just purchased Professor Emran El -Badawi works on this topic: he argue that the Qur’anic revelation is actually a dogmatic re-articulation as well as responses to audiences familiar with aramaic tradition in the arabian peninsula. .
        Refer to his fascinating book The Qur’an and the Aramaic Gospel traditions:

        http://newbooksinislamicstudies.com/2015/07/17/emran-el-badawi-the-quran-and-the-aramaic-gospel-traditions-routledge-2015/

        In which he refuted the borrowing theory from the like of pseudo-scholar like Luxenberg:The Syro-Aramaic Reading of the Koran

        This makes a perfect sense to me, that the Qur’an actually serves as the continuation of genuine monotheistic tradition from Jesus (p) in Aramaic. It is scholarly consensus that Jesus (p) and his disciples native language was Aramaic, the common language of Judea in the first century AD. The greek, roman christian tradition is the breakaway of this semitic tradition.

        I believe Muslim scholars must be equipped with this knowledge in order to understand many of Qur’anic or prophetic teachings.

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      • Absolutely!! BTW Neal Robinson (convert) is an expert in these fields (and knows all the relevant languages) and has written some awesome stuff. We need more scholars though and I see more coming in the next 10-20 years iA

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      • The book is scholary and technical, it’s like reading refences than for casual reading. But reading this book makes me more convinced that the Qur’an is a divine plan whose one other purpose is conveying christology to aramaic audiences (which I believe goes back to genuine gospel of Jesus oral tradition, now considered lost by majority of scholars) which at that time, the dominant culture in the middle east.

        This may explain why ( another puzzle that fascinates me) Arabic replaced Aramaic in very short period (less than a century) in the middle east.

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      • It’s possible. What’s interesting to me is that the Qur’an selects the Gospel of Matthew, the Aramaic gospel, in *exclusion* to the Hellenized traditions of the new testament. In his paper, there are examples of phrases from the gospel that are used in the Qur’an, albeit sometimes reinterpreted in order to fit in with the Qur’anic theology. This is fascinating to me, just like how from all of the hebrew bible, the book of the latter prophets, which are the small handful of books that actually do go back to their purported authors, and are also considered to be revelation from God verbatim- If you read them, you see them employing discourse similar to the Qur’an: invoking God’s signs in nature, reminding the people of the destruction of the past nations as a warning, speaking of the coming of the “Day of the Lord” as a day that will not be easy on poeple, and using very striking language. Jesus, too, was a Prophet in the vein of these latter jewish Prophets: and this literary similarity between the Qur’an, Aramaic traditions of Jesus, and the latter Prophets is no coincidence.

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  2. Salam,

    Just want to draw your attention that Prof Emran El Badawi book is now available in paperback edition.

    The Qur’an and the Aramaic Gospel Traditions (Hardback) – Routledge
    https://www.routledge.com/products/9780415821230

    Read what the author says about an excerpt (p 118-121) from this book:

    “Welfare or Warfare? “Jihad” between the Bible & Qur’an”

    https://iqlid.wordpress.com/2016/02/29/welfare-or-warfare-jihad-between-bible-quran/

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