About me

As-salaamu alaykum.

My name is Taha and this is my blog. I have a very strong interest in Islamic and Near Eastern studies and am currently working towards finishing my BA.

29 thoughts on “About me

  1. what is your thought on the following quote by shoemaker

    quote :
    ‘The death of a Prophet…’ (I quote from page 187 from his book):

    “More importantly, however, in the version of this episode transmitted by Ibn Saʿd from al-Zuhrī through Maʿmar and Yūnus, ʿUmar explains that he could not believe that Muhammad had died, “because he [Muhammad] said that he thought that he would be the last of us [alive].” Once again, this report almost certainly reflects a very early tradition, inasmuch as it is quite unlikely that some later traditionist would ascribe such a patently false prediction to Muhammad, even indirectly through ʿUmar. By contrast, Ibn Isḥāq’s version has ʿUmar confess, “I thought that the Messenger of God would conduct our affairs until he was the last of us [alive],” making ʿUmar himself, rather than Muhammad, responsible for this false prophecy. Presumably, Ibn Isḥāq’s version is the more recent of the two, having made adjustments to shield Muhammad from error, while Ibn Saʿd’s account preserves yet further evidence of a primitive belief that the Hour would arrive prior to Muhammad’s death, a position here ascribed to Muhammad himself.” (end of quote)

    end quote

    is this the same zuhri who says stuff without informing where he got his information from ?

    shoemaker assumes this “false prediction” must go back to umar because there is no way later traditionalist would make it up after knowing full well the prophet has died.

    my question is , why not? why wouldn’t later traditionalist try to make muhammad make false prophecy ?


    • I think Sharif and you had this discussion on facebook, I agree with sharif’s consideration. I don’t think al-Zuhri is forging, I’m just agreeing with sharif that it doesn’t lead to anything problematic.


  2. Asalamulaikum,

    In some blogs, there have been an intresting study of the inter linguistic wordplay of the Qu’ran. I was wondering if you could direct me to a book or resources that show how the quran uses interplay between languages.

    Examples of theses miracles are like the following:





    • I was told that “The Onomastic Miracle of the Qur’an” includes such topics however was cautioned that it was a mixed bag in terms of quality.


      • I know the Qu’ran is eloquent, but I find that atheists and agnostics commonly rhetort back with the objection that “elqouence is subjective”, and while I do believe the Qu’ran can touch a person’s heart, I do believe that we as muslims should also be presenting the objective natured miracles of the Qu’ran.

        So in your opinion what are some objective features of the Qu’ran that prove that it must be from a divine source? Do you think the interlinguistic puns of the Qu’ran are an objective feature that can demonstrate that it must have come from a supernatural source.

        Liked by 1 person

      • No such book attempts to make a strong case for the Qur’an being a miracle purely due to its literary angle as far as I am aware. However I do believe (personally) some qualities of Qur’anic structure do not seem to be within the capabilities of an arab with no training in written form, especially under the turbulent and demanding circumstances that the prophet himself was in. By this I mean for example the very intricate structure of Surah al-Baqarah. I believe this is indication of divine origin personally.

        If you are interested in this topic I’d encourage you read Sharif Randhawa’s “Divine Speech” co authored by nouman ali khan. Sharif is very accessible on facebook and on his blog, http://quranic-musings.blogspot.com/

        EDIT: Also, to answer your question, I think they form a subset of a larger argument. If one can show the Qur’an has deep awareness of judeo-christian text, culture and language, while also showing that the Prophet uttered the Qur’an without knowing these things, I think we have some sort of cumulative “best explanation” case in the making.


  3. “By this I mean for example the very intricate structure of Surah al-Baqarah. I believe this is indication of divine origin personally.”

    While I do agree that the Surah Baqarah has a very profound intricate structure, Humans create amazing works of literature all the time, including religious literature. The Gospel of Mark is brilliantly written, for example, including chiastic structure of its own. Mark is obsessed with these symmetrical structures, from small ones (like 1.21-28) to the entirety of the text (from the baptism in 1.9-11 in which God calls Jesus his Son to the soldier in 15.39 calling Jesus the Son of God).

    Furthermore, while one might object that the Gospel of Mark was written by highly Greek induviduals according to New Testament scholars, even skeptical agree that most of the gospels consist of Mark working with oral tradition, so in other words the gospel of mark is a compliation of oral tradition just like the Qu’ran.


    • 1. I don’t think that’s nearly as intricate as surah al-baqarah, which has rings inside of rings continuously.

      2. Mark draws on oral tradition, but the document is literary. The author was at the liberty to rearrange and stylize oral material and place it in a structure.


      • “1. I don’t think that’s nearly as intricate as surah al-baqarah, which has rings inside of rings continuously.”

        But the gospel of Mark does have continous ring structures within ring structures.


        Skeptics of the Qu’ran could argue the same thing about the Qu’ran. They could argue that Uthman and the prophet(SAW) companions later edited and revised the Qu’ran to make sure it has an intricate structure.


      • Hmm, I didn’t know that, thank-you. I suppose I would have to think this through.

        Having said that though, I don’t agree about your point about the skeptical argument. There would need to be a fair bit of evidence to show that Uthman and the companions changed the ordering of the Qur’anic verses. I would say that’s somewhat conspiratorial, given that ordering of verses effects the meaning of the text; it would be strange that the Prophet’s disciples got together and did that without any alarm.


  4. Asalamulaikum,

    Will you be postings more blogs that explores the Qu’ran’s use of inter linguistic wordplay in various languages?

    If not, do you know any free online resources that study this feature at hand.

    Also could you provide a rough sketch of literary devices used by the qu’ran not used by any other book,


  5. Salam Taha, can you please email me? I wanted to ask you something…it’s a little technical and I think it is best if I ask by email.


  6. Interesting blog! Are doing Near East studies at college or university level? Did you finish BA or higher level education?

    I have a question about Hebrew and Aramaic, did you study any of these languages?


    • I’m finishing up my bachelor’s, but it was focused on studying ancient languages and the bible, not NELC studies. My specialty at this point is Syriac, though I do know some Hebrew (admittedly I have put little effort into the latter). I have not studied Aramaic.


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