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.

47 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 ?

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  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:

    http://blog.bayyinah.com/interlingual-coherence-of-idris/

    https://ponderingislam.com/2016/06/30/interlinguistic-pun-in-the-quran/

    http://blog.bayyinah.com/shaytan-vs-iblis/

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    • 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.

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      • 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.

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  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.

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    • 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.

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      • “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.

        http://www.bible.literarystructure.info/bible/41_Mark_e_1.html#1-1

        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.

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      • 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.

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  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,

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  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.

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  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?

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    • 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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      • Assalamualaikum akhi I need your help with verse 6:146 of the Qur’an. The verse states that the fat of cattle and sheep is forbidden unto the Jews except what their “backs carry” or “entrails” or what is “mixed with bone”.

        According to the tafsirs which you can find in quranx and altafsir, the fat that is permitted for the Jews is, “the fat that cling to the entrails” and “the fat that is on the rump and mixed with the tailbone”.

        However, when we go to the Torah, we see that these fats are prohibited for the Jews as well. Consider verses Exodus 29:22, Leviticus 3:9, 17, Leviticus 7:3, Leviticus 8:25 and Leviticus 9:19 for the prohibition of the fat tail/rump i.e fat of the rump and tailbone and verses Leviticus 3:3, 9, 14, 4:8, 8:16, 25 for the prohibition of the fat upon the innards i.e. fat carried by the entrails.

        Of course they’re those who are using this to “prove” and spearhead the argument that the author of the Qur’an is “ignorant” (nauzubillah). I need your help. Please shed some light on this.

        Jazak Allahu Khayran,

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      • I forgot to mention that the Qur’anic verse and the verses of the Torah all refer to a specific species of sheep and ram. They’re referring to the fat-tailed sheep/ram which have baggy deposits of fat in their hindquarters and tails

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      • Salaams, that’s a great question. I had a dig around a couple of tafasīr, and it seems there’s a plausible interpretation of the verse that would read (from al-Rāzi):

        “We prohibited for them fat — except for the hind part — and [we prohibited for them] what is on the entrails and what is on the bones”

        The basis of this interpretation is that the conjunction او is used in a similar way in Q76:24.

        I wouldn’t say this is the most immediate way to read the verse but it’s possible. Remarkably, if you read the verse like that, it works out well, because as per Rabbinic law, the chelev of the tail is the exception to the rule. I haven’t looked for a source for this in talmudic writings though.

        Anyway, I’ll do some more research and answer back if I find something.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thnx for the reply akhi, I’ve read about the rabbinic interpretation of the permissibility of the fat tail. But this is confusing bcuz
        the verses I’ve posted all explicitly include the prohibition of the fat tail. Read again Leviticus 3:9 and 3:17

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      • Apparently rabbis did not understand this biblical verse in its plain meaning, saying that only the “good part” of the tail is for YHWH and the rest is edible. I’m going to assume that there is some proof for it – having said that, I will see if I can find the actual talmudic texts that mentions this distinction

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      • Did some further digging and the way to understand this text mentioned by al-Razi seems plausible in light of certain ḥadiths. Basically, it goes with the prophet saying – “may God curse the jews, for they were forbidden الثروب, so they sold it and consumed its price”

        Now الثروب is actually fat that covers the entrails at least partially. In which case, this seems to give credance to the view that ‘what is on the entrails’ in this ayah is in the list of what is forbidden, NOT what is the exception.

        One such narration is:

        ١٤١٠٣- حدثنا بشر قال، حدثنا يزيد قال، حدثنا سعيد، عن قتادة: ﴿ومن البقر والغنم حرمنا عليهم شحومهما﴾ ، الثروب. ذكر لنا أن نبيّ الله ﷺ كان يقول: قاتل الله اليهود، حرم الله عليهم الثروب ثم أكلوا أثمانها!(٦)

        https://tafsir.app/tabari/6/146

        So, the ayah would read:

        Forbidden is:

        1. Fat in general (except what is on the back)
        2. Fat stuck to the entrails
        3. What is stuck to the bone

        Note that #2 and #3 are a particularization of #1, which is still a valid reading of the ayah.

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      • When taking the Hadith along with it’s variant readings, the Prophet SAW was actually rebuking the Jews for selling and using fat from carcasses. Since carcasses are haram in both religions, the Prophet SAW forbade any use from them.

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      • Does it say carcasses? other variants say شحوم which is just fat in general; thus complying to this ayah. Anyway, I think the reading al-razi mentioned is plausible for the time being.

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      • I don’t know if this helps but I’ve checked the Arabic of the verse and the word used is “hawaya”. Hawaya means something that is coiled or coiling in circular fashion. Like a snake coiling.

        The only thing that fits this description within the sheep’s anatomy is the colon or large intestine.

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      • A friend of mine just asked Shaykh Sohaib Saeed just now- and he agrees that the opinion mentioned by al-Razi is quite plausible grammatically. I think if it falls in line with actual Jewish law, I think that’s enough justification to interpret it that way.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It’s possible. While we shouldn’t reject the broad outlines of the bible (IMO), I think particulars like this can be rejected, just like some particular moral edicts that would be disagreeable under the Qur’anic view. But that’s my personal opinion

        Liked by 1 person

      • Akhi, I need your help once more on the alleged plagiarisms in the Qur’an. According to chapter 19 of Wiley Blackwell Companion to the Qur’an, 2nd Edition, the Qur’an supposedly contains parallels to many apocryphal Syriac texts.

        Here are just a few examples :

        1. The story of Allah SWT ordering the angels and Satan to bow down to Adam AS is from the “Cave of Treasures”.

        2. The details of Adam’s two sons in the Qur’an is from the “Life of Abel”.

        3. The stories of Joseph AS from Homilies on Joseph of Pseudo-Narsai, Midrash and Ephrem’s commentary on Genesis.

        4. The details of Mother Mary’s life from the Protoevangelium of James.

        5. The plagiarism of Abraham AS being thrown into the fire, confronting his father and observing heavenly bodies from the Apocalypse of Abraham (I suggest you watch David Wood’s vid on this regarding Abraham and the fire).

        Your contribution is most needed akhi, unfortunately most of these allegations have been ignored by Muslims. What do you think?

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