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.

130 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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    • 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.

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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.

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      • 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.

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      • 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.

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      • 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

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      • 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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      • I’m cognizant of these parallels and each of them deserve a special, lengthy treatment. In some cases, these stories go back to the second temple period (within which prophecy was still active for us). In other cases, IMO the parallels are somewhat exaggerated. But these are not answers.

        I’m currently still working on Dhul Qarnayn and Syriac antecedents. Therein we hope to touch on a general methodology for approaching these. I would encourage you compartmentalize them for the time being.

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      • Akhi how can we reconcile the Qur’an’s concept of abrogation with the Torah’s repeated emphasis of the ETERNAL VALIDITY of the mitzvah? Passages like Leviticus 3:17, 16:29, Numbers 15:13-16, 19:9, 10, Deuteronomy 5:28-32, 29, 28:45-68, Exodus 31:17 are evidence for the Jewish argument that the mitzvah are to be followed till the end of time.

        Like you said the Qur’an confirms the current Torah to a broad extent except certain particular insertions.

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      • Wait, I know very well how to deal with Christians, because I have studied them. You don’t need to worry about what they say. Because, I’ll get them busted.

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      • This is a good question, I haven’t really thought about it before, so these are just off the top of my head—

        Even within Biblical law, there is a sense of legal evolution. For example, during the post-exilic period, Jews could not sacrifice at the temple. What did they do instead? They fasted and performed other acts of atonement. Similarly, you’ll see that Deuteronomy, Exodus and Leviticus often give contradictory laws that seem to address different times. For example, in Leviticus 25, israelite slaves are supposed to be freed every Jubilee year (twice a century)— while in Exodus 21 and Deut 15 all say they must be released after 6 years. The Levitical law only really works in the assumption of a political system where the Jubilee year is actually kept, while the other two don’t.

        Maybe look for examples of legal evolution in the Hebrew bible? This seems like something scholars would study and publish about.

        Nevertheless, this is the way I see it: The Qur’anic view of legal plurality is simply that different communities have been given different legal codes (5:43-48). A Jew ought to keep following at least some of the mitzvot, Christians need to follow the legal code of “the Injil” — currently I’m thinking this probably refers to inferences from Acts 15, which some Christians were for a large part of history keeping to. The Qur’an demarcates between the Muslims, Jews and Christians – and it encourages the latter two to keep faithful to their legal codes: Once, however, they become Muslim, they are now bound to the Prophet’s own legal code.

        So my answer is — The Qur’an isn’t really “changing” the old covenant. It’s arguing that the Jews have failed to uphold it, failed to keep their part of it, teach it to the gentiles, and now God is making a new covenant with the gentiles, with a new law. If a Jew accepts the Prophet, he is no longer a Jew and loses his ethnic identity. The ‘new law’ now applies to him.

        PS. Maybe ‘different legal codes for different communities’ in the bible might be the Noachide laws that are expected to be kept by everyone (as per the Talmud), but the mosaic laws are for those who are a part of Moses’s covenant.

        Not sure if that helps, but those are my rough, unbaked thoughts. I could be totally wrong, but I’m answering off the top of my head. Maybe you could read some literature on this topic? I know that rabbinic tradition does believe in modifying and evolving biblical laws, however they’re still working within the paradigm of jewish law.

        Speaking of, where is “ben adam”? Perhaps he has some ideas…

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      • Well the verses in the Torah emphasize that the Jews are expected to keep all and not some of the mitzvah.

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      • So, if they had to release an israelite slave – would they do it during the Jubilee year, or after 6 years? If the Jews lose their temple (which happened during the biblical period), how are they going to carry out their sacrifices? What do they do in its stead?

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      • Oh, right- I’m talking about what the Qur’an prescribes. I think the Qur’an tells the jews to judge by the Torah within their own community but doesn’t go into specifics. This is talking about a time when they are living under the Prophet’s authority, in which case they can really only apply it to some extent (kind of like how Jews practice nowadays)

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  7. Akhi when it comes to the idiom “sister of Aaron” and the fact that the Qur’an uses a language that its first recipients were familiar with, what’s your response to the anti-islamic argument that Al-Mughirah, the companion who preached to the Christians of Najran, didn’t know about this idiom?

    Apparently the critics are using this argument as a “refutation” to the Muslim response that the Qur’an is speaking in terms of figurative expressions.

    If the Muslim response is true then how come al-Mughirah and the Arab Christians of Najran were unaware of the idiom? They’re making it out to be that Arabic idioms and expressions were later inventions.

    What’s your response?

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    • Because it presupposes a few things:

      (1) You have to know that there are old testament figures named Mary, Aaron and Imran
      (2) You have to accept that Mary mother of Jesus’s family was named after (1).

      Arabs would not know (1), while Christians would not know (2).

      This deserves a full article with the proof I’m talking about, but I’m just going to paste a comment that I wrote to someone else who was asking about this recently. I hope it helps—
      _________________________________________________________

      Salaam, so basically this problem should be approached with a particular methodology in mind. The question we want to answer is— what is the best explanation for what we see in the Qur’an? Why does the Qur’anic author call Mary “sister of Aaron, daughter of Imran”?

      So the first obvious answer is that the Qur’anic author accidentally mixed up Miriam mother of Isa with Miriam sister of Aaron. Except there are problems with that theory, namely the following:

      1. The Qur’an elsewhere mentions the actual sister of Harun and Musa in Q20:40 and Q28:11-13, but leaves her unnamed. If the Qur’anic author thought they were the same figure, what we would see instead is moses’s sister being explicitly named as Mary; given that she is mentioned very often.

      2. Similarly, we do not ever see Jesus interacting with Moses or Aaron, nor do we ever see Mary interacting with them either – both the story of Musa and the story of Isa, and their families and youth, as well as the youth of Mary, are discussed in many stories in the Qur’an. One could object and say “but Muhamamd didn’t hear about any biblical stories where Mary mother of Isa interacted with Musa and Harun”. This objection isn’t valid, because some of the stories in the Qur’an that involve biblical characters are never mentioned in the bible or any earlier texts, such as the story in surah al-Kahf with Musa and al-Khidr.

      So again, framing the question of what the best explanation is for these facts– We can see that the “error” hypothesis is not a full explanation that accounts for all the facts. There needs to be a better explanation.

      So now we go on to the next explanation – christian typology. Syriac Christians (and christians in general) were used to reading the old testament in light of Jesus, where they tried to see implicit prophecies and predictions about Isa a.s. in the Hebrew bible. One of these ways was typology — where earlier figures somehow allude to later ones. As a particular example, they noted that Mary sister of Aaron and Mary the mother of Jesus had some similarities; and in particular, shared the same name– so the former figure ‘prefigures’ the later. Except this explanation doesn’t really work either, because christian typology doesn’t call Mary (mother of Jesus) as the daughter of Imran. If there is a typology being used in the Qur’an, it goes a lot further than anything we see in a christian text. Previously, I advocated for the typological view (you can see my old blog post on this), but it’s not convincing for the same reason why the error hypothesis isn’t convincing.

      Now, what then is the best explanation? I think the Qur’an is making a typology “of sorts” (if you can even call it that). We have a lot of literary evidence now from early Islamic inscriptions that display repetitive naming practises. For example, one figure might be called Abdullah bin Umar ibn Abdullah ibn Umar ibn Abdullah– you get my drift. Arabs were familiar with this sort of naming culture where people were named after their ancestors. So, from an Arab context, the Qur’an is just communicating that Mary, her brother Aaron, and her father Amram, were named after the original Mary, Aaron and Amram of the ancient biblical period. Why the Qur’an does that is another question — the point is probably that Mary is a Levite, but thats out of the scope of this answer. This sort of explanation avoids the deficiencies of the earlier ones: in this case, we can understand why the Qur’an mentions Musa’s sister but leaves her unnamed. We are supposed to think of Mary as a Levite, or at least of a family of high religious pedigree, but we are not supposed to confuse her with the original Mary.

      Now the question then becomes as to whether this is historical or only a qur’anic invention. I think this is historically plausible — Jewish naming conventions from the second temple period infact did use this sort of naming, we have a lot of instances where people are named after ancient eponymous figures. We also know that genealogies in the New Testament contradict each other and we really aren’t sure as to whether they are historical. I can give you citations for 2nd temple naming conventions if you give me a bit of time, but that is the gist of what I feel is a convincing solution.

      Hope that helps.

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      • Indeed I get a lot of responses that this is “unhistorical”. Christians demand evidence that this naming convention is used in the time of Jesus AS. They only have what is present in the Bible like “son of David”, “daughter of Aaron”, etc. but never what the Qur’an relates.

        I don’t know how to respond at first. But in the end I just shrug it off as a fallacy of argument ex silentio.

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      • On this point, you want to dig through Isaac Moise’s dissertation on the topic as a start. I’ll isolate specific examples after I finish with an article on Dhul Qarnayn inshaAllah.

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      • Akhi can you help determine whether Gen. 49:10 is an addition or not? This verse relates that the Messiah will come from Judah in which the sceptre will not depart. It seemingly invalidate any prophecy from the Prophet SAW regarding two Messianic figures i.e. one from a virgin birth and one being the Mahdi which is from the descendants of the Prophet SAW.

        That aside, it would support the argument of certain Jews that Islam is a false religion (nauzubillah) and that the holy covenant strictly belongs to the Israelites and more importantly the tribe of Judah.

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  8. @Taha

    Sorry if this isn’t the right place for this but what are your thoughts of Quran 9:30?

    I’m debating a christian at the moment who insists that when the verse says “the Jews say Uzair is the son of God” it’s an historical error because we have no record of any Jewish group saying this.

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    • Yeah, I’m not really sure that it refers to Ezra (the scribe) to begin with. A recent suggestion (IMO plausible) by Crone is that it refers to Azael; she also notes that this is linguistically possible since l->r is not unheard of in semitic languages. You can read her discussion in the paper, “The Book of Watchers in the Qurʾān”. Since Azael and other angels were sometimes associated with magic, appeared on amulets etc, I think the charge is somewhat coherent.

      Regardless, I would avoid getting into polemical arguments ;).

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  9. Assalamualaikum the report below is taken from a book titled, “The Book of Idols” by Hisham ibn al-Kalbi :

    When the Apostle of God captured Mecca and the Arabs embraced Islam, among the delegates who came to pay their homage was Jarir ibn-‘Abdullah. He came to the Apostle and embraced Islam before him. Thereupon the Apostle addressed him saying, “O Jarir! Wilt thou not rid me of dhu-al-Khalasah?” Jarir replied, “Yea.” So the Apostle dispatched him to destroy it. He set out until he got to the banu-Abmas of the Bajilah [tribe] and with them he proceeded to dhu-al-Khalasah. There he was met by the Khath’am and the Bahilah, who resisted him and attempted to defend dhu-al-Khalasah. He, therefore, fought them and killed a hundred men of the Bahilah, its custodians, and many of the Khath’am; while of the banu-Qubafah ibn-‘Amir ibn-Khath’am he killed two hundred. having defeated them and forced them into flight, he demolished the building which stood over dhu-al-Khalasah and set it on fire. A certain woman of the banu-Khath’am thereupon said:

    “The banu-Umamah, each wielding his spear, Were slaughtered at al-Wahyab, their abode; They came to defend their shrine, only to find Lions with brandished swords clamoring for blood. The women of the Khath’am were, then, HUMILIATED By the men of the Abmas, and ABASED.”

    At the present time dhu-al-Khalassah constitutes the threshold of the gate of the mosque at Tabalab.

    −Ibn-Al-Kalbi, Hisham, The Book of Idols, pp. 31–2 (bold and capital emphasis is mine)

    I’ve heard an argument that the last two lines of the woman’s poetry refer to Muslim soldiers violating the women of Khath’am (Nauzubillah). Please do a response to this. Is it authentic?

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      • Akhi can you help debunk Sam Shamoun’s and al-Fadi’s argument on 4:171? :

        They made a big deal about the phrase, “a Word which He CAST UNTO Mary…..” What does “alqaha” mean? How can we refute their 4th century creedal imposement of the text?

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      • This is a tortured interpretation that ignores the consistent message of the Qurʾān that Jesus is not divine. The Qur’an deliberately calls Jesus “God’s word” as a rhetorical move. It takes the word that christians have been calling him, and redefines it: All the Qur’an is trying to say is that Jesus is a created being. Quite ironically they miss this point.

        I wrote some thing about this in my notes which I can share with you:
        __________________

        …this active engagement with the Jesus-Adam typology is closely related to another rebuttal to Christian beliefs about the “word of God”, which the Qurʾān similarly interacts with critically. The gospel of John seems to describe Jesus as the divine “Logos” (‘word’) which had existed alongside God for eternity. It was through the “logos” did God create all things, and so, for the church fathers, Jesus was the medium by which God had created the universe.

        The Qurʾān deftly responds to this high Christology by assuming the same title for Jesus as God’s “word”, but actively changes its meaning. In the annunciation narrative in Q3:45-49, the angels declare to Mary that she will give birth to “a word from [God]”. Seeing Mary’s incredulity over how this could be when “no man has touched [her]”, she is told that God can create whatever He wills only with one command — “be”. This is, in fact, the same way that God created everything. The likely intention that Jesus is God’s ‘word’ only in the sense that God created him with only one command, and thus he is ontologically no different from the rest of God’s creation.

        ________

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      • They are over-reading. It doesn’t necessarily imply “cast down” as though it were an eternally pre-existent thing. It just means ‘send’, ‘cast’ generally. Scroll down to form 4 and see the many ways this word is used.

        http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?q=lqy

        Even if it’s true, it’s a moot point. If ‘kalimatullah’ refers to God’s creative command, which it does, then all that means is that God sent down the command for him to be created. By definition, a created thing is not pre-existent…

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      • That’s a good point. Another thing is that Hassamo (Sam) lied about 4:171. The Arabic innama refers to, “only”, “rather”, “on the contrary”.

        Can you confirm these translations?

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      • Akhi do you think that when the Qur’an refers to “Spirit of Allah” it supports the Jewish understanding that it refers to the unseen Divine influence and intervention of God unto creation? It is through the Spirit that God’s words are recognized

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      • If you’re asking about Jesus being called God’s ‘spirit’ though, I think that refers synonymously with God’s “word” as creative. This is the same usage of word and spirit in Psalm 33:6, and the Qurʾān also affirms that God breathes his rūḥ to create.

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      • I know right, likewise Job 33:4 supports this.

        I think the classical understanding that it refers to the soul is far fetched. Allah SWT could’ve just simply said that Jesus AS is a creature or a living soul from Him.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Akhi I need help with 48:25 below :

        They are the ones who disbelieved and obstructed you from al-Masjid al-Haram while the offering was prevented from reaching its place of sacrifice. And if not for believing men and believing women whom you did not know – that you might trample them and there would befall you because of them dishonor without [your] knowledge – [you would have been permitted to enter Makkah]. [This was so] that Allah might admit to His mercy whom He willed. If they had been apart [from them], We would have punished those who disbelieved among them with painful punishment

        Why would the killing of women be emphasized when it is confirmed in the Sunnah that women and children are spared during warfare except in night raids?

        Why the need for such emphasis unless it is something permissible?

        Is the killing of women acceptable? Isn’t this a contradiction?

        Like

    • @ Amirul Afiq

      No, it wouldn’t be a contradiction:

      1. There were still secret believers of both genders in Mecca and Allah protected them.

      2. Women combatants or supporters can be killed for example if Hind(ra) had been caught before converting high probability for her death. The rule is to not target them not under no circumstance can they not be killed.

      3. Women civilian casualties. An unfortunate part of war but you do end up with civilian casualties. if everybody had just bust out fighting in the city there would have been non-combantants killed in the crossfire. That is what happened during the night raids and why the Prophet(saw) limited them later.

      Like

  10. @ huzeipha

    Eloquence is not subjective. Know that anybody who tells you that does not know how to write nor has ever taken a formal writing class. What is subjective in writing is how the piece made you feel. So, for example, there is no doubt Shakespeare is more eloquent then my daughter’s “love you daddy” letter but I felt more sentiment to the letter. Writing is a science with rules and when you get good you can do things like predicting the ending to shows and books because you can “think” like the writer and just enjoy how they told the tale. But eloquence is DEFINITELY not subjective. For example, when Farid was going through “Surah Corana” he talked about “yeah this description was unnecessary they were just trying to keep the rhyme going a better word would’ve been blah, blah, blah” is how writers judge pieces. This is why this challenge is only for people who know what they’re talking about.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Assalamu alaikum,

      Taha, would you like to be user, contributer and editor of isamwiki.org? My username over that wiki is Nitro Zeus. We can also have private discussions on that wiki and we can also support and help one another. And we can also make articles about things related to Islam. What you say, bro?

      Like

  11. Assalamualaikum can anyone address the issue below?

    From pages 251, 252 of Ibn Sa’d’s Kitab al-Tabaqat:

    ….When the apostle of Allah conquered Khaibar and he had peace of mind, Zaynab Bint al-Harith, the brother of Marhab, who was the spouse of Sallam Ibn Mishkam, inquired, “Which part of the goat is liked by Muhammad?” They said, “The foreleg.” Then she slaughtered one from her goats and roasted it (the meat). Then she wanted a poison which could not fail. …. The apostle of Allah took the foreleg, a piece of which he put into his mouth. Bishr took another bone and put it into his mouth. When the apostle of Allah ate one morsel of it Bishr ate his and other people also ate from it. Then the apostle of Allah said, “Hold back your hands! because this foreleg; …informed me that it is poisoned. Thereupon Bishr said, “By Him who has made you great! I DISCOVERED IT FROM THE MORSEL I TOOK. Nothing prevented me from emitting it out, but the idea that I did not like to make your food unrelishing. When you had eaten what was in your mouth I did not like to save my life after yours, and I also thought you would not have eaten it if there was something wrong.”…….(bold and capital emphasis mine)

    From this narration some polemical detractors came up with an argument. They claim that this is proof that the Prophet SAW was making up revelations (Nauzubillah) and had actually tasted the poison same as Bishr. Is it authentic? Can anyone help address it?

    Also from this narration David Wood made the following argument :

    “Why did Muhammad need a revelation when you could taste the poison? Isn’t this proof that Muhammad was actually making up revelations? Isn’t it obvious that he tasted the poison same as Bishr, but instead of saying “Hey, I taste poison”, He said: “It’s speaking to me! I’m a prophet!” Sounds like a fake to me.”

    How can we respond to his question? Need help.

    Like

    • Amirul Afiq, If you look at narrations also narrated by ibn sa’d about the same event, it was a condition set by the jewish lady to test his prophethood

      “If he was a prophet, then the arm (of the sheep) would inform him of what I did. (Ibn Sa’d, at-Tabaqaatul Kubra”, hadith no. 1922)

      So if you think about it, this is actually an argument FOR his prophethood since what are the chances the prophet (pbuh) made up the exact thing the jewish lady was looking for? its Negligible.

      This is why you shouldn’t listen to what the likes of david wood, they are just trying to attack islam via any means tbh

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Assalamualaikum a christian wrote the following argument :

    George Sale (1697-1736) produced the first complete translation of the Qur’an from Arabic to English in the early 18th century. I have compared it with other modern translations. I have noticed some significant differences in some places. He has word in his text that do not appear in modern English Qur’ans. It is as if whole phrases are missing from modern Qur’ans. Compare :

    and We bestowed on them, through our mercy, the gift of prophecy, and children, and wealth; and We caused them to deserve the highest commendations (19:50; George Sale)

    with :

    And we gave them of Our mercy, and assigned to them a high and true renown (19:50; Pickthall)

    The words, “the gift of prophecy, and children, and wealth” are missing in most English translations.

    DID PICKTHALL USE A DIFFERENT ARABIC MANUSCRIPT OF THE QUR’AN IN HIS TRANSLATION?

    I have seen OTHER DIFFERENCES between Pickthall and other translations. When one examines the Arabic, one can see that the difference in Pickthall’s translation from the Arabic can be due to the difference of a letter in the Arabic text used by Pickthall. Compare :

    Go, O my sons, and ascertain concerning Joseph and his brother, and despair not of the SPIRIT (roohi) of Allah. Lo! none despaireth of the SPIRIT (roohi) of Allah save disbelieving folk (12:87; Pickthall)

    With :

    O my sons, go and make inquiry after Joseph and his brother; and despair not of the MERCY (rawhi) of God; for none despaireth of God’s MERCY (rawhi), except the unbelieving people (12:87; George Sale)

    The Arabic word is rawhi here. It was most likely roohi in Pickthall’s manuscript. The difference is a vowel. Dhamma or Fatha? (END QUOTE)

    Apparently he’s arguing that the Qur’an is not preserved and that the earliest translation i.e. George Sale’s translation has extra words. Also Pickthall’s manuscript is different.

    Please shed some light

    Like

    • I’ve found the answer. George Sale relied on other translations and tafsirs to produce his ‘translation’ – he wrote a meaning of the Quran, not a literal translation. You can read from the copy of his book below….

      http://eaaoaa.com/resources/quran.pdf#page=452

      and you will find that the additional part is in *italics*, which is described as ” EXPLANATORY NOTES TAKEN FROM THE MOST APPROVED COMMENTATORS.”

      On page 234 where the verse is found, the footnote h reads :

      Literally, We granted them a lofty tongue of truth.

      None of the qiraat recite “Rooh” for that as far as I could find. It seems a simple case of a mistake on the part of Pickthall. The words are written almost identically in Arabic except for one harakah so it is not hard to imagine (رُوح vs. رَوح )

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Assalamualaikum akhi, have you studied the science of Qira’at? Cuz I have a question.

    It has been argued that the Qur’an today is recited with variants via ONE SKELETAL TEXT.
    In Surah Hadid ayah 24, there is an extra “huwa” in the reading of Hafs that is not in Warsh. Bear in mind that this is not the only addition between the readings of Hafs and Warsh. Doesn’t this negate the fact that we have one skeletal rasm?

    Is it that there are additions and the readings are still authoritative?

    Like

    • Disclaimer— No, I haven’t studied the qira’at. If you want someone to ask about this, make a twitter account and ask this individual:

      https://twitter.com/shammarkhatib1?lang=en

      Anyway I looked at الموسوعة القرآنية and this difference is attributed to the differences in the skeletal texts of the various copies that Uthman sent. So I don’t think our claim is that we have one, singular Uthmanic rasm. The author writes:

      وكذا فى مصاحف المدينة والشام، وكلتا القراءتين متواترة

      [It is read with huwa in] manuscripts of Madinah and Sham, and both are qiraʾāt mutawātirah.

      Again, I’d recommend speaking to Sh. Ammar.

      And, be careful of distinguishing what some popular-level apologists have previously asserted, and what Muslim scholars have been saying since ʿulum al-Qurʾān was a thing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Been scouring the twitter page and subhanAllah it was exhaustively enlightening. Kudos to the brother 👍

        Also I’ve been wondering if anyone is interested in translating the work below regarding the Sana’a manuscripts :

        https://mobile.twitter.com/MansurXAhmed/status/1303090519917162496

        I don’t mean some specific individual, I’m only asking if ANYONE IS INTERESTED in bearing this endeavor?

        It’s going to be an ambitious project of course, the publication has 500+ pages. Which is why the person should plan on opening a fund to support the translation process. Bear in mind that this is only a suggestion. If anyone feels burdened and is unwilling then I understand. Do not push yourself.

        But if someone is really interested and up to the task then May Allah SWT bless you.

        Jazak Allahu Khayran,

        Like

      • Akhi do you think you can send these this to the sheikh?

        Can you ask him to debunk the Jay Smith team’s claim that there are 120 to 5,000 to 93,000 differences in today’s mushafs? They said there are variants that “effect” theology. A response to these these charlatans is much needed.

        I heard the claim from the video below :

        I couldn’t dare go to the exact videos by Jay Smith and his goons. I was hoping that the Sheikh and others could check them out. I’m surprised that there hasn’t been a serious response on this from the Muslim side. This is a huge claim! Just what are these differences exactly?

        There’s more :

        It’s rather saddening that many haven’t tried tackling these argumentd. We should be firm and put up a strong defense. Why do we ignore this?

        Like

      • I’m sorry, but Jay Smith is so incompetent that he does not deserve a response. If you have these questions, I’d encourage you to speak to the Shaykh directly.

        Like

      • I admire your imagination akhi but I personally don’t like twitter. It’s a toxic platform. Is there a way I could contact him via email?

        Like

      • Someone already linked one of this person’s videos on the same topic and I’ve already commented on it. You can find it on the article related to this topic.

        All this aside. I’m not interested in refuting popular level objections. I already wrote an argument on this topic that approaches this from a more academic angle. I am not aware of any response to such an argument.

        Sincere advice— if you are having trouble with videos like these. Please stop watching them. Sit down and read some academic literature, or go to someone dedicated to dealing with these arguments.

        This blog is not really for refuting popular content. I like to write articles focused on academic literature. Please keep that in mind for future comments. Jzk 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      • Ok, if you are sure.

        As an aside: Academics are not dealing with arguments that is made in popular polemic. I dare say if the idea that the Qur’an wholesale approves of previous scripture was the best one, we’d see a convergence on this opinion in academia. But we don’t see that, and it’s not Muslims just disagreeing with the conclusion. Neither Walid Saleh nor Sandra Keating are Muslim. I think that should tell you something.

        Additionally, I’m not really sure how else one would interpret how the Qur’an shows awareness of biblical texts and then consciously disagrees with it. Syriac and Jewish literature will at times depart from the biblical account but it’s usually their own tenuous interpretations on the text, and they will never depart so much as the Qur’an does consciously.

        Finally, the position that previous scripture is corrupt only needs to be a *plausible* way to understand the Qurʾānic ayaat, once that’s the case then we follow historical evidence. Since historical evidence shows that the bible has a lot of problems, that’s what we follow.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It’s a reasonable starting point, though tends to conflate the Qur’an with its commentaries. It could be more critical. I don’t agree with the interpretation for 2:79—

        “This verse does not give a name to the book Jews wrote with their hands. It is not clear whether Jews wrote a book substituting for the Torah or they wrote a book which was based on the Torah, yet contained some wrong comments.

        It has been debated if the book this verse speaks of is the Mishnah or the Talmud.”

        My thoughts: Just look at what al-kitāb means throughout the Qurʾān. I’m not sure who coined this argument because al-kitāb is clearly a technical term.

        Anyway, at least he is cognizant of the argument of departure from biblical details

        Like

      • What’s your view on the author’s point that the verses are all in present tense? Doesn’t this therefore confirm that 2:79 and others are not explicit about textual corruption being done in the past?

        Like

      • Great question.

        I wouldn’t agree. Surah al-baqarah often couches past tense statements in the present. It’s a part of the message it is trying to build — basically, that the Jews are accused of covenant breaking and is urging them not to commit the sins of their past. For example, immediately after you have this verse (2:87):

        “We gave Moses the Scripture and We sent messengers after him in succession. We gave Jesus, son of Mary, clear signs and strengthened him with the Holy Spirit. So how is it that, whenever a messenger brings you something you do not like, you become arrogant, calling some impostors and killing others?”

        The present tense (fariqan taqtulun) is used to remind them of the sins of their forefathers. This is something that the Qur’an will do at times when arguing against the Jews. It’s obviously not saying that the Jews in *front* of the Prophet were responsible for killing prophets (the last prophet was 600 years ago).

        There’s nothing in 2:79 that specifies when this scriptural corruption is happening, but because surah al baqarah builds its argument on the basis of their past and present misdeeds, that means the verse could be including both time periods.

        One other relevant example is Q2:75; this is calling back to Q2:58-59: this probably refers to a story in their distant past. Note the logic — it rhetorically against them based on the sins of their distant past. So, I don’t see why Q2:79 could run the same way.

        Like

  14. Salams bro,

    You claimed in the following link

    https://ponderingislam.com/2020/06/02/a-biblical-quotation-in-quranic-verses-7157-158/#comment-2245

    that “A recent example I learned is at the end of surah al kahf (v. 18:109) where it says God’s words would never be exhausted were the seas ink and we added more seas to support it. This is actually a rabbinic theme: there is a rabbinic tradition where a *rabbi* says that if the seas were ink, nobody could match his own knowledge of the Torah.”

    I’m dying to know the source of this, lol. Could you provide it? Jzk.

    Like

      • Thank you bro!

        By the way, the stories seem to be talking about prominent Rabbis that lived in the 1st and 2nd century CE. The oral tradition thus, plausibly predates Islam, but is there manuscript evidence as well?

        Oh, and also, I’m compiling things on intertextuality, typology and so on — I have a preliminary argument, inspired by the work of Sharif Randhawa.

        Can I get your thoughts on it here, or can I contact you somewhere else, mail or Twitter, perhaps?

        Like

      • Manuscript evidence is always late with rabbinic literature unfortunately. I think the estimated redaction is around 5-6th c. I would wait for Lowin to publish, though!

        Sharif and I along with another are writing an article on Qur’anic intertextuality. Anyway send an email to tuahaa.soomro@gmail.com

        Like

    • Salam alaikum dear brother Per Idrizaj, I would like to ask you if you could share with me some of your observations regarding typology and intertextuality in Qur’an, I am currently doing some (amateur) research on these topics, so we could exchange some of our ideas. If you are interested you can contact me at my email address amarlj@hotmail.com

      Like

  15. Assalamualaikum, have you ever heard of the claim that slave-women used to be half-naked? It has been alleged that Sunan Abi Dawud 4114, Book 34, Hadith 95 is evidence that slave-women can and did roam barebreasted in public. Is this true or is the Hadith stipulating that only the Master can see the awrah besides the navel and the knees?

    Like

  16. Wa salaam,

    I can’t answer these questions as I don’t spend time reading about these things. Perhaps you might be better served going to a popular apologetics blog or finding someone you know has worked on these things

    Liked by 1 person

  17. As-salamu alaykum akhi, i find your work on the intertextuality of previous scriptures really interesting. Are there any one’s that were revealed in makkah? Because that would be even more convincing, due to the fact it was revealed in a pagan context whereas in medina, there were jews so you can argue a convert somehow told him.

    As a sidenote in case you havent read it yet, I found a paper called “he Jews Say the Hand of God is Chained:
    Q. 5:64 as a Response to a Midrash
    in a piyyut by R. Elʿazar ha-Kallir” which links it to the intertextual argument you have been making.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Salam alaikum brother, your comment about 5:64 got me thinking, does the Qur’an maybe use this motif of hands in some deeper sense through this surah. I would like to hear your thoughts…

    Namely, the first usage of this motif occurs in the ayah about wudhu, afterwards, it is used as a symbol of protection of Muslims. It is also used in the context of killing (Cain and Abel) and punishment for stealing and spreading corruption. It is also used as a form of a test for believers during the pilgrimage and so on. As we know one of the incidents that preceded the revelation of this surah is the attempt of the jews to kill the messenger. Also, the whole sura is filled with the themes of blood, killing and violence(even in the section which deals with prohibited types of food).

    What is interesting is that this surah/motif culminates with the story of Jesus pbuh where the mention of the hands doesn’t occur but is somewhat implied كَفَفْتُ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ the verb K-F-F usually in Qur’an occurs with the mention of hands. or the phrase إِذْ أَيَّدتُّكَ which is similar or maybe a wordplay on the word yad (meaning they have similar but not the same root), meaning that the Prophet Muhammad will be victorious and protected from the hands of the jews( like in the verse تَبَّتْ يَدَا ).

    Sidenotes :
    -The surah also exhibits a nice symmetry, for example, it mentions two nations(Jews and Christians), two stories about two brothers(Musa and Harun, Cain and Abel), two punishments, two hands and so on…

    -Someone here also mentioned the scene in surah Yusuf where the women cut their hands. I noticed that this verse is somewhat parallel (in the way it’s constructed and they are also structurally paired-at least in my analysis ) to the verse in surah Yusuf where the stealing is mentioned

    وَقَالَ الْمَلِكُ ائْتُونِي بِهِ فَلَمَّا جَاءَهُ الرَّسُولُ قَالَ ارْجِعْ إِلَى رَبِّكَ فَاسْأَلْهُ مَا بَالُ النِّسْوَةِ اللَّاتِي قَطَّعْنَ أَيْدِيَهُنَّ إِنَّ رَبِّي بِكَيْدِهِنَّ عَلِيمٌ

    ارْجِعُوا إِلَى أَبِيكُمْ فَقُولُوا يَا أَبَانَا إِنَّ ابْنَكَ سَرَقَ وَمَا شَهِدْنَا إِلَّا بِمَا عَلِمْنَا وَمَا كُنَّا لِلْغَيْبِ حَافِظِينَ

    Which is interesting to me because it somewhat foreshadows or reflects the Islamic ruling on stealing…

    Do you have any ideas on this subject that you could share? May Allah reward you for your comment 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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