I've just today come across a discussion on the CEMB forum, It's 13pp long and after the reading the first page I'm reeling. (No jinn needed!)
It covers the development of the Koran from its Jewish and Christian origins, its multiple authors, its position in the forming of the Arab Empire and its languages.
Much of the stuff is new to me mentioning authors since Luxenberg, Puin and Crone et al. There are probably enough leads for a month of study although much of it is over my head. It's perhaps best summarised by poster "shaytanshoes" towards the end of the first page
Not surprisingly, another poster answers that last question with a YES.In a nutshell, the Qur'anic base was actually commentary in a North Arabic dialect mixed with Syriac liturgy aimed at introducing Judaic/Christian teachings to Levantine Arabs circa 600 AD, maybe preached by an apocalyptic prophet named Muhammad who died before the conquest of Palestine.
The Umayyads then consolidated control over competing tribes by codifying the religion, the Qur'an and Islamic teachings by taking these disparate texts and Zubayr's Mecca-focused ideology as their own, although that process wasn't complete until the mid 700's. Unfortunately they didn't have the historical, cultural or linguistic context to make sense of the original rasm text. The text may have remained fairly static but the society around it had changed radically.
Is that the correct idiot's guide version of it? Smiley
There are so many new critical studies looking at the Qur'an from linguistic, historical and cultural points of view that I think we're in a kind of golden age for skepticism. I find it weird that most Western non-Muslim scholars are still afraid of digging in with sharp knives into the carcass of the Qur'an... Are they scared of being physically harmed by fanatics or having their funding cut by Islamophobia-phobic administrators?
I'm left wondering whether i still have the capacity to sit down and make notes as if I were still at university - I certainly can't take in so much new stuff at one sitting. Unfortunately, it reads as though the books derived from the new scholarship are few and far between and very expensive. One wag suggests that that's to keep them out of the hand of fanatics. (lthough IS would probably burn the fanatics along with the books if they caught them with them!)