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Historians examine Islam

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 4:47 pm
by pr126
Historians examine Islam












Re: Historians examine Islam

PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:06 pm
by Takeiteasynow
After watching these presentations (including part 7/8/9 on Youtube) new key questions are screaming for answers.

Changes in the underlying and upper layer of the Palimpsest relate to a great treason and tragedy. That leads to these key questions?
1) What are the big events in the range of the dated Sana'a A samples, roughly between 475 and 575? Or better what are the big Yemenite events in the period 450 - 550?
2) Why are these Quranic manuscripts edited in Sana, Yemen? Or better: how is Yemen connected with Northern Arabia?

A quick survey?
1) Big Event candidates
- Destruction of the Arab-Jewish kingdom of Himyar
- Breach Marib dam in 542, 548, 570
- Extreme draughts after 530 (as part of climate change until 660)
- Related migration of Arab-Jewish tribes to Northern Arabia, Ghassanid territories (Greater Syria)
2) Possible location explanations:
- Sabaeans are part of the Quranic alliance of "People of the Book". During the second fitna this was a safe place to codify the Quran as part of new doctrine.

As most differences between Islam and orthodox Judaism are artificial these Sabaeans appear to be Jewish.

Follow up questions:
1) Are the underlying verses of the Palimpsest related to or inspired by one of the big events?
2) Could the Quran have been inspired by these events or were religious texts related to these events used as templates at the end of the seventh century?

Re: Historians examine Islam

PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 11:06 pm
by Fernando
I haven't had time to watch the videos yet, so will just remark re your question2:
Were the palimpsests necessarily edited in Yemen, just because they were found there? Remember that the source was a dump of old mss that Muslims believed they weren't allowed to destroy. Even if the upper layer was Yemeni, they might have just acquired old mss for re-use, without any intention of considering the old script. Or even ready-washed. Either would be cheaper than new parchment - maybe an advantage if they were on the periphery of the main Arabian Muslim society.

Re: Historians examine Islam

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:07 pm
by Takeiteasynow
That's all possible but not likely. The Sabaean semi-Jews or Arabs who "returned to the old traditions in a Abrahamic fashion" from Yemen had knowledge of the Torah and thus deep understanding of religious traditions. Sabaeans are part of the "people of the book", the Quran records the events between 510 and 530 in Yemen and remembers the disaster from Marib. So as we live in a observable mathematical universe embedded in a logical but absurd quantum reality I do think there is a link:) The link is eschatological - the idea that the end of days is near.

Now that I think of it - nothing much has changed. Many blockbusters have the end of days as theme.

Re: Historians examine Islam

PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 3:16 pm
by Fernando
I've no reason to disbelieve Jay Smith, but he does have an agenda and is a bit prone to preaching, too. I've just come across the following from a Left-wing journal. It's an interesting summary.
The news that a recent scientific paper on the common genetic roots of Jews and Palestinians had been suppressed by learned journals, because of the political sensitivity of its conclusions, made for depressing reading. Findings that might have provided reason for hope, or even for solidarity between the Arab and Israeli peoples, were instead considered too hot to handle.
<snip>
Nowhere is this more true than in the study of the origins of Islam, where some of the conclusions being drawn are potentially even more explosive than the argument that Israelis and Palestinians have common ancestors. Tucked away in the journals and occasional papers of the world of Islamic studies is work by a group of academics who have spent the past three decades plotting a quiet revolution in the study of the origins of the religion, the Koran and the life of the Prophet Mohammad. The conclusions of the so-called "new historians" of Islam are devastating: that we know almost nothing about the life of the Muslim prophet Mohammad; that the rapid rise of the religion can be attributed, at least in part, to the attraction of Islam's message of conquest and jihad for the tribes of the Arabian peninsula; that the Koran as we know it today was compiled, or perhaps even written, long after Mohammad's supposed death in 632AD. Most controversially of all, the researchers say that there existed an anti-Christian alliance between Arabs and Jews in the earliest days of Islam, and that the religion may be best understood as a heretical branch of rabbinical Judaism.
<snip>
It is the picture of Islam as a heretical offshoot of Judaism that has caused most offence to Muslims, especially where it concerns the holy cities of Mecca and Jerusalem. According to Muslim tradition, Mohammad changed the direction of Muslim prayer from Jerusalem to Mecca in the earliest years of Islam, after he fell out with the Jews when he was building his community of the faithful in Arabia. But the new historians refuse to accept this account. Using archaeological evidence from mosques built in the eighth century (that is, after the death of Mohammad), they have shown that many of the Muslim prayer niches point to the north, and not towards Mecca.

Why has the work of these academics received so little attention? In part, this must be due to the attitude of liberal intellectuals in the west and their counterparts in the Muslim world, who have failed to engage with their work, or tiptoed around it for fear of offending Muslim sensibilities. In so doing, they have left the field open to the radical right in the United States, where it has been used to justify a crusading, Christian fundamentalist approach to Islam.
<snip>
So why is it that, in the acres of newsprint and during the hours of television time spent discussing Muslim issues since 11 September, there has been no debate on the Koran and the origins of Islam? According to Francis Robinson, who edited the Cambridge Illustrated History of the Islamic World, it is important "not to let sensitivities for Muslim feelings override all other considerations". He also suggests that the new history remains in relative obscurity because "these historians have yet to find a single figure who can bring all these revolutionary ideas together in an accessible way. But believe me, that will happen. And it will be interesting to watch the reaction."

Martin Bright is home affairs editor of the Observer
Impeccable credentials I fancy, seeing that the article was published in the Left wing New Statesman
The New Statesman SpecialReport - The great Koran con trick
Scholars claim that Islam's holy book is not quite what it seems
So what's new? Nothing - although it could have been written yesterday, it was actually published in 2001. No sign of that single figure or a reaction so far. I doubt they would even publish that article today.
I can no longer find it on Google, but knowing it existed I found it in the New Statesman archive:
https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/religion/2001/12/new-statesman-special-report-great-koran-con-trick

Re: Historians examine Islam

PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:12 pm
by Takeiteasynow
Most controversially of all, the researchers say that there existed an anti-Christian alliance between Arabs and Jews in the earliest days of Islam, and that the religion may be best understood as a heretical branch of rabbinical Judaism.


Using labels such as Jews, Arabs or Saracens makes it difficult to make deep analysis of these earliest days. From the Nessana Papyri and other sources can be learned that there was no such thing as an Arab identity. This idea derives from Greek and Roman scholars who labelled anything on the wrong side of the border as Arab or Saracen. And those speaking Arabic dialects were, in most cases, some kind of Jew. The view or assumption that in the early seventh century Judaism had shaped itself can't be proven yet the opposite can. Rabbinical Judaism was still under development until the 9th or 10th century.

So what's new? Nothing - although it could have been written yesterday, it was actually published in 2001

Well I do think that Dan Gibson's Quranic Geography is a game changer and eye opener. The difficulty is to build a definitive case for the Petra = Mecca hypothesis. But once that is done, it will go very fast.