In search for the historical Mohammed

Prove Islam is from God, why it is the 'One True Religion'.
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manfred
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Re: In search for the historical Mohammed

Post by manfred »

Warriorprophets with multiple wives and concubines are not worthy of being emulated?
No. Mohammed is the worst person to emulate I can think of.
ChXXXI of book 12 says nothing of using apocrypha. It discusses and agrees with the idea of being deceptive to promote "truth".
I said READ ALL of it.

And he does NOT say be deceptive to promote the truth. That would be a ridiculous idea. He presents a question from a hypothetical "Plato" about using deception. He answers that that the bible uses imagery to speak about God. In fact ALL such language is inaccurate. But he says that it can be a useful thing to explain something.
deception is perfectly acceptable
to you. Not to people with standards.

And we had the nonsense about Abraham on Mecca before, so if you insist you want to discuss that again please use a new topic for it. Seriously I can't believe a grown man actually believes that.

To get back to the point.... John of Damascus tells us a NUMBER of different reasons Muslims have told him why the Kaaba is special, and NONE of these are the standard Muslim answer we hear today.
Jesus: "Ask and you will receive." Mohammed: "Take and give me 20%"

Eagle
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Re: In search for the historical Mohammed

Post by Eagle »

manfred wrote:No. Mohammed is the worst person to emulate I can think of.
You mentioned wars and multiple female partners. Do these 2 points make a man unworthy of being emulated?
manfred wrote:I said READ ALL of it.
You mean the whole book? bring the passage in question
manfred wrote:And he does NOT say be deceptive to promote the truth. That would be a ridiculous idea. He presents a question from a hypothetical "Plato" about using deception. He answers that that the bible uses imagery to speak about God. In fact ALL such language is inaccurate. But he says that it can be a useful thing to explain something.
The title of the chapter speaks for itself and no amount of contortion will change it "That it will be necessary sometimes to use falsehood as a remedy for the benefit of those who require such a mode of treatment" He justifies Plato's use of deception by corroborating with examples from scriptures. He simply says even God does it in a certain sense so why cant humans too?
manfred wrote:To get back to the point.... John of Damascus tells us a NUMBER of different reasons Muslims have told him why the Kaaba is special, and NONE of these are the standard Muslim answer we hear today.
John is no authority on anything, not his Bible which he distorts and misquotes, not the Quran which he did not have in front of him, nor Muslim beliefs which he misrepresents to suit his poorly written polemic

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manfred
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Re: In search for the historical Mohammed

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John is no authority on anything, not his Bible which he distorts and misquotes, not the Quran which he did not have in front of him, nor Muslim beliefs which he misrepresents to suit his poorly written polemic
YES EAGLE!!!

Indeed. He does NOT have the Qur'an in front of him. That is it! Exactly! The "book" Qur'an does not yet exist. Parts exist in separate texts. Worse, he bears witness to a text, which he quotes or paraphrases, which was also in his days seen as Muslim holy text, by Mohammed, but did NOT make it into the Qur'an of today.

That is why he is important. He reports what Muslims of his day told him and what texts they have.

I did not claim he was an "authority" on the Qur'an (which was not canonised yet) I only claimed he is an important and trustworthy witness.
Jesus: "Ask and you will receive." Mohammed: "Take and give me 20%"

Eagle
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Re: In search for the historical Mohammed

Post by Eagle »

Of course the book exists in his time. John mentions it as an object of veneration to the Ishmaelites who believe it to have come from heaven. And because he does not have it as you now admit and as is obvious from his poorly written apologetic, he jumbles Quran passages which he paraphrases as he heard them, with extra Quranic material which he thinks are part of the Quran.

As to the books in the plural, it was explained what he meant by it to his gullible Christian audience.

Neither is he an authority on anything nor a trustworthy individual. His distortion of what Muslims believe, and much worse, his corruption of his own scriptures in the story of Abraham have exposed him as a liar and deceiver in the line of similar individuals the likes of Eusebius, Origen, going back to St Paul

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manfred
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Re: In search for the historical Mohammed

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No no no, that is not at all what he says. He clearly says that Mohammed wrote many BOOKS (plural) he tells in detail the contents of book by Mohammed which is not in today's Quran. Read what he says.

And he has not "corrupted" anything, that was your baseless polemic, your way to dismiss what he tells you because it doe not fit with the Mohammed fairy tale of Islam. Please do not constantly repeat the same thing.

And your only argument here was "he was a Christian therofore he is a liar. " If you have nothing sensible to say stay out of the topic.
Jesus: "Ask and you will receive." Mohammed: "Take and give me 20%"

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Takeiteasynow
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Re: In search for the historical Mohammed

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One can say that Sargon II had a wicked sense of humor. Dealing with the fiery Samarians at the end of the 8th century he dediced to replace a portion of its population with Thamudi desert warriors from Wadi Rum and a bunch of devil worshipers from Kutha (modern Tel Abrahim). For three centuries these 'converts' were second class citizens until Alexander the 'Great' conquered Samaria - the moment they started spreading their syncretic religion among the tribes of the Great Syrian desert and influenced - perhaps dominated - the religious movements in ancient Israel all the way to the Hasmonean era. Sargon's strategy of divide and conquer eventually changed the history of the world as never seen before.

How does the relates to the 'historical Mohammed'? The legend or 'book of the She-Camel' follows the Thamudi wherever they go - all the way to 7th century Kutha, an 'East-Nabataean'* city.

* The concept 'Nabataea' is a misnomer - the Nabatu ("those who dwell water" and followers of the "nameless god") are everywhere, from Oman to Syria and Iraq. The Amorites never disappeared.
Abraham= H'ammu'rab(b)i, Historical Muhammad=Benjamin of Tiberias. Islam: Syncretic Israelite Yahwishm Deity: nameless, epithets Dsr, El Qutbay, ʼAlâhâ, Allāh. Ka'ba: Kutha => Samaria => Petra=> Makkah. Hijrah 622: Petra => Kerak

frankie
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Re: In search for the historical Mohammed

Post by frankie »

Eagle wrote:
manfred wrote:No. Mohammed is the worst person to emulate I can think of.
You mentioned wars and multiple female partners. Do these 2 points make a man unworthy of being emulated?
manfred wrote:I said READ ALL of it.
You mean the whole book? bring the passage in question
manfred wrote:And he does NOT say be deceptive to promote the truth. That would be a ridiculous idea. He presents a question from a hypothetical "Plato" about using deception. He answers that that the bible uses imagery to speak about God. In fact ALL such language is inaccurate. But he says that it can be a useful thing to explain something.
The title of the chapter speaks for itself and no amount of contortion will change it "That it will be necessary sometimes to use falsehood as a remedy for the benefit of those who require such a mode of treatment" He justifies Plato's use of deception by corroborating with examples from scriptures. He simply says even God does it in a certain sense so why cant humans too?
manfred wrote:To get back to the point.... John of Damascus tells us a NUMBER of different reasons Muslims have told him why the Kaaba is special, and NONE of these are the standard Muslim answer we hear today.
John is no authority on anything, not his Bible which he distorts and misquotes, not the Quran which he did not have in front of him, nor Muslim beliefs which he misrepresents to suit his poorly written polemic
Eagle
You mentioned wars and multiple female partners. Do these 2 points make a man unworthy of being emulated?
Mohammed declared war on people just because they did not believe in the Islamic god Allah,and accept him as a prophet of this god,which is not what true prophets of God preach.

Mohammed got things wrong by fighting people with physical weapons, instead of fighting sin,using spiritual weapons,which is the message of true prophets of the Bible God.

By his marriage and sexual union with a prepubescent child,in obedience to Allah, he has justified pedophilia TODAY,which is both harmful and dangerous to children and society alike

Why then should anyone accept this man Mohammed as a prophet of God, when he not only violated the commands of the very God he professed to speak in the name of,but has put Muslims continually at war with the world,and has eternally justifying something harmful and dangerous against children and society TODAY?

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manfred
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Re: In search for the historical Mohammed

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Another witness for early Islam is the last archbishop of Jerusalem, Sophronius, who had the unenviable task of surrendering the city to Umar. The Muslim account of this have been written long after the event and is very different from contemporary eye witnesses.
His descriptions of how the first Muslims behaved towards Christians and Jews are certainly disturbing.

Toward the end of his life, Sophronius and the people of Jerusalem lived through a two year siege by the Muslims. Worn down by hunger, he finally agreed to open the city gates, on the condition that the enemy spare the holy places. But this condition was not fulfilled, and Sophronius died in grief over the desecration of the Christian holy places.
Sophronius writes:
“Moreover, they are raised up more and more against us and increase their blasphemy of Christ and the church, and utter wicked blasphemies against God.”
Other writings from this era says the same, Anastasius writes :
Note well that the demons name the Saracens as their companions. And it is with reason. The latter are perhaps even worse than the demons. Indeed, the demons are frequently afraid of the mysteries of Christ, I mean his holy body …, the cross, the relics, the holy oils and many other things. But these demons of flesh trample all that is under their feet, mock it, set fire to it, destroy it….”
The history presented to us says the Muhammad told his followers he was the last of a string of Prophets sent from God. The Prophet before him was Jesus and others were mentioned – like Moses. We are also told that Muhammad supposedly said Christians and Jews should be permitted to live, while paying an extra tax.

If this is true – why are the Muslims committing blasphemy against what they should believe was the their own Prophet (Jesus) and their own God ? This makes little sense if we are to believe Islamic history.

Early Islamic history must be incorrect.

What we can see from this that much of the law of how Muslims could act towards those "people of the book" also was not yet established as "law".

It puts surah 9:29 and 30 in a somewhat different light.... it seem these are later additions to "moderate" the behaviour of Muslims on conquest, not so much to avoid bloodshed, but more to ensure that the conquered people would pay the Muslims tribute. The dead don't pay.

The course of events suggested by this testimony is that
1) upon the conquest of Mecca, the Muslims griped that they would loose income from the Kaaba.
2) Mohammed/Allah promised them riches by attacking the "people of the book".
3) Muslims did just that, as in Jerusalem.
4) However they behaved in ways that was short sighted. They looted and killed, alienated their prisoners and made then difficult to rule or get long term income from.
5) So Mohammed's words were a little "amended" when it came to produce the first canon of the Qur'an: rules how to act in conquest were added. and placed into Mohammed's mouth.
6) Later still, we get the "pact of Umar" myth.
Jesus: "Ask and you will receive." Mohammed: "Take and give me 20%"

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Takeiteasynow
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Re: In search for the historical Mohammed

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His descriptions of how the first Muslims behaved towards Christians and Jews are certainly disturbing.
There are severe issues with the historiographical account of Sophronius. The Doctrina Iacobi and the Armenian Chronicle of 660 AD, maintain the Saracens and Jews were allies as late as 640 AD, during the conquest of Palestine, a relationship endured at least 15 years beyond the Qur'anic date. Archeological data indicates a population boom at Jerusalem with many new Christian facilities, churches and monasteries built near the northern gate after the conquest of Jerusalem. Other contemporary accounts describe a period of relative tolerance that lasted at least until the beginning of the 8th century, confirmed by the recent work of archeologists Peretz Reuven and Assaf Avraham.
It puts surah 9:29 and 30 in a somewhat different light.... it seem these are later additions to "moderate" the behaviour of Muslims on conquest, not so much to avoid bloodshed, but more to ensure that the conquered people would pay the Muslims tribute. The dead don't pay.
There is no evidence for some form of religious taxation in Palestine or taxation for dhimmis before the 8th century - the Nessana papyri (630 to 689 AD) for instance describe how Arab tribes were payed in kind before switching to a fixed amount that was payed by the city and not by designated religious communities.

No evidence whatsoever for an an early Pact of Umar.
Abraham= H'ammu'rab(b)i, Historical Muhammad=Benjamin of Tiberias. Islam: Syncretic Israelite Yahwishm Deity: nameless, epithets Dsr, El Qutbay, ʼAlâhâ, Allāh. Ka'ba: Kutha => Samaria => Petra=> Makkah. Hijrah 622: Petra => Kerak

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manfred
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Re: In search for the historical Mohammed

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Whatever happened after the bishop's death does not really change how Jerusalem was conquered. Also, we know from a number of sources, that at least for a time some Jews thought the Muslims would bring better conditions than under Byzantine rule, the doctrina Iacobi alludes to this too. Also "heretic" Christians may for a time at least, have felt they are better off with the Muslims than the Byzantine emperor. But this was short lived.

However, we have also multiple accounts of brutal and bloody conquests in early Islam. The relative tolerance developed later, as the Muslims realised they depend on the knowledge of the local to settle in new land and they need their "tribute".

As to the "jiziya" of the Qu'ran, what you point out is exactly my point. The "rules" of Muslim conquest developed LATER. If Muslims had the instructions of surah 9:29 and 30 from the start, then they were VERY impious Muslims and completely ignored them for several decades. That is the reason I think the jiziya is a later idea, an addition from the 8th century.
Jesus: "Ask and you will receive." Mohammed: "Take and give me 20%"

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Takeiteasynow
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Re: In search for the historical Mohammed

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Whatever happened after the bishop's death does not really change how Jerusalem was conquered.
A two year siege would have had severe consequences for the population of Jerusalem and should be noticeable in the archeological record. But no mass graves, outside fortifications etc have been found (so far) or evidence for significant destruction by the invaders.
Also "heretic" Christians may for a time at least, have felt they are better off with the Muslims than the Byzantine emperor. But this was short lived.
The monasteries and churches built near the North Gate after the conquest of Jerusalem belonged to different Christian nominations - there is no specific evidence that followers of Monophysitism (the dominant heritic Christian nomination) were dominant in Jerusalem. Evidence from the Ummayad period shows that Christians and Jews had important roles in government. Contemporary accounts state that the Dome of the Rock was built by Jews and they governed the Temple Mount. It is debatable how long this period of relative tolerance lasted - it may have lasted for 75 up to 125 years.
However, we have also multiple accounts of brutal and bloody conquests in early Islam. The relative tolerance developed later, as the Muslims realised they depend on the knowledge of the local to settle in new land and they need their "tribute".
Sure, but there is no specific evidence that these conquests targeted the Christian or Jewish population of Israel in Late Antiquity. Byzantine institutions sure - which is easily explained if we look at the period 580 AD to 630 AD.
As to the "jiziya" of the Qu'ran, what you point out is exactly my point. The "rules" of Muslim conquest developed LATER.
Agree.
Abraham= H'ammu'rab(b)i, Historical Muhammad=Benjamin of Tiberias. Islam: Syncretic Israelite Yahwishm Deity: nameless, epithets Dsr, El Qutbay, ʼAlâhâ, Allāh. Ka'ba: Kutha => Samaria => Petra=> Makkah. Hijrah 622: Petra => Kerak

Eagle
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Re: In search for the historical Mohammed

Post by Eagle »

The patriarch Sophronius' response to the general Abu Ubayda's capitulation terms were adressed at the caliph Umar. He knew of Umar's personal and leadership qualities that made him feel confident in him. He would not capitulate until Umar himself came to Jerusalem, showing how highly he thought of him. The leader of one of the most powerful armies of the world came in all humility instead of just grabbing what was already his. It is the terror and memory of what had occured a few decades earlier under Persian invasion that made Sophronius capitulate. When the Sassanid Persians seized Palestine, Christians were persecuted and slaughtered, including the clergy. Churches were destroyed and relics confiscated. Jews living under Christian dominion took on the opportunity to avenge centuries of persecution and participated in the killings and lootings. Many Byzantine-Christians, including Sophronius fled to the west. Sophronius would later return once Heraclius defeated the Persians, and was named patriarch of Jerusalem.

When Umar entered Jerusalem, a treaty stipulating the rights and obligations of both partied was redacted and signed by the opposite sides. This is how the Muslims did with all other conquered cities, it wasnt something unique to Jerusalem's case ;
"In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. This is the assurance of safety which the servant of God, Umar, the Commander of the Faithful, has given to the people of Jerusalem. He has given them an assurance of safety for themselves for their property, their churches, their crosses, the sick and healthy of the city and for all the rituals which belong to their religion. Their churches will not be inhabited by Muslims and will not be destroyed. Neither they, nor the land on which they stand, nor their cross, nor their property will be damaged. They will not be forcibly converted. No Jew will live with them in Jerusalem. The people of Jerusalem must pay the taxes like the people of other cities and must expel the Byzantines and the robbers. Those of the people of Jerusalem who want to leave with the Byzantines, take their property and abandon their churches and crosses will be safe until they reach their place of refuge. The villagers may remain in the city if they wish but must pay taxes like the citizens. Those who wish may go with the Byzantines and those who wish may return to their families. Nothing is to be taken from them before their harvest is reaped. If they pay their taxes according to their obligations, then the conditions laid out in this letter are under the covenant of God, are the responsibility of His Prophet, of the caliphs and of the faithful".


It is interesting to note the clause about forbidding Jews to live in Jerusalem, included in the covenant under Sophronius' insistence. Even in such circumstances Christians still wanted to see the killers of Christ humiliated for Jesus' rejection. It was also a personal revenge for Sophronius who had seen the same Jewish opportunists a few decades earlier entering the city with the Sassanids now among the Muslim troops. He could not stand seeing the wheel turn, especially considering the presence of Jews among the Muslim armies in their conquest of Jerusalem.

For more than 4 centuries, the city would be ruled by the Muslims but remained in essence, Christian. Had the original intent or pattern of conduct of the Muslims been contrary to the terms of the covenant, one would not have found a single Christian remaining in the city nor a church standing, until the invasion and massacre of Muslims by Christ-loving Crusaders.

The only breach of the covenant that occured is Umar allowing a firm Jewish presence in the city and for the first time after a 500 years absence. In addition putting all religious minorities including Jews and Christians as equals under the law. This was a double humiliation for Christians in regards their supremacy over the Jews. A short time before breathing his last, a bitter Sophronius would lament of some Muslims' blasphemous attitude towards Christian beliefs. Anyone familiar with the Quran and the traditions, even on a superficial level knows how Islam forcefully and explicitly rejects the most basic tennets of Christianity.

That era was one of heated debates among religious currents, especially between Christians. When Muslims began mingling with them, these debates intensified with each group convinced of its superiority. Anastasius of Sinai was involved, like many of his peers, including Sophronius in such encounters
"Before any discussion we must first anathematise all the false notions which our adversaries might entertain about us. Thus when we wish to debate with the Arabs, we first anathematise whoever says two gods, or whoever says that God has carnally begotten a son, or whoever worships as god any created thing at all, in heaven or on earth".
Muslim writers, scholars and intellectuals would confront their Christian neighbors on the silliness of their beliefs and their arguments were scandalous to the overly sensitive Christian elite that was worn out with centuries of inter-christian hatred. A Muslim would for example write
"that God is Christ son of Mary and that Christ addressed the disciples 'my brothers', but then if the disciples had sons, God would be their uncle!"
It is interesting to note that the same writer, Jahiz, would complain about Christians and their deceptive modus operandi whenever they are debating religion
"They hunt down what is contradictory in our traditions, our reports with a suspect line of transmission and the ambiguous verses of our scripture. Then they single out the weak-minded among us and question our common people concerning these things, plus whatever they might know of the matter of the heretics".
Throughout the ages, and down to these moder times we live in, little has changed among the disciples of St Paul.

The point is that when Sophronius complained of "blasphemy", it does not entail violence and persecution, especially in this atmosphere of passionate religious febrility. He says nothing of physical violence occuring in Jerusalem. He instead refers to some vague destructions and violence comitted by Muslims in unnamed places. That passage is self serving in his lengthy sermon in which he chastises Christians for their irreligious behavior and consequent defeat by a "God-less people". He transposes biblical prophecies of destruction onto contemporary events, grossly amplifying them so as to incite fear and repentance. He promises that should people mend their ways then
"we would rejoice over the fall of the Saracen enemy and observe their near ruin and witness their final demise".
These Saracen enemies were to him but an evangelizing tool to sermon the people in a time of crisis of faith. In those days, correct spiritual beliefs entailed divine political and military support. With the Byzantine empire crumbling down as a result of Muslim invasions, Anastasius was obsessed with the possibility of having disillusioned Christians apostise. So just like Sophronius a few years prior, Anastasius would resort to fear mongering. The Muslims are now in league with the demons
"Note well that the demons name the Saracens as their companions. And it is with reason. The latter are perhaps even worse than the demons. Indeed, the demons are frequently much afraid of the mysteries of Christ, I mean his holy body ... , the cross, the saints, the relics, the holy oils and many other things. But these demons of flesh trample all that is under their feet, mock it, set fire to it, destroy it".
This isnt speaking of physical destruction of religious sites and relics by Muslims. Anastasius backs this argument with examples of demon posessions and demons assisting Muslims in their tasks, including military campaigns against fellow Christians and the clearing work upon Temple mount. Anastasius even affirms to have witnessed himself demonic activity on the site.

Early Christianity's hatred for Jewish Christ-killers, 700 years after Jesus was still fresh. This clearing work, commissioned by the Muslim authorities meant that Christianity's cynicism came to an end. The humiliating sight of the Jewish holiest site buried under garbage, a reminder of Christianity's victory over Judaism, was over. Sophronius earlier would even excommunicate Christians caught working for the Muslims on the site. Among Anastasius's other "testimonies" of Muslim/satanic partnership was that of Christian sailors who
"arrived at the place where those who have reduced us to servitude have their stone and their cult".
This obviously speaks of the Kaaba and the black stone. The sailors, still having their mysoginistic biblical passages in mind witnessed
"an indecent and horrible old woman rise from the ground".
She proceeded to gather the sacrifices made at the altar then took them underground with her.

Going back to Sophronius, had the events spoken of in his sermon occured in Jerusalem he wouldn't have hesitated saying it. Had the scale of bloodshed been anywhere near the level implied in his polemic, he wouldnt have been left free to pronounce such a speech, nor would there be a Christian audience left which he would address. Sophronius himself would have been dead or at best exiled as had happened to him under Persian rule a few decades earlier. He would have later been honored as a martyr by the Byzantine church instead of a saint. This institution was at the time victimizing its deaths to the extreme, whenever they occured as a result of Muslim-Christian conflicts. Among their distortions are the celebrated 60 martyrs of Gaza. But the Christian clerical insitution lived on under Muslim rule for centuries, living to tell the tale. This is evidence that the terms of the pact were implemented.

It is interesting to note that in this atmosphere of eschatological febrility, the Jews saw the "Ishmaelites" too as God's instrument. Not as a rod of punishment to sinful Christians as in Sophronius' sermon but as a deliverance of the Jewish people. A contemporary rabbinic apocalypse reads
"Since he (Simon) saw the kingdom of Ishmael that was coming, he began to say: "Was it not enough what the wicked kingdom of Edom (Byzantines) has done to us, but [we deserve] the kingdom of Ishmael too?" At once Metatron, the foremost angel, answered him and said: "Do not fear, son of man, for the Almighty only brings the kingdom of Ishmael in order to deliver you from this wicked one (Edom). He raises up over them (Ishmaelites) a prophet according to His will and He will conquer the land for them, and they will come and restore it to greatness, and a great dread will come between them and the sons of Esau".
Anastasius of Sinai, a few decades after Sophronius, answers Jewish mockeries at their former persecutors now under the dominion of another nation
"What place out of those God gave to you do you hold today? Rather all have been taken from you and He has given them to us. For if you say Mount Sinai, where you received the law though took no notice of it, Christ is glorified there today. And if you say the Jordan, where your people then crossed, Christ was baptised there and he is glorified by us there. And if you say Jerusalem and Zion, Christ was crucified there and his sufferings are celebrated there today. Or if you say the Mount of Olives ... Bethlehem .... But why do I say Bethlehem, Zion and Jordan; traverse the West, survey the East, scan all the [lands] under heaven-the Britannic islands, those furthest western regions of the world-and you will find the [rites] of the Jews and Hellenes antiquated and annihilated, but those of Christ given credence, honoured and confirmed".
He uses Jerusalem as evidence that despite being dominated, Christianity is freely celebrated. It would have defeated his argument had he been referring to a place where Christianity was humiliated and violently persecuted.

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manfred
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Re: In search for the historical Mohammed

Post by manfred »

eagle, Muslim accounts of the conquest of Jerusalem are all much later than the event, and tell us little about real early Islam.

We have also a brief mention of Muslims in the writings of a priest from the levant, Peter the presbyter, writing in 640:
On Friday 4 February (634 in our calendar) at the ninth hour, there was a battle between the Romans and the Arabs of Muhmd in Palestine twelve miles east of Gaza. The Romans fled, leaving behind the patrician bryrdn, whom the Arabs killed. Some 4,000 poor villagers of Palestine were killed there, Christians, Jews and Samaritans. The Arabs ravaged the whole region
While some of his details are obscure, there is little doubt about the nature of the conquest and the behaviour of the Muslims. "debates" af the kind you mentioned would be impossible in reality.
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Re: In search for the historical Mohammed

Post by Takeiteasynow »

On Friday 4 February (634 in our calendar) at the ninth hour, there was a battle between the Romans and the Arabs of Muhmd in Palestine twelve miles east of Gaza. The Romans fled, leaving behind the patrician bryrdn, whom the Arabs killed. Some 4,000 poor villagers of Palestine were killed there, Christians, Jews and Samaritans. The Arabs ravaged the whole region
Unfortunately there are some severe issues with this historiographical account.

1) The extended corpus of Arab documents from early Arab capital in Egypt - Fustat - know nothing about a prophet Muhmd and the existence of a Rashidun or Ummayad caliphate.
2) The Qibla of the first places of worship in Fustat points to Dedan / Madain Saleh
Which matches the epigraphical record which tells us that Arab commanders ask Umar - a tribal leader from the area of Madain Saleh - permission to attack undefended Egypt.

Peter the presbyter probably assumed that all Arabs were under command of "Medina".
Abraham= H'ammu'rab(b)i, Historical Muhammad=Benjamin of Tiberias. Islam: Syncretic Israelite Yahwishm Deity: nameless, epithets Dsr, El Qutbay, ʼAlâhâ, Allāh. Ka'ba: Kutha => Samaria => Petra=> Makkah. Hijrah 622: Petra => Kerak

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manfred
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Re: In search for the historical Mohammed

Post by manfred »

Hi, he does not mention Umar, and his rather brief reference to Islam is quite vague, only mentioning a raid on some place near Gaza. I cannot tell who the "Arabs of Muhmd" were exactly... What is not vague, though, is his view on how Muslims behaved in the Levant. If that is even 50% accurate then it suggests strongly that later Muslim accounts of the conquest of the Levant were heavily sanitised and politically motivated.
Jesus: "Ask and you will receive." Mohammed: "Take and give me 20%"

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Takeiteasynow
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Re: In search for the historical Mohammed

Post by Takeiteasynow »

Ah yes a minor misunderstanding - historiography brings out the beast in me.

Note: The concept 'arab' - another misnomer - originates in Syria and was never used south of Petra. If you look at Hismaic or Dadainatic for instance the Semitic root rb was only used for verbs like raba (to stun) grb (to depart), hrb (to flee). The raid on Egypt was done by the She-Camel-Boys, the Thamudai from Rawwafa who served for many centuries in the Roman army.
Abraham= H'ammu'rab(b)i, Historical Muhammad=Benjamin of Tiberias. Islam: Syncretic Israelite Yahwishm Deity: nameless, epithets Dsr, El Qutbay, ʼAlâhâ, Allāh. Ka'ba: Kutha => Samaria => Petra=> Makkah. Hijrah 622: Petra => Kerak

Eagle
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Re: In search for the historical Mohammed

Post by Eagle »

manfred wrote:eagle, Muslim accounts of the conquest of Jerusalem are all much later than the event, and tell us little about real early Islam.

We have also a brief mention of Muslims in the writings of a priest from the levant, Peter the presbyter, writing in 640:
On Friday 4 February (634 in our calendar) at the ninth hour, there was a battle between the Romans and the Arabs of Muhmd in Palestine twelve miles east of Gaza. The Romans fled, leaving behind the patrician bryrdn, whom the Arabs killed. Some 4,000 poor villagers of Palestine were killed there, Christians, Jews and Samaritans. The Arabs ravaged the whole region
While some of his details are obscure, there is little doubt about the nature of the conquest and the behaviour of the Muslims. "debates" af the kind you mentioned would be impossible in reality.
It isn't Peter but Thomas the Presbyter. He speaks of the battle of Dathin where the Romans, upon learning of the approaching Arab Army, gathered their own forces and called up 5000 foot soldiers from among the local villages of Samaria. They were however quickly defeated. Again, nothing even remotely suggests what the above post is trying to insinuate.

As to Jerusalem, the references that negate the attempted portrayal of "the nature of the conquest and the behaviour of the Muslims" are non-Muslim references.

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manfred
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Re: In search for the historical Mohammed

Post by manfred »

Apologies, typo, of course Thomas. His testimony is however very clear, and he says nothing like your account. So where you there, like him?

Then you complain that it is not a Muslim source.... How would they be more trustworthy, given they date more than 100 years later at the earliest?
Jesus: "Ask and you will receive." Mohammed: "Take and give me 20%"

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Takeiteasynow
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Re: In search for the historical Mohammed

Post by Takeiteasynow »

Fellow researcher Mr. Beta developed a new methodology that may help understand how the hadith and biography of Muhammad were composed: continuous context shifting

It's basically an idea borrowed from psychology. In therapy one may alter topics suddenly and unexpectedly, typically to veer away from topics which induce worry or discomfort for the patient. It's called context shifting, something everyone experiences on a daily basis. You focus on one particular type of task, challenge, or information set, then switch to something completely different. Frequent context shifts can be extremely distracting and impair your ability to concentrate. Or your ability to research a scam....

The scammer
Imagine that you are an Abbasid Caliph in the early 9th century AD - you inherited an empire that has no centralized religion, identity or common history, many ethnic groups and traditions. Wouldn't it be great to merge all these traditions from multiple sources and different power bases (Al Harith, Kerak, Rawwafa) into a single carrier that could be bound to a single identity? First you would create a fabricated timeline that includes all rulers from Al Harith, Kerak, Rawwafa and then assign related events to different personalities. The result is an alternative history that would be very hard to debug - as you would have to dismiss its entire context. This dilemma, basically the abundance of evidence for the first 100 to 200 years of the Islamic narrative, has torched many scholars.

Yet the evidence is there - you only have to understand how the fragmentation of events was organized. A great example is the Khaybar account that consists of these fine events:
1) Muhammad raids the Khaybar oasis from Medina
2) Umar decides that the surviving Jews from Khaybar are to be resettled in Mesopotamia.
3) The Rashidun governor resettles them near Kufah (Iraq).

What are the issues?
(1) There never was a Jewish settlement in Khaybar
(2) Why would you resettle a few surviving women and children 1200 miles away?
(3) Kufah did not exist before Umar died.

It's much more likely that an original event was broken down into multiple fragments and then assigned to multiple persons, suggesting a coherent timeline and centralized government over centuries providing the Caliph the legacy the needs to legitimate his rule. And this is what the tradition does : it continuously tries to shifts perspectives so you don't get the bigger picture.
Abraham= H'ammu'rab(b)i, Historical Muhammad=Benjamin of Tiberias. Islam: Syncretic Israelite Yahwishm Deity: nameless, epithets Dsr, El Qutbay, ʼAlâhâ, Allāh. Ka'ba: Kutha => Samaria => Petra=> Makkah. Hijrah 622: Petra => Kerak

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manfred
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Re: In search for the historical Mohammed

Post by manfred »

This is the big problem with establishing much around early Islam. We have little to go on from in terms of early sources, and archaeology is scant too. What we can be fairly sure of though is that much of "established" history of early Islam is based of naive acceptance of very late sources. By then the "plain warner" has morphed in the the Mohammed of the night journey and of splitting the moon. If such tales are told right alongside of his more mundane exploits,then all of these sources become suspicious. There may be some aspects of the sirah and the hadith that are accurate, but who is to tell which is which? The "method" of the "ithnad" is also not helpful, as that too can be made up.

If the narrative of Mohammed underwent significant evolution, and there is scant regard for accuracy in telling his story, then it should be obvious that much else was also altered or even invented to suit later rulers, not just Mohammed's life and words.

So we are stuck with a few fragment from non-Muslim texts and a few coins. But that is not totally useless. We have enough detail to see clearly that the narrative has changed.

The coins also tell an interesting story.... first, the earliest are some 60 years after Mohammed's death. That is odd in itself. Normally any rule uses coins to establish his presence and demonstrate his rule. Then they look remarkably like Byzantine coins at first, with cross designs removed, and only gradually became distinct.


In short, of we want to find out about Islam before about 690, we do not have a lot to go on.
Jesus: "Ask and you will receive." Mohammed: "Take and give me 20%"

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