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A hilarious interview with "Christoph Luxenberg" (a pseudonym, hence the quotes). Besides the demonstration of ignorance and disinformation, it's a good example of the typical wannabe hypothesis -- assumption strengthened by another assumption.

From the Gospel to Islam

An interview with "Christoph Luxenberg" by Alfred Hackensberger


Q. - Professor, why did you think it useful to conduct this re-reading of the Koran?

A. - "Because, in the Koran, there are many obscure points that, from the beginning, even the Arab commentators were not able to explain. Of these passages it is said that only God can comprehend them. Western research on the Koran, which has been conducted in a systematic manner only since about the middle of the 19th century, has always taken as its base the commentaries of the Arab scholars. But these have never gone beyond the etymological explanation of some terms of foreign origin."

Q. - What makes your method different?

A. - "I began from the idea that the language of the Koran must be studied from an historical-linguistic point of view. When the Koran was composed, Arabic did not exist as a written language; thus it seemed evident to me that it was necessary to take into consideration, above all, Aramaic, which at the time, between the 4th and 7th centuries, was not only the language of written communication, but also the lingua franca of that area of Western Asia."

Q. - Tell us how you proceeded.

A. - "At first I conducted a �??????�?????�????�???�??�?�´synchronous�??????�?????�????�???�??�?�´ reading. In other words, I kept in mind both Arabic and Aramaic. Thanks to this procedure, I was able to discover the extent of the previously unsuspected influence of Aramaic upon the language of the Koran: in point of fact, much of what now passes under the name of �??????�?????�????�???�??�?�´classical Arabic�??????�?????�????�???�??�?�´ is of Aramaic derivation."

Q. - What do you say, then, about the idea, accepted until now, that the Koran was the first book written in Arabic?

A. - "According to Islamic tradition, the Koran dates back to the 7th century, while the first examples of Arabic literature in the full sense of the phrase are found only two centuries later, at the time of the �??????�?????�????�???�??�?�´Biography of the Prophet�??????�?????�????�???�??�?�´; that is, of the life of Mohammed as written by Ibn Hisham, who died in 828. We may thus establish that post-Koranic Arabic literature developed by degrees, in the period following the work of al-Khalil bin Ahmad, who died in 786, the founder of Arabic lexicography (kitab al-ayn), and of Sibawwayh, who died in 796, to whom the grammar of classical Arabic is due. Now, if we assume that the composition of the Koran was brought to an end in the year of the Prophet Mohammed�??????�?????�????�???�??�?�´s death, in 632, we find before us an interval of 150 years, during which there is no trace of Arabic literature worthy of note."

Q. - So at the time of Mohammed Arabic did not have precise rules, and was not used for written communication. Then how did the Koran come to be written?

A. - "At that time, there were no Arab schools - except, perhaps, for the Christian centers of al-Anbar and al-Hira, in southern Mesopotamia, or what is now Iraq. The Arabs of that region had been Christianized and instructed by Syrian Christians. Their liturgical language was Syro-Aramaic. And this was the vehicle of their culture, and more generally the language of written communication."

Q. - What is the relationship between this language of culture and the origin of the Koran?

A. - "Beginning in the third century, the Syrian Christians did not limit themselves to bringing their evangelical mission to nearby countries, like Armenia or Persia. They pressed on toward distant territories, all the way to the borders of China and the western coast of India, in addition to the entire Arabian peninsula all the way to Yemen and Ethiopia. It is thus rather probable that, in order to proclaim the Christian message to the Arabic peoples, they would have used (among others) the language of the Bedouins, or Arabic. In order to spread the Gospel, they necessarily made use of a mishmash of languages. But in an era in which Arabic was just an assembly of dialects and had no written form, the missionaries had no choice but to resort to their own literary language and their own culture; that is, to Syro-Aramaic. The result was that the language of the Koran was born as a written Arabic language, but one of Arab-Aramaic derivation."

Q. - Do you mean that anyone who does not keep the Syro-Aramaic language in mind cannot translate and interpret the Koran correctly?

A. - "Yes. Anyone who wants to make a thorough study of the Koran must have a background in the Syro-Aramaic grammar and literature of that period, the 7th century. Only thus can he identify the original meaning of Arabic expressions whose semantic interpretation can be established definitively only by retranslating them into Syro-Aramaic."

Q. - Let�??????�?????�????�???�??�?�´s come to the misunderstandings. One of the most glaring errors you cite is that of the virgins promised, in the Islamic paradise, to the suicide bombers.

A. - "We begin from the term �??????�?????�????�???�??�?�´huri,�??????�?????�????�???�??�?�´ for which the Arabic commentators could not find any meaning other than those heavenly virgins. But if one keeps in mind the derivations from Syro-Aramaic, that expression indicated �??????�?????�????�???�??�?�´white grapes,�??????�?????�????�???�??�?�´ which is one of the symbolic elements of the Christian paradise, recalled in the Last Supper of Jesus. There�??????�?????�????�???�??�?�´s another Koranic expression, falsely interpreted as �??????�?????�????�???�??�?�´the children�??????�?????�????�???�??�?�´ or �??????�?????�????�???�??�?�´the youths�??????�?????�????�???�??�?�´ of paradise: in Aramaic: it designates the fruit of the vine, which in the Koran is compared to pearls. As for the symbols of paradise, these interpretive errors are probably connected to the male monopoly in Koranic commentary and interpretation."

Q. - By the way, what do you think about the Islamic veil?

A. - "There is a passage in Sura 24, verse 31, which in Arabic reads, �??????�?????�????�???�??�?�´That they should beat their khumurs against their bags.�??????�?????�????�???�??�?�´ It is an incomprehensible phrase, for which the following interpretation has been sought: �??????�?????�????�???�??�?�´That they should extend their kerchiefs from their heads to their breasts.�??????�?????�????�???�??�?�´ But if this passage is read in the light of Syro-Aramaic, it simply means: �??????�?????�????�???�??�?�´They should fasten their belts around their waists.�??????�?????�????�???�??�?�´"

Q. - Does this mean the veil is really a chastity belt?

A. - "Not exactly. It is true that, in the Christian tradition, the belt is associated with chastity: Mary is depicted with a belt fastened around her waist. But in the gospel account of the Last Supper, Christ also ties an apron around his waist before washing the Apostles�??????�?????�????�???�??�?�´ feet. There are clearly many parallels with the Christian faith."

Q. - You have discovered that Sura 97 of the Koran mentions the Nativity. And in your translation of the famous Sura of Mary, her "birthgiving" is "made legitimate by the Lord." Moreover, the text contains the invitation to come to the sacred liturgy, to the Mass. Would the Koran, then, be nothing other than an Arabic version of the Christian Bible?

A. - "In its origin, the Koran is a Syro-Aramaic liturgical book, with hymns and extracts from Scriptures which might have been used in sacred Christian services. In the second place, one may see in the Koran the beginning of a preaching directed toward transmitting the belief in the Sacred Scriptures to the pagans of Mecca, in the Arabic language. Its socio-political sections, which are not especially related to the original Koran, were added later in Medina. At its beginning, the Koran was not conceived as the foundation of a new religion. It presupposes belief in the Scriptures, and thus functioned merely as an inroad into Arabic society."

Q. - To many Muslim believers, for whom the Koran is the holy book and the only truth, your conclusions could seem blasphemous. What reactions have you noticed up until now?

A. - "In Pakistan, the sale of the edition of �??????�?????�????�???�??�?�´Newsweek�??????�?????�????�???�??�?�´ that contained an article on my book was banned. Otherwise, I must say that, in my encounters with Muslims, I have not noticed any hostile attitudes. On the contrary, they have appreciated the commitment of a non-Muslim to studies aimed at an objective comprehension of their sacred text. My work could be judged as blasphemous only by those who decide to cling to errors in the interpretation of the word of God. But in the Koran it is written, �??????�?????�????�???�??�?�´No one can bring to the right way those whom God induces to error.�??????�?????�????�???�??�?�´"

Q. - Aren�??????�?????�????�???�??�?�´t you afraid of a fatwa, a death sentence like the one pronounced against Salman Rushdie?

A. - "I am not a Muslim, so I don�??????�?????�????�???�??�?�´t run that risk. Besides, I haven�??????�?????�????�???�??�?�´t offended against the Koran"

Q. - But you still preferred to use a pseudonym.

A. - "I did that on the advice of Muslim friends who were afraid that some enthusiastic fundamentalist would act of his own initiative, without waiting for a fatwa."


http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/7025?eng=y


And here comes the Eucharist:

Section seventeen synthesizes the techniques and findings of the foregoing study and analyzes two complete suras: 108 and 96. Luxenberg provides for each a complete commentary and translation. The thrust of sura 108 has already been presented above. The analysis of all nineteen verses of sura 96 spans twenty-two pages. Among the many solutions provided in this section is that the particle ’a which has stumped the commentators and the grammarians is really two different words: the Syriac word ’aw “or” and the Syriac ’en “if, when.” Omitting here the details of the argument, this sura is to be read as a call to participate in liturgical prayer and has the “character of a Christian-Syriac prooemium, which in the later tradition was replaced by the fatiha (from Syriac ptaxa, ’opening’).” This is not just any liturgy, but the Divine Liturgy, the eucharistic commemoration, as Luxenberg reconstructs verses 17-19: “Should he [i.e., the Slanderer] wish to call his idols, he will (thereby) call a [god who] passes away! You should not at all listen to him, (rather) perform (your) liturgy and receive the Eucharist (wa-isjid wa iqtabar)” (p. 296). This is noteworthy, as this is the oldest sura according to Islamic tradition, and reveals its Christian-Syriac roots. In sura 5 “The Repast” Luxenberg indicates that closely related eucharistic terminology as in sura 96 (the proof for which is omitted in this review) suggests that the verses in sura 5:114-115 refer to the Eucharistic liturgy (and not just the Last Supper). Further evidence for this reading comes from a piece of pre-Islamic poetry by the Christian Arab poet ‘Adi ibn Zayd which the Kitab al-aghani of Abu l-Faraj al-Isfahani (d. 967) preserved. Section eighteen, a brief, comprehensive summary, concludes the study.


The grand conclusion: The Quran is an invitation to the Divine Liturgy.

It is ironic that this well-meaning and well-researched Evangelist thinks that as a non-Muslim he is immune to a fatwa. Ignorance is bliss, they say.
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member1:

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Peace:

Is this some sort of veiled threat? If so, that is pretty nasty. I remember reading about this book sometime ago and thought it to be pretty absurd.
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Ha ha...don't be so imaginative. I find it curious that he is unaware of not only the past but even the present.

Yes, the book is absurd. But I have had to deal with many non-Muslims on Yahoo! and Paltalk who appeal to him as an authority when it comes to the Quran. The next time his name pops up, I will refer the individual to this page.
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Peace,

I have seen this and other things like this. The ideas are completely absurd and only an attempt to try to reinterpret the Quran according to their liking. but the fact that they try to use another language is ridiculous. Even if they are close you can't interpret italian using spanish or vice-versa. That is just plain old wrong.

Gobless,
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"Luxenberg" and his likes can only operate under assumptions. The issue I come across when dealing with the non-Muslims is that many of them, without even reading his book, claim that diacritics and vowels were not "invented" until centuries after the revelation of the Quran.

Regarding the diacritics:

In any case the Islamic tradition is unable to provide any date for the final fixing of the reading of the Koran by means of the introduction of the diacritical points, so that one is dependent on the general assertion that this process stretched out over about three hundred years.

Regarding the short vowels:

To the extent that this writing reform was also carried out in the text of the Koran, the consequences for certain readings were inevitable. An initial marking of the short vowels a, u and i by points, likewise modeled upon the earlier Syro-Aramaic vocalization systems – according to which the more lightly pronounced vowel (a) is indicated by a point above and the more darkly pronounced vowel (e /i ) by a point below the consonant, to which was added in Arabic a middle point to mark the u – is said to have been introduced as the first reading aid under Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan (685–705).

He is either ignorant or is simply propagating myths. But it does give those who are ignorant a lot to chirp about. Never mind that he makes an appeal to "the Islamic tradition," a prominent tactic of those polemicists whose task it would appear is the refutation thereof.

With the myths propagated as facts, he then sets about to manipulate the words till he can make them agreeable to his agenda, or till he has traced them to another language and made them agreeable to his agenda. Thus, strengthening one assumption with another, he proceeds to show that the Quran is not an Arabic composition, all the while focused on his agenda of introducing it as a Christian scripture.


Another (and possibly unrelated to "Luxenberg"; also not to be confused with Jeffery's polemics) claim that I frequently come across is that the vocabulary of the Quran has been completely reinvented since the Quran was revealed. There is no evidence of this, but the assumption is necessitated to manipulate the Quran. And if the examples that are commonly cited by the non-Muslims I come across are any indication, then there is evidence to the contrary. Unlike the claims of "Luxenberg" this one is not even noted by the academia, and is purely an Internet phenomenon.

Cognates can prove useful to understand a word; but the undertaking of the propagandists, it would appear, is not to understand, rather, like you said, a reinterpretation of the Quran to a possibly predetermined conclusion. Hence the disinformation propagation of the likes of "Luxenberg".
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With the myths propagated as facts, he then sets about to manipulate the words till he can make them agreeable to his agenda, or till he has traced them to another language and made them agreeable to his agenda. Thus, strengthening one assumption with another, he proceeds to show that the Quran is not an Arabic composition, all the while focused on his agenda of introducing it as a Christian scripture.


That is very common by those confused Christians, yet they forgot that Islam is the last extention of Judaism and Christianity

Salam

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chatmember:

Nothing like a little fresh air. Western research has shown that your Islam is a cult that originated from somewhere to the north...

...

And what about the findings of the Koran scholar Luxenberg? He has shown that while you blow yourselfs up for heavenly virgins what you really get are white grapes. LOL...

...and has shown that also your Koran was really a reading of the passages from the books of our Bible and writings of the church fathers.

...



An emotionally charged Christian, she does not read anything that I message (or pretends not to have read), and keeps railing off one message after another.


...

I have started a thread at www.free-minds.org and at another website. Drop by if and when you have the time:

http://free-islam.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=959

http://free-minds.org/forum/index.php?topic=9599647.msg235503

...
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Quite a few non-Muslims refer me to free-minds.org website, so I decided to help them out by starting a thread there. The text in green is my invitation to her to join me out here or over there.
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member2:

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Peace,


"Luxenberg" and his likes can only operate under assumptions. The issue I come across when dealing with the non-Muslims is that many of them, without even reading his book, claim that diacritics and vowels were not "invented" until centuries after the revelation of the Quran.

Regarding the diacritics:

In any case the Islamic tradition is unable to provide any date for the final fixing of the reading of the Koran by means of the introduction of the diacritical points, so that one is dependent on the general assertion that this process stretched out over about three hundred years.

Regarding the short vowels:

To the extent that this writing reform was also carried out in the text of the Koran, the consequences for certain readings were inevitable. An initial marking of the short vowels a, u and i by points, likewise modeled upon the earlier Syro-Aramaic vocalization systems – according to which the more lightly pronounced vowel (a) is indicated by a point above and the more darkly pronounced vowel (e /i ) by a point below the consonant, to which was added in Arabic a middle point to mark the u – is said to have been introduced as the first reading aid under Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan (685–705).


Many Quran-alone Muslims lend themselves to the same wrong conclusions. Just because the texts didn't reflect written vowels does not mean that the vowels were not understood and spoken. The fact that the Quran was mostly preserved through Qurraa' makes it obvious that the vowels were always there even if not always written. In modern Arabic newspapers and literature the vowels are still not commonly written. That is because readers are expected to know the most common (and not the obscure) forms of words and plug them in with their (spoken) vowels when they read. Sometimes confusion may arise or is expected and writers then will write the vowels or other diacritics so that the reader does not make the wrong conclusions. In the case of the Quran the vowels were invented and put into the text to prevent people from making up whatever they wanted and disregarding the authentic mutawaatir readings that also coincided with the non-voweled text. Before that and even during and after, the consesus of the Qurraa' and their qiraa'aat (readings) was and is the authority or what is the correct voweling of the Quran. As these recitations are mutawaatir and these readers memorized and compared often.

Interestingly the Quran's preservation is similar to the hadeeth but it is a step above in that there are about 10 mutawaatir recitations of the Quran. They are all accepted and 97 percent of it is letter by letter and vowel by vowel the same. There is about a 3 percent difference betwen recitations, all of which have a common meaning. And the non-mutawaatir readings are sahih, hassan and da'if. At best they can be used as a source of tafsir for seemingly vague mutawaatir versions (that is if they make sense and corroborate the meaning of the mutawaatir verse) of the Quran, but they have no authority and are not considered revealed by God, but rather someone's corruption (intentional or unintentional) And then there are the the mawdu' (falsified). I'm not sure if these have any place in trying to understand the mutawaatir versions of the Quran. The text, for those who had access to texts of the Quran, was a guide that limited the extant to which the Quran COULD have been corrupted. I know this may offend some who feel that the Quran was to be preserved only in a supernatural way that does not allow for providence. But I believe that it was providence and the circumstances that God created on earth and among people that allowed for the Quran to be preserved. Yeah some might say that that 3 percent variance proves that the Quran wasn't preserved. But the fact that this 3 percent share meanings in all of the recitations is proof enough for me that it was preserved and that divine providence was at work.

Godbless,
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That's a fine observation.

How often do we text a "h r u" and get the terrifying "f9" in response. Within the texting community both the "msgz" are understood perfectly, and there is no confusion.

Like you pointed out, the markings for short vowels are dropped in most literature even today, and the Quran edition that this missionary used was itself devoid of the diacritics for short vowels. The early Muslim community would be quite familiar with the content of the Revelation, and it is possible that the oral transmission of the text among the members ensured that the diacritics remained a non-necessity to them. However, that is not to say that the use of diacritics and vowels was not known to them. With time the text spread widely, and an unfamiliar audience might have called for a regulated use of these aids in writing.

I will point out here that the use of diacritics and long vowels go back to the pre-Islamic era. As for short vowels, it is against reason to insist that their omission in the earliest texts equates their non-availability during the early years of Islam.

Here I quote Christian polemicist John Gilchrist:

The development of the text in respect of the use of diacritical and vowel points is not entirely helpful in this respect either. On the one hand texts originally written without these points are known to have been supplemented with them at a later date while other texts were expressly written out without such points in later centuries as a sign of the calligrapher's or owner's mastery in his knowledge of the Qur'an and the lack of any need in his case to employ marks of identification to specifically record the whole text.

A good example of this is the superb Qur'an manuscript written in gold script upon blue vellum which survives almost intact from Kairouan in Tunisia where it was originally inscribed in the late ninth or early tenth century (nearly three hundred years after the time of Muhammad). By this time the use of diacritical and vowel points was widespread yet this manuscript is almost entirely devoid of them both.


I agree with you about the possible absence of an overt supernatural flavor in the preservation of the text. The knowledge that there were hypocrites among the community would have alerted the believers to their tricks, and a particular attention would have been paid to the transmission of the Message. Also, the narrated schism following the death of the Prophet would have kept the differing groups interested in the process and correctness of the transmissions. Maybe providence was at work.
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Thanks for that, I agree. I don't find what you quoted to be proof of the existence of diacritical marks during the pre-Islamic era but a phenonomon that definitely opens up that possiblity. However, even Muslim scholars are in agreement that these diacritical marks were added later on. Some say by Hajjaj. Some say by others. Who exactly instated them is not clear. Nor is it clear at what particular time they entered into use for the writing of Arabic. It is possible that it was pre-Islamic, so I won't say that you are wrong. But as far I know that is unlikely. Thanks for your inputs.

Godbless,
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Oh, the Gilchrist quote was only meant to highlight the fact that a period as late as the tenth century yielded copies of the Quran largely devoid of vowels and diacritics, by which time they had been well-established. It is basically reiterating the statement that an absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence.

As for the use of diacritics in pre-Islamic era, please see the Jabal Ramm inscription(http://www.islamic-awareness.org/History/Islam/Inscriptions/jramm.html) and others on the same site.

There is one which I find hardly ever mentioned. It is a one-word inscription engraved in a piece of wood that was carbonized with an archive of Greek papyri found in a Byzantine Church in Petra, and is dated to around the sixth century. The analysis is provided by Omar Al-Ghul of Yarmouk University. (Al-Ghul (Omar), An Early Arabic Inscription from Petra Carrying Diacritic Marks)
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Peace,

Thanks for showing me that. Peace.

Godbless,


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This thread is not intended to isolate "Luxenberg"; rather, to look at the broader practice adopted by his likes: circular reasoning (based on the (selective) use and abuse of available resources, a lot of which might not even be admissible as evidence). I come across quite a few non-Muslims seeking refuge with the propaganda of missionaries like Joseph Smith and Rafat Amari, who themselves rely on the (rejected) "research" of the likes of Patricia Crone and Yehuda Nevo.

Here I quote Jeremy Johns (Archaeology and the History of Early Islam), who puts in words the academic impression of the polemical approach to archaeology:

In 1991, Judith Koren and the late Yehuda Nevo issued a methodological challenge to historians of early Islam. They were encouraged to do so by their reading of the so-called "revisionist" historians, including Patricia Crone, Michael Cook, Gerald Hawting, Moshe Sharon, and John Wansbrough, whose work, Koren and Nevo believed, had completely undermined the foundations upon which the traditional positivist account of the rise of Islam had been constructed. None of the written Islamic sources for the first two hundred years of the hijra could be used as evidence for what had actually happened. Archaeology, which in any case consisted of objective facts that were always to be preferred over subjective written sources, was therefore almost the only evidence available, and should be used to compose a new account of the origins of Islam that would be radically different from the traditional historical narrative. The polemical style permitted historians to dismiss this article as not worth an answer, while Nevo's unorthodox interpretation of material evidence embarrassed archaeologists into silence. What, it was widely asked, could have persuaded Der Islam to waste space in this manner?

Further:

Koren and Nevo were not the first to turn to archaeology for evidence in support of a radical reinterpretation of the rise of Islam. For example, in Hagarism, Crone and Cook (1977: 3) had explored the possibility that one way around the historiographical problem posed by the Islamic sources was "to step outside the Islamic tradition altogether and start again." Although their account of the formation of Islam as a religion was based for the most part upon non-Islamic written sources, they occasionally cited archaeological evidence in corroboration of it. For example, the proposition that the original sanctuary of the primitive Muslims (muhajirun) was not Mecca but Bakka (Quran 3.90), an unidentified site in north-western Arabia well to the north of Medina, was "dramatically confirmed" by the eccentric orientation (qibla) of the mosques excavated at Wasit and Uskaf Bani Junayd (both in Iraq). That was left to Robert Hoyland, a pupil of Crone. Again, his principal concern was to survey and evaluate the non-Islamic written sources, but he did make extensive use of archaeological evidence and, in an appendix, listed all securely dated Islamic writings from the hijra to 72/691-2, and all religious declarations attributable to caliphs from then until the fall of the Umayyads (Hoyland 1997: 545-90, 687-703).

In 1997, Robert Hoyland came out with "Seeing Islam As Others Saw It: A Survey and Evaluation of Christian, Jewish and Zoroastrian Writings on Early Islam". This book is often hailed (by many non-Muslims) as the last word as far as historical proof regarding the Islamic history is concerned. A favorite practice with them is to select those "testimonies" which they think will bolster their case of a conspiracy, and damn the rest. What the propagandists (are either ignorant of or try to) hide is that the book itself corroborates to a large extent the traditional account of Arab history, including the early political figures and situations. Hoyland comments on the issue in his 2006 article, "New Documentary Texts And The Early Islamic State":

Firstly, we do have a number of bodies of evidence - especially non-Muslim sources, papyri, inscriptions and archaeological excavations - that can serve as a useful external referent and whose riches are only just beginning to be exploited in a systematic manner. Secondly, the historical memory of the Muslim community is more robust than some have claimed. For example, many of the deities, kings and tribes of the pre-Islamic Arabs that are depicted by ninth-century Muslim historians also feature in the epigraphic record, as do many of the rulers and governors of the early Islamic state. This makes it difficult to see how historical scenarios that require for their acceptance a total discontinuity in the historical memory of the Muslim community - such as that Muhammad did not exist, the Qur'an was not written in Arabic, Mecca was originally in a different place etc. - can really be justified. Many of these scenarios rely on absence of evidence, but it seems a shame to make such a recourse when there are so many very vocal forms of material evidence still waiting to be studied.

While the conjectures of Crone (who has recanted much of her own conjecture) and Nevo (who was himself emboldened by Crone's conjecture) have been refuted by many, including Johns and Hoyland, their theories, rehashed and repackaged, are still being thrown up all over the Internet by some non-Muslims.

Let me finish this post by contrasting the views of Michael Morony on Crone's conjecture and Hoyland's collection:

Regarding "Hagarism" -- "Michael G. Morony remarked that "Despite a useful bibliography, this is a thin piece of Kulturgeschichte [cultural history] full of glib generalizations, facile assumptions, and tiresome jargon. More argument than evidence, it suffers all the problems of intellectual history, including reification and logical traps."

Regarding "Seeing Islam As Others Saw it" -- According to Michael G. Morony, Hoyland emphasizes the parallels between Muslim and non-Muslim accounts of history emphasizing that non-Muslim texts often explain the same history as the Muslim ones even though they were recorded earlier. He concludes "Hoyland's treatment of the materials is judicious, honest, complex, and extremely useful."
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Thu 24 Dec, 2009 7:16 pm
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Post subject: Re: The Quran is a Christian composition Reply with quote  

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It doesn't sound so unreasonable to me that there is a Syrian-Aramaic-Christian influence on the Quran. If the Prophet was a merchant for some years before receiving the Quran it stands to reason that he would have encountered a wide range of different sorts of people.
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