42 replies

  1. Some mouthbreather edgelord on the internet: The Islamic Paradise is the paradise of cavemen…

    Angelika Neuwirth, one of the leading scholars of contemporary academic Quranic studies: The Quranic description of paradise not only reverses the erstwhile bleak and threatening conception of nature (as held by pre-Islamic Arabs) into something evergreen and fruit-bearing, but it also preserves a high level of civilization: precious cushions and carpets, cups filled with wine that had been sealed with musk, and moreover the presence of beautiful young women, known from the nasīb as icons of a meaningful and enjoyable life. Paradise is a space where man is reinvested with his own cultural paraphernalia…the Quran offers its listeners a new promise: divine faithfulness is not derived from the Biblical narrative of salvation, but rather from God’s liberation of man from the aporetic crisis that is so expressively pronounced in ancient Arabic poetry. Subsequently, in this new conceptualization of paradise, an equally new plenitude of meaning is staged: The old pagan poetic tropes of loss, the campsites lying in ruins, the beloved having departed, are inverted and reinterpreted to provide a comprehensive and socio-historical relevant narrative. Thus the hermeneutical inaccessibility of reality’s “sign language,” as propounded poetically in pre-Islamic Arabic poetry, is discursively reversed. The Quranic manifestation of paradise, though amalgamating different well established traditions, introduces a substantially novel dimension into the eschatological thought of its time. It hence clearly betrays and even celebrates its late antique multi-cultural milieu of genesis, but it equally proves to be essentially new and challenging.

    Long story short, no one who values scholarship should take the likes of Abdullah Sameer and other losers on the internet seriously.

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    • What does this mean?
      “Thus the hermeneutical inaccessibility of reality’s “sign language,” as propounded poetically in pre-Islamic Arabic poetry, is discursively reversed.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • @ Andy

        From what I comprehend Arab poetry has an emphasis on how a person’s reality is always coming to a loss whether, through love, one’s home etc. You now have to come back to where they’re living and they’re lifestyle to understand the pessimism. NOTHING grows here and it’s oven-like temperatures in even in the winter (it’s so hot you don’t even sweat because it evaporates beforehand)

        Furthermore, a lot of them are nomads so they have no true stability or homes:

        https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/proxy/zsqbzY8tBF3FV6Yz4-EWNrviAzBVjlbK1OaVXuzp1G2r8WfEouoBVY_YQV-bUUNnvPzIdk-0SXG43rh4ONyTiYTBGTFe-U9tTCmRztb4AdmcHvhs1usI7bW1zWg

        The Qur’an takes these concepts of things that are coming to a loss and reverses it to being something that is continuous and never-ending. For example,

        88:8. Other faces, that Day, will be excited and relaxed.
        88:9. Glad for their struggle and work,
        88:10. in High up Gardens.
        88:11. Within it, you will not hear any foolish, annoying talk.
        88:12. Within it are fresh flowing springs.
        88:13. Within it are high raised couches,
        88:14. big champagne glasses constantly refilled and replaced,
        88:15. lots of small pillows arranged in rows,
        88:16. and expensive, elegant rugs spread forth.

        Why is it talking about things such as greenery, and more importantly furniture? Because they finally have a beautiful and more importantly stable home. (There’s also some other imagery here as well, the no hearing of foolish, annoying talk is the stupid crap disbelievers of the time and now say that annoys you, etc)

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    • @KMAK

      I completely agree with you that the language such as “paradise of cavemen” is not helpful and such terminology is perhaps employed simply to provoke. More importantly, however, it does not help us better analyze and understand the Quranic eschatological discourse.

      And in this, as a non-specialist in Quran studies, I find regard Neuwirth’s paper is quite excellent. On the other hand much of what Neuwirth writes as well as her critical and at times diachronic approach, I assume, but correct me if I am wrong, does not sit well with orthodox Muslim beliefs.

      In her much more nuanced view the Quranic discourse of Surah 55 would seem to be not only from a male perspective but also had a background in a different setting or as she puts it:

      What was already looming in the earlier paradise descriptions becomes evident in the elaborate portrayal of Q 55: the Quranic paradisal abode presents itself as surprisingly distinct from both the Jewish and Christian eschatological paradise. Though it is meant as a reward granted to the virtuous in general, the space is obviously a gendered space. Those invited to enter the garden are male persons, who are honored according to the decorum of contemporary courtly hospitality. Part of their reward is the enjoyment of the erotic company of beautiful maidens, whom they find present at the site; Q 55:56, 58: “therein maidens restraining their glances // lovely like rubies, beautiful like corals,” Q 55:71, 73: “therein maidens good and comely // houris cloistered in pavilions.” They are – indirectly – assigned to be their sexual partners; this thought seems to underlie the assertion that they are “untouched before them by any man or jinn,” Q 55:56, 74”. (p. 82-33, a perspective she says was later in need of adjustment).

      “In comparison with Ephraem’s allegorically tuned poetry, the female eroticism in the Quran appears rather realistic and hence more in line with its pagan predecessors”. (p. 85)

      A. Neuwirth, “Paradise as a Quranic Discourse: Late Antique Foundations and Early Quranic Developments”, pp. 67-92. in ed. Sebastian Günther, Todd Lawson Roads to Paradise: Eschatology and Concepts of the Hereafter in Islam, 2017.

      @ Andy

      The way I read her (and I stress again I am a non-specialist in Quran studies) she says that the sad consequences in this world, as expressed in pre-Islamic Arab poetry is intentionally inverted in the Quranic discourse, thus readapting previous images and conceptions of this world and the hereafter.

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      • stewjo004
        Thanks. Having looked up the words Neuwirth uses I’m not entirely sure if your interpretation is what she meant, but your explanation has the advantage of clarity. And I can see the plausibility of this.

        Marc C
        Further enlightenment! Thanks. I wonder if I am the first to suggest that the gendered aspect has something to do with persuading the tribe’s young males to risk their lives in it’s defence or in raiding other tribes. The offer is either an erotically charged paradise in the case of death or booty in the form of those your right hand possesses in the event of survival. Win Win. And for the older folk there are the comfy couches. The small pillows arranged in rows must be there to appeal to women as they tend to have a strange preference for moveable soft furnishings.

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      • @ Andy
        To me, this is clearly not the point of the Quranic discourse nor do I think this is what later main stream Islamic teachings on eschatology say (though it may be that some misuse certain teachings, but that unfortunately happens in all groups). Certainly, this is not what Neuwirth is arguing. This is putting it as politely as I can.

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      • @ Andy
        Regarding luxury furniture and the non-Arabic words employed in this connection, Neuwirth suggests that: “Paradise acquires the character of a courtly banquet”, p. 76 (in contrast to other Quranic verses where the focus is nature rather than this “urban” banquet. Such images are also present in Christian, Jewish and perhaps other eschatological descriptions).

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      • Andy: Further enlightenment! Thanks. I wonder if I am the first to suggest that the gendered aspect has something to do with persuading the tribe’s young males to risk their lives in it’s defence or in raiding other tribes.

        Nope. You’re dealing with early Meccan Surahs.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Abdullah Sameer secretly loves all the stuff about the “paradise of cavemen” he posted on Twitter. The dude has 5 kids (or possibly even more) from one woman alone and is acting like he isn’t the orgasmic sex machine that he actually is in real life. Abdullah Sameer is the type of guy to enjoy resting on a couch and drinking wine while getting a blowjob. #Hypocrite

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  3. Sex is natural. There is nothing wrong with it. We recognize that as human beings but these kuffar piggyback ride on sex in in paradise being morraly wrong while never being able to show why. Allah btw also promises that Heaven is free from all negetaive natures and characteristics we encounter in this world because Heaven is a different reality so to attribute something that we think about sex on earth (which btw they don’t even believe in, but will say it anyway just to so they can live their meaningless lives of attacking Islam and failing bigtime) to sexuality in general in Heaven is idiotic to begin with. But don’t expect these people to be honest. They’ll always continue to spew this garbage and in the end they’ll be jusged for it.

    Liked by 3 people

    • @ Atlas

      That’s because they’re all perverts who can’t control their desires. I think one scholar said it best, so what? I controlled my natural desires in a permissible way, why shouldn’t I be rewarded for it?

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      • @ Marc

        “First, the 114 chapters or surahs of the Quran are arranged not according to a chronological system but rather generally according to chapter length progressing from the longer ones to the shorter ones.”

        This is not true it’s in accordance with thematic structure popular in eastern writings.

        “Second, there are no formal features in the Surahs that allow you to identify a certain surah as Meccan or Medinan.”

        Only semi true.

        “Thus they reject reading the Quran in, Neuwirth’s words, in “anachronistic entanglement” with the Prophet’s biography, preferring to read It rather in “strict separation” from the biography.”

        Then they’re idiots who have never read it as the 2 cannot be clearly separated. Many times a Surah starts assuming you know the background info and there is no reason to reject the explanation given other than hoping to twist meanings.

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      • @ Stewjo
        Yes. I agree factors like theme etc. play a role and while I think I’ve read somewhere it is not slavishly followed it seems that the length of Surahs is generally a factor mentioned by scholars. Which is why I phrased it as such.

        The Brill Encyclopaedia of the Quran under “Sura” states:
        “Inasmuch as the somewhat mechanical arrangement of the sūras according to their length does not betray a particular historical or theological interest on the part of the redactors, but rather an awareness of the already achieved canonical status, the sūras as units should go back to a very early time (see form and structure of the qurʾān).”

        Encyc. Britanica for Sura states: “ Except for the first surah, the fatiha (Arabic fātiḥah, “the opening”), which is a brief seven verses, the surahs are arranged in descending order of length and are numbered serially.

        “Only semi true.”

        Could you please elaborate? The modern ones I use there are no formal features indicating this. Though in some manuscripts and expanded/study editions sometimes information is added or there is a discussion of the provenance.

        “Then they’re idiots who have never read it as the 2 cannot be clearly separated”.

        OK, I would actually tend to think that the Quran assumes or presupposes its audience is familiar with “texts” and background that are only alluded to ever so gently to, for example Characters or events of the Bible etc.. If I remember correctly this is what lies behind much of Reynolds book on the subtext and I think it also informs some of Griffith’s work on the Bible in Arabic.

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      • @ Stewjo
        I took a closer look, looks like you are right on surah length, at best surah length is imprecise but seems misleading.

        See this site:

        https://www.qurananalysis.com/analysis/basic-statistics.php?lang=EN

        Shows it is not as simple as that.

        Also found this under Sura in Encyc. Islam. Appearently this has been known for some time.

        “The commonly held and frequently repeated view that the sūras are arranged in the order of their length, from the longest to the shortest, is misleading, since over half of the sūras are significantly out of the order in which they would occur if descending length were the sole criterion (see Bell-Watt, 206-12). Other conspicuous and equally important criteria involve groups of sūras—such as the ḥawāmīmāt , the ṭawāsīn , and the group of short, Medinan sūras, LVII-LXIV, that include the musabbiḥāt (see above)—that appear together despite their widely varying lengths”

        Reference is

        W.M. Watt, Bell’s introduction to the Qurʾān, completely revised and enlarged, Edinburgh 1970

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      • @ Andy

        1. The length

        This is outdated theory started mostly by Orientalists. The most modern position is the Suras are in order of themes (please Prof Raymond Farrin):

        2. Semi true

        Yes there are certain Surah that can go “either way” but for the most part there are some things to know is something is Meccan or Medinan:

        Generally speaking, Meccan are:
        – Short verses, and strong rhetorical style and rhythmic sound.
        – Repeated use of emphasis, analogies and oath.
        – Emphasis on the belief in Allah, the Day of Judgement and description of Hell and Heaven.
        – Call for adherence to good morals and universal character
        – Refuting pagans
        – Warning pagans through stories of previous messengers when punishment came to their people when they rejected the message.

        Medinan are:

        – Long verses and more complex rhyme schemes
        – More law-based
        – Mention of ‘hypocrisy’ and dealing with hypocrites.
        – Mention of warfare and rules

        Example Meccan:

        Example Medinan (The most you get is “gardens with rivers flowing underneath” which is used throughout the Quran):

        The few times the “virgins” are mentioned in the Quran isn’t in the context of warfare which is KMAKk’s point

        Liked by 1 person

      • @ Marc

        Sorry I commented before you did. But thanks for the cool site.

        Liked by 1 person

      • So I don’t think we differ on the first two points, because what you mention on point 2 are diagnostic criteria that I referred to. There are no formal markers showing you this is Mekkan, this is Medinan. Or even within a surah there might be a few verses from the other period not formally marked of.

        However, does not the fact that the commentators can discuss wether this part should be assigned to this or that period, illustrate some of the difficulties with this premise?

        We differ mainly on point 3 I think.

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      • @ Andy

        Basically yeah point 3 is our difference. Like I said sorry about that I was typing my comment and didn’t see when you posted the diagnostic site

        As I said regarding 3 though, I honestly don’t know how someone can try to split the Quran from Muhammad’s(saw) biography they really are just too intertwined.

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      • Not sure you did anything wrong.

        I am not so knowledgeable about the specifics, but… From a historical point of view I think the relationship between Quran and Sirah and biographical details is complex.

        Isn’t it mostly a matter of “confidence” in the sources? when I read the Quran I don’t find this link is very obvious. On the one hand I have no doubt that there is some authentic historical information preserved in the biography. On the other hand I also believe that much is exegetical responses, and perhaps other things as well, rather than actual historical recordings. You can see Reynolds’ book for a discussion and references. The question is how to determine what might be historical.

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      • @ Marc

        Several points:

        1. No this has nothing to do with blind “confidence” in our sources. None of these people are doing anything we ourselves haven’t done much more in-depth and at an earlier date. This whole “textual criticism” fad is just mind-blowing to Christians and Jews because they started late in the game.

        2. We determine if things are “historical” through “isnad” (aka list your source where the heck you got this from) and “rijal” (aka who is this person, what is his character, is his memory good, if not when, etc.) Again people don’t understand this process. So I’ll give a simple example when we are talking about “chains” in a hadith:

        http://twelvershia.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Tree-of-Thaqalayn-Chains.pdf

        http://twelvershia.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Hadith-ul-Afdaliyyah_TreeOfChains.pdf

        Each one of these “branches” has to then be combed through and they are commented on. Again using the exact same hadith and the chains along with commentary:

        http://twelvershia.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/List-of-Texts-and-Chains-of-Thaqalayn.pdf

        We don’t just hope and pray something is good, we sit there and verify. So when we say something like “this hadith is weak” there’s a reason it is thrown out. I’m trying to keep this simple for lack of “information overload” but this dude clearly doesn’t know what he’s talking about nor has he studied the field.

        3. Again you will not understand the purpose of a surah for the most part except for a superficial reading and I’ll prove it (provided you don’t cheat) by giving you the same test Umar(ra) gave to prove another man by the name of ibn Ababs’s (ra) knowledge. In your opinion what is the meaning of this Surah?

        110:1. When God’s help comes and victory follows,
        110:2. and you see the people enter God’s religion in crowds,
        110:3. then praise your Lord’s perfection and ask for His mercy, because He’s always ready to show forgiveness…

        Liked by 1 person

    • KMAK
      “Nope. You’re dealing with early Meccan Surahs.”
      To clarify: do you mean I am not the first person to suggest this, or do you mean my suggestion is wrong?
      (Please bear with me – I’m not as familiar with Islam as some of the contributors here, so I don’t get the significance of “early Meccan Surahs.”

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      • @ Andy

        Just for clarification because you said you weren’t familiar. The Prophet’s(saw) career was 23 years overall. After preaching, his tribe of pagan Arabs started persecution forcing him and the early Muslims to leave and be taken in by these two other tribes (called the “Helpers”) When discussing the Quran all its “chapters” (Surahs) were either revealed before this migration (Meccan) or afterwards (Medinan)

        What KMAK is arguing is that there is no development to get the young men in the “tribe” (note this is inaccurate as well because early Islam was a confederation of tribes. Muhammad(saw) will be fighting his own tribe for the majority of his career) to fight because these descriptions appear in the beginning of his career before the command of fighting came down (which is after he and the early Muslims were forced to leave).

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      • Andy, your suggestion is wrong because the verses on fighting and the glory of martyrdom were revealed later in Medina whereas the verses dealing with the pleasures of Paradise were revealed early in the Prophet’s career. Warfare is not a theme of early Meccan Surahs. Try harder.

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      • @ Andy
        I think Kmak & Stewjo offered very good explanations of the traditional Muslim perspective. Let me offer you some additional points and another way of looking at it.

        First, the 114 chapters or surahs of the Quran are arranged not according to a chronological system but rather generally according to chapter length progressing from the longer ones to the shorter ones.

        Second, there are no formal features in the Surahs that allow you to identify a certain surah as Meccan or Medinan. Rather this identification is made applying separate diagnostic criteria, and sometimes you will see Muslim commentators discussing wether this or that verse belongs to this or that period.

        Third, recently a few western scholars, including Neuwirth, have expressed scepticism regarding the traditional division of Surahs according to the biographical details of the prophet. These scholars argue that such readings are not obvious from the Quran itself, that these readings and biographical details often appear to be of an exegetical nature rather than historical recollections, in other words they are rather interpretations responding to issues in the Quranic text itself and also the later traditional form (150-200 years) in which such biographical material is found. Thus they reject reading the Quran in, Neuwirth’s words, in “anachronistic entanglement” with the Prophet’s biography, preferring to read It rather in “strict separation” from the biography.

        Regardless, I don’t see support in the Quran’s eschatological discourse for a reward for raiding other tribes as the eschatological descriptions are not to my knowledge, but do correct me if I am wrong, connected with taking booty or women in this world.

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    • I’m not knowledgeable about the nitty gritty, so I’ll answer to the best of my ability.

      Reading the Quran it seems it assumes or presupposes its audience is familiar with background material related to its discourse. On the historical and methodological level, however, the assumption that the Quran should be read against the biography, which in its traditional shape has reached us at a later stage, is not obvious and needs to be established. As discussed in Reynolds’ book, even those western scholars who employ this method acknowledge problems of conflicting information. Etc. They are rewarded in terms of a facilitated interpretive framework but is it methodologically sound? Does it produce reliable exegetical and historical conclusions? Those are the questions I’m asking.

      Briefly on hadith, matn-and isnad criticism. I am not very familiar with this field. So I cannot really discuss the nitty gritty of it. My understanding is that scholars are sceptical about the use of Hadith to get at the history of theprophet, but perhaps not rejecting it in full. To the best of my knowledge scholarship with critical methodology has not established it. So personally I’ll leave that aside for now.

      As for Sura 110 I plead my ignorance. But I think it does illustrate the difficulties involved. From my admittedly limited knowledge and reading, the traditional understanding is Ibn Abbas corrected the others asserting it would signify the conquest of Mecca, marking the beginning of large scale conversions to Islam and the summons to ask for pardon (would be a veiled allusion to the approaching death of the Prophet.

      However; this is not the only way to interpret the Surah and Culpeyr following previous scholarship questions this, favouring a predictive interpretation supported by rhetorical analysis in his book on Quranic Apocalypse, p. 280:

      “Blachère, following the lead of Bell, challenges this interpretation. Bell notes that in Q Fatḥ 48:1, the word naṣr, “succor,” is applied to another event different from the capture of Mecca. A close comparison with Sūrat al- Fatḥ is all the more important because the three key terms of Sūrah 110 can also be found in the first three verses of this sūrah: fatḥ (victory), naṣr (help), and “may forgive you,” which has the same root gh-f-r as “ask pardon from Him” in Q 110:3.

      (Have only read a little of the parts dealing with this particular Surah)
      I think such examples underscores the need for establishing sound historical and methodoligal modi operandi.

      Liked by 1 person

      • @ Paul
        Since I assume you disagree with everything I wrote, may I out of curiosity ask what you liked about it? All the best

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      • why do you assume I disagree with everything? I don’t.

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      • I was surprise, that’s all, so I am curious as to what you like about it and hope you would say

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      • @ Marc C.

        To begin we have enough manuscript evidence to not doubt our methodology. So for example one can simply compare simply older text like Sahifa of Hammam, Malik Muwatta or Ibn Ishaq and compare them with our “later” texts like Bukhari that just copied them. Ohh and would you look at that it all matches up. You have to ask yourself “why?” when discussing what these people are doing. They are simply the new evolution of the Orientalist of the 1800s and are not REALLY interested in the truth. They started because they couldn’t really do as much damage as they liked with the sword so they switched to the pen instead with 2 objectives:

        1. create doubt
        2.show the superiority of their culture

        Again from a historical perspective, there’s NOTHING wrong with our system (and in all honesty before the invention of the printing press and things like cameras the best humans would have ever been able to do it) they just want to be able to twist text like for example making Surah Nasr somehow apocalyptic (which doesn’t even make sense if one pays attention to the content) Again to show how stupid these people are Surah Fath that they are quoting is about the future conquest of Mecca.

        48:18. God was pleased with the believers the moment they took the pledge of allegiance to you under the tree. He knew what was in their hearts so He poured peace and calmness down on them and gave them a close victory in return.
        48:19. They’re going to seize a lot of war spoils easily, because God has always been the Final Authority and the One to pass Judgment.
        48:20. He has promised you many future gains. He’s rushed this one for you and tied the hands of other people from you, so that it can be a clear sign for the believers and so that He can guide you along a straight path.
        48:21. And there is another place you were not able to gain victory. But God has already encircled it because God has always been in control over all things…

        48:27. God has shown the Vision in Truth to His Messenger. You will enter Masjid al Haram (in Mecca), if God wishes, in safety with your heads shaved or hair shortened, fearing no one. He knew all that you didn’t and has arranged a victory before this that’s close.

        Even again from a basic logical standpoint who has more authority? The people who were there when Muhammad(saw) said or some idiot who didn’t even know the surah he was quoting trying to refute Surah Nasr being about the conquest of Mecca is about the future conquest of Mecca? Hmmm…🤔🤔🤔

        Liked by 1 person

      • @stewjo
        Again, with my limited knowledge and reading of the scholarship I think still consider this particular example well illustrates the problem we are confronted with. Let me explain why I think this is so.

        “Again to show how stupid these people are Surah Fath that they are quoting is about the future conquest of Mecca…”

        From my understanding the beginning of Surah 48, referred to by the scholars, is in Islam traditionally understood to be not about conquest of Mecca. Rather it is about about the treaty of Hudaybiyyah made outside of Mecca stipulating privileges and obligations in the context of religious access to Mecca. In other words, if we follow tradition, this victory is about a non armed conflict and thus not about the conquest of Mecca.

        If you read the entire argument on p 280 the problem is that Surah 110 bears the marks of a Meccan Surah and ad far as I can tell is best explained as Meccan judging from the diagnostic criteria and is, in addition, supported by Cuypers rhetorical analysis.

        Nevertheless it is assigned to the Medinan period (including Nöldeke) because of the traditional biographical information is accepted.

        So here is the problem in a nutshell: if a Surah displays the diagnostic characteristics of Meccan character but is nevertheless assigned to the Medinan period on biographical information, that gives us reason to question the usefulness of the diagnostic criteria.

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      • @ Marc

        Yes its beginning is about the treaty of Hudaybiyyah then it talks about how Quraysh basically screwed themselves with their own treaty that they thought they got the better of and then it alludes to the prophecy of the conquest of Mecca (which is the passage I quoted) and you can refer to Ibn Kathir’s commentary. So once again this person doesn’t even know the Surah there quoting and quite frankly this is a laughable mistake on their part.

        Next there are short Medinan surah as well such as Surah Bayyinna and Muitaimah So again what are we even discussing? You are basically arguing with people who were there about when a Surah came down. This has nothing to do with tradition these people are just retarded which is why their opinions hold no weight.

        We never created this “diagnostic criteria” this was orientalist again making assumptions like they did that its arranged according to length. We can say these are “general statements” that’s it.

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      • @stew
        The scholars discussed specifically the first three verses in the discussion of Surah 48 as these had comparable terms.

        Agreed, there are short Surahs such as 98 believed to be Medinan (but still 3-4 times longer than 110. But by exclusively using the diagnostic criteria I see nothing indicating it should not be Meccan, and Cuypers argues that rhetorical analysis supports it being Meccan. Not sure if we agree or disagree on this point.

        But again, agreeing not to use the diagnostic criteria, if we have only the biographical details as per tradition, and it is not, as we agree, obvious from the Surah itself what is going on, then it’s a matter of confidence in the received tradition. Thus the assumption, as noted earlier, that it should be read against details from the biography is not obvious and should be established. As noted earlier,, even scholars employing this method acknowledge problems of conflicting material etc.

        Therefore I think it sounder, in terms of methodology, to proceed as argued by scholars such as Neuwirth and Reynolds

        @Paul
        btw, don’t get me wrong, I’m glad there was something in the comment you liked. All the best

        Liked by 1 person

      • @ Marc C

        We STRONGLY disagree on this point. To begin, appealing to Surah Fatah for “rhetorical analysis” hurts you not helps, as its clearly Madani. Next, there are Meccan Surah that are long as well so again length doesn’t help you. You’re taking blanket statements and acting as if these are some golden rule. Next contextually show me how it is Meccan other than “its short” (which btw an even shorter surah is a disputed Madani) There is nothing in the context that would assist the early Muslim community. I have all past and present scholars on my side and finally (and most importantly) I have THE PEOPLE WHO were there. Like any history 101 you have to refute their witness testimony otherwise you should never believe any history ever.

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      • @ Marc

        Also as it occurred to me, in professor snowflake’s “rhetorical analysis” did he comment on the fact that the word “fatah” typically translated as victory (or opening/or conquest) is exclusively Madani?

        https://www.islamawakened.com/quran/roots/Fa-Ta-Haa.html

        And boom just like that refuted by lottle ol stewjo004 whose not even a scholar. Please see why these people are laughing stocks in the Islamic world.

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      • @ Marc C

        Also because it just occurred to me did Professor snowflakes’s “rhetorical analysis” include the word “fatah” typically translated as victory (or opening/conquest) is exclusively Madani?

        https://www.islamawakened.com/quran/roots/Fa-Ta-Haa.html

        And boom just like that little ol stewjo004 defeats fancy professor. Please see why these people ate laughing stocks in the Islamic world.

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      • Fair enough to disagree, what diagnostic criteria indicate it is Medinan? Please cite the rhetorical analysis that shows it is clearly a Medinan Surah.
        I don’t understand what you mean by “which btw an even shorter surah is a disputed Madan”, could you please explain.

        Again with my limited knowledge of surah division, reading of scholarship etc. I’ll respond as best I can.

        Fatah occurs in surah 32:28-29; surah 32 was assigned to the Meccan period by Nöldeke.

        True, all Muslim scholars may agree that surah 110 is Medinan. However, Bell, Blanchere and Cuypers, as quoted above, argued that it was Meccan and I have not seen anything (as yet) by diagnostic criteria or from the text itself contradicting this assessment. So I’ll wait to see your diagnostic and rhetorical analyses and arguments before making a more firm decision on the issue.

        It is not so much about wholesale rejection of tradition, I don’t believe anybody thinks that today. The problem is how to asses this material, the written form we know at a later date, from a historical point of view,

        In this specific instance there are arguments for a Meccan provenance, so do we let tradition “decide” in such instances? From a traditional Muslim perspective, undoubtedly so. But for those approaching such problems from a historical point of view, perhaps much less so.

        PS, as I am not so familiar with the nitty gritty of this do you know when this particular tradition is first documented?

        Like

      • @ Marc C.

        To begin nobody cares what they’re position is, you can go quote the janitor at your local elementary school and it will have the same weight. I’m telling you, you WILL be laughed at by any serious scholarship. Next, I already disproved these idiots, I’ll just breakdown my arguments for easier comprehension as this really isn’t even up for discussion:

        1.Length

        Surah Ikhlas (granted there’s a difference of opinion with the majority favoring Meccan I believe, that it’s early Madini and it is shorter than Surah Nasr) But even if we reject this, there are agreed-upon short Madini that are shorter than many Meccan suwar. So there’s go that retarded “diagnostic criteria” argument.

        2. Diagnostic Criteria
        This is just something orientalist made up. Has no real weight to be honest as even with what I listed these were just things off the top of my head that didn’t contradict other things they claimed.

        3. No reason to suspect our narrations and goes against normal historical method protocol

        Again nobody refutes “why” our traditions are no good, they just say some bs and continue rambling because they simply want to be “special snowflakes” who can twist the text to say whatever they want. If you want to go to the “historical view” you have to prove why the “traditional” is no good especially seeing as we’re the ones who collected the history and on top of that already combed through it 1000+ years before any of them were even thought of. Again, it’s like when everybody and their grandma tried to attack our Quranic textual history and now after finding multiple early manuscripts it lined up, oops are bad. Again even our earlier hadith manuscripts match up. So what logical reason do you have to doubt (and again I have to emphasize this) OUR history? There ‘s no “historical method” they just want to be able to twist the text and cast doubt like I argued previously.

        4. Consensus
        I have a consensus of both scholarship and the students of Muhammad(saw)

        5. This “rhetorical analysis” is a joke and its refutation
        To begin he is using a Medinan Surah (Fatah) to prove another Surah which is an agreed-upon Madini is Meccan through similar word pattern which is illogical. Even worse because you must not have understood me the first time I said this, the end of the first verse of Surah Nasr:

        110:1. When God’s help comes and the VICTORY follows,

        The word translated above as “the victory” literally means “the opening” or in other words “the conquest”. The ONLY time “opening/conquest” is used in this way in the Quran is Madini suwar ironically in the same Surah he used to argue Meccan:

        48:1. Have no doubts, I’ve opened a clear VICTORY (fatah) to you,

        Also according to their “diagnostic criteria” that you believe is the 2nd coming, that means the surah is talking about warfare which is a Madini characteristic. Pretty embarrassing to be a “professor” and refuted by someone with no college degree. I guess they just handing PHDs out to everybody now 🤷

        Like

      • To reply to some of your points.

        The argument and the rhetorical analysis are two separate things. Cuypers’ argument, following the lead of Bell and Blachere is that since the “fatah” or “victory” in Surah 48:1 does not refer to a military victory or conquest of Mecca (but to the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah in the traditional understanding), one does not have to take the “fatah” of surah 110 as referring to the military victory or conquest of Mecca, as in the traditional understanding.

        “The word translated above as “the victory” literally means “the opening” or in other words “the conquest”. The ONLY time “opening/conquest” is used in this way in the Quran is Madini suwar ironically in the same Surah he used to argue Meccan”.

        Agreed, it comes from the root fth “to open”, so literally “the opening”. It is translated “victory” in Surah 110:1 and in the Meccan surah 32:28-29 in the link you yourself provided above (don’t know what translation is used). https://www.islamawakened.com/quran/roots/Fa-Ta-Haa.html

        The same site lists numerous translations that understand fatah in 32:28-29 as “victory”.

        https://www.islamawakened.com/quran/32/28/default.htm

        In addition, since fatah is employed within its semantic range I don’t see a problem here.

        Can you please provide references to the scholar(s) who argue that it is “exclusively Madani” as you put it in your “snowflake” comment?

        Length of Surah, agreed length is a general characteristic. We may say that we cannot use length as a diagnostic criteria in this case, fine. But then it would not be supportive of any position and on this line of reasoning not useful, as you suggest, to determine its provenance.

        Diagnostic criteria: I don’t necessarily agree with diagnostic criteria. It’s just the term I use for the “guidelines”, “general rules” or “arguments” if you wish, for distinguishing between Meccan and Medinan Surahs (can’t remember where I picked up that term though). And no, I don’t believe it’s about the 2nd coming and I don’t think I have implied so.

        But using diagnostic criteria, I see nothing that unequivocally identifies surah 110 as Medinan, much less any convergence of criteria that would make the strongest possible.

        As for traditional material: In Israr Ahmad Kahn: Authentication of Hadith: Redefining the Criteria, London 2010, the author discusses a number ahadith including historical issues. I’ll give an example (cf. p. 121) relating to the biographical details of the prophet Muhammad’s career, citing the sahih ahadith:
        Sahih Bukhari Volume 4, Book 56, Number 747:

        Narrated Rabia bin Abi Abdur-Rahman:

        I heard Anas bin Malik describing the Prophet saying, “He was of medium height amongst the people, neither tall nor short; he had a rosy color, neither absolutely white nor deep brown; his hair was neither completely curly nor quite lank. Divine Inspiration was revealed to him when he was forty years old. He stayed ten years in Mecca receiving the Divine Inspiration, and stayed in Medina for ten more years. When he expired, he had scarcely twenty white hairs in his head and beard.” Rabi’a said, “I saw some of his hairs and it was red. When I asked about that, I was told that it turned red because of scent.”

        Sahih Bukhari Volume 4, Book 56, Number 748:

        Narrated Anas:

        Allah’s Apostle was neither very tall nor short, neither absolutely white nor deep brown. His hair was neither curly nor lank. Allah sent him (as an Apostle) when he was forty years old. Afterwards he resided in Mecca for ten years and in Medina for ten more years. When Allah took him unto Him, there was scarcely twenty white hairs in his head and beard.

        Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 72, Number 787:

        Narrated Anas bin Malik:

        The Prophet was neither conspicuously tall, nor short; neither, very white, nor tawny. His hair was neither much curled, nor very straight. Allah sent him (as an Apostle) at the age of forty (and after that) he stayed for ten years in Mecca, and for ten more years in Medina. Allah took him unto Him at the age of sixty, and he scarcely had ten white hairs on his head and in his beard.

        Sahih Bukhari Volume 5, Book 58, Number 190:

        Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas:

        Allah’s Apostle was inspired Divinely at the age of forty. Then he stayed in Mecca for thirteen years, and then was ordered to migrate, and he migrated to Medina and stayed there for ten years and then died.

        Sahih Bukhari Volume 5, Book 58, Number 242:

        Narrated Ibn Abbas:

        Allah’s Apostle started receiving the Divine Inspiration at the age of forty. Then he stayed in Mecca for thirteen years, receiving the Divine Revelation. Then he was ordered to migrate and he lived as an Emigrant for ten years and then died at the age of sixty-three (years).

        Sahih Bukhari: Volume 5, Book 58, Number 243:

        Narrated Ibn Abbas:

        Allah’s Apostle stayed in Mecca for thirteen years (after receiving the first Divine Inspiration) and died at the age of sixty-three.

        Sahih Muslim Book 030, Number 5805:

        ‘Ammar, the freed slave of Banu Hashim, reported: I asked Ibn ‘Abbas how old was he when death overtook the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him). He said: I little know that such a thing is not known to a man like you who belong to his people. He said: I asked people about it but they differed with me, and I liked to know your opinion about it. He said: Do you know counting? He said: Yes. He then said: Bear this in mind very well that he was commissioned (as a Prophet) at the age of forty, and he stayed in Mecca for fifteen years; sometime in peace and sometime in dread, and (lived) for ten years after his migration to Medina.

        Sahih Muslim Book 030, Number 5807:

        Ammar, the freed slave of Banu Hashim, reported that Ibn ‘Abbas said that Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) died when he had attained the age of sixty-five.

        Such differences illustrate that it’s not so simple for those who are concerned with questions of a historical nature.

        Not sure how repeated comments heaping scorn and ridicule on scholars or saying real scholars will laugh at me, for that matter, helps the discussion. A statement like “Please see why these people are laughing stocks in the Islamic world” does not seem to be well in accord with current scholarship. This is due to the fact that Cuypers’ analysis is the principal model for the work on Quranic structure by Muslim professor of Arabic at the American University of Kuwait, Raymond Farrin, noted for his book on the Structure and Qur’anic Interpretation, that you yourself referred to above:

        “Farrin especially takes attention to the rhetorical analysis of the Qur’an applied by Michel Cuypers. In the very beginning, he shows the symmetry types that were shared by Cuypers in his works and takes this kind of analysis as a principal model for his study.” dergipark.org.tr/tr/download/article-file/548285

        I don’t know who you consider to be the serious scholars who will laugh at me. However, Jonathan Brown, a Muslim scholar, who might not agree with Motzki’s conclusions, believes in reviewing Motzkis book that: “Motzki’ s work and that of those have followed in his footsteps have contributed greatly to advancing the study of early Islamic history and law.” https://www.jstor.org/stable/41380719?seq=1

        I have already mentioned a few western scholars who question the methodological soundness of reading the Quran against biography. Even western scholars such as Motzki, and those who follow his lead such as Schoeler and Göerke who are most positive about methodologically reconstructing sources agree that:

        “This approach [Isnad-cum-matn analysis] has its limits as well. There are only a few early authorities on the life of Muḥammad from whom a sufficient number of traditions exists to make an analysis of this kind possible. Even in the best case, the traditions that may be reconstructed date from at least 40–60 years after the events they relate”. A. Göerke, Prospects and Limits in the Study of the Historical Muhammad. p. 147, in The Transmission and Dynamics of the Textual Sources of Islam: Essays in Honour of Harald Motzki. ed. / Nicolet Boekhof-van der Voort; Kees Versteegh; Joas Wagemakers. Leiden : Brill, 2011. pp. 137-151.

        So even from such a historical critical vantage point of these “middle ground” scholars, it is not so straightforward to read the Quran against the biography of the prophet Muhammad.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Just talking Marc does not refute anything.

        For one even if you say it’s referring to the “Treaty of Hudaybiyyah” that happened in drum roll, please…Medina, so still wrong lol.

        “Opening” is the Islamic term for conquest so for example “fatah Makkah”, “fatah Faris”, “fatah Rum”, etc. The word “Fatah” is ONLY used in Madinah as it’s a warfare term as I cited in Surah Fatah. That is the ONLY way it is used in the Quran if you disagree give me an example of it being used in Mecca in a non-warfare context and then explain what Surah Nasir means accordingly in its “semantic range”. Be humble my man, the “professor” is wrong and this is something hilarious and proves his poor “scholarship”.

        Next, I didn’t say it means the “2nd coming” you are putting up these made-up standards like they are when I can basically give examples of all of them being wrong and they don’t mean anything. Your entire argument is: “Hey this doesn’t match some random thing we made up one day. Sure we were just proven to look stupid regarding the Quran’s arrangement according to length but whatever.”

        Moving on it helps the discussion because it is true. Even me quoting Prof Farrin is only because non-Muslims are the only thing that matters to you. Even then that is not his original work he expanded off of Sheikh Hammiddudin and his student Dr.Islahi. It is a fact that you will be laughed at by any real scholarship for saying Surah Nasir is a Makki Surah. And no I do not care about Jonathan Brown either as he is a nobody. List some real heavy hitters like Razi, Kathir, Tabari or Zamakshari then come back. NONE of these people are scholars to Muslims and it is actually an insult to us to compare them to our scholars.

        None of these ahadith are “problematic” and are relatively saying the same thing. With the slight variations keep in mind these are people’s memory in play. Can easily say either lapse in Ibn Abbas’s(ra) memory or people forgetting small details (as it even states in the hadith you’re quoting lol). I find it funny because when stuff matches “oh well that means everybody forged as they all agreed” when there’s variation “oh well now there’s a historical problem” so which one is it?

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Sameer gets refuted on women in Islam:

    This guy’s a joke.

    Liked by 2 people

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