New Book: The Hidden Origins of Islam

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by Michael, Jul 7, 2010.

  1. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

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    The Hidden Origins of Islam: New Research into Its Early History

    Some of you may know Dr. Gerd Rüdiger Puin a German authority on Qur'anic historical orthography. Together with Professor Karl-Heinz Ohlig (Religious History), they studied the Sana'a Qur'an (the oldest Qur'anic writings) and this is a culmination of many years of their work. We own a great debt of gratitude to these scientists, through their painstaking and meticulous work (countless hours), we will ultimately answer many of the questions we have about early "Islamic" religion.

    Here's the Book Review:

    The standard histories of Muhammad and the early development of Islam are based on Islamic literature that dates to the ninth and tenth centuries--some two centuries or more after the death of Muhammad in 632. Islamic literary sources do not exist for the seventh and eighth centuries, when, according to tradition, Muhammad and his immediate followers lived. All that is preserved from this time period are a few commemorative building inscriptions and assorted coins.

    Based on the premise that reliable history can only be written on the basis of sources that are contemporary with the events described, the contributors to this in-depth investigation present research that reveals the obscure origins of Islam in a completely new light. As the authors meticulously show, the name "Muhammad" first appears on coins in Syria bearing Christian iconography. In this context the name is used as an honorific meaning "revered" or "praiseworthy" and can only refer to Jesus Christ, as Christianity was the predominant religion of the area at this time. This same reference exists in the building inscription of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, built by the caliph `Abd al-Malik.

    The implication of these and other findings here presented is that the early Arab rulers adhered to a sect of Christianity. Indeed, evidence from the Koran, finalized at a much later time, shows that its central theological tenets were influenced by a pre-Nicean, Syrian Christianity. Linguistic analysis also indicates that Aramaic, the common language throughout the Near East for many centuries and the language of Syrian Christianity, significantly influenced the Arabic script and vocabulary used in the Koran. Finally, it was not until the end of the eighth and ninth centuries that Islam formed as a separate religion, and the Koran underwent a period of historical development of at least 200 years.



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    If you're interested in learning about early Islam, I think you'll find this book illuminating. Christians must be interested in knowing MHMT (ie: Mohammad) was actually a Title for Christ meaning "revered"! Islam stems from a dispute over the concept of Trinity. Islam is essentially a break away Church. Which fit well with what we know from the time period.
    I can't wait for this information, along with Jewish and Christian History, to be taught in all K-12 schools :)
     
  2. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    These "origins" are not hidden. All Muslims know that Islam is a continuity of older religions. That is why the Quran is called a reminder.

    That is probably correct. In the lifetime of Mohammed and the Sahaba, writing the Hadith was forbidden and the Quran was the only Islamic literature permitted.

    So far, because while excavations have been conducted in Syria, except for a couple short expeditions, there have been no archaeological excavations in any of the sites associated with Islam. The Syrian icons would also have to post date the death of Mohammed and his companions since they all forbade writing down or making images about Mohammed in any way.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2010
  3. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

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    Muhammad as a Christological Honorific Title

    An interview with the author. I found a few of his comments to be quite illuminating. A few excepts:

    - All the information we posses on the origins of Islam is taken from later texts – "biographies" that were written in the 9th and 10th centuries... we lack any corroborating contemporary texts for the first two centuries.

    - To categorize these texts, or similarly the books of Moses or the Romulus and Remus tale, as falsifications would be entirely wrong, as one has to take into consideration this specific literary genre. Religious-political foundation myths are not history texts and nor were they meant to be.

    - According to the evidence of Christian literature under Arab rule from the 7th and 8th centuries, as well as from Arab coinage and inscriptions from this period, such as that on the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, the new rulers adhered to a Syrian-Persian form of Christianity that rejected the decisions of the Council of Nicaea. Instead, it regarded Jesus as the messenger, the prophet, the servant of God, but not the physical son of God.

    - It has been established that the earliest coinage with the motto MHMT appeared in eastern Mesopotamia around 660, made their way westward, and there bilingual coins were stamped with MHMT in the center and muhammad in Arabic script at the edge. These coins bear a Christian iconography, i.e. always with crosses, so that the name muhammad is clearly to be understood as a predicate of Jesus, as in the Sanctus of the mass ("praise be to he that comes...").

    - It is entirely possible – even when previously historically improvable – that an important preacher was present at the beginning or at another point in the history of the Koran movement. However, according to the evidence of Arab coins and the inscription in the Dome of the Rock, it must be assumed that the term muhammad, the revered or the praiseworthy, was originally a Christological honorific title.

    (note: He is open to the possibility of the Historical Mohammad - something we often find lacking in reciprocation in our theistic counterparts)




    As a closing comment:
    - Since the 18th century, many Christians, even to this day, regard the Enlightenment as an attack and an attempt to destroy their religion. In reality, however, it has allowed Christianity to survive in the modern world and also be applicable to the lives of modern man. This is a phase that Islam still has to go through, but it is unavoidable if it doesn't want to exist in the future only in ghetto-like, closed communities.
     
  4. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    I doubt any will be found. It was only later, when the Caliphate was established and after the Moroccans established the first madrassa that Islam was studied as a religion. In the initial 100 years, it was only practised by the Arabs and the later hundred years was when the Hadith was first collected without isnad [chain of narration]

    Meanwhile, the verses in the Quran take it as given that the person already knows the history of the prophets that came before. There is a chapter on Mary and the story of Jesus and how Jesus was deified and why this is wrong.
     
  5. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

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    There may be just a tiny bit more to it than that SAM.
     
  6. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    I'm curious about one thing. The authors of this book, have they compared the Sanaa Quran to the verses on the masjid al Aqsa in Jerusalem? The masjid was built by Umar and should have the verses of the first collated Quran. Are there any differences between the two?

    There is also the possibility that information from ancient manuscripts is already lost. The Baghdad National Library archives were destroyed during the invasion of Iraq in 2003

    Most of these manuscripts have never been studied.

    http://archive.ifla.org/VI/4/admin/iraq0205.htm
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2010
  7. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

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    More interesting scholarly research conducted at top German, French, Italian, USA and Spanish Universities among others: A Conference On The Early History Of Islam And The Koran

    (I'd just like to note this research is less then 2 or 3 years out. I find the fresh thesis's new; and as exciting as the findings)

    Lead in:
    The newly founded institute, Inârah Institute for Research of Early Islamic History and the Koran, in cooperation with the Religious Studies Department of the University of Saarlandes, Germany and the Europäische Akademie Otzenhausen, Germany held its first International Conference on the Origins of the Koran and Early Islamic History.

    And, as above, a few interesting excerpts:

    - sources for the conquest of Spain by Muslims are quite late and unreliable. There are no Arabic inscriptions dating back to the Eighth Century and only six dating back to the Ninth. The earliest description of the conquest of North Africa and Spain written in Arabic was written by Ibn Abd al-Hakam, an Egyptian who had never been in Spain and who is said to have written the text in the middle of the 9th Century.

    - early documents, inscriptions and coins that contain the terms "muhammad" and " 'ali" should not be understood as proper names of the putatively historical figures of Islamic historiography but as honorific titles of Jesus Christ.... a talisman in the possession of Tewfik Canaan....should be read as:

    "O healer, O God! Help from God and near victory and good tiding of the believers! O praised one [muhammad], O merciful one, O benefactor. There is no young man like the high one [ 'ali] and no sword like the two-edged sword of the high one. O God, O living one, O eternal one, O Lord of majesty and honour, O merciful one, O compassionate one".

    This text should be understood as an invocation of Jesus Christ- the healer, the good tiding, the praised, merciful and high one, the young hero, "out of the mouth [of whom] went a sharp two-edged sword" [Apoc. 1:16], namely “the word of God,” which is “sharper than any two-edged sword” [Hebrews 4:12].

    - Islamic history as recounted by Islamic historians has a Biblical structure, the first four caliphs are clearly modeled on Adam, Noah, Abraham, and Moses. ... Islamic historians had a tendency to take, for instance, Iranian names on inscriptions and turn them into Arabic-sounding names. Having turned Iranians into Arabs, the next step was to turn historical events connected with the original Iranians which had nothing to do with Islamic history into Islamic history. For example, (see link)

    - an original explanation of the so-called mysterious letters with which some Surahs commence. At the beginning of twenty nine suras following the bismillah stands a letter, or a group of letters which are simply read as separate letters of the alphabet. Luxenberg suggested that they all had something to do with Syriac liturgical traditions. For instance, the letter êŒd at the beginning of Surah 38 indicates the number 90, referring to Psalm 90...


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    A a note at the end for anyone who would like to read more:
    All scholars who contributed to the collection of essays, Die dunklen Anfänge (Berlin, 2005) [to be published, in 2008, in the United States by Prometheus Books as The Obscure Origins of Islam]
     
  8. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    So when Mohammed marries Aisha, daughter of Abu Bakkar Siddiq, one of the caliphs, what exactly are we referring to, according to these scholars?

    And if Ali [also considered by Sunnis as one of the four caliphs] is the son-in-law of the prophet, who is he, biblically speaking?
     
  9. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

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    It is too bad that such a vast amount of information was lost.
     
  10. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

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    I hadn't realized the extent of modern research recently. Very interesting indeed.

    Historical Methodology and the Believer

    Was a very interesting commentary.

    I particularly liked these comments (among others):

    In reference to Patricia Crone:
    -
    What an extraordinary avowal: a history “written by infidels for infidels.” What on earth do they mean? Do they mean Muslims should not read it? Why? Because the account in Hagarism is not true? Or more simply, they believe it is true but it is an account no Muslim will find acceptable. Are Muslims not capable of accepting the truth? Must Muslims be always protected from the truth? Why are their sensibilities more important than say Christians or Jews?

    A comment on Abrahamic religions:

    The three Abrahamic religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are particularly vulnerable to the historical sciences, since the validity of their respective dogmas are closely predicated on or anchored in putatively historical events, in a way that Buddhism, for example, is not. The historical Buddha, that is if he is indeed a historical figure, only said “follow my argument,” and if his life proved to be a pious legend, his argument would still remain, and “Buddhism” would not be shaken in its foundations.
     
  11. Yosef Registered Senior Member

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    @Michael

    Bullsh*t and I tell you why... This man (the author) was talking about the Quran manuscripts one time on TV and He made a false claim regarding writing Arabic language that any Arab person with normal cognitive abilities would laugh about. He is simply a liar, why should I believe anything that this man says?!

    Millions of Muslims send daily blessings and prayers for Muhammad (pbuh). God has revealed the Quran on his heart. It is a revelation of the Lord of the heavens and the earth by arch angel Gabriel.
     
  12. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Thats an interesting statement. Do the authors know Arabic?

    I'm still interested in knowing the similarities/differences in the verses between the Sanaa Quran and the inscriptions at Masjid al Aqsa. I can't believe no one has studied it.
     
  13. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

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    The research is only just beginning but, wow, it's very interesting.

    The fact that the word Mohammad was used as a Title for Christ on coins, and these PRE-date all Islamic literature .... well, anyone with an interest in the field, and wanting to know the true history, will find this fascinating. It's very revealing (probably why I like archeology).


    These and other scientists are going to revolutionize our understanding of Islamic history and it's uniquely Christian origins. We can start to answer some of my questions. Why don't we know when the original Qur'an was completed? Why isn't there any evidence of a Historical "Islamic" Prophet named Mohammad? Well, it seems that once we recognize Islam as a slowly evolving denomination and finally split in Christianity - the peaces start falling into place. When we stop to think about it, it's not nearly as unexpected as one might think.
     
  14. Slysoon Registered Senior Member

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    S.A.M.

    During the First Crusade, after Jerusalem had been conquered by the Christians of Europe, both the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa mosque were refurbished and renamed. The Dome of the Rock had a golden cross placed on its top; it was renamed “Templum Domini” and became a church. Al-Aqsa was renamed “Temple Solomonis” and became a royal palace for the Knights Templar. During these reconstructions, the original Qur’anic inscriptions, which dated back to Caliph Umar’s reign, were plastered over.

    Many of the plastered Qur’anic inscriptions on both sites were replaced after Jerusalem was reconquered by Muslim forces, led by Salahadin. Under Ottoman rule (especially Suleiman the Magnificent) and Persian craftsmanship, these inscriptions were redecorated and expanded upon. I believe most of the original inscriptions have long been lost.

    The Sana’a manuscripts are a bit of an oddity. Although much of the story behind their discovery is already well known, it is worthy of note to mention that the manuscripts are composed of a “scriptio superior” and a “scriptio inferior”, meaning the manuscripts which exist today (superior) were written over earlier, washed away writings (inferior). Some of the scriptio superior texts in the collection date back to the mid-to-late seventh century, meaning the scriptio inferior writings are even older (perhaps pre-Uthmanic), as evidenced by ultraviolet photography. This is of significance because Caliph Uthman is understood to be responsible for the original compilation of the Qur’an in the Quraysh dialect in circa 650. If the scriptio inferior texts predate Uthman, then the Sana’a manuscripts were originally unique compilations of the Qur’an with personal commentaries and perhaps differing dialects.

    The discrepancies and difficulties amongst differing Qur’ans (dialect, commentary, etcetera) are what led Caliph Uthman to establish a committee to compile a single version of the Qur’an with a specific Arab dialect, Quraysh (the dialect spoken by the prophet Muhammad and his companions). After Uthman’s version was established, other compilations were gathered and burned so as to avoid confusion. In all likelihood, not every personal compilation was retrieved through Uthman’s efforts, and the modern version of the Sana’a manuscripts were probably developed some time during their journey from Syria to Yemen based on pre- and non-Uthmanic texts, written in Kufic calligraphy with various semantic differences from the Uthmanic version (spelling differences, absence of certain vowels, and most surprisingly, full page images of mosques and other pictures between surahs). The Sana'a manuscripts, as important as they may seem, could very well be a historical blunder with larger-than-intended implications.


    Michael

    Both Jews and Arabs (Christians) before Muhammad's time believed fiercely in the coming of a Prophet. The Jews, in particular, were very adament in their Messianic expectancy of a Prophet, and many of their rabbis proclaimed signs of a new Prophet had already been fulfilled. Naturally, the Jews thought this Prophet would be Jewish, one of the chosen people. The Christians believed that as Arabs, they had deserved a Prophet of their own kind, and needed one to rid the Arabs as a whole from idolatry.

    To make a long story short, many of the Jews Muhammad associated with temporarily accepted his Prophethood for political reasons, but never truly adopted Islam as a whole primarily because of their firm belief that a Prophet of God must be of their kind (i.e., Jewish). Amongst Christians, some accepted his Prophethood and teachings (Bahira, Waraqah, and many more), whereas others criticized his account of Jesus and considered him to be a false prophet (as warned by the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament).

    You have not shown me anything which would lead me to believe that Islam began as a "slowly evolving denomination" and finally a "split in Christianity". A "denomination" must operate under the same name and tradition as its fellow subgroups; there is no indication that this definition holds true for Islam and Christianity. Although all three of the so-called "Abrahamic" religions share common themes and stories, they differ in very critical theological aspects (definition of "God", afterlife, original sin, Prophethood, and so on). They are their own religions, with shared and borrowed ideas and practices. Finally, the concept of identity is the most important aspect underlying the idea of a denomination: if the subgroup identifies with the greater group, it can be said to be a denomination; if the subgroup does not identify with the greater group, it stops being a "subgroup" and becomes something of its own. This is what happened historically between Judaism and Christianity, and Christianity and Islam.
     
  15. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

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    That may be one of the primary reasons why this research is being done by European and American scholars and not by Muslim scholars. Or at least we can agree that this level of scholarship is only now occurring.

    In science we call it: Being to close to the work. Even in something as mundane as studying ionic membrane channels people develop a set of beliefs that make it more and more difficult to do objective research. Which is why paradigm shifts often come from obscurity. So yea, I am not sure if anyone will ever show you anything that will lead you to believe anything other than what you were taught to believe :shrug: But, you should remember that this so-called "history" you believe was written centuries after the fact - by people who were writing a Religious-political foundation myth . The histories you know are not history texts and nor were they meant to be. If you want to know the truth though, you'll want to keep your eye on this research - it's all relatively new.


    As for the evidence:

    - All the information we posses on the origins of Islam is taken from later texts – "biographies" that were written in the 9th and 10th centuries... we lack any corroborating contemporary texts for the first two centuries.

    - According to the evidence of Christian literature under Arab rule from the 7th and 8th centuries, as well as from Arab coinage and inscriptions from this period, such as that on the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, the new rulers adhered to a Syrian-Persian form of Christianity that rejected the decisions of the Council of Nicaea. Instead, it regarded Jesus as the messenger, the prophet, the servant of God, but not the physical son of God.

    - It has been established that the earliest coinage with the motto MHMT appeared in eastern Mesopotamia around 660, made their way westward, and there bilingual coins were stamped with MHMT in the center and muhammad in Arabic script at the edge. These coins bear a Christian iconography, i.e. always with crosses, so that the name muhammad is clearly to be understood as a predicate of Jesus, as in the Sanctus of the mass ("praise be to he that comes...").


    - early documents, inscriptions and coins that contain the terms "muhammad" and " 'ali" should not be understood as proper names of the putatively historical figures of Islamic historiography but as honorific titles of Jesus Christ.... a talisman in the possession of Tewfik Canaan....should be read as:

    "O healer, O God! Help from God and near victory and good tiding of the believers! O praised one [muhammad], O merciful one, O benefactor. There is no young man like the high one [ 'ali] and no sword like the two-edged sword of the high one. O God, O living one, O eternal one, O Lord of majesty and honour, O merciful one, O compassionate one".
    This text should be understood as an invocation of Jesus Christ- the healer, the good tiding, the praised, merciful and high one, the young hero, "out of the mouth [of whom] went a sharp two-edged sword" [Apoc. 1:16], namely “the word of God,” which is “sharper than any two-edged sword” [Hebrews 4:12].

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    Funny enough, I read the preface in a Torah (published in NY) that actually said many of the events were now known not to be, and should not be take as, historically accurate. That's a big step and I have to say, I'm impressed with it. To be open-minded enough to accept some of the stories in the book are not true means a lot to me.

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    Also, this easily clears up one problem with Islam. See, because 80% of the Qur'an are Biblical stories, that means that 1) Gods exits and one was talking to Mohammad 2) Mohammad was off in the head or 3) Mohammad was a liar. Now we have a 4) Mohammad was one of many Christian Patriarchs that had absolutely nothing to do with the writings of the Qur'an.

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    The evidence we have thus far (not to mention more and more collaborating discoveries are happening each year) fit VERY well with and expound on the Trinity arguments going on in Christian communities in the East at the time (which has resulted in many splits in the church). The new paradigm also explains why there's no contemporary evidence of a Mohammad The Prophet. Because he, like Mosses, Jesus and Hercules - is also a fiction. It also explains why, when I ask you: When was the Qur'an completed (day, month or even year) you have absolutely no idea.



    ~ The simplest explanation is often the best.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2010
  16. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

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    Haven't you ever wondered why here so many Biblical stories in the "Qur'an"? Or why the inscriptions on the Dome of the Rock are polemical quotations aimed primarily at Christians?!? They even attest to the messianic status of Jesus? Why, if the Dome of the Rock were built to commemorate Mohammad meeting with Moses and God, doesn't it say anything about it? :bugeye: Perhaps, if you step back a moment clearheadedly, you'll find that the building was built for other purposes and was never meant to commemorating anything of the like.


    Judaism went through something like this. The Christians went through the same period - greatly to our benefit I have to say. Heck, even the Romans and Greeks must have went through a period where they stepped back and thought about where their myths REALLY came from .... other than The Olympian Gods (at least the more intellectual of the lot)


    Regardless, this new research is just fascinating to be sure!!! :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2010
  17. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Thanks that was very enlightening. I didn't realise the crusaders had vandalised the mosque. Though its hardly surprising since they had banned all Jews, Muslims and Eastern Christians from Jerusalem.

    Yes I know about this but native Arab speakers, like native Urdu speakers, do not need didactic marks [vowels] to know how the word is pronounced. The language is phonetic and works by sound. There is reason why there are so many similar sounding consonants, its because they fall slightly different in the order of pronounciation. Think of it as the IPA. Most native speakers do not use the IPA to communicate English, historical English literature does not have didactic marks as are common with the IPA, they are only useful for non-native speakers to learn the language. If you go through the Arabised world, you can see the slight differences in phonetics [example jeem is geem in Egypt] but that does not alter the meaning of the words. Umar's compilation was to make life easier for all those who were unfamiliar with the language. He was the caliph who took the Quran out of the school and into the street. Also, Arabic has no written vowels - they are all spoken as a matter of which consonant is used.

    e.g. [​IMG]

    The Quran is unique in the Arab world for its didactic marks because only 20% of the Muslim world is Arab [or Arabised], and of this 20% perhaps only a couple of percent are the original Arabs. All Arab literature is without didactic marks

    Arab newspaper:

    [​IMG]


    Qur'an:

    [​IMG]

    I'll have to look at an Arab source of analysis to understand exactly what the differences mean. Unfortunately, these are harder and harder to find and if anything is left after all the wars of choice, it may not be sufficient to reveal what was already known. I did not know about the “scriptio superior” and a “scriptio inferior” which considering the time span between the two writings suggests some manipulation - the writer could easily have copied out a new text and left the old one undisturbed - writing over an historical text especially a religious one like the Quran, is taboo. Indecipherable texts are either set aside, burned or buried not written over. In this context, the Sanaa Quran is a novelty. Although if it is known that the Quran was interfered with, why isn't this mentioned in the OP delineating exactly which finding is from the “scriptio superior” or “scriptio inferior”? Are the authors Orientalists? This is similar to the argument that the diary of Anne Frank was not written by her because there are inscriptions in ball point which was not used until after the war - never mind that the inscriptions were by other people through whose hands the diary passed. There should be clear distinctions between the original work and the overwrites.

    It is similar to what is going on now between the Muslims and Bahai. Al Azhar insists they are Muslims because they satisfy the three criteria which defines all Muslims : they believe in one God, they accept Mohammed as a Prophet and they accept the Quran as Mohammeds recital of Gods word. Yet the Bahai do not consider themselves as Muslims.
     
  18. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

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    An Early Arabic Inscription from Petra Carrying Diacritic Marks

    It seems that the dotting of many Arabic letters was already fixed very early perhaps even before the advent of Islam.


    Try not to forget that Islam probably didn't become a separate religion from Christianity until well into the 8th century. That said, when it happens, apparently it happens very quickly. They say the Qur'an itself looks rushed as if thrown together peace-meal just to get something out there. Perhaps to legitimize a succession?
     
  19. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Islam had to be a separate religion from Christianity from the very beginning because it revoked the deification of Christ throughout its scriptures.

    Meanwhile, its hardly surprising that there would be some nascent diacritic characters in Byzantine Syria, since their language was not Arabic but Greek, but the tradition of harakat was developed especially for the Qur'an. Even your article suggests a span from the second quarter of the 6th century until the beginning of the 7th century as the date of the charcoal. And its one word, in charcoal, on wood. It could even be an inadvertent bit of charcoal being mistaken for a diacritic. Charcoal is hardly a definitive media.

    All language is evolutionary and has roots somewhere.

    Where were the Sanaa manuscripts found? To what era does the original language date? What is the script used?
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2010
  20. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

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    It may be that peaces of charcoal happened to rub off on this, as well as the other examples of such script :shrug: Hell, maybe the moon split in half and a magical human sat down to have a deep conversation with some ants (oh no, he wasn't high :p)?

    The authors agree with you SAM. Didn't you read the links? Yes the evidence points to Islam (your religion) as a separate religion that probably appeared sometime in the 9-10th century. Did you miss something here?? All the evidence suggests your religion didn't exist at all in the early 600s. The ONLY mention of Mohammad was as a Title for Jesus. Which makes sense - considering there were a lot of various Christian secs floating around and currency was one of the most common forms of propaganda at the time (even now).

    Mohammad was a Title SAM. On a coin SAM. There's no argument here. We have the coins. You can touch them. Unlike the Qur'an - these coins actually existed. It must have been annoying not knowing why no one kept the original copy, why you couldn't find the date - even by year. Well, now you know. That should come as an intellectual relief to you SAM. Just imagine where the field will be in 10 years time. I hear they pull literally thousands of pre-Qur'anic-like letters out of the sands in Syria every year. There's simply not enough experts to work on them all.

    Anyway, let's not forget we now know that there were a large number of Arab monotheistic religions - that were not Christian. There were even Persian Zoroastrian-Christian mixed religions - that certainly couldn't be classified as your typical "Christian" religion. There were Gnostic Christian religions that taught Allah had his balls cut off by a Goddess. There were Christian religions that taught Jesus was really Satan tricking people and they venerated John the Baptist. All sorts of people believed all sorts of things.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2010

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