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Offline Reader Questions

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Chain Mail Armour by Prophet David
« on: June 19, 2019, 05:44:55 PM »
Assalamualaikum brother Joseph,

Just now I've discovered another alleged historical error in the Qur'an. One regarding the use of chain mail armor by Prophet Dawud AS (see verse 34:10-11).
The Prophet AS is said to have lived in the 10th century BCE while the armor was not invented until the 5th century BCE by the Celts. You can read the tafsir of the verse by ibn Kathir along with others in the following link :

https://quranx.com/tafsirs/34.11

I really need help in this.

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Chain Mail Armour by Prophet David
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2019, 06:27:36 PM »
Wa alaikum assalam

Just because there has not been any evidence discovered that can date something prior to a particular point in time, does not mean that it did not exist (absence of evidence is not evidence of absence). There could be a number of reasons for this.

This is no different from claiming that as no concrete evidence has ever been discovered of a settlement large enough to support the concept of an Exodus of Prophet Moses's people that this did not happen and hence, historical references of such an event in both the Biblical and the Quranic record are errant / false. Or, that because the insurmountable fortification built by Dhul Qurnain and his manpower has never been discovered (18:94-97), that this event is also false.

Notwithstanding that it is not of the Quran's intent to provide timelines with specific dates of reigns / events, it is still purporting to be a historical record of sorts.

Rather, why did you not seemingly allow for the possibility that despite the belief that the chain of armour predates to about 500 BC, the Quran actually provides evidence that the skill to produce such armour actually existed prior to that date?

Why did you not seemingly allow for the possibility that in 7th century Arabia, evidence may have actually existed, but become obscured / masked over time? For example, sites such as Petra where habitations/dwellings were carved into rock faces were discovered in 1812 by Johann Ludwig Burckhardt and the site of Mada'in Saleh was not accessed until thereafter by Charles Montagu Doughty. Yet, the Quran was aware of the existence of such constructs over a thousand years earlier (15:82, 26:149, 7:74) and even suggests that they were often frequented by the primary audience of the Quran. Would it then be correct for someone in let us say the 15th or 16th century (prior to Petra's discovery or that of Mada'in Saleh), to suggest that the Quran made a historical error because no such habitation had ever been found in that period?

Another example would be that of the Ark of the Covenant (2:248). Because we have no evidence of it today, by the same logic, would it be correct to assume that it did not exist? Especially, something of such religious significance? The ruins of Lot's communities were clearly visible to the Arabs of the 7th century (15:76). Yet, there is dispute of its exact location today. Would it be correct then to assert that these communities did not exist?

We need to be very careful when interpreting historical events (particularly when inferring an accurate timeline), simply based on what we can muster as tangible evidence today.

Hopefully, this will provide some food for thought, God willing.

Regards,
Joseph
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell