Author [EN] [PL] [ES] [PT] [IT] [DE] [FR] [NL] [TR] [SR] [AR] [RU] Topic: Joseph Islam's Article "THE COMPILATION OF THE QURAN"

Offline Bassam Zawadi

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 47
    • View Profile
Joseph Islam's Article "THE COMPILATION OF THE QURAN"
« on: May 07, 2013, 02:17:14 PM »
I was reading brother Joseph's article over here http://quransmessage.com/articles/the%20compilation%20of%20the%20quran%20FM3.htm. Some observations of mine:


- No explicit evidence has been provided to justify that the adequate translation for in 25:32 "denotes the well constructed action of putting together of component parts into one integral whole endowing the complete scripture with an ‘airtight’ inner consistency devoid of errors."

- The claim "the Quran’s statement clearly denies the insinuations and admits to a well planned and arranged structure despite its piecemeal revelation." isn't clear, rather it appears that the reason that the Qur'an gives for the gradual revelation is " thus that We may strengthen thy heart there with".

- Surah 75:17 does not mention the form of collection. It doesn't say whether it's collected in textual form or in the form of memorization in the minds of the companions.

- Again, no explicit evidence has been provided to justify the translation of 73:4 presented by brother Joseph.

- Surah 5:3 does not necessitate that all revelation be collated in textual form. The "completion of the deen" could entail that no more revelation would be coming down and everything that God had to say has been said. Nothing on collection of the revelation in textual form could be objectively/explicitly inferred from this verse.

- 80:13-16 only says that the Qur'an was written down. It doesn't say that all these writings were collected into one comprehensive book. The same goes for 68:1, 96:1-5, 98:2-3 & 25:5.

- The claim "The suggestion that such a central sacred text of the new believing community would not be committed to protected written parchments during the life of the Prophet seems difficult to accept from a Quranic perspective. Equally difficult to accept is the insinuation that the Arabs were so primitive that they would not be able to commit such a holy text to certain scrolls or parchments during the life of the Prophet." seems to be a subjective one, for one would ask: 1) Where is the Qur'anic command to collect everything in textual form in one single comprehensive book? and 2) What was the urgent need for it during the Prophet's time?

- The accusation in 6:91 is not to do with merely keeping the scriptures in parchments, but rather the accusation issued forth is that they would "disclose some of it and you conceal much of it". This is clear in context, since the accusation against the kuffar was for not abiding by the entirety of God's Word.

- Surah 15:9 indeed shows that it was God's promise to guard the Qur'an, however God works through agents. So I don't see the relevance here.

- Adrian Brockett was cited, but the question is... does Adrian Brockett believe that history demonstrates that the Qur'an was compiled into a single book before the Prophet's death (which is the main topic of the article)?



I don't think we should discard established historical facts of the preservation of the Qur'an for subjective interpretations of the Qur'an.

Thanks,

Bassam
 

Offline Joseph Islam

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1858
    • View Profile
    • The Quran and its Message
Re: Joseph Islam's Article "THE COMPILATION OF THE QURAN"
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2013, 09:18:15 PM »
Dear brother Bassam,

As-salamu alaykum.

Thank you for your critique. Please see my responses to your observations in BLUE which will I trust will be met with sincere interest and academic enquiry. Please note that the main thrust of my article was to understand the Quran's own testimony of how it was compiled.

With respect and regards,
Joseph.


[My responses in BLUE]

I was reading brother Joseph's article over here http://quransmessage.com/articles/the%20compilation%20of%20the%20quran%20FM3.htm. Some observations of mine:

- No explicit evidence has been provided to justify that the adequate translation for in 25:32 "denotes the well constructed action of putting together of component parts into one integral whole endowing the complete scripture with an ‘airtight’ inner consistency devoid of errors."

The terms 'ratilli' and 'tartilan' were clearly discussed in my article to justify the underlying renditions of the verses.

"Both the words rattilli and tartilan are formed of the same root word RA-TA-LAM which means to put something in order, to make even or well arranged/set together, to make correct or to put in the right state of arrangement.

We noted similar uses of the word in verse 25:32 which connects with the verse above. Therefore the arrangement of the Quran was not only put together in the lifetime of the Prophet, but by the Prophet himself by God's decree and under the Prophet's supervision."



- The claim "the Quran’s statement clearly denies the insinuations and admits to a well planned and arranged structure despite its piecemeal revelation." isn't clear, rather it appears that the reason that the Qur'an gives for the gradual revelation is " thus that We may strengthen thy heart there with".

There are two reasons given by the verse:

  • An indication of piecemeal revelation
  • The arrangement in the right order (and We have arranged it in right order (Arabic: Ratalnahu tartila))

- Surah 75:17 does not mention the form of collection. It doesn't say whether it's collected in textual form or in the form of memorization in the minds of the companions.

Indeed and I trust that readers will note that my citation does not assert this. It merely presents a verse under the section which argues that the Quran was put together (irrespective of form) by God's decree during the lifetime of the Prophet.

- Again, no explicit evidence has been provided to justify the translation of 73:4 presented by brother Joseph.

Verse 73:4 makes use of the terms 'ratilli' and 'tartilan' which have been clearly discussed in the article as noted in the excerpt provided above.

- Surah 5:3 does not necessitate that all revelation be collated in textual form. The "completion of the deen" could entail that no more revelation would be coming down and everything that God had to say has been said. Nothing on collection of the revelation in textual form could be objectively/explicitly inferred from this verse.

The argument was posited as follows:

"In the famous verse of Surah Maida (Chapter 5), often quoted with reference to the favour bestowed by 'perfecting the Deen', one must ask the obvious question as to how it was possible to complete a ‘Deen’ (a system / religion) without the bedrock of instructions formulated and referenced by scripture? One must therefore posit the possible conclusion that for a 'Deen' to be complete, the scripture must have taken its final form."

I truly believe the argument is plausible and that is merely the remit in which it was posited.


- 80:13-16 only says that the Qur'an was written down. It doesn't say that all these writings were collected into one comprehensive book. The same goes for 68:1, 96:1-5, 98:2-3 & 25:5.

Verses 80:13-16 clearly indicate that the Quran was being transcribed. The question remains, is it more plausible to assume that only 'some' verses were transcribed or that a Holy scripture intent for mankind's guidance was fully transcribed in toto? Given the intended purpose of the revelation, its scope and those in authority at the time of the Prophet within the new Islamic state with the Prophet at the helm, I would incline to the latter.

- The claim "The suggestion that such a central sacred text of the new believing community would not be committed to protected written parchments during the life of the Prophet seems difficult to accept from a Quranic perspective. Equally difficult to accept is the insinuation that the Arabs were so primitive that they would not be able to commit such a holy text to certain scrolls or parchments during the life of the Prophet." seems to be a subjective one, for one would ask: 1) Where is the Qur'anic command to collect everything in textual form in one single comprehensive book? and 2) What was the urgent need for it during the Prophet's time?

  • Please see my last response
  • A holy text from God intended for mankind's guidance would arguably not be left simply to the whims and memories of individuals who were part of a community which often found itself suppressed and at times under the conditions of war where lives were lost. In all matters that are subjective, the most plausible outcome should remain the most cogent argument in an epistemic discussion.

- The accusation in 6:91 is not to do with merely keeping the scriptures in parchments, but rather the accusation issued forth is that they would "disclose some of it and you conceal much of it". This is clear in context, since the accusation against the kuffar was for not abiding by the entirety of God's Word.

This is not disputed other than respectfully, the relevance of your assertion. Verse 6:91 was simply cited to show that writing material (qirtas) was present during the Prophetic ministry and therefore one would arguably be inclined to accept the assertion that a new powerful believing community was able to commit their text completely to appropriate parchments in a protected form. That is respectfully all.

- Surah 15:9 indeed shows that it was God's promise to guard the Qur'an, however God works through agents. So I don't see the relevance here.

The purpose of the citation was given in the title 'THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE QURAN'S PROTECTION WAS WITH GOD NOT MAN'. Indeed God uses agents, but the protection of the Quran was assured by God's own testimony. No such protection was proffered to the Ahadith corpus.

- Adrian Brockett was cited, but the question is... does Adrian Brockett believe that history demonstrates that the Qur'an was compiled into a single book before the Prophet's death (which is the main topic of the article)?

Dr. Adrian Brockett was cited simply to underscore that the Quran was committed both to a written and oral preservation which worked in tandem. This view which resonates my own is primarily supported by the Quran's own testimony. Whether or not the Quran was completed into a single book was argued by making use of the Quranic verses themselves and drawing any plausible inferences from them. Adrian Brockett's view on this matter was not deemed relevant for the purpose of the article.

I don't think we should discard established historical facts of the preservation of the Qur'an for subjective interpretations of the Qur'an.

The title 'established historical facts' and its underlying connotation was discussed in another related post where I respectfully contended with such a proposition as one being without warrant.

http://quransmessage.com/forum/index.php?topic=837.msg3106#new



Thanks,

Bassam
 

Therefore, on the strength of my article and the arguments shared within supported by various verses, I feel the Quran's own testimony of how it was compiled provides much more integrity to the Quran's compilation than does the Ahadith corpus. More importantly however, the Quran is the most contemporaneous historical source to the Prophetic ministry and its testimony remains most reliable.
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline Bassam Zawadi

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 47
    • View Profile
Re: Joseph Islam's Article "THE COMPILATION OF THE QURAN"
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2013, 11:15:55 PM »
Thanks for your response Joseph.

Ratil has a number of meanings (one being to chant). You haven't clearly demonstrated why the meaning you have chosen is the correct one (this is an example of why Quranists are wrong in believing that the Qur'an is clear in the way they believe). You just went on with that assumption.

I don't find your argument:

"In the famous verse of Surah Maida (Chapter 5), often quoted with reference to the favour bestowed by 'perfecting the Deen', one must ask the obvious question as to how it was possible to complete a ‘Deen’ (a system / religion) without the bedrock of instructions formulated and referenced by scripture? One must therefore posit the possible conclusion that for a 'Deen' to be complete, the scripture must have taken its final form."

To be plausible. I find it "possible", but not "plausible". That is... I'm not saying your argument is bad, I'm just saying it's not necessary.

The Muslims had plenty of scholars they could have referred to who memorized the Qur'an during the Prophet's time. Not all of them had to have access to a comprehensive book. Many were huffaz. Again, it's not necessary. This argument is not as "mubeen" (i.e. clear) as you would like it to be.

Yes, all of the Qur'an was transcribed. I agree. But I didn't deny that, rather I was asking for proof that they were all transcribed and then collected into a single book format. The Qur'an is silent about that.

You said:

A holy text from God intended for mankind's guidance would arguably not be left simply to the whims and memories of individuals who were part of a community which often found itself suppressed and at times under the conditions of war where lives were lost. In all matters that are subjective, the most plausible outcome should remain the most cogent argument in an epistemic discussion.

But...... that was precisely the reason why the Qur'an was later on collected into a single copy. Because the circumstances and events changed from the Prophet's time. There is no reason to believe that the collection of the Qur'an into a single book format in textual form was something necessary during the Prophet's time. First, it wasn't commanded by the Qur'an. Second, we aren't aware of any circumstances which would have made doing so vital during the Prophet's time.

Again, I am blind to your argument from 6:91. I can't see it. It's not clear.

As for God's promise to protect the Qur'an.... well how do you know that 15:9 isn't a false insertion? It's blind faith. Not an attractive position to hold.


If I were to hold you to your own standard that you should only accept that which is explicitly and clearly taught by the Qur'an, then I wouldn't expect you to remain adhering to this position by claiming that it is Qur'anic testimony. Rather, I would expect you to change your tone and say... "I THINK that's what happened" and nothing more.

I simply can't see what you see in the Qur'an on this topic. If you were as lenient in your inference from scripture on the proof texts provided by traditional Muslims supporting the appeal to secondary sources as you are in how you arrived at the conclusion of this topic, well you wouldn't only be following the Qur'an literally alone in the sense you do. That's what I think.

Kind Regards,

Bassam

Offline Joseph Islam

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1858
    • View Profile
    • The Quran and its Message
Re: Joseph Islam's Article "THE COMPILATION OF THE QURAN"
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2013, 12:23:34 AM »
Thank you brother Bassam for your response.

Please allow me to state the obvious common ground that we both hold. No matter how we arrive at the conclusion that we do, we both believe that the Quran is God's word and that He is One, Master of us all and the Day of Judgment. We believe whatever is contained within the Quran from God without question.

I think albeit obvious it is a nice iteration to cite with a smile  :) (16:125, 17:53)

The crucial difference I understand we have is on the 'authority' of extraneous Islamic sources such as the Ahadith corpus which is accepted by orthodox Muslims in general and your kind self. 

I assert on the 'authority' of the Quran that it gives no sanction to any other source in the 'name of religion' apart from itself. As I understand you feel otherwise, I humbly look forward to your evidence to support your position in another article as I feel it remains the central thrust of your citation of evidence.

You say:

"The Muslims had plenty of scholars they could have referred to who memorized the Qur'an during the Prophet's time."

This is a circular argument as you are inferring a position from secondary sources which are moot (i.e. debateable).

You seem to infer that the Quran is silent about it being collected into a single book. I personally do not feel that the reference to 'al-kitab' and the 'plausible' / 'possible' inferences I have drawn purely from the Quranic narratives is as silent as you infer, certainly implicitly even if you do not feel that the term 'Al-Kitab' can be used as an explicit reference to a complete Book. After all, the Quran could have been referred to as 'qaratisa', 'suhuf, or even 'raqq' if the intention was to refer to the parchments or scrolls extant at the time of the Prophet. These terms are known to the Quran.

You seem to take the default position that a command has to be present in the Quran 'e.g. O believers, collect the Book in one canon / single book' for there to be a valid case to assume that the Quran was compiled into a single book format during the Prophetic ministry.

With respect, I humbly find this position wholly untenable and not the most cogent default position. I find that the need to compile the Quran  in a workable, tangible single source would have been implicit given the holy nature of the text and its intended purpose (i.e. to serve as guidance for humanity). I also extrapolate by 'positing' that there is no reason to assume that only one such complete copy was made, but 'possibly' many. This I feel is the most cogent 'default' position.

You respectfully ask "how do you know that 15:9 isn't a false insertion? It's blind faith. Not an attractive position to hold."

My humble response to this is that I first accept the Quran as it has reached me as from a Divine source based on its arguments, and then implicitly the claim of 15:9. The proposition that I must accept the Quran simply because it can be traced unbroken to an Arabian man from the Hijaz in the 6th-7th century is not proof of its Divine source. This is because the Arabian personality could simply be a false Prophet. I accept the Quran because it appeals to my intellect first as from no-one but a Divine source, and then I accept the proposition that the man that it was revealed to was a Prophet. Not the other way around.

It seems you are accepting the Quran on blind faith and not on the arguments it presents. This point remains noteworthy.

With respect dear brother, I find that the orthodox position is precarious at best as there are many narratives within the secondary source corpus which cast complete doubt on the Quran's preservation.

It is the Islamic secondary sources that inform the reader:

  • That verses were missing and a goat ate the stoning verse with regards to adultery [1]
  • That the Prophet of God introduced the Satanic verses  [2]
  • That Caliph Uthman burnt the extant copies of the Quran  [3]
  • That there was a missing suckling verse (Ten clear sucklings which made the marriage unlawful, then it was later abrogated (and substituted) by five sucklings and then was somehow removed or missed from the Quran altogether  [4]
  • That there was a missing Ibn Adam verse (regarding Ibn Adam's possession of a wadi of property)  [5]
  • That there was a missing 'pleasing' verse from the Quran (regarding those that were slain at Bi'r Mauna which included the verse "Inform our tribe on our behalf that we have met with our Lord. He has been well pleased with us and has satisfied our desires)  [6]
  • And many others, from al-Baraa, verses that were lost with dead Muslims, cancelled and repealed verses and those forgotten by the Prophet himself and those lost by Quranic reciters   [7]

Of course, we can spend countless hours sifting through each hadith with apologetic zeal, refuting it, dismissing it as weak, blaming faulty translations or attempting to contextualise or harmonise it. However, this an endeavour mute from my perspective as the Quran gives no authority to these sources in the first place. If one asserts that it does, then I would respectfully like to see explicit, unequivocal evidence to support this claim.

In the end, like you I am a kindred spirit that holds the integrity of the Quran as indisputable. Yes, we arrive at this conclusion from different positions but I feel that the orthodox position is far more untenable and precarious than the perspective deduced from the Quran's own testimony.

With utmost respect always,
Joseph.



REFERENCES:
 
[1] SUNAN IBN MAJAH, Book of Nikaah, Number 1944, Hadith in Arabic,  [online] http://hadith.al-islam.com/Page.aspx?pageid=192&TOCID=638&BookID=29&PID=1934 [Accessed 13th April 2011]
[2] AL TABARI, Ta'rikh Volume 1
[3] SAHIH BUKHARI, Volume 6, Book 61, Number 510, Translator: M. Muhsin Khan. Source: University of Southern California Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement, Translation available [online] http://www.usc.edu/org/cmje/religious-texts/hadith/bukhari/061-sbt.php [Accessed 11th March 2013] 
Such narrations have the potential to open up serious contention for the Shia that a 'Usurper' of power had been somehow responsible for the Quran's preservation and therefore the true Quran had to exist with their infallible Imams.
[4] SUNAN IBN MAJAH, Book of Nikaah, Number 1944, Hadith in Arabic, [online] http://hadith.al-islam.com/Page.aspx?pageid=192&TOCID=638&BookID=29&PID=1934 [Accessed 13th April 2011]
[5] BURTON. J, The Collection of the Qur'an, Cambridge University Press 1977, First published 1977, First paperback edition 1979, Re-issued 2010, Pages 82-83, Note (31) and (32) quoted. Note (31) - Burhan al Din al Baji, Jawab, MS Dar al Kutub, Taimur majami no. 207, f.17. Note (32) Itqan, pt 2,, p.25
[6] BURTON. J, The Collection of the Qur'an, Cambridge University Press 1977, First published 1977, First paperback edition 1979, Re-issued 2010, Pages 48-49, Note (3). Note (3) Ibid. p26 (from previous reference Itqan, pt2)
[7] SAHIH MUSLIM, Volume 1, Book 5, Book of Zakat (Kitab al-Zakat) Number 2286, Translator: Abdul Hamid Siddiqui, Source: University of Southern California Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement, Translation available [online] http://www.usc.edu/org/cmje/religious-texts/hadith/muslim/005-smt.php [Accessed 11th March 2013]
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline Bassam Zawadi

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 47
    • View Profile
Re: Joseph Islam's Article "THE COMPILATION OF THE QURAN"
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2013, 02:41:13 PM »
Salam Joseph,

“This is a circular argument as you are inferring a position from secondary sources which are moot (i.e. debateable).”

Secondary sources aside… you don’t think that this could be inferred by common sense (since you seem to be comfortable doing this in other matters)? There are virtues in memorizing it, so you don’t think a significant number of them during the Prophet’s time did?

“that the term 'Al-Kitab' can be used as an explicit reference to a complete Book. After all, the Quran could have been referred to as 'qaratisa', 'suhuf, or even 'raqq' if the intention was to refer to the parchments or scrolls extant at the time of the Prophet. These terms are known to the Quran.”

You reason well on this point. However, there are things you need to pay careful attention to:

- Kitab as utilized in modern times linguistically usually means book in its usage. So if you have a book with only 30 Surahs, you still it call it Qur’an and still call it Kitab. It doesn’t have to be the full complete book. Context determines that.

- HOWEVER, Kitab in essence actually means a joining or linking of words to each other. In essence that’s it. As to the FORM, it could either be in discourse or in writing. Context determines that.

- Hence, on a purely linguistic basis alone apart from context we can’t say that Kitab necessitates a comprehensive book form.

- Allah’s usage of “Kitab” doesn’t indicate that it is necessarily referring to a fully comprehensive Qur’anic book in textual form. The Qur’an remains Kitab Allah even if all textual copies on earth are wiped clean.

“You seem to take the default position that a command has to be present in the Quran 'e.g. O believers, collect the Book in one canon / single book'for there to be a valid case to assume that the Quran was compiled into a single book format during the Prophetic ministry.”

I don’t think that’s a fair representation of what I am seeking. I didn’t say that it has to be there word by word. It is okay for it to be inferred and implicit, but it has to be CLEAR. Things could be “implicitly clear” (i.e. it’s not an oxymoron).

“I find that the need to compile the Quran  in a workable, tangible single source would have been implicit given the holy nature of the text and its intended purpose (i.e. to serve as guidance for humanity).”

I think you are confusing “implicit” with “this is what makes sense to me”. Your assumptions are not necessary. I think it’s possible you are projecting the way things are done in the 21st century back to those times where you assume that people need to necessarily study and teach from a written book. It seems difficult for you to comprehend that they would have been perfectly comfortable memorizing large chunks of the Qur’an and only having parchments of some Surahs on an individual basis. I think you forget how large a complete Qur’an would have been back then and that there was no printing press.

“The proposition that I must accept the Quran simply because it can be traced unbroken to an Arabian man from the Hijaz in the 6th-7th century is not proof of its Divine source.”


This is the second time you misrepresent me greatly Joseph. I didn’t argue anywhere that the Qur’an being traced back implies its divinity, rather I was only discussing its preservation.

You on the other hand are confusing divinity with preservation. A divine book is not necessarily preserved (unless you could show that logically NECESSARY connection in an objective manner).

Given that…. You could only accept the Qur’an’s preservation on blind faith (and that's okay, but let's just make that clear) and can’t argue for it on an intellectual basis with sound historical proofs. Something no non-Muslim academic would take seriously, for your method offers no explanation for reading variants, manuscripts variants, etc. while traditional Muslims attempt to offer convincing explanations for the existence of these.

You cast doubt on the hadith system because it's been infiltrated with rejected traditions, but don't seem to realize that the Qur'an has various readings accepted by the Muslim community, which you reject and you can't account for them on a historical basis (hence the inconsistency in your methodology) .

Thanks,

Bassam


Offline optimist

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 322
    • View Profile
Re: Joseph Islam's Article "THE COMPILATION OF THE QURAN"
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2013, 10:26:54 PM »
- Hence, on a purely linguistic basis alone apart from context we can’t say that Kitab necessitates a comprehensive book form.

Salaam!

Based on your above comment, and considering the context of the following verses,  I would like to know your opinion whether the word "kitab" mentioned in the following verses refer to a comprehensive book or not? (yosuf Ali translations)

"A Book, whereof the verses are explained in detail;- a Quran in Arabic, for people who understand". (41:3)

"Shall I seek for a judge other than God, when He it is Who has sent down to you the Book fully explained?" (6:114)

 "Is it not enough for them that We have sent down to thee the Book which is rehearsed to them?" (29:51)

Thanks, regards
Optimist
The meaning which was lost in all our divisions will not be understood until our perceptions become untainted -  Allama Iqbal

Offline Joseph Islam

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1858
    • View Profile
    • The Quran and its Message
Re: Joseph Islam's Article "THE COMPILATION OF THE QURAN"
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2013, 10:31:49 PM »
Dear brother Bassam,

Wa alaikum assalam  :)

Thank you for your response.

Please see my responses in default black to your observations which I have highlighted in red.

You respectfully share:

Secondary sources aside… you don’t think that this could be inferred by common sense (since you seem to be comfortable doing this in other matters)? There are virtues in memorizing it, so you don’t think a significant number of them during the Prophet’s time did?

I do respectfully feel that the question of authority pertaining to Islamic secondary sources is the most pertinent issue at hand and cannot be simply dismissed. Any inferences I draw are from the Quranic text and not from Islamic secondary sources. 

However, I do feel that the term 'dhikr' has a wide connotation, least in the expression 'Walaqad yassarna alqur-ana lildhikri' (and certainly we have made the Quran easy to remember - 54:17 et al) where it can also imply the ability to recall, study to remember and remembrance. Therefore, I do not dispute for a second that the tradition of 'memorising' the Quran en masse was a rigid tradition that was initiated during the Prophetic ministry in much the same way as it is alive today. However as I have argued, the tradition of writing was also in situ. Both preservation methods worked in tandem. You seem to argue that tradition of 'memorising' superseded the tradition of committing the Quran completely to text. I find this position highly untenable as I have sought to demonstrate from the Quran.

I think it’s possible you are projecting the way things are done in the 21st century back to those times where you assume that people need to necessarily study and teach from a written book. It seems difficult for you to comprehend that they would have been perfectly comfortable memorizing large chunks of the Qur’an and only having parchments of some Surahs on an individual basis. I think you forget how large a complete Qur’an would have been back then and that there was no printing press.

My arguments are not merely based on projecting a 21st century context to an ancient setting. My position is actually formed by keeping the context of the Quran at the helm of the interpretations I provide.

For example, as you will no doubt acknowledge, a community of people existed at the time of the Prophet's ministry whose religion was underpinned by a sacred text. These were the 'People of the Book'. These people were part of the Arab community, were essentially Arabs (of Jewish and Christian denominations), spoke the Arabic language and existed as part of the fabric of Prophet Muhammad's society.

As the Quran clearly indicates, if they had the ability to commit their Holy scriptures into a complete, tangible form, there is a strong argument that the new believing community whose religion was also to be underpinned by a Holy Divine text (the Quran), a guidance intended for the whole of mankind, would have more reason to do the same.

In my humble view, I feel this is a solid argument which cannot be simply dismissed.

This is the second time you misrepresent me greatly Joseph. I didn’t argue anywhere that the Qur’an being traced back implies its divinity, rather I was only discussing its preservation.

Dear brother Bassam, with all due respect to you, my sincere intention is not to misrepresent you in any way whatsoever. However hitherto, I do find that for you the preservation of the text is so fundamental, that you imply this in your exchange. It almost appears to me from our respectful discussions thus far, that if the Quran cannot be shown to be fully preserved, its Divine authority will remain in dispute.

It is my contention that the matter of preservation is mute if it is found that the arguments that the text provides has no intellectual appeal in its argumentation. Please try to understand this.

Even if you can convincingly prove the Quran's impeccable preservation, this does not equate to its Divine provenance.

Given that…. You could only accept the Qur’an’s preservation on blind faith (and that's okay, but let's just make that clear) and can’t argue for it on an intellectual basis with sound historical proofs.

I humbly feel that this statement couldn't be further from the truth. I have repeatedly argued the integrity of the preservation of the Quran from the Quran itself which I feel you are dismissing.

The 'best historical proof' is the testimony of the Quran itself, the primary source, the text which was contemporaneous to the Prophetic ministry. I find it least persuasive (as in your respected position) to argue for the Quran's preservation from alleged 'historical sources' that were not canonised until at times centuries after the time they attempt to narrate. Therefore with respect, I find your position to prove preservation arguably most precarious.

This position in my humble view, has the least basis for intellectual appeal.

Furthermore to reiterate, the Quran's testimony of its own preservation does not raise the kind of doubts that Islamic secondary sources do, which by themselves have no authority. I have argued the integrity of the Quran's preservation with multifaceted arguments from the primary source, the Quran.

You say:

"your method offers no explanation for reading variants, manuscripts variants, etc. while traditional Muslims attempt to offer convincing explanations for the existence of these."

Once again, these discourses are mute from a Quran's perspective and are simply a product of later discourses enshrined into practice by some Muslims on the basis of secondary sources. I have covered this matter in a dedicated article [1] which I respectfully invite you to peruse with sincere academic interest. Even today, 95% of the Muslim world recites the Quran based on one transmission based on one recitation which has been transmitted en masse. [2]

You say:

"You cast doubt on the hadith system because it's been infiltrated with rejected traditions.."

Once again to reiterate my position, the question of 'authenticity'of the Hadith corpus and the underlying 'system' that underpins it is mute. My contention is that the Quran provides no 'authority' to these sources which I humbly feel you are not addressing.

Therefore respectfully and with all humility, I feel that my methodology thus far which questions 'authority' remains fundamentally sound.

As always, with utmost respect,
Joseph.


REFERENCES:

[1] THE SEVEN AHRUF, RECITATIONS (QIRAAT), HAFS AND WARSH
http://quransmessage.com/articles/seven%20readings%20FM3.htm
[2] Ibid.
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline Bassam Zawadi

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 47
    • View Profile
Re: Joseph Islam's Article "THE COMPILATION OF THE QURAN"
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2013, 12:40:28 AM »
Salam Joseph,

Thanks for your response.

I think we could stop here as I have nothing new to add (for in my personal opinion I don't think you offered anything new to address and if I were to respond I would only be repeating myself and I think the same would go for you) and we could let the readers formulate a decision.

Good round :)

Bassam

Offline Bassam Zawadi

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 47
    • View Profile
Re: Joseph Islam's Article "THE COMPILATION OF THE QURAN"
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2013, 12:45:59 AM »
Salam Optimist,

Quote
"A Book, whereof the verses are explained in detail;- a Quran in Arabic, for people who understand". (41:3)

Seeing that Kitab in essence implies a combining and linking of words and only context would denote the form (i.e. textual or not), I don't see how this passage makes it clear that it's textual.

Quote
"Shall I seek for a judge other than God, when He it is Who has sent down to you the Book fully explained?" (6:114)

Quote
"Is it not enough for them that We have sent down to thee the Book which is rehearsed to them?" (29:51)

Doesn't sound textual to me, unless you want to believe that an actual physical book came from the heavens to the Prophet. This is not tenable, since the Qur'an came down in piecemeal and not at one go.

Thanks,

Bassam


Offline Joseph Islam

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1858
    • View Profile
    • The Quran and its Message
Re: Joseph Islam's Article "THE COMPILATION OF THE QURAN"
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2013, 12:47:47 AM »
Wa alaikum assalam Bassam

I respectfully agree. I really enjoyed our exchange on this topic especially the manner in which you conducted the amicable discussion.

Peace to you always and God bless.

Your brother in faith,
Joseph.  :)
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline optimist

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 322
    • View Profile
Re: Joseph Islam's Article "THE COMPILATION OF THE QURAN"
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2013, 02:25:58 AM »
Salam Optimist,

Wassalam,

I think brother Joseph Islam has explained the points with clear proof from Quran.  You seem to rely on "sound historical proofs" (according to you).   At your convenience, kindly go through Chapter 5 of "Conspiracies Against the Quran" written by Dr. Syed Abdul Wadud.   Dr. Wudud has mentioned about the so called "sound historical proofs" and all traditions dealing with the compilation of the Quran.  He has quoted more 18 traditions  and how those traditions contradict each other.  You can read online those traditions (starting from just after a few paras)from the following link;

http://www.tolueislam.org/Bazm/Wadud/AW_caq_5.htm

Regards
Optimist
The meaning which was lost in all our divisions will not be understood until our perceptions become untainted -  Allama Iqbal

Offline Bassam Zawadi

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 47
    • View Profile
Re: Joseph Islam's Article "THE COMPILATION OF THE QURAN"
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2013, 07:23:56 AM »
Salam Optimist,

Wassalam,

I think brother Joseph Islam has explained the points with clear proof from Quran.  You seem to rely on "sound historical proofs" (according to you).   At your convenience, kindly go through Chapter 5 of "Conspiracies Against the Quran" written by Dr. Syed Abdul Wadud.   Dr. Wudud has mentioned about the so called "sound historical proofs" and all traditions dealing with the compilation of the Quran.  He has quoted more 18 traditions  and how those traditions contradict each other.  You can read online those traditions (starting from just after a few paras)from the following link;

http://www.tolueislam.org/Bazm/Wadud/AW_caq_5.htm

Regards
Optimist

He gives the same usual worn and torn arguments that have already been addressed. If you find an article which offer counter rebuttals and doesn't simply reinvent the wheel, then let me know. Thanks.

Offline optimist

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 322
    • View Profile
Re: Joseph Islam's Article "THE COMPILATION OF THE QURAN"
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2013, 12:27:25 PM »
He gives the same usual worn and torn arguments that have already been addressed.

Salaam,

I have no wonder if you did not find any contradictions in those traditions.  It may be possible to “address” any spurious contradictory traditions.   We have already seen many.   In one of the six most authentic Hadith books (Ibne Maja, Vol. III, Chapter 36 - suckling of a young boy - Hadith No. 1944) we find a Hadith narrated by prophet’s wife, Aysha, in which she says:

"The aa'yaa on stoning and nursing of babies were lying in book form that was kept in the patio. When the Holy Messenger passed away, we became busy in his funeral. During this time, our domesticated pet goat ate the manuscript of these two aa'yaa.  And so these aa'yaa were wasted."

Our scholars have justified this forged tradition claiming that the goat was a divine goat and hence there is no need to assume the tradition might be spurious.   Such kinds of justification might be satisfactory for the mindset of people lived during certain times when people almost worshiped traditions.   It is not going to be possible anymore.

Regards,
Optimist
The meaning which was lost in all our divisions will not be understood until our perceptions become untainted -  Allama Iqbal

Offline Bassam Zawadi

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 47
    • View Profile
Re: Joseph Islam's Article "THE COMPILATION OF THE QURAN"
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2013, 07:47:32 PM »
Quote
"The aa'yaa on stoning and nursing of babies were lying in book form that was kept in the patio. When the Holy Messenger passed away, we became busy in his funeral. During this time, our domesticated pet goat ate the manuscript of these two aa'yaa.  And so these aa'yaa were wasted."

First of all, this tradition is not considered authentic according to traditional Muslim standards http://www.letmeturnthetables.com/2010/10/myth-quran-verses-eat-goat.html

Secondly, even if the tradition was authentic according to traditional Muslim standards it still wouldn't compromise the preservation of the Qur'an. See how I address it in my debate with Nabeel Qureshi on youtube.


Regards,

Bassam


Offline optimist

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 322
    • View Profile
Re: Joseph Islam's Article "THE COMPILATION OF THE QURAN"
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2013, 12:08:03 AM »
Quote
"The aa'yaa on stoning and nursing of babies were lying in book form that was kept in the patio. When the Holy Messenger passed away, we became busy in his funeral. During this time, our domesticated pet goat ate the manuscript of these two aa'yaa.  And so these aa'yaa were wasted."

First of all, this tradition is not considered authentic according to traditional Muslim standards http://www.letmeturnthetables.com/2010/10/myth-quran-verses-eat-goat.html

Secondly, even if the tradition was authentic according to traditional Muslim standards it still wouldn't compromise the preservation of the Qur'an. See how I address it in my debate with Nabeel Qureshi on youtube.


Regards,

Bassam

Salam brother Bassam,

Kindly post the youtube link you mentioned above.

Well, can you answer the question  from Amat Abidin September 28, 2012 at 4:34 AM (in the link provided above), in which he said:But it is still confusing. In other narration, Umar said he had recited the verses regarding the stoning of the adulterer during the life of the Prophet as part of the Quran. On the other hand, how come such an important law concerning the human life would not be mentioned in the Quran, while other trivial matters were detailed in it.

In addition to the above, I have a few questions:

1. In the beginning of the article it is said "Whenever we have a narration we ought to see whether it is authentic or not?"   Is this applicable also for all hadiths from Al-Sihah al-Sittah [The Six Authentic Books of Hadith]?

2. You said  "a commandment was revealed about stoning but the Holy Prophet did not allow it to be written as a part of the Qur’an implying that it was not meant to be Qur’an integral part". Can you tell me a satisfactory explanation for why the revealed commandment was not allowed to be written as part of Quran, BUT the ruling mentioned in it is still valid?

3. In addition to Ibn Majah, this hadith has been relayed in Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal. vol. 6. p. 269; Ibn Qutbah, Tawil Mukhtalafi 'l-Hadith (Cairo: Maktaba al-Kulliyat al-Azhariyya. 1966) p. 310; As-Suyuti, ad-Durru 'l-Manthur, vol. 2. p. 13  and I can quote for your many fatwas and articles from scholars who consider this hadith as authentic.  Are you telling us that each and every muslim when they come across this hadith must spend days researching the authenticity of this hadith and come to your article and accept your arguments and reject the hadith as unauthentic?  How do you justify the contradictory view points from different scholars?   There can be difference in interpretation by different scholars but there should not be a different opinion regarding the fact of an issue.  In other words, assuming hadiths are necessary for our guidance, you are indirectly stating that the prophet  failed to covey the complete guidance in the correct form without corruption.

4. Finally, why do you make an comment towards the end, "even if we accept the narration in question..."?.  This is totally unwarranted in academic discourse.  You either prove the hadith an authentically report and accept it or disprove the same and reject it.  Even if any fact mentioned in any hadith can be logically found to be true, no one has any right fabricate any hadith.  It is unfair to give an implication that there is no problem even if someone accepts the narration and by the way, it is funny you say "perhaps" (completely guessing!) "'Aisha had kept them with her as a historical record and nothing more".   There is no clarity in your stand.

Please answer my questions even if it is just short notes.  Don't ignore my specific questions. Thanks

Regards,
Optimist

The meaning which was lost in all our divisions will not be understood until our perceptions become untainted -  Allama Iqbal