21 April 2008

Yemen and the Qur'an

I have been reading this interesting piece in TheAtlantic.com which dates from 1999 and discusses the discovery of fragments from early versions of the Qur'an and suggests that the Qur'an is no different from other religious texts. Specifically, the claim seems to be that further academic study of these fragments will lead to an ability to place the Qur'an into a historical context...

Interestingly, there appears, at least to the author of the article, similarities between the Qur'an and the Bible. Of particular note is that the Qur'an was not in a written form at the time of the Prophet's death and that there are Suras that were not included (kind of like the "missing" gospels - Dan Brown and the Da Vinci Code anyone?).

Unfortunately, further Internet search has only turned up minimal articles and comments on this of note. I will do more reasearch and perhaps post again.

The idea of frank, open, transparent debate on this subject is intriguing. I just do not see how serious academic debate can be had without it being labelled anti-Islam or some kind of Zionist conspiracy to belittle Islam and the Muslim experience. In this regard it is similar to Jewish claims of anything that questions the Jewish experience as being anti-semitic.

Religion and academic study and debate; are they compatible?

I am, albeit slowly and surely, learning more about those things that interest me. Islam is one of those things...The above photo is of some of the Yemeni Fragments and can be found at this link.

Have a good week!


Patung said...

The thing about parts of the Quran coming from, well, Christian sources (not necessarily the Bible), is well-established. There is a passage about Jesus speaking from the cradle, and another about him turning something into birds, I think those are taken from the Gospel of Thomas.

M said...

Muslims do believe that bible comes from the same God, Allah. only we doubt if the present bible is pure, unmodified.

Jesus is our prophet, u know..

The interesting part for me is that in Gnostic Christian, missing gospel has been such a central topic. I haven't read Da Vincy Code, but have followed the discovery of Gospel of Judas (Which talk a bit of gospel of Thomas as well).

Unlike in Gnostic Chriatianity, Gnostic Islam, does not discuss missing part of Quran (not that i know). It's rather different way of interpreting quran.

In that way, i doubt if present quran is incomplete. nonetheless, after Muhammad died, political situation among Islamic leadership was chaotic. People made fake hadist and made false accusation (i heard).

So anything is possible. Nonetheless, like quran told us; the absolute truth does not belong to human. We can only approach it with our best effort.

So even if it's incomplete. so what?

Patung said...

"only we doubt if the present bible is pure, unmodified."

"So even if it's [the Quran] incomplete. so what?"

So sounds like the same thing, neither are perfect, so neither are (directly) from God.

M said...

there is no relationship between coming from God and complete (or not). God delivered the message to the prophet trough the angles (Gabriel/Jibril). The prophet extended them to best friends who then wrote them.

so quran is only message from Allah. while hadist are what Muhammad said and done and retold by the best friends.

so when i say "if it's incomplete", it doesn't mean it's not from God. it perhaps not fully written. Hadist may be politicized, and this is admitted by many Muslims, but all Muslims agree that Quran is still pure and original.

Quran has gone trough a loot of attempts of fallacy, but Muslims always finds the truth. because from when Muhammad still lived, until now, there are always people who knows the exact text of the whole quran. sounds crazy ya? but this is very efficient way to keep its originality. if there are people who knows each and every little words of it by heart, from time to time, spread around the world from many different Islamic sects, how can one make even single fallacy?

in the case of bible, i have shallow knowledge. maybe u can tell me more. i don't quiet understand whether bible are only God's words to Jesus trough Gabriel or mixed with stories about Jesus from the good friends (like gospels).
but the strong tendentious church influence in the medieval era doubt me, personally-that bible is originally words of God. But that is personal choice. And i do respect people who choose to believe in bible rather than quran, or neither.

i hope i don't start a debate. i am not the kind of blogger who like to debate. even if u ends up thinking i'm a saint asshole, i can live with that. but i'm not part of the dark blogger who will argue back just for the sake of arguing.

have a nice day!