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Rebuttal slides 2

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Rebuttal slides 2

  1. 1. DESCRIPTIONS OF MUHAMMAD
  2. 2. Descriptions of Muhammad • In Ibn Sa’d’s Kitab al-Tabaqat, he narrates a tradition where ‘Abd Allah ibn Salam quotes the following as a verse from the Torah: “O Prophet! Lo! We have sent you as a witness and bringer of good tidings and a warner, and as protector of the ummiyun. You are my servant and apostle. I have named you mutawakkil, who is neither harsh nor coarse, and who does not make noise in the markets nor returns evil for evil but who forgives and pardons. I shall not cause him to die until I make the crude creed straight and the people recite ‘There is no god but Allah.’ He will make blind eyes see, deaf ears year, and hard hearts soft.” • Ibn Sa’d, Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kubra (Beirut: Dar Sadir, 1957), 360-361, translated by Gordon Nickel in The Gentle Answer To The Muslim Accusation of Biblical Falsification (Calgary, AB: Bruton Gate, 2015), 62-63.
  3. 3. Descriptions of Muhammad • He also relates a story where a Christian named Sahl finds the following description in a copy of the Gospel: “He will be neither short nor tall stature. He will be of white complexion with two locks. Between his two shoulders there is a seal. He will often sit with his legs folded. He will not accept sadaqa. He will ride the donkey and the camel. He will milk the she goat and put on a patched shirt, and he who does that is free from pride and he will do that. He will be a descendant of Isma’il, and his name will be Aḥmad.” • Ibn Sa’d, Kitab al-Tabaqat , 363, translated in Nickel, The Gentle Answer, 63-64.
  4. 4. ON SURAH 2:79
  5. 5. Surat al-Baqarah, 2:79 • “Woe to those who write the book with their own hands, then say, ‘This is from Allah,’ in order to sell it for a small price. Woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for what they earn.”
  6. 6. Surat al-Baqarah, 2:75 • “Do you hope that they would believe for you while a party of them used to hear the words of Allah and then distort the Torah after they had understood it while they were knowing?”
  7. 7. Surat Āl Imrān, 3:113 • “They are not the same; among the People of the Scripture is a community standing, reciting the verses of Allah during periods of the night and prostrating.”
  8. 8. Surat al-Baqarah, 2:78 • “And among them are unlettered ones who do not know the Scripture except in wishful thinking, but they are only assuming.”
  9. 9. What is the Book? • What is “the book” being talked about in Q 2:79? It is never identified • The Jews don’t just hold to the Bible as God’s Word; they also have the oral Torah, as encoded in the Mishnah and Talmud • Q 2:79 could just as easily be referring to these books rather than the Bible
  10. 10. Conflicting Occasions of Revelation • Muslim commentators cannot agree on what the occasion of revelation ( ‫سبب‬‫النزول‬ ) for Q 2:75-79. • Muqatil b. Sulayman (8th century) holds that its occasion of revelation was during Moses’ day, and the corruption was only of meaning • Al-Tabari (9th century) relates two different traditions, one from Moses’ day and one from Muhammad’s; both are corruptions of meaning only • Al-Wahidi (10th century) relates that a group of Arabian Jews removing Muhammad’s description as a reaction against him during his day—an isolated case of textual corruption. • Ibn Kathir (14th century) relates a tradition of general corruption occurring to the scriptures of the Jews and Christians en toto
  11. 11. Conclusion • Q 2:79 is not a clear verse ( ‫اية‬‫مبين‬ ), but an unclear verse ( ‫اية‬‫متشبهة‬ ) • We don’t know its occasion of revelation, as there are too many conflicting reports • Even if it did refer to an instance of textual corruption, the context indicates that it is an isolated incident
  12. 12. Tearing the Book to Shreds • Surat al-Hijr, 15:90-91: “As we sent down on the dividers, who have made the Qur'an into shreds...”
  13. 13. ON THE CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN PSEUDO-LEO AND PSEUD-UMAR
  14. 14. Dating the Correspondence • “Thorough examinations of the manuscript concerning its contents, style and the way it was recorded, show that it originates from the 10th century, most likely from the times of caliph Mutawakkil (847-861) or a little bit later. On the other hand, the reply of Leo III mentioned the disciples of al-Gahiz († 869). Therefore, according to A. Jeffery that text was written not earlier than the second half of the 9th century or in the first half of the 10th century.” • Krzysztof Koscielniak, “Dispute about Christ: Christological aspects of the Christian-Islamic polemics from the early ages of Islam based on the correspondence ascribed to Caliph Umar II († 720) and Byzantine emperor Leo III († 741).” pg. 82.

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