No God but God/A review(VI)

A continuation
It is a well-known fact that Quran was not gathered and compiled at the time of Muhammad, but rather, during the reign of the third khaleefa Uthman Ibn Afan, which was taken mainly from Hafsa’s copy that was gathered at the second Khaleefa’s time with some edition from other copies that were available at the time. So what makes Aslan think that this copy that we have today is the most authentic one, especially when history tells us about the political haywire of the time? And why did Uthman burn other copies, of which one was Ibn Masud’s, who was the companion of the prophet and the writer of the revelation, and his version was believed to be the most authentic? Even Omar Ibn Alkhatab decreed the penalty of rajm (stoning the adulterers) when he reigned, claiming that the prophet mentioned the aforementioned verse and that he heard it himself. Aslan even admitted that by saying,” chief among those (series of severe penal ordinances aimed primarily at women) was the stoning to death of adulterers, a punishment which has absolutely no foundation whatsoever in the Quran but which Omar justified by claiming it had originally been part of the revelation and had somehow been left out of the authorized text.” This was not Omar’s claim only; many other scripts of tradition also asserted that there are other passages missing. The mere fact that Uthman destroyed different editions of the Quran after having the “standard” edition compiled means that Quran had textual variants. And the missing passages assert that Quran is doctrinally erroneous, and it defies the fact that God would protect it from errors and textual inaccuracies that occur in transmission which the Quranic text itself proclaims a divine protection of its message” Surely We have revealed the Reminder and We will most surely be its guardian”.
That copy which was compiled by Uthman is not even the same copy that we have today. That copy did not have the accent markings of diacritic or glottal stops (Hamza, sukoon), which defines the vowels in Arabic script, nor it had dots that differentiate one letter from another. And it is obvious how adding dots and accent markings could change the letter, the word, the sentence and eventually the meaning. Naskh script from which modern Arabic script style developed did not appear until the 11th century AD, and it gradually replaced the other script as the most popular script for copying the Quran. Now, no matter how one tries to be accurate, one can’t deny the fact that human errors are inevitable when copying is performed over a long period of time, and transmitted through the word of mouth.
And the last point I would like to mention here is the abrogation of the Quran, “whenever We abrogate a verse or cause it to be forgotten, We exchange it with a better or similar one; don’t you know that God can do anything?” (2:106; see also 16:101). Aslan mentioned this fact in his book, yet he failed to see the contradiction of this very verse with other verse(s) in Quran, “this is a Glorious Qur’an, (Inscribed) in a Tablet Preserved!” (alburooj 21, 22).
If Quran was preserved at the time of Adam, then how could one revelation abrogate another? And why wouldn’t the ultimate knowledge come as it was originally preserved and passed through individuals?

But regardless of all that; If one wants to study Islamic history, one has to consider all the documentations in his search, regardless of the authenticity of some. Or simply discard it all. If one is folklore the rest is folklore. But since a lot of efforts were spent on those documents, we can’t just dismiss any part. It’s through those books that one can guess what might have happened on those days and draw the logical analysis.
And here I come to the end of this category in my search that deals with the “impartiality of the author to a religion, cult or sect” and I believe that Aslan failed to gain the two designated points.

To be continued

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. حمودي
    Nov 14, 2007 @ 05:36:25

    شي غريب مادري شلون يقرون الكلام من غير نقط
    خ ح ج
    غ ع
    ف ق
    نـ تـ يـ ثـ
    س ش

    !!!!!!!

    Reply

  2. harmonie22
    Nov 14, 2007 @ 15:18:18

    I’ve read all six posts on this series, all I have to say is- wow. You really get in there surgically and have an amazing mastery of Islamic history. This series has given me explanations to to some of the contradictions I’ve seen in Islam. Thank you for doing this, Ayya.

    Reply

  3. Trackback: No God but God/A review(VII) « The Ultimate

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