Beschaving is een deugd, bescheidenheid ook…

Audrey Hepburn

Alvast even wat materiaal doorsturen om vrank en vrij uw mening te vormen. De eerste onderstaande video stamt uit de serie wekelijks door Arte uitgezonden, al vele jaren lang. Het tweede programma viel ook dankzij die zender te zien. U zult merken dat er parallellen zijn tussen het eeuwenoude antisemitisme, jodenhaat en moslimhaat uit oer christelijke bron.

In het laatste nummer van de New Left Review staat een uitermate boeiend interview over het ontstaan van de koran. Uit dit artikel het begin…

When is it likely that the Qur’an was composed, and how many strata of composition does it consist of?

The tradition is that the Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad over a period of twenty-two years, between 610 and 632. Muslims believe that Muhammad was not literate, and so he could not himself have produced the Qur’an. He memorized it, and a few of his followers memorized some parts of it or wrote them down.

So when he died in 632 there was no codex as such. Different disciples had variants written down, creating a need around 650 to produce a canonical version, because ‘Uthman—the Caliph at the time—feared these differences might cause splits among Muslims. So he put together a committee to produce a standard text for the faithful. That’s the traditional account of the origin of the written text, which was in circulation by the middle of the seventh century ce. We have scarcely any documentary evidence from the seventh century itself, only oral traditions whose authenticity is hard to verify, with many conflicting narratives, which makes the task of the scholar very difficult. A very few exceptions exist, such as the inscription inside the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem (built in 692) which documents a few verses from the Qur’an (e.g. 4.171–172).

As a historian, when you start examining the Qur’an, you realize that this is a very difficult text. It is not like the Hebrew Bible, and can’t be compared to the Gospels. It doesn’t tell us the story of a person or a people. The Hebrew Bible is the story of the Israelites; the Gospels record the story of Jesus’s ministry. The Qur’an is not a story of the Arabs or of Muhammad’s ministry. Its unique character as a narrative poses particular problems for the historian. If you only read the Qur’an, you would not know much about Mecca, Muhammad, and Arabia. Muslims have always read the Qur’an by using the books on the Life of Muhammad to help explain what the Qur’an intends. There is nothing like it, which actually is something that the Qur’an acknowledges. Aside from some verses that address legal matters, the Qur’an has a tendency to be brief and alludes to stories, events and issues with the assumption that its direct audience already knows them.



Islam / Spanje

Foto: Audrey Hepburn

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