Hagarism

Discussion about the Quran, hadith, the history of Islam, etc.
Clive
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Re: Hagarism

Post by Clive » Thu Aug 21, 2014 12:59 pm

And on Northern and Southern Arabs, I thought we were talking about an entirely different area - Damascus, Jerusalem down to the Dead Sea.
"We cannot slaughter each other out of the human impasse"

ghost
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Re: Hagarism

Post by ghost » Thu Aug 21, 2014 1:37 pm

Clive wrote:And on Northern and Southern Arabs, I thought we were talking about an entirely different area - Damascus, Jerusalem down to the Dead Sea.
There were Arabs in that area, so I fail to see a contradiction. I mean, what concrete examples of literature do you have in mind?

Clive
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Re: Hagarism

Post by Clive » Fri Aug 22, 2014 12:24 pm

The Death of a Prophet
The End of Muhammad's Life and the Beginnings of Islam
Stephen J. Shoemaker
416 pages | 6 x 9
Cloth 2011 | ISBN 978-0-8122-4356-7 | $75.00s | £49.00 | Add to cart
Ebook 2011 | ISBN 978-0-8122-0513-8 | $75s | £49.00 | About | Add to cart
A volume in the Divinations: Rereading Late Ancient Religion series
View table of contents and excerpt

"A work of utmost importance, and one that has profound implications for our understanding of how Islam began."—Fred Donner, University of Chicago

The oldest Islamic biography of Muhammad, written in the mid-eighth century, relates that the prophet died at Medina in 632, while earlier and more numerous Jewish, Christian, Samaritan, and even Islamic sources indicate that Muhammad survived to lead the conquest of Palestine, beginning in 634-35. Although this discrepancy has been known for several decades, Stephen J. Shoemaker here writes the first systematic study of the various traditions.

Using methods and perspectives borrowed from biblical studies, Shoemaker concludes that these reports of Muhammad's leadership during the Palestinian invasion likely preserve an early Islamic tradition that was later revised to meet the needs of a changing Islamic self-identity. Muhammad and his followers appear to have expected the world to end in the immediate future, perhaps even in their own lifetimes, Shoemaker contends. When the eschatological Hour failed to arrive on schedule and continued to be deferred to an ever more distant point, the meaning of Muhammad's message and the faith that he established needed to be fundamentally rethought by his early followers.

The larger purpose of The Death of a Prophet exceeds the mere possibility of adjusting the date of Muhammad's death by a few years; far more important to Shoemaker are questions about the manner in which Islamic origins should be studied. The difference in the early sources affords an important opening through which to explore the nature of primitive Islam more broadly. Arguing for greater methodological unity between the study of Christian and Islamic origins, Shoemaker emphasizes the potential value of non-Islamic sources for reconstructing the history of formative Islam.

Stephen J. Shoemaker is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Oregon and author of Ancient Traditions of the Virgin Mary's Dormition and Assumption.
http://www.upenn.edu/pennpress/book/14933.html
"We cannot slaughter each other out of the human impasse"


Clive
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Joined: Sun Aug 17, 2014 2:20 pm

Re: Hagarism

Post by Clive » Mon Aug 25, 2014 6:24 am

Although the majority of the relevant sources are of Christian origin, collectively they reflect the religious diversity of the early medieval Near East, including witnesses from each of the major Christian communities as well as a Jewish, a Samaritan, and even an Islamic witness to this discordant tradition.

This confessional diversity is particularly significant, insofar as it demonstrates the relative independence of these accounts and the diffusion of this information across both geographic distance and sectarian boundaries. Indeed, the multiple independent attestation of this tradition in a variety of different sources demands that we take seriously the possibility that these eleven sources bear witness to a very early tradition about Muhammad.
Shoemaker
"We cannot slaughter each other out of the human impasse"

ghost
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Re: Hagarism

Post by ghost » Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:26 am

Precisely: that's no evidence Mohammed existed. It's just evidence that Shoemaker suffers from parallelomania, trying to find traces of evidence that Mohammed existed where there really aren't. This is typical of Islamic-studies scholars: they read Mohammed into whatever they come across in order to accommodate the conventional but unwarranted idea that Mohammed existed. Shoemaker presents nothing new. He just uses verbosity to pretend there's something new there. Frankly, I fail to see any reason for me to trust Shoemaker on this.

Clive
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Joined: Sun Aug 17, 2014 2:20 pm

Re: Hagarism

Post by Clive » Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:50 am

I go with Tom Holland here - there was a war lord from the Jerusalem Damascus area with end of the world and messianic ideas who did lead "Arab" armies - but not from Arabia, who may or may not have been called Mohammed - was it a name then? He was probably some form of xian, or an interesting amalgam of what was around then.

I don't think we can go mythical on this as we can with Jesus, unless you can give me a reason why the armies were successful - it looks to me as if they did believe something and were fighting for it.
"We cannot slaughter each other out of the human impasse"

Clive
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Joined: Sun Aug 17, 2014 2:20 pm

Re: Hagarism

Post by Clive » Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:54 am

Kalisch is correct - the koranic Mohammed from Mecca and Medina is fiction and never existed.

But someone did push start this religion and its empires form the Levant area - not Arabia.
"We cannot slaughter each other out of the human impasse"

ghost
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Re: Hagarism

Post by ghost » Mon Aug 25, 2014 9:56 am

I agree with you that proto-Islam started in the Levant, or Greater Syria at least, and I also agree with you there must have been founders or developers of this religion.

Regarding the word "Mohammed" as a proper name, as far as I understand there was no such, at least not for a prophet. It was more like a predicate or attribute. I remember there was another article in German about this:

http://www.2013.inarah.de/index.php?id=128

Now if the founder of the Arab empire and Arab national religion wasn't a Mohammed, then who was he? The first historically attested ruler of the Arab empire is Maavia, who is known in the Abbassid legends as Muawiya. There is an inscription from Gadara that testifies Maavia's existence:

http://www.islamfacts.info/Islamfacts/A ... adaraO.jpg
http://www.islamfacts.info/Islamfacts/A ... skript.jpg

As far as I understand the Arab-empire rulers before Maavia, which means Mohammed and the rashidun (righteous ones), are not attested. So I guess that makes Maavia the prime candidate for both founder of the Arab empire and founder of the corresponding Arab national religion.

Another ruler who is attested is al-Malik. He is the one who had the Dome of the Rock built. Apparently it's Malik who awaited Jesus's second coming. There is an inscription inside the Dome of the Rock who some of the Inarah Institute members say talks about Jesus son of Mary as to be praised ("mohammed"). There are photos of this inscription on the bottom half of this page:

http://www.islamfacts.info/Islamfacts/Archaologie.html

So al-Malik also must have played a significant role in the development of the Arab national religion.

As to the assumed Ummayad conquest, as far as I know that's also just an assumption. The Arabs in the region were vassals of the Byzantines, and when the Byzantines receeded from the region, the Arabs just filled the power vacuum. No conquest needed. They just took over.

Clive
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Joined: Sun Aug 17, 2014 2:20 pm

Re: Hagarism

Post by Clive » Mon Aug 25, 2014 10:28 am

and when the Byzantines receeded from the region, the Arabs just filled the power vacuum. No conquest needed. They just took over.
When why? I agree they were hit very hard by various plagues, but that was normal and they recovered quickly. Are you arguing for an Eastern Dark Ages? Climate? Volcanoes?

Are you arguing it was similar to the withdrawal of the Western Roman Empire? There was no conquest of North Africa for example because no one was defending it?
"We cannot slaughter each other out of the human impasse"

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