Jump to content
  • Blog Statistics

    • Total Blogs
    • Total Entries
  • Latest Blog Entries

  • Latest Blog Comments

    • سلام علیکم بسیار زیبا. ماشاالله
    • Salam alaikum brother! Me and my brother used to be the cyber worriers on the net back then, always talking on the Sunni Shi’a wars (cyber wars lol) 2003 it was i remember. My posts are still there and my brothers   I was 16, at college we were all excited back then when we came to know about shiachat (2003). God! It’s been soo long! Around then I remember shiachat introduced the ‘chat rooms’. As a typical 16 year old i took the benefit of that and used to Annoy everyone haha .. oh god lol (me laughing) and then guess what happened? Shiachat banned me from using my account. It really didnt bother me much back then but now I miss my account and my posts ..and I decided today that I need to make a new account... and here I am! 32 this year! And was 16 when i used it..
    • While lots of the time I agree with what rkazemi says, I have to say I’m not seeing what she sees in terms of your blog post. I don’t see you telling woman to go back to the kitchen or any of those disrespectful slogans. Not even implied.  what I see in your blog posts and responses to others is a very balanced, respectful individual. Many people on here look-up to you as inspiration as to how to be a better Muslim, and for your contributions to this forum, we greatly appreciate it and thank you.  You are definitely not a male chauvinist. 
    • This is an extract of the teachings of Mughira to his followers the Mughiriyya [Taken from Abu Tammam’s Bab al-Shaytan of the Kitab al-Shajara, translated by Wilferd Madelung and Paul E. Walker]:   The tenth sect is the Mughiriyya related to al-Mughira b. Sa’id al-Ijli [sic. al-Bajali]. They make up one group of the anthropomorphists. The object of their worship according to them, is a [divine] man the light on whose head forms a crown and he wears garments. His loincloth is the Qur’an that was revealed to Muhammad, the messenger of God, may God bless him and his family; His robes are the Gospels that were revealed to Jesus, on whom be peace; His shirt is the Torah that was revealed to Moses, on whom be peace; and His pants are the Pslams that were revealed to David, on whom be peace. He possesses limbs and a physical constitution like that of a man and has a belly from which flows wisdom. They claim that the letters of the alphabet agree with the number of His limbs and that each letter in it resembles one of His limbs. The alif  is the position of His foot because of its curvature. The rest of the members they describe in accord with the description of these letters. They insist that al-Mughira said to his followers once when speaking of the letter ha’: if you were to see its place on Him, you would see something awesome. He was hinting at some genitalia of His and that he had seen Him [in a heavenly ascent]. The Mughiriyya claim that these letters are all a part of one name which is the greatest name of God. In addition they insist that al-Mughira was a prophet and he knew that name. With it he used to revive the dead and perform other marvels. They report that once al-Mughira passed through a cemetery with some of his followers and there in that cemetery he revived the dead and fed them fruits in mid-winter. Moreover, he displayed to them a flash of light that ran from the crown of his head to his feet; he toyed thus with his followers and bewitched their eyes with tricks of magic. They also report that al-Mughira spoke about the beginning of creation. He said that God, the glorious and most high, was once alone and nothing was with Him. When He wished to create things, He spoke His own name. His word flew and landed over His head above the crown. Al-Mughira said that this was His statement, “Glorify the name of your Lord most high” (87:1). Then with His finger He wrote on His palm the deeds of humans that are acts of disobedience and obedience and He became angry at the acts of disobedience. His sweat overflowed and two oceans gathered from His sweat, one brackish and dark, the other pure luminous. Then looking into the ocean, He saw His shadow, so He went forth to seize it. He plucked out its two eyes and created out of them two suns and He blotted out some light from the moon. Then, out of the physical forms of His shadow, He created the heavens and the stars. Next, from these two oceans, He created creation in its entirety: from the dark brackish water, He created the shadow of the unbelievers, from the pure luminous water, He created the shadow of the believers. The first among them that God created was Muhammad, may God bless him and his family, in accord with the statement of God, the glorious and the mighty, “Say: if the Most merciful had a son, I would be the first of the worshippers” (43:81). Next he sent Muhammad to the people altogether while they were yet shadows and He commanded him to have them bear witness on their own account of their recognition of the lordship of God, the apostleship of Muhammad, and the guardianship of Ali, on whom be peace, and that he recited His words, “When your Lord took from the tribe of Adam …” (7:172). Then He proposed to the heavens and the earth that they should prevent Ali b. Abi Talib from assuming the caliphate and the imamate, but they refused. Next He proposed it to the mountains but they refused also. Then He proposed it to the people, whereupon Umar went to Abu Bakr – both were at that moment still shadows -  and he ordered him to take upon himself the task of preventing Ali by them both betraying him. Thereafter Abu Bakr did exactly that. All this is in God’s statement, “We did indeed offer the trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains but they refused to undertake it being afraid of it. But man undertook it; he was indeed unjust and foolish” (33:72) Then Umar said to Abu Bakr, “I will support you against Ali, on whom be peace, so that you can pass the caliphate to me after yourself”. That is in God’s statement, “Like Satan when he said to man, ‘disbelieve’ and when he renounced belief, he said, ‘I am free of you’” (59:16). Here the Satan is Umar and the man is Abu Bakr. In their view, the earth will disgorge the dead and they will return to this world. The Mahdi will appear at the end of time, they say, and Gabriel and Michael will aid him between the Ruqn and the Maqam. He will choose nineteen men and give each one of them a letter of the greatest name of God and by means of it they will defeat all armies and dominate the earth. 
    • W. Salam. Indeed they were. However, these words are spoken by a proto-Sunni Hadith narrator called al-A’mash. This indicates that the `Aimma and their true followers were not doing La’n openly and that Mughira betrayed Taqiyya.
  • entries
  • comment
  • views

About this blog

This blog is dedicated to my notes on Islamic Studies, comparative religion, history, philosophy, and linguistics.

Entries in this blog

Ibn Al-Ja'abi

I've intended for this post to be a placeholder until I publish my next entry on the linguistic history of the Arabic language until the early Islamic period. I've adapted it from a post I made elsewhere. It represents an early phase in my research on the religions in pre-Islamic Arabia, it's rather informal but so is the nature of my research right now. InshaAllah it'll be added to, corrected, and fixed as time progresses.

The presence of Christianity in Arabia was already centuries old by the time the Prophet was born. Historical Arabia was identified as a region spanning from the Eastern banks of the Nile to the Euphrates and as far north as the Syrian desert. According the Socrates Scholasticus, the Byzantine ecclesiastical historian, not the Athenian philosopher, a Queen Mavia (ماوية) of the Ishmaelites, who reigned from the late fourth century to the early fifth century, converted to Christianity. She went on to appoint a Bishop named Moses, another "Saracen" (Arab) who led a monastic life and was reputed to preform miracles. Eusebius writes about an Arab Monarchian named Beryllus, Bishop of Bostra. He believed that Christ was a distinct divinity but only possessed the Divine nature of God the Father after the incarnation. Origen of Alexandria converted him back to "orthodoxy" (in the lower-case sense of the word, not upper-case sense referring to the Orthodox Churches).

It seems that by the birth of Prophet Muhammad there was a major presence of various "heretical" Christian groups. A misattributed dictum of St. Theodoret of Cyrrhus states that "Arabia hæresium ferax", "Arabia is the bearer of heresies". Scholars have attempt to identify the groups present in Arabia using antique and mediaeval sources and the Qur'anic description of their doctrines.

Theophilos Indus, an Arian Bishop sent by Emperor Constantius II to Asia via Arabia as a missionary. He is reported to have converted the people of Himyar to Arianism. He was Heteroousian, a follower of the theologian Aetius, who denied that Christ and God the Father were of the same substance. It's possible that Arianism survived in the region.

There was also a presence of Severan Monophysites, followers of Severus of Antioch who believed in the "natural union" of Christ's two natures, concentrated on the Red Sea coast (Hijaz and Yemen). The Julianists, a group closely related to the Docetists, are of particular interest due to their rejection of Christ having died on the cross -- a view also found in the Gnostic Apocalypse of Peter (where Christ is in a tree and laughing at whoever is being crucified). Irfan Shahid states Ashab al-Ukhdud (People of the Ditch) that the Qur'an mentions were Monophysites. Their account is also mentioned in text called "The Book of the Himyarites", a Syriac work which was translated into English by Axel Moberg. Their leader was St. Arethas (Harith) was written about in the 7th century text Acta Sancti Arethæ/Martyrium Sancti Arethæ.

There was also a Nestorian presence in Arabia. The Prophet was aware of this and the Qur'an even employs the Nestorian idea of "Isa b. Maryam" to deny that Christ is the Son of God. The aforementioned Book of the Himyarites also has a passage were Dhu-Nuwas employs Nestorian terms to refer to the Christology of the "majority of Christians" (in his realm).

Though Monophysitism did become dominate after the fall of Dhu-Nuwas, Nesotrianism returned with the conquest of South Arabia by the Sassanids. In the lifetime of the Prophet, Nestorian missionaries from Najran would go to Ukadh to preach, and Prophet Muhammad encountered one who left an impression on him, Quss b. Sa'idah al-Iyyadi. He was possibly a bishop of Najran. Irfan Shahid mentions this as a matter of fact in "Islam and Oriens Christianus". However, he's also argued against this position in his entry on Quss b. Sa'idah in the Brill Encyclopaedia of Islam, saying that it was just a conflation of several facts about him and the Episcopate of Najran.

Shahid believes there also might have been an Ethiopic Christian presence. This is based on what seems to be Ge'ez terms being used by the Qur'an, such as Nasara rather than Masihiyyun, Isa rather than Yasu'. Though in the case of the latter Arthur Jeffery demonstrates how this could have also happened as a result of natural linguistic corruption when the word transferred from Syriac to Arabic.


References and Further reading:

Irfan Shahid's article "ISLAM AND ORIENS CHRISTIANUS: MAKKA 610-622 AD" represents a bulk of the research here, I would highly recommend it. You might also want to check out Irfan Shahid's series on Byzantium and Arabia. Gabriel Said Reynold's The Qur'an in its Historical Context (both parts one and two) might also prove useful. And Darren M. Slade's article "ARABIA HAERESIUM FERAX (ARABIA BEARER OF HERESIES): Schismatic Christianity’s Potential Influence on Muhammad and the Qur’an ".

Ibn Al-Ja'abi

The saying usually goes “like father like son”. However, in the case of Abraham and Ishmael it should be “like son like father”. In the Qur’an, their names are written as ʾIsmāʿīl (إسماعيل) and ʾIbrāhīm (إبراهيم). It seems rather banal to those of us used to reading these names, it is an etymological peculiarity. In the original Hebrew, these names are Yišmaʿel (יִשְׁמָעֵאל‎), meaning “God Heard”, and ʾAbrāhām (אַבְרָהָם), meaning “Father of Nations”. While Yišmaʿel is Arabicized typically from Hebrew, ʾAbrāhām is not. The initial alef is pronounced with a kasrah in the Arabic rather than a fatḥah like in the Hebrew. More notably, the final alef becomes a yāʾ in the Arabic. This has even confused Muslim philologists who have listed such variants of the name as ʾAbrahām, ʾAbrāhum, and ʾAbraham. The philologist and orientalist, Arthur Jeffrey, in his “The Foreign Vocabulary of the Qur’an”, records several theories as to why this might be the case concluding that the best possibility is that ʾIbrāhīm was put onto the same pattern as ʾIsmāʿīl’s name when being Arabicized – something the Qur’an has done with other names.  

Though it seems semantical, it is relevant to understanding the style of the Qur’an. This topic and others like it have to do with the history of Arabic, which, like the history of any language, is important in providing context to linguistic phenomena, and consequently better cementing our understanding of the Qur’anic text. While great efforts are made by Muslims to have mastery over Arabic grammar, there seems to be a gap in our collective understanding of this topic.

Arabic is now a global language spoken by 290 million native speakers found from Morocco to Khuzestan and Central Asia, and it is used as a liturgical language by over a billion people. In the 9th-century BC, though, it was an obscure Semitic language spoken by an equally obscure ethnic group of nomadic herders and mercenaries from the South Syrian desert.

As such, I intend on writing a series of brief blog posts, which will give an overview of the history of the Arabic language. In due course, we shall also examine interesting features of and notable oddities in the language, such as the one I mentioned at the beginning of my introduction. These posts will not necessarily be chronological so that the task of writing is easier. 

Since a language exists only due to people being there to speak it, I will also be writing general points about the history of the Arab people. This will not be comprehensive, rather, it will simply complement our primary discussion on the Arabic language. I hope that by reading this series you will grow to love the subject as much as I do, and by its completion, have deepened your knowledge of the Arabic language and the Qur’an.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.