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In the Name of God بسم الله

Ibn Al-Ja'abi

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Ibn Al-Ja'abi last won the day on February 3 2019

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  1. Salams I am making this post on behalf of a dear friend of mine, I do not have any more information on this topic than stated here but you can discuss this project further with him if you are interested. Is anyone from the London, Birmingham, or Manchester areas, or from other towns nearby in England who has good video editing or camera skills interested in working (pro bono, this project is made up of volunteers) to create English language content for YouTube focusing on the Palestinian cause and Muslim solidarity politics in general? If these topics are personally of great significance to you, you have the requisite skills, and are interested in creating and curating content on these important political issues, please send me a PM to discuss further. Best regards, Ibn Al-Ja'abi
  2. Hey, I read Biblical (and some Rabbinic and Epigraphic) Hebrew among other classical Semitic and on the whole am rather sceptical of takes like the one in the OP. Was just wondering what about the Hebrew indicates this to you, because this isn't the reading that scholars in the field of Biblical and Old Testament Studies see?
  3. Since I had read it when I was 7 until I was finished highschool at 17 -- this is after I'd been on this site for a couple of years as well, funny enough, so my oldest posts are from a time I didn't think about this again -- I really believed that a pair of twins, named Romulus and Remus, raised by a wolf (this part in particular is what I think was just way too dumb for a 17 year old not to think about twice) founded Rome. I only realized that's probably not the case when at 17 I thought about it again and said to myself "no, wait, that's ridiculous it never happened". I should say it obviously wasn't an active belief but it's just funny I never shook the notion off until that late.
  4. Salams, A friend and I were looking for a third to read through Zaydi primary texts with us. The types of texts which will be covered are theological, legal, historical, etc. This reading circle is not for polemical purposes but for understanding Zaydism through Zaydi texts, you should want to ask yourself why did some ancient Shias choose to associate themselves with the Zaydiyya, how their Imamate works, and the intellectual tradition of this school. You should be someone open-minded and willing to learn about this legal and theological school, and of course take notes and discuss. All those interested are kindly asked to state their interest so we can pick someone for this circle. Thank and and wassalam
  5. Well, first, if this was someone other than an Imam I might agree that the standards we are expecting are too high. But this is an Imam (at least as they say). Their conception of Imamah is also willing to drink the Kool-Aid and commit itself to what can be described as a "high Imamology" while this may still be reasonable seen as a debatable issue among the Shias. Photos like that are pretty damning, it's not an instance of Muhammad al-Baqir wearing fine textiles externally but keeping a woolen shirt underneath but we see that his private life is what we'd expect from any other obscenely rich man, not (as they would say) the same soul as the Prophet and Imam Ali (referring to concepts found in the speeches of the third Agha Khan and discussed by Nizari-Agha Khani catechesists like on Ismaili Gnosis). We're getting something on par with Leonardo DiCaprio, not Ali ibn Abi Talib (عليه السلام). The Agha Khan is an obscenely rich man, I imagine in no small part due to the fact that khums money isn't skimmed off of and there aren't institutions like the hawza which are supported by it (which end up becoming, in places like Iraq or Iran, the only opportunity for some people to recieve any education -- this isn't a good thing). I myself can say I've at least benefited in some capacity from his institutions. I've been to his museum before, which has free entry (although I must saw it is thoroughly unremarkable, but then there are no great museums in all of Canada). I've also benefited from books published by his Ismailis Studies Institution. But if, as an obscenely rich man, he has charitable foundations established (like the ones you quoted, or other institutions, like the ones I mentioned), I don't see it as out of character. The aforementioned Leonardo DiCaprio has done a lot to raise awareness of climate change. Middle Eastern monarchs have endowed chairs of Islamic studies at universities. The Zionists in my city have an annual grant of five-hundred dollars given to a student at my university who excels in Jewish studies courses. None of the above is absolved for anything because they act philanthropically as we might except people obscenely rich to. That being said, you've struck a cord of truth, who do we look at otherwise to do these things? If it were truly an instance of, as Sa'adi had mentioned in his Gulistan, of us not meant to judge the dervish out of cynicism perhaps you might be justified in your objection (forgetting that his father was a playboy and that's the reason he wasn't the fourth Agha Khan, and that this Agha Khan claims a title we believe rightly belongs to another) but I don't think Sa'adi imagined his dervish would do all of that which our obscenely rich brown guy has been photographed doing. Go figure. As a side note, of all the branches of Muslims, while I find people like Khalil Andani (behind Ismaili Gnosis) really interesting to read, Agha Khanism has to really be the biggest joke. In the 11th century al-Mu'ayyid fi 'l-Din-e Shirazi had written about how the twelver branch of tashayyu' could never be the divinely guided one, seeing as it has an Imam Gha'ib and an Imam Dhahir is necessary for preserving the shari'ah. A century later their Imam declared a qiyama batini and the supersession of shari'ah and now they beg their followers not to drink wine as a matter of istihbab while the huge number of religious of the twelvers are still observing shari'ah and not needing to beg anyone something like that. God surely has a sense of humor.
  6. It is necessary to remember the relationship between tribal people who largely depended on raiding and settled people who would be the victims of raiding in pre-modern times. I'd written briefly about this and the hadiths on the Kurds a couple of years ago: Additionally, what is the Arabic of the hadith you cited? Curious to see what the word for disability was? The translations don't seem to be particularly well done.
  7. I haven't given much thought to angelology, it's not something which interests me at all. What I had written last year was more historical research into the Bible than talking about my own personal beliefs. I don't think angels can mate with humans, this was a story from a period in Israelite history when the Jewish religion was much less sophisticated than its second temple, rabbinic, medieval, or modern forms. The philological research was what appealed to me.
  8. I'm not sure, I've never checked. It's likely, especially in light of Islamic angelology and how these qisas al-anbiya accounts tend to be, that if on the off chance something like this does exist, it's likely just among the isra'iliyat. That being said, I've never checked myself.
  9. The the statement that dots originated during the time of Imam Ali or even later for the first time, and until then the Arabic script was completely undotted, seems to be more myth than history. We can find dotted letters in texts prior to the caliphate of Imam Ali. Consider, for example, this Greek-Arabic papyrus from the reign of Umar b. al-Khattab which clearly has dots over a number of letters: https://www.islamic-awareness.org/history/islam/papyri/perf558 You may additionally see it here from the same period: https://www.islamic-awareness.org/history/islam/papyri/pberol And here from the reign of Uthman: https://www.islamic-awareness.org/history/islam/papyri/perinv94.html You may wish to consult specialized works on Arabic paleography but these are often a bit too esoteric and/or behind paywalls -- though I will recommend Ahmad Al-Jallad and Marijn van Putten whose work is largely on academia.edu to read for free, these are two leading paleographers and epigraphists. However, I will recommend this paper, which is available to read on the same open access website as before, by the eminent philologist, Alan Jones, whose books are indispensable for the student of Classical Arabic: https://www.islamic-awareness.org/history/islam/papyri/jones Dotting may be further observed in a number of the earliest Quranic manuscripts, such as the Sanaa palimpsest, the Birmingham manuscript, and Codex B. L. Or. 2165 among many others. It may also be seen in inscriptions, though only the Yazid-w Malik inscription comes to mind which is likely from the reign of Yazid b. Mu'awiya so after the period we're interested in (the beginning of Imam Ali's reign). I looked at the manuscripts available on corpuscoranicum's manuscript browser and I did find some from the early Kufic ones that dotted the word wadhribuhunna in specific, but that period of manuscripts is too late for what I was looking for. Nevertheless, this is the way everyone has read this word, not as the above suggestion seems to indicate. In Mu'jam al-Qira'at al-Qur'aniyya there were no variant readings recorded for this word, all the Qurraa and various people with their own huruf seem to have read this as wadhriubuhunna. Additionally, saraba doesn't seem to be a Quranic word. I checked a Quranic concordance (al-Mu'jam al-Mufhars li-Kalimat al-Quran al-Karim) and The Dictionary of Quranic Usage and didn't find this word listed, and based off the entry in Lane's Lexicon this seems to be a rather rare word whose meaning is more in the sense of physically severing something rather than physically separating from something. The Imams, or at least ahadith attributed to them, also explained the verse with the reading of the verb as dharaba, as opposed to saraba, in the ahadith offering tafsir which also stands against this reading. For those reasons I remain rather unconvinced that it might be read as واصربوهن instead of واضربوهن. Reading dharaba as "to separate" here also seems to be problematic grammatically since the meaning of to separate or travel arises with the aid of a preposition (harf al-jarr), there is no preposition in this verse. Rather you have a pronomial suffix as a direct object of this imperative verb, the clearest reading is "to strike" or "hit". While it is admittedly is a reading which poses a problem for many people today, I think it's most productive to conclude based on the grammar, paleography and manuscripts, and data available in the Qira'at and early Tafasir that it is meant to be read as dharaba and that likely means to hit or strike, and then work on our understanding of it from there.
  10. Islam, and subsequently its active participle, Muslim, acquired a distinct meaning of "surrender" in Arabic. In other Central Semitic languages -- Hebrew and Aramaic -- the verb has more the meaning to hand something over or to complete. In Hebrew, there is no "if'aal" verb stem, rather the hiph'iil stem, in which you have של''ם appear as השלים (to complete, preform, make an end of), in Aramaic you have in some varieties a he-prefix (haphel) and in other varieties an aleph-prefix (aphel). So we find in Syriac, for example, ܐܫܠܡ meaning to deliver or hand over. So while these words do have cognates, the usage and meaning isn't the same between them (that isn't to say they have the original meaning or Arabic does, since we can't look at their ancestor to find out how it would've used the ancestor word seeing as the ancestor of these languages didn't have any records). Kafir being the active participle of kafara does have cognates in Hebrew and Aramaic, Hebrew in the Piel stem (cognate to the Arabic bab taf'iil and Aramaic pael stem) had kipper meaning to cover and of course the word Kippuur (as in Yom Kippur) is cognate with Arabic كفارة (kaffara), at least in usage as they mean the same thing. In Aramaic kfar means to deny which also has a similar conceptual meaning to the theological usage of the word in Arabic. And as for shahada, in both Hebrew and in Aramaic cognates exist, שהד (śāhēδ) and שהד or ܐܣܗܕ respectively. Though for Hebrew, I've observed the word עד is more common. And the reason for the differences between shalom and salam have to do with sound changes, in Arabic the pronunciation of sibilants (the sounds s, sh, and ś fall into) shifted around as the proto-Semitic ś was lost (yes, Arabic did lose sounds and change the pronunciation of others, e.g. s might've been more of an affricate than a sibilant, so a /ts/). So /sh/ shifted to a /s/ in Arabic, while in Hebrew and other Canaanite languages there was a shift in long /a/ to a long /o/, so the active participle shifted for example from pā'il to pō'ēl. In certain environments as well short vowels elongated as well based on stress, taking us from earlier *šalām to šālōm. There's been an excellent PhD thesis written about the development of Biblical Hebrew vowels by Benjamin Suchard, now at Leiden University, I've really breezed over complex sound changes for the sake of simplicity so if you want a full treatment of this subject, refer to him and refer to Ahmad Al Jallad (formerly at Leiden University and now I believe at Ohio) for the development of Old Arabic, also to Marijn van Putten -- the latter of which I've been in contact with for a couple of years now. I had to express disappointment that whenever we Muslims engage with other classical languages this is the sort of level of discussion. I'm going to ignore mistakes he made when talking about sound mergers and just address his main argument. Biblical Hebrew managed to preserve a distinction that Arabic lost altogether by the time of the Quran, the phoneme /ś/ (Welsh double L), but it doesn't mean that for preserving it, at least in writing, that there was somehow an edge that makes it objectively better in a way than Arabic. And the ambiguities between ḥārash to till and ḥārash to be silent are still preserved in context, which is the arbitrator in any such instance and works to obviously disambiguate the various meanings Arabic words can have as well. It doesn't really speak to the quality of the language let alone whether they are capable of carrying a "linguistic miracle". And I think this is another instance showing what makes demonstrating this a silly task, we need to count how many ways Arabic is a superior language, a concept no linguist would endorse, to show how it was capable of transmitting a linguistic miracle, and we demonstrate that by counting how many rhetorical devices are in a passage. It really lacks the sort of objectively miraculous quality that one would expect.
  11. Salams, Excellent recommendations. You really cannot get better than Seeing Islam as Others Saw It, I was going to recommend it myself -- in his book In God's Path, Hoyland applies the methodologies he discusses in Seeing Islam to construct a narrative of the early Islamic conquests, OP might also wish to read this book (though it deals with the conquests). The testimony of pseudo-Sebeos also answers the question of the OP since it demonstrates that there was a religion this Muhammad came with. OP might also be interested in The Seventh Century in Western-Syriac Chronicles by Andrew Palmer and When Christians First Met Muslims by Michael Penn. Also of interest is recent publication by Sean Anthony, Muhammad and the Empires of Faith. While they are great books to own, academic publications are sold for eye-watering prices. I recommend downloading the above books from library genesis for the moment at least. All of them should be up except for Anthony's book (which I imagine will take some time).
  12. Unfortunately most of the languages I study and work with are not spoken by people anymore. Aside from the three I checked above the other are Latin, Greek, Biblical and Rabbinic Hebrew, Syriac, and Aramaic, having begun the basics of Classical Ethiopic recently.
  13. An interesting article relevant to this thread: Viruses and Certain Religious Beliefs: What is Deadlier? It was almost impossible to predict how the events of the coronavirus pandemic would unfold. To many, what began as propaganda or scaremongering soon morphed into a living nightmare - some eventually even losing their lives to it. A virus that ravaged China, eventually set its sights on Iran, and in the space of a few weeks, it would terrorize the entire country. At the time of writing, three cities, Qom, Gilan and Mazandaran were placed on ‘red alert’, an ominous sign of the deterioration within, and a portent warning of the dangers awaiting everyone in the future (as Iranian health ministers and experts have repeatedly alluded to themselves if people do not abide by their advisory announcements). Every day, we wake up to the news that a famous politician or a government official or a big scholar has passed away or has contracted the virus. Alongside these notable personalities, are the unsung heroes, who a fortnight ago, could have never pictured what the future would hold. A number of doctors, nurses and medical staff have also succumbed to the virus; the virus evidently not selective with his victims. One can only pray that things change for the better sooner rather than later. Amidst all the chaos, a fervent debate has been sparked. What happens when the religious beliefs of some conflict with established medical teachings and what health experts of the country are advising since day one? Further, what happens when these very beliefs have the potential to expose others to grave danger? My teacher Shaykh Haider Hobbollah – who has been sending us audio recordings of both Fiqh and Uṣūl lessons since the outbreak of the virus in Qom – today (lesson #105, March 7th, 2020) dedicated the Uṣūl lesson on the on-going situation, briefly shedding light on the aforementioned dilemma. Continue Reading: https://www.iqraonline.net/viruses-and-certain-religious-beliefs-what-is-deadlier
  14. Dhu -- possessor of (masc. sing.) (a)l-Fiqaar -- the vertebrae (masc. pl. -- sing. fiqrah) This style of writing is pretentious and rather annoying. You need to present things and learn to discuss with people more maturely.
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