||"dawnbreak in the west"|
Sunday, October 20, 2013
I think that the Qur'an is post-Muhammadan. Over the past ten-plus years, I have often been saying that the suras postdate Muhammad, but I daresay that being "post-Muhammadan" implies something more. I mean, Saint Francis of Assisi postdates Muhammad. He was hardly a Muslim.
After the Arab Prophet sent out his men into the Fertile Crescent, his men ended up ruling the region with no-one able to stop them. Yazdegird fled to the east and, later, Constans II took sail to Syracuse. Suddenly it wasn't so crazy to live under a Prophetic dispensation. And there were those like al-Khirrit who claimed, themselves, to be prophets.
No-one today agrees with al-Khirrit that he was a prophet. And if al-Khirrit ever released an Arab-poetical oracle, such is lost to us. But his failure might not have discouraged all the Arab rebels. . .
So what we see with suras like sura 26 (to pick on one) is a production of qurra'. These were "reciters" of the Divine oracles. They did not necessarily claim to be on par with Muhammad; they also did not necessarily claim that they were Muhammad (via "discovering" a revelation not yet collected). And unlike al-Khirrit they held themselves to be strictly orthodox within a Qur'anic tradition.
What the qurra' did claim to be, were warners and reminders. This is why the suras so often cite and quote... other suras. By reminding the people of past prophets they were also reminding them of Muhammad. Above all they were reminding people of their duty to God.
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