The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Shahâdat al-zûr

I'm re-reading some of those Warrâqî-published essays. Here, I'm looking into Raimund Koebert's stuff. His work on qawl al-zûri, controversially translated "the false witness", takes up What the Koran Really Says 4.6-9; pp. 296-315.

In the Qur'an, Q. 22:26-29 deals with Abraham's call to the House and to the regulations Divinely established therein. Q. 22:30 ends, "avoid words that are zûr". It was Koebert's notion that such qawl referred, not to that Old Testament Commandment, but to the talbiya... and to various forms of anti-talbiya.

So talbiya: that would be a masdar genus of l-b-y, the "Arabic infinitive"; taf`îl species. Ideally the Hajjî at the House is supposed to say "labbayka labbayka". According to the Hadith, there were once several versions of the labbayka prayer. Some of these were not Islamic enough. One of them is even Christian.

Thus far, Koebert, "Die Shahâdat az-zûr" tr. GA Wells in Ibn Warraq, 301-2.

What has just occurred to me is that the "Zubayrist" stories in Ibn Ishaq's output also mention labbayka in the context of the two Meccan Prophets' call to the House, and that these stories cite Q. 22:27 (Abraham) and 26 (Muhammad). Apparently that's yet another addendum for that book I wrote BUT ANYWAY.

The talbiya, and the controversy around it, appears to be very early. As in, 60s / 680s, and this in its Meccan stage - likely, itself, secondary. Contra Koebert, I don't happen to believe that Ibn Abbas made any exegesis upon sura 22 - I follow Reuven Firestone here - but the great mufassir may have dealt with the talbiya alone, in a non-Meccan context.

posted by Zimri on 15:22 | link | 0 comments

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