The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Upload #90: destroying the icons

Al-Farazdaq was a (belated) help to House of War. He has not been so helpful to certain other projects up here. But I should learn to be grateful for that.

I had first posted "The Iconoclast" slightly over four years ago. It was my pride and joy; the project had nailed sura 21 to AD 721, maybe even to a specific season.

See, it was my notion that the caliph at the time, Yazid II, was a fan of sura 21; which sura he used to support his iconoclastic programme. God's Caliph notes (in passing) an ode by Jarir b `Atiya for this caliph, that cites the sura in question - this much shouldn't be controversial. I've also found sura 21 quotes in suras 23, 29, and 44; and I think that these three suras are all pretty late - this much might be considered controversial; or would be, if more people read my stuff. But anyway: my point is, the sura was famous in the Near East by 720ish AD, and likely infamous to Christians.

But I'd also thought that sura 21 was never cited before Yazid II. To support this (in February or April or May of 2011, I don't recall exactly) I brought forth The Correspondence Between Leo and `Umar: which attacked iconolatry and by way of several Qur'an quotes. These quotes did not include anything in sura 21.

Well, as Emily Litella would say...

Now that I've got (bits of) al-Farazdaq translated here, I now know that the poet delivered a paean citing sura 21 at the court of al-Walid, praising the demolition of the Damascus Cathedral. So - we're talking less like 721, more like 706. I'd already known from God's Caliph that a technical term also in that sura (fhm) was cited in a poem for al-Walid, somewhere; but I didn't have the context then, and I refused to believe that fhm was anything more than a throwaway.

And, just this afternoon, I ran across al-Nu`aymi's anecdote about al-Walid's act here. Which anecdote also cited Farazdaq. And the same verse of the same sura. Seems I've been checkmated.

So, I have rewritten "Iconoclast"; and whilst I was at it I have inlined al-Nu`aymi's material into "Treaty of Khâlid". I also noted that where "Iconoclast" relates sura 21 with sura 38 (except where both relate to sura 34), it's weak; so I've trimmed that out, until I can figure out 'oo cited 'oo. "Against Jihad" has taken on some (unrelated) tweaks in the meantime, so that may as well get a repost too.


UPDATE 4/23/2014: Found Nu`aymi's original text - also, Ibn `Asakir's. Brought this into "Iconoclast" and "Treaty".

posted by Zimri on 21:23 | link | 0 comments

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