The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Upload #109 - setting boundaries

'Tis now time to disclose my thoughts on sura 6. This is another rummage through ye olde back-catalog ... a VERY long time in coming (perhaps a decade). For this, I had identified two chains of argument whose links had to be forged before I could harness them.

The first chain deals with the status of the Qur'an and of its suras as part of the Abrahamic Book. It is probably familiar to you; said chain has been hammered out in several of the ongoing "Upload" posts. The two links here are those essays about Uthman's mushaf: the sequence of 17 > 6 > 4 ("Muhkam of the Furqan Wasiya"), and Uthman's role in collecting suras like especially 17 ("Martyr for the Book"). Also in 2008 I'd whipped up a few words about the disputes over whether sura 6 should be split between vv. 91 and 92; this went into "The Scriptures of the Women", really as a placeholder for this project. And the recent "Parodies" had an "appendix" on Uthman's belief in Q. 6:1-91's Abraham, and on how he used it.

Meanwhile I'd pulled "Muhkam" off my site. It stayed off for two and a half years. So, that was annoying.

My other chain of argument is shorter. This deals with sura 6's catalog of outsiders. These included Peoples of the Book, but not exclusively. Some of these OTHER peoples had attributes that looked Hindu to me, or at least (H)indo-Aryan. So, when did the Arabs first meet the guys in question? Qutayba bin Said, sure; but that's much later than this sura.

Again, here I didn't have enough information. I'd tried to figure out the borderlands periodically since 2011: "Ghazwat", "Embargo Against The Turks" and "Return of the Shah". But I could apply these results only to the 720s AD. The information I needed for the 650s, I've just learnt, had been published in the meantime: Kevin van Bladel, "The Bactrian Background of the Barmakids", ed. Anna Akasoy, Charles Burnett, Ronit Yoeli­Tlalim, Islam and Tibet - Interactions along the Musk Routes (Ashgate, 2011), 3.43-88. Also I didn't want to post a standalone project that didn't affect any other projects here.

Here are the new projects, then. First: "The Turkish-Islamic Frontier", which deals with the Aryan para-Hindus between the Arabs and the Turks. Second, the big one: "The Addition of the Book", pinpointing sura 6 to the earliest 30s / 650s. Third: the extranea are now purged from "Parodies" and "Women". I'd also picked up some other minor fixes here and there.


posted by Zimri on 16:41 | link | 0 comments

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