The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Monday, April 11, 2016

Upload #128 - breaking rank

I've been looking at sura 9 a few times lately. Last weekend I looked at its parallels to sura 61. I'd already done some of that in "In Ranks".


Some background: the Q. 9:32-33 / 61:8-9 parallels, and their own parallels with the coinage, are famous. That meant that I found out about them very early in my research - as in, 2003; as in, before I'd even taken an Arabic class (which was Modern Standard at that). So, at the time, I relied on translations. Those translations floated a plus for sura 9 "but God will not have it so". In that form, the phrase looks like a pious intrusion (like "subhâna'llâhi!"). So I figured sura 9 as the one intruding it, and I concluded 61>9.

And so it went: when in 2011 I was looking at the musabbihat generally, "In Ranks" was posted as the sura 61 side of that, and sura 9's parallel became a footnote. Later I learnt about the Sebastopol war, the reform of the army, and the new coinage: all came together here. I was proud of that essay.

Pity that it was TOTALLY WRONG about the sequence between suras 9 and 61. That's right! I hadn't gone back through my translations (which, remember, weren't even mine) to see if I could still rely upon them. Turns out that the shared material in Q. 9:32-33 and 61:8-9 assumes verbiage floated in sura 9. Which means the couplet was based on earlier parts of sura 9, and not on sura 61 anywhere.

But wait- there's more! (As Darryl Glenn would say.) I also hadn't considered all those other variants of the shared couplet, especially the plaque on the north entrance to the Dome (which I knew about), but also Sayyari's hadith on "Q. 61:9" (of which whole book, I'd been informed only in late 2011).

Anyway, new project: "The Servant Whom God Has Sent". This draws the chains sura 10 > the plaque > the coinage (and Sebastopol), and the plaque > suras 9 and 61 (together). "In Ranks" is basically a rewrite now: a lot more vague on dates - it has to be, at this point - but it does, at least, attempt 9 > 61. "Reformer" had to change too because there's a couplet / sura 40 parallel there. (I didn't have to change "Women" this time on account that sura 48 just used the coinage.)

Elsewhere I stumbled across a fresh new article about Q. 16:106 - Mairaj U Syed, “The Construction of Historical Memory in the Exegesis of Kor 16, 106”, which you may read here. This verse had been attached to a hadith about one 'Ammar bin Yasar who'd got himself tortured for Muhammad's sake; Catholics would call 'Ammar a "Confessor". The story didn't start out as exegesis of the verse; the muhaddiths attached it secondarily. Which means we can date a witness to this verse. Syed, oddly, doesn't do that; he assumes the Sira, and he assumes the verse as authentic to Muhammad. But over a century ago Jacob Barth wondered if the verse was even part of the first version of the sura. Anyway, I'm treating this article as evidence that Q. 16:106 was very late indeed, and as an upper-date constraint upon the sura's final redaction. So, "Plots Against The Qurra'" has been much expanded.

And then there's the usual puttering: "Islamic Ethics", "Abraham's Promise", "Interceding With God".


posted by Zimri on 17:14 | link | 0 comments

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