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written sources belie divine revelation if you have a logical mind...

 
Anonymous Coward
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written sources belie divine revelation if you have a logical mind...
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The Light Shines in the Darkness...




Islam Index

Click here for Part 2



According to the Islamic theology, the Koran was written by Allah in heaven and has no human authors. Indeed, the Koran claims that the revelations given in it (that were not revealed in the previous Scriptures) are new (Sura 2:151). According to the non-Muslims that lived in Mecca, however, the Koran was filled with a bunch of old myths, fairy tails, and legends that the people who lived and traveled in the area commonly told. Unless stated otherwise, all Koran quotes are from Pickthall’s translation:



“And they say: Fables of the men of old which he hath had written down so that they are dictated to him morn and evening.”

-Sura 25:5



The Koran’s response to this is to deny it completely and call it a lie:



“…so that they have produced a slander and a lie.”

-Sura 25:4



The Koran affirms that everything in the Koran is a revelation from God and not a fairy tale from a human author.

On the contrary, it can be shown that the un-believers in Mecca were right. The stories told in the Koran are nothing more than Jewish, Christian, Arabic, and Persian apocryphal fables, legends, fairy-tales and other fictional narratives that were told in the area of Mecca in the 7th century. They are not a *revelation* from God.





Mecca During the Time of Muhammad



As a child, Muhammad was a normal Arab who liked to talk with people of various nationalities traveling in caravans. Mecca was a city where traders from all over the Middle East would come to trade along the trade routes. They would bring their stories from their respective cultures and tell them to the locals.

Also, after the destruction of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, the Jews scattered across the world. One of the places that some of them scattered to was southern Arabia with a large community in Medina. They likewise brought some of their apocryphal fables out of the Midrash and Mishna with them and told these stories to the Arabs.

Lastly, after their views of Christ were considered heretical by an ecumenical council, the Emperor banished Nestorian Christians outside the borders of the Empire. The Nestorians, because they originated in the east, moved in the direction of the closest border, eastward, and many ended up in Arabia. They set up monasteries there and along the caravan routes that Muhammad would travel on. Two important men in Muhammad’s life, Waraqa ibn Nofal, who was considered Muhammad’s uncle, and Buhaira, a monk who taught Muhammad some things about the Bible, were both Nestorians. The Nestorians likewise brought their apocryphal stories to Arabia and told them to those who passed along the trade routes.

In the end, it all makes sense. Muhammad learned all of these creative stories from those he came in contact with. When he proclaimed to all that he was a prophet, he retold these imaginative and poetic narratives under the pretense of revelation. This is one of the reasons that the Koran seems so poetic and elegant at times.



The Fables and Legends



Arabic Legends



The Jinn



In multiple places, the Koran speaks of a created race of beings called Jinn (Suras 18:50, 72:1, etc.). However, in the west, we commonly call them genies. [Yes, the same genies from Aladdin and the Magic Lamp, I Dream of Genie, etc.] These jinn, spirit beings who lived in caves, the ground, trees, and other natural places, were a popular superstition in Arabia before Islam, and scholars have noted this animistic influence on Islam for quite some time now:

www.answering-islam.org/Books/Zwemer/Animism/chap7.htm



Arab Poetry



In Muhammad’s day, many Arab poets resided in Mecca, and one poet’s daughter accused Muhammad of taking one of her father’s poems and putting it in the Koran as if it were Divine revelation (Sura 54:1, 29, 31, 46):



“Imraul Qais’s daughter once heard this Surat recited aloud. She immediately recognized her father’s poem and demanded to know how her father’s verses had become part of a divine revelation, supposedly preserved on stone tablets in heaven!”

- Dr. Anis A. Shorrosh, Islam Unveiled (Nashville, Tenn.: Thomas Nelson, 1988), p.193.



The She-Camel Story



The story told in the Koran about the prophet and the rock that ‘gave birth’ to a she-camel was a well known narrative in the Middle East at the time of Muhammad (Sura 7:73-79).



The Story of the 12 Springs



The story in Sura 2:60 about Moses striking a rock with his staff and 12 springs of water for each of the twelve tribes coming forth was a Jewish and Arab legend that was around well before Islam.



Jewish Legends



Abraham and Nimrod



The narrative about Abraham mocking the people for their idols and being saved by God from Nimrod’s fire in Sura 21:51-71 is clearly from the Midrash Rabbah. Here is Sura 21:58-69:



“Then he reduced them to fragments, all save the chief of them, that haply they might have recourse to it. They said: Who hath done this to our gods? Surely it must be some evil-doer. They said: We heard a youth make mention of them, who is called Abraham. They said: Then bring him (hither) before the people’s eyes that they may testify. They said: Is it thou who hast done this to our gods, O Abraham? He said: But this, their chief hath done it. So question them, if they can speak. Then gathered they apart and said: Lo! Ye yourselves are the wrong-doers. And they were utterly confounded, and they said: Well thou knowest that these speak not. He said: Worship ye then instead of Allah that which cannot profit you at all, not harm you? Fie on you and all that ye worship instead of Allah! Have ye then no sense? They cried: Burn him and stand by your gods, if ye will be doing. We said: O fire, be coolness and peace for Abraham…”

-Sura 21:58-69



Now, compare that to the narrative from the Midrash Rabbah:



“Abraham getting up took his staff in his hand, and having broken the idols with it…placed the staff in the hand of the largest (idol). His father coming up said: who has done this?

Abraham said…the largest one took the staff and broke them all to pieces. His father said, why do you tell such a foolish tale? Do these (idols) know anything? Nimrod said: If you argue with me about things which I am unable to worship other than fire, into it I will cast you. So let the god you worship deliver you therefrom. So Abraham went down into the flames and remained there safe and unhurt.”

-Midrash Rabbah



Cain, Abel, and the Raven



The story in Sura 5:27-32 about a raven covering up Abel’s body after Cain killed him most certainly came from a tradition preserved by Pirke Rabbi Eleazar and the Jewish Mishnah. The following is from the Koran:



“But (the other’s) mind imposed on him the killing of his brother, so he slew him and became one of the losers. Then Allah sent a raven scratching up the ground, to show him how to hide his brother’s naked corpse. He said: Woe unto me! Am I not able to be as this raven and so hide my brother’s naked corpse? And he became repentant. For that cause We decreed for the Children of Israel that whosoever killeth a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whoso saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind.”

-Sura 5:30-32



The following is from Pirke Rabbi Eleazar (notice the parallels between this and Sura 5:30-31):



“Adam and Eve, sitting by the corpse (of Abel) wept not knowing what to do, for they had as yet no knowledge of burial. A Raven coming up, took the dead body of its fellow (mate), and having scratched up the earth, buried it thus before their eyes. Adam said, “Let us follow the example of the Raven,” and so taking up Abel’s body buried it at once.”

-Pirke Rabbi Eleazar



The following is from the Jewish Mishnah (notice the parallels between this and Sura 5:32):



“We find in the case of Cain who murdered his brother, the voice of thy brother’s blood cries (Genesis 4:10). It is not said here blood in the singular, but bloods in the plural. That is, his own blood and the blood of his seed. Man was created single in order to show that to him who kills a single individual (a human being) it shall be reckoned (counted) that he has slain the whole race; but to him who preserves the life of a single individual, it is counted that he has preserved the whole race.”

-Jewish Mishnah, Sanhedrin 4:5



The Hovering Mount Sinai



The tale about God lifting up Mount Sinai over the Israelites as a threat if they did not follow the Law comes from the second century A.D. Jewish fable, Abodah Sarah. Here is Sura 7:171:



“And when We shook the Mount above them as it were a covering, and they supposed that it was going to fall upon them (and We said): Hold Fast that which We have given you, and remember that which is therein, that ye may ward off (evil).”

-Sura 7:171



Now, here is part of Abodah Sarah:



“I raised (by shaking it from its roots) the Mountain (Sinai) to be a covering over you as it were, a lid.”

-from Abodah Sarah



The Living Golden Calf



The narrative in which the golden calf-idol that the rebellious Israelites forge actually moos (Sura 20:85-88) is from a Jewish legend that was recorded by Pirke Rabbi Eleazar. Sura 20:85-88:



“He said: Lo! We have tried thy folk in thine absence, and As-Samiri hath misled them. Then Moses went back unto his folk, angry and sad. He said: O my people! Hath not your Lord promised you a fair promise? Did the time appointed appear too long for you, or did ye wish that wrath from your Lord should come upon you, that ye broke tryst with me? They said: We broke not tryst with thee of our own will, but we were laden with burdens of ornaments of the folk, then cast them (in the fire), for thus As-Samiri proposed. Then he produced for them a calf, of saffron hue, which gave forth a lowing sound. And they cried: This is your god and the god of Moses, but he hath forgotten.”

-Sura 20:85-88



Now, compare this to Pirke Rabbi Eleazar:



“And this calf came out lowing, and the Israelites saw it. Rabbi Yehudah says that Sammael was hidden in its interior, and was lowing in order that he might deceive Israel.”

-from Pirke Rabbi Eleazar, Part 45



Saving Pharaoh Out of the Sea



The story of Sura 10:90-92 where Pharaoh is saved by God from the enclosing Red Sea that Moses and the Israelites journeyed through is from Pirke Rabbi Eleazar and Midrash Yalkut. Here is Sura 10:90-92:



“And we brought the Children of Israel across the sea, and Pharaoh with his hosts pursued them in rebellion and transgression, till, when the (fate of) drowning overtook him, he exclaimed: I believe that there is no God save Him in Whom the Children of Israel believe, and I am of those who surrender (unto Him). What! Now! When hitherto thou hast rebelled and been of the wrong-doers? But this day We save thee in thy body that thou mayst be a portent for those after thee. Lo! Most of mankind are heedless of Our portents.”

-Surah 10:90-92



Compare that to Pirke Rabbi Eleazar and Midrash Yalkut:



“Perceive the great power of repentance! Pharaoh, king of Egypt, uttered very wicked words-‘Who is the god whose voice I shall obey? (Exod. 5:2). Yet as he repented, saying, ‘Who is like unto thee among the gods?’ (Exod. 15:2). God saved him from death; for it saith; ‘Almost had I stretched out my hands and destroyed; but God let him live, that he might declare his power and strength.’”

-Pirke Rabbi Eleazar, Part 43; Midrash Yalkut, Part 238



[It must be noted that Muslims attempt to use the above Surah to prove the Divine inspiration of the Koran. It is believed that the body of the Pharaoh of the Exodus was found in the late nineteenth century, and Muslims argue that Muhammad could not have known that the Pharaoh survived except through Divine revelation. However, as I have shown above, the Jews beat Muhammad to it by several centuries. If this is any indication of inspiration (which its not), then the credit must go the Talmudic compilers and not to the Koran. Yet again, we have proof of Muhammad receiving his “revelations” from human sources.]



Solomon and the Hoopoe Bird



The story about Solomon, the Hoopoe Bird, and the Queen of Sheba in Sura 27:17-44 undoubtedly comes from the Jewish II Targum of Esther. Because the passages are so long, I will not cite them here, but instead, I will list the literary parallels that prove that this Koranic story comes straight out of the II Targum of Esther:



1. Both start out with Solomon gathering together armies of jinn (i.e. genies) and men.
2. Both have Solomon searching for a bird and saying that he will kill it for disobeying his orders.
3. Both have the bird appearing and talking to Solomon about the Queen of Sheba.
4. Both have the Queen of Sheba worshipping some part of nature (i.e. idolatry).
5. Both have Solomon sending a letter to the Queen of Sheba, and the Queen of Sheba asks for the advice of her nobles.
6. Both have the Queen of Sheba entering into a palace made of glass, and thinking it to be water, she lifts up her dress a bit.
7. Both have Solomon crying out to her that it is not water but glass when he sees the hair on her legs.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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10/28/2008 05:34 PM
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Re: written sources belie divine revelation if you have a logical mind...
what about all the details given about jesus' talking from the crib? Why that's from the apocryphal infancy gospel of Thomas the israelite (not the same as the gospel of thomas).
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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10/28/2008 05:38 PM
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Re: written sources belie divine revelation if you have a logical mind...
what about all the details given about jesus' talking from the crib? Why that's from the apocryphal infancy gospel of Thomas the israelite (not the same as the gospel of thomas).
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 385736

or more accurately from pseudo matthew as in this wikipedia article.

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Legends and the Qur'an
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This article considers the relation of the Qur'an, the central religious text of Islam, and myths and legends. "Myths are narratives that serve to explain and describe the experienced world by laying bare its archetypal patterns; they are often staged in a cosmic or supernatural framework so as to manifest binding truths, to generate meaning and provide guidance. Legends, raising no such universal claim, may be understood as narratives of pious imagination celebrating an exemplary figure." [1]

Whether the Qur'an contains myths or legends is a hyper-sensitive and controversial question since "the term 'myth,' in particular, is sometimes thought to be irreconcilable with the concept of revelation."[1] The Qur'an contains many religious accounts considered legendary or derivative by non-Muslim historians.[2] Most of this literature was created hundreds of years after the events they document, therefore they are not considered to have any historical accuracy. The content is usually Jewish folklore rejected by Jewish scholars. Historians and source critics think that Muhammad mistook these accounts for being orthodox Jewish and Christian beliefs and therefore incorporated them into the Qur'an.[3] Critics of Islam therefore conclude that the Qur'an cannot be from God because it contains these unhistorical legends.
Contents
[hide]

* 1 The Qur'an's response
* 2 Satan and Adam
* 3 Animal names
* 4 Killing all mankind
* 5 Abraham idol wrecker
* 6 Moses' milk
* 7 Pharaoh's magicians
* 8 Korah's keys
* 9 Flying mountain
* 10 The Cave
* 11 Mary's care
o 11.1 God cares for Mary
o 11.2 Casting lots to care for Mary
o 11.3 Mary receives miracles from baby Jesus
* 12 Jesus creates birds
* 13 Jesus speaks in the cradle
* 14 References
* 15 See also
* 16 External links

[edit] The Qur'an's response

During Muhammad's lifetime, non-Muslims accused Muhammad of borrowing from "tales of the ancients" to compose the Qur'an. Because Muslims believe that the Qur'an was not revealed all at once, the Qur'an quotes these critics.
“ But the misbelievers say: "Naught is this but a lie which he has forged, and others have helped him at it." The disbelievers of that time were the ones who accused him of lying but other ones that were on his side were the ones who helped him at it. And they say: "Tales of the ancients, which he has caused to be written: and they are dictated before him morning and evening." Say: "The (Qur'an) was sent down by Him who knows the mystery (that is) in the heavens and the earth: verily He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." (Qur'an [Qur'an 25:4-6]) --translated by Yusuf Ali ”

[edit] Satan and Adam

In the Qur'an, Satan originally has favor with God. When God creates Adam, he commands all the angels to bow to him. Satan refuses to bow to Adam and is therefore rebuked by God. The apocryphal Jewish work Life of Adam and Eve also contains this narrative.

Quran
“ Behold! thy Lord said to the angels: "I am about to create man, from sounding clay from mud moulded into shape; "When I have fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him of My spirit, fall ye down in obeisance unto him." So the angels prostrated themselves, all of them together: Not so Iblis: he refused to be among those who prostrated themselves. (God) said: "O Iblis! what is your reason for not being among those who prostrated themselves?" (Iblis) said: "I am not one to prostrate myself to man, whom Thou didst create from sounding clay, from mud moulded into shape."

[Qur'an 15:28]


The Life of Adam and Eve
“ Then Michael came; he summoned all the troops of angels and told them, "Bow down before the likeness and the image of the divinity." And then, when Michael summoned them and all had bowed down to you, he summoned me [Satan] also. And I told him, "Go away from me, for I shall not bow down to him who is younger than me; indeed, I am master prior to him and it is proper for him to bow down to me. [2] ”

Additionally, some confusion comes from the Qur'anic passage because in it God speaks to the angels, implying that Satan is an angel while elsewhere in Islam Satan is called a jinn instead, this is because of the grammatical rule called tagleeb in the arabic language, in which the majority in a certain area gets the noun. For example, if in a room there is 100 boys and one girl, the tagleeb rule applies all in the room as boys because they are the majority but the girl is still a girl, thus when God says to the angels "Prostrate" Satan was in the area but is not an angel.

[edit] Animal names

According to the Qur'an, God dictates the names of the animals to Adam. This element is similar, but the opposite of Genesis, that tells about the naming of the animals but says that Adam named them. There is a document written later than Genesis and before the Qur'an that might link these two accounts.
“ The wisdom of Adam displayed itself to greatest advantage when he gave names to the animals. . . . But without the gift of the holy spirit, Adam could not have found names for all.[4] ”

[edit] Killing all mankind

The Qur'an says that because of the murder of Abel by Cain,
“ . . . That if any one slew a person - unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land - it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. . . . Qur'an [Qur'an 5:32] --Translated by Yusuf Ali ”

The Qur'an does not tell the reason for the connection between Abel and this proverb, but the Jewish Mishnah does.
“ For this reason, man [i.e. the first human being] was created alone to teach that whoever destroys a single life is as though he had destroyed an entire universe, and whoever saves a single life is as if he had saved an entire universe.

(Mishnah Sanhedrin, 4:5)[5]



Note that the Mishnah is respected by most Jews as human commentary, not divine.

[edit] Abraham idol wrecker
A Jewish depiction of Abraham smashing the idols
A Jewish depiction of Abraham smashing the idols

The Qur'an has the same story as the Midrashic about Abraham smashing idols contained in Midrash Bereishit 38:13 and Surah 21 in the Qur'an. Abraham's father was an idolater but Abraham is a devout monotheist. Abraham breaks many idols and the people try to burn him until God rescues Abraham.
Qur'an surah and verse Qur'an quote Midrash
21.51 "What are these images, to which ye are (so assiduously) devoted?" "Then why do you pray to them and worship them?"[6]
21.57 "after ye go away and turn your backs" "the woman rushed out into the street"[7]
21.58 So he broke them to pieces, (all) but the biggest of them "he broke them all except the largest"[8]
21.62 They said, "Art thou the one that did this with our gods, O Abraham?" "'What hast thou done?' they demanded, angrily."[9]
21.63 He said: "Nay, this was done by - this is their biggest one! ask them, if they can speak intelligently!" "I? Nothing," answered Abraham. "See, the largest idol . . . It seems to me that he has been angry and has killed all the others. Ask him why he did this."[10]
21.65 "Thou knowest full well that these (idols) do not speak!" "'They cannot speak,' said Terah."[11]
21.68 They said, "Burn him and protect your gods, Let them be bound and cast into the furnace[12]
21.69 We said, "O Fire! be thou cool, and (a means of) safety for Abraham! "Abraham walked unharmed in the flames"[13]
21.70 We made them the ones that lost most! "Twelve men in all perished . . . Haran was burned to ashes at once"[14]

The Qur'an does not explain what it means that the idolaters lost more than Abraham, but the Midrash explains. The story is accepted by Jews as non-historical and created by Jews who were warning of following the Greek gods. Elements of the story probably have roots in the Apocalypse of Abraham and the Book of Jubilees. Abraham's father's name is Azar in the Qur'an and Terah in the Midrash and Bible
“ . . . though some of the later Arab writers give the name . . . as Teraḥ. Others claim that Azar was his real name, while Teraḥ was his surname (Nawawi, "Biographical Dict. of Illustrious Men," p. 128; but see Jawaliḳi, "Al-Mu'arrab," ed. Sachau, p. 21; "Z. D. M. G." xxxiii. 214). Still a third class of authorities say that Azar means either "the old man" or "the perverse one." [15] ”

However Shia Muslims believe that Azar is Abraham's Uncle, and that he looked after Abraham like a son when his biological father died.

[edit] Moses' milk

God forbids Moses from suckling from a foster mother in both the Qur'an and Talmud .
“ And We had already forbidden foster suckling mothers for him, until [his sister] said: Shall I show you a household who will rear him for you and take care of him?" [Qur'an 28:12] ”
“ The Holy One, Blessed is He, said: "Shall the mouth that will one day speak to me suckle from anything unclean?" [16] ”

[edit] Pharaoh's magicians

Pharaoh's magicians in the Bible magically turn their staffs into snakes, but the Qur'an says this was only a trick and that the magicians convert and follow Moses. Ambrosiaster, a 4th century biblical commentary, also says the magic was a trick and they converted:
“ Jannes and Jambres were two brothers, magicians and enchanters of the Egyptians, who through phony magic thought to resist God's mighty acts. But worsted by Moses they confessed in pain from their sores that God was active in Moses.[17] ”

[edit] Korah's keys

The Qur'an describes Korah as exceedingly wealthy in the same way as the Talmud.
“ Korah was one of Moses' people, but he betrayed them and oppressed them. We gave him so many treasures that the keys would certainly weigh down a company of men possessed of great strength. [Qur'an 28:76] ”
“ And Rabbi Levi said: "The keys to Korah's treasure house was a load for 300 white mules and the keys and locks were leather." [18] ”

[edit] Flying mountain

Both the Qur'an and the Talmud tell the story of God raising a mountain over the Israelites
“ We raised the mountain over them as if it had been a canopy, and they thought that it was going to fall on them. (We said): "Hold firmly to what We have given you." [Qur'an 7:171] ”
“ The Holy One, blessed is He, raised a mountain over Israel as though it were a dome. And He said to them: if you hold to the Torah all is well, but if not you will be buried here! [19] ”

[edit] The Cave

The story of men protected by sleeping in a cave is taken from a Jewish legend, according to Muhammad Asad, though was understood by the earliest Islamic scholars as a Christian legend.
“ As already mentioned, the majority of the classical commentators rely on this Christian legend in their endeavour to interpret the Qur'anic reference (in verses 9-26)[Qur'an 18:9-26] to the Men of the Cave. It seems, however, that the Christian formulation of this theme is a later development of a much older oral tradition -a tradition which, in fact, goes back to pre-Christian, Jewish sources. This is evident from several well-authenticated ahddrth (mentioned by all the classical commentators), according to which it was the Jewish rabbis (ahbdr) of Medina who induced the Meccan opponents of Muhammad to "test his veracity" by asking him to explain, among other problems, the story of the Men of the Cave. Referring to these ahddrth, Ibn Kathir remarks in his commentary on verse 13 of this surah: "It has been said that they were followers of Jesus the son of Mary, but God knows it better: it is obvious that they lived much earlier than the Christian period-for, had they been Christians, why should the Jewish rabbis have been intent on preserving their story . . . ? [20] ”


[edit] Mary's care

Several elements of Mary's story in the Qur'an, her miraculous food and finding a husband, are absent in the Bible but present in the Gospel of James.

[edit] God cares for Mary

Quran
“ Every time that he entered (Her) chamber to see her, He found her supplied with sustenance. He said: "O Mary! Whence (comes) this to you?" She said: "From Allah: for Allah Provides sustenance to whom He pleases without measure."[Qur'an 3:37] ”

Gospel of James
“ And Mary was in the Temple nurtured like a dove and received food from the hand of an angel. [21] ”

[edit] Casting lots to care for Mary

Quran
“ they cast lots with arrows, as to which of them should be charged with the care of Mary. [Qur'an 3:44] ”

Gospel of James
“ [L]et every one of them bring his rod, and he by whom the Lord will show a sign will be the husband of Mary.[22] ”

[edit] Mary receives miracles from baby Jesus

The Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew describes Mary sitting below a palm tree with Jesus, Jesus talking to Mary when he is a baby and baby Jesus performing miracles to nourish Mary with dates from a palm tree and a stream of water.

Quran chapter 19
“ So she conceived him, and she retired with him to a remote place. And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm-tree: She cried (in her anguish): "Ah! would that I had died before this! would that I had been a thing forgotten and out of sight!" But (a voice) cried to her from beneath the (palm-tree): "Grieve not! for thy Lord hath provided a rivulet beneath thee; "And shake towards thyself the trunk of the palm-tree: It will let fall fresh ripe dates upon thee. [Qur'an 19:22] ”

Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew chapter 20
“ And it came to pass on the third day of their journey, while they were walking, that the blessed Mary was fatigued by the excessive heat of the sun in the desert; and seeing a palm tree, she said to Joseph: Let me rest a little under the shade of this tree. Joseph therefore made haste, and led her to the palm, and made her come down from her beast. And as the blessed Mary was sitting there, she looked up to the foliage of the palm, and saw it full of fruit, and said to Joseph: I wish it were possible to get some of the fruit of this palm. And Joseph said to her: I wonder that thou sayest this, when thou seest how high the palm tree is; and that thou thinkest of eating of its fruit. I am thinking more of the want of water, because the skins are now empty, and we have none wherewith to refresh ourselves and our cattle. Then the child Jesus, with a joyful countenance, reposing in the bosom of His mother, said to the palm: O tree, bend thy branches, and refresh my mother with thy fruit. And immediately at these words the palm bent its top down to the very feet of the blessed Mary; and they gathered from it fruit, with which they were all refreshed. And after they had gathered all its fruit, it remained bent down, waiting the order to rise from Him who bad commanded it to stoop. Then Jesus said to it: Raise thyself, O palm tree, and be strong, and be the companion of my trees, which are in the paradise of my Father; and open from thy roots a vein of water which has been hid in the earth, and let the waters flow, so that we may be satisfied from thee. And it rose up immediately, and at its root there began to come forth a spring of water exceedingly clear and cool and sparkling. And when they saw the spring of water, they rejoiced with great joy, and were satisfied, themselves and all their cattle and their beasts. Wherefore they gave thanks to God. [23] ”

[edit] Jesus creates birds

In the Qur'an, Jesus forms birds out of clay,

Quran
“ I fashion for you out of clay the likeness of a bird, and I breathe into it and it is a bird [Qur'an []] ”

This parallels an episode in the apocryphal Infancy Gospel of Thomas where he does the same:[24]

Infancy Gospel of Thomas
“ [Jesus] then made soft clay and shaped it into twelve sparrows.[25] ”

The Infancy Gospel of Thomas was written, at the earliest, in the second century or, at the latest, in the sixth century.

[edit] Jesus speaks in the cradle

The Injilu 't Tufuliyyah or the Gospel of the Infancy of Jesus Christ, contains an Arabic translation of the Infancy Gospel of Thomas and additional narratives. This contains a narrative of Jesus speaking while an infant, also contained in the Qur'an.

Quran
“ But she pointed to the babe. They said: "How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?" He [Jesus] said: "I am indeed a servant of Allah: He hath given me revelation and made me a prophet; And He hath made me blessed wheresoever I be, and hath enjoined on me Prayer and Charity as long as I live; (He) hath made me kind to my mother, and not overbearing or miserable; [Qur'an 19:29] ”

Infancy Gospel of Thomas
“ Jesus spake when he was in the cradle, and called out to his mother Mary:— "Verily I am Jesus, the Son of God, the Word, whom thou hast given birth to according to the good tidings given thee by the Angel Gabriel, and my Father hath sent me for the Salvation of the World." ”

[edit] References

1. ^ a b Encyclopedia of the Qur'an, myth, legends and the Qur'an
2. ^ C. C. Torrey, Jewish Foundation of Islam, 1933, Ktav Publishing House, Inc.: New York, See pages 117 and 119.
3. ^ Joseph Campbell. The Masks of God:Occidental Mythology
4. ^ Louis Ginzberg. The Legends of the Jews: From the Creation to Jacob. chapter 4 The Johns Hopkins University Press: 1998.
5. ^ Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5
6. ^ Gertrude Landa. Jewish Fairy Tales and Legends. 1919. p94
7. ^ Gertrude Landa. Jewish Fairy Tales and Legends. 1919. p94
8. ^ Gertrude Landa. Jewish Fairy Tales and Legends. 1919. p94
9. ^ Gertrude Landa. Jewish Fairy Tales and Legends. 1919. p95
10. ^ Gertrude Landa. Jewish Fairy Tales and Legends. 1919. p95
11. ^ Gertrude Landa. Jewish Fairy Tales and Legends. 1919. p94
12. ^ Gertrude Landa. Jewish Fairy Tales and Legends. 1919. p97
13. ^ Gertrude Landa. Jewish Fairy Tales and Legends. 1919. p97
14. ^ Gertrude Landa. Jewish Fairy Tales and Legends. 1919. p97
15. ^ Abraham. Jewish Encyclopedia
16. ^ Shemot Rabbah 1:25
17. ^ The Apocryphon of Jannes and Jambres the Magicians, E.J. Brill, 1994 p. 30
18. ^ Sanhedrin 110a. See also Pesachim 119a
19. ^ Avodah Zarah 2b
20. ^ Muhammad Asad. The Message of the Qur'an. The Book Foundation: 2003. Footnote on 18.7
21. ^ Gospel of James 8:1 online source
22. ^ Gospel of James 8:6 online source
23. ^ Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew chapter 20 online source
24. ^ Rev. W. St. Clair-Tisdall, The Sources of Islam: A Persian Treatise, translated and abridged by Sir William Muir, T. & T. Clark, Edinburgh, Scotland. 1901
25. ^ Robert J. Miller, ed., The Complete Gospels: Annotated Scholars Version (Sonoma, CA: Polebridge Press 1992), pp. 363-372. or online [1]

[edit] See also

* Origin and development of the Qur'an
* Source criticism
* Biblical narratives and the Qur'an

[edit] External links

* Jewish Fairy Tales and Legends The Star Child The story of Abraham smashing the idols

Retrieved from " [link to en.wikipedia.org]
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Anonymous Coward (OP)
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10/28/2008 05:38 PM
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Re: written sources belie divine revelation if you have a logical mind...
what about all the details given about jesus' talking from the crib? Why that's from the apocryphal infancy gospel of Thomas the israelite (not the same as the gospel of thomas).
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 385736

or more accurately from pseudo matthew as in this wikipedia article.

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Legends and the Qur'an
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Please see the discussion on the talk page. (September 2008)
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This article considers the relation of the Qur'an, the central religious text of Islam, and myths and legends. "Myths are narratives that serve to explain and describe the experienced world by laying bare its archetypal patterns; they are often staged in a cosmic or supernatural framework so as to manifest binding truths, to generate meaning and provide guidance. Legends, raising no such universal claim, may be understood as narratives of pious imagination celebrating an exemplary figure." [1]

Whether the Qur'an contains myths or legends is a hyper-sensitive and controversial question since "the term 'myth,' in particular, is sometimes thought to be irreconcilable with the concept of revelation."[1] The Qur'an contains many religious accounts considered legendary or derivative by non-Muslim historians.[2] Most of this literature was created hundreds of years after the events they document, therefore they are not considered to have any historical accuracy. The content is usually Jewish folklore rejected by Jewish scholars. Historians and source critics think that Muhammad mistook these accounts for being orthodox Jewish and Christian beliefs and therefore incorporated them into the Qur'an.[3] Critics of Islam therefore conclude that the Qur'an cannot be from God because it contains these unhistorical legends.
Contents
[hide]

* 1 The Qur'an's response
* 2 Satan and Adam
* 3 Animal names
* 4 Killing all mankind
* 5 Abraham idol wrecker
* 6 Moses' milk
* 7 Pharaoh's magicians
* 8 Korah's keys
* 9 Flying mountain
* 10 The Cave
* 11 Mary's care
o 11.1 God cares for Mary
o 11.2 Casting lots to care for Mary
o 11.3 Mary receives miracles from baby Jesus
* 12 Jesus creates birds
* 13 Jesus speaks in the cradle
* 14 References
* 15 See also
* 16 External links

[edit] The Qur'an's response

During Muhammad's lifetime, non-Muslims accused Muhammad of borrowing from "tales of the ancients" to compose the Qur'an. Because Muslims believe that the Qur'an was not revealed all at once, the Qur'an quotes these critics.
“ But the misbelievers say: "Naught is this but a lie which he has forged, and others have helped him at it." The disbelievers of that time were the ones who accused him of lying but other ones that were on his side were the ones who helped him at it. And they say: "Tales of the ancients, which he has caused to be written: and they are dictated before him morning and evening." Say: "The (Qur'an) was sent down by Him who knows the mystery (that is) in the heavens and the earth: verily He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." (Qur'an [Qur'an 25:4-6]) --translated by Yusuf Ali ”

[edit] Satan and Adam

In the Qur'an, Satan originally has favor with God. When God creates Adam, he commands all the angels to bow to him. Satan refuses to bow to Adam and is therefore rebuked by God. The apocryphal Jewish work Life of Adam and Eve also contains this narrative.

Quran
“ Behold! thy Lord said to the angels: "I am about to create man, from sounding clay from mud moulded into shape; "When I have fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him of My spirit, fall ye down in obeisance unto him." So the angels prostrated themselves, all of them together: Not so Iblis: he refused to be among those who prostrated themselves. (God) said: "O Iblis! what is your reason for not being among those who prostrated themselves?" (Iblis) said: "I am not one to prostrate myself to man, whom Thou didst create from sounding clay, from mud moulded into shape."

[Qur'an 15:28]


The Life of Adam and Eve
“ Then Michael came; he summoned all the troops of angels and told them, "Bow down before the likeness and the image of the divinity." And then, when Michael summoned them and all had bowed down to you, he summoned me [Satan] also. And I told him, "Go away from me, for I shall not bow down to him who is younger than me; indeed, I am master prior to him and it is proper for him to bow down to me. [2] ”

Additionally, some confusion comes from the Qur'anic passage because in it God speaks to the angels, implying that Satan is an angel while elsewhere in Islam Satan is called a jinn instead, this is because of the grammatical rule called tagleeb in the arabic language, in which the majority in a certain area gets the noun. For example, if in a room there is 100 boys and one girl, the tagleeb rule applies all in the room as boys because they are the majority but the girl is still a girl, thus when God says to the angels "Prostrate" Satan was in the area but is not an angel.

[edit] Animal names

According to the Qur'an, God dictates the names of the animals to Adam. This element is similar, but the opposite of Genesis, that tells about the naming of the animals but says that Adam named them. There is a document written later than Genesis and before the Qur'an that might link these two accounts.
“ The wisdom of Adam displayed itself to greatest advantage when he gave names to the animals. . . . But without the gift of the holy spirit, Adam could not have found names for all.[4] ”

[edit] Killing all mankind

The Qur'an says that because of the murder of Abel by Cain,
“ . . . That if any one slew a person - unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land - it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. . . . Qur'an [Qur'an 5:32] --Translated by Yusuf Ali ”

The Qur'an does not tell the reason for the connection between Abel and this proverb, but the Jewish Mishnah does.
“ For this reason, man [i.e. the first human being] was created alone to teach that whoever destroys a single life is as though he had destroyed an entire universe, and whoever saves a single life is as if he had saved an entire universe.

(Mishnah Sanhedrin, 4:5)[5]



Note that the Mishnah is respected by most Jews as human commentary, not divine.

[edit] Abraham idol wrecker
A Jewish depiction of Abraham smashing the idols
A Jewish depiction of Abraham smashing the idols

The Qur'an has the same story as the Midrashic about Abraham smashing idols contained in Midrash Bereishit 38:13 and Surah 21 in the Qur'an. Abraham's father was an idolater but Abraham is a devout monotheist. Abraham breaks many idols and the people try to burn him until God rescues Abraham.
Qur'an surah and verse Qur'an quote Midrash
21.51 "What are these images, to which ye are (so assiduously) devoted?" "Then why do you pray to them and worship them?"[6]
21.57 "after ye go away and turn your backs" "the woman rushed out into the street"[7]
21.58 So he broke them to pieces, (all) but the biggest of them "he broke them all except the largest"[8]
21.62 They said, "Art thou the one that did this with our gods, O Abraham?" "'What hast thou done?' they demanded, angrily."[9]
21.63 He said: "Nay, this was done by - this is their biggest one! ask them, if they can speak intelligently!" "I? Nothing," answered Abraham. "See, the largest idol . . . It seems to me that he has been angry and has killed all the others. Ask him why he did this."[10]
21.65 "Thou knowest full well that these (idols) do not speak!" "'They cannot speak,' said Terah."[11]
21.68 They said, "Burn him and protect your gods, Let them be bound and cast into the furnace[12]
21.69 We said, "O Fire! be thou cool, and (a means of) safety for Abraham! "Abraham walked unharmed in the flames"[13]
21.70 We made them the ones that lost most! "Twelve men in all perished . . . Haran was burned to ashes at once"[14]

The Qur'an does not explain what it means that the idolaters lost more than Abraham, but the Midrash explains. The story is accepted by Jews as non-historical and created by Jews who were warning of following the Greek gods. Elements of the story probably have roots in the Apocalypse of Abraham and the Book of Jubilees. Abraham's father's name is Azar in the Qur'an and Terah in the Midrash and Bible
“ . . . though some of the later Arab writers give the name . . . as Teraḥ. Others claim that Azar was his real name, while Teraḥ was his surname (Nawawi, "Biographical Dict. of Illustrious Men," p. 128; but see Jawaliḳi, "Al-Mu'arrab," ed. Sachau, p. 21; "Z. D. M. G." xxxiii. 214). Still a third class of authorities say that Azar means either "the old man" or "the perverse one." [15] ”

However Shia Muslims believe that Azar is Abraham's Uncle, and that he looked after Abraham like a son when his biological father died.

[edit] Moses' milk

God forbids Moses from suckling from a foster mother in both the Qur'an and Talmud .
“ And We had already forbidden foster suckling mothers for him, until [his sister] said: Shall I show you a household who will rear him for you and take care of him?" [Qur'an 28:12] ”
“ The Holy One, Blessed is He, said: "Shall the mouth that will one day speak to me suckle from anything unclean?" [16] ”

[edit] Pharaoh's magicians

Pharaoh's magicians in the Bible magically turn their staffs into snakes, but the Qur'an says this was only a trick and that the magicians convert and follow Moses. Ambrosiaster, a 4th century biblical commentary, also says the magic was a trick and they converted:
“ Jannes and Jambres were two brothers, magicians and enchanters of the Egyptians, who through phony magic thought to resist God's mighty acts. But worsted by Moses they confessed in pain from their sores that God was active in Moses.[17] ”

[edit] Korah's keys

The Qur'an describes Korah as exceedingly wealthy in the same way as the Talmud.
“ Korah was one of Moses' people, but he betrayed them and oppressed them. We gave him so many treasures that the keys would certainly weigh down a company of men possessed of great strength. [Qur'an 28:76] ”
“ And Rabbi Levi said: "The keys to Korah's treasure house was a load for 300 white mules and the keys and locks were leather." [18] ”

[edit] Flying mountain

Both the Qur'an and the Talmud tell the story of God raising a mountain over the Israelites
“ We raised the mountain over them as if it had been a canopy, and they thought that it was going to fall on them. (We said): "Hold firmly to what We have given you." [Qur'an 7:171] ”
“ The Holy One, blessed is He, raised a mountain over Israel as though it were a dome. And He said to them: if you hold to the Torah all is well, but if not you will be buried here! [19] ”

[edit] The Cave

The story of men protected by sleeping in a cave is taken from a Jewish legend, according to Muhammad Asad, though was understood by the earliest Islamic scholars as a Christian legend.
“ As already mentioned, the majority of the classical commentators rely on this Christian legend in their endeavour to interpret the Qur'anic reference (in verses 9-26)[Qur'an 18:9-26] to the Men of the Cave. It seems, however, that the Christian formulation of this theme is a later development of a much older oral tradition -a tradition which, in fact, goes back to pre-Christian, Jewish sources. This is evident from several well-authenticated ahddrth (mentioned by all the classical commentators), according to which it was the Jewish rabbis (ahbdr) of Medina who induced the Meccan opponents of Muhammad to "test his veracity" by asking him to explain, among other problems, the story of the Men of the Cave. Referring to these ahddrth, Ibn Kathir remarks in his commentary on verse 13 of this surah: "It has been said that they were followers of Jesus the son of Mary, but God knows it better: it is obvious that they lived much earlier than the Christian period-for, had they been Christians, why should the Jewish rabbis have been intent on preserving their story . . . ? [20] ”


[edit] Mary's care

Several elements of Mary's story in the Qur'an, her miraculous food and finding a husband, are absent in the Bible but present in the Gospel of James.

[edit] God cares for Mary

Quran
“ Every time that he entered (Her) chamber to see her, He found her supplied with sustenance. He said: "O Mary! Whence (comes) this to you?" She said: "From Allah: for Allah Provides sustenance to whom He pleases without measure."[Qur'an 3:37] ”

Gospel of James
“ And Mary was in the Temple nurtured like a dove and received food from the hand of an angel. [21] ”

[edit] Casting lots to care for Mary

Quran
“ they cast lots with arrows, as to which of them should be charged with the care of Mary. [Qur'an 3:44] ”

Gospel of James
“ [L]et every one of them bring his rod, and he by whom the Lord will show a sign will be the husband of Mary.[22] ”

[edit] Mary receives miracles from baby Jesus

The Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew describes Mary sitting below a palm tree with Jesus, Jesus talking to Mary when he is a baby and baby Jesus performing miracles to nourish Mary with dates from a palm tree and a stream of water.

Quran chapter 19
“ So she conceived him, and she retired with him to a remote place. And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm-tree: She cried (in her anguish): "Ah! would that I had died before this! would that I had been a thing forgotten and out of sight!" But (a voice) cried to her from beneath the (palm-tree): "Grieve not! for thy Lord hath provided a rivulet beneath thee; "And shake towards thyself the trunk of the palm-tree: It will let fall fresh ripe dates upon thee. [Qur'an 19:22] ”

Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew chapter 20
“ And it came to pass on the third day of their journey, while they were walking, that the blessed Mary was fatigued by the excessive heat of the sun in the desert; and seeing a palm tree, she said to Joseph: Let me rest a little under the shade of this tree. Joseph therefore made haste, and led her to the palm, and made her come down from her beast. And as the blessed Mary was sitting there, she looked up to the foliage of the palm, and saw it full of fruit, and said to Joseph: I wish it were possible to get some of the fruit of this palm. And Joseph said to her: I wonder that thou sayest this, when thou seest how high the palm tree is; and that thou thinkest of eating of its fruit. I am thinking more of the want of water, because the skins are now empty, and we have none wherewith to refresh ourselves and our cattle. Then the child Jesus, with a joyful countenance, reposing in the bosom of His mother, said to the palm: O tree, bend thy branches, and refresh my mother with thy fruit. And immediately at these words the palm bent its top down to the very feet of the blessed Mary; and they gathered from it fruit, with which they were all refreshed. And after they had gathered all its fruit, it remained bent down, waiting the order to rise from Him who bad commanded it to stoop. Then Jesus said to it: Raise thyself, O palm tree, and be strong, and be the companion of my trees, which are in the paradise of my Father; and open from thy roots a vein of water which has been hid in the earth, and let the waters flow, so that we may be satisfied from thee. And it rose up immediately, and at its root there began to come forth a spring of water exceedingly clear and cool and sparkling. And when they saw the spring of water, they rejoiced with great joy, and were satisfied, themselves and all their cattle and their beasts. Wherefore they gave thanks to God. [23] ”

[edit] Jesus creates birds

In the Qur'an, Jesus forms birds out of clay,

Quran
“ I fashion for you out of clay the likeness of a bird, and I breathe into it and it is a bird [Qur'an []] ”

This parallels an episode in the apocryphal Infancy Gospel of Thomas where he does the same:[24]

Infancy Gospel of Thomas
“ [Jesus] then made soft clay and shaped it into twelve sparrows.[25] ”

The Infancy Gospel of Thomas was written, at the earliest, in the second century or, at the latest, in the sixth century.

[edit] Jesus speaks in the cradle

The Injilu 't Tufuliyyah or the Gospel of the Infancy of Jesus Christ, contains an Arabic translation of the Infancy Gospel of Thomas and additional narratives. This contains a narrative of Jesus speaking while an infant, also contained in the Qur'an.

Quran
“ But she pointed to the babe. They said: "How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?" He [Jesus] said: "I am indeed a servant of Allah: He hath given me revelation and made me a prophet; And He hath made me blessed wheresoever I be, and hath enjoined on me Prayer and Charity as long as I live; (He) hath made me kind to my mother, and not overbearing or miserable; [Qur'an 19:29] ”

Infancy Gospel of Thomas
“ Jesus spake when he was in the cradle, and called out to his mother Mary:— "Verily I am Jesus, the Son of God, the Word, whom thou hast given birth to according to the good tidings given thee by the Angel Gabriel, and my Father hath sent me for the Salvation of the World." ”

[edit] References

1. ^ a b Encyclopedia of the Qur'an, myth, legends and the Qur'an
2. ^ C. C. Torrey, Jewish Foundation of Islam, 1933, Ktav Publishing House, Inc.: New York, See pages 117 and 119.
3. ^ Joseph Campbell. The Masks of God:Occidental Mythology
4. ^ Louis Ginzberg. The Legends of the Jews: From the Creation to Jacob. chapter 4 The Johns Hopkins University Press: 1998.
5. ^ Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5
6. ^ Gertrude Landa. Jewish Fairy Tales and Legends. 1919. p94
7. ^ Gertrude Landa. Jewish Fairy Tales and Legends. 1919. p94
8. ^ Gertrude Landa. Jewish Fairy Tales and Legends. 1919. p94
9. ^ Gertrude Landa. Jewish Fairy Tales and Legends. 1919. p95
10. ^ Gertrude Landa. Jewish Fairy Tales and Legends. 1919. p95
11. ^ Gertrude Landa. Jewish Fairy Tales and Legends. 1919. p94
12. ^ Gertrude Landa. Jewish Fairy Tales and Legends. 1919. p97
13. ^ Gertrude Landa. Jewish Fairy Tales and Legends. 1919. p97
14. ^ Gertrude Landa. Jewish Fairy Tales and Legends. 1919. p97
15. ^ Abraham. Jewish Encyclopedia
16. ^ Shemot Rabbah 1:25
17. ^ The Apocryphon of Jannes and Jambres the Magicians, E.J. Brill, 1994 p. 30
18. ^ Sanhedrin 110a. See also Pesachim 119a
19. ^ Avodah Zarah 2b
20. ^ Muhammad Asad. The Message of the Qur'an. The Book Foundation: 2003. Footnote on 18.7
21. ^ Gospel of James 8:1 online source
22. ^ Gospel of James 8:6 online source
23. ^ Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew chapter 20 online source
24. ^ Rev. W. St. Clair-Tisdall, The Sources of Islam: A Persian Treatise, translated and abridged by Sir William Muir, T. & T. Clark, Edinburgh, Scotland. 1901
25. ^ Robert J. Miller, ed., The Complete Gospels: Annotated Scholars Version (Sonoma, CA: Polebridge Press 1992), pp. 363-372. or online [1]

[edit] See also

* Origin and development of the Qur'an
* Source criticism
* Biblical narratives and the Qur'an

[edit] External links

* Jewish Fairy Tales and Legends The Star Child The story of Abraham smashing the idols

Retrieved from " [link to en.wikipedia.org]
Categories: Qur'an
Hidden categories: NPOV disputes from September 2008 | All NPOV disputes
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