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catbert836 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-21-06 03:21 PM
Original message
Was Muhammad real?
Edited on Sun May-21-06 03:38 PM by catbert836
Let's just take a break from this Jesus myth stuff and question the validity of the existence of the prophet of another major religion.

Consider this, on Muhammad:

- There are no contemporary records of Muhammad's life. The earliest known record appeared 200 years after his death.
- Early biographers of Muhammad disagree by about 85 years on his birth date.
- Oral traditions of Muhammad actually multiplied over time, instead of being passed down intact through the generations.
- All we know for sure about Muhammad was that he existed (maybe) and was some kind of king or military leader.

And the early Muslims:

- There is no arachaeological evidence that Mecca even existed when Muhammad was alive.
- For about the first century of the Islamic Empire, the peoples ruled by the Muslims were not even aware that their conquerors had their own unique religion or holy book.

And the Qur'an:

- The Qur'an didn't reach its final form until more than 200 years after Muhammad's death.
- The language the Qur'an was originally written in was labelled "classical Arabic" by Muslim scholars working almost a thousand years ago, because it sounded nothing like the Arabic they knew.
- The same scholars admitted that as much as 1/4 of the Qur'an was incomprehensible, and thus, many of the most famous passages (below) were likely made up or grossly mistranslated by scribes who wanted to hide the fact that they had no idea what the real text said.
- The verse about the "white virgins" in Paradise is almost certainly a mistranslation- it is likely referring to white grapes the faithful would eat in heaven, a common Christian motif of that time. Also, the verse that says for women to wear veils is probably a mistranslation of "they should fasten belts around their waists".
- A recent theory has argued that the Qur'an began life as a lectionary for a Christian sect in Syria or northwestern Arabia. Its language was likely a dialect of Arabic heavily influenced by Syriac or Aramaic.

So, here's the theory: Muhammad was probably some king or warlord who was vaguely remembered as a great warrior. In the middle of the 7th century, the Arabs, perhaps led by Muhammad, started conquering the outside world. Once they were in control of places like Palestine, it was natural for them to be influenced by Christianity and Judaism. Eventually the idea of a special "Arab monotheism" emerged, and Judaic and Christian prophecies and liturgies came together to form what became the Qur'an. At some point, the dimly remembered figure of Muhammad was attached to this text, and it was finalized by 9th century Arabs as the official version of how their civilization came about.

We'll probably know more about this as time goes on. Investigations into the historicity of Muhammad and the Qur'an are just in their beginnings, and are being strongly resisted by the Muslim establishment.

Find out more here:

I'll try to find other sources to back this up. How interesting!
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LaurenG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-21-06 03:26 PM
Response to Original message
1. This begs a question
Will it matter if he isn't.

People are raised to believe in certain things, some of us stick by the teachings and some of us want proof. I'd be happy to let those who believe in Christ and Muhammad and Moses and Buddha and Krishna and whomever else, alone to sort out their beliefs for themselves.

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catbert836 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-21-06 03:29 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. I know.
I just thought that it would be interesting to bring this up, and a refreshing break from all the Jesus Myth threads. I've personally never heard this info before, and to me, it seems that if people are interested in the Jesus Myth theory, they would be interested in the Muhammad myth theory as well.
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Evoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-21-06 03:28 PM
Response to Original message
2. No, probably not
He is probably as pieced together from myth as Jesus or Abraham or Moses were.
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catbert836 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-21-06 03:31 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Read the OP
it makes the case that Muhammad was likely real, but was only remembered at the time of the creation of Islam as a king or warlord who was an extremely good general. He eventually was associated with the Qur'an long after his death.
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benburch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-21-06 03:30 PM
Response to Original message
4. I don't believe they allow archeology at Mecca?
Or am I wrong on that?
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catbert836 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-21-06 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Let me do a little research.
Although it would make sense why there's no arachaeological record of Mecca back in the 7th century if diggings have never been done. ;-)
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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-21-06 04:03 PM
Response to Original message
7. One of the problem of this time period is the LACK of Records.
Even what records we do have are suspect. The reason for this is what we would call Paper (pulp paper) was NOT invented until the mid 1800s. Pulp paper's nearest competitor, Linen Paper, while invented around the time of Christ in China, appears only to reach outside of China (i..e Europe and Mid_east) about the time of the Mongol Conquest (About 1250 AD). Ancient Papyrus was popular in Egypt, but deteriorated rapidly outside of the Dry claimant of Egypt so the most popular "Paper" prior to the 13th Century was parchment (i.e. Dried out Animals Skins).

The biggest problem with using Parchment is that the Parchment was Expensive compared to pulp paper. It is like comparing the cost of a tablet of paper to day with a hard-drive (Parchment, in real terms, roughly equaled the cost of a good hard-drive today). Would you through out your hard-drive AFTER every use, the answer is no, would you fill it up with an un-important document knowing that once it use for such a document you will have to buy a new hard-drive? The answer is no.

Prior to Linen paper (Each sheet of Lenin Paper Roughly equal to a good ream of pulp paper) you just did NOT use paper like we use paper today. Most temporary records were kept on slate tablets (The same material that a Chalk board is made out of). It appears that even cargo holds may have been kept on such Slate Tablets (Through writing is now believed to have stated as marks on packages indicated what was in the Package when it was being hauled around AND who owned that Packaged)

Prior to the 1300s most engineering design was done in Stone, not paper and then used as samples as to what each block or other construction part has to sized to.

Another way to express ideas that we know do in Writing, is the ballads and Epics stories. These were memorized (and written to be memorized) by master storytellers who repeated it to each other and other people for centuries (learning it from heart by previous tellers of the story). Tied in with such troubadours were the first books, written NOT to be sold as books, but to be read by Readers to groups as large as several hundred. When someone wrote a book, it was NOT to be used as we use a book, to be read by yourself, but to be read by a reader to many others at the same time. The written book was more to make sure the reader gave the story out as it had been written rather than someone reading the story.

I like comparing such story tellers (Both Troubadours and book Readers) to Star-Trek fans. When the crew of Star Trek goes to the Convention they have to watch themselves, for the Trekees know the story-lines BETTER than the stars that preformed them. In oral cultures this was also true, many of the people hearing the story knew the story and would catch any changes or mistakes and hold the Troubadour or book Reader liable. Thus a great bit of conformity from one generations to another was achieved, but even here slight changes could still get into the story line so sooner or later someone would write down the story to preserve it in a final readable form.

My Point here is just because we have no first hand record of anything prior to 1300 does not mean we have NO accurate records. The Records tend to be accurate for they were written down when it became obvious that the previous oral transmission of data was no longer capable of preserving the original. In the Gospels, it is as the second generation took over from the first. In the case of Mohammad it is after several generation for the Arabs Mos lem had been in power and could thus preserve their verbal history better than first century Christians given the First Century Christians low economic positions in the Roman Empire at that time.

Even with Linen paper we have problems with certain historical characters, for Example Genghis Khan himself, his history was written long after Genghis Khan had died AND conquered most of Asia. IT was written more to Support the claims of his Children and Grand-Children than for Genghis Khan (And the Mongols brought with them Linen Paper from China).

Know with the adoption of Linen Paper, Records started to be kept in Europe for you had a form of paper that while still expensive, was not so expensive that you only wrote in it your final draft. With pulp paper this trend intensified, and with Computers even more records were made and preserved. Thus today you have have records on almost everyone in the world today, something that was NOT possible even in the most literate of Countries prior to the introduction of pulp Paper.

One last comment, when the Moslem's appeared on the world stage, the Christen West viewed them more as Christian Heretics than a separate religion. This belief would persist in the West till after the Crusades (In the East, the Byzantines seems to treat the Moslem's as a separate Religion by the 9th Century, through even here the first instinct was to treat them as heretics, but heretics one had to learn to live with). Thus a lot of the confusion in the historical Record, one does not call someone who you think is a heretic a separate religion. This view that the Moslem's were Christian Heretics was dead by 1300, but it was popular until that time.
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TallahasseeGrannie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-22-06 10:22 AM
Response to Reply #7
14. Very enlightening post
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Finder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-21-06 05:04 PM
Response to Original message
8. Not to mock or anything...but NO religion is based on factual history.
The masses who become followers of religion are looking for something beyond reality and only myth and supernatural ideals can provide them hope.

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TallahasseeGrannie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-22-06 10:28 AM
Response to Reply #8
16. We look for, and I personally believe I have found
something beyond your reality. That much is true. And one man's myth is another's reality. It all depends on how you define "reality." And that's about as impossible to define as "God."

I like the word "supernatural." Because it implies to me beyond what we conceive of as natural. My personal belief system, worked out over my lifetime, is that one day we shall understand that it was all "natural" after all, we just didn't understand it at the time.

And that is why I do appreciate science.
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Finder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-22-06 01:47 PM
Response to Reply #16
25. Well debating the history of religion and belief in God are...
not the same. Whether Mohammed or Jesus were real figures as written by men has no bearing on whether a deity exists.IMO
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TallahasseeGrannie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-23-06 08:23 AM
Response to Reply #25
28. Well, you know, you are absolutely right about that.
One does not negate the other.

I could be talked out of Jesus a WHOLE lot easier than out of the higher power concept. But I like the whole Jesus thing; it speaks to me.
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Finder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-23-06 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #28
29. I like the whole Jesus concept myself..
and I am an atheist. As a philosophy, Christianity has a lot of merit. Most liberal christians see what the fundies don't--helping the poor, loving neighbors, tolerance, etc...

Of course the Jesus in my head is more like John Lennon than the character portrayed by Saul/Paul.
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TallahasseeGrannie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-23-06 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #29
30. The Jesus in your head is the one that counts
It really is a poignant story, true or not. I figure Paul never met him, so what does he know? My Jesus is kind of a ... um... hunk. Very strong.
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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-21-06 08:07 PM
Response to Original message
9. This is the first time I heard of this
and I've been a Sufi initiate for 17 years. Sufis are often considered heretics by other Muslims because of our reverence for shrines, among other things. I know that the historic sites in Mecca, including the Prophet's house, have been bulldozed down by the Saudis so that they cannot become a place of pilgrimage. Mecca is a closed city; one must be a Muslim to enter there, and with the political climate the way it is, I would be leery of going now (Sufis are persecuted in SA). I do not know how old the Kaaba is; the stone in its corner, which tradition states was the temple raised to the One God by Abraham and his son Ishmael after studying at the Egyptian Mystery Schools, is probably a meteorite of some sort-a different enough stone from others in the area to attract attention to it.

As for the history of the Prophet and the early Muslims-there are a lot more named by names and locations and by things done, I believe, than is found in the story of Jesus-a lot more detail. The Prophet himself was illiterate; others wrote down the words he recited at the request of the angel Gibril (Gabriel), some at a later date. The tradition of the area was an oral one, as has been stated before.

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Arazi Donating Member (54 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-21-06 09:21 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. I've known about this debate for a couple of decades
and I'm no religious scholar. This was part of a comparative religious studies class at college.

This is not to diss you or Islam, but I wonder if questions about Muhammed's reality are suppressed in Islam.

There is a really visceral negative reaction amongst Muslims if the authenticity of Muhammed is questioned and, universally, they will stop the conversation if it veers into questioning his historicity.

It reminds me of Christians centuries ago, whereby if you denied Christ, they would relegate that person to the status of heretic with all the attendant burning instead of examining the historicity with objectivity.

It's taken a long time for most modern Christians to admit that there isn't a whole lot of factual, historical support for Jesus Christ as painted by Christians.....

Does Islam face the same process with Muhammed? Will Islam allow it? Especially considering the shahada's importance to Muslims.....
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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-22-06 07:04 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. Realize that I am an American
and have lived all my life in this country, save for two brief sojourns to Canada when I was a child. I find it interesting that even though I have been interested in religion all my life, I have never heard of this controversy before now. Knowing the direction of my spiritual practices, the facts about Mohammed and the origins of the Qur'an aren't as important as the content of what was said.
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-22-06 10:35 AM
Response to Reply #10
18. Islamic scholars, as a whole, tend to the

A couple of years ago a very old Qur'an was discovered as they were renovating a mosque in Sa'udi Arabia. It was an old mosque; some Westerners were there, studying early mosque construction or some such thing.

They tore apart a wall and found the old Qur'an in it. They supposed it had been hidden there, or maybe fell there, unnoticed, during the wall's construction. Other old documents have been found in similar circumstances.

They wanted to get it out of the country; a quick reading of some passages found differences between the "only true reading that has ever existed" and the old ms. It was confiscated by the religious authorities. Since it was a 'corrupt' ms., my guess is they burned it.

Even the language of the Qur'an ... I've seen dissertations on it, and they're all crap. Every one of them. The only reason the PhD committee would accept it is fear or stupidity. Things like "linguistic proof as to why the Qur'an is the most stylistically perfect book". The level and extent of Bible criticism (in the sense 'critique') two hundred years ago exceeds what's currently done by native speakers of Arabic in the West. You can't do philological analysis, historical analysis, or even decent linguistic analysis on it, lest somebody cry racism and Islamophobia. Some's been done, mostly by non-Muslims, non-Arabs.
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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-22-06 10:04 AM
Response to Reply #9
13. I believe Mohammad was Taught to read by his first wife.
And he took no other till she was dead (and then the wives tended to be for clearly political purposes as opposed to sex). Thus in Mohammad's early years he was illiterate, but after he achieved adulthood he could read and Write.

The problem was as a nomadic society, Arabs retained more of their oral traditions than did other countries (and remember we English speakers speak a language that is NOT conductive to oral memorization, modern English developed AFTER Linen paper had been introduced and Linen paper may just be the difference between Old English and the later Middle and Modern English). As a more phonetic language than English, Arabic (like most other languages) tend to lend itself to oral memorization. Thus Mohammad's Koran seems to have been kept as more or less intact even when it was done by word of month (This was helped by the fact the Koran, unlike the Christian Bible, is organized by BOOK SIZE not categorical order, by forcing people to memorized the larger books first it made it easier to also memorized the later shorter stories).

As to the Koran, neither the Shiite or Sunni disputes its language, the dispute is based on how to interpret Mohammad's other sayings (and actions). Among Sunnis these are given almost as much weight (and Notice I said ALMOST not the Same) as the Koran itself. The Shiites disputes these sayings and say you should follow the Koran AND the teaching of Ali and his descendent's (in many ways this is the BIG dispute today between Shiites and Sunni NOT what is in the Koran, but how to handle the period AFTER Mohammad's death when the Moslems were still United and you had a fight as to who should succeed Mohammad after his death).

My Point here is the Koran is rarely, if ever, is dispute. Some of its stores matches up with Apocryphal Christian Stories (Books that did NOT make it into the Christian Bibles but were still popular among Christians through the Middle ages, one such story in the Koran is the story of the Cave). Other stories match up with stories in the Christian and Jewish Bibles (The story of Job is an example of one such story). Now, the writers of the Koran also had access to these Written stories when the Koran was finally put on paper so any errors may have been erased at that time, but no such comments are made at the time of the Koran finally being put on paper thus the tendency is to accept that the Oral Tradition had been good till the Koran was finally put on Paper (Including the DIFFERENCE in Text between the Apocryphal and Biblical versions of the Stories and the Koran as it existed when Written).

As to who Abraham was to Sacrifice (Ishmael or Isaac) that is clearly a Arab-Jewish Split, for the Arabs claim descent from Ishmael, while the Jews from Isaac (Thus the Koran claims Ishmael, while the Jews Claim Isaac and while the Christians follow the Jewish traditions descent from one or the other is UNIMPORTANT to Christian theology).

My point is the Koran, Written in Arabic, would be preserved for hundreds of years without any radical change do to the oral tradition. This is caused by the nature of the Arabic language, the long tradition of story telling among Arabs AND the correcting influence of both the Audience to such story telling AND the Written versions of the same stories.

For comments on the Koran See:
Please note this is a 1912 Article but goes into when and where the Koran was Written.

I have looked at many other Sites comparing the Bible with the Koran and their tend to be be very prejudicial condemning the Bible or the Koran and THUS not a good source on either. Remember BOTH books were written to express IDEAS not worrying about exact language. It is the IDEAS behind each that are important as oppose to the exact language. Islam is a little more picky about Language than Christianity do to the Koran being written only in Arabic, while the Christian Bible is written in Ancient Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic. Arabic, Ancient Egyptian, Ancient Hebrew and Aramaic are closely related Semitic languages. These languages are related to each other like Modern Italian and Spanish (Which are closer to each other than each is to French the third major Romance language, through "Provencal" i.e. the language of Southern France is more like Italian and Spanish than proper Parisian French). Arabic, Ancient Egyptian, Ancient Hebrew and Aramaic are even closer to each other than modern English and Swedish (Which is the closest language to English in the modern World, much closer than German or Dutch). Thus you can see the difference between the languages and it is more than a dialect but you often can follow the conversation but you miss certain terms and you know you need a translator through you understand most of the conversation.
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-22-06 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #13
15. This isn't about whether the Koran is 100% accurate in reproducing
Mohammed's words; it's about whether he was a religious leader at all, or just a military leader. The claim made in the link in the OP is that as Arabs from Mohammed's group conquered more territory in the Middle East, they absorbed Jewish and Christian traditions, created a new religion, and then made up a history of this coming from Mohammed many years before to give it more credibility. It would be like the official history of the USA saying George Washington wrote all of the US Constitution, abolished slavery and wrote the US anti-trust laws; and then someone claiming he was just the leader of the revolutionary army. It's a big claim - that the history of Islam has largely been made up as a convenient fiction.
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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-22-06 12:18 PM
Response to Reply #15
21. My Point was prior to the introduction of Linen Paper
The records YOU WANT, simply do not exists. We have Roman Emperors who existence only is know based on a list of Emperors written in the fourth or Fifth centuries. The popes have a similar problem up to the eleventh centuries (I will NOT go into the list of popes before Constantine which is based on even less written record).

The problem is PARCHMENT was expensive and people preferred to write day to day (or even month to month and even year to year records) on slate with chalk OVER wasting Parchment. Where papyrus was available it was used but its limitations as a permanent record was while know even in Ancient time so parchment was preferred.

For example the Battle of Carree is based on two books that were written 100 years after the battle (and meant to advance the FAMILIES of the Roman Generals written favorably about in the Book). We have a few more references to Alexander the Great and the Early Caesars but this seems to be surviving text of their propaganda machine (and after the fall oe Nero the Succeeding Emperors propaganda machine). "Neutral" histories often relied on this "records" and written long after the Emperors written about were long out of power (and often to justify the existing Emperor's right to power).

Remember Rome at its height was the richest country in the World, this remained so till the Lombarbic Invasion when FinallY Constantinople replaced Rome as the largest City in the World. Constantinople remained the Richest city till after its Conquest during the Fourth Crusade (1204 AD). Outside of these major cities written records are WEAK and the norm was oral records (For example during the Middle ages it was the practice to take a young boy whenever a landowner sold his land to another. After the Landowner gave a handful of earth to the new landowner both of them would rip the boy. The reason for this is the boy would remember the ripping AND the land transaction. This continued even AFTER Linen paper was introduced into Britain.

My point is when people rely on oral memory, they make an effort to make sure those oral records are preserved as well as possible. Thus they is NO REASON to dispute the existence of Mohammad or his writings.
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catbert836 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-22-06 03:11 PM
Response to Reply #15
26. I think this quote might be appropriate here:
"History is nothing more than a commonly accepted fiction"- Napoleon Bonaparte
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-22-06 10:45 AM
Response to Reply #13
19. Some of the stories I've seen referred to from the Qur'an
that apparently have OT sources don't quite match. There are sometimes rather sharp differences in what they say--the party line is that the Qur'an as the real one, while the Jews falsified their history and 'book'.

Same for the parallels with Christian texts. The hardline believers say that Christians willfully perverted what Jesus said, so differences between Greek manuscripts from the 3rd century and from the Qur'an must always be reconciled in favor of the Qur'an.
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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-22-06 01:30 PM
Response to Reply #19
23. I would dispute that, for Mohammad says he was WRITING
As opposed to the concept of re-writing old stories. Mohammad by claiming he was receiving the direct word from God had a free hand to make changes in any or all of the Stories in the Koran (Compared to the early Christians who had to follow what others had written or said). Thus I would tend to go with the Christian Text as to original intent of any story in either the Koran or the Bible).

Please note this is NOT an attack on Mohammad but an observation. As a Christian I do NOT accept he had a Divine revelation, thus the Koran is a Re-Writing of old Jewish and Christian Text NOT a completely new book on many of the same subjects. To a good Moslem, the opposite is true, since God provided the Koran to Mohammad DIRECTLY, it is the NON-CORRUPTED text of God. Thus the issue of which is more accurate depends on how one views Mohammad in the historical/Religious record.
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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-22-06 11:32 AM
Response to Reply #13
20. thank you for all this information
You are absolutely right in regards to Mohammed's later wives. Ayesha was the daughter of Abu Bakr, a powerful Companion who the Sunni take as the First Caliph, I believe (please correct me as my knowledge of this is spotty). Some people condemn this marriage, as Ayesha was very young (some say 6, some 9)-but it was political, much like the child marriages of monarchs in Europe. Some of his other wives he took to give protection to widows of his supporters.

One thing that I think is also important to note is that the Qur'an was recited orally for only a few hundred years at the most before being written down; portions of the Old Testament reflect stories that could well be thousands of years old when they were first written down.
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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-22-06 01:15 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. And formally did not have sex with Ayesha tell she was 10.
At least officially he had sex with her at that age, he had no children by her. The sex at age ten seems to be more of what was expected of Mohamed when one of his wives "came of age" than any sexual desire by his part (Most men are NOT turned on by ten year old girls).

Ayesha may also be the start of the Shiite split. At age 14 she was left behind when Mohammad's group left an encampment, she was then picked up by a teenager who took her to Mohammad's camp. Under the law of pre-moslem Arabia, that was enough to prove adultery. Mohammad asked Ali for advice on this matter and Ali said applied the law. Mohammad decided that to convict her of Adultery he had to have four wittinesses of the adulterous act and since he did not have that many wines sees she was declared Non-Guilty of the Crime.

The Significance of this was it seems to begin the start of Ayesha dislike of Ali and she used everything in her power to prevent him from succeeding Mohammad upon his death and the death of the next three Caliphs. Ali was finally voted Caliph as the Fourth Caliph (i.e. successor to the Prophet) and Ayesha launched a revolt against him which Ali put down (But then he refused to execute her).

Now at the end of Ali's reign Ayesha seems to have supported him against his opponents with Islam, but not enough for Ali's son to succeed Ali as the fifth Caliph. (The Umayyad Dynasty secured the Caliphate for themselves at this time, through what are today Sunni Moslems do not form up for another 150 years and the arise of the Abbasid Dynasty in 750 AD).

For more on these Dynasty see:

The reason for this switch on the part of Ayesha seems to be that while she supported her father (The First Caliph, Abu Bakr) as her husband's successor (over Ali's claim), as the Third Caliphs family (the Umayyard dynasty) slowly took over the Islamic Movement she became more and more dismayed about that movement and decided to back Ali. The problem was this support was to little to late for when Ali died the Umayyard Dynasty (Whose leader was already in revolt against Ali at the time of Ali's death) was established.

Please note no record survives of the time period of Mohammad's death, it is all oral tradition, but traditions that must be given great weight given the nature of th Arabic Language and HOW oral traditions were maintained till after the introduction of linen paper after the Mongol Conquest (c 1250 AD).

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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-22-06 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #22
24. again, much thanks
for all this information.
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nemo137 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-22-06 12:40 AM
Response to Original message
11. I went looking for stuff like this in an earlier outbreak of Jesus Myth
threads. The only sources I could dig up were from anti-Islamic sites or ones attempting to convert Muslims to Christianity. Good job digging this up.
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TallahasseeGrannie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-22-06 10:34 AM
Response to Original message
17. Isn't it interesting how these questions do parallel
the questions about the historical Jesus?

I suppose much of it is due to the time elapsed and the "primative" state of their communications and recording systems. There is a line in Jesus Christ Superstar where Judas sings

"Every time I look at you
I don't understand
Why you let the things you did
Get so out of hand
You'd have managed better
If you'd had it planned
Now why'd you choose such a backward time
And such a strange land?

If you'd come today
You could have reached the whole nation
Israel in 4 BC had no mass communication
Don't you get me wrong...only want to know!"

That about sums it up for me.

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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-22-06 05:16 PM
Response to Reply #17
27. The Classic Answer is that is what God Wanted.
The basic answer is God wanted to reveal his message to the world in a time period when it would be heard and recorded, but not so far advanced that what he actually said would be viewed as more important than the message as a whole (i.e. did he us an "a" or a "The" in a sentence when the whole sentence is just part of the message.

Basically GOD wanted a time period when people were willing to accept something more then rout obedience but not get hung up over every dotted "I" and crossed "T" of the Message. In both the case of Jesus and Mohammad these conditions were meet, In the case of Jesus through the existence of the Roman Empire (and the subsequent adoption of a Parallel form of government by the Christian church for themselves) and in the Case of Mohammad, the decision of the Byzantine Empire to re-invent itself as a Greek State and the Collapse of the Persian Empire. This left the Middle East open to one last Middle Eastern Empire like those that existed before the Roman Empire. THis Last Middle Eastern Empire was the Umayard Empire which lasted only about 150 years (Which is typical of most empires, they fall as the 3-4th generation of the original rulers get to rule and fight among themselves for control, thus letting the Conquered people to free themselves). The Umayard lasted longer than most for they lost most of their empire after 700 AD and their failure to take Constantinople this permitted Abbsids to overthrow them as their empire was reduced to what is not Iraq (Control over anything beyond Iraq was lost even before 700 AD).

Thus the Umayard Empire was not even Islamic in outlook, it had an Islamic hierarchy but the Empire was more the extension of the Umayard family Commercial Empire than an Islamic Empire. The areas conquered by the Umayards did not turn Moslem till the Abbasids (and Egypt was Christian till the end of the Crusades when the Mamaluks pushed for Conversion of the Egyptians as a policy to prepare Egypt for what they feared to be the upcoming Fight with the Mongols). A similar situation occurred in Iran with regards to the Zoroastrians, toleration till the Mongols then pressure to convert to Islam. An example of this "Pressure" was when a earthquake destroyed a town, the Moslem leadership decided to re-build the local Mosque over where the previous mosque had been but ot enlarge it substantially to cover the Area next door which had been a Zoroaster Temple. When the Zoroastrians complained the Moslem Leadership made a finding that no such temple ever existed on that spot thus the Zoroastrians were NOT asking to re-build a temple but to built a new temple and that was forbidden.

In the Ottoman Turk period this type of Pressure continued, no overt pressure to Convert but if you wanted ANY Government Position you had to be a Moslem and once you converted you could NOT convert back. This rule is extremely effective over a long time period for example when a similar rule was applied to Ireland after the "Glorious Revolution of 1689 when Catholic James II was overthrown and replaced by his Brother-in-law William III of Orange. Over the next one hundred years land ownership in Ireland went from overwhelming Catholic to Overwhelm Protestant (This was aided by the law that applied only to Ireland that when it came to being Catholic, i.e. your land had to divided equally among your sons UNLESS one converted to the Church Of Ireland then he inherited ALL the land and his Father could NOT disinherit You, nor sell it to anyone else). I have NOT seen any law where the Moslem's adopted a similar law as to they conquered lands but did main come close under the Ottoman Turks (Which caused a lot of resentment over time while under Turkish Rule).

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