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Islamic History & Archaeology

Discussion in 'Pakistan History' started by M. Sarmad, Jan 7, 2014.

  1. M. Sarmad

    M. Sarmad SENIOR MEMBER

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    It has been said that daring as it is to investigate the unknown, even more so it is to question the known. Many of the so-called "known facts" in the history of nascent Islam are little more than pious assumptions or even pious wishes which through persistent repetition by the long chain of the generations of Muslims, have acquired the "patina" if not the status of the "articles of faith".
    An attempt to interpret the history of Islam, especially the history of its first century, is like stepping into a mine field; it's seething with controversy, diatribes and polemics, and one may approach it only extremely gingerly. Nevertheless, interpretation remains basic to the understanding of history. Without interpretation, history becomes a mass of uncoordinated information and a catalogue of "dead" events and dates unrelated to each other. Yet these "dead" events bounce back to life when effects are related to causes, and a concatenation of facts is established. A fact in correlation with other facts has historical significance; in isolation it may be meaningless. ...


    The purpose of this thread is not to discuss the controversial events of the early Islamic era , but to discuss the methodologies and techniques used by the early historians and a critical examination of them ...

    Before discussing the Early Muslim Historians , I would like you guys ,@jaibi @Jazzbot @Alpha1 @danish falcon @FaujHistorian @Pakistanisage @Zarvan @Talon and others , to discuss archaeological evidences from the first century of Hijra (7th century)
    To start with ;
    Archaeological Record Of Early Days of Islam :


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    Last edited: Jan 7, 2014
  2. M. Sarmad

    M. Sarmad SENIOR MEMBER

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    [​IMG]
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  3. M. Sarmad

    M. Sarmad SENIOR MEMBER

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    [​IMG]
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  4. danish falcon

    danish falcon FULL MEMBER

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    superb.... thanks alot for sharing
     
  5. M. Sarmad

    M. Sarmad SENIOR MEMBER

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    Now as we have almost no inscriptions / original writings that can be dated back to the time of prophet Muhammad (pbuh) or the rightly guided caliphs (Khulfa e Rashideen) , All the knowledge of that time and those persons have reached us through 3 different sources(textual) , compiled in later times ;

    1) The Holy Quran (word of Allah)
    2) The Ahadith (sayings attributed to prophet pbuh)
    3) The History Texts (crystallization of popular beliefs)

    This led the skeptical scholars like Crone, Wansbrough, and Nevo to argue that all the primary sources which exist are from 150–300 years after the events which they describe, and thus are chronologically far removed from those events hence unreliable . They also point out that the earliest account of Muhammad's life by Ibn Ishaq was written about a century after Muhammad died and all later narratives by Islamic biographers contain far more details and embellishments about events which are entirely lacking in Ibn Ishaq's text . Also the hadith books were written at least two centuries after the demise of prophet (pbuh) .
    These objections from such scholars are somewhat genuine but the conclusions drawn by them are easily refutable . To understand this in detail , one must try to find answers to following questions first :

    1) When was the Holy Quran compiled (into a Book form) ? Has the "Original Text" reached us ?
    2) When and Why were the Hadith Books written ?
    3) Who wrote the Islamic History and for whom ?

    1) HISTORY OF THE QURAN :

    In the 19th century the Danish scholar Theodor Nöldeke, in his influential Geschichte des Qorans (1860; “History of the Qurʾān”), largely rejected the Islamic understanding of the process whereby the text of the Qurʾān was compiled. Since then others, such as I. Goldziher, Richard Bell, and Jeffrey and W.M. Watt, have challenged the traditional Islamic perspective, while more recently John Wansbrough and John Burton have completely rejected pious traditions concerning the compilation of the Qurʾān. Although Burton believed that Muhammad himself sanctioned a complete text of the Qurʾān before his death, Wansbrough argued that there was no definitive text until the 9th century. The various Western views have all been addressed by contemporary Muslim scholars, who have based their responses on the earliest historical sources and archaeological evidence as well as on oral tradition, but these views still dominate much of the academic study of the Qurʾān in the West.
    Qur'an (sacred text) :: Compilation -- Encyclopedia Britannica



    Muslim perspective :
    Category: The Authenticity and Preservation of the Holy Quran - The Religion of Islam

    How Do We Know the Quran is Unchanged? | Lost Islamic History

    Examining The Qur'an


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    The Dome of the Rock is the oldest Islamic monument that stands today and certainly one of the most beautiful. It also boasts the oldest surviving mihrab (niche indicating the direction of Mecca) in the world.
    The inscriptions on the Dome of the Rock in fact represent the earliest known dated passages from the Qur'an (72 after the Hijra or 691–692 CE)

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    INSCRIPTIONS ON THE INNER OCTAGONAL ARCADE
    1. S In the name of God, the Merciful the Compassionate. There is no god but God. He is One. He has
    2. no associate. Unto Him belongeth sovereignity and unto Him belongeth praise. He quickeneth and He giveth death; and He has
    3. Power over all things. Muḥammad is the servant of God and His Messenger.
    4. SE Lo! God and His angels shower blessings on the Prophet.
    5. O ye who believe! Ask blessings on him and salute him with a worthy salutation. The blessing of God be on him and peace be
    6. on him, and may God have mercy. O People of the Book! Do not exaggerate in your religion
    7. E nor utter aught concerning God save the truth. The Messiah, Jesus son of
    8. Mary, was only a Messenger of God, and His Word which He conveyed unto Mary, and a spirit
    9. from Him. So believe in God and His messengers, and say not 'Three' - Cease! (it is)
    10. NE better for you! - God is only One God. Far be it removed from His transcendent majesty that He should have a son. His is all that is
    11. in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And God is
    12. sufficient as Defender. The Messiah will never scorn to be a
    13. N servant unto God, nor will the favoured angels. Whoso scorneth
    14. His service and is proud, all such will He assemble unto Him.
    15. Oh God, bless Your Messenger and Your servant Jesus
    16. NW son of Mary. Peace be on him the day he was born, and the day he dies,
    17. and the day he shall be raised alive! Such was Jesus, son of Mary, (this is) a statement of
    18. the truth concerning which they doubt. It befitteth not (the Majesty of) God that He should take unto Himself a son. Glory be to Him!
    19. W When He decreeth a thing, He saith unto it only: Be! and it is.
    20. Lo! God is my Lord and your Lord. So serve Him. That is the right path. God (Himself) is witness that there is no God
    21. save Him. And the angels and the men of learning (too are witness). Maintaining His creation in justice, there is no God save Him,
    22. SW the Almighty, the Wise. Lo! religion with God (is) Islam. Those who (formerly) received the Book
    23. differed only after knowledge came unto them, through transgression among themselves. Whoso
    24. disbelieveth the revelations of God (will find that) Lo! God is swift at reckoning!

    INSCRIPTIONS ON THE OUTER OCTAGONAL ARCADE

    1. S In the name of God, the Merciful the Compassionate. There is no god but God. He is One. He has no
    2. associate. Say: He is God, the One! God, the eternally Besought of all! He begetteth not nor was begotten. And there
    3. is none comparable unto Him. Muḥammad is the Messenger of God, the blessing of God be on him.
    4. SW In the name of God, the Merciful the Compassionate. There is no god but God.
    5. He is One. He has no associate. Muḥammad is the Messenger of God.
    6. Lo! God and His angels shower blessings on the Prophet.
    7. W O ye who believe! Ask blessings on him and salute him with a
    8. worthy salutation. In the name of God, the Merciful
    9. the Compassionate. There is no god but God. He is One. Praise be to
    10. NW God, Who hath not taken unto Himself a son, and Who hath
    11. no partner in the Sovereignty, nor hath He any protecting friend
    12. through dependence. And magnify Him with all magnificence. Muḥammad is the Messenger of
    13. N God, the blessing of God be on him and the angels and His prophets, and peace be
    14. on him, and may God have mercy. In the name of God, the Merciful
    15. the Compassionate. There is no god but God. He is One. He has no associate.
    16. NE Unto Him belongeth sovereignty and unto Him belongeth praise. He quickeneth. And He giveth death; and He has
    17. Power over all things. Muḥammad is the Messenger of God, the blessing of God be
    18. on him. May He accept his intercession on the Day of Judgment on behalf of his people.
    19. E In the name of God, the Merciful the Compassionate. There is no god but God. He is One.
    20. He has no associate. Muḥammad is the Messenger of God, the blessing of God be
    21. on him. The dome was built by servant of God ʿAbd
    22. SE [Allah the Imam al-Ma'mun, Commander] of the Faithful, in the year two and seventy. May God accept from him and be content
    23. with him. Amen, Lord of the worlds, praise be to God.

    INSCRIPTIONS AT THE EASTERN ENTRANCE

    1. In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful. Praise be to God other than Whom there is no god but He, the Living, the Eternal, the Originator of the heavens and the earth and the Light of the heavens
    2. and the earth and the Pillar of the heavens and the earth, the One, the eternally Besought of all; He begotteth not nor was begotten and there is none comparable unto Him, Owner of Sovereignty!
    3. Thou givest sovereignty unto whom Thou wilt, and Thou withdrawest sovereignty from whom Thou wilt, all sovereignty belongs to You and is from You, and its fate is (determined) by You, Lord of glory
    4. the Merciful, the Compassionate. He hath prescribed for Himself mercy, and His mercy embraceth all things; May He be glorified and exalted. As for what the polytheists associate (with You), we ask You, oh God by
    5. Your mercy and by Your beautiful names and by Your noble face and Your awesome power and Your perfect word, on which are based the heavens and the earth and
    6. through which we are preserved by Your mercy from Satan and are saved from Your punishment (on) the Day of Judgment and by Your abundant favour and by Your great grace and forbearance and omnipotence
    7. and forgiveness and liberality, that You bless Muḥammad, Your servant, Your prophet, and that You accept his intercession for his people, the blessing of God be upon him and peace be upon him and the mercy of God and ....
    8. From the servant of Allah ʿAbdullah al-Ma'mun al-Imam, Commander of the Faithful, may Allah prolongs its duration! In the rule of the brother of Commander of the Faithful Abu Ishaq, son of Commander of the Faithful
    9. al-Rashid, that Allah makes it last. And (this work) had place by the hands of Salih b. Yaḥya, the mawali of Commander of the Faithful, in the month of Rabi‘ al-Akhir of year 216.
    INSCRIPTIONS AT THE NORTHERN PORTAL

    1. In the name of God the Merciful, the Compassionate. Praise be to God than Whom there is no god but He. The Living, the Eternal; He has no associate, the One, the eternally Besought of all - He
    2. begetteth not nor was begotten, and there is none comparable unto Him. Muḥammad is the servant of God and His messenger whom He sent with the guidance and the religion of truth, that He may make it conqueror of all religion
    3. however much idolators may be averse. We believe in God and that which was revealed unto Muḥammad and that which the Prophets received from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him
    4. we have surrendered. The blessing of God be upon Muḥammad, His servant and His prophet, and peace be upon him and the mercy of God and His blessing and His forgiveness and His acceptance.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2014
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  6. M. Sarmad

    M. Sarmad SENIOR MEMBER

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    OTHER INSCRIPTIONS:

    Dated Inscriptions From First Century Of Hijra

    [​IMG] Inscriptions Near Madinah Of The Early Years Of Hijra [c. 4 AH].

    1. Inscription A
    2. Inscription B
    3. Inscription C
    These set of inscriptions from near Madinah, although written in a striking Kufic script, bear no date. They have been dated c. 4 AH using the internal evidence. These set of inscriptions are also the earliest to mention the names of Abu Bakr, ʿUmar, ʿAli and Muḥammad Ibn ʿAbdullah, etc.

    [​IMG] An Arabic Inscription From Turkey, 22 AH / 642-3 CE.

    An inscription from Batman Su (or Nymphæus), Turkey. Although this inscription had generated a lot of discussion but it failed to provide a sustained interested due to lack of a photograph.

    [​IMG] Arabic Graffito From Muthallath (Near Yanbu’), 23 AH / 643-4 CE.

    This inscription written in old kufic script is interesting as it leaves out tantalizing detail of its dating.

    [​IMG] The Inscription Of Zuhayr - The Earliest Dated Ḥijāzī Inscription, 24 AH / 644 CE.

    This is the earliest dated ḥijāzī inscription. It was written by Zuhayr "at the time of ʿUmar's death" in 24 AH, thus mentioning the name of the second caliph. This inscription, it appears, is destined to be the most famous of all the Arabic inscriptions as the UNESCO has added it to the Memory of the World Register of Documentary Collections. The Discovery Channel alsomentioned the importance of this inscription in the news.

    [​IMG] Arabic Graffito From Wādī Khushayba, S. W. Arabia (Near Najrān), 27 AH / 648 CE.

    This inscription was found by a Japanese team doing archaeological surveys in South Western Arabia.

    [​IMG] An Arabic Inscription From Cyprus, 29 AH / 650 CE.

    Dated to Ramaḍan, 29 AH / May, 650 CE. No photograph was provided for this inscription, although the content was given. Recently, this inscription was discussed at length by Amikam Elad who has shown using the historical sources that it is a genuine inscription.

    [​IMG] Tombstone Of Abd al-Raḥmān Ibn Khair al-Ḥajrī, 31 AH / 652 CE.

    This is perhaps the most celebrated inscription, quoted often in the references dealing with Arabic inscriptions and palaeography.

    [​IMG] Arabic Inscription On The Darb Zubayda Caravan Route, 40 AH / 660-661 CE.

    This inscription was found on the Darb Zubayda caravan route at Wādī 'l-Shamiya during an archaeological survey in 1970s.

    [​IMG] Greek Inscription In The Baths Of Hammat Gader, 42 AH / 662-63 CE.

    The valley of Hammat Gader is famous for naturally cold and hot springs known for their therapeutic powers. These once filled the large and small pools of an early Byzantine spa, supplying it with hot and cold waters. The Greek inscription from the time of the Umayyad caliph Muʿāwiya refers to the restoration of the baths.

    [​IMG] Two Seals From The Time Of Muʿāwiya Bin Abī Sufyān, c. 44 AH / 664 CE.

    Umayyad caliph Muʿāwiya established two diwans in his administration - Diwan al-Rasa‘il and Diwan al-Khatam. The former looked after correspondence received by caliph and drafted his replies. This was handled by his katib (secretary). Once a document had been drafted, it was passed on to the Diwan al-Khatam, or “office of the seal”, where two or more copies of each document were made and sealed, at least one to be deposited in the archives while the other was checked, sealed and dispatched to its recipient. This arrangement was set up as a means of preventing forgeries. After Muʿāwiya was recognised as head of the Muslim community he named ʿAbd Allāh b. Amīr Governor of Baṣra for the second time in 41 AH, where he served until his dismissal in 44 AH. These seals would have validated both the documents delivered to ʿAbd Allāh and the official copy that was kept in the Diwan al-Khatam.


     
  7. M. Sarmad

    M. Sarmad SENIOR MEMBER

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    [​IMG] Arabic Graffito From Wādī Sabil, 46 AH / 666 CE.

    This graffito was found in Wādī Sabil during the Philby-Ryckmans-Lippens expedition. The inscription shows a dot below ب. This is the third earliest dated inscription.

    [​IMG] Arabic Graffito On The Darb Zubayda Caravan Route, 52 AH / 672 CE.

    This inscription was found on the Darb Zubayda caravan route at al-Khashna during an archaeological survey in 1970s.

    [​IMG] Inscription On The Dam Built By Caliph Muʿāwiya, 58 AH / 678 CE.

    It is interesting to note that this inscription shows the use of consonantal points for ي, ب، ن، ث، خ، ف and ت.

    [​IMG] Arabic Graffito Near Karbala In Iraq, 64 AH / 683-684 CE.

    This inscription mentions the name of the three well-known angels in Islam, viz., Gabriel, Michael and Israfil whose Lord is Allah.

    [​IMG] A Tiraz Inscription From The Time Of Marwan I, 64-65 AH / 683-685 CE.

    A band of inscriptions usually on textiles is called the tiraz. The silk with the tiraz inscription in the name of Marwan, one of the Umayyad caliphs, exists in three pieces, all found in Egypt, is dated to the time of Marwan ibn al-Hakam. This dating makes it the earliest known Islamic textile.

    [​IMG] Arabic Inscription In A Bronze Can, 69 AH / 688-689 CE.

    A bronze can with an inscription placed around the rim, perhaps originating from Basra during the Umayyad period.

    [​IMG] Inscription On A Bridge In Fustāt By The Governor ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz Ibn Marwān, 69 AH / 688-689 CE.

    This inscription was first attested by Maqrīzī (d. 845 AH / 1442 CE).

    [​IMG] Tombstone Of ʿAbāssa Bint Juraij, 71 AH / 691 CE.

    An interesting inscription that mentions the name of Prophet Muḥammad along with the phrase "ahl al-Islām". It also mentions the shahadah. Interestingly, Crone and Cook (Hagarism: The Making Of The Islamic World, 1977, Cambridge University Press) chose to ignore this inscription only to conclude that the word "Islam" was used only in the eighth century CE!

    [​IMG] The Arabic Islamic Inscriptions On The Dome Of The Rock In Jerusalem, 72 AH / 692 CE.

    The inscriptions on the Dome of the Rock can be rightly called as the "big-daddy" of all the first century Islamic inscriptions. Built by the Umayyad Caliph ʿAbd al-Malik, these inscriptions have copious amount of Qur'anic verses.

    [​IMG] The Copper Plaque Inscriptions At The Dome Of The Rock In Jerusalem, 72 AH / 692 CE.

    The Arabic inscriptions in copper plaques at the eastern entrance and the northern portal of the Dome of the Rock are not as well known as the ones inscribed inside the Dome of the Rock. Inscribed by the Umayyad Caliph ʿAbd al-Malik, these inscriptions have five Qur'anic verses quoted partially.
     
  8. M. Sarmad

    M. Sarmad SENIOR MEMBER

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    [​IMG] The ʿAqabah Inscription From The Time Of ʿAbd al-Malik, 73 AH / 692-693 CE.

    This is the oldest inscription in Islam relating to the inaugral of a road and it is also the second longest and almost the fullest inscription from the time of ʿAbd al-Malik after that of theDome of the Rock in Jerusalem. This inscription furnishes clear evidence that ʿAbd al-Malik did not satisfy himself with repairing the old roads and maintaining them in a fit state of traffic, but that he also thought of, and at least in this instance executed enterprises on a large scale.

    [​IMG] A Rock Inscription From Makkah Containing Qur'an 38:26, 80 AH / 699-700 CE.

    The inscription contains complete Qur'an 38:26.

    [​IMG] A Rock Inscription From Makkah Containing Qur’an 56:28-40, 80 AH / 699-700 CE.

    The inscription contains complete Qur'an 56:28-40 with an addition of the phrase "What will be the Companions of the Right Hand" between verses 38 and 39 perhaps to give a fitting conclusion to the inscription.

    [​IMG] A Rock Inscription From Makkah Containing Qur'an 4:87, 80 AH / 699-700 CE.

    The inscription contains complete Qur'an 4:87.

    [​IMG] A Rock Inscription From Makkah, 80 AH / 699-700 CE.

    The long, slender and slightly inclined form of writing is reminiscent of ḥijāzī script.

    [​IMG] The Tombstone Of Yaḥya Bin Al-Ḥakam, c. 80 AH / 699-700 CE.

    Moshe Sharon, who published this inscription, inclines to the view that the person mentioned in this inscription is Yaḥya b. al-Ḥakam, uncle of the Umayyad caliph ʿAbd al-Malik. The date is deduced from the fact that Yaḥya b. al-Ḥakam died c. 80 AH / 699-700 CE.

    [​IMG] The Qasr Burquʿ Building Inscription Of Prince Al-Walīd Dated 81 AH / 700 CE.

    This building inscription in Qasr Burquʿ was built by al-Walīd before his ascension to the throne (705-715 CE).
    [​IMG] A Rock Inscription From Makkah Dated 84 AH / 703-704 CE.
    It contains a mixture of verses 4:1, 2:21 and 2:189.
    [​IMG] A Rock Inscription From Makkah Containing Qur'an 20:130, 84 AH / 703-704 CE.​
     
  9. M. Sarmad

    M. Sarmad SENIOR MEMBER

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    [​IMG]Milestone From Golan From The Time Of ʿAbd al-Malik - 1, 85 AH / 704 CE.
    A dated milestone at 52 miles from Damascus found in the village of Fīq (or Afīq) in Golan
    .[​IMG]Milestone From Golan From The Time Of ʿAbd al-Malik - 2, 85 AH / 704 CE.A dated milestone at 53 miles from Damascus found in the village of Fīq (or Afīq) in Golan.
    [​IMG]Inscription In A Mosque In Damascus, Built By Caliph Walīd, 86-87 AH / 705-706 CE.This inscription is no longer extant and it is reported to us in two versions: a shorter one by Masʿūdī and a longer one by Muḥammad ibn Shākir al-Kutubī (d. 1363 CE).
    [​IMG]The Inscription On The Turban Of Samuel Bin Musa, 88 AH / 707 CE.
    An interesting woven inscription from Egypt and it is the second earliest dated Islamic textile after the tiraz inscription. The inscription was done on a turban for Samuel b. Musa, perhaps a Jew or a Christian, in the year 88 AH.[​IMG]The Kasr Kharana Inscription, 92 AH / 710 CE.
    This inscription, a pious and moving invocation, is full of Qur'anic flavour.
    [​IMG]Jabal Usays (Syria) Inscription Containing First Line Of The Throne Verse (Qur'an 2:255), 93 AH / 711 CE.
    [​IMG]A Dedicatory Inscription On An Earthen Bowl For Sulaymān Bin ʿAbd al-Malik, 96 AH / 715 CE.This earthen bowl was manufactured for Prince Sulaymān b. ʿAbd al-Malik before his ascension to the throne 96-98 AH / 715-717 CE.
    [​IMG]Glass Vessel With Stamp At Beit Shean From The Time Of Sulaymān Bin ʿAbd al-Malik, 98 AH / 716 CE.This deals with dated and undated glass vessels from Beit Shean that remind people of honesty and justice when dealing with customers.
    [​IMG]A Rock Inscription From Makkah Dated 98 AH / 716-717 CE.
    It quotes part of 65:3 as it is and the rest of the verse is slightly modified without changing the meaning.[​IMG]An Arabic Inscription From Khirbat Nitil, 100 AH / 718-719 CE.
    This inscription was discovered in 1886 at the archaeological site of Khirbat Nitil. The eight lines are located in an inner vaulted room in the western wall. The inscription shows a dot below for غ. The inscription mentions hawḍ Muḥammad, i.e., the pool of Prophet Muḥammad in the Paradise, from which the believers will drink. This pool is mentioned in many ḥadīths.Arabic Inscription On A Dam Built By Caliph Muʿāwiya (Madinah, Saudi Arabia), 40–60 AH / 661–80 CE.Written in the kufic script. This inscription shows the use of consonantal point for ت


     
  10. M. Sarmad

    M. Sarmad SENIOR MEMBER

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    Concise List Of Arabic Manuscripts Of The Qur'ān Attributable To The First Century Hijra

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    The Qur'anic Manuscripts
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2014
  11. M. Sarmad

    M. Sarmad SENIOR MEMBER

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    The Oldest Quran in the World


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    In an obscure corner of the Uzbek capital, Tashkent, lies one of Islam’s most sacred relics - the world’s oldest Koran.
    It is a reminder of the role which Central Asia once played in Muslim history - a fact often overlooked after seven decades of Soviet-imposed atheism.

    The library where the Koran is kept is in an area of old Tashkent known as Hast-Imam, well off the beaten track for most visitors to this city.

    It lies down a series of dusty lanes, near the grave of a 10th century scholar, Kaffel-Shashi.

    The Mufti of Uzbekistan, the country’s highest religious leader, has his offices there, in the courtyard of an old madrassa.

    Just across the road stands a non-descript mosque and the equally unremarkable Mui-Mubarak, or “Sacred Hair”, madrassa, which houses a rarely seen hair of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad, as well as one of Central Asia’s most important collections of historical works.

    ”There are approximately 20,000 books and 3000 manuscripts in this library,” said Ikram Akhmedov, a young assistant in the mufti’s office.

    ”They deal with mediaeval history, astronomy and medicine. There are also commentaries on the Koran and books of law. But the oldest book here is the Othman Koran from the seventh century.”

    Sacred verses

    [​IMG]

    The Othman Koran was compiled in Medina by Othman, the third caliph or Muslim leader.

    Before him, the sacred verses which Muslims believe God gave to Muhammad were memorised, or written on pieces of wood or camel bone.

    To prevent disputes about which verses should be considered divinely inspired, Othman had this definitive version compiled. It was completed in the year 651, only 19 years after Muhammad’s death.

    This priceless Koran is kept in a special glass-fronted vault built into the wall of a tiny inner room.

    About one-third of the original survives - about 250 pages - a huge volume written in a bold Arabic script.

    ”The Koran was written on deerskin,” said Mr Akhmedov. “It was written in Hejaz in Saudi Arabia, so the script is Hejazi, similar to Kufic script.”

    It is said that Caliph Othman made five copies of the original Koran. A partial Koran now in the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul is said to be another of these original copies.

    Historical text

    [​IMG]

    Othman was murdered by a rebellious mob while he was reading his book. A dark stain on its pages is thought to be the caliph’s blood.

    It was Othman’s murder that precipitated the Shia-Sunni divide which has split the Muslim world ever since.

    Later disputes over the succession led to a division between the mainstream Sunnis, and supporters of Othman’s immediate successor, Ali, who became Shias.

    The story of how the Othman Koran came to Tashkent is a remarkable one.

    After Othman’s death it is believed it was taken by Caliph Ali to Kufa, in modern Iraq. Seven hundred years later, when the Central Asian conqueror, Tamerlane, laid waste to the region, he found the Koran and took it home to grace his splendid capital, Samarkand.

    It stayed there for more than four centuries, until the Russians conquered Samarkand in the 1868. The Russian governor then sent the Othman Koran to St Petersburg where it was kept in the Imperial Library.

    But after the Bolshevik revolution, Lenin was anxious to win over the Muslims of Russia and Central Asia. Initially he sent the Koran to Ufa in modern Bashkortostan.

    But finally, after repeated appeals from the Muslims of Tashkent, it was returned once more to Central Asia in 1924. It has remained in Tashkent ever since.

    Visiting dignitaries from the Muslim world often turn up to see the Othman Koran in the depths of old Tashkent, so it is odd that it is still kept in such an out of the way location.

    But the authoritarian Uzbek government has inherited a Soviet-era distrust of Islam, and still views much of its own Islamic history with suspicion.

    The mufti’s official religious establishment is closely watched and takes care not to attract too much attention to itself.

    As a result, its greatest treasure, the world’s oldest Koran, continues to sit quietly in the medieval quarter of old Tashkent.

    Source: BBC News and www.islamicity.com


    However based on orthographic and palaeographic studies, the manuscript probably dates to the 2nd century hijra or the 8th century CE, possibly as late as the beginning of the 9th century CE
    Samarkand Kufic Quran - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The only Other Quran attributed to Usman :
    [​IMG]

    Topkapi manuscript - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Also the Sana'a palimpsest in Yemen is one of the oldest Qur'anic manuscripts in existence. Radiocarbon analysis has dated the parchment containing the lower text to before 671 AD with a 99% accuracy

    [​IMG]
    Sana'a manuscript - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2014
  12. M. Sarmad

    M. Sarmad SENIOR MEMBER

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    @Jazzbot @jaibi @danish falcon @Alpha1.... no contribution :(??

    Quran is the only "book" that all Muslims believe is "unchanged" & "perfect" , And as discussed earlier , there are enough reasons to believe in this ....
    Now the question arises that despite believing in One Allah , Same Quran & One Prophet (pbuh) , Why do the Muslims kill each other in the name of the same religion (i.e Islam) which they all follow ???

    The answer seems to be very simple , They believe in different collections of Ahadith (sayings attributed to prophet pbuh) , often highly contradicting, and they follow different versions of the `same` Islamic History ...

    But things might not be that simple , The first Islamic civil war (656-661 CE) , also known as the First Fitna , was fought among the Muslims who did not follow different Ahadith or versions of history , They were mostly companions and relatives of the prophet (pbuh) who had learnt Islam directly from the Messenger of Allah !! They did not challenge each other`s faith , They contested for the leadership of the newly born Ummah .. The divide in the Muslims was purely "political" in the beginning , which became "religious" with the passage of time . Ali (r.a) was a cousin and son in law of Muhammad (pbuh) , who fought against Aisha (r.a) [ the beloved wife of prophet (pbuh)] and Zubair bin Awwam (r.a)[also a cousin of prophet as well as Ali himself] in 656 AD , in the "battle of camel" .. Later Ali r.a had to fight Muaviyyah in "battle of siffeen" , Muaviyyah was brother in law of Muhammad (pbuh) and a distant cousin .. So the participants of the First Fitna were all related to each other , and no one tried to prove his superiority over the other claiming a kinship to Muhammad (pbuh) and "religion" stayed out of politics ..

    But in the Second Islamic Civil war (ended 692 AD) , the religion could not stay out of politics . Following the Murder of Imam Hussain and almost all the male members of family of prophet (pbuh) in "battle of kerbala" by the Ummayad troops of Yazid (son of Muaviyyah) in 680 AD(The battle is often cited as the definitive break between the Shi'a and Sunni sects of Islam) , Yazid faced a second revolt from Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr, who was the son of al-Zubayr ibn al-Awwam and the son of Asma bint Abu Bakr. Ibn al-Zubayr's rebellion was seen by many as an attempt to return to the pristine values of the early Islamic community, and his revolt was welcomed by a number of parties that were unhappy with the Umayyad rule for various reasons.

    This was the first time that the name of "Muhammad" was used for political purposes . As is evident from archaeological record , The name of Muhammad was not minted on coins or other inscriptions before Abdullah Bin Zubair gained control of Hijaz . The oldest coins with shahada of prophethood of Muhammad (pbuh) are from his time . His opponent and the Ummayad leader Abdul Malik , followed him and started using the name of prophet on coins and other inscriptions (a practice his predecessors never approved of) . He went on to build a alternative ka`ba in jerusalem as the Ummayads had lost control of Makkah ; The famous Dome Of The Rock , and this was the time when he ordered compiling of Ahadith for political purposes , something forbidden by the messenger of Allah and the Khulfa e Rashideen , ....



    al-Ya`qubi writes is in his Tareekh :

    `Abd al-Malik prevented the people of Sham from the hajj and this is because Ibn al-Zubayr was taking the pledge of allegience from the pilgrims. When `Abd al-Malik had found out about this, he prevented them from setting out to Makkah. But the people protested and said: "Do you prevent us from doing the pilgrimage to the Sacred House of Allah while it is a duty from Allah upon us ?" He said: "Here is Ibn Shihabuddin al-Zuhri narrating to you that the Messenger of Allah said: "The caravans should not be set out except for three mosques, the Sacred Mosque, my present Mosque and the Mosque of Jerusalem" [which] stands for the Sacred Mosque for you. And here is the Rock on [which] it is narrated that the Prophet set his foot before ascending to the heavens, it stands for the Ka`bah. Then he built a Dome on the Rock, suspended silk curtains on it and appointed servants for it. And told the people to revolve around it like they revolve around the Ka`bah and so it was during the rule of Bani Umayyah( Ahmad b. Abu Ya`qub Ibn Wadih al-Ya`qubi (Ed. M. T. Houtsma), Tarikh, 1883, Volume II, Leiden, p. 311)

    Now we have two options
    1) Reject this allegation saying that Al Yaqubi was a Shia and this is anti ummayad propaganda , or
    2) Try to further investigate into it and see if this claim is backed by other sources or historical records

    Going by option number 2 , lets see what some orientalists have to say


    In the passage of his Muhammedanische Studien, Goldziher puts forward in detail the theory that Umayyad caliph `Abd al-Malik, by erecting the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, intended to outsmart his rival `Abdallah b. al-Zubayr, who exploited the holiness of Makkah, his capital, for his own political ends. Goldziher wrote:

    When the Umayyad Caliph `Abd al-Malik wished the stop the pilgrimages to Mecca because he was worried lest his rival `Abd Allah b. Zubayr should force the Syrians journeying to the holy places in Hijaz to pay him homage, he had to recourse to the expedient of the doctrine of the vicarious hajj to the Qubbat al-Sakhra in Jerusalem. He decreed that the obligatory circumambulation (tawaf) could take place at the sacred place in Jerusalem with the same validity as that around the Ka`ba ordained in Islamic Law. The pious theologian al-Zuhri was given the task of justifying this politically motivated reform of religious life by making up and spreading a saying traced back to the Prophet, according to which there are three mosques to which people may make pilgrimages: those in Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem.(I. Goldziher (Ed. S. M. Stern), Muslim Studies (Muhammedanische Studien), 1971, Volume II, Atherton: New York and Aldine: Chicago, pp. 44-45.)

    Goldziher's theory had been adopted, uncritically or with some criticism, by many early orientalists and a few recent ones; some of them are Creswell ,Rippin , van Ess,and Elad.

    Now again these are western sources and most of the Muslims will not be willing to accept them , lets try to find out what Muslims (Only Sunnis) have to say on this ...





    Before going into details , One should know that who was Ibn e Shihab Al Zuhri as he is the one being accused of writing fabricated Ahadith for the Ummayad rulers ..

    Ibn Shihab al-Zuhri(d. 742 AD) is regarded as one of the greatest Sunni authorities on Hadith. The leading critics of Hadith such as Ibn al-Madini, Ibn Hibban, Abu Hatim, Al-Dhahabi and Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani are all agreed upon his indisputable authority . He can also be regarded as the first Historian of Islam



    Ibn Shihab al-Zuhri was the first one to compile Ahadees [fath ul bari by ibne hajar]

    Imam Malik (d. 179) said, "The first one to utilise the isnad was Ibn Shihab al-Zuhri" [Ibne abi Hatim Al Razi, aljarrah wa altadeel p.20 vol 1]

    So Ibn e Shihab Zuhri is actually the founding father of "Hadith Science" and the first one to compile Ahadith ..
    Al Zuhri is a main narrator of both , Sahih Muslim and Sahih Bukhari (around 1700 ahadith from him in both)
    Challenging his authority is challenging the whole "Science of Hadith" , and Al Yaqubi has accused him of writing fabricated Ahadith , so Al Yaqubi can very well be a Shia...
    But Wait ... Is he the only one who has accused Al Zuhri of Tadlees (hadith fabrication) ??
    The answer is definitely "No"


    Zuhri’s Tadlis is recorded in the following words:
    Imam Shaf‘i, Dara Qutani and many others have attributed Tadlis (Hadith Fabrication) to Zuhri.
    (Ibn Hajar, Tabaqatu’l-Mudallisin, [Cairo: Maktabah Kulliyyat al-Azhar], pps. 32-3)

    Imam Malik also did not consider Al Zuhri trustworthy and thats why he does not narrate Zuhri`s solo traditions in his famous hadith collection "Muwatta"


    Some of the greatest Sunni scholars of all times did not consider Al Zuhri to be trustworthy

    Then why blame Al Yaqubi alone ???

    And .....
    Al-Zuhri himself is reported to have said: ‘We disapproved of recording knowledge [meaning hadith] until these rulers forced us to do so. After that we saw no reason to forbid Muslims to do so.’” (Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, II, ii, p. 135)

    Ibn e Saad is definitely a Sunni !! This confession by Al Zuhri himself is enough as a evidence when considered alongwith other similar reports


    Ibne Shihab al-Zuhri was the first historian who wrote the history of Islam under the direct order and fund of Abdul Malik. He also wrote Hadith collection. The works of al-Zuhri was one of the main source for al-Bukhari. al-Zuhri was attached to the royal family of Abdul Malik, and was the tutor of his sons. (al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah," by Shibli part I, pp.13-17)

    Shibli is also a "great" sunni historian

    Among the students of al-Zuhri, two persons, namely Musa Ibn Uqbah, and Mohammad Ibn Ishaq became famous historians. The former was a slave of the house of Zubair. Although his history is not available today, it had been the most popular work on history for a long time. You will find its references in many history books on different subjects.

    The second student, Mohammad Ibn Ishaq is the most famous historian . His biography of the Prophet, called "Sirah Rasul Allah", is still the accredited authority on the subject in the shape that was given to it by Ibn Hisham, and is known as "al-Sirah of Ibn Hisham".


    So Islamic Hadith and History books were first compiled under the direct order of Umayyah Kings for political purposes .............





    And for those who think that prophet(pbuh) did not prohibit writing down Ahadith :


    Abu Sa'id Khudri reported that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: Do not take down anything from me, and he who took down anything from me except the Quran, he should erase that and narrate(orally) from me, for there is no harm in it and he who attributed any falsehood to me-and Hammam said: I think he also said:" deliberately" -he should in fact find his abode in the Hell-Fire (Sahih Muslim, Book 042, Chapter 17, Number 7147).


    There are other similar hadith reports, e.g., one from Abu Dawud, and another from Taqyid by al-Baghdadi confirming the Prophet’s prohibition on hadith writing and direction for erasure of any hadith.[www.mostmerciful.com/hadithbook.]


    According to one report, the first Caliph Abu Bakr burned his own notes of hadith (said to be some 500), after being very uneasy about these notes.[ Rahim, M. Abdur, The History of Hadith Compilation (in Bengali), p. 290, quoted by Jamilul Bashar, “Sangsker” (in Bengali, means Reformation), published by Young Muslim Society, New York, 2002, pp. 11.]


    During the caliphate of Umer r.a, “the problem of hadith forgery was so serious that he prohibited hadith transmission altogether.”[ Brown, Daniel W., 1996 (paperback 1999), op. cit., p. 96.]


    So one can safely conclude
    1) Prophet (pbuh) and Khulfa e Rashideen did not allow writing down of Ahadith
    2) Ibn e Shihab was the first one to violate the sunnah of prophet
    3) The Ummayad Rulers forced Ibn e Shihab Al Zuhri to write fabricated ahadith , which Zuhri did not want to write down



    And Allama Muhammad Iqbal has described this in folowng words :

    Iqbal notes in his seminal work The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, even Abu Hanifah, regarded as “one of the greatest exponents of Muhammedan Law in Sunni Islam … made practically no use of … traditions”, even though there were collections available at that time made by other people no less than thirty years before his death. Nor did he collect any hadith for his use, unlike his peers Malik and Ahmad Ibn Hanbal.
    Thus, according to Iqbal, “if modern Liberalism considers it safer not to make any indiscriminate use of them [Ahadith] as a source of law, it will be only following [the example of Abu Hanifah].”

    [Iqbal, A. M., The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, First Indian Edition 1997, p. 137.]
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2014
  13. Jazzbot

    Jazzbot ELITE MEMBER

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    Yar, I am not expert at these things as I told you when we met. You are doing well, its a lot of stuff to read, so I have bookmarked this thread and I'm reading everything in detail. Keep it coming, I'll be watching this thread regularly from now onwards. :tup:
     
  14. danish falcon

    danish falcon FULL MEMBER

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    @Azlan Haider now i have one question for you..
    were ummayads shia or sunni? if they were shia then how ibn hasham al-zuhri wrote the 1700 sunni ahadith on the direct orders of the abdul malik.?

    except khalifa, Umer-e-sani " Umer bin Abdul Aziz " all the ummayyad reigns are controversial .
     
  15. M. Sarmad

    M. Sarmad SENIOR MEMBER

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    Umayyad caliphate was One of the most "anti-shia" regimes in history . In fact Shiism in history only gained ground as a form of moral resistance to the Ummayads and their demands ..

    Except for Umer bin Abdulaziz , who is said to have given the controversial Bagh e Fadak back to the family of prophet and he was the one who put an end to the evil practice of cursing Ali r.a and his progeny from the pulpits of the mosques around the kingdom in Jumma prayers ...

    Saying that Umayyads were Shia is like saying that Ayatullah Khomeini was a Wahabi ;)

    Hope that answers your question